Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts

Friday, 22 March 2019

"Please don’t run away from this so fast we fail to learn anything by it. Call out racism. Call out bigotry. Then call it out again, and again."


The Daily Examiner, 20 March 2019, p.28:

The Grafton community is in shock, left heartbroken after news that Friday’s terrorist attack in New Zealand was perpetrated by a man who grew up here.

So it’s understandable we want to try to distance ourselves from what is now one of the worst mass killings in modern history.

We feel for our city, we feel for the local family caught up in this, and we feel for the people of New Zealand.

What is apparent though is a lack of acknowledgement of the people who were specifically targeted in this murderous rampage. Muslims. People, including children as young as two, who were killed because of their faith and their race.

And don’t for one minute think it’s not about race, it’s a package deal for white supremacists, and the 28-year-old who grew up here is one of those.

So why do Clarence Valley spokespeople gloss over such details like they are trivial facts in this horrendous story?

If a Middle Eastern gunman of Muslim faith walked into a Catholic church in Australia and open fired on white Christian families there would be no such leniencies extended to the perpetrator or his ilk in the conversations that follow.

But here we are in protection mode. This isn’t our Grafton. This isn’t our Australia. 

This isn’t us. Which is correct if we judge the perpetrator only on his actions on Friday.

But we have to come to terms with the fact these things don’t happen overnight. There is an innate beginning to a journey that takes you to a place where you are capable of planning an attack of this level of calculation and carnage, write an extensive manifesto to showcase the act, film it and broadcast it live, and, after being captured, smirk to the media as you face the first of the many legal consequences of your actions.

So if it’s not us, who is it? Pakistan, Finland, any other country? Is it the internet or social media? Computer games? Is it the moment he left Grafton? The moment he was ‘radicalised’?

Ultimate responsibility lies with our society and the attitudes we foster. The conversations we have and behaviours we encourage and allow.

Everything contributes to this. What we hear from governments, what we hear from the media, what we hear from our family and friends. What we are exposed to growing up, what we talk about when we are old, the messages we share in pubs and on social media.

So in the Clarence, our Muslim-free narrative is very telling. So, too, the idealistic version we create of ourselves.

Please stop telling me how wonderful this place is. I already know it is; as long as you look like me, you go OK.

But describing the Clarence Valley and Grafton as a diverse and multicultural region that prides itself on being inclusive, while it makes a great sound bite or quote in a news story there is plenty to fault in these broad overviews with little evidence to back them up.

About 80 per cent of Grafton is made up of white people and more than 70 per cent identify as Christian (national averages are 65 per cent and 52 per cent respectively). 

Our demographic is made up of Australians, English, Irish, Scottish and Germans predominantly. Our indigenous population falls under the Australian component and makes up 7.4per cent of that, representing the major group as far as our cultural diversity goes. It is more than double the state average at 2.9per cent. Our representation of other people of colour is negligible by comparison.*

So to call us a culturally diverse place is a stretch. Inclusiveness is easy when we all look the same and have the same beliefs.

Our indigenous locals may have a different take on what that looks like.

When it comes to sport and the arts, sure we champion inclusiveness with First Nations people, but when we are really tested, like we were with the Coutts Crossing name debate, we demonstrate a low tolerance. Same with national issues like changing the date of Australia Day.

When our Citizen of the Year expressed her support of that in her acceptance speech she received random boos from an audience that also included members of our indigenous community.

Every October when we are – to quote someone well known for her lack of regard for other races – “swamped with Asians”, our lack of tolerance for the influx of visitors eager to photograph our beautiful trees is demonstrated with the barrage of abuse they receive from passing motorists.

But it’s not about race, they’re just idiots standing in the way, right? Like the booing of Adam Goodes wasn’t because he was an Aborigine, he was just a bad sport.

What if the Muslim community came en masse to Grafton to mourn their slain? What if they came to a town where they don’t exist?

