July 19, 2003


The Ageís Annabel Crabb reports a significant development in Australian politics:

A major indigenous community has lobbied John Howard to stay on indefinitely as Prime Minister, dismissing the left of politics as "clueless" and calling for a new alliance between Aborigines and conservatives.

In a letter written to Mr Howard on the day before he announced his intention to fight the next election, influential Cape York Land Council chairman Richie Ah Mat begged him not to retire.

"Many people in media and politics promote a set of attitudes that are supposed to be 'moderate' and 'progressive': republicanism, harm minimisation, the elusive ideal of reconciliation and so on," Mr Ah Mat wrote.

"We fear that if you go, there will be a shift in public discussion.

"Otherwise the whole project will regress back to progressivist platitudes about symbolic reconciliation and walking bridges.

"On behalf of many people in Cape York Peninsula including Noel Pearson, I urge you to stay as Prime Minister."

The letter is dated June 2.

On June 3, Mr Howard gathered Coalition MPs together to announce that he had decided to stay on as leader for as long as the party continued to require him.

I wonder if Ah Matís letter influenced Howardís decision. According to Google news this story has been up at The Ageís site for about 24 hours, yet nobody seems to have pursued that possibility. In fact, nobody else, so far as I can tell, has even reported Ah Matís letter. Not the Sydney Morning Herald, not the ABC, not News Ltd ... nobody. Hereís more:

"Many of the conclusions we have arrived at in Cape York Peninsula are regarded as backward conservatism by the urban elites," Mr Ah Mat reports in his four-page letter.

"They believe in harm minimisation and social engineering as the solutions to the indigenous crisis.

"They can afford to adhere to their orthodox ideological prejudice, because they are far away from the suffering in remote areas and in the segregated underclass lives of many urban indigenous people."

The solution proposed by Mr Ah Mat is a new alliance with the right of politics.

"Conservative people at least have a relationship with indigenous people because of their closer relationship with the regional and remote Australia and with the primary industries," he says.

"There are many conflicts between us and the political right, but it is pointless to advance our cause as a 'progressive cause' in opposition to the right.

"Progressive people are clueless and can't get a majority."

But they can stop an important story getting wide mainstream coverage.

(Via Melbourne reader Huddo.)

Posted by Tim Blair at July 19, 2003 05:01 AM

It goes on forever and never stops, the boongs screaming for recognition in society while the 'elders' continue to execise their rights to 'break in' the young gins.
Confrontationalist language?
Go to the WA children's court.if you are allowed in, (highly unlikely) otherwise stand outside,and wait for the outcome, watch the young girls, (gins,for our US readers) crying their eyes out. being bashed by their 'aunties' -"It happened to me, why should you bitch about it" -"You'll cop his shit when *uncle* -b---- finds out you went to court!"
I quit my job there because I was carrying a gun and despite 20 years of discipline, I couldn't trust myself not to shoot these mongrels.

Posted by: Pete at July 19, 2003 at 05:42 AM

"But they can stop an important story getting wide mainstream coverage."

there are two things wrong with that thesis:
1. even the murdoch papers didn't run this story; this is the first i've heard of "progressive people" having any influence whatsoever at news corp.
2. the one outlet that did run it was the age, which you have told us in the past is under the influence of progressives.

so maybe you should explain again how progressives are stopping this story getting covered.

Posted by: adam at July 19, 2003 at 08:48 AM

Well, the progressives have to fight the apartheid-like structures put in place by conservative whites, don't they?
The Age's regional sibling, the Warrnambool Standard, http://the.standard.net.au/articles/2003/07/18/1058035182791.html reported yesterday on the latest effort by the progressive Victorian socialist government to combat conservative policies that treat indigenous people as a separate minority. You know, like the fascist racists used to in South Africa.

Excerpt from the Standard:

WARRNAMBOOL'S long-awaited Koori court will be operating by November.

The development, three years after the idea was first mooted, was announced by Attorney-General Rob Hulls at a Regional Aboriginal Justice Agreement Committee function in Warrnambool last night.

Mr Hulls said the Koori court aimed to minimise the number of indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

"We can't, as a community, continue to stand by and do nothing when indigenous Victorians are still 11 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-indigenous Victorians," Mr Hulls said.

