Cape York Under Attack From Environmental Extremists

By Jack Andrew Wilkie-Jans

Cape York is yet again under attack! There’s no other way to put it. While the region is the “conscience” of Australia and thus bandied around the social policy field, the majority of Australians do not have any real insight into the region, the environment and the peoples’ aspirations.

The region is vast, larger than Victoria and most European countries, it has a wealth of cultural, environmental and also natural resource assets. The region is also home to only 16,000 people (give or take according the last census count). Politics as we all know is a numbers game and so too is policy drafting and implementation. With so few people it is no wonder political parties and bureaucrats feel they can walk all over them with no chance of any serious backlash at the polls. Yet in spite of the minute population and internal politics, the people of Cape York have always been able to pull through in defiance against city based policy makers for the preservation of their own best interests. This is a credit to their political nous and determination. Mostly the Cape has been battling against ‘lock-up’ policies generated by the Greens and Labor, instead in favour of pursuing a future of economic prosperity and social cohesion.

After successfully banding together and keeping the Cape viable back in 2011, the Cape is yet again under attack by Queensland’s Labor government.

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The William Bugmy Case

Wilkie-Jans

High Court's William Bugmy ruling 'a good call'

It is always sad when a person's self-worth diminishes into a life of criminal activity or poor mental health but it is somewhat reassuring that the High Court has set a precedent and disagrees with the Criminal Court in that suffering does not diminish in time. Suicide and self harm rates show that mental illnesses which manifest later in life stem from entrenched personal issues—or negative mental tapes. 

In the William Bugmy case before the High Court where lawyers for the defence argued that Mr Bugmy's cultural history should be considered in sentencing him for an assault on a Police Officer, such a conclusive defence was disregarded. The High Court did however agree to take into account Mr Bugmy's ill mental health in the decision making which, and like Mr Bellear (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/bellear-aboriginal-disadvantage-and-the-law/5011950) said to the ABC's Drum blog, the outcome is nothing new in determining sentences as many courts will consider mental illness, however to have the precedent set by a High Court judge means that in all courts the mental health and background of a person should be considered in the present. In respectful contrast to Mr Bellear I believe that this aspect of the case's outcome should indeed be celebrated.

The High Court didn't factor in ancestral, historical or heritage related suffering and rightly so in my view (and yet again in respectful difference to Mr Bellear), while an injustice anywhere is an injustice to everybody everywhere, the right way to go about addressing current or prior injustices to a people is to fight for a better future. Lapsing into criminal behaviour may stem from mental illness but it grows from personal circumstances; heading down a road of crime on behalf of the struggles of our people is not respecting our people and it should never be used as a defence for criminal grievous behaviour. 

Behaviours stemming from poor mental health have a personal catalyst not a cultural one (as in the Bugmy case), behaviours of activism and civil disobedience is a different matter and should be (depending on their severity) able to be defended in a cultural context. Just because you're a First Australian does not mean all your negative actions are defensible by your cultural history. In short, if one's personal background is one of Stolen Generation, forced adoption or missionary abuse and personally directed cultural denigration by the State or Church, then in that sense the "greater" cultural struggle should be relevant in one's sentencing. On the other hand, if one's background is simply of low socio-economic, perhaps a home of substance abuse and misuse, low quality of life due to lack of mainstream education and employment opportunities—as is now the contemporary circumstance by and large, then simply being of Aboriginal heritage should not excuse you over someone of another ethnic background but has similar life circumstances.

Our first priority is to be accountable for our own actions and further to support the healing of those who suffer from poor mental health. I hope that combination of sentiments is what people take away from the High Court's ruling in this case.

Jack Andrew Wilkie-Jans 

A&TSI Affairs Advocate

Architects of racism

New MH2

Indigenous football player Adam Goodes has never been so hurt in his life—unable to celebrate his team’s victory. Even a week later Goodes remained “gutted.”

