The view has long been held, hardly without question, that the English settled in Australia in 1788.  Many Indigenous Australians beg to differ.  Of late, vociferously.  They insist it was an invasion.

They may be right.

From a legal perspective there are a couple of arguments in their favour, the first of which takes us back to 1770 and James Cook.

A 19th century engraving showing Australian

Image via Wikipedia

In 1770 under Customary Law and Maritime Law it was illegal to usurp, occupy or repopulate lands of First Nations and treaties with these peoples were hence the legal norm and . . .

Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook had instructions to negotiate with the Natives and gain their consent to occupy land.  From April to August 1770, without the consent of the Indigenous Peoples or consultation Captain James Cook landed at a number of sites on the eastern coast of Australia claiming it for the British Crown.  On the 22 August 1770 on Possession Island off Cape York, Cook took possession of the whole east coast in right of his Majesty King George the Third (cited from The Other Side of the Coin by Tony Kamps).

But a treaty or any negotiation was, in Cook’s opinion, not a privilege to be afforded to ‘savages’ and he subsequently breached his instructions.  Before 1770, the construct of the Aborigine saw them positioned in the landscape as a savage: a subsequent depiction that evolved in the minds of European imagination. The English, especially, considered themselves well credentialed. As the first Englishman to encounter Aborigines, William Dampier instilled in other Englishmen’s minds the preconceptions about these people when he wrote that they were “the miserablest people in the world.” And the image of the Aborigine was to leave no impression of excitement or significance on Cook, merely accepting the Aborigines as Dampier had earlier reported. Cook had brought with him images of indigenous peoples as noble savages, largely the antithesis of Europeans. Cook was probably also influenced by the writings of Rousseau, whose saw native peoples as unadulterated by the evils of civilisation.

Whilst it is now widely acknowledged that Cook had acted improperly towards the Indigenous occupants it eventually mattered not to his peers. By declaring the continent terra nullius (no man’s land) the English found a legal lie to take custody of it.

Because the observable Aborigines did not grow crops and because Cook assumed there were no fishable rivers inland, he erroneously concluded that the land’s interior was empty.  Joseph Banks, meanwhile, thought that the Aborigines would run away and abandon their rights to land.  A totally stupid assumption, especially given that after an encounter with local people in Botany Bay Cook wrote that “all they seem’d to want was us to be gone”.

The second event takes us forward to 1841 and the case R. v. Bonjon in the Supreme Court of New South Wales before Willis J., 16 September 1841, Melbourne from where I’ll add further to the claim that the continent certainly was invaded.  The following three paragraphs are a summary of the proceedings.

Bonjon, a Wadora man, was charged with the shooting murder of Yammowing, of the Colijon people, at Geelong.  The proceedings before Judge Willis began with evidence as to the capacity of the defendant to plead the jurisdiction of the court, and to plead guilty or not guilty.  The court then heard argument on the question of whether it had jurisdiction to hear a charge of murder by one Aborigine of another.

Arguing against the court’s jurisdiction, Mr Redmond Barry, for Bonjon, said that there is nothing in the establishment of British sovereignty in this country which authorises the court to submit the Aboriginal natives to punishment for acts of aggression committed inter se.  New South Wales was occupied by the British, he argued, rather than conquered or ceded.  Occupation gave the Crown a right to the soil, but not to any authority over the Indigenous inhabitants as subjects, unless there be some treaty, compact or other demonstration of their desire to come under English law.  This does not interfere with the right of the sovereign to punish Aborigines who attack the persons or property of British settlers, or the reverse.  No statute states that Aborigines are British subjects, and there is no treaty or compact showing their submission to British authority; their assent was necessary.  Nor is there any reciprocity between them and the Crown to render them amenable to the criminal law.  It is impossible to apply the whole of that law to them.  Aborigines have their own modes of punishment, under their own regulations.  Their regulations, like those of all societies, extend to murder.  The Aborigines live in self-governing communities.  English law, then, was not the only law in the colony, and it could not be imposed on them by terror.

Mr Croke, the Crown Prosecutor, replied that it is lawful for a civilised country to occupy the territory of uncivilised persons, so long as they leave them sufficient land to enable them to acquire subsistence.  As a consequence of such settlement, the common law of England was transferred to the Port Phillip District of New South Wales.  All persons within that area owe a local allegiance to the Queen, and are bound by English law even for conflicts inter se.  They are protected by the law, and bound to obey it.  Sufficient land having been left for them, they have no original rights to the territory of Port Phillip, but merely an easement over the soil.  Bonjon is as much amenable to English law as a British subject.

