Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

For those who've stumbled back here to see if I've come back from the wilderness I've some explaining to do.

I've been gone for a while for a few reasons, some of which prevent me still from full blogging duties.

Excuse 1: I've just bought a house and it's a fixer-upperer. Don't ever do it, you'll have no spare time at all.

Excuse 2: My hand (the one I had the operation on) still bloody hurts!!!!

Excuse 3: No internet at home (as I said, too busy fixing the thing up to bother with things like connecting the internet)

Excuse 4: The crazy work season has just begun, 12hr days, 6 days a week. Would you blog?

After all of the above is behind me, I'll resume posting. I guess I'll just let you know when that is by commenting at everyone's blogs.

Peace out.

P.S: An apology! And who said he was Howard light?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Bhutto's Death

I don't think the image will ever leave my head but whenever I read that Scotland Yard is on the case I picture a bunch of Sherlock Holmes types carrying magnifying glasses rushing to the scene of the crime. Much too little too late for Benazir Bhutto.

It's clear now that she was shot, at least that's what the footage appears to reveal, and that this is what is likely to have killed her. What's hard to understand is how they came to announce that she'd died from her head impacting on the car, and that she in fact WASN'T hit by a bullet. How could such a "blunder" be made? The bodies got holes or it doesn't.

If the outraged crowds of PPP supporters needed any more reason to feel suspicious about the government's involvement in the killing they need not have looked for long. Unfortunately it's most likely to have been al-Qa'ida and such "mistakes" only serve to distract anger from the likely killers:

Mr Zardari has rejected officials' assertions that al-Qa'ida was behind the assassination.

"I dismiss the Government's claims of al-Qa'ida involvement," he reportedly said.

"The officials are trying to cover up and compare it to the death of John F.Kennedy. I think soon the chickens are going to lay their eggs and we will blame them on al-Qa'ida. Al-Qa'ida has nothing to fear; why would they fear us? Are they our political opponents?"

This statement from Bhutto's widow strikes me as the height of naivety. The very fact that Benazir Bhutto was an educated women with power was cause enough for al-Qa'ida to kill her. It seems that some are still not listening to what these extremists are saying.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brough Keeps It Up

I must admit to a deep feeling of disappointment on election night. Not over the overall outcome of course, but over Mal Brough losing his seat. This I definitely did not want. Over the past year I have grown a huge amount of respect for the man as he was different to all the other Tories, he cared. He took on his portfolio in Indigenous Affairs and set out to really make a difference by attacking the fundamental problems in many communities today. He was instrumental in applying the focus of the nation on the disadvantage, abuse and alcoholism. Sure, I disagreed with aspects of the intervention, but at last something was being done and Brough was key.

So I'm not surprised that even after defeat he is continuing with his work :

'Mr Brough told The Australian yesterday he wanted his company to establish new businesses for indigenous people who had the "drive" but did not have the financial capacity or skills base.

"I'm talking with some indigenous leaders on how we might be able to work with them to realise what we are talking about," he said."We have long advocated economic independence, and the best way to achieve that is with individuals and family groups establishing themselves in viable businesses."

"I want to work in joint ventures with the aim of building the skills base and assisting people to start sustainable business and giving them the skills to stand on their own."'

Good on you Mal.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Iain Hall's Stolen Opinions

What’s up gang, I’m back! Well nearly completely, but not quite, it kinda still hurts.

For the past two days I’ve been over at Iain Hall’s blog pulling him up on the terrible fallacies and horrid logic he’s been repeating about the Stolen Generation. Eventually he got fed up with being shown his errors over and over again and called and end to it, so I’m continuing here. I’ll warn you that due to the complexity of this debate this will be a long post, but it’s necessary. People like Iain (and his mentor Andrew Bolt) believe you can summarise this issue in a few catchy paragraphs and this is the problem.

He starts by attacking me for not giving him the source of my historical quotes, apparently this amounts to a “win” in Iain’s eyes:

MM: Oh sorry I got the quotes from here (the above dossier) third party. Settled?

Iain: Yeah , apart from your appalling manners and lack of good grace when you have been shown to be clearly in error here.

