Peter O’Brien: Paul Kelly on Reconciliation

For some reason that I can’t fathom, Paul Kelly is regarded as something of a giant among the political scribblers who now routinely pull the strings of our marionette politicians.

In his Wikipedia entry he is described as a ‘conservative’ political journalist.  He may be conservative in name but much of his writing exhibits a decidedly pronounced lean to the Left and he is not above distorting, even misrepresenting,  the facts to buttress his own  ideological mindset.

Let me give you one example from a year or so ago.

In the context of the failed ALP bid for the Senate to petition the Governor General to dismiss Dyson Heydon from the Trade Union Royal Commission, Kelly, writing in The Australian, said:

The principles here are exactly the same as in the 1975 crisis. On that occasion the governor-general, Sir John Kerr, acted on a motion passed by the Senate, defied the advice of the prime minister, broke the conventions surrounding his office and took a unilateral decision to preference the wishes of the Senate over the position of the executive government.

This is blatantly untrue and Kelly must know that.  There was no motion passed by the Senate to dismiss Whitlam.  And, as far as I am aware, I am the only person who has called Kelly out on this.

Now is Kelly is up to his old tricks again.

In yesterday’s Australian, he has a piece on Reconciliation, the main thrust of which, not unreasonably, suggests that indigenous activists, and their useful idiot cheer squads in the ALP and Greens, need to abandon their divisive rhetoric surrounding Australia Day and memorials.  However, the general tone of the article highlights Kelly’s credential as a genuine, whatever-it-takes, Left wing ideologue.

For a start, he tells us:

There are two tough principles at the heart of this. First, there can be no full justice or restitution for the enormous crimes and sins committed against the indigenous peoples, though this cannot gainsay efforts to address injustice against them; and, second, this is a dialogue between two different cultures, both of which have legitimate claims on this continent, with such legitimacy needing to be recognised by the other. Without acceptance of these harsh realities, we are collectively doomed.

The purported aim of Kelly’s piece is to promote a civil dialogue between mainstream Australia and the Indigenous population.  Telling one side that they have suffered ‘enormous crimes and sins’ for which there can be no ‘full justice or restitution’ seems more like pouring oil on flames.  To then augment that sense of grievance by suggesting that both sides have legitimate claims on the continent  (apparently legitimizing the idea of some form of Aboriginal sovereignty)  doesn’t leave a lot of incentive for indigenous activists (who, let’s face it, are driving this issue)  to moderate their demands.   In fact, Aboriginal culture has no claim on the continent because it never exercised sovereignty, in any meaningful modern sense, over the continent.

And let’s look at the ‘enormous crimes and sins committed against the indigenous peoples’.    These take two forms.  The first encompasses, yes,  the undoubted incidents of murder, violence, enslavement, discrimination and so on against individual members of the indigenous clans.  For those victims of past injustice there can be no restitution.  That is unfortunate but, insofar as they were ever conducted on an ‘enormous’ scale, they are well in the past and current generations are not materially affected at a personal level by these events.   That is not to say that this type of injustice does not still occur from time to time but it is not systemic and full restitution is available to victims under our laws.  And it is not to say that current generations should not be saddened, even angry, about these events.   But they should not shape our current debate about the way forward.  Using emotive language like ‘enormous crimes’ just feeds into the ‘genocide’ meme that we now hear, all too often, from activists.

The other form of ‘crime’ which we have committed is the overarching one relating to the debasement (even eradication) of traditional aboriginal culture and the way in which this has impinged upon the lives of those living in remote areas.   Again that is a tragedy, but one that was always going to happen as the modern world inevitably made its presence felt on this continent.  There is no going back to the past on Aboriginal culture and there are already enormous efforts underway to preserve what’s left of it.  The tragedy is not that Aboriginal culture became obsolete but that the speed with which it happened has caused serious problems for those who have been unable to adapt.  That is what we have to deal with and it demands practical solutions not symbolic ones that, on one hand, will do nothing for Aboriginal disadvantage but on the other hand would damage our polity.