The argument from Mr Barry that New South Wales was occupied, not conquered, was founded on this claim upon by the defense:

On the shore appeared a body of savages, armed with spears, which, however, they threw down as soon as they found the strangers had no hostile intention.

I consider this a lie (in order to save his client), as what has been conveniently ignored is the fact that the spears were thrown down after shots were fired by the English.  The local Aborigines, in throwing down their spears, were actually signalling defeat.  Technically, this means that the land was invaded.  The English were the aggressors as was confessed by the British Government not two years prior to this case, voicing the sentiments that:

You cannot overrate the solicitude of Her Majesty’s Government on the subject of the aborigines of New Holland.  It is impossible to overrate the conditions and prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest of commiserations.  I am well aware of the many difficulties which oppose themselves to the effectual protection of these people, and especially those which must originate from the exasperation of the settlers, on account of aggression on their property, which are not less irritating because they are nothing else than the natural results of the pernicious examples set to the aborigines, and of the many wrongs of which they have been the victims.  Still it is impossible that the Government should forget that the original aggression was our own. (My bold).

The small amount ethnographic evidence I have uncovered suggests that from Day 1 there was aggressive behaviour from the English (even before their so-called settlement of Australia).  This country was not peacefully settled as the school books tell us.  The first Australians wanted the first British visitors gone.  Through aggression from the outset they got to say.

They were invaders.

129 comments on “Invaders

  1. The attached picture in the post, incidentally, is a 19th century depiction of Cook’s landing. Please note how he was not warmly greeted.

  2. As I mentioned before, it was just a shock reaction on seeing an incredible sight. A fleet of ships with weird looking creatues on board.

    Its best to see it through their eyes and not rewrite history for the sake of convenience.

  3. I would like to add it was a lightly armed invasion to suit the needs of the time.

    Sir Joseph Banks reported to the Admiralty that Botany Bay was a good spot for a gaol. He also said the people are “cowardly”.

    Obviously he was comparing them to the other mob across the gap.

  4. It is irrelevant as to the arms carried, and not even that they were armed at all. For example, a person comes into your house it is called a home invasion because the person has not been invited in, and not due to the fact that they were armed.

  5. It was an invasion, without a doubt.

    They did it knowingly and with due diligence.

    Meta remarked elsewhere that the expression ‘terra nullius’ was introduced a few decades after the invasion.

    This may have come about in their quest to get legal entitlement through English law.

  6. This may have come about in their quest to get legal entitlement through English law.

    Absolutely spot on.

    El gordo, you are ablaze with brilliance today. I always suspected you had a bright side.

  7. They were not lightly armed, even though you suggest light resistence. Against rifles, spears can offer nothing else but light resistence.

  8. Migs, thank you for another thoughtful article.

    el gordo is, as usual, not here to participate seriously on the topic.

  9. El gordo, both the terms res nullius and terra nullius were used since Roman times. The former refering to anything which can be owned, for example wild animals and the latter of course relating to territory. Meta is correct, although the concept of terra nullius was common legal usage, as far as I am aware it wasn’t documented until mentioned in a court case in about the 1820’s.

  10. As a by the by, Sir Joseph Banks lost my respect for the way he treated Matthew Flinders on his return to England for the last time.

    Hill, Ernestine (1941). My Love Must Wait. The Story of Matthew Flinders. Sydney and London. Angus and Robertson.

    I still have my copy of the book but I ‘have it lost’ atm.

    Banks refused to pay Flinders an appropriate amount for all his efforts and left him to die in poverty.

    The assumption being that he had outlived his usefulness, just as the aborigines were considered unworthy of equal respect.

  11. Pip, did you know that if Flinders had have arrived at Kangaroo Island four days later than he did he would have found it claimed by the French?

  12. Couple of things …

    If there was an invasion it was 240 years ago … can’t change the past, don’t know the future – then live in the present … “they insist it was an invasion” … so what … that’s going to help who, do what?

    As for the “image from Wiki” … its a stylised drawing its not a photo of actual events … (have you seen how Moaris greet strangers?)