That a thirteen-year-old girl who had no idea that yelling the word “ape” at Goodes would ignite such a furore beggars belief among those who don’t seek to exploit trivialities. Also testing the belief of more than are willing to speak out is that Goodes, a 1.94m (6’4.5”) splendid package of muscled athletic dynamite could really be wounded so deeply.

However, he says he is and must be believed. But so must she who was only 13 and says she had no idea of racial connotations in the word ape.

And now the entire nation is again plunged into the cesspit of racism. The predicted media frenzy prompted cloned Politically Correct hacks to scramble for brownie points while using copycat ramblings to be the most ardent adversary of a sham, a manufactured insensitivity.

Until the dust of PC opportunism settles we are exhorted to beat the bushes with the birch of fake indignation, flushing all those who can’t or refuse to accept that the Aussie idiom entrenched over two centuries is now a vile and insidious hatred of those of differing appearance.

While most of us were working, paying taxes, keeping a roof over our heads and filling the heads of our children with common decency, the adolescents at “Social Engineers Inc.” have also been busy instigating a mess of tribunals to create lifetime employment for themselves; and a parallel legal system to punish those who don’t think as intructed.

Eddie McGuire is being sent off to a re-education gulag, probably somewhere out back of Woomera where the screams of correctional torture won’t disturb the latte sippers languishing in city coffeehouses. Eddie’s crime was uttering, although not actually thinking, the Gorilla evoking term, “King Kong.” When cured, he will never again refer to “The elephant in the room.”

McGuire may also face criminal charges under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 or the racial Discrimination Act, if police receive a complaint, as did Andrew Bolt at News Ltd and the resulting guilty verdict that did nothing to further reconciliation in the minds of many.

And what of Goodes? Is it fair to think that Goodes showed appalling judgment in setting the bouncers upon a naïve country girl who called him an ape in the heat of a football game?

Police asked Goodes if he wished to press charges after a two-hour “interview” of the girl.  But any charge is unlikely as the interview was without a parental permission or presence.

Perhaps Goodes' 2012 salary of $586,500 caused him an over sensitivity, an overinflated opinion of himself, or was it an opportunity to promote impetus to the “Say no to racism” advertisements that aired just days after his crushing indignation? The result is, however, a renewed thrust by the “reconciliation” industry in a grab for more loot from the tiring taxpayer.

But, this whole debacle is about racism, isn’t it? About Aborigines—white versus black, as Goodes reminded us when pointing to the colour of his skin for the young girl, and the cameras at the football match. OK, let’s accept that this flavour-of-the-month debacle is about what racist bastards most Australians are accused of being. But first, we need to explore what undoubted racism, discrimination and hatred is because it thrives right here on the streets, in towns and cities of Australia making Adam Goodes' bleating a frivolity by comparison.

Racism, discrimination, and hatred are rife in Australia and those behind the fire-doors of multiculturalism perpetrate it overwhelmingly. If anyone of Anglo-Saxon appearance dares to visit the Sydney Muslim stronghold suburbs like Auburn and Lakemba, a bitter and frightening lesson of racial intolerance is learned in short order. Intimidating curses, being spat upon, forced from the footpath and told you are not wanted here is the rule rather than the exception. They are “no go” areas to police and emergency workers—racism and hatred of a kind never experienced between white Australians and indigenous like Adam Goodes, et al.

Multiculturalism to Islam means the right to be insular. Muslim clerics openly discourage their followers from socializing and or marrying outside their religion.  Such is the case in general for most Arabic nations, Chinese, Ethiopians, Somalis, Indians, Sri-Lankans to name but a few of the more than 170 ethnic groups calling Australia home. 

Good people have been hijacked by an insidious, incremental agenda of the PC mob. They feel helpless against an accusative finger of racism or some other “offence” that leads to a tribunal. Offence to one person is a joke to another. This facile dogma is causing the destruction of national customs cemented into the Aussie ethos by generations past—the forgers of what was a fair and descent society that some seek to dismantle.

If blame for our “racism” is to be honestly apportioned it rests squarely with government who pour millions of our money into the coffers of ethnic groups. Rather than assimilating with Australia’s larger community the Government pays them to remain insular.