But the truth is, I’d previously already given Iain the link, not that this mattered, because it doesn’t appear that Iain actually reads the primary sources when he is shown them anyway:

'Considering that we are considering a very long period and numerous different jurisdictions the evidence is indeed fragmentary and Manne’s Dossier does not have anything terribly recent, after 1910 say’

Well that’s certainly news to me. The dossier to which I linked contains documents of the removal process from around 1910 up to the Post War period:

(ii) Letter by W. G. South, Chief Protector of Aborigines in South Australia, August 7 1911

In my opinion, all half-caste children, especially girls, should be considered wards of the state and, should not be left in the blacks camps after they reach the age of four years, but should be placed in an industrial school, educated and taught trades or other occupations and, kept to constant work till they are old enough to take care of themselves, after which they should be compelled to find their own living and, should no longer be considered nor treated as Aborigines.It seems to me ridiculous to bring up a lot of practically white people in blacks camps…

(vii) Inspector O. Drewry, Derby, to the Commissioner of Police, Perth, August 14 1919.

In submitting the attached report, I desire to submit that this seizing and removing of these children is obnoxious to the Police and I trust that some official of the Aborigines Dept. will be appointed to do it. I submit that behind the power of the Chief Protector to order such seizure lies the point “for cause shown”, yet, in these cases no cause has been shown, yet he can seize all aboriginal or half-caste children under 16 years of age. No neglect has been shown by the mothers in these cases that would bring these children within the clauses as regards neglected children under the State Children’s Act.

Chief Protector of Aborigines, A.O. Neville, to R. Connell, Commissioner of Police, October 9 1919.

If the duty of bringing in half-caste children is obnoxious to the Police, it is strange that this Department has not been previously advised of this, in view of the hundreds of cases that have had attention.

From speech delivered by A. O. Neville, the Western Australian Administrator, to the Initial Conference of Commonwealth and State Aboriginal Administrators, held in Canberra in April 1937.

The opinion held by Western Australian authorities is that the problem of the native race, including half-castes, should be dealt with on a long-range plan. We should ask ourselves what will be the position, say, 50 years hence; it is not so much the position to-day that has to be considered. Western Australia has gone further in the development of such a long-range policy than has any other State, by accepting the view that ultimately the natives must be absorbed into the white population of Australia…Are we going to have a population of 1,000,000 blacks in the Commonwealth, or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there ever were any aborigines in Australia …

His Honour the Administrator, Northern Territory, Memorandum, January 4, 1950

In Patrol Officer Evans’ report, dated 23rd December, 1949, on his patrol to the Wave Hill-Timber Creek areas, the following passages occur:-


The removal of the children from Wave Hill by MacRobertson Miller aircraft was accompanied by distressing scenes, the like of which I wish never to experience again. The engines of the plane are not stopped at Wave Hill and the noise combined with the strangeness of an aircraft only accentuated the grief and fear of the children resulting in near-hysteria in two of them. I am quite convinced that news of my actions at Wave Hill preceded me to the other stations resulting in the children being taken away prior to my arrival.
I endeavoured to assuage the grief of the mothers by taking photographs of each of the children prior to their departure and these have been distributed among them…
(1) I accordingly recommend that only in extreme cases is removal of part-aborigines affected by aircraft.
(2) That if possible the children be left with their mothers until they are at least six years of age. At this age they are beginning to free themselves of maternal ties…

So you see, Iain clearly hasn’t bothered to read any of this material in spite of being given it. I assert here that all Iain has done is steal his arguments from Andrew Bolt instead of forming his own opinion from the evidence available. This is a classic case of conservative group think. And precisely because Iain is in its grip he continues to slip up:

‘No the documents often suggest that the children were abused or neglected are trying to suggest that living conditions in the camps were some lovely picnic?’

‘How ever this was not sufficient for Gunner to win his court action now was it MM?’

‘Manne was unable to name even ten children who were stolen for racist reasons, despite having plenty of notice and the assistance many other true believers’

‘But it is As I said oh so long ago the reasons why every child was removed and especially what motivated those who authorised their removal will never definitively be known.’