    The small amount ethnographic evidence I have uncovered suggests that from Day 1 there was aggressive behaviour from the English (even before their so-called settlement of Australia). This country was not peacefully settled as the school books tell us. The first Australians wanted the first British visitors gone. Through aggression from the outset they got to say.

    They were invaders.</i.

    The point of this post is what … to stir the pot … there is evidence of both "sides" being aggressive .. had I been Aboriginal so would I, had I settled I would defend what I believed (right or wrong) to be mine?

    Check the news on Tibet …

    Make the 18th century Poms look aggressive … we already know that …

    My ancestors invaded England … in 1066 (and here's me thinking I was a Saxon – ie the invaded), until my ancestry was traced to 1515, buggered that idea right up … (that's 500 years ago BTW!) … I haven't changed, just because my dream was shattered …

    I ask again what positive outcome does this post actually intend?

    Aboriginal clans were right? As an immigrant I have to go back to England …?

    Its alright to "defend" Aboriginal culture but you are damaging mine … and I'm supposed to accept that … is that fair?

    This country was not peacefully settled as the school books tell us.

    Then your children/grandchildren are not being taught what my grandchildren are … (my children are no in theirforties and they were taught of the conflict between Europeans and Aboriginals) … (a quick Google will reveal that …)

    Note: I have two Aboriginal friends (one full one half blood) and I have worked with many Aboriginals in performing arts (dance and song) and on mining leases … there are two types just like white folk … those that want to do and move on and those want to weep and live for a past they never knew!

  13. TB what is wrong in acknowledging that is what happened,

    I fail to see what upsets so many.

    All my people where here pre 1860. That does not change the history before they came.

    I believe that all that is being asked of us.

    They are not telling us to get out or asking for the land back.

  14. If it hadn’t been the Poms it would have been the Dutch or Portugese, or later the Japs.

    Best of a bad set of potential outcomes. Move on.

  15. and they still would have been invaders.

    How does one know, that for the Aboriginals, they would not have been better off.

    It takes a long stretch of the imagination to believe that they were treated fairly by many of our fore fathers.

  16. Hi TB, nice to see you here.

    I don’t consider the post to ask questions on whether we should accept what happened all those years or whether we need to acknowledge it. On my part, I was interested in what went on in the 18th century.

    I think all people now are aware of the conflicts since colonization. Not many are aware of the first conflicts though. That’s why we keep hearing that the original settlement was friendly.

  17. So…… How about that bitch fight in the ALP, eh? Talk about a dysfunctional government! Both more obsessed with knifing, covering up, getting revenge, and lying than with the actual delivery of good government!

    At least a decade in the wilderness I reckon!

  18. Miglo @ 6.36pm, yes I did…the French weren’t travelling so well at the time due to a lack of food supplies… I think…. I’ll have to go find my books to verify.

  19. James, I can’t disagree with you. In retrospect I’m glad it was the English that colonised Australia.

    As for moving on, I’m not with you. I presented an interpretation of what happened over two centuries ago. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Would you ask me to move on if I posted a blog about the Jewish view of the Nazis?

  20. TB, the Latin terms refer to concepts. They were used in the legal sense however it is unknown whether these terms were used in an “invasion” sense.

  21. So…… How about that bitch fight in the ALP, eh? Talk about a dysfunctional government! Both more obsessed with knifing, covering up, getting revenge, and lying than with the actual delivery of good government!

    Which one? The pretend one the media keeps talking about?

  22. Min, I have to leave for a while – I’ll get back to you on that, but at the time of Cook’s landing the French were pre-occupied, heading for their Revolution.

  23. Migs, I seem to be remember that, when war was supposedly a “gentleman’s game”, all of which changed with the advent of mustard gas WW2.

  24. Because, Miglo, the emphasis on terms such as invasion, genocide, and the like do nothing for reconciliation.

  25. James, just my own point of view but surely one of the steps necessary forward towards reconciliation, is recognition.

    It is extremism which does the damage, either black power individuals who do not want to understand that there are many white Australians sympathetic to past, and indeed present injustices. However, the other side of the coin, those who tell Aboriginal Australians to just “get over it”, does nothing to help either.

  26. Because, Miglo, the emphasis on terms such as invasion, genocide, and the like do nothing for reconciliation.

    Very good point, James, and perhaps you are right.

    As I don’t have a mainstream view it’s a hard question for me to reconcile (forgive the pun). Maybe everything can be sorted out with a treaty.