Now we come to the bit where Kelly, again, propagates a false narrative:

For Aborigines, Federation in 1901 meant nothing and gave them nothing. The founders believed they were a dying race. In 1902, in a shameful act, the new parliament legislated a uniform franchise for elections, giving the vote to men and women and denying it to Aborigines. Racism lay at the heart of the new nation.

For a start, Kelly’s assertion that ‘the founders’ believed they were a dying race’ is just throwaway line with no basis in fact.  Who are ‘the founders’ who believed this?  If we narrow the definition of ‘founders’ to those who were most instrumental in framing the Constitution we find a group of men who were at the forefront of ‘progressive’ thinking  for their time.  In particular, Charles Kingston, as Premier of South Australia legislated in 1895 to allow women, which included aboriginal women,  to vote – seven years before any woman in the other colonies got the vote.  By the time of Federation, aborigines, along with all 21 year old males, had the right to vote in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.  Section 41 of the Constitution mandated that these aborigines could not be denied the vote in Federal elections.   And Section 25 was intended to encourage Queensland and Western Australia to extend the vote to aborigines or, at the very least, to disadvantage them for not doing so.

And to put Kelly’s hyperbolic claim that ‘racism lay at the heart of the new nation’ in context, by 1860 aboriginal men had the vote in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.  That was less than thirty years since the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and five years before it was abolished in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Yes, the Commonwealth Franchise Act of 1902 did deny the vote to aborigines who did not already have it i.e. those residing in Queensland and Western Australia.  That was shameful, but that result was not intended in the Constitution and only appeared in the Act after considerable debate, with many Members and Senators opposing it.  The original bill, presented to the Parliament, did not have this provision in it.

To be fair, there are claims that, after Federation, many aborigines legally entitled to vote were refused enrolment.  That may or may not be true – there are so many myths surrounding this issue – but if so they would be instances of bureaucratic overreach and, yes, even sheer bastardry.  If they occurred they were not sanctioned by either the Constitution or the Electoral Act.  We have to evaluate these claims, which are largely anecdotal, against the written evidence of the Constitution and the Electoral Acts of both the Commonwealth and the States.   Kelly’s claim implies that all aborigines were denied the vote by Act of Parliament and that is patently false.

(This issue of the right to vote is very comprehensively addressed by Keith Windschuttle in his excellent and very readable book The Breakup of Australia.  I urge anyone interested in this topic to get hold of it.)

Kelly then makes a valid point which is greatly devalued by his resort to identity politics:

If indigenous leaders want to tear down the past they will find a populist right-wing reaction against them. Everybody will be the loser.

If Kelly thinks opposition to historical revisionism is ‘populist’ and solely the province of the ‘right wing’, he has been too long in his Fourth Estate ivory tower.  This is clearly a pejorative usage and it is this kind of inflammatory language that militates against the civil debate that Kelly claims to want.

And finally:

The moral crimes against the Aboriginal people mean the work of reconciliation is never done — yet our obligation is to find a way to live together.

What does Kelly mean?  Is reconciliation a magic pudding that can be dipped into generation after generation?   If ‘reconciliation’ means anything it must involve a closure.  There must be some point at which it is done and dusted.  The only problem is that, on this issue, it’s a moving feast and only one side gets to decide when it’s complete.  And we know which side that is, don’t we?

I wonder how many indigenous people would care a fig about recognition or reconciliation if they weren’t being constantly reminded, by a clique of indigenous academics whose comfortable sinecures derive from the very events that they claim to deplore, that they should, indeed must, feel aggrieved?   And as to the remote area indigenes, who do live in fourth world conditions, how genuine is the grief and compassion they feel for long dead ancestors and a culture that had largely disappeared before they were born, when many of them can’t be bothered sending their kids to school or keeping them safe from predation?

For a supposedly eminent wordsmith, Kelly is very careless with the tools of his trade.

