More good sense from Noel Pearson

Noel Pearson delivered the 2011 Sir Robert Menzies Lecture, on the Classical Liberal theme of  helping the poor and weak without generating a culture of welfare dependence. A shortened version of the text appeared in The Weekend Australian today.

I should preface this report by saying that the Singapore approach is very much second best, behind the laissez faire approach of voluntary saving and voluntary redistribution through private charities. It just beats the western welfare state approach that breeds dependency.

In his fascinating memoirs, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew says he and his fellow leaders aimed to create for their country “a fair society, not a welfare society”. Lee recognised from the beginning the form of welfare provisioning the advanced Western nations were implementing would produce problems, and his country explicitly pursued a different philosophy and a different path.

He writes: “Watching the ever-increasing costs of the welfare state in Britain and Sweden, we decided to avoid this debilitating system. We noted by the 1970s that when governments undertook primary responsibility for the basic duties of the head of a family, the drive in people weakened.

“Welfare undermined self-reliance. People did not have to work for their families’ wellbeing. The handout became a way of life. The downward spiral was relentless as motivation and productivity went down. People lost the drive to achieve because they paid too much in taxes. They became dependent on the state for their basic needs.”

The great difference between the Singaporean approach and that of the welfare states of the Western world was, as Lee writes: “We chose to redistribute wealth by asset-enhancement, not by subsidies for consumption.”

There is in fact a great deal of redistribution in Singapore: it is just that it is strictly aimed at the asset and wealth development capabilities of its citizens.

More about the Sir Robert Menzies Lecture and a list of speakers, including Margaret Thatcher.

More inspiring speeches by Noel Pearson.

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135 Responses to More good sense from Noel Pearson

  1. Pingback: Rafe’s Roundup 5 March at Catallaxy Files

  2. Louis Hissink

    In other words Noel Pearson is hinting at implementing “capitalism” in solving the situation his people find themselves in.

    This won’t happen until the welfare malaise is excised from our own society – and I don’t see that happening any day soon.

  3. Rafe

    Nobody ever said it is going to be easy!

    I would also add that the Singapore route is the second best, with a mix of compulsion and redistribution by the state. The first best would be the laissez faire route where saving is voluntary and so is redistribution through voluntary donations to private charities.

  4. .

    Good luck now Rudd made philanthropy harder to do.

  5. murray

    Welfare dependency is poison. Note that the ‘carbon tax’ will involve ‘compensation’ – welfare dependency to be entrenched in response to artificially-boosted energy prices.

  6. THR

    It’s hardly surprising that ‘radical centrist’ Pearson took as his model an authoritarian toady. Before Pearson, the last thing to have damaged Aborigines to the same extent was smallpox. His ‘intervention’ has been demonstrated, repeatedly, to have done more harm than good, as one would expect from punitive, ham-fisted, sloganeering policy.

    Nonetheless, Pearson’s love of the brutal end of statism at least makes him consistent with ‘actually existing’ liberalism.

  7. Peter Patton

    THR

    You have no idea just how racist you sound.

  8. .

    “brutal end of statism”

    Don’t you ever crap on about rabbit proof fence or stolen generations.

  9. THR

    You have no idea just how racist you sound.

    No, I don’t, since I’m paraphrasing Aborigine critics of Pearson. Pearson’s only role in life seems to be to provide an alibi for the blatantly racist policies of the Coalition. He’s literally Stalinist – one can imagine all too clearly how, a few decades ago, a fellow like Pearson would have been earnestly persuading Comrade Stalin that the Kalmyks and Tatars really did need deporting – for their own good, and that of the motherland.

  10. murray

    No, I don’t, since I’m paraphrasing Aborigine critics of Pearson. Pearson’s only role in life seems to be to provide an alibi for the blatantly racist policies of the Coalition. He’s literally Stalinist – one can imagine all too clearly how, a few decades ago, a fellow like Pearson would have been earnestly persuading Comrade Stalin that the Kalmyks and Tatars really did need deporting – for their own good, and that of the motherland.

    Coconut

  11. THR

    Not coconut, Murray, Stalinist. Somebody who talks capitalism, but practices statist ‘intervention’.

  12. .

    Well THR you think capitalism, free will etc is impossible so we’re all Stalinists or Trots.

  13. Peter Patton

    THR

    I can’t believe it. You are digging yourself in even deeper. You might as well have said, “that’s a lie, some of my best friends…”. But at least if you had said that, we might have been blessed with the names of some of these ‘best friends’. But no, what do you do instead? You dismiss a full-blood adult Aboriginal man, who has spent his life living in the community he was born to, as a mere poor mimic of a white man, who was born and raised on the other side of world – Russia – before Pearson was even alive, and who, even you insist was responsible for the slaughter of tens of millions of people.. Unfuckingbelievable!

  14. THR

    Well THR you think capitalism, free will etc is impossible so we’re all Stalinists or Trots.

    Dot, I implore you, have a good look at precisely what Pearson has lent his name to. It is both statist and Stalinist, in its design and its results. I’ve previously posted data here on how the intervention has been disastrous (data with which even Mal Brough agrees). There could be no possible reason for supporting Pearson other than a deep hatred of Aborigines, or a deep hatred of personal freedom.

  15. .

    There could be no possible reason for supporting Pearson other than a deep hatred of Aborigines, or a deep hatred of personal freedom.

    You cannot be serious.

    Pearson’s objection to the wild rivers legislation is correct and well intentioned.

    The fact that you say this contrary to all the facts re wild rivers and give the tree first, anti aborigine greens a pass speaks volumes.

  16. m0nty

    Ah yes, Singapore, Disneyland with the death penalty. Also caning and a one-party system, or as Noel calls it: “a paternalistic approach to social order and responsibility”. The libertarians’ dream, where the government owns the majority of real estate, makes public school attendance compulsory, and controls most of the major companies in the local economy.

    What could Australia learn? It’s almost impossible to follow Singapore’s lead on public housing to help uplift the poor, given what both sides of politics have done in recent years to overheat the sector. Talk of paternalism is particularly unhelpful in the Australian context, as it’s a peculiarly Asian value to even consider that as a strength in the modern age.

    I guess we could learn from Singapore’s workforce being 25%+ foreign underclass? Perhaps we open the floodgates to underskilled workers, since we’re running out of skippies to be the chippies and brickies to build the offices and homes of the Dr Wongs and Prof Nguyens.

    I suppose there’s a similarity there in that Singapore has made a virtue out of its geography by going all out on entrepôt trade, which is analogous to how Australia’s economy is so slanted towards resources. Beyond that, it’s hard to draw trend lines.

  17. THR

    Don’t be foolish, dot. I’m in Victoria and couldn’t give a flying about either Greens or wild rivers. I’m referring to the infamous ‘intervention’, lead and championed by Pearson, and seemingly supported by pseudo-liberals everywhere.

  18. .

    I concur Monty. Singapore is a shithole and not to be adored or mimicked.

  19. .

    I’m in Victoria and couldn’t give a flying about either Greens or wild rivers.

    Clearly.

  20. If Noel Pearson was serious about helping aborigines he would stop making speeches and start mentoring other aboriginal leaders so they can make the speeches. The mere fact that after all this time he is the principle voice and no other aboriginals have a voice is an indictment on his whole enterprise. By putting himself up front all the time he is being a show pony, playing to the conservative crowd and not listening to his own people. The man is lost, the intervention, which he backed, is a disaster.

    Pearson has embraced a political ideology to address what is essentially widespread and deeply entrenched behavioral disorders. He should be speaking to some down to earth psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical people skilled in understanding the inter-relationships between chronic malnutrition and behavior. But of course if he were to do that he would be advised that any real hope for aboriginal recovery is not going to occur in his lifetime, it will be generational and all he and us can do is lay the foundations for future aborigines. No glory or speeches in that Noel.

  21. Boris

    THR, rather than talk ad hominem about Pearson and Singapore, could you just say what’s wrong with the essence of his words quoted above?

  22. THR

    THR, rather than talk ad hominem about Pearson and Singapore, could you just say what’s wrong with the essence of his words quoted above?\

    Boris, the speeches are lovely (so long as you think Singapore’s ‘paternalism’ is a model to follow). See John H’s comment above. The issue is not Pearson’s pretty speeches, but his abominable behaviour.