That is government-sponsored apartheid in its purest and most socially destructive form.

What punishment for Goodes' young offender? Re-education camp? Or, is the humiliation, that went global, enough? Goodes' supporters bathed in their victory at the expense of a silly young girl. How that girl handles the onerous road ahead is a worry to me. Her accusers should hope she is less vulnerable to being “offended.”

Diven by vanity the die for a tragic outcome has been cast. Shame Mr Goodes! Sad_smile

The Muslim problem


Jack Wilkie-Jans

This perspective on a touchy subject comes from a young, Aboriginal man who feels need to speak out about a looming problem. GC.Ed.@L.

Prior to the 70s it was the Aboriginal Problem. Mainstream society was concerned that the Aboriginal population would over-take those of non-Indigenous Australians. Some politicians were concerned that politics would be side-tracked and made to pander to Aboriginal Affairs until kingdom come and essentially under-valuing non-Indigenous Aussies. 

Every generation has a Youth Problem, "those trousers are too creased!", "that music is too loud", and the golden-oldie "what's those things in your ears?". Well as a nation we now have the Muslim Problem. Society goes through eras where a particular people are placed under the social, political and academic micro-scope. Which, given Australia's rather cagey history (i.e. White Australia Policy) when it comes to new comers, can be understood. It is a part of growing up, it is a part of educating ourselves on those who come to our shores. It is the process in which we compare old values and perceived values and then decide on maintaining or re-forging a national identity.

In the late 60s we did just that, and grew to be a nation inclusive and non-discriminatory (in theory) towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. One would suss out someone on one's door-step attempting to enter the home, and so I say people hoping to come here should be sussed out likewise by society.

Mainstream society are now concerned that the Muslim immigration and inundation is growing too much and some members of Parliament and the Judiciary are concerned that Islamist religion, customs and attitudes will influence sentencing and laws. There was a public campaign to include Sharia Law in our courts and legislation- meaning, a separate set of ideologies and standards for dealing with criminals. Nothing has come of it yet but there are still cases of Sharia Law being dealt and handed down within the Muslim society.

Reading the book, Infidel, one can glean a different, internal perspective of Islam and also the dogma driving it. The book is from a female Muslim's perspective, on completion of only the first few chapters one can be forgiven for being nothing less than wary of the religion and certainly concerned about the influence it has in Western society today. We as a nation have come so far on Indigenous rights, women's rights, animal rights, environmental protection and political fairness, and the road to each has been hard and it is natural for a country to want to preserve their victories and to expect those coming here to celebrate them.

However Australians need to understand that while Islam may well be out-dated and preaches, very clearly in the Qur'an, a stark difference between women's and men's rights and roles, many Muslims are not reflective of their faith. Not all Muslims are extremists; a term that can be likened to extremism in politics and non-religious ideology. Nowadays Muslims are categorised similar to Jews, no other people are referred to by their religion as opposed to their country of birth or heritage. So do Muslims in general truly identify with the Islam religion? Can they, or do they, adopt national identities as opposed to religious ones? I have never met an atheist Muslim myself, I have met some very friendly and easy-going and integrated Muslims but also some very prejudice Muslim immigrants.

In Cairns, Far North Queensland, an immigration worker anonymously rang up the 4CA AM breakfast show two years ago and told of the un-Australian and very Islamic attitudes expressed towards her by Muslim refugees that her service works with. She claimed that Muslim men refused to work with her based on her sex and their wishes were granted by the department. So clearly there is a big issue here and it's one that keeps arriving and will most likely be here to stay.

The standards for refugees or asylum seekers is very different and lapse compared to the standards for legal migrants who seek citizenship. Something has got to give and it is up to us Australians to decide if it will be our standards, potentially our values and ways of doing things or will it be our current and future Government's attitude towards unruly, ingrained, outdated and medieval values. Whenever one calls the negative values and preachings within Islam into critique, one is usually attacked for being racist or prejudice, when one does so for Christianity it's considered academia or social commentary. 