This entry was posted in Guest Post, History. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Peter O’Brien: Paul Kelly on Reconciliation

  1. test pattern

    ‘let’s look at the ‘enormous crimes and sins committed against the indigenous peoples’

    Ok. Let’s.

    Slavery on the WA Goldfields 1905, and a Blackbirding Magistrate

    ‘Never in the world’s history have such barbarities been enacted as sullied the winning of the land of Westralia from the black people. Slavery, neckchains, flogging, rapine, and debauchery have been their lot ever since the cattle men and the pearl-fishers and in some cases the prospectors came to contaminate the native race with their polluted presence. We defy the apologist of black slavery to cite a parallel instance of slavery to that which stains the manhood of West Australia…There is a man on the goldfields-a man with large interests in the place who openly boasts he has shot down over one hundred blacks…

    …The black boy, it appears, was “contracted” to one MacMahon … MacMahon subsequently became interested in a Bulong hotel, and the slave was sent over to act as a yardman at the new place of business. To his credit be it said, the transfer didn’t suit the black. He absconded, and made his way into Kalgoorlie. Here he was promptly arrested, taken to Coolgardie and charged with absenting himself from his “contracted” employment. The much-initialled Cohn, who also enjoys the distinction of owning a “contracted” native, and is evidently an advocate of the institution, announced from the bench that it was himself who had suggested the enslavement…of the boy, and as a matter of fact had drawn up the contract. The Blackbirder magistrate then offered the black the option of going back to the pubbery or undergoing durance vile in gaol. We have always been under the impression that there was an unwritten law that no magistrate should adjudicate in a case in which he was, however remotely, interested…’

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/57205142?

  2. struth

    Kelly, like most of them, is a racist.

    No one can represent a race.
    Not everyone from the same race thinks the same.

    If you travelled back in time and took a stone age baby and brought it back to the 21st century, it would be able to grasp the modern world as easy as a baby born into it today.

    That is an important thing to get across to the racists calling “them” unable to cope with the modern world.
    Complete bullshit.

    The aboriginal problem is completely due to welfare and apartheid their so called representatives force on them (the likes Paul Kelly listens to like the dumb townie he is) so they can grab power by keeping their fellow man down.

    Too many insulated racists have too much to say about this.
    Paul Kelly is one of them.

  3. struth

    Kelly, like most of them, is a racist.

    No one can represent a race.
    Not everyone from the same race thinks the same.

    If you travelled back in time and took a stone age baby and brought it back to the 21st century, it would be able to grasp the modern world as easy as a baby born into it today.

    That is an important thing to get across to the racists calling “them” unable to cope with the modern world.
    Complete bullshit.

    The aboriginal problem is completely due to welfare and a par theid (This word gets you into moderation?) their so called representatives force on them (the likes Paul Kelly listens to like the dumb townie he is) so they can grab power by keeping their fellow man down.

    Too many insulated racists have too much to say about this.
    Paul Kelly is one of them.

  4. Rebel with cause

    Great post. Bravo.

  5. Haidee

    ‘Reconciliation’
    It’s entirely the wrong word – for what is actually desired by activists.
    It doesn’t mean ongoing. I’m not sure if it were Church activists who suggested in the first place that
    this would be a good-sounding word for what was being planned.

    Enter, ‘Recognition’
    It’s all so contrived

  6. Lem

    I am sorry for how the aborigines were treated before I was born.
    I am sorry for how the Americans in the deep south were treated before I was born.
    Iam sorry for how the English treated the Irish before I was born.
    I am sorry for how the Norman French treated the indigenous English before I was born.
    I am sorry for how the neanderthals were treated by invading tribes into Europe before I was born.

    But please tell me, when can the genetic strain this ageing body carries be forgiven for the sins of its forbears Paul Kelly?

  7. test pattern

    ‘Reconciliation’

    Can only be achieved AFTER the establishment of truth, then justice, and restitution. We aren’t even at the first stage yet and Kelly should know this. What form will justice take? Transitional, retributive, restorative? Kelly complicates the issue by making the process conditional upon morality, religious ie superstitious language. There are ethical alternatives – but all will require restorative justice.