Posted by: slatts at July 19, 2003 at 11:59 AM

Unlike Adam, I've worked at News Ltd.

Posted by: tim at July 19, 2003 at 12:41 PM

Never underestimate the effectiveness of the so called progressive lobbies, to destroy the life chances of those whom they genuinely set out to help. It happened with working class kids, when the do-gooders, who had no concept of the problems faced by these youngsters pushed 'progressive' ideas which undermined both the families in which they grew up, and the schools they attended.
It happened with migrant kids, who were no longer as likely to acquire language skills, and become part of the society in which they'd one day have to participate, as effectively and quickly as was once the case.
With indigenous communities, --- surprise, surprise --- ideas which might have worked in Toorak or Vaucluse [but would have been disater in ANY underpriveliged suburb, helped destroy the lives of the sort of successful aboriginal families I knew well in my younger days.
And the further you moved from the urban indigenous elites, the sadder the picture becomes ---- but we call it "Progress".

Posted by: Norman at July 19, 2003 at 08:45 PM

I'm glad Pete quit his job. Shooting the "mongrel" "boongs" and "gins" probably wouldn't help raise their life expectancy.

Posted by: Robert at July 19, 2003 at 10:57 PM

That's a fascinating letter.

Speaking of urban progressives, I went to see A Mighty Wind at Broadway (Sydney) last night and the place was filled with freaky lefties who laughed at everything that wasn't funny.

Then I went to a cafe at Glebe and I was the only one drinking a coffee that wasn't a friggin' latte. The place is Hades.

Posted by: Gabor at July 20, 2003 at 02:24 AM

Fascinating. And very relevant to the New World as well.

Posted by: David Ross at July 20, 2003 at 06:53 AM

hey tim, why are you so damn evasive? why not say, "Unlike Adam, I've worked at News Ltd, and i can tell you that it is greatly influenced by progressives", or in the alternative "Unlike Adam, I've worked at News Ltd, and I can tell you that you're right, progressives have very little influence at the murdoch papers."

resting with "Unlike Adam, I've worked at News Ltd" says nothing.

Posted by: adam at July 20, 2003 at 01:53 PM

I've got an idea for those indigenous Victorian's who are 11 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-indigenous people.

Stop commiting crime, its a great way to stay out of gaol.

Now the lefties may start with their - "its all white mans fault" that their are aborignes in gaol.

I've said it before, the population of gaol is 100% criminal - stop going on about what colour the prisoners are and making excuses for their woeful behaviour.

Posted by: gilly at July 20, 2003 at 03:54 PM

Gabor, consider that if you're the only one laughing, you may be the one with the problem.

Adam, it says "Adam's an ignorant prick who doesn't know what he's talking about," without conceding that you're probably right. Tim's like that (hi Tim!)

And Pete, I think you did the right thing quitting your job. Y'know, just in case you accidentally shot some "boong" who wasn't a "mongrel". I mean, surely courts serve some purpose?

Posted by: mark at July 20, 2003 at 10:29 PM

Why am I so evasive? Surely not just to cause Adam so much grief. No, that couldn't be the reason.

Posted by: tim at July 21, 2003 at 02:39 AM

Tim, your and your regular readers/commenters seeming acceptance of the asshole who wrote the racist bullshit at the top of these comments speaks volumes.

Posted by: Tom at July 21, 2003 at 03:34 AM


I don't think regular commenter Adam would agree that he accepts Pete's racist bullshit. Regulars Robert and Mark plainly reject it outright.

Bottom line: I'm not responsible for what people write in comments. Most comments I don't even read. Don't interpret silence as acceptance.

That being said, a repeat performance from Pete will earn him a ban. Site boss Andrea was alerted to this earlier.

Posted by: tim at July 21, 2003 at 04:06 AM

Actually, I was waiting for me to translate Pete's comments. I was pretty sure he was spewing some racist bile, but since I am not up on all Australian neologisms, I wanted to be sure. Thanks for the confirmation, and here's a warning to Petey and all his bigoted friends: we aren't interested, and the next episode will get the spewer banned.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 21, 2003 at 03:52 PM