  23. Boris

    Singapore is a shithole and not to be adored or mimicked.

    From economic POV, Singapore is a fantastic success story, whose experience should be studied and reproduced in many places. I don’t really care how it is achieved. I know fundamentalists on all sides will disagree and tell us that the Singapore model is wrong because it did not follow their ideological line. But I think in economics and in science, experimental data are more important than theoretical constructions.

  24. Boris

    The issue is not Pearson’s pretty speeches, but his abominable behaviour.

    But this post was about a speech. Sorry.

  25. THR

    I know fundamentalists on all sides will disagree and tell us that the Singapore model is wrong because it did not follow their ideological line.

    Nice one, Boris. The ‘right’ to chew gum in one’s country is now ‘fundamentalism’.

    But this post was about a speech. Sorry.

    The speeches of Pearson cannot be neatly divorced from his behaviour, just as they could not be for any other corrupt opportunist. Sorry.

  26. But this post was about a speech. Sorry.

    Speech is behavior.

  27. Peter Patton

    John

    Sorry, you’ve fucked this up big time. You sound like THR and Lefty Kim. It’s an ugly sound, dude. Get ye to a tuner.

  28. I don’t give a flying fuck who I sound like. Besides, how can anyone take the Singapore example seriously? This is just Pearson looking for some other example to spruik about. You can’t simply refer to what happened in one country as an example for another without first considering all the other relevant variables. Pearson hasn’t done this. Logic fail by him and everyone who endorses this latest speech. Thus when he states:

    “The context could not be more dissimilar but the reform principles underpinning Singapore’s path out of poverty are universal.”

    He is being a bloody idiot.

  29. Peter Patton

    You can’t simply refer to what happened in one country as an example for another without first considering all the other relevant variables.

    Really? Have you called the police?

  30. Pearson is a lot of things. However an idiot he is not.

    If Noel Pearson was serious about helping aborigines he would stop making speeches and start mentoring other aboriginal leaders…

    Perhaps time to brush up on Pearson’s achievements. He mentors & arranges the education of quite a lot of aboriginal children.
    However he doesn’t mentor them to be activists or agitators, but to be achievers.
    Or to put it another way: He mentors them to be doers, not talkers.

  31. Boris

    The ‘right’ to chew gum in one’s country is now ‘fundamentalism’

    I don’t approve this policy but I do not think it is a big deal. I do not like authoritarian regimes. Clearly Singapore is one. But economically Singapore is a remarkable success and dismissing it because of cheing gum restrictions (now themselves rescinded) is shallow at best.

    More interesting is the issue authoritarianism overall. My view is that authoritarianism is a price worth paying if (1) it produces economic success, rather than impedes it and (2) it is not repressive. Clearly, Singapore satisfies both criteria. The question is whether this is sustainable. The biggest problem with authoritarianism is that even if a particular dictator is wise etc, then the next one may not be, leading to bad policies, corruption, abuse and repression. And yet this has not yet happened in Singapore, so we can only admire them.

    But above all, is there anything wrong with their economic model?

  32. Boris

    “The context could not be more dissimilar but the reform principles underpinning Singapore’s path out of poverty are universal.”

    I think this is right.

  33. THR

    My view is that authoritarianism is a price worth paying if (1) it produces economic success, rather than impedes it and (2) it is not repressive.

    If this really is your view, then even on your own (quite wretched) terms, Pearson fails miserably.

    But above all, is there anything wrong with their economic model?

    Yes, it needs thugs and micro-managers to enforce it.

  34. Peter Patton

    Shock Therapy overseen by a messiah is ancient both as narrative and reality. Some did it beautifully, such as Pericles, Augustus, and Lee Kuan Yew. But tis true that a hell of a lot of others were fucked at it.

  35. THR

    Shock Therapy overseen by a messiah is ancient both as narrative and reality.

    So, essentially you agree with Naomi Klein? All that fussin’ and feudin’, and you were never anything but a limp-wristed Keynesian?

  36. Peter Patton

    John

    If Noel Pearson was serious about helping aborigines he would stop making speeches and start mentoring other aboriginal leaders so they can make the speeches

    FFS, dude. Get a clue or shut up. Ever heard of the

    Cape York Institute For Policy and Institute?

    Let me give you a clue. It ain’t run by THR or any other white neo-marxist racists.

    http://www.cyi.org.au/director.aspx

  37. Boris

    But tis true that a hell of a lot of others were fucked at it.

    I recenly watched a documentary on Lee and the history is amazing. Especially how they were pushed out of Malaisia. I don’t know of any other case where a territory was pushed out against their will. The opposite of what happens everywhere in the world (separatism etc).

  38. THR

    THR or any other white neo-marxist racists.

    If Hoyden had a spot for the intellectually disabled, you’d officially qualify.

  39. Peter Patton

    So, essentially you agree with Naomi Klein?

    Are you for fucking real? What a woeful and vulgar interjection to a discussion of Noel Pearson Lee Kuan Yew, Pericles, and Augustus. Dude, you really have over-shared there, as well as showing – yet again – profound autism about both Marxism, and even yourself. As I have implored you many times, please take some time out to reflect on the third letter of your nic.

    Anyway, I need a bath, after your discursive farting. Naomi Klein? FMD. Who next? Jackie-O?

  40. THR

    Are you for fucking real?

    The stupid. It’s fucked up your short term memory. A few minutes ago, you said:

    Shock Therapy overseen by a messiah is ancient both as narrative and reality.

    So yes, you’re now a Kleinian.

  41. .

    From economic POV, Singapore is a fantastic success story, whose experience should be studied and reproduced in many places. I don’t really care how it is achieved. I know fundamentalists on all sides will disagree and tell us that the Singapore model is wrong because it did not follow their ideological line. But I think in economics and in science, experimental data are more important than theoretical constructions.

    Hong Kong and much of Eastern Europe show what happens you you liberalise and have strong civil liberties.

    They are emprically, by objective macroeconomic standards, relatively better off than Singapore.

    Singapore is a shithole. If America had the same standards on behaviour, they’d be labelled as fascist.

    I’d rather live in a filthy free society than a clean authoritarian one. The Government imposed culture is vomit inducing. Such a concept always will be. Look at the intervention. Banning pornography to limit child sexual abuse. Can someone who is eminently qualified explain how that works – Bob from Sump Creek Stn reads Penthouse and it makes him want to sexually abuse his kids?

    The premise and ambit of the intervention is bizarre. Giving out healthcare and enforcing the criminal code and human rights legislation along with liberalisation of the territory economy and expediting property rights would have been much better. Controlling people’s personal lives will never lead them to be independent. It helps to enshrine dependency. Abandoning subsidisation of unsustainable, remote and isolated communities wold have helped too. Putting adequete police infrastructure where it is otherwise needed then…etc.

    This is why Pearson’s example is bad. Regulate the personal enough and it becomes one size fits all, oppressive and it also regulates the economic.

  42. What THR doesn’t like is that as a result of the Intervention, larger population centres like Alice Springs are now filling up with all the drunks, wife beaters, child molesters who have previously spent their time beating the living crap out of each other out of sight and out of mind. Instead of terrorising and assaulting their Aboriginal neighbours and family members in outback “communities” where the media never visits, there’s now a chance they might decide to drunkenly bash and rob – gasp – white people! And this might be done where there are reporters, so people might get to find out about it!

    Racism!

    THR dislikes the fact that the harsh reality of “dysfunction” is now out in the open for all to see.

    THR wants the Intervention to end so that those Aboriginals that refuse to conform to the stereotype of noble savages can disappear back into obscurity, where they will continue to booze up and prey on the defenceless and the weak – black women and children and the elderly.

    THR, if you send me your measurements, I’ll get a nice set of white robes with a hood made up for you.

  43. entropy

    Not that Pearson has all the answers, but I think he genuinely wants to change things from the current dysfunction. This of course upsets the vested interests in the current dysfunction that THR seems to regard as a more suitable authority.