    ‘indigenous activists, and their useful idiot cheer squads in the ALP and Greens’

    How ironic. Not so long ago Indigenous activists were stigmatised by the Right as useful idiots of the Communist Party. Your emotive and contemporary attempt to stigmatise is just as mistaken now as it was some decades ago. It’s polemic, not honest appraisal.

    ‘Divisive rhetoric’

    This is how Australian politics works. Our system is Oppositional. Conflict is first created, managed, mediated.

    ‘the ‘genocide’ meme’

    Is not a meme. Genocide is defined in International law. Proving genocide requires a study of each discreet language group that has ceased to exist since contact and establishing intent.

    ‘the founders’ believed they were a dying race’

    Is correct for WA. The Dying Race theory was Social Darwinism, which rose to prominence during the lifetimes of WA’s founders.

    ‘I wonder how many indigenous people would care a fig about recognition or reconciliation’

    Nearly all. If you had talked to enough Firsts you would already know this.

  8. A Lurker

    If there wasn’t money, power, influence and free-stuff to be had from sitting in a Victim Box, then I dare say most of those professing professional victim hood status because of their gender/religion/race/class etc., would instantly up and relocate themselves elsewhere.

  9. Rebel with cause

    Native title is paternalistic. If someone can’t sell the land then they don’t own it.

    If we want to see Aboriginal communities standing on their own two feet then we need to enable the institutions we know are necessary for that to happen – the rule of law, private property and low taxation.

    Most Aboriginal communities today have none of these things. That’s what is third world about them.

  10. Snoopy

    It’s interesting to note that somewhere in the early 1970’s the word Aborigine became unmentionable. To put it bluntly it implied pure blood descent.

  11. Rabz

    Paul Kelly is wrong (again).

    This simple rule can be applied to everything he ever writes, on any subject.

  12. notafan

    Hear, hear.

    I’m sick of being asked to redress past injustices that affect no living person.

    I doubt the collective experience of 19th Century Aborigines in any way parallels the suffering of the Irish, many of whom have clearly intermarried with them but hey genocide, if you say it often enough it becomes true.

    Money, that whitey thing that has no place in the Aboriginal psyche , will fix it.

  13. Confused Old Misfit

    Test Pattern needs to adjust its brightness & contrast.

  14. Muddy

    While we continue to permit and promote the notion that who you are is more important (valued greater) than what you do, these and other illformed amalgams will always be available for striking on the anvil of history. The sparks and sounds captivate the easily distracted and theatre becomes a product.

  15. test pattern

    ‘Test Pattern needs to adjust its brightness & contrast’

    I am a palimpsest, project onto me what u will

  16. Davey Boy

    Good luck finding any copies of Keith Windschuttle’s books in your local library, based on my experience they have all been ‘lost’ (something which KW actually notes in his books) and in one case it was not possible to borrow the one book I did track down, it could not be removed from the library because it was their “reference copy”. KW’s books can be bought online if you search hard enough but it seems to me that not many booksellers have them in their catalogue.

  17. Peter O'Brien

    KW’s books can be bought online if you search hard enough but it seems to me that not many booksellers have them in their catalogue.

    You can get it online at Quadrant Online. It’s very good value.

  18. jupes

    For some reason that I can’t fathom, Paul Kelly is regarded as something of a giant among the political scribblers who now routinely pull the strings of our marionette politicians.

    Excellent article Peter.

    Kelly is a fraud. Rabz as usual is correct when he says “Paul Kelly is wrong (again)”.

    In my lifetime, more crime has been committed by Aborigines against other Australians than the other way round. That is certainly my personal experience. They owe us an apology. Especially when you consider the billions of taxpayer dollars we continue to give them.

  19. Jannie

    Paul Kelly is a solid part of the establishment and like Triggs is a Leftist. By claiming to be conservative, he pronounces anybody to the right of him an extremist or a Nazi. Like most on the Left he disguises his politics by claiming to be conservative or moderate. That’s why in Australia a “fiscal conservative” taxes borrows and spends like a drunken sailor in a brothel.