Three of the above quotes are Bolt’s key arguments and Iain merely repeats them like a parrot with no knowledge of their truth whatsoever. He also parrots another of Bolt’s arguments, which I’ll address later, but for now I’ll demonstrate the man’s ignorance of the issue.

On comment one, the fact is that the documents hardly ever refer to neglected or abused children. To read Bolt you would be forgiven for thinking this were so but let’s say he has a penchant for repeating the same 5 or so cases of actual abused kiddies to throw doubt on the stories of thousands. But in total, actual reports of abused or neglected children are rare, in fact, there are many comments on the love these kids received:

(iii) William Craig, Cardwell, to Home Secretary, Brisbane, August 18 1903.

‘First—it is an unanswerable and incontestable fact that aboriginals universally treat all children half caste or full blooded or white children they come in contact with or nurse with universal kindness, and the mother and her aboriginal husband are endeared to the half caste child equally as to the full blooded, briefly because it is the child of the mother and the family group, therefore it is an act of impossibility to prove ill-treatment in this case or in any similar case as their children are always well fed if they have food, and the beating of children is unknown…’

Or from people insisting that there was no neglect shown:

(vii) Inspector O. Drewry, Derby, to the Commissioner of Police, Perth, August 14 1919.

In submitting the attached report, I desire to submit that this seizing and removing of these children is obnoxious to the Police and I trust that some official of the Aborigines Dept. will be appointed to do it…in these cases no cause has been shown, yet he can seize all aboriginal or half-caste children under 16 years of age. No neglect has been shown by the mothers in these cases…

To argue as Iain does (repeating Bolt) that the N.T test case of Gunner/Cubillo proves that there was no policy is highly misleading. If one cares to read the judgement it is clear that Judge O’Loughlin threw the case out on a bunch of legal grounds. Firstly, since it was legal at the time for the Commonwealth to remove “half-caste” children when they deemed it necessary, it was difficult to prove that they broke the law in doing so, from this the rest of the case collapsed. O’Loughlin stated:

”. Neither the evidence in this trial, nor the reasons for judgment, deny the existence of “the Stolen Generation”. Numerous writings tell tragically of a distressing past. But this trial has focussed primarily on the personal histories of two people: Lorna Cubillo and Peter Gunner. “

Cubillo’s history was mired by a lack of important information on her situation, though we do know that she was piled onto a truck with sixteen other “half-caste” children in horrible scenes of distressed kids and self mutilation (so ask yourself, was there still no policy?). Gunner was taken during a later period where the authorities would hound the mother for a hand print of approval on a form with conditions like these below:

1. My son is a Part-European blood, his father being a European.

2. I desire my son to be educated and trained in accordance with accepted European standards, to which he is entitled by reason of his caste.

Often the mothers who accepted these terms never saw their children again even though they were assured they would. But in gaining her acceptance O’Loughlin had no choice but to find in the Commonwealth’s favour. So arguing that this case disproves the “Stolen Generation” is a short cut to denial, but far from true.

To repeat that Robert Manne was unable to name ten stolen children is another favourite of the Bolt gang, and Hall affirms his commitment to group think by arguing this also. But this is a lie, Manne gave Bolt 230+ names from which Bolt attempted (and failed) to disprove 10 only:

‘Eventually, I sent him some 250 names. After a silence, Bolt agreed to the debate. Bolt has a Herald Sun blog-site. He appealed on it for help in discrediting my first 12 names. There was no mention of the other 230-plus. Bolt presented the results of his research assistants at last Sunday's debate. The omissions and distortions took my breath away.’

Manne is correct to label Bolt’s appraisal’s as distortions:

‘One of my names, Margaret Tucker, was raised by a loving mother, who also had to work, and by a completely devoted uncle and aunt. In her wonderful autobiography she reveals that she was with her mother when she was seized. Her mother was so distraught that she was discovered by the uncle and aunt lying in the bush "moaning and crying" like "an animal in pain". Here is Bolt's version: Margaret's mother "had gone to Sydney and some auntie was looking after her-sort of".’