It’s impossible to have all those other conversations about our wonderful town without having this one.

As difficult as it is, not mentioning the war as we wait for things to blow over isn’t an option. It’s no longer Grafton’s story to tell, or its agenda to set. The city will forever wear a horrific international act of terrorism as part of its story and in its history books.

Interest will follow us for a long time as the world learns who the perpetrator was, what kind of place he grew up in and how he ended up committing an act of hatred so obscene it stopped the world.

Like all the official spokespeople out there, I too love the Clarence Valley, but I’m not blindsided by that affection so much I believe we are incapable of being a breeding ground for racism. We aren’t the only Australian town to have this potential, but we are the town caught up in this mess.

Please don’t run away from this so fast we fail to learn anything by it. Call out racism. Call out bigotry. Then call it out again, and again.

*2016 ABS Census

LESLEY APPS

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Will Australian voters swallow Scott Morrison’s hypocritical volte-face?


In opposition or in government it didn't matter to Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison, he happily hammered home the message that boat people, asylum seekers and Muslims migrants were or could be a threat to the nation and to every Australian. 

This self-confessed admirer of Donald Trump began his faux election campaign the day he took office shortly after the palace coup removed then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and, almost from the start there has been speculation that he was hoping that his rhetoric would goad someone into committing a violent act of terrorism.

These snapshots below are taken from 15 March 2019 televised remarks by Morrison barely hiding his glee that he finally had the pre-federal election terrorist attack he had been dog whistling for - even if the fact that this muderous attack was made on people at prayer in two New Zealand mosques allegedly at the hands of an Australian meant he had to do a 360 turn on who he could blame.


Snapshots by @sarah_jade_ 
 Mainstream media has noted the change the change of campaign tactics .......

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 2019:

Something the Prime Minister said on Friday has been gnawing at me. For the most part, his statements in the immediate aftermath of the obscenity in New Zealand were admirably clear. He identified the victims: those of Islamic faith. He also clearly labelled the attack for what it was, a “vicious and callous right-wing extremist attack”…..

But another of the Prime Minister’s comments warrants attention. Speaking of the Australian gunman, he said: “These people don't deserve names. Names imply some sort of humanity and I struggle to find how anyone who would engage in this sort of behaviour and violence … He’s not human. He doesn't deserve a name."

I can well understand Morrison’s reaction. Watching him respond, it was clear he was moved, and disgusted. And of course I share that disgust.

But think for a moment about the implications of such rhetoric. This man is not even human, the Prime Minister tells us. He is alien, almost literally another species, and therefore illegible to us, the humans. He is not like us.

Perhaps, at the moment he fired the gun, that became true. But what about just before that moment - was he human then, and inhuman afterwards? Did he go from being comprehensible to incomprehensible in the blink of an eye? Of course the implication of Morrison’s words is that he was always different: never one of us, always already separate.

But this is a fairytale – and like most fairytales, it is there to comfort, with its suggestion that such violence must have nothing to do with the rest of us. The Prime Minister meant well. But what he said was absolute rot.

The point has been made elsewhere that anti-Islamic sentiment is rife in our politics, and that violence is its logical endpoint. It is a crucial point, it can’t be made enough,…. But right now I want to briefly examine another dominant strand of Australian politics.

A few weeks ago, the political world was aflutter with a single question: was this Scott Morrison’s Tampa moment? And we know, because Morrison told us, that he wanted it to be: “Australians will be deciding once again - as they did in 2013, as they did in 2001 - about whether they want the stronger border protection policies of…” and you can guess the rest.

The phrase "strong borders" is heard often in our political debate, but much of the time, especially when you live on an island, borders are abstractions – imaginary lines drawn on literally shifting seas. The vague and nonsense phrase is of course a euphemism, meaning "we are very good at keeping people out". And when is this an important skill? When the people to be kept out pose some threat. The beauty of "strong borders" is that it says all of that in two words.