  20. test pattern

    ‘Good luck finding any copies of Keith Windschuttle’s books in your local library, based on my experience they have all been ‘lost’ (something which KW actually notes in his books)’

    Oh great another conspiracy nutter.

    Tell u what, u gotta get urself an ISBN for everything u publish that way u have to give a copy to Canberra and the State library and they can’t get rid of it from their records. eg I’m a researcher and I want to make sure there’s no political agenda to bury my work. Now fuck off to ur grassy knoll.

  21. john malpas

    as a matter of interest why should us later immigrants give a damn about any of this?
    As it happens we have been taxed ad lib to pay for the millions that appeared after 1961.
    Or is it policy to affix a stigma on all whites?

  22. test pattern

    Slavery or Extermination – what the British offered. Qld 1864

    ‘Now there are various ways in which we may demean ourselves towards the original inhabitants of the country, and these we may briefly notice, for they have almost all been already tried. First, we may shoot them down. This, there can be no doubt, is the most effectual way of removing the difficulty, and from
    its obvious facility has been the most frequently tried. Kindred to this is the method of giving them poisoned flour; and we are acquainted with a gentleman — (it was no secret) — who in one evening thus removed a whole tribe. At sunset they were seen ravenously drinking water in a creek ; the morning dawn rose on the whole tribe stark dead on the bank….

    ‘… it is English to poison them with grog, for it is the way our fathers did ; it is English to shoot them down like dogs. It is thus Brittania has founded all her infant empires ; — but make slaves of them on British soil ! that may never be. Fellow colonists, the blood of murdered blacks is on our hands ; as a colony, that blood
    will rest upon our heads, a curse. Can nothing be done to stay this wholesale murder? We have tried every scheme consistent with English ideas, and it has failed; we are leaving them to the well-known blessings of our British rule — extermination. And is there no one with the courage to stand boldly forth, hurl defiance at the sneer and the scorn of the narrow-minded who durst try nothing that has been never tried before ; and despite the prejudices of Britons proud of their stubbornness, firmly grasp and once for all effectually deal with this ever-recurring aboriginal difficulty. Call it not slavery — call it apprenticeship to civilization ; call it not not tyranny — it is protection ; call it not cruelty — it is mercy. Let not our infant history be black with the gore of the old possessors of the country. If they must die, let them die in peace, unmolested by the whistling rifle ball, unpoisoned and unmaddened by our burning waters. Let them die as their fathers died, even if children do not rise to take their place; and though future chroniclers should rise and tell of us that in our day ‘the natives of Australia died, let us not at least be placed in the same niche of
    history with the bloodhounds of Peru.’

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/150317427?

  23. Jeremy

    Which political office does test pattern work in?

  24. Haidee

    “The subject of our aborigines has lately been presented to our readers AD NAUSEAM” –
    The Chronicle June 30th, 1864

    Well, the aboriginal people have survived.
    Most Australians today have listened; and don’t want to hear anymore.
    And it never did anyone any good to dwell on the past

  25. wal1957

    The Aboriginal Industry will still be going in a hundred years.
    The gravy train just keeps on giving.
    FMD!

  26. Deplorable

    The Gippsland blacks, Omeo and others are cannibals, so far as eating their enemies – all my blacks that they have killed they eat – and when capture any of another tribe at a distance if practicable bring them prisoner giving them food etc9 till arrive at their tribe, when a Grand feed. They watch over him at night, making him sleep in the middle of them, some invariably watch at night – their victim was always killed by Tomahawk at back of the neck – married men and chiefs alone eat the manfood – single men, women and children don’t partake.10

  27. Deplorable

    gave me the names. The natives of Gippsland have killed 70 of the Boongerong at Brighton.28 In a subsequent account Thomas gives more detail: blacks remember the awful affair at Warrowen (place of sorrow) near where Brighton now stands, where in 1834 nearly a quarter of the Western Port blacks were massacred by the Gippsland blacks who stole up on them before dawn of day.