As shown above Iain tries at least once to think for himself on this issue and makes the claim that the intentions of those behind removals will never be known. Unfortunately for Iain he shouldn't have bothered as the documents time and again prove him wrong:

'Inferior races will have to go and, in my opinion, Governments, sooner or later, will have seriously to consider the question of sterilization of the half-caste.

W.J.Gall, Under-Secretary, Home Department, Government of Queensland,'

Office of the Administrator
Darwin, September 12th 1911
No 1861/11

I have the honour to refer to your telegram of the 8th instant with reference to the suggestion of the Chief Protector of Aborigines regarding the establishment of an Aboriginal settlement.
The number of aboriginal children that would be provided for in the proposed institution would depend upon the policy of the Government in regard to half caste children. In my opinion one of the first works to be undertaken is to gather in all half caste children who are living with aborigines.
The police could do most of this work. No doubt the mothers would object and there would probably be an outcry from well meaning people about depriving the mother of her child but the future of the children should I think outweigh all other considerations.'

(iii) Extract of letter from Dr Cecil Cook, Chief Protector of Aborigines, Northern Territory, to Rev. W. Morley, April 28, 1931

The Halfcaste problem has received deeper consideration and more advanced and enlightened treatment in the Commonwealth Territories than in any other part of Australia. The Commonwealth which you must recognise is trustee of the White Australia Policy, has viewed this matter nationally, and has framed its policy accordingly...In the Territory ... the preponderance of coloured races, the prominence of coloured alien blood and the scarcity of white females to mate with the white male population, creates a position of incalculable future menace to purity of race in tropical Australia, and the Federal Government must so regulate its Territories that the multiplication of multicolour humanity by the mating of Halfcaste with alien coloured blood shall be reduced to a minimum. Halfcaste females in centres of population where alien races are prominent unfortunately exceed males in number. If this excess is permitted to mate with alien blood, the future of this country may very well be doomed to disaster. The Commonwealth has therefore endeavoured to elevate the Halfcaste to the standard of the white, with a view to his ultimate assimilation, encouraging the mating of white male and halfcaste female, thereby gradually eliminating colour and reducing one contributory factor in the breeding of Halfcastes...Briefly, the Halfcaste policy in this Territory embraces the collection of all illegitimate halfcastes, male and female under the age of 16 years for housing in institutions for educational purposes.

(iv) From N T Administrator, Telegram to Department of Interior, Canberra, 26 October 1932.



(ix) Report on the Northern Territory by J. A. Carrodus


179. It is the policy of the Administration to collect all half-castes from the native camps at an early age and transfer them to the Government Institutions at Darwin and Alice Springs.

180. The Darwin Home contains half-caste girls only. Half-caste boys are sent to the Alice Springs Home, but girls are sent there also.

(i) Letter from C. E. Cook

In the Territory the mating of aboriginals with any person other than an aboriginal is prohibited. The mating of coloured aliens with any female of part aboriginal blood is also prohibited. Every endeavour is being made to breed out the colour by elevating female half-castes to white standard with a view to their absorption by mating into the white population. The adoption of a similar policy throughout the Commonwealth is, in my opinion, a matter of vital importance.

(ii) Memorandum from J. A. Carrodus

With reference to the memorandum of the 7th February, by the Chief Protector of Aboriginals of the Northern Territory, the policy of mating half-castes with whites, for the purpose of breeding-out the colour, is that adopted by the Commonwealth Government on the recommendation of Dr. Cook.

Poor Iain is the victim of misinformation. Furthermore, he is the victim of conservative group think, a malady he is eager to maintain. Not only are intentions clear, but it is obvious that a policy of "half-caste" removal was being carried out.

Last, but not least, Iain has vigorously argued another of Bolt's positions, that is that cases of abuse in Aboriginal communities today, whereby welfare workers refrain from removing abused children because of sensitivities over the SG, prove that people like myself have blood on their hands due to arguing our case. So it is claimed that we should shut up and start denying along side them lest we cause more pain:

'I hope that you do feel some guilt here MM because it is you and your fellow leftards have laid the foundations for the current suffering of indigenous women and children, at THAT is the topic of this post.'