The same goes for "Tampa moment", which in fact includes three separate events: Tampa, then September 11, then children overboard. Howard’s election campaign blended these events into one overarching narrative. The demonisation of refugees as ruthless people who would kill their own children and who might kill you was not a side-effect of the strategy, it was the strategy.

Howard argues that he would have won without Tampa. But it doesn’t really matter, because the real damage was not done at that election. As people like Peter Brent have argued, the real damage is the lingering belief that this is how elections are won. Emphasise strong borders, emphasise the threat.

Morrison’s absorption of that lesson is there for anyone to see. It was there in his comments in 2012 that asylum seekers might cause a typhoid outbreak. It was there last week when he warned that asylum seekers might be paedophiles or murderers or rapists, and when he backed Peter Dutton’s assertion that they would take housing and hospital spots from Australians. And it was there in his recent security speech, when he introduced the section on terrorism with reference to just one, specific type: “radical extremist Islamist terrorism.”

If our political leaders remain intent on depicting a world in which people from other countries bring disease, hatred, and violence to our shores, can they really be so shocked when it turns out that is precisely the world some people believe in?
[my yellow highlighting]

The Guardian, 17 March 2019:

There’s been less reflection on the fact that any 28-year-old in Australia has grown up in a period when racism, xenophobia and a hostility to Muslims in particular, were quickly ratcheting up in the country’s public culture. 

In the period of the country’s enthusiastic participation in the War on Terror, Islam and Muslims have frequently been treated as public enemies, and hate speech against them has inexorably been normalised.

Australian racism did not of course begin in 2001. The country was settled by means of a genocidal frontier war, and commenced its independent existence with the exclusion of non-white migrants. White nationalism was practically Australia’s founding doctrine.

But a succession of events in the first year of the millennium led to Islamophobia being practically enshrined as public policy.

First, the so-called Tampa Affair saw a conservative government refuse to admit refugees who had been rescued at sea. It was a naked bid to win an election by whipping up xenophobia and border panic. It worked.

In the years since, despite its obvious brutality, and despite repeated condemnations from international bodies, the mandatory offshore detention of boat-borne refugees in third countries has become bipartisan policy. (The centre-left Labor party sacrificed principle in order to neutralise an issue that they thought was costing them elections.)

The majority of the refugees thus imprisoned have been Muslim. It has often been suggested by politicians that detaining them is a matter of safety – some of them might be terrorists.

Second, the 9/11 attacks drew Australia into the War on Terror in support of its closest ally, and geopolitical sponsor, the United States.

Australian troops spent long periods in Afghanistan and Iraq, fighting and killing Muslims in their own countries. The consequences of this endless war have included the targeting of Australians in Jihadi terror attacks and plots, both at home and abroad.

The wars began with a deluge of propaganda. Later, the terror threat was leveraged to massively enhance surveillance by Australia’s national security state. Muslim Australians have frequently been defined by arms of their own government as a source of danger.

Two years after the war in Iraq commenced, the campaign of Islamophobia culminated in the country’s most serious modern race riots, on Cronulla Beach in December 2005, when young white men spent a summer afternoon beating and throwing bottles at whichever brown people they could find.

Cronulla was a milestone in the development of a more forthright, ugly public nationalism in Australia. Now young men wear flags as capes on Australia Day, a date which is seen as a calculated insult by many Indigenous people. Anzac Day, which commemorates a failed invasion of Turkey, was once a far more ambivalent occasion. In recent years it has moved closer to becoming an open celebration of militarism and imperialism.

Every step of the way, this process has not been hindered by outlets owned by News Corp, which dominates Australia’s media market in a way which citizens of other Anglophone democracies can find difficult to comprehend.

News Corp has the biggest-selling newspapers in the majority of metropolitan media markets, monopolies in many regional markets, the only general-readership national daily, and the only cable news channel. Its influence on the national news agenda remains decisive. And too often it has used this influence to demonise Muslims.