    From “I succeeded once” ANU

  28. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    their victim was always killed by Tomahawk at back of the neck – married men and chiefs alone eat the manfood – single men, women and children don’t partake.10

    “The policeman, who would have been hard held to find his way around the Melbourne Art Gallery, and knew as much about tracking as Jumbo did about algebra, insisted on taking charge. At a camp near the Victoria Gorge, where they should have overtaken their quarry, all they found were holes full of warm ashes. The blackboys tested in those with sticks, and out of one dug the lightly baked body of a girl baby trussed like a fowl and wrapped in bark.

    The officer in charge was suddnly and violently ill.

    “I,” Dad recalled “had a very slippery hold on things myself, even Bob Anderson was looking green. When one of the police trackers remarked, quite conversationally “Plenty good tucker that one, too,” that’s the nearest I’ve ever been to shooting a blackfellow in cold blood.”

    The chase was abandoned. The police officer, so the yarn went, had his resignation written out, before he got back to Timber Creek.”

  29. Jimf

    Indigenous geo-politics is a complex thing . You have the history of urban indigenous who,like many of the broader white working (or not) class have over decades struggled with lack of means and the social ,familial struggles that go with all that. Then there’s the regional indigenous (Walgett , Moree , Robinvale etc) who because of small town intimacies know and are known by all in the community. Some go well and are productive members of the community and some don’t/can’t. Alcohol etc plagues these families like it does fringe white families.Despite all the dysfunction, these families are still engaged with and part of the broader community .I was raised in one such area in NW Vic-S/W NSW.
    Then finally there’s these completely without hope remote / central Australian communities that simply by location are condemned to subsistence lives. The left notion of autonomy and “noble warrior” is the sick joke with these poor blighted buggers.
    All the hand wringing about “opportunity” and “equality” for the indigenous people in this country is ultimately paternalistic and racist . The accusation levelled at the ABC of the “soft bigotry of
    low expectation” is spot on. In the first 70 years of the last century our attitudes were without doubt racist (tho I dispute the stolen gen argument) in an overt way. In the last 40 years our policy makers and opinion leaders have equally done a disservice. Welfare , victimhood, incubated and entrenched lack of accountability for their own choices has done no favours for many urban , regional and outback aboriginals.
    Only one answer: education. Whatever it takes , and I mean whatever it takes , to get future indigenous kids to stay at school is the ONLY answer. They must be allowed to break the chains .
    Ironically the sort of programs that give a flicker of hope such as “the intervention” 10 years back will be derailed by progressives who won’t understand that in order to break this doom, rights and feelings have to be set aside.

  30. Jimf

    Dedicated hand-wringers like Test Pattern, committed to historical reparations, fantasising about some magic gesture or white epiphany (Krudd) that changes everything, are typical of the do-good smotherers who think the good is the enemy of the perfect. Broader Australia cares , but only in inner city liberal bubbles does that care have an open cheque. The rest of us are weary,cynical,trying to get ahead ourselves and over it .

  31. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Dedicated hand-wringers like Test Pattern, committed to historical reparations, fantasising about some magic gesture or white epiphany (Krudd) that changes everything, are typical of the do-good smotherers who think the good is the enemy of the perfect. Broader Australia cares , but only in inner city liberal bubbles does that care have an open cheque. The rest of us are weary,cynical,trying to get ahead ourselves and over it .

    Test Pattern can’t face the truth. He’s posting from the North West of Western Australia, where my family first went to in the early 1860’s. They were stock men, station managers, bush publicans, police officers and drove for Cobb and Co, until the mid 1970’s. I could name the stations they ran, but I just can’t be arsed.

  32. JohnA

    a dialogue between two different cultures, both of which have legitimate claims on this continent

    Mr Kelly makes another significant mistake here (or is it that he has a blind spot?): equating two “cultures” which are unequal.

