From the Archives: “Doing Something”

[I published this small response to the Northern Territory Intervention in June 2007: here it is again. The links are still live, and still to the point ten years later.]

I don’t have anything original to say about the Prime Minister’s initiative in the Northern Territory. But the australoblogosphere has lit up like a switchboard. Just in case you haven’t found them all by yourself, you might like to read Elsewhere, plus the discussion in the comments.

Will Owen’s piece, titled Invasion Day, ends:

Once again, as it was done in America, relegating the indigenous population to the least desirable land in the country has not proven enough. Decades of neglect, underfunding, and refusal to work with those who have been marginalized are not enough. In order to promote his political agenda and to ensure his place in history, Howard, like his mentor and political inspiration, George W. Bush, must crush a people he does not understand in order to secure victory for his party and his place in history.

Then Jim Belshaw (whose comments section also shouldn’t be missed) points out, chillingly, that:

Models developed by Australia in intervention in Timor or the Solomon Islands are now being applied on Australian soil.

It would look a lot less like a cynical election strategy if the initiatives were actually taking up the recommendations of the report but, by one count, only about 5 percent of the recommendations are being implemented.

What do you think?

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