Saturday, July 2, 2011

everything old is new again

This clip is dedicated to the first half of the Abbott and Costello team

Ahhh, true genius lives forever.


After The Analyst mentioned the [Whitlam] dismissal in his comment on my last post, I realised that I tend to go on a bit about politics.
What can I say - for 36 years I have upheld my promise to 'maintain the rage'.
Haven't done anything constructive mind, but some are born to lead and others  - my group - freely acknowledge we don't have the right personality for parliamentary politics. We can't all be perfect.

Top points for determination and stickwithitness go to the DLP, though, with John Madigan about to take his place in the Senate.

Just followed an interesting thread about Sydney City Council's decision to continue using the word 'invasion' to describe what most of us tend to call the colonisation or settlement of Australia.

Having stumbled on this discussion after it was over I may as well mention the topic here [despite the risk I'm about to make a fool of myself].

1. Of course it was an invasion.
2. While it was important that we apologise and it's also important that we write a truthful history, both Rudd's apology and this gesture ring hollow in the absence of any meaningful action to undo the damage. It is in the absence of meaningful action I find decisions like this excruciatingly embarrassing. Sorry is easy, action takes a little more commitment.
3. All of this is empty posturing so long as we continue to 'celebrate' Australia Day on the 26th of January.
4. One person in this thread assumes that when we have a referendum about including Australia's Indigenous peoples in the constitution they will be able to use the Yes/No votes as a measure of racism in various constituencies.

Of course the thread was long and informative, but it's the assumption at 4 above that is a little distressing.

Let's revisit the Referendum '99 proposal to insert a preamble into the Constitution:
There are a million versions of the proposal on the internet so I'll lift this straight from the Electoral Commission's official referendum pamphlet. [I just had to keep my copy because it was so unbelievable.]

With hope in God, the Commonwealth of Australia is constituted as a democracy with a federal system of government to serve the common good.

We the Australian people commit ourselves to this Constitution:

  1. proud that our national unity has been forged by Australians from many ancestries;
  2. never forgetting the sacrifices of all who defended our country and liberty in time of war;
  3. upholding freedom, tolerance, individual dignity and the rule of law;
  4. honouring Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, the nation's first people, for their deep kinship with their lands and for their ancient and continuing cultures which enrich the life of our country;
  5. recognising the nation-building contribution of generations of immigrants;
  6. mindful of our responsibility to protect our unique natural environment;
  7. supportive of achievement as well as equality of opportunity for all;
  8. and valuing independence as dearly as the national spirit which binds us together in both adversity and success.

Of course there were no numbers in the proposed preamble, I just put them there for reference.
Let me openly breach the secrecy of the ballot box and confess - I voted NO.
Am I a racist?

Perhaps, instead of asking if this makes me a racist, I might ask what is wrong with this preamble?
Where would I begin?

Really, I wonder how many nights John Howard lay awake, tossing and turning, wondering how he could squeeze a quick reference to Don Bradman in there somewhere.

Finally, regardless of my opinion about the 'carbon tax' debate - and I hesitate to use any politically incorrect description as much as I hesitate to call it a debate - I would like to say I resent my taxes being used by any government to tell me what to think.

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