  33. ArthurB

    Re Keith Windschuttle’s books: there is a German word, which I can’t remember, which can be translated as ‘death by silence,’ it is a technique used by the Left in this country to deal with any book or documentary which doesn’t conform to the black armband view of our history. I have read the volume of The Fabrication of Aboriginal History which deals with Western Australia, it is based on extensive research, yet I have never seen it cited, except to discredit it. The same thing happened to Chris Kenny’s book on the South Australian dissident Aboriginal women.

    I have not read much about Aborigines in the other Australian colonies, but I have studied the newspapers and other records of Western Australia, and I have concluded that before the beginning of the gold rushes, around 1885, relations between Aborigines and colonists were comparatively peaceful. The only major confrontation was the so-called Battle of Pinjarra, in 1834, studies of the available evidence show that perhaps 20 or 25 Aborigines were killed, and one white Army officer. The records also show that many of the colonists, particularly those in rural areas, acquired a deep knowledge of Aboriginal culture and languages. They did not, however, have too many illusions about traditional culture, the violence, the revenge killings, and the treatment of their women. There is also no doubt that cannibalism, particularly in the area around Geraldton, was part of their way of life.

    Things changed radically with the advent of the gold rushes, some of the prospectors were indeed guilty of harsh treatment of the Aborigines.

    I can’t see how ‘traditional’ Aboriginal culture can be revived, in the settled parts of WA the Aboriginal languages – and, therefore, much of their culture – have been lost. Government policy has, for the most part, been a disaster, and has encouraged the Aborigines and their white advisers to pursue separatism, instead of co-existence.

  34. Crossie

    Thanks Peter O’Brien for reading that tosh so we don’t have to. If that man ever wrote anything conservative or sensible it would be by accident.

  35. Mark A

    ArthurB
    #2484817, posted on September 1, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Totschweigen

  36. Muddy

    ArthurB.
    ‘Co-existence’ seems to be another one of those filthy, raycist words/concepts.

  37. Wilma

    Paul Kelly a conservative?: What a laugh.

  38. Oh come on

    ‘Test Pattern needs to adjust its brightness & contrast’

    I am a palimpsest, project onto me what u will

    The vertical hold is totally cactus, however. There ain’t no adjusting that unit to make it watchable. Totally beyond repair.

    Much like the modern Liberal Party, really.

  39. Haidee

    Totschweigtaktik was used against writer Christopher Koch and lovely Shelley Gare.
    Craven was a prime-mover.

    Aboriginals were hunters and gatherers. That’s about it.
    Linda Burney is the face and voice of bitterness and seething resentment of the
    “we’ll-never-be-satisfied” mob.

  40. MACK

    Paul Kelly, Michelle Grattan, Laurie Oakes, Laura Tingle, Barrie Cassidy – all superficial left-wing political gossips. Free of facts, data, or any understanding of economics, science or technology. Why would anyone take any notice of anything they say?

  41. Yohan

    The OP and a lot of people here have got Paul Kelly wrong.

    He is not really a commentator, but more a reporter of prevailing sentiment in Liberal/Conservative Inc circles. That’s why he seems mostly left-wing in recent years. He repeats the elite narrative in an almost Asperger like fashion.

    He is a useful weather vane if you want to know what top Liberal party elites are thinking.

  42. yarpos

    “In fact, Aboriginal culture has no claim on the continent because it never exercised sovereignty, in any meaningful modern sense, over the continent.”

    Just a anglo law construct therefore not relevant, aboriginal law will apply. This has the fortunate characteristic of being whatever somebody reckons at the time.

  43. test pattern

    ‘populist right-wing reaction’

    Indigenous people have suffered populist right-wing reactions before. After all, populist right wing reactions were responsible for the revenge parties and massacres, authorised and vigilante, that contributed to genocide. Yes, the same people are still around today.

    The two newspaper articles of the day, 1905 and 1864, two among hundreds I could post, demonstrate that the events some people try to deny today were never denied at the time. There was no secret about what was being done. The attitudes exhibited in those two examplar pieces are the same as those of so many commenters here in 2017.