    For the established indigenous political groups, Pearson is an outsider. Perhaps it is because Cape communities are more TI than NT. And he is trying to make a real, generational difference in his communities. His mistake is in thinking that what works in Lockhart River will work in all aboriginal communities

    But what appears to be working on the Cape may not work in Alice Springs. personally I doubt anything will ever work in Alice Springs beyond stealing the next generation so they can grow up into grumpy little ATSIC politicians rather than die an early death in a camp (that’s sarcasm THR). It is truly depressing to visit there, especially compared with Lockhart River.

    The reason he is banging on about Singapore is not so much the system of government which dot and THR can’t see past, but the Singapore approach to welfare. You have to understand where Pearson is coming from, where in the past it has not been possible for aborigines living in communities to own a block of land and a house. Pearson regards the inability to build assets as one of the key reasons for welfare dependency, lack of pride in the community, and a lack of desire to work for something better. Hence he is attracted to the views of Lee Kwan Yew above. I doubt he is endorsing that aboriginal communities be run like Singapore.

    PS THR I am not aware that Pearson is a coalition supporter. He is more of the Beattie mould.

  44. Rafe

    What entropy said.

    As I wrote in the third comment, the Singapore model is not best practice due to the degree of state control but it beats the crap out of the welfare state models provided in the west and especially in the remote Aboriginal communities.

    I think all of Pearson’s speeches are inspirational although I differ on many points, like his uncritical tribute to some leftist mythology on trade unions and welfare. He is not a longstanding Coalition supporter, he is a Labor social democrat to the core, he just formed an alliance with John Howard because they both saw the need for a seachange on Aboriginal policy and they had similar ideas about the way to move.

    Stressing the point that entropy made about criticis of Noel Pearson in the Aboriginal community, the degree of corruption in the leadership is beyond belief and of course they are livid at the thought that their influence and their cash flow might up disturbed.

    Also as entropy probably said, we really don’t know what is going to work, there is so much diversity and so many deeply entrenched evils. Like most of our problems, you would rather make a start from somewhere else, like 30 or 40 years ago.

  45. daddy dave

    PS THR I am not aware that Pearson is a coalition supporter. He is more of the Beattie mould.

    The great, slow purge is on as Labor centrists are now considered “right wing.”

  46. THR

    What THR doesn’t like is that as a result of the Intervention, larger population centres like Alice Springs are now filling up with all the drunks, wife beaters, child molesters who have previously spent their time beating the living crap out of each other out of sight and out of mind.

    Complete and utter rubbish. Not a single ‘child molester’ has been charged in the NT intervention, and rates of sexual abuse, for instance, are higher in other, non-Aboriginal parts of the country. Have a look at some actual data before trumpeting pro-intervention stupidity. The authorities cannot even adequately regulate substance use in the prison system – why on earth do you believe they ought to be micro-managing Aboriginal communities?

    The reason he is banging on about Singapore is not so much the system of government which dot and THR can’t see past, but the Singapore approach to welfare

    Then he’s either a hypocrite or an imbecile, first and foremost because one cannot neatly abstract an economic system from the governmental conditions underpinning it. One suspects he chose Singapore because Pinochet’s Chile would have been too racy.

    Moreover, Pearson and his followers on the right (and they belong exclusively on the right these days, and are not to be found in the broader Aboriginal community) seem to set up a straw dichotomy. It’s as if abolishing welfare, or attaching it to punitive interventionsm, would magically create capitalism. This makes no sense, economically, or otherwise. The alternative to welfare in the most impoverished communities is not capitalism, but death. Aboriginals have never been integrated into Australia’s economic system, and expecting Aboriginal economics to develop ex nihilo, or by abolishing welfare, is so stupid that even Pearson cannot possibly believe it.

    he is a Labor social democrat to the core, he just formed an alliance with John Howard because they both saw the need for a seachange on Aboriginal policy and they had similar ideas about the way to move.

    Pearson has continued the ‘centrist’ and ‘social democrat’ alliance with Tony Abbott. And I note that you tar unnamed Aboriginal leaders as ‘corrupt’, whilst ignoring Pearson’s own brown-nosing of conservatives for fame and favour.

  47. daddy dave

    Not a single ‘child molester’ has been charged in the NT intervention

    That’s a good point. Why are the authorities going soft on this crime? Is it a kind of reverse racism? Are they worried about a backlash or something? Surely any backlash would be seen as tawdry and morally bankrupt.

  48. Louis Hissink

    The solution to the Aboriginal problem is to assimilate and incorporate them into our economic system that was based on capitalism (the private ownership of property, assets etc).

    Unfortunately the ALP and Greens, being social democrats, want to abolish private property as a long term goal, and hence are philosophically incapable of allowing the capitalist solution to work, especially in the case of the Aboriginals whose “natural” existence is the goal of social democracy.

    As long as the Aboriginals are subject to the apartheid policies of the ALP/Greens, and as long as the ALP/Greens maintain their philosophical base of rejecting private property, then nothing will be achieved.

    The solution to the Aboriginal problem requires the wholesale rejection of the social democratic experiment – and this is not going to happen soon.

  49. .

    The reason he is banging on about Singapore is not so much the system of government which dot and THR can’t see past, but the Singapore approach to welfare. You have to understand where Pearson is coming from, where in the past it has not been possible for aborigines living in communities to own a block of land and a house.

    Not quite right. Native r9ivers ought to be repealed and native title for example shouold extend to individuals being able to sell out of real freehod property, mining rights should be allodial, not fee simple.

  50. C.L.

    Stated simply, ‘progressives’ hate “coconut” Noel Pearson because he committed one of the most grievous crimes it’s possible for an Aborigine to commit: he refused to be a good Jackie Jackie for white leftists and he went walk-about away from their mission plantation. He will never be forgiven for this insolent disobedience.

  51. C.L.

    Note the subtle racism too in the mockery of an Abo saying we should learn from another country – Singapore – from people who’ve spent decades lionising Swedan and Cuba.

  52. THR

    ‘Progressives’ do not ‘hate’ Pearson, and do not refer to him as a coconut (barring one commentator at LP, as you tirelessly remind us, CL). The most strident critics of Pearson are other Aboriginals, who despise his hypocritical slide into rightist toadyism:

    The most consistent criticism you will hear of Pearson from Aboriginal people, however, is that he speaks for other people’s country. He has an unfortunate habit of endorsing one-size-fits-all solutions for Aboriginal people in other parts of the nation if the political winds suit, although he doesn’t necessarily believe that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    When the federal Opposition floated the idea in 2008 of extending the Northern Territory intervention – a policy that Pearson backed – into Queensland, Pearson was apoplectic. He told media that it would ruin the reforms already underway in Cape York. Those reforms, interestingly, were far less punitive than the ones Pearson was backing under the intervention.

    In July 2007, a month after Indigenous affairs minister Mal Brough sent in the army to remote Northern Territory communities, ABC’s Four Corners reported on a program that Brough was planning to unveil in Hope Vale with Pearson. The trial, which involved committing to sending your children to school, was voluntary, with people rewarded for good behaviour by access to new housing.

    By contrast, Aboriginal people living under the Northern Territory intervention had their land summarily seized, regardless of their behaviour.

    http://web.overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-200/feature-chris-graham/

    There was never any reason to believe the intervention to be good policy. The empirical data strongly suggests that it was motivated by base electoral concerns – no ‘child molesters’ have been caught, and drug and alcohol problems have not been addressed in any respect whatsoever. The only improvement of any sort has been for Pearson himself, who is now given regular airtime in the media, and whose name is now an alibi mentioned by Tony Abbott every time he wishes to promote some punitive, hare-brained scheme.

  53. daddy dave

    no ‘child molesters’ have been caught

    as you tirelessly remind us, THR. So let me ask you a direct question. Does this indicate to you that there is no child molestation going on in the indigenous communities?
    Because I’ll tell you how it looks: it looks like the cops are not enforcing the law. It looks like they’re not policing criminal acts that would get a resident of Sydney thrown in prison for quite a while.
    So you keep sliding this fact in, as if it proves that the intervention is much ado about nothing, and adult aboriginals have been somehow smeared. Is that what you are inferring? If not, why keep saying it?