[my yellow highlighting]

BACKGROUND

The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 February 2011:

SCOTT Morrison, the Liberal frontbencher who this week distinguished himself as the greatest grub in the federal Parliament, is the classic case of the politician who is so immersed in the game of politics that he has lost touch with the real world outside it…..

The point of this story? Morrison is a cheap populist, with form. On that occasion, he was being irresponsible with the national economy. For him it's just about clever lines.

Morrison was powerless to influence the bank, of course. John Howard and Peter Costello gave the Reserve Bank independence to free it from people like Morrison. 

The bank raised rates three days after Morrison's comment.

This week it was race. Morrison decided to see if he could win some political points by inflaming racism and resentment. More specifically, he zeroed in on some of the most vulnerable people in the country for political advantage. Indeed, is there anyone more vulnerable than a traumatised, orphaned child unable to speak English, held in detention on a remote island?

Morrison publicly raised objections to the government's decision to pay for air fares for some of the survivors of the Christmas Island boat wreck to travel to Sydney for the funerals of their relatives.

Some were Christian funerals, others were Muslim. But all of them were foreigners, all of them were boat people, all of them were dark-skinned, and to Morrison that made them all fair game. Unable to tell the difference between the Coalition mantra of "we will stop the boats" and his emerging position that "we will vindictively pursue boat people suffering tragedy" he went on radio.

As the survivors were gathering to mourn their dead, Morrison said that with the government paying for the 22 air fares, "I don't think it is reasonable. The government had the option of having these services on Christmas Island. If relatives of those who were involved wanted to go to Christmas Island, like any other Australian who wanted to attend a funeral service in another part of the country, they would have made their own arrangements to be there."
All of them were dark-skinned, and to Morrison that made them all fair game
Again, for Morrison it's just a tricky game of politics and clever lines. A former director of the NSW Liberal Party, he inhabits a world where consequences for himself and his political party are all that matter. There is no other reality. He didn't care about the boat people, and - being as charitable to him as possible - he mightn't even have stopped to think about the consequences.

And again, there is a national interest at stake. Forty-four per cent of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas. Australia is an immigrant society. Australia is a multicultural country. That is a simple fact. To foment ethnic, racial or religious frictions or resentments is deeply harmful to the national interest.

Kevin Dunn, professor of geography and urban studies at the University of Western Sydney, who next week is to publish a study on racism in Australia, says: "Research has shown convincingly that geopolitical events, political events and political statements don't affect Australian attitudes on race very quickly, but they do affect behaviour. People with a grudge feel more empowered to act on it." Racist abuse and discrimination follow. So again, Morrison was toying with a deep national interest, but this time, his remarks could carry real force. The Reserve Bank governor knows his business and ignores Morrison, but the vindictive and the vicious may feel emboldened to act on their hurtful urges. Who does this help?....

Morrison next day conceded that his timing was insensitive, but didn't retract his complaint. He denied that he had been influenced by One Nation, even though One Nation had been busily emailing and lobbying politicians on the matter.
[my yellow highlighting]

Twitter declares Queensland Senator Fraser Anning's account violated "hateful conduct" policy





Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.


In the following sixteen months he:

* notoriously used the phrase The final solution to the immigration problem in his first speech in the Senate;
* declared himself an Independent senator;
* voted with Morrison Government senators to pass a One Nation motion that endorsed the white *supremacist term It is OK to be white;
* applied to register Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party (aka The Conservative Nationals);
* was publicly condemned by the New Zealand Prime Minister for a statement he issued after the terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques;  
* is the subject of a foreshadowed parliamentary censure motion by both the Morrison Government and the Labor Opposition on 1 April 2019.


Friday, 11 January 2019

Response To Organised White Supremacist Racism 101: compare the pair


On Saturday 5 January 2019 a predominately male, motley band of openly racist people held a rally at St. Kilda Beach in Victoria, during which they expressed their xenophobia and hatred.