    First line of defence is denialism. When that fails second line is ‘so what, it’s in the past, we can’t change the past blah blah.’ Third line is the same as the voices of last century, and the one before that – we had a right to take the land because we are a superior race, more intelligent blah blah.’

    After two centuries the same voices are still around, peddling the same apologetics. What are the implications of this for reconciliation in 2017?

    These voices will become fewer as the elderly pass away but, like the poor, some deplorables will always be with us. They will never accept the truth, which must nevertheless be established. The Truth and Justice Commission is an essential first step, THE essential first step. Then what flows from that process must be taught in schools from primary up.

    Marcia, Noel et al must not force this process. Marcia gave the game away recently when she opined that she’d be dead before anything changed. So what Marcia. Suck it up and let the next generation take over – they’re better educated and more experienced than your’s. Let a T&J process work it’s way through the nation’s schools. It will take a generation.

  44. test pattern

    ‘where my family first went to in the early 1860’s’

    No, they didn’t. More confabulation from WA’s official fantasy etrangler. Your lies are becoming ever more desperate and bizarre cokebottle.

  45. ArthurB

    Mark A, Haidee: thanks for your comments, and providing the word that I had forgotten. Re Shelley Gare: IIRC she wrote an article on the subject in Quadrant about ten years ago.

    “Aboriginal” culture is quite flexible and adaptable. Recently I have had conversations with a couple of persons who were involved in a native title claim in WA some years ago. During the hearings the defence cited various anthropological studies carried out in the first half of the 20th century, which showed that the Aborigines who were consulted had virtually no knowledge of traditional culture. To the dismay of the defence, the judge hearing the case ignored the anthropological studies, and took the view that Aboriginal culture is what the current generation of Aboriginal activists say it is.

  46. Haidee

    They considered themselves superior because the natives had nothing to show for being on the continent for thousands of years. I’m afraid that cannot be denied.

    “we had a right to take the land”
    Generations may be better educated; but who are the people prepared to give up their spread, or backyard, because two hundred years ago the settlers – settled.

  47. test pattern

    ‘Only one answer: education. Whatever it takes , and I mean whatever it takes , to get future indigenous kids to stay at school is the ONLY answer. They must be allowed to break the chains .
    Ironically the sort of programs that give a flicker of hope such as “the intervention” 10 years back will be derailed by progressives who won’t understand that in order to break this doom, rights and feelings have to be set aside’

    Yes to education. Don’t conflate it with the disastrous intervention. Sacrifices have to be made but rights do not have to be set aside.

    My wife and I moved the family to Perth to ensure our kids get the best education. They can’t get it anywhere in the north. It wasn’t hard for them because they’d gone to international schools overseas – it would have been cruel to drop them in a hole like Darwin, no matter how much their parents love that hole. We made the sacrifices, for them. Not everyone wants to do it, they’ll do it their own way. Kormilda College and Batchelor have been doing good work for decades. Broome is developing a nice education hub. No rights need to be sacrificed you dolt.

  48. ArthurB

    Test Pattern: will your Truth and Justice Commission also investigate the dark side of traditional Aboriginal culture, such as infanticide, cannibalism, inter-tribal fights, revenge killings, violence against women, etc? Will it inquire into the levels of violence in remote Aboriginal communities?

  49. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Test Pattern: will your Truth and Justice Commission also investigate the dark side of traditional Aboriginal culture, such as infanticide, cannibalism, inter-tribal fights, revenge killings, violence against women, etc? Will it inquire into the levels of violence in remote Aboriginal communities?

    Will a “Truth and Justice Commission” also apologize to the shades of those who were accused of committing massacres, based on “stories that my Nanna told me?”

  50. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Will a “Truth and Justice Commission” also apologize to the shades of those who were accused of committing massacres, based on “stories that my Nanna told me?”

    “Maybe two, maybe three hundred of our people shot and burnt” turns out to be the camp dogs, shot by the mounted police, to stop them killing cattle.

  51. Haidee

    Initially, I thought test pattern had a sense of humour.

Comments are closed.