Thursday, July 11, 2002

BITE THE BULLET

Noel Pearson presents a grave problem for the Forces of Goodness and Progressiveness (FOGAP) in Australia. On one hand he is articulate, educated and aboriginal. He should naturally belong to the socially-progressive leftist tradition. On the other hand, he routinely expresses his contempt for those policies that have, in his opinion, delivered “his mob” into abject misery and despair. I get the feeling that if Pearson could get away with it, he’d take most of ATSIC out the back and shoot them.

Pearson’s despair comes from one central point: substance abuse. In today’s Australian, he calls for the non-aboriginal community, and by that he means the FOGAP policy makers, to face the fact that his people are dying from the grog. They are killing each other, molesting their children, going to jail, committing suicide, stealing, bashing, raping, or just plain dying, all because of the epidemic of (mainly) alcohol abuse.

For decades the aboriginal communities on the ground have been held hostage, as their appointed political masters argued for one unrealistic goal or another. While a Royal Commission debated aboriginal deaths in custody, aboriginal women died in droves at the hands of their men. When the Army was sent in to deliver fresh water and sewage services to remote communities, this was derided as a “whitefella solution”.

Today an aboriginal woman is 45 times more likely to die from domestic violence than the population as a whole. This happens because their men are drunk, and because no-one tell them differently.

Pearson understands that the supply has to be cut off. Someone has to have the guts to say “you are incapable of handling alcohol, and you will not be permitted to have it”. This will be fought by those with political or commercial reasons for making sure aboriginals continue to kill each other. But civil liberties mean very little to a young woman being beaten to death over a ten hour drinking binge. At her funeral, her parents will take no comfort that her husband’s right of access to alcohol was upheld. The activists that make her death a cause for an apology for white “invasion” will be far away from the next drunken catastrophe.

Like the gun laws, this can only be done by a Conservative government. The ALP is too far in thrall to the professional activist class to deliver the hard line that is required. They have the Constitutional powers to make laws for the benefit of the indigenous population. This must be used while there are still some to use it for.

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