Aboriginal Congress, a “Nothing Burger”.
When you buy a burger it comes with a meat patty, piece of cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickle, and some secret sacred spices & sauces.
The National Aboriginal Congress is just a hamburger bun without the filling. It’s a “Nothing Burger “, empty nothing on the bun, until now. With the election of Lez Malezer we may see some good policy advice.
With only 2000 members representing Aboriginal folk and only 60% voting hardly a true representation of Aboriginal people, or the term “first nations people’’ which they prefer.
If you are an organisation it’s ok, you can come in and vote. If you are a blackfella at woop woop, sorry the organisation down the road voters for you. The sooner there is a model where every blackfella can vote on the day the sooner there is a true representative body.
Now the genie is out of the bottle. Les Malezer, has been elected from among the 60% of elite organisations to the Co-Chair position, and has already signaled his distaste and dislike for the Northern Territory Intervention.
It’s no good Senator Scullion – the Aboriginal opposition spokesman – bleating about Les Malezer’s position. Les Malezer has always fought for the rights of Aboriginal to have dignity and opportunity in the same way as other Australians have. There is nothing wrong with that view and in a democracy like ours, it’s refreshing to have a diverse view on the Congress advisory committee. The people that don’t like his view, or opposing views on other issues, should recognise his right to his opinion and his right as an individual to fight for it. Don’t let The Australian run the agenda.
Nigel Scullion has fired the first shots in a campaign which The Australian newspaper will relish. More fodder for the same old tired journalism. The Australian will trot out the few intervention supporters from their stable of black academics and also from the few community pro-interventionists, in coming weeks. They may even discover a few tweets.
They have already reported poor old Lowitja O’Donoghue haranguing Les Malezer over the Co-Chair position and she also urged him to spend more time fighting for Aboriginal rights within Australia rather than on the international stage. Well Lowitja, you almost had me at “hello” there. I must have missed something in the transcript.
Mr Malezer, a full-time delegate to the UN Committee on Indigenous Issues, has developed a solid anti-Intervention position, particularly regarding the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act. He is not the only one in the country and the world with this view. Tony Abbott is of the view that the Northern Territory is a failed state, and wants more Intervention for the Aboriginal people.
There is a smell about the next chapter of “shock and awe” now being planned by the Opposition and their mates, the “good old boys’’ from Alice Springs.
The blackfellas in cahoots with the Opposition need to be very careful here in supporting them and being manipulated by them. There are not many punitive measures left; just look to South Africa or even to pre-war Germany.
A new style Intervention won’t affect the whitefellas, the Intervention business managers, the NGO’s, the job networks, the tourist operators, the pubs, the clubs, the miners, the pastoralists, the rich suburbs of Darwin. They are doing very well living off the misery of black Australia . Imparja Television, hiding behind a black mask as it has now for many years is also “just one of the boys”.
Because Les Malezer and other committed people black and white want this despicable Intervention to end, he is being demonised as a non-believer. Well Les Malezer will not be intimidated by The Australian, “other blackfellas” or to withdraw into a nothing burger like the rest on Congress. He is there because he wants to do what he sees as the right thing to do.
Les has broken the mould in getting on to the Congress. The smarties thought they had worked out how to keep out people similar in ideology and rights as the last ATSIC Chair and Co-Chair.
Tom Calma was desperate to set up a process that would not rock the boat.
These people seem to forget that to make change you have to engage Aboriginal people. Aborigines have to get back on the streets to be heard. If I was Senator Scullion, I would not be worried about people wearing T-shirts with “stop the intervention” on them. I would be worried that they did not have “Burn Baby Burn” on them, and blackfellas massing on Sydney like they did in 1988.
Les Malezer slipped under the radar, he will be bombarded from sectors of the mainstream press as they demonise him and look under every stone. They will revisit his past just as they did with Geoff Clark and Sugar. Whitefellas don’t like blackfellas in this country; it’s part of their DNA.
Les needs to tread lightly and when asked a question give the Queensland response, where he grew up, use the same tangled syntax as old Joh Bjelke and say “Don’t you worry about that”.