A national disgrace

Friday, 22 June 2007 

There used to be a straight-forward way of stopping child abuse, lock the offenders up.

But we are talking here of Aboriginal children, so, of course, the solution cannot be that simple. Indeed getting around to finding the perpetrators, either Aboriginal or white, and arresting them, seems to be the last thing being talked about here. Instead the discussion is entirely focussed on the eternal Australian question, what is wrong with the way Aboriginal people organise their lives? How on earth any of the proposals to address Aboriginal alcoholism and gambling will deal with the problem of a white miner who is inclined to pay for under-age sex is something no one can answer.

The worst thing about all of this is that while the report with its sickeningly sentimental title “All Children are Sacred” spends 150 pages on what is wrong with Aboriginal behaviour, it hasn’t even bothered conclusively establishing there is an Aboriginal child abuse crisis in the first place (see the discussion on the actual data evidence on page 207 and on).

This blog intends to restrict itself to political issues only in as much as they affect the political class and electoral behaviour. There is such a crushing consensus on the Aboriginal question that it rarely affects voting. After all, this is a country where the idea of separate cultural development on racial lines, one of the underpinnings of South African apartheid, is actually considered progressive. Let’s just say this, when a political class is seen to be acting against such a horrendous issue as child abuse, it will probably win the leader of that political class, Howard, some votes.

Let’s also admit that it is inevitable Howard’s initiative will end in failure – but then has a century of the Aboriginal issue being a national disgrace ever lost a government a single vote?

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Friday, 22 June 2007.

Filed under The Australian state

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