  54. THR

    The empirical evidence is perfectly clear – Aborigines are worse off for the NT intervention, championed by Pearson and his Stalinist supporters:

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/21/nt-intervention-three-years-on-governments-progress-report-is-disturbing/

    Yet pointing out empirical facts is met with shrieks of ‘racism’. Oh, the irony.

    Does this indicate to you that there is no child molestation going on in the indigenous communities?

    It demonstrates that there’s no evidence of child molestation. In fact, data I’ve seen suggests that some parts of Sydney and Melbourne are far more likely to have a problem with sexual abuse, yet Aborigines were singled-out for special treatment.

  55. THR

    And it’s not merely failure of implementation that made the intervention a disaster. Pearson and Howard called for (and, thankfully, failed to get) mandatory forensic sexual examination of all children, based on their status qua Aboriginality. This extraordinary piece of racism would itself constitute a form of child abuse, and I doubt a single reader here would approve of such measures being implemented in relation to their own children or relatives.

    But that’s Pearson and Howard for you – saving Aborigines, one forcibly examined hymen at a time.

  56. daddy dave

    It demonstrates that there’s no evidence of child molestation.

    okay, so you are saying that. Do you accept that there’s an alternative explanation? The justification for the early reports was that there was rampant and endemic child abuse going on, but it may be the case that if it was to be policed properly, entire communities would be driven away in police wagons, leading to massive political backlash.

    I’m not saying that’s the case, I’m saying it’s a possibility.

    The most strident critics of Pearson are other Aboriginals, who despise his hypocritical slide into rightist toadyism

    I don’t care if he represents other aborigines or not. We don’t have a race-based democracy, and I am suspicious of supposed ‘leaders’ of racial groups.

    As for your skepticism about magically bringing aboriginal communities into mainstream society, you’re right. But the problem – the position of many here, anyway – is that welfare is propping up ‘communities’ that are unsustainable shitholes in the middle of nowhere. Any long term solution must envisage these communities ceasing to exist. To imagine them becoming hives of productive activity, industry and prosperity is to engage in fantasy.

  57. THR

    Do you accept that there’s an alternative explanation?

    The alternative explanation – that police are wilfully ignoring child abuse in NT – is implausible in the extreme, the more so since police have increased charges of petty crimes relating to drug and alcohol use.

    We don’t have a race-based democracy, and I am suspicious of supposed ‘leaders’ of racial groups.

    Correct. We have a democracy that isn’t race-based, and then we have the victims of the intervention, who are entirely outside of this democracy.

  58. daddy dave

    and then we have the victims of the intervention, who are entirely outside of this democracy.

    I guess have to agree with you on that, THR. I don’t like the draconian nature of the intervention.

  59. JC

    Dad:

    Lets examine it this way.. The government receives a report that aboriginal kids and molested and that STD is running rampant in these far out communities.

    The parents basically don’t take care of their kids and drinking could be measured in terms of the size of lakes.

    What are they supposed to do? Are they supposed to ignore the report’s findings?

    When a report says that kids in these communities- set up in the middle of nowhere – are essentially dysfunctional the first duty of any government is to protect the least able to protect themselves from predators and dysfunctional behavior.

  60. Rafe

    THR, when you get to spent as much time with your feet on the ground in the outback as Pearson, Abbott, Brough and various researchers associated with the CIS your comments will probably be revised, if you are interested in evidence. Until that time it is clearly a waste of time to argue with you.

  61. THR

    What are they supposed to do? Are they supposed to ignore the report’s findings?

    JC,

    The government of the day did, in fact, ignore the report’s findings and recommendations almost completely. Instead, Howard and Brough put together their own response within 48 hours, declaring a ‘state of emergency’ to justify their intervention. The intervention may have been provoked by the report, but its policies had nothing to do with the report.

  62. THR

    THR, when you get to spent as much time with your feet on the ground in the outback as Pearson, Abbott, Brough and various researchers associated with the CIS your comments will probably be revised, if you are interested in evidence.

    The actual evidence clearly demonstrates that the intervention has not only failed to succeed on its own terms, but has worsened the lives of Aborigines. This is precisely what one would expect from such ham-fisted statism. If you have evidence to the contrary, then by all means share it.

  63. daddy dave

    JC, I said I didn’t like it. That doesn’t mean I have any better ideas.

    But the other thing is, by not prosecuting child abuse, they give ammunition for people like THR to say “well it looks like the children are doing fine out there. The report must have been wrong.”

    Instead of having a ‘special case’ intervention, why not start with the rule of law… for example, enforcing laws for protecting children from unfit parents.

  64. badm0f0

    Unfortunately the ALP and Greens, being social democrats, want to abolish private property as a long term goal …

    You’re either trolling or dumber than dogshit. The latter seems more likely.

  65. JC

    The government of the day did, in fact, ignore the report’s findings and recommendations almost completely. Instead, Howard and Brough put together their own response within 48 hours, declaring a ‘state of emergency’ to justify their intervention. The intervention may have been provoked by the report, but its policies had nothing to do with the report.

    the report, from what I recall, suggested that sexual diseases was rampant among very young children. it mentioned rampant alcoholism and neglected kids.

    If Howard reacted in 48 hours I’d say he was wasting time because when you receive a report containing those sorts of allegations the government has to step in immediately. The primary role of a government is protection of the citizens and I would say these allegations suggested there was a strong need for a state based response.

    Who the fuck would be going off to some place 500 miles west of Alice Springs to check on this stuff otherwise?

    The actual evidence clearly demonstrates that the intervention has not only failed to succeed on its own terms, but has worsened the lives of Aborigines. This is precisely what one would expect from such ham-fisted statism. If you have evidence to the contrary, then by all means share it.

    Aboriginals should not be living in these god forsaken places and if they choose to we should not be helping them in any way.

  66. JC

    Unfortunately the ALP and Greens, being social democrats, want to abolish private property as a long term goal …

    Well yes of course… the left wing of the ALP and the Greens certainly do. The Greens will introduce our first self-confessed commie slug in the national parliament in July and they also had Clive (Happy) Hamilton as a Greens candidate in the seat of Higgins. Lets recall that Hamilton has called for suspension of democratic rights and wants his opponents to be monitored by intel agencies.

    Lets also not forget that at the first opportunity the ALP formed an alliance with these fucking animals, so we can basically laugh at Bado’s silly and ignorant delusional assertions.

  67. .

    They also want to give our national defence (read evacuation plan) to P&O and Virgin Blue.

  68. Peter Patton

    The Greens are NOT “social democrats” (whatever that is, anyway), they are international socialists. The ALP are not even social democrats. They are “whatever it takes rats”.

  69. JC

    The Greens are NOT “social democrats” (whatever that is, anyway), they are international socialists. The ALP are not even social democrats. They are “whatever it takes rats”.

    I agree with the last but, but I’m not sure with the first.

    Environmentalism is a new movement that adopts certain elements of socialism however unlike socialism the Greens do not have humanity as it’s priority.

    It’s basically a fascist movement dedicated to the environment first and foremost with strong religious elements to it. It sees humans as hostile to their objectives.

    There will come a time when it has to be crushed politically. The first shots have been fired by the GOP congress in a take no prisoners and appease no one approach.

  70. Peter Patton

    yeah, jc, we’ve done this before. The Greens are an actually very interesting mix of folks whose interests conflict a hell of a lot. There ain’t a great deal of unity among International socialism (Webdiary/LP/Overland/Frannie types), feral/hippy/environmentalism (Bob Brown to Aunt Constance, and harry clarke), big government technocrat Stalinists (P. Kwig’n), and luvvie postmodernist identity politics (everyone from gay marriage types to Doctor’s Wives)

  71. .

    badmofo you’re a disgrace.

    The ALP cooked up the RSPT which was going to be unconstitutional anyway, taking away state sovereign property rights. The greens are crypto Marxists. Ditto to what Joe said about Hairshirt. Personal carbon accounting and the security apparatus to quash dissent. FFS, these guys falsely promote support of civil liberties and anti capitalism as freedom, support the abolition of the defence force and the use of the police state against their own citizenry.

    You, not us are dumb as dogshit for not believing that they don’t want to destroy private property rights.