We don't let child sexual abuse hide behind religion, why should we afford a dissimilar courtesy to (what remains) a minority religious group with equally shameful traits.

Jack Andrew Wilkie-Jans

Jack is an Aboriginal Affairs Advocate, Artist and Traditional Owner
from Far North Queensland with British, Danish and Aboriginal Australian
heritage.

 

Sorry Day – what’s next – Forgiveness?


Jack Wilkie-Jans

Indigenous  artist  from the North Jack Wilkie-Jans suggests that saying sorry is a two-way street that might be used for better effect. GC.Ed.@L.

Sorry Day commemorates when the then Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, made a historic and highly symbolic apology on behalf of previous Governments for the acts committed during the White Australia Policy unto First Australians. This day was welcomed by survivors and descendants of the Stolen Generation and academics, reconciliation advocates and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the globe. 

Sorry Day and the Apology has received equal amount of criticism and speculation as well as adoration. Many people saw it as a stepping stone towards financial compensation and of course resulting court cases. The move has been criticised for being overly populist, symbolic and seen as a ruse to lesser the unpopularity of the Northern Territory Intervention and other such prohibition championed by the Australian Labor Party, and of course, for being mere words.

Sorry Day should be appreciated for what it stood for at the time, without wanting or to be misused as leverage, and as a gesture which needed to occur to begin the healing process and move towards truer reconciliation; even the Chancellor of Germany made such a historic gesture towards the Jewish people in Israel by issuing an apology for the Holocaust in World War Two. It's about tying up loose ends and understanding that such a move signifies acknowledgement for horrors perpetrated by Governments.

In order to achieve true, wholesome and empowering reconciliation, we need to suffer the pain from an action which we as a People have done, we need appreciation of what has occurred and an apology, however there is one more step, we need to close the circle of blame & sympathy and forgive build up our own capacity as a People to become independent in a great many respects. Freedom from blame and by doing so releasing guilt means all Australians can move forward being truly equal.

I am calling for a national day of Forgiveness by Aboriginal people as a logical next step in order to achieve true reconciliation. First Australians have never been in such a place of real power, which is the power to forgive and by doing so, can dictate the future course of our positive future generations' attitudes and understanding of the past.

When an apology has been issued and accepted, such as the Kevin Rudd one, it is appropriate to issue forgiveness in return. Aboriginal culture has always been one of harmony with others and with land, so I can see this as being something our ancestors would be proud of. Forgiveness they say, is where real power lies, and we owe it to our future generations to even the score and lift the blame in order for this reconciliation, which countless Aboriginal Rights activists have been working towards for decades and which NAIDOC Day is said to encourage, to come about out of mutual respect.

Jack is an Aboriginal Affairs Advocate, Artist and Traditional Owner from Far North Queensland with British, Danish and Aboriginal Australian heritage.

The Arts, Aboriginal Art and the Private Sector


Jack Wilkie-Jans

Menzies House welcomes another inspiring writer to its stable of authors. Jack Wilkie-Jans is a 21-year-old indigenous artist based in Cairns.

His perception and suggestions of how the value of art could be progressed in the region indicates a wisdom greater than his years. GC.Ed.@L.

 The Arts cannot thrive on its own and as art is something for the ages and as something that speaks about the now and the to-be in our societies, we are owed the support of others and we are charged with bravely initiating that expansion of interests. Private benefactors and donors who can be educated as to the true social value of art and art education are the ones we must source to prop up bursary funds and scholarships for, say, remotely based and financially inept artists or aspiring artists, to follow their dreams.

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander society and culture is becoming a sort of creative and chameleon-like hybrid as it is plain to see that, as always, our culture and expressions of is strong enough to persevere in tradition and modernise with strength. Cairns is a hub for all the Far Northern and remote artists. The inauguration of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) places Cairns on the national and international art scene in a professional capacity.

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) has recently enjoyed- or endured, depending on who you speak to, a remarkable re-think, re-design and of course, re-shuffle in regards to structure, presentation, funding and staffing. The business side of the Fair has been privatised and all management and duties are soon to be delegated to a Board and in the mean-time the transition process towards a private structure will be facilitated by a Working Group/Task Force.