  27. If they don’t get over it they won’t get on.

    I presume you all realise this is a Cultural Marxist issue, like pokie reform, gay marriage and global warming?

    As a priority it doesn’t rate.

  28. Hi Miglo

    (“The English were the aggressors as was confessed by the British Government not two years prior to this case,”)
    Didn’t the British kill all the aboriginals in Tasmania, so they were the aggressors.
    You are doing a great job here Miglo, this is a great little blog, with a lovely clientele enjoying their own little cafe.

  29. El gordo, let me give you the drum. I’m into history. I love it. I talk about it and I’ll write about it whenever I can.

    But my love of history is a bit different than most people’s view of history. I’m not so much interested in what was done, but more to why it was done. What was in the heads of the people who did it? What idealogy drove them?

  30. Hi Lyn, so lovely to see you.

    You are right about Tasmania. Genocide was attempted.

    And here I might correct a little bit of popular belief. Truganini was not the last surviving full-blooded Tasmanian Aboriginal. That honour goes to Suke (or Old Suke as she was often called) who was one of the two Tasmanian Aborigines to outlive Truganini.

    Suke, who was taken to Kangaroo Island early in her life, outlived Truganini by 17 years.

  31. Didn’t the British kill all the aboriginals in Tasmania, so they were the aggressors.

    … attempted to, but not the Modern British … just the ones without 20/20 hindsight!

    You are doing a great job here Miglo, this is a great little blog, with a lovely clientele enjoying their own little cafe.

    That’s not actually a PLUS, Lyn, that’s groupthink … very negative …

    You are right about Tasmania. Genocide was attempted

    Got that right … another myth … and quite irrelevant in 2012 … (apart from the “guilt trip”, that simply makes the divide even wider)

  32. Hi again Miglo

    Nice to see you too. I meant to leave you this link, in case you hadn’t already seen the article.
    Justice” – a new book on the value of the Aboriginal Legal Service,
    christina macpherson
    (Not so long ago, Aboriginal people weren’t even recognised as citizens of their own country. They didn’t have the right to vote, the right tohave legal representation or even the right to fight for their own land).
    (A new book, ‘Justice’ documents the story of the ALS, from its humble beginnings to an organisation at the forefront of every major issue facing Aboriginal people today. Its author Fiona Skyring says when the ALS opened its doors in 1973)

    Cheers lyn

  33. For Cafe visitors who are not familiar with el gordo, TB and Ol’ Sancty, they do not come here with friendship on their minds.

  34. Nonetheless, Pip, I am happy to engage them. It is only when a certain one of those three return to their usual haunt and brag that their visit here was to remind themselves what a horrible place this is and that we are all loony, that I feel their presence here is not genuine.

  35. During the debate after QT pm the Medicare rebate, some bright spark said that Labor did not care about health.

    Guess the reasoning for this statement. If Labor cared, they would have spent Stimulus money on health.

    Not too sure how quick one can bring a hospital on line.

    As for our visitors, they do create a little diversion, which is good in small amounts but after a while becomes a little boring.

    Those who deny invasion, can they please give me another explanation for what happened.

  36. I think it’s quite OK to talk about the past. From where I sit I haven’t seen any generalisations made, apart from a couple of the commenters.

  37. To clarify my position, what has happened has happened and I’ve moved on. I don’t deny, however, that there were a multitude of wrongdoings.

  38. Min, personally, I think it’s too late for a treaty because of the 1967 Referendum. Please don’t ask me to explain as a lot of legal jargon would be required to fulfill the answer. I’d need a full day. 😦

  39. Cu @ 9.21pm,I heard that on QT.

    The person making the comments forgot to mention that the spend on Health was doubled as well……not instead of.

  40. To me, a Treaty would mean a lot to many, perhaps akin to the symbolism of Sorry Day.

    Perhaps the subject of another topic. 🙂

  41. Min, rather briefly, after the 1967 Referendum the Aboriginal people were no longer a nation within a nation. From that point of view, there cannot be a treaty. It’s too late.

  42. Looney on climate change, that’s true, and like barrackers everywhere (whether of the right or left) prone to aggressive ignorance.

    I’m a free agent.

