Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Back in the mainstream

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  • Che Tibby,

    redfern is the major milestone in australian race relations. 67 was one, by redfern is the biggie.

    and howard despised it. be called the view represented in it a "black armband" view of australian history.

    thing is, you can't lift "the sorry" out of the reconciliation movement.

    the nationally distributed sorry books awaiting signatures on the corner of streets and outside shops, the marches in every major city, the reconciliation itself, was hinged on that one public statement by the prime minister.

    and howard refused to give it. and all that momentum was squandered.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The sad thing about Howard was that at the same time as he insisted that "I've always said that it is not right to oblige and compel the present generation of Australians to apologise for something that they were not responsible for," he repeatedly expressed the view that the Japanese people, through their government, should apologise for what was done to Australian POWs decades before.

    What a horrible little man.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18893 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Horrible little man is about my summary. I think only now is the true extent of his dour view of Australia becoming apparent.

    When I moved to Sydney, I lived about 100 metres from the Block in Redfern. We were right around the corner during the riots in 2004. The Block exists is a strange space. Redfern is gentrifying but there is a lot of state housing (housing estates); hideous high-rise places. There is a plan for significant urban redevelopment but it relies upon the Aboriginal community at the Block relocating...

    I completely agree with Che's summary: Keating's Redfern speech, plus the Mabo and Wick decisions represented real momentum in race relations but that Howard put and end to it only to rediscover race relations on the eve of the federal election. Cynical? Well, here's how at least one Aboriginal community saw things:

    When Fraser passes the microphone to Harry Wilson, an angrier, younger man, the tension rises. Wilson proclaims that this is the Tampa again. This is "black children overboard … this Government is using these kids to win the election".

    His words echo a joke drily recounted earlier to the Herald by one local official that the Prime Minister, John Howard, the magician politician, has pulled a rabbit out of his hat. "Only it is a black rabbit."

    Full story here

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    "I've always said that it is not right to oblige and compel the present generation of Australians to apologise for something that they were not responsible for,"

    the last of the stolen generation, a practice established in the state of victoria as early as 1869, was taken from their homes in my lifetime.

    there's no "past generation" about it.

    that apology and reconciliation has been a long, long time coming.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    yes and you know
    SORRY

    not a big complicated word

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 490 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    Absolutely, Che. This whole idea that racist and colonialist practices are historical is yet another mechanism of denial.

    How long ago was it that Howard announced his intention to make Australia rich by taking the world's nuclear waste off its hands and burying it in the Northern Territories? The geologists he brought in confirmed - from a geological perspective only of course - no, they weren't there to comment on policy - that the oldest, stablest land in the world, the most appropriate place to bury radioactive waste, was NT. The economists agreed - from a economic perspective - that this would be fiscally advantageous. The people screamed for awhile then all went quiet.

    Then, what? 18 - 24 months later, Howard's government decides that it has to disestablish tribal authority over many of the large areas of aboriginal land, disband tribal government etc because of a research report on the appalling and longstanding social problems apparent there. Howard's government's response was so at odds with the recommendations of the report that the research leaders themselves publicly condemned it.

    Golly, I wonder why Howard was so interested in reasserting control over the Northern Territories? INDIAN GIVER!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    IMO, one of the very important aspects of a government apology is that it cracks open public denial - it mainstreams recognition - so the attitudes of the dominant culture might be shifted a bit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Recalling an earlier series of posts, here's a link to a story about the Chaser winding up the highest ranked Liberal in Australia, the Lord Mayor of Brisvegas.

    It'll no doubt be on tele tonight, Wed, and available here soon (possibly Thurs)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Golly, I wonder why Howard was so interested in reasserting control over the Northern Territories? INDIAN GIVER!

    There's a colonially loaded term.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6180 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    A CRACKER isn't it!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    From the "We won, you lost, eat that" file:

    A decade after Pauline Hanson was beating the anti-Asian drum, she languishes in political obscurity, not even an asterisk in the polls. Meanwhile in Canberra, Jenny Wong joins the Cabinet.

    A spokesman for Ms Hanson said: "They are taking our jobs!"

    (OK, I made up that last bit).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 774 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    It's Penny Wong (promoted as of today too btw)... the point's no less valid but.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Oops. Thanks Paul.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 774 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Incidentally, if Hanson secures more than 4% of the primary vote she gets $2.05 for each and every vote regardless of whether she's successful... in 2004, when she last stood unsuccessfully. she got some $200k...

    What price democracy hey?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    </update>

    On page four I said (re Facebook):

    It can't be long before we all get a message__ "Russell Brown has just rented 'An@l Midget Leather Fest' from Blockbuster - would you like to reserve your copy??"__

    It seems they have responded to my fears (okay, and 51,500 others) and reversed themselves:

    Critics objected to what they viewed as a breach in privacy because users would have to formally decline to have the information displayed after making purchases at each participating web site. Most Facebook applications involve a pro-active “opt-in,” with users choosing to participate. MoveOn and the more than 51,500 members of its protest group wanted Facebook to make the Beacon feature “opt-in,” too, meaning that if a user took no action, their information would not be displayed.

    And that’s what Facebook will do, the site announced this evening.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

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