    THR sez:

    This is precisely what one would expect from such ham-fisted statism.

    Yet he’s a full blown Marxist throwback. The hide, the gall and the audacity of it all.

  72. badm0f0

    You, not us are dumb as dogshit for not believing that they don’t want to destroy private property rights.

    Dot, I loathe the greens & their holier-than-thou authoritarianism but I doubt very much they want to eliminate private property rights, though they certainly appear to privilege certain rights over others (mainly theirs over anyone else).

    As for your over-cooked RSPT argument, it did not seek abolish or remove any right of the states so is highly unlikely to have been unconstitutional. Any change to or termination of state levied royalties would have and could have only been done on the part of the individual states in negotiation of the commonwealth. It was not an attack on private property rights & is not indicative of any desire to abolish private property other than in the fevered imaginations of ideologically afflicted commentators.

  73. .

    Look at the wild rivers legislation.

    ‘No private property for blacks. We will decide if you can have a dam.’

    As for your over-cooked RSPT argument, it did not seek abolish or remove any right of the states so is highly unlikely to have been unconstitutional. Any change to or termination of state levied royalties would have and could have only been done on the part of the individual states in negotiation of the commonwealth.

    So. How would have DC gotten Barnett to roll over?

    If they don’t respect rule of law (rudd’s illegal liquor tax grab) and State property rights, nothing is sacred.

  74. badm0f0

    How would have DC gotten Barnett to roll over?

    Probably by designing it to be a federally collected state revenue tax using a GST type framework. The so-called superiority of a resource tax over royalties isn’t dependent upon which layer of government is the ultimate recipient of the the revenue. If they’d been serious about making this an economic reform they would have made the introduction of the system the goal not the acquisition of the revenue it generated.

    The major flaw in the RSPT process was that it was a reform that required participation from the stakeholders, including the states and miners. Instead the preliminary design was announced as a fait accompli & there was no incentive for any of the states to participate in any reform of the royalties system (indeed probably the opposite, given the churn built in via the royalty refunds).

    Nor was there any incentive for the miners to participate except by outright opposition. This is despite many of the miners, peak mining bodies and explorers having been favourably disposed towards some sort of RSPT-type arrangement to replace the existing royalties regime. Whatever the flaws of the original RSPT design, the biggest failure was the political leadership that traded an economic opportunity for short-term (& misplaced) opportunism.

  75. JC

    Bado

    I really don’t care if you support a tax grab of 57% of profits as that’s you’re right. But you have no fucking right to be calling it a “reform”, so stop it with the bullshit as you’re not fooling anyone here, Ok?

    “Whatever the flaws… the biggest failure was the political leadership?”

    Are you freebasing? You don’t even think grabbing 57% was a flaw?

  76. .

    Dude…the flaw was the 57% tax and Swan wanted the tax rate to cut in at a “profit” rate below the cost of capital.

    It was a stupid idea. Getting all the states to sign up to the WA system (already a ‘reformed” mine of the mouth style royalty system), apply it to the PRRT and pooling revenue so everyone is insured from bumps in their own cycle would have been much, much better.

    Seriously bado, Swan blurted out it was to fund the unsustainable Government support measures for the hike in the super contribution rate. No shit he said it on national TV, then his handlers gagged him.

    Swan only took on board 4 of 128 recommendations from Ken Henry and botched them all.

  77. badm0f0

    you have no fucking right to be calling it a “reform”,

    I’m not sure who you’re actually arguing with JC as I made it pretty clear that I think they failed to grasp the opportunity of undertaking reform & instead went for an opportunistic revenue measure:

    If they’d been serious about making this an economic reform

    .

    To make it absolutely clear to you; that the EMTR (allegedly) ended up near 57% in some cases is a consequence of the RSPT not being a reform. If the Commonwealth was genuinely interested in introducing a resource rent tax system as a reform for efficiency purposes then they would have treated the miners and states as stakeholders not subjects.

  78. .

    They would have done what I suggested.

  79. JC

    For a start bado, this is a state based tax. The Feds have no business sticking their nose in it.

    Secondly if that dishonest little turd (SwanDive) was genuine about this he could have made the proposal to the states (that they had conceived a better system) and left it there for them to choose to implement it.

  80. badm0f0

    … if that dishonest little turd (SwanDive) was genuine about this he could have made the proposal to the states (that they had conceived a better system) and left it there for them to choose to implement it.

    Which is exactly what I said & was the point I was using a GST-type framework both for the process and the revenue. I have no problem with the Commonwealth driving reform but reform is a process, not just announcing an endpoint and trying to impose it.

  81. Peter Patton

    THR

    No, I don’t, since I’m paraphrasing Aborigine critics of Pearson

    OK, it’s been a few days now since I ‘called’ you on this. Let’s just see how you’ve gone with reflecting the views of Aborigines on this issue.

    OK, who have you used as authorities?

    Stalin (x5)
    Kalmyks
    Tatars
    Naomi Klein (x20
    Keynes
    Pinochet

    So far no luck. All Cat posters have been sneerily dismissed for the usual crimes, and patronized for failing to have one what THR claims to have done, such as ‘look at the data, the evidence, the views of Aboriginal people.’

    Oh wait, this looks promising:

    The most strident critics of Pearson are other Aboriginals, who despise his hypocritical slide into rightist toadyism:

    Excitedly follow link. Can’t wait for some Aborigines at last. Get to link. FAIL!

    1. Link is to Overland, which is edited by lily-white middle-class elite private school Trot and leader of the famous Austudy 5, Jeff Sparrow

    2. Article is not even by Aborigine but by white, middle class Trot, sort-of journo, Chris Graham.

    Where the fuck are the names of some, ANY Aborigines!? I would have thought by now, THR would have mentioned at least some of the household names who were involved in the group of Aborigines who finally persuaded Howard of the Intervention, such as:

    Marcia Langton
    Galarrwuy Yunupingu
    Sue Gordon
    Warren Mundine
    Lowitja O’Donohue
    Bess Price

    And these are just off the top off my head. He doesn’t even mention any Aborigines who have more ambivalent views, let alone actually oppose the Intervention, or Pearson, or Stalinists, or anybody, or anything.

    You don’t even mention the obvious prominent white Aborigines, who live in inner city million dollar glam-pads, earning $200,000 or so of taxpayer’s money to just rewarm poorly understood neomarxists shibboleths, except replace the word “proletariat” with “Indigenous peoples” throughout.

    Hold on! Another chance! He’s back on to data. You know, the world as it is currently lived for Aboriginal Australian. Phew, finally away from the 1930s and 1970s, not to mention that seemingly endless list of white, middle class Trots living in Canberra and inner Melbourne, of yeah, and Naomi Klein. His link is to Crikey [optimism drops bit, but there is still hope].

    The actual evidence clearly demonstrates that the intervention has not only failed to succeed on its own terms, but has worsened the lives of Aborigines

    Darn. Foiled again? This time, the word is delivered by a white middle class male, living in Canberra. Quelle surprise, another white marxist academic, Professor Jon Altman; just another carpet-bagger. But an oracle for THR. I suppose Altman is white, male, upper middle class, and a leftist, which is as good as it gets for THR.

    Well, maybe THR might have intended to discuss Aborigines allusively, but even then, he still has no time for any discussion that might actually allow the subaltern to speak, let alone allow that the centre of the issue is neither Russia nor Chile, nor the early-mid 20th century.

    Rather, THIS is what THR thinks of them

    Aborigines are worse off for the NT intervention, championed by Pearson and his Stalinist supporters

    But what do you really think of Aborigines, THR? My favourite?

    And I note that you tar unnamed Aboriginal leaders as ‘corrupt’, whilst ignoring Pearson’s own brown-nosing of conservatives for fame and favour.

    To the THR-set, not only is Pearson an Uncle Tom, his supporters ‘Stalinists’, but they are all also brown-nosing tar-babies. Let it never be said that THR does not call a spade a spade! 🙂

  82. .

    Pwned. Patton Winning! Duh.

  83. THR

    Another epic fail by Patton. You really are too twisted and scarred by your shadow boxing with ‘luvvies’ to produce anything resembling rational thought.

