Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mainstream Akubra Man.

Commander in chief Howard triumphantly touched down in Hermannsberg, conveniently close to Alice Springs airport , to make it "very clear" to the community that the Government had a simple aim.

"And that is whilst respecting the special place of indigenous people in the history and the life of this country, their future can only be as part of the mainstream of the Australian community," he said.

"Unless they can get a share of the bounty of this great and prosperous country, their future will be bleak." In other words, if you want some of the funds we have been making from ripping up the ground, our ancestors stole from, you better drop your old ways and do what we say.

He then goes on to spell things out more clearly. "I want to assure you that we haven't come here to take anybody's land or to push anybody around." Directly translated from the Howardish ... "I have come to take your land and push you around".

Adele Horin, from "The Sydney Morning Herald", is about the only journalist to put one aspect of the Howard governments intervention in the N.T. under the spotlight. The end of the CDEP scheme. She identifies in this article how aboriginal employment has been cut by 8000 to fit in with generalised control freakery. As she points out, "It will turn many workers into unemployment statistics, rob communities of vital services, create havoc and potentially deal the death blow to 50 Aboriginal organisations". All aboriginals, regardless of perceived good/bad behaviour, are to have half their payments held, in Howards' new paternalistic world. Adele Horin continues...

"the real reason for the abolition of the scheme is that it is the only way the Government can get control of the money paid to such workers. Ironically, it must convert workers to welfare recipients and replace their wage with an unemployment benefit before it can legally quarantine their money to ensure it is spent on children not alcohol.

Regardless of whether the programs are effective, or the workers are model parents, the Government is moving against them. Will this sledgehammer approach deliver children better lives? We can hope. If it doesn't, the losses will be incalculable".

It is worth popping over to mattjjin-nehen to read a bit about this and the real squanderers of money claimed to be spent for indigenous needs. Also some very ugly propaganda that the government is pedaling in the top end.

Photo by Wayne Taylor.

UPDATE: See this Crikey report for advanced cruelty.

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