It is bold moves such as this that really ensures a stronger arts industry, become possible, or at least explored with more bravery in Queensland. The more private businesses that are investing in the Arts, the more interest they will have to successfully support it in order to make their investment viable and sustainable. 

A lot of people have asked me to comment on the issue of privatising CIAF, however, I won’t digress into the politics of the move, but will focus on the positives which can create good lessons and examples of productivity which could be assimilated to our other artistic ventures or organisations. The thing is, we really need and deserve a stronger Arts industry. As an example, for a long time now CIAF has been a sort of a false-economy in that a great amount of the cost covering was Government funded and a lot of the sales of art-works were acquisitions using Government funds. When one entity works in conjunction with an industry but that entity funds the materials for the work, funds the worker and then purchases the goods, it is effectively running at a long-term loss. For most intents and purposes this is how a large part of the industry has been run to an extent and I believe it is setting Creatives up to fail due to paternalism.

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair somewhat failed to attract the standard of over-seas interest that many other long-standing arts fairs in Australia enjoy, and with the people and businesses of Cairns working very hard to make the city more appealing to tourists, I believe that a Fair managed by the main and largest businesses in Cairns will hold the best interests of both the arts and their tourism goals at heart. With the freedoms and added influence and skills this new model allows, artists feel more room to grow; there may be added funds for more daring and interesting exhibits for instance. 

I believe that in the instance of CIAF, privatisation can work, as it will break down a lot of the borders and perceived difficulties in dealing with Government. I think it’s time to be brave and for the Arts to accept the notion of securing more private funding, and to aim to emulate and achieve as strong an industry as Europe has. We need to encourage our young Indigenous artists to experiment artistically and with technique and to challenge the current context of Aboriginal Art. This is extremely important, and Indigenous artists need to feel that the art world in its entirety is something they should spread across and not just be sectioned to the Indigenous Art sector. The private sector is the sector which nurtures development and progression.

Jack is an Arts Event Co-ordinator and Contemporary Artist based in Cairns, Queensland who has held four solo exhibitions since 2011. He is also a Traditional Owner of the Western Cape, Mapoon region and advocates strongly for Aboriginal Affairs across issues such as Alcohol Management Plans, the Northern Territory Intervention and the Welfare Reform trials.

In October 2012 Jack co-ordinated a Charity Art Auction to support Suicide Prevention for the Declan Crouch Fund which raised well over $5,000 to the cause of raising awareness of Suicide within the young community. In 2013 he was nominated for the Cultural Award of the Cairns Region Australia Day Awards for his efforts promoting the local Cairns art industry and charities. 

Why I burned my ‘Proof of Aboriginality’

I don't usually direct people to read our online taxpayer-funded government propaganda mouthpiece, The Drum, but today is an exception with this must-read column by Kerryn Pholi.

An extract: 

I used to identify as Aboriginal, and I have worked in 'identified' government positions only open to Aboriginal people.  As a professional Aborigine, I could harangue a room full of people with real qualifications and decades of experience with whatever self-serving, uninformed drivel that happened to pop into my head. For this nonsense I would be rapturously applauded, never questioned, and paid well above my qualifications and experience.

I worked in excellent organisations that devoted resources to recruiting, elevating and generally indulging people like me, simply because other people like me told these organisations that's what they needed to do to 'overcome Indigenous disadvantage'.

In these organisations I worked alongside dedicated, talented and highly skilled people – and there may have been room for one more dedicated, talented and highly skilled person if I hadn't been there occupying a position designated for someone of my 'race'.

In my years of working as a professional Aborigine, I don't think I did anything that really helped anybody much at all, and I know that I was a party to unfairness, abuses of power, wastefulness and plain silliness in the name of 'reconciliation' and 'cultural sensitivity'.

Aside from a nagging sense of feeling like a complete fraud, things were reasonably OK until I made the mistake of reading works by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence and Thomas Sowell's Affirmative action around the world: an empirical study. (Please – stop reading what I have to say right now. Go and read this instead).