    Stalin (x5)
    Kalmyks
    Tatars
    Naomi Klein (x20
    Keynes
    Pinochet

    Which of these people did I quote as ‘authorities’? Links, please, or admit that you’re a lying retard.

    Link is to Overland, which is edited by lily-white middle-class elite private school Trot and leader of the famous Austudy 5, Jeff Sparrow

    Ad hom. The politics of the editor of an online mag do not invalidate the arguments contained therein.

    Article is not even by Aborigine but by white, middle class Trot, sort-of journo, Chris Graham.

    Ad hom, and a racist one at that. Who the fuck are you to decide who’s Aborigine and who isn’t? Nobody here attempts to assess you by your own bizarre, self-hating brand of identity politics.

    Where the fuck are the names of some, ANY Aborigines!?

    Have you heard of Google? So many Aborigines opposed the intervention that it went to the UN, you moron.

    You don’t even mention the obvious prominent white Aborigines, who live in inner city million dollar glam-pads

    And who are these people? Name them. Your description fits Pearson more closely than it does NT community leaders.

    This time, the word is delivered by a white middle class male, living in Canberra.

    Again, ad hom, again, racist. Forget the postgrad work, Greenslime, and try to make it through kindy first.

    Rather, THIS is what THR thinks of them

    Aborigines are worse off for the NT intervention, championed by Pearson and his Stalinist supporters

    Yep, and the links I provided give clear evidence for my assertions. No doubt, evidence is painful to a bigot like you. In any case, anybody could have seen a mile off that Pearson’s ‘paternalist’ (i.e. Stalinist) intervention would always end in disaster, and it has. This is beyond any reasonable doubt.

    To the THR-set, not only is Pearson an Uncle Tom, his supporters ‘Stalinists’, but they are all also brown-nosing tar-babies

    You’re projecting your own imagination here, Greenslime. I haven’t levelled any racial slurs at Pearson. Yes, he’s a Stalinist, a brown-nose and a sickening opportunist, but not an Uncle Tom. The fixation with identity politics and race is your sick fetish, Patsy. Don’t attribute it to me.

  84. THR

    For those who are sincere about this (that excludes you, Patsy), here are some statements by Aborigines denouncing the intervention:

    http://stoptheintervention.org/facts

  85. pedro

    “I have no problem with the Commonwealth driving reform but reform is a process”

    The RSPT was more than a process, it was a redistribution of assets from their owners, NSW, WA and Qld, to Victoria, SA and TAS.

    It always surprised me that Bligh and Kenneally didn’t shoot down the claim that the resources belong to all australians.

  86. .

    “You’re a racist, Uncle Tom”

    Winning levels of irony.

  87. THR

    Winning levels of irony

    You seem to be struggling with comprehension today. Tell me, what is it about the state undertaking forced genital checks of Aboriginal kids that has your support? What is it about forced income management, and the Feds over-riding local authorities that gets you going? Are you another Birdian libertarian?

  88. .

    Tell me, what is it about the state undertaking forced genital checks of Aboriginal kids that has your support?

    ANY sexual assault accusation involving child abuse would see the same thing.

    I’ve said I don’t like the intervention. You ought to stop mouthing off.

  89. THR

    ANY sexual assault accusation involving child abuse would see the same thing.

    Complete and utter bullshit. Police don’t arrange for forced medical checks of an entire suburb when somebody in one street has been sexually abused. They also don’t do pre-emptive medical checks. Stop running interference for cretins like Patsy.

  90. .

    Stop running interference for cretins like Patsy.

    Oh yeah that’s what I’m doing.

    Police don’t arrange for forced medical checks of an entire suburb when somebody in one street has been sexually abused.

    This is contentious. The accusations are/were very far ranging.

  91. daddy dave

    This is contentious. The accusations are/were very far ranging.

    I agree.
    The report basically painted a picture of an entire community of kids in danger. This is a non-rhetorical question, THR: what would you do?
    Seriously if the intervention was so morally flawed, what’s the correct response? My answer was zealous application of the rule of law, but with lots of officials on site to see that the law got implemented. What’s yours?

    I also wonder: what do you think the rate of child abuse is in the remote communities? About the same level as, say, Carlton? A bit higher than that? What’s your best guess?

  92. Peter Patton

    dd

    I doubt THR has ever even seen an Aborigine in his whole life. His advice to Catallaxyians – average age 40 or so, with an average of 2+ degrees each – is to get to know the Aborigines. Through GOOGLE!

    What an absolute hoot! Thanks god for the web, or I would never have known that such racist pig ignorance and delusion so unashamedly struts through the streets of inner Melbourne, presumable neither shackled nor medicated.

  93. The problem I have with the sexual molestation issue is that I cannot imagine the circumstances under which parents would be prepared to engage in a cover up. Most parents I know, if they were aware that the kiddie fiddler down the road had even come near their kids, would have no hesitation in making sure said Kiddie fiddler was forever incapable of ever getting near another child. I have no reason to presume aboriginal parents are any different.

    If child molestation was as rampant as some claimed then should have been a raft of violent crimes against the perpetrators and this evidence should be existent in the criminal trials. So to all those who think that there is now some cover up going, go find me the evidence from the court hearings. If this evidence is non-existent then we need to dismiss the claims of rampant child molestation. Again, I find it inconceivable that if a parent knew their child was being molested that parent, in the absence of the law doing anything, would sit tight and not seek revenge. I think you might find the exact opposite, that in the absence of the law doing anything many parents would take the bastards out.

    As for Noel Pearson, he should stick to the law, he knows fuck all about human behavior. I have my own views on the plight of the aborigines and at heart these views are apolitical. I actually find the idea of explaining human behavior by reference *solely* to ideology is as dumb as dumb gets.

  94. JC

    The problem I have with the sexual molestation issue is that I cannot imagine the circumstances under which parents would be prepared to engage in a cover up.

    John,

    In a lot of cases you read, you often have the father living away and the mother taking care of the kids.

    There are more than enough disturbing cases where the mother for instance refuses to believe the boyfriend is doing something to the kids for example.

  95. THR

    This is contentious. The accusations are/were very far ranging.

    It isn’t contentious. There are limited sets of circumstances in which children are subjected to forensic medicals, and nobody in the wider world would dream of imposing them on every kid as a response to alleged community dysfunction. Such measures themselves constitute a form of sexual trauma.

    what would you do?

    First, the Howard government could have responded to a report from 1999 on these matters. Instead, they suppressed and ignored it for several years. Second, in the response to the 2007 report, the Government could have followed the actual analysis recommendations, which made perfectly clear that one-size-fits-all solutions, imposed from without, could never work. As I said earlier, if authorities cannot control drug use in prisons, what hope have they of micromanaging remote communities?

    I also wonder: what do you think the rate of child abuse is in the remote communities? About the same level as, say, Carlton?

    Actually, I can tell you fairly precisely what the situation is in Victoria. Aboriginals are over-represented in stats for crime and child abuse, but not when compared to a number of poor towns and suburbs. I’ve been told by Vic police that the highest rate of child sex offending in the country is in certain parts of the Mornington Peninsula. When the police entered NT in 2007, they did not find levels of ‘dysfunction’ higher than those that exist elsewhere in Australia. Aboriginal communities operate on a different paradigm to ours, and it isn’t at all easy to cover up systematic abuse in such places.

  96. THR

    I doubt THR has ever even seen an Aborigine in his whole life. His advice to Catallaxyians – average age 40 or so, with an average of 2+ degrees each – is to get to know the Aborigines. Through GOOGLE!

    Ho ho, Patsy trying an argument from (his own grossly misperceived) authority! HI-larious.

    Let me assure you, sweetheart, that neither I nor most people here need to trumpet academic credentials, since their certainly better than yours, and we’re as pathetically insecure.

    You mistook an allusion to the ‘state of exception’ in NT – derived from the philosopher Agamben – as a reference to Naomi Klein. You are therefore, quite demonstrably, a joke. Get an education, you ignorant bum.

  97. JC

    As I said earlier, if authorities cannot control drug use in prisons, what hope have they of micromanaging remote communities?

    Then don’t subsidize them.

  98. THR

    Here you go. Child health specialist and former Australian of the year says the Intervention is rubbish.

