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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our worst Australian of the Year since Farnsie

By ShadowLands celebrity columnist, John Butler of the John Butler Trio...

Aboriginal activist, Mick Dodson will be named Australian of the Year on 26 January.

How do we know? Betting has been suspended after Professor Dodson suddenly became a firm favourite. Bookmakers always know when they are being diddled, so I will stake my hard-earned spotless reputation on this outcome.

Dodson will be our worst Australian of the Year since it emerged that mullet-encrusted singer and Australian of the Year, John Farnham was actually an Englishman who was a resident of England. A bit harsh? Not at all. There is no doubting Dodson has been a long-time advocate of Aboriginal people. But to what end?

A search of quotations or significant speeches by Dodson comes up short of anything beyond his belief that Aborigines should get land rights, more government help, and self governing bodies like ATSIC.

In short, his beliefs are the beliefs that guided the failed policies of the last 30 years. In fact "failed" is not the right word - try disastrous.

Remote Aboriginal communities across Australia where land rights were granted, where public housing was provided, where people were supported by government money, where outsiders were not allowed in without a permit, where local councils were formed to run their own affairs - in short, all the things that Mick Dodson has fought for - have been a disaster.

Reports show that nearly every remote Aboriginal community suffers from terrible alcohol problems and unspeakable child abuse. Despite this, Dodson opposed the interventions introduced by John Howard, and his record in providing alternatives is unclear, to say the least.

When it comes to Aboriginal activists, the man who towers above them all is Noel Pearson. While Pearson is clearly no-one's lap-dog, he believes in working to end the reliance on handouts for Aboriginal people. He was instrumental in calling for the intervention - an action which may have saved scores of Aboriginal children from abuse.

Pearson is a revolutionary in the sense that he is the first indigenous leader to talk about responsibilities as well as rights. Clearly, he should be Australian of the Year.

2 comments:

Egg said...

One of the Dodsy Bruthas is gonna get up as AOTY on "Invasion Day"?
Pfft! Another from the Beyond Parody file ...

blogstrop said...

Smoothing the pillow under the head of a dying race was never an accurate aphorism, but becomes laughable (yes, black humour) when effectively supplanted by all that passes for social security now.
The pillow has been replaced by the fortnightly funds which in turn buy the booze and petrol - for all purposes.
Noel Pearson's tough love is all that can save them. Not that you'd know it from the screams of the rights lobbies or the various state governments who sought to defuse this as an electoral positive for the coalition before the last election. Aided, of course, by that MSM we refer to so often, because it is there, and continues to do what it does.