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THE IMAGE OF AUSTRALIA DAY January 26, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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The incident involving the PM and the Leader of the Opposition and protesters from the 40th Anniversary of the start of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy will dominate discussion for a while and will linger.

People, such as myself, who were not involved have to be careful about the judgements made. The footage from Channel Nine is infused with a world view based on violence and separation. Notice how the protesters become scapegoats and stereotypes, and the behavior of the police, which on its face seems extraordinarily inappropriate is not commented upon. The behavior of those who protect the PM just seems bizarre.

The ABC is prepared to continence a wider range of opinion, while always cleaving loyally to the perceived mainstream consensus that the media is in the process of creating. ABC Online reports:

Some of the protesters said they were aware Mr Abbott was inside the restaurant but not the Prime Minster, however others say Ms Gillard is a coward for not stepping outside to speak to them.

“The Opposition Leader talks about ripping the tent embassy off us. The other leader fails to even come out and speak to us as Aboriginal people. She runs like a coward, she runs,” activist Sean Gordon said.

This morning, Mr Abbott said Aboriginal people could be very proud of their achievements since the tent embassy was first established but that it was probably time to move on.

“I think the Indigenous people of Australia can be very proud of the respect in which they are held by every Australian,” he said.

“I think a lot has changed since then and I think it probably is time to move on from that.”

But Mr Gordon says many people were angered by those remarks.

“We have not moved on in 200 years. We are hand out to government,” he said.

“We have no economic base for who we are as Aboriginal people. We have title to land we aren’t able to do anything with. How have we moved on?”

Tent embassy founder Michael Anderson says Mr Abbott’s comments are disrespectful and amounted “to inciting racial riots”.

Ms Gillard has refused to comment on whether Mr Abbott should apologise for his remarks.

There are questions concerning the PM’s behavior. Why did she allow herself to be treated in this way. Why did she not attempt to speak to the demonstrators? Why does she refuse to comment Abbott should apologize? One of the requirements of leadership is physical courage, along with a set of core beliefs and vision. Whatever John Howard’s faults, and I am no fan, he possessed those qualities.

ELSEWHERE:

The BBC report describes the fraca as “absolutely extraordinary scenes in the Australian Capital”.  In this report the protesters do not seem to be exceptionally violent, and numbering about 200 people.

En Passsant was a participant in the demo and reports on what he saw and experienced.

CODA:

The thought occurs, as was once observed they are “a weird mob” .  In those other places, noticeably in Zuccotti Park and the campus of Davis, the police manhandle and mistreat the protesters whereas in this apparent alternative world, the police manhandle the political leaders.

Comments»

1. Catching up - January 27, 2012

“are questions concerning the PM’s behavior. Why did she allow herself to be treated in this way. Why did she not attempt to speak to the demonstrators? Why does she refuse to comment Abbott should apologize:”

Maybe the PM was stupid to rely on what the police and her security told her.

If the PM had ignored there advice and address the crowd, and things got out of hand, what would you be saying then.

I do agree that the threat of violence appeared to be over done., and the behaviour and judgement of both need to be examined.

As for commenting on whether Mr. Abbott should apologise or not, the PM appears to avoid personal attacks. I do not see why the PM should comment.

Why is not pressure put on Mr. Abbott to take some responsibility for what occurred, instead of allowing him to hide behind the PM.

wmmbb - January 27, 2012

I doubt that the crowd would have got out of hand had the PM addressed them. I recall seeing Anthony Albanese addressing a hostile crowd outside his electoral office.

In my view it is not too much to expect the PM to address any issues related to Aboriginal affairs.

Perhaps Tony Abbott should make a statement if he was misunderstood, although the crowd probably interprets his comments as dog whistling and that might explain why they got angry and called out “rascist” and banged on the windows.

It occurs to me that we, for example, judge footballers by how they react in the moment. I am not setting myself up in this regard, as I am conscious of my own failings. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to measure our political leaders by how they behave. The job requires them to face possible situations where they are required to think and act under pressure.


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