  99. JC

    THR.

    We have the report that made those claims and that dude. Why is he right and the report wrong?

  100. Peter Patton

    Ah, THR, the gift that keeps on giving. Links to:

    1. The Australian as an authority on Aborigines. While, the Oz HAS been the only media covering intelligently and thoroughly the onhoing tawdriness of Aboriginal NT, for well over a decade, THR usually dismisses it nothing but evil lies. But here we are.

    2. Links to white woman, Fiona Stanley. Fair enough, she IS a doctor, but given the weight of evidence that THR is a racist, he probably should have googled a bit deeper to find one ANY one Aborigine, or something.

  101. THR

    We have the report that made those claims and that dude. Why is he right and the report wrong?

    JC, Howard and Pearson ignored virtually all of the recommendations of the report. The report certainly didn’t mention anything about staging an ’emergency’ and sending in the army, with the media in tow.

  102. Peter Patton

    THR

    To bring your blood pressure off the boil, I’be got a white person we can talked, who bravely told the whole of Australia what was going on, which the ABC FINALLY said ‘Uncle’ when Tony Jones went to the NT, and interviewed Nannette Rogers. One of the MOST important turning points in the whole tawdry melodrama.

  103. THR

    onhoing tawdriness

    Nice slip, Patsy. You’ve just unwittingly described your preoccupations here.

  104. JC

    THR:

    The decision to intervene may or may not have be advised by the report as that can be seen to be the government’s call. The report’s ambit may not have requested to go that far.

    The point is that you argue the report and that Dude had differing opinions as to who was right or wrong.

    Who was?

    Honest question.

  105. THR

    The point is that you argue the report and that Dude had differing opinions as to who was right or wrong.

    Which dude? Pearson?

  106. http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/10072/28177/1/57712_1.pdf

    2002
    Maltreated indigenous children were less likely than non-indigenous children to be the victims of emotional abuse (7% compared with 13%) and sexual abuse (17% compared with 25%). In contrast, indigenous children were more likely than non-indigenous children to be the victims of neglect (43% compared with 28%). Indigenous children were no more likely than non-indigenous children to be the victim of physical abuse (34%; see Figure 5.4)

    ——–

    Look, I don’t have that much faith in the data collection because there are too many ambiguities. But if aboriginal child molestation was nearly as severe as some claim I would expect a much stronger representation in the data. If we can’t find any data to support the claim, only the cultural equivalent of chinese whispers, where is our warrant?

  107. Gabrielle

    There is also the issue of under-reporting:

    For the purposes of this paper, it is sufficient to note that overall, Indigenous people experience violence (as offenders and victims) at rates that are typically two to five times those experienced by non-Indigenous people and this can be much higher in some remote communities (Bryant & Willis 2008; Memmott et al. 2001; Wundersitz 2010). Indigenous women in particular are far more likely to experience violent victimisation, and suffer more serious violence, than non-Indigenous women (Bryant & Willis 2008; Gordon, Hallahan & Henry 2002; Memmott et al. 2001; Mouzos 2001; Wundersitz 2010).

    Information from surveys and inquiries suggests a high proportion of violent victimisation is not disclosed to police (eg ABS 2005, 2002, 1998, 1996; Lievore 2003; Mullighan 2008; ABS NSCU 2005; Wild & Anderson 2007). Rates of non-disclosure are higher in Indigenous than non-Indigenous communities, with studies indicating that around 90 percent of violence against Indigenous women is not disclosed (Robertson 2000; Taylor & Putt 2007), nor most cases of sexual abuse of Indigenous children (Aboriginal Child Sexual Assault Taskforce 2006; Gordon, Hallahan & Henry 2002; Wild & Anderson 2007).

    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/401-420/tandi405.aspx

  108. daddy dave

    When the police entered NT in 2007, they did not find levels of ‘dysfunction’ higher than those that exist elsewhere in Australia.

    endemic alcoholism is dysfunction, regardless of race.

    You’re right that the intervention did not follow the report guidelines. But if I may summarise the report:
    Children are being sytemically abused and neglected! It’s a tragedy! Our suggestion is to solve this through gradual changes that impact future generations but do nothing to help the children of today.
    In short, the recommendations were immoral, given the findings.

    I read the article about the Australian of the Year who’s against the intervention, she said

    “It’s like another blow in the face — that you’re an irresponsible, inadequate group of parents who allowed your children to be abused or abused your children. You’re a bunch of drunks, you don’t work and it’s your fault.”

    But here’s the problem.
    The empirical question is: are they, in fact, allowing their children to be abused? are they a bunch of drunks? If so, then sorry but hurt feelings are a secondary issue.

    THR, you seem quite sure that the report was wrong… I’m afraid it wasn’t.

  109. THR

    The empirical question is: are they, in fact, allowing their children to be abused? are they a bunch of drunks? If so, then sorry but hurt feelings are a secondary issue.

    John H has just supplied data to the contrary. And since when did collective punishment become a proper response to child abuse? There are elevated rates of abuse in Frankston and Moe, but I don’t see anybody suggesting that we send in the military, and ban booze and porn in these places.

  110. THR

    Note also the elision in this statement:

    re they, in fact, allowing their children to be abused? are they a bunch of drunks?

    Even if you could find elevated rates of abuse in Aboriginal communities – and this is questionable – it would in no way justify the sinister, and borderline racist slide into characterising this problem as something which ‘they’ have to be responsible for. ‘They’ currently have no collective rights in NT (less since the intervention), so it’s ludicrous to extrapolate the actions of some to all, and then attribute collective blame to ‘them’.

  111. daddy dave

    John H, that study you link to examines differences in patterns of maltreatment – it is not reporting absolute rates. So it’s not evidence one way or another.

  112. daddy dave

    John H has just supplied data to the contrary.

    No, he hasn’t. Have another look at that data. It’s not base rates.
    I suggest that you and John H go on a field trip. The authors of the report did, and their minds were blown.

    And since when did collective punishment become a proper response to child abuse?

    Well here I agree. But what I’d like to elicit is some kind of acknowledgement that the problem was extreme and that you don’t have any good alternative answers. Unfortunately you’re too deeply cocooned in the soothing denials of the establishment that there’s even a problem.

    In this world view, that you’ve been suckered by, they’re all just sitting around under the stars, doing corroborees, cooking spear-killed kangaroos, and talking of the dreamtime.

  113. THR

    Nonsense, dave. You’ve simply lapsed into condescension. I’m yet to see a single reason why abuse and neglect in the NT is of such a rate that it requires brutal, punitive measures, whilst similar (and worse) problems elsewhere go unnoticed.

    Then there’s the broader philosophical point – can alleged ‘dysfunction’ be addressed through punitive measures? The empirical evidence on this matter, as far as the intervention is concerned, is a resounding no.

  114. daddy dave

    Well, There’s the report itself, Little Children are Sacred. Here’s something that the enquiry found that isn’t in any of the official statistics. This is not the extent, or even the most important thing they found, but it’s concrete example in what’s been a very dry discussion.

    A number of reliable people in one community alleged that a rampant informal sex trade existed between Aboriginal girls aged between 12-15 years, and the non-Aboriginal workers of a mining company. It was alleged that the girls were provided with alcohol, cash and other goods in exchange for sex. It was further alleged that the girls would actively approach the workers and, at times, would climb over the fence into their residential compound.
    The local Police were aware of this “sex trade” and described the workers as the “pied-pipers” for these teenage girls, providing money, material goods, attention and affection. The Police told the Inquiry there was little they could do because of a “culture of silence” among the workers and that the girls themselves would not speak out because they saw themselves gaining from the activity.

    And please stop berating me about things I already have agreed with you on.

  115. daddy dave

    also from the report.

    Further, girls in some communities had become empowered by refusing older men who wanted sex with them, and were themselves actively pursuing young men in the community. In some communities, the Inquiry heard that the boys would joke about who was going to be the first to have sex with those girls that are almost “ready” for sex. In a more sinister development, the boys in some communities coerced girls to have sex with them and, in one community, it was reported that girls did not understand that they had a choice to refuse sex. They accepted that if they walked around at night they were available for sex.

