OPPOSITION LEADER Bill Shorten has warned against waiting “too long” to change the constitution to acknowledge indigenous Australians — and said any reform should be “substantive” and not tokenistic.
“I believe that the sooner our constitution gives just recognition to our First Australians, the better,” he told The Australian.
OK Bill but what does that mean? will such changes have any practical effects in the lives of any Australian?
“It is a historical wrong that must be made right. But it must be more than a token gesture — it must be substantive change”.
“Bipartisanship is critical for any referendum proposal to succeed. I’m prepared to work with the Prime Minister on this to make sure there is a political consensus on the timing and the content”.
If I’m not mistaken the “historical wrong” Shorten is referring to is the Establishment of the British colonies , firstly in NSW and later elsewhere, well personally I just can’t see such events in the sort of negative light that Shorten shines here.
Coalition indigenous MP, Ken Wyatt, who is leading the process, has been more cautious, saying any vote should only be held when “Australia is ready.”
Mr Wyatt, the chair of the cross party constitution committee, said: “We shouldn’t go too early but we shouldn’t go too late either and run the risk of missing the opportunity.
Err OK Ken but until we see the words no one will have the slightest notion of the virtue of what is proposed now will they?
Mr Wyatt’s committee is currently consulting on the wording to be taken to a referendum.
“The Committee is considering presenting a progress report in December and is not required to present its final report until 30 June 2015,” he said.
So does that mean that we are going to get nearly another year of these endless empty gestures trying to soften up the public for an as yet unenunciated change to the constitution?
Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda has called for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year.
Delivering the annual Nulungu Reconciliation Lecture in Broome, Mr Gooda challenged the Prime Minister to hold a referendum before the next federal election and avoid endless rounds of consultation on the issue.
How typically undemocratic a notion from a minion of the left.
Joint Campaign Director of the Recognise campaign Tim Gartrell praised Mr Gooda’s “excellent contribution to the debate”.
“We’ve always said we shouldn’t wait a day longer than is necessary to make these important changes to the constitution,” he said. “This also means all the preconditions need to be in place. The momentum needed for success is growing every day. There are now more than 215,000 supporters who have joined Recognise.
215,000 supporters is notthat significant when you consider that we are a nation of more than 20Million people, in fact I would suggest that 215,000 supporters is barely even all of the “usual suspects”
Labor’s first indigenous senator -Nova Peris does not back Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda’s call for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year, arguing it is better to take longer than get it wrong.
Senator Peris, who is the deputy chairwoman of the committee looking at options for recognition, said rushing the issue would be devastating.
“It’s imperative we do the work required to ensure this succeeds,” he said. “To risk failure in an attempt to simply rush the procedure would be devastating.”
Well for once I agree with a Labor person about something! That said unless we have a very clear enunciation of just what words are to be added to the constitution and what the possible effect of that change could be then I for one will be campaigning against there being ANY change simply because those advancing the yes case are already being deceptive. You see I am old fashioned enough to think that there should be no laws on our statute books that privileges any individual on the basis of their race or ethnicity, or what they claim is their race or ethnicity. We live in the here and now, in a contemporary Australia whose laws apply equally to all with a blindness to race gender or ethnicity. Its not a perfect blindness to those distinctions but its close enough to sing its praises and we should resist any move that makes the law notice the colour of a man’s skin, the faith in his heart or even if he is a man. So many on all sides of politics espouse notions of equality and I think that if we the public are being asked to agree with the proposition that some Australians are going to be considered “more equal” than the rest of us that we should just vote NO!
Am I the only one who sees this event here as the beginning of a very nasty carnival of death for west Africa? Because I just can’t shake the conviction that we are going to see a tide of death flowing out of that part of the continent that will make the bubonic plague look like a mild case of the sniffles. It already seems that the official death-toll may well be underestimated and as there is no cure or even an effective treatment beyond hydration and a plaintive plea to what ever deity one holds dear.
You see disease epidemics like this one are virtually unstoppable once they get rolling and this outbreak of Ebola is certainly rolling now.
Frankly if the disease can be contained within the African continent the world will be doing very well but even on that score I have my doubts because we live in the age where anyone can be traveling the world by the perfect disease incubators/infection pods in the shape Jet airliners
Trying hard not to abandon hope here but frankly all I can foresee is a carnival of death that may soon get to the point where there are not enough of the living to inter the dead. I really hope that I am wrong in my dark expectations but I see nothing to convince me otherwise.