After that, I could no longer ignore the fact that my career was built on racism. Not 'reverse racism' or 'positive discrimination' – just plain racism, of benefit to nobody except a select gang of privileged people with the right genes and a piece of paper to prove it. In other words, of benefit only to people like me.

About 18 months ago I burned my 'proof of Aboriginality' documentation (a letter from the NSW Department of Education acknowledging that I was Aboriginal, on the basis that my local Aboriginal Lands Council at that time, circa 1990, had said so). I walked away from the Aboriginal industry for good.

Seriously, read the whole thing. 

It’s time to Reconcile Reconciliation

David-Russell David Russell calls for an investigation into Aboriginal Welfare:

It is a legitimate expectation of governments that they spend taxpayer funds wisely, even if this maxim is so frequently honoured in the breach. Almost a Greek tradition, one might say!

In this spirit, we can be grateful to the rowdy ratbags who displayed their true colours on Australia Day at the Lobby Restaurant in Canberra. Such was the heady aphrodisiac of that eventful afternoon that they had a real morning-after outside Parliament the next day with a burning of the national flag.  Just not sure their spittle was intended to extinguish the flames.

Remarkably, the symbolism of these two events appears to have truly registered on the national psyche though in a way quite contrary to what the aboriginal cause may have wanted to achieve. For many, this appears to have been a seminal turning point. And, yes, it is valid to recognise that these were the actions of the few and not the many. As such they should not be used to hold guilty those who neither took part nor endorsed such protests. Yet, as with a genie out of a bottle, getting it back in can be a bugger.

Over the past four decades we have provided untold assistance packages, welfare programs, support services, interventions and just plain handouts to assist the cause of aboriginal betterment. But on every front we are told that things have not improved and may even have become worse. How could this be? It is clear to all that real change has not been achieved.

It is time for a reconciliation of accounts to determine value for money.

It is time to uncover the truth of what four decades of assistance have achieved

It is time for a Royal Commission into aboriginal welfare.

Let us start with tallying the outlays. So, from the instigation of the aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra let us be told just how much funding has been applied to aboriginal betterment, welfare, reconciliation and allied issues. This is the foundation of any assessment. Debate as to effectiveness may well be inconclusive yet it is surely a debate that must be had. We keep getting told, after all, that the eyes of other nations are upon us as we consider amending our constitution to entrench aboriginal advancement. Frankly they appear to have their own share of problems. Certainly, the down-trodden, oppressed masses in the rest of the world could only pray for the largesse the Australian people have lavished on our own indigenous peoples.

And while on the subject of the so-called aboriginal tent embassy, let us acknowledge the farce that it is. After four decades, any potency of symbolism has waned to the point of irrelevance. Worst is that the occupiers appear entirely unaware of the fraudulent nature of their ‘permission to remain’. If there is a worse example of white, middle-class patronage than the generally well-off Canberra bureaucrats tolerating this smudge on their otherwise orderly landscape, it is difficult to imagine. How smug they must generally feel to know they are playing their part in the advancement of indigenous people by letting them have their little plaything in the heart of town. Such a patronising pat on the head. Quite sad, really, but there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

As for the rest of us racist, rapist invaders, let us shrug off the yoke of tyranny we allegedly have imposed on this land’s traditional owners. Let us treat them with the respect they deserve and be mindful of the injustice their forebears suffered. Yet history cannot be rewritten. What has been done cannot be undone and none of us today had any part in the events of yesteryear so we cannot legitimately bear the guilt some try to impose on us. Those who cannot or will not get over their grievances must pay the price of such angst. But if they wish to bite the hand that feeds them then let them at least know how much feed they have had.

David M. Russell is a professional communicator with a passion for good governance. His personal blog can be found at davidmrussell.wordpress.com.

Update On The Campaign To Close The Illegal, Racist & Divisive Tent Embassy

You know you are making a difference when your opponents are so desperate they resort to insults and threats of violence to try to shut you down.