  116. John H, that study you link to examines differences in patterns of maltreatment – it is not reporting absolute rates. So it’s not evidence one way or another.

    It does that in other areas DD but that is not my concern but I think you’re trying to hard with that argument because you damn well we can’t obtain absolute figures about lots of indicators. My concern is comparative figures. If we are going to assert higher rates, higher relative to what? Without such a comparison absolute rates are meaningless to this discussion. If you look at the link Gabrielle provided you will that the “reluctance to report” surveys in no way support the claim of some rampant problem in indigenous communities. Yes, indigenous people are less reluctant to report but we’re talk about 10-20% differences here. Not enough.

    But while I was away I was exploring a different angle: sexually transmitted diseases as a marker. It is true that indigenous groups have multiple higher rates and this is reflected in the younger age groups but unfortunately the “younger” crosses over into ages for sexual activity in late teens. Nonetheless, that data does suggest something. And sadly I can think of confounders there. Eg. In a perfect world I would test for antibody positive results, it may be the case that many of us whiteys have resistance to STIs and would test antibody positive but without pathology. Whereas it is much more likely that aborigines have much less resistance. That, however, is a rather tendentious approach …

    What is amazing though is that for all the hullabaloo about this there has been so little effort to obtain clear substantive data by the relevant research communities. Another confounder: it is not unknown that aborigines have been actively discouraged from providing information and submitting to medical tests for said purposes.

    In short DD, it is a hopeless empirical muddle.

  117. THR

    In the broader community, sexual assaults against women are disturbingly high:

    http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/statistics.html

    Why is it only an ’emergency’ when black folk are involved?

  118. daddy dave

    What is amazing though is that for all the hullabaloo about this there has been so little effort to obtain clear substantive data by the relevant research communities.

    Indeed. And there’s nothing in the statistics that captured the qualitative information above – a community where girls expected to be available for sex if they were out after sunset.

    In short DD, it is a hopeless empirical muddle.

    Yes it is.

  119. Peter Patton

    THR

    You mistook an allusion to the ‘state of exception’ in NT – derived from the philosopher Agamben – as a reference to Naomi Klein. You are therefore, quite demonstrably, a joke. Get an education, you ignorant bum

    Apart from you being strongly advised not to try and bait and switch the thread to jurisprudence, it is probably in your best interests that we take you through your claims and line of argument here.

    1.My mention of Klein was neither a failure to recognize an illusion to a jurisprudential/[political philosophy] concept – “state of exception” – nor of the concept’s originator [or well known publicist]. So my reference to Naomi Klein was not an ignorant attribution of that concept to Klein, rather than Agamben. If anything, it is you who mistook an illusion, when you imposed Naomi Klein..

    Why?

    You are the first one to raise Klein. It is YOU who mistook ‘Shook Therapy’ as an allusion to Naomi Klein. After I posted mentioning the examples of Pericles, Augustus, Lee Kuan Yu, you stumbled about, saying

    So, essentially you agree with Naomi Klein? All that fussin’ and feudin’, and you were never anything but a limp-wristed Keynesian?

    Bizarre.

  120. Peter Patton

    THR

    Thank you dumping a link to data. We seem to be getting somewhere with you. Now, could try and link to data actually relevant to the discussion. For example, it would be wonderful if you could follow through with your tantalizing claims above, such as:

    In fact, data I’ve seen suggests that some parts of Sydney and Melbourne are far more likely to have a problem with sexual abuse, yet Aborigines were singled-out for special treatment.

    Given you’ve actually seen this data, no doubt it will take you no time to drop a URL for the rest of us.

  121. .

    Data, leprechauns and Aborigines… just sayin’

  122. Peter Patton

    THR asks:

    Ad hom, and a racist one at that. Who the fuck are you to decide who’s Aborigine and who isn’t?

    What was my alleged ad hom? My pointing out that Chris Graham was not an Aborigine. I did not add that data point in my capacity as Chief Decider of Who Is An Aborigine And by What Means Did They Become One?

    Rather, I was pointing out that THR made claims that he was merely repeating criticisms of Pearson made by Aborigines, which he sounght to prove with a link to an article by Graham.

    THR, I am me to decide Graham is white, and not an Aborigine; an assessment he, which he himself completely concurs, and which not one person on earth disputes. Does that answer your question?

  123. THR

    It is YOU who mistook ‘Shook Therapy’ as an allusion to Naomi Klein.

    Don’t be a dope. You mentioned how ‘Shock Therapy’ had ‘fucked’ a number of people. If that’s not an allusion to Klein, what is.

    Given you’ve actually seen this data, no doubt it will take you no time to drop a URL for the rest of us.

    I’ve already done so, to the extent that it’s possible. (Victorian authorities do not make data on abuse rates by area/demographic publically available). The average woman in Australia has a 1 in 5 lifetime chance of being sexually assaulted after age 15, and this is almost certainly a huge underestimate. But you want to pretend that the ’emergency’ is limited to Aborigines, and to be solved only by 99-year leases and income management.

  124. Peter Patton

    THR

    You claim that

    Complete and utter rubbish. Not a single ‘child molester’ has been charged in the NT intervention

    Would you be able to direct us to where you got this data? I just want to make sure that my sources, which report an increase in convictions for child sexual in Intervention Aboriginal communities from 2006 to 2009, and a TRIPLING of “confirmed incidences of sexual abuse”.

  125. .

    (Victorian authorities do not make data on abuse rates by area/demographic publically available).

    It’s conjecture then. At least you’re trying to argue in good faith it’s an emotional issue, well done.

  126. .

    THR – Patton’s increase figure infers that SOME kind of intervention was worth it. Do you not agree?

  127. daddy dave

    But you want to pretend that the ‘emergency’ is limited to Aborigines, and to be solved only by 99-year leases and income management.

    Who’s pretending that?
    FWIW I take your knowledge of Victorian figures at face value. But, THR, I’m not sure who you’re arguing with, or indeed what your position is.
    You’re against the intervention. Okay, we get that.
    ‘There is child abuse everywhere, not just in aboriginal communities.’ No argument.

    But can you acknowledge that the problem was seen to have moved beyond the bounds steady-as-she-goes management. What was the appropriate response to Little Children Are Sacred? Send it to a committee?

  128. Peter Patton

    You mentioned how ‘Shock Therapy’ had ‘fucked’ a number of people. If that’s not an allusion to Klein, what is

    Actually, I even quite explicitly said, both originally, and then in response, and now again this morning, I was, not even alluding to, actually stating folks like Pericles, Augustus, and Lee Kuan Yew, as examples of successes of ‘Shock Therapy’. Failures are everywhere, but include the Bolsheviks, such as Lenin, and of course Pol Pot, Mao. Once more, as I said above (what is it with your short AND long-term memory), Naomi Klein is not a member of the same set. She has never been anything like a political leader overseeing a Shock Therapy program.

  129. Peter Patton

    Don’t forget the Little Children Report was commissioned by the Martin ALP NT government, not the Commonwealth. And if you actually read it, is as useless as pockets in underpants. Full of luvvie social work mewling and ignorant black armband rants, but empty of real data.

  130. daddy dave

    empty of real data.

    It does have qualitative accounts like the ones I posted above. But yes – it’s hard to get a sense of the scope of the problem from the report, other than a lot of wailing and renting of garments.

    But as John H said above, that’s an endemic problem with this issue. Lots of people writing reports but very little data that you can sink your teeth into.

  131. Peter Patton

    I’ve already done so, to the extent that it’s possible.

    Where? Not on this thread, you haven’t? Could you link to where you did this?

    (Victorian authorities do not make data on abuse rates by area/demographic publically available)

    Unfortunately, THR, given the number of lies you have told on this thread alone, which have been exposed, even by the very sources you claim, I don’t believe you here. I don’t have any info myself, it’s just you are such a liar, especially about data.

  132. Peter Patton

    The Avian Oracle is spot on here:

    “I work under the theory, that people who don’t like Noel Pearson are evil”.

    http://graemebird.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/australian-academy-of-science-liars/#comment-34810

  133. .

    THR – Patton’s increase figure infers that SOME kind of intervention was worth it. Do you not agree?

    No answer. Game over. Bird may be right. I’m scared.

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