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Wednesday, August 09, 2006


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Just who do you wannabe?

Who'd wannabe an Aborigine? First the whitefella comes and takes your land off you - the land that provided your food, your shelter, your economy. Then, after two hundred years of being pushed around, you get some of your land back. Then along comes this mob of whitefellas and they decide that you, blackfella, have to own your house and land just like a whitefella and get into the mainstream economy of rising interest rates on housing, etc. And they have found a beaut way to get you, blackfella, to do this. You will have to buy your land, which you already own. And to enable you to do this a law will be passed in the Senate of the Parliament of Australia by Senators who haven't really bothered to talk to you, blackfella. Isn't this a great idea?

Just who do you wannabe?

A refugee? Australia locks you up, preferably in some other country that, in another context, the Australian Government refers to as a failed Pacific state. It locks you up for so long that you may never recover. In fact, you may never get out. You may become so mentally ill that you take your own life just as one refugee did in this week past. Isn't this great?

The Prime Minister of Australia is trying to instill Australian values into the population by fiat. Australia is a secular country in the Western Christian tradition. This Christian tradition has, as its central figure, a man who was a refugee. His life was threatened and he had to flee Palestine (yes, he was a Palestinian of middle eastern appearance, so he was) to that hospitable country of Egypt. You know that one - the country whose inhabitants Australians have traditionally referred to as WOPS (Wily Oriental Persons).

Now at the heart of the Christian tradition is the Bible and there are a couple of funny things in that collection of books. One of the books has outlined how people are to treat the sojourners (an old-fashioned word for refugee). Now this method does not include off-shore facilities or detention centres or temporary protection visas. In fact, the book reminds its original readers that they once were sojourners. Funny that. A bit like white Australians, the original readers of that book had to leave their own country and sojourn in another country to make a life for themselves. And in some other books, there was a useful little sentence about treating other people like you yourself would expect to be treated. Now howzat for some good Aussie values.

Miss Eagle wonders if this is what the Prime Minister of Australia expects for himself if he seeks to teach us traditional values - and the most basic tradition of all - To love your neighbour as yourself. John Howard loves himself by locking himself up in a concentration camp, oops I mean detention facility, on Nauru from whom the rapacious whitefella has stripped anything of commercial value. Yeah....well....

So who do you wannabe? And are you traditional enough to honestly want for other people, your neighbours around you, what you want and expect for yourself? Or turn it around the other way. Do white Australians wish to experience the mess they have made for other people?