The organisers appeared to be members of Australian white supremacist/facist/neo-Nazi/anti-immigration groups.

Including The Lads SocietyAntipodean ResistanceThe True Blue CrewSoldiers of Odin and the Proud Boys, Whose combined ranks allegedly hold individuals who have convictions for violence, inciting serious contempt of Muslims, stalking, trafficking, assault, aggravated burglary, arson, affray, riotous behaviour and/or breaching intervention orders, according to media reports.

Nazi symbols featured on clothing worn by some members of these groups, Nazi salutes were frequently given during the rally and anti-Semitic as well as racist taunts were thrown about.

Although one of the rally organisers tries to deny his group's links to Nazi ideology 
and racism, the fact of the matter is that as late as December 2017 the founder of The Lads Society was castigating members for forgetting his game plan is to emulate Hitler by creating a political party with mass appeal, with the words:

"Seriously, just to wrap it up, too, just to wrap it up, the last fucking thing I’ll say is, do you really think that, if Adolf Hitler rose from the grave, if his spirit descended and stood beside you, put his hand on your shoulder, and he surveyed your jackboots with your red laces, and your fucking swastika tattoos, and your abrasive, fuck-the-world attitude, your little syndicate-separatist cult, do you really think he’d be proud of you? Do you really think he would say you’re a true national-socialist, well done? Do you think the man who said all great movements are popular movements and one must adjust himself to the times would be proud of you, would believe in you? Get a fucking clue!" 

There was a second diverse group of people who formed a sing-a-long & community picnic at St. Kilda Beach on the same day, in support of the ethnic and religious minorities that the first group were vilifying.

What has been reported as hundreds of police, including mounted police in riot gear as well as police dog handlers, attended St. Kilda Beach to make sure no violence occurred.

Victorian Police arrested three people who may have been at the beach for the racist rally - one for breaching bail conditions, one for a drug charge and another for possessing a dangerous article.

Independent senator from Queensland and well-known political ratbag, Fraser Anning, flew down to support the racist rally - flying business class and using chauffeured Comcar/s at taxpayers expense.

This was Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's response to that Saturday at St. Kilda Beach:



This was the Leader of the Opposition and Labor MP for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten's response to that day: 



Now an observant reader may notice that there is something vaguely familiar about Morrison's tweet - a rather uncomfortable similarity to US President Donald Trump's infamous response to the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, in which he attempted to assert a false equivalence between the white supremacists/neo-Nazis and those protesting against Unite the Right.

This did not go unnoticed in the USA where one political commentator pounced on Morrison's use of the plural "ugly racial protests":
Then, like Trump, when Morrsion realised that public opinion was running against his false equivalence he tried to retrieve the situation with a statement sent to mainstream media on 7 January - and just like Trump he couldn't quite refrain from hinting that that community picnic was also extremism at work.

"I support entirely the views expressed yesterday by Acting PM Michael McCormack condemning Senator Anning for attending the racist rally in St Kilda and associating himself with extreme and offensive racist views that have no place in our society. He is a repeat offender on these issues. Australians are not anti migrant nor racist. Genuine concerns held by fair-minded Australians about immigration levels, border protection or law and order should not be used as a cover or be hijacked to push hateful and ugly racist agendas. As I did yesterday, I’ll always be prepared to call out extremism in all its forms." [my yellow highlighting]

It seems that when comparing the responses of Morrison and Shorten, Morrison in echoing his hero Trump comes off a very poor second best.

BACKGROUND

The main speaker at the St. Kilda Beach racist rally has a long history of espousing neo-Nazi ideology.

This comment was posted by Cottrell n 2013 expressing the view that a portrait of Hitler should be in every classroom and every school and that his book issued to schoolchildren annually:

And again in 2014:



After Cottrell and the United Patriots Front failed to launch the Fortitude Australia political party in 2016, there appears to be no political party directly associated with the founder of The Lads Society and the alt-right's plan to infiltrate the National Party of Australia is reported to have been unsuccessful to date.