In the last 48 hours I have had to remove dozens of threats, defamatory comments, and downright abuse from our facebook page made by the “tolerant” left. I have received emails not just filled with abuse, but actually threatening me. 

Janet Albrechsten is spot on when she writes:

Last Thursday, protesters from the Aboriginal tent embassy bashed against the glass walls of the Lobby Restaurant intimidating the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the emergency workers receiving awards inside. Predictably, much of the media moved quickly on to the dark arts of political scheming when it transpired that a Gillard staffer leaked Tony Abbott's whereabouts.

But rewind a moment longer to consider a more important principle. The thuggish activists saw no irony in proudly exercising their right to free speech by using violence and intimidation to shut down those with whom they disagreed.

The protests personify a strain of illiberalism found more often among those on the Left than the Right

You should read the whole thing.

Freedom of speech is under attack in Australia by these thugs supported by our government and our tax dollars!

Is it any wonder under Gillard we have plummeted in our Press Freedom IndexScore and are now ranked worse than Namibia, Poland and Niger

That's right, a non-partisan, international media watchdog now admits that Freedom of Speech in Australia is in danger.

It is clear that the radical left are desperate and trying to shut us down. Why? Because they know Australians are waking up to their radical agenda.

Here are just a few news stories from the last few days:

Gary Johns, a former LABOR Minister, had this great piece attacking the “Aboriginal Preferment Industry” admitting it was time to “close the tent” 

Bob Carr, the former LABOR Premier of NSW has said that the Tent Embassy should have been “packed up years ago”

The Australian revealed how the Tent Embassy is BLATANTLY illegal but the government is choosing not to act.

And Piers Ackerman notes in a must-read piece that“The feral rabble infesting the so-called Tent Embassy camped on the lawn opposite Old Parliament House (OPH) has performed a great public service.They have effectively killed any constitutional change enshrining affirmative action for those who self-identify as Aboriginal Australians…The 40th anniversary of this monstrosity should be its last.”  (Read the whole piece)

 

We  are all Australians, and we should all be treated equally. No-one should receive special privileges or extra taxpayer funding on the basis of their race.  To do so is a recipe for disaster. 

But this is what the tent embassy proponents want. To have special treatment. 

We’ve tried years of welfare-reconciliation and it has failed. And indigenous-preferment industry knows this, and that is why they are running scared.

We can't give up now.  With your kind donations, we have been able to finance advertisements reaching over 100,000 Australians in the last two days, and will continue to fight for what is right for Australia – no matter the insults, abuse, and threats we receive.

 

It isn't easy to stand up for what is right. You get attacked, you get insulted, the media call you a 'racist' and a 'NAZI'. But at the end of the day, those who signed our petition showed they cared about our great country, and did what was right.

 

Tim Andrews is the Managing Editor of Menzies House. 

 

Invasion Day – A Response

Picture

Timothy Gow responds to those calling for Australia Day to be renamed "Invasion Day":

It’s 5pm on Australia Day as I begin this article.  A day ostensibly for celebrating what it means to live in a first world country, with a short albeit rich history, full of both great moments and bad.  No matter whom you are, so long as you are Australian, Australia day means something to you.  Maybe it’s the day in which you swore your allegiance to your new country, and received your citizenship.  Maybe it is the day you listen to Triple J’s hottest 100, or another excuse to party with your friends, to watch the cricket, or the tennis, or relax.  It is supposed to be a day where we remember our greatest value; freedom.  I think it is important to note that nothing about these things is political.  Even Freedom, a contested topic in its own right, is something most Australians are demonstrably in favour of.  It should therefore be, a happy day, a day immune to the tug of war between those who blindly hate this country, blindly love it, and those in between.  Yet, it is not.

Race Riots and Responsibility

Yesterday, Tony Abbott, leader of the Federal Opposition and Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia were chased by protesters from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.  This dramatic event led to our nations PM being tackled, and 50 riot police engaging in an evacuation operation, as protesters cried ‘Shame, Racist’ and intimidated their targets; the Nations two leaders.