Pessimistic mood on this one Comrades
Marcia Langton’s objections to the repeal of 18c in today’s Oz where she said:
“As a victim of frequent racism, I have tried to think of racist behaviour that would not be exempted by the proposed repeal bill and cannot think of one,’’ Professor Langton says.
“None of the requirements of good faith, accuracy, genuine, reasonable, public interest are provided for in the exemptions, and I have concluded that the repeal bill, if it were passed, would provide me — and other victims of racism — with no protection at all from low-level racist abuse, or abuse that a ‘reasonable, ordinary Australian’ would not deem to be intimidatory, in the media, in public, on social media, in the workplace, in educational institutions, or other public institutions.”
Professor Langton says the repeal bill would encourage racists to be more emboldened in public and to use subtle forms of intimidation and aggression, “which I know from personal experience can be just as dangerous and distressing as overt forms”.
She says that, amid increasing racial attacks on public transport, the passage of the bill would expose victims to further attacks.
“The reluctance of most victims to make formal complaints or to contact police compounds this problem of their vulnerability to increased attacks by those emboldened to behave in even more offensive and aggressive ways on public transport and in public places,” she says.
Professor Langton goes further, arguing that the bill would undermine the success of multiculturalism and reconciliation in the community and lead to more events such as the race riots in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla in 2005.
And she warns: “The youth suicides that result from cyber bullying may well increase, and so too would internet bullying among school students.’’
Thinking back to her last appearance on QandA where she (and the ABC) had to apologise for her outburst against Andrew Bolt made me wonder just how a woman so blighted with racism managed to get herself into a safe and secure academic position and how she came to be consulted so often by governments on matters indigenous. I also can’t help wondering if she might be mistaking reactions to her antagonistic, confrontational and abrasive personal style of public discourse as racism when its her total lack of respect and generosity to all of her interlocutors that generates and equally terse response to her whenever she discusses the issues with others. Strangely enough in this country where we have manged to do tolerance and “multiculturalism” pretty well its antagonistic people like Langton who try so hard to grandstand about “racism” that are a problem, at least as significant as those very few individuals who are actually racist, because their whole ego and self image are totally tied up with the notion of ” being oppressed” that they want to magnify and exaggerate the whole issue of ” race” enough to justify their own bigotry .
We have a country that does diversity, equality and tolerance pretty well and long may that be so but we won’t do it any better if people go out of their way to find offense when and where no offense was intended, we can and I hope will, continue to do better to promote inclusion and acceptance of diversity as a nation but the strictures of blame and well nurtured resentment over long past events will not help anyone.
Hmm pardon my cynicism but I can’t help but think that this is just another attempt by Gillard to distract media attention from the poor performance of her government, after all what could be more fine and noble that to chase after kiddie fiddlers? Strangely enough though there is no mention of the rampant sexual abuse that has been revealed in far to many remote indigenous communities or the way that our friends from the left want to look the other way on that…
I seem to recall someone of significance opining that no politician should have an royal commission unless they know precisely where it will go to and what it will achieve. Gillard may well have climbed onto the tiger here in an effort to distract attention from her own dodgy past at Slater and Gordon but who is surprised that she makes this desperate move?
This exercise will be expensive, but I have my doubts about its efficacy and as I said in my previous post it will be a great boon for the legal profession and the victims of abuse are less than likely to end up feeling that much better about their exploitation and subsequent angst.
Its a circus and it will cost an awful lot of bread, but bread and circuses have a long and less than honourable history at entertaining the masses.
with a very big sigh Comrades
- Gillard acts on sex abuse claims (smh.com.au)
- Child sex abuse inquiry (smh.com.au)
- Gillard launches royal commission into child abuse (abc.net.au)
- PM calls abuse inquiry (theage.com.au)
- Australia: Royal Commission to probe sexual abuse of children by clergy (examiner.com)
- Clerical Sexual Abuse: The Crisis Is Exploding in Australia (queeringthechurch.com)
- PM announces child abuse royal commission (news.theage.com.au)
- Coalition would support abuse inquiry (bigpondnews.com)
- Lawyers contradict PM’s claim (smh.com.au)
- Julia Gillard launches Royal Commission into child sex abuse (telegraph.co.uk)
In the comments of this post Miglo was curious about my reaction to his critique of Tony Abbott’s position on a grab bag of social issues well I wrote out a long comment answering each point in turn only to have it disappear into the either when I tried to use it as a comment to a re-blog here at the Sandpit So this is “take two” and hopefully this one will not disappear…
So without further adieu I will go through the points in turn
Same-sex marriage: Mr Abbott has said marriage is between a man and a woman not just to fulfil their own personal happiness ”but because we have obligations to the children that come with families”.