Nevertheless, there are a number of registered political parties that are anti-Islam and anti-immigration which may attract racist, fascist and/or neo-Nazi voters. For example Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Australia First Party (NSW) IncorporatedRise Up Australia  and Love Australia or Leave. Then there are the deregisterd parties which apparently continue to have a presence on digital platforms, such as the Australian Protectionist Party which was deregistered in 2015.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Scanlon Foundation Survey finds that in contemporary Australia racist values are held by a small minority



The Guardian, 4 December 2018:

Australia has not lost faith in immigration. The political narrative has darkened but not the fundamental view of ourselves as an immigrant nation. Most of us remain convinced that we are in so many ways better off for newcomers of all races and creeds who have come in large numbers to our shores.

That is the verdict of the Scanlon Foundation’s 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion Report published on Tuesday. The mission of the foundation is to measure how this migrant nation hangs together. Over the last decade 48,000 of us have been polled to fathom the panics that sweep this country and the steady underlying views Australians have of immigration.

“Immigration is a growing concern,” says the author of the report Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University. “But for media commentators and some politicians it has become an obsession. They are in the business of creating heightened concern, of crisis. But what the survey shows is rather a picture of stability.”

Markus is one of Australia’s leading authorities on the politics of race. This is the 11th report he has written for the Scanlon Foundation. Year in year out his reports show about 80% of us believe immigrants are “generally good” for Australia’s economy and that ours is a better society for the “new ideas and cultures” that immigrants bring to this country. Support for multiculturalism in 2018 stands almost as high as ever at 85%.
 “A number of international surveys that look at Australia, America, Canada, a range of European countries from eastern Europe to western Europe, and also countries in other parts of the world, have a consistent finding that on attitudes to immigration and cultural diversity, Australia is within the top 10% of countries which are open to and welcoming of immigration,” says Markus…..

BACKGROUND


Each Mapping Social Cohesion national survey builds on the previous year and informs the Scanlon-Monash Index (SMI) of Social Cohesion. The surveys have been undertaken since 2007 where the original survey provided the benchmark against which the SMI is then measured.

These surveys provide, for the first time in Australian social research, a series of detailed surveys on social cohesion, immigration and population issues. A prime objective of the surveys is to further understanding of the social impact of Australia’s increasingly diverse immigration program.


While there are significant differences by mode of surveying in the level of strong positive response, as indicated by Figure 35, the balance of opinion remains in large measure consistent. Thus with strong positive and positive responses combined, agreement that multiculturalism has been good for Australia is at 85% RDD, 77% LinA. Agreement with discrimination based on race or ethnicity in immigration selection is at 15% RDD, 22% LinA. Larger variation by survey mode is obtained with reference to some questions on religion: negative attitude (strong negative and negative combined) to those of the Muslim faith is at 23% RDD, 39% LinA, agreement with discrimination in immigration selection on the basis of religion is at 18% RDD, 29% LinA…….

The Scanlon Foundation surveys are of relevance to a fourth dimension, attitudes within the community. All populations comprise people with diverse personalities and views ranging, for example, from the tolerant to the intolerant – from those who celebrate cultural diversity to those who are comfortable only with what they perceive to be Australian culture.

As discussed in this report, the Scanlon Foundation survey findings establish that in contemporary Australia racist values are held by a small minority – arguably most clearly indicated by ‘strong agreement’ with discrimination in immigrant selection policy based on race, ethnicity or religion. Across the two survey modes, ‘strong agreement’ with such discrimination is indicated by 7%-11% of the population. [my yellow highlighting]


Thursday, 8 November 2018

Yet another minister compromises the Morrison Coalition Government


On becoming Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, employing the Trump doctrine of appointing foxes to guard hen houses, retained Northern Territory Nationals Senator Nigel Scullion as Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

A politician with a long history of voting for the oppressive Intervention in the Northern Territory and the introduction of cashless welfare cards into Aboriginal communities, as well as unsuccessfully voting to weaken protections in the Racial Discrimination Act and voting against changing the date of Australia Day.