The reason for this is allegedly a response to Tony Abbott.  The Opposition leader suggested that the Aboriginal Tent Embassy may need to be taken down.  Given he was near Old Parliament house (location of the Tent Embassy) at the time, this is apparently grounds for a spontaneous march.  Later, a member of the protest went so far as to blame the whole event on Tony Abbott;

"What he said amounts to inciting racial riots."

So it is daring to express your view, to have an optimistic and positive outlook on the future of the Aboriginal people within Australian society pins to you responsibility for race riots.  I may be wrong here, but it seems to me that these people have a poor view of all Australians, including Aboriginals, that rioters are not to have responsibility for their own individual actions, and that they are not in control of their own anger, own aggression, that it would be Tony Abbott’s fault if they were to engage in rioting. 

This is an outrageous rejection of our liberal democratic values, of individual responsibility, and of the freedom to express.  Nobody denied the Tent Embassy its right to express itself, and Abbott’s comments did not call for, nor promise a future forcible closure of their operation.  Tony Abbott did not dare the crowd forth, nor did he design or demand the police response.  Abbott merely did his job, and to many Australians he represented their views.  You do not have to agree with him, that would be nonsensical, but to respect his views is not so inconceivable.  It is not racist nor violent, nor inciting racist sentiment to compliment the progress of Aboriginal rights and to suggest an end to the old approach as well as to seek a new one.

But maybe it’s because today is not just any day, it is a day hated by some.  It is a day known as ‘Invasion Day’.  It is apparently so abhorrent to love the great things about life in Australia that we must ignore them, be ashamed by them, and be daunted entirely by the worst aspects of our short history.

Twitter is hardly the fairest summation of the national mood, but yet, it is a soapbox for the vocalisation of short, puncturing views from across the spectrum.  Here are a few anonymously adjusted tweets about our great day;

“Australia Day marks the invasion of the Aboriginal homelands by Europeans & the beginning of one of the most horrifying genocides in history”

“See Tony, your off the cuff comments do have consequences. Think about it. #tentembassy #australiaday

“Tony Abbott wants to make 26 Jan Shut-up-about-the-Invasion Day”

Let’s be Optimistic

Though I would personally find it disappointing, there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with disliking this country; there are undoubted spots on its legacy.  There is no denying from any Australian, least of all Conservatives, that Australia lacks a perfect record.  We are not the perfect nation, but nor are we a beast of horror.  We suffer the blessings of riches, freedoms and diversities not enjoyed in much of the world.  It is remembering these things that inspire people to don flags as capes despite the controversies, to seek our citizenship, to pursue excellence in sport, science, and art.  To be an Australia day Grinch, is not to be ‘indy’, or ‘edgy’, or even a bleeding heart lefty, flying the flag of equality in the face of the horrors of capitalism.  It is to make the same mistake you accuse of those of us who dare to enjoy a holiday in this nations own honour.  It is to forget one side of history, and remember the other only.

If anything, today should be a day that is not politicised, but enjoyed by all.  If you spend a quiet moment to honour the Aboriginals who suffered in the past, the soldiers who died to protect us, the freedoms you have that others do not, your god, your family and friends, or anything else about this country that you love or hate; that is your right to do so, and good for you.  For those who reject the fun, though, it is not our responsibility to quit our own values or abandon our own fun, to apologise for the things that bother you.  Not because what you view as wrong with this country is necessarily wrong or of less value than what I love about it.  It is because I believe in a society of equal opportunity.  I would fight for it through courts, ballots, and debate.  That includes eliminating disadvantage, wherever it may lie in the system, based on race, culture or creed.  Australia day does not interfere with this belief, it should be and theoretically is about the good things, the great things about this country.

In short; relax, have a beer, and stop ruining it for the rest of us.  We celebrate today, but we have not forgotten the bad.  Everyone left and right, who is politically active, seeks to correct the mistakes of the past with the right decisions into the future.  Australia day is about the optimism.  It is about the great future we could have, that we all believe in, and the great things about our past we know and love.

Timothy Gow is a 21 year old politics and international relations student at the University of Canberra.