'Look MM I have given you a very good run here and you still have no answer to the truth that the NOTION of the “Stolen Generation” is not something that brings anything but suffering to contemporary indigenous people ,in particular the women and children who have been and continue to be abused because of the fear, instilled by leftists like you MM, that to remove a child who is being abused is worse than leaving them with their abusers. ALL leftists are complicit in this and you should hang your head in shame because of it.'


The ridiculousness of this is obvious. I'm just as aggrieved by the fact that these welfare workers have not correctly done their duty as Iain is, but I won't use child abuse as a moral bludgeon to win a debate about the veracity of the Stolen Generation. Quite frankly I think this tactic is repugnant. Unable to defeat the mountain of evidence I threw at him this is his only response. He fails to address the proof, fails to tackle the arguments and subsequently loses the debate, but he attempts to snatch the moral highground by claiming it's MY fault children are left in such circumstances. How can an episode in history be debunked because a child is let down today? It can't, this is self evident. This is just another desperate attempt at guilting the people into denial, and it's disgusting.

So what do we now know about Hall when it comes to this issue? He is the victim of conservative group think (willingly so). He refuses to do any independant research before forming an opinion. He prefers his opinions to be made for him over at Bolt's place and merely regurgitates them at his own and he's willing to take advantage of abused children to win debates in the culture war.

Bravo Iain, bravo.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cut & Paste This

The Australian, Editorial, August 3 2007:

'Compensation payment shows that apologies are cheap'

'Many on the Left of politics, including the Labor Party, have made much of the need to say sorry to Aboriginal people but Mr Trevorrow's case highlights just how cheap and hollow an apology can be...'

'...This sort of hypocrisy is possible because the "Sorry" brigade has never made it clear, even to itself, what we are all meant to be saying sorry for and what it is meant to achieve.'

The Australian, Editorial, Today:

'The Australian has not had a problem with saying sorry to indigenous Australians, but we have always considered it to be a second-order issue compared with the need to improve living standards for indigenous Australians. Saying sorry would have been a sign of good faith but would not, in itself, make things better.'

And who said it would, 'in itself', make things better? As The Oz struggles to drag itself out of the pit of the culture war in the wake of Howard's demise it also struggles with understanding (after a decade) what proponents of saying "sorry" believe it will acheive.

I'm getting the distinct feeling that even the stalwarts of Australian conservatism are at least trying to call a truce in their culture war as they sense the potential for alienation if they continue down the hardline path of the last 11 years.

(Still injured, just couldn't help but comment. Oh, and I sent the above in a letter to the Oz, reakon they'll print it?)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I haven't been in action since Monday and won't be for a while yet due to an operation on my right hand. You can imagine how hard it was just to type this!

Bad timing considering recent scandals I know. What a beautiful week it's been.


Friday, November 16, 2007

My Earliest Clear And Distinct Memory Meme

Christ this is hard, but Art Vandelay AND Mikey have tagged me so here goes.

I've got to:

  1. Describe my earliest memory where the memory is clear, and where "clear" means I can depict at least three details.
  2. Give an estimate of my age at the time.
  3. Tag five other bloggers with this meme.

I think my first memory goes as follows:

I'd been naughty for some reason and he (my Dad) was pissed off. He was chasing me around the pine dinner table, that I remember being positioned almost in the middle of the kitchen, and as he out-manoeuvred me I dived under the table. Each time he reached to grab me I ran to the other side. My Mum and brother must have thought this was hilarious because all they were doing was laughing until he started laughing as well. I still wasn't sure if I was in the clear or not though, I was hopeful.

If I think about it I remember my Dad looking really 70's but I'm not sure if I've attached photos I've seen taken of him back then to the him in my memory. I think I was......about........four????? Maybe???? I mean, could a four year old put up a chase (obviously I'm childless)? Or was he just messing around? I'll have to ask him. It's a tad dramatic but I seriously can't remember anything that, I think, came before then.

I'm tagging Lad Litter, Miss Politics (who has the cutest daughter BTW so maybe she'd know the answer to the above question), John Surname, Hap and....??? (to be decided later).