I see no reason to fault Abbott on this position as marriage is much more about the children that it is about social affirmation for homosexuality
Mr Abbott said he felt “threatened” by homosexuality on Sunday night’s program, a comment that has angered the gay and lesbian community and something he tried to back track from during an interview on the ABC last night.
“There is no doubt that it (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things” Mr Abbott told Lateline.
At the risk of being howled down as a homophobe I tend to think that homosexuality is against the natural order of things and it serves no biological purpose (given the simple fact that such pairings must be sterile) that said I am a realist who thinks that what consenting adults do in private is entirely their own business and the law and society should not penalise them for their choice of partner(s).
Abortion: Christians aren’t required to right every wrong in the political arena, but they can help change the nation’s culture, suggests Tony Abbott DESPITE the debt that political institutions owe to the West’s Christian heritage, there is the constant claim that Christians in politics are confused about the separation of church and state. There’s also a tendency among Christians in the community to think that Christians in politics have to sell out their principles in order to survive. Christian politicians are often warding off simultaneous accusations that they are zealots or fakes. Indeed, the public caricature of a Christian politician is hypocrite or wuss, in denial about the ruthlessness and expediency necessary to wield power, or too sanctimonious to be effective. Take the challenge of abortion. The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.
Abortion is the classic example of competing moral imperatives and the simple fact is that those competing imperatives each have different levels of validity depending upon the stage of gestation. Thus very early on its easier to argue that a women’s bodily integrity and autonomy should give her unfettered rights to terminate an unborn child the longer that the gestation endures the greater the argument for the protection of the unborn from arbitrary execution becomes. Anyone who does not realise this is essentially a sociopath who is ruled by a dark and vicious feminist ideology.
Boat people: Tony Abbott yesterday claimed boatpeople were acting in an un-Christian manner.
Given the fact atht most of these mendicants are not in fact Christian then what is contentious about this observation
Euthanasia: Legalising euthanasia in Australia would put elderly people at risk of being “bumped off”, federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has warned, after an Australian man travelled to Switzerland to legally end his life.
Killing oneself is not rocket science and you really don’t need much more than simple things that are common around the house, nor is suicide actually a crime. But there are lots of downsides to making it easy for doctors to assist. In extreme circumstances if there is a legal cost to “helping” some one end their lives then it is a small sacrifice that should be paid to prevent malicious pressure on the unwell.
The needy: “We can’t abolish poverty because poverty in part is a function of individual behaviour”.
Contrary to leftist ideology the reality is precisely as Tony Abbott observes here some people just can not be saved from themselves no matter how much money you throw at their problems.
Women’s rights: Tony Abbott warns women against sex before marriage. And how about this brain fart: “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”.
Is promiscuity really such a good thing for anyone in society? The left seem to believe that sexual intercourse is something akin to a contact sport that is little different to any other amateur sport. However this ignores its true purpose which is to propagate the species and to provide the glue that cement the pair bonds that are foundational to raising subsequent generations. As for the difference in aptitudes of men and women in different roles and professions only a fool denies that there are differences but the other side of that coin is to have a society that allows and appreciates those who want to step outside the usual gender expectations.
Recognition of Indigenous culture: ‘Western civilisation came to this country in 1788 and I’m proud of that . . . Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage’.
Compare and contrast the sort of colonial experience that this country benefits from with the sort of colonial experience under different European colonial regimes and its clear that we would be a lesser nation under the French, the Dutch, Spanish or the Portuguese. So Abbott is spot on here.
Climate change: As a climate denier, Tony Abbott is most famous for his statement that climate science is “absolute crap“. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – he actually has a long history of denying climate change science. “The fact that we have had if anything cooling global temperatures over the last decade, not withstanding continued dramatic increases of carbon dioxide emissions, suggests the role of CO2 is not nearly as clear as the climate catastrophists suggest.”
Does it matter what the man personally believes about the AGW proposition? I think not when it comes down to it. However if his scepticism about the millenarian cult of “climate change” leads this country to a more nuanced policy setting that eschews useless lip-service to AGW as a front for social engineering then the nation can only benefit. If AGW theory is correct which is the greater sin? To agree with the liturgy and preform pious acts of contrition that have no effect on the problem (like Gillard’s Carbon tax ) and cost our economy a Motza Or to disagree with the theory but to act in a prudent manner to improve the environment?