As far back as 2006 he voted for the the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill which was seen as making significant changes to the existing land rights legislation which has the potential to compromise the rights and interests of Indigenous people living inthe Northern Territory.

This is the result.....

The Guardian, 2 November 2018:

The Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, has used money earmarked for alleviating Indigenous disadvantage to fund a fishing industry lobby group he used to chair.

He approved a grant of $150,000 to the Northern Territory Seafood Council so it could argue how it would be negatively affected by land claims – claims he opposed during his time in the role.

Under the NT Land Rights Act, those who consider a land claim would have a negative impact on their business or personal interests can argue a “detriment” case about how their future access to income, land or water would suffer if the claim were approved.

A group of six land claims in the NT have been held up – some by almost 30 years – by unresolved detriment issues.

Scullion chaired the NTSC from 1994 to 2001, and gave statements or appeared in person to argue detriment in at least two of the claims.

As minister he approved grants of $150,000 to the NTSC, $170,000 to the NT Amateur Fishermen’s Association, and $165,000 to the NT Cattlemen’s Association for “legal fees, effectively … to put forward a case of detriment to the land commissioner”, as he told a Senate hearing last week.

The money was taken from the $4.9bn Indigenous advancement strategy, which is supposed to “improve the way the government does business with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to ensure funding actually achieves outcomes” – according to the government’s website.

Parties who wish to lodge detriment claims are able to seek financial support from the Attorney General’s Department.......

This latest revelation follows close on the heels of this disastrous vote in the Senate.

NT News, 22 October 2018:


CALLS for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion to resign have been graffitied on his Darwin office.

It comes after the Territory Senator voted for a widely-condemned One Nation motion last week declaring “It’s OK to be white”.

The motion, brought forward by Pauline Hanson, also claimed “anti-white” racism was on the rise in Australia.

The phrases have been used by far-right groups to stoke racial division.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Abbott Booted Out Of Borroloola



IndigenousX, 27 September 2018:

Tony Abbott, the Special Envoy that nobody asked for and nobody wants, appears to have been unceremoniously booted from a school meeting in Borroloola NT, on his first trip to remote communities in his new role.

The community was angered by Abbott’s hypocrisy, cutting millions from community based services while he was the ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’, and his vision for assimilation through education and punitive policies linking attendance rates to welfare payments.

Parents, Elders and school council members challenged Abbott over his comments that Aboriginal children should not only speak English first, but ‘think’ in English too, and attempts to force failed ‘direct instruction’ policies on the school.

Gadrian Hoosan, a parent and school council member told Abbott he ‘was not welcome in the community since intervention policies ripped out community funding leaving residents worse off, while denying much needed new housing and basic services.’

‘He looked like he couldn’t wait to get out of there when we all started bailing up on him. He picked the wrong community to try and bully. We have a strong school here and strong families. He’ll be having nightmares tonight. We told him we don’t want him as our envoy.”

Jack Green, an Elder and bilingual education advocate from Borroloola said,
“Tony Abbott says he wants Aboriginal culture and language out of our schools but we know these things are what keep our kids and our communities strong and healthy. Abbott doesn’t represent our community or Aboriginal people – he’s not our envoy!

As Elders and educators we know what is best for our children. Its time he stepped back, stood down and let us speak for ourselves.”

This is the latest criticism of PM Scott Morrison’s bewildering and insulting decision to make Tony Abbott a ‘Special Envoy to the PM on Indigenous Affairs’ rather than explore options to promote Indigenous self-determination, enter into a Treaty/Makarrata, push for an Indigenous voice to parliament, or instigate a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.