Technology: “There is no way on God’s earth that we need to be spending $50 billion plus of borrowed money on what is going to turn out to be a telecommunications white elephant – school halls on steroids.”
We would all love to have a Lamborghini or a Rolls Royce in the garage but when it comes down to it most of us would be happy with a Nissan or a Ford. lets consider just what people actually want out of the Internet rather than getting carried away by the dreams of the technophiles and the latte sippers
Foreign investment: Tony Abbott made headlines recently when during a visit to China, he declared that “it would rarely be in Australia’s national interest to allow a foreign government or its agencies to control an Australian business”.
In other words: foreign direct investment by such entities would not be welcome.
How is it a bad thing to be concerned that a totalitarian state owned corporations may not have Australian’s interests at heart when they try to buy the farm here?
Divorce: Liberal Party frontbencher Tony Abbott wants laws toughened up to make divorce harder. The opposition families and Aboriginal affairs spokesman has called for a return to the fault-based system of divorce discarded in 1975, which was replaced by a “no-fault” system. Mr Abbott’s plan, outlined in his soon-to-be released book Battlelines, would see a grounds for divorce reintroduced, including adultery, cruelty, habitual drunkenness and imprisonment.
It would be similar to the defunct Matrimonial Causes Act.
There is a great deal to recommend in our “no fault” divorce system but its not perfect and there are times when a judgement of fault would aid justice in adjudicating some of the issues associated with the dissolution of a marriage, its property and children that make divorce tough and the experience of our system shows it could do with some review and reconsideration at the very least.
So there you go Migs I have gone through your points and shown that none of them are the black marks that you seem to think they are, all are quite reasonable positions to take and most reasonable people will be able to see that.
When I heard about the shooting of two young indigenous “children” while they were in a stolen car I could not help wondering just how much time the police officers involved had spent on the firing range, two shot and no fatalities? They need more practice!
Ok maybe I should not be so flippant but what can the indigenous elders and community leaders expect when the police are faced with life threatening behaviour that saw the car driven at a pedestrian?
Surely this is an incident where (potentially) lethal force was both necessary and justified no matter who the perps were. Sadly real life is not like the movies where a car can be stopped dead by shooting its tyres out as one person has suggested in the SMH report.
Isn’t it funny though that all of our friends from the left will claim or imply that the reason for so many indigenous people coming into contact with the law and subsequently sojourning in one of Her Majesty’s fine hotels is a result of racism and prejudice rather than the fact that so many of the community seem to have a total disregard for the laws that govern us all.
There is something almost Orwellian in the recommendation from the expert committee that is suggesting a change change to “recognise” indigenous people in the constitution and to be honest it seems to me to be a great big can of worms that will divide more than it unites the people of this country.
Just look at the main proposals as described in today’s Oz:
Just look at what is being proposed in section 116A and think about it for a minute that is almost a perfect example of doublethink, If you want to eliminate discrimination then you have to ensure that all Australians are treated precisely the same under the law yet this proposal would allow anyone who claims to be indigenous to enjoy privileges and “affirmative” programs that would be denied to those who do not identify as indigenous, something that is already contentious in our society.
Then there is the matter of “recognition of languages”. long time readers of this blog may recall the debates that I have had about the teaching of and attempts to preserve the dying indigenous languages and I can’t help[ thinking that making the preservation of these fading tongues a constitutional requirement will just condemn subsequent generations of children growing up in the most remote and isolated communities in the country to a life sentence of isolation and exclusion from the mainstream society because with out total competency in English as the primary focus of schooling what chance do those children have of making a future in this country?
Frankly I tend to agree with Warren Mundine that the committee has exceeded its remit here and that this whole thing will be an absolute disaster if the Greens were to have their dream fulfilled. My view is that we are all Australians and that despite the history of this nation we have to have a constitution that treats all present Australians equally and anything that entrenches “affirmative action” into the constitution is bound to do more harm that good.
Finally I just can’t be sanguine about the idea of any change to the constitution generating lots of work for the minions of the legal profession in the shape of high court challenges. There are enough legal cases brought by indigenous activists as it is without giving them the means to pursue even more expensive court action that does nothing for the country overall except blow out the budget.