  43. Point taken, el gordo.

    I do admit to liking your views on the paranormal. Probably because I share them with you. Unfortunately many people would consider our views, well, looney. 😦

  44. Miglo, if eg follows the big money funding the denialists and sceptics, it leads back to the biggest polluters.

    That should tell her something…

  45. Over at the other place we argue the toss on everything, but here you look for agreement and reinforcement, which isn’t helpful in our search for the truth.

    Another thing we may have in common is the idea of citizen journalists. I’ve mentioned before that the cafe mob are prolific, unfortunately their talents are wasted in what boils down to a chat room.

    Reporters running around picking up stories from the msm, which support your thinking, is hardly the future of news media in Australia.

    For what its worth, a blog which is consistently ahead of the news cycle, on a diverse range of issues, will be noticed by the msm journalists.

  46. I’ll give it a bash tomorrow, however, I’m not expecting it to be very balanced. But it might give me an insight into the way el gordo thinks.

    Maybe I could build a character profile.

  47. For what its worth, a blog which is consistently ahead of the news cycle, on a diverse range of issues, will be noticed by the msm journalists.

    That counts out the other place then.

  48. El gordo, it boils down to us being two different blog sites. Most of the people who come here just like to talk to each other. We are all comfortable with that. Someone from GT once told me that CW is like a coffee lounge whereas GT is like a front bar. To each his own.

    You may have noticed that most of the serious posts I write are about Indigenous Australia. I do this because I want to educate people, such as with my posts on Indigenous customs and culture. Statistics have shown me that these have been very popular, especially with Facebook visitors.

    I’d like to be able to offer more diversity but my expertise is limited, as is my time. Having said that, are there any issues you’d like to see debated here at the Cafe? We have many talented people – as you admitted – and I’m sure one would like to take up the challenge.

    Yours was a good comment, btw, although the first paragraph is open to rigorous debate.

  49. History is written by the victors…..
    They would have us believe that all was nice and polite…. They gave us a nation, we returned the favor by giving them disease, alcoholism, and racism….
    Great post mate 🙂

  50. All settler States can be considered invasions. Israel, South Africa, the Americas, The fact of the matter is that the British ruling class needed somewhere to put their unemployed and after the American Revolution shut down that outlet, Australia became the next logical place. Why were so many unemployed in Britain? The commons were privatised during the transition from feudalism to capitalism in the UK and peasants were more or less forced to look for ways to make a living by selling their labour power to urban manufacturing employers. The problem was an oversupply of labour power and a population increasingly turning to crime to make a living. Solution? Terra Nullus. The irony? Driving the native population of Australia of their commons and turning it to private use, mostly by sheep farmers. The need for paddock space crowded out hunter-gatherers forcing them into the crime of sometimes stealing sheep to eat. Of course there’s much more to the story than I can provide in a comments section; but you get the picture. It’s all about class domination based on ownership of wealth vs. those who own little but their own labour power to make a living by.

  51. Yeah, maybe I’m taking it too seriously. Good thing your watchdog is absent, otherwise I would be pummelled.


    People started arriving in this country, perhaps as early as 60,000 years ago, whenever sea level fell sufficiently to make the journey.

    They came through Timor and New Guinea, when the Gulf of Carpentaria became a large fresh water lake, and followed the river systems inland or travelled the coast road.

    Warm interstadials cut Australia off for thousands of years and then the migration began again when sea level fell.

    I contend that the fuzzy wuzzies of New Guinea became Taswegians through constant invasion from the north.

  52. Mike, exactly my understanding too. As well as the industrial revolution there were also the Famines. The most well known is of course the Great Irish Famine, but similar although not nearly as severe famines also hit the areas of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Scotland and parts of Wales.

    Therefore there was not only an oversupply of labour due to the transition to a manufacturing society, but there was the impact of the famines. Many turned to crime simply to feed their families, or immigration – hence the reason we see so many “agricultural labourers” as descriptions of “trade or calling” in the Assisted Immigration records from the 1830’s on.

    This is not an excuse for the Immigrants, but the people who were dispossessing the Aboriginal people of their land were in the majority uneducated, dispossessed peasant famers who had the opportunity to do something undreamed of in Mother England – own land.

    Just as a plug for another blogger, Mike’s hyperlink goes to his blog which is at:

  53. Good morning, el gordo. That’s another thing about blogging; we like it to be fun.

    That’s an interesting theory about the fuzzy wuzzies. I am guessing that you’re basing that on the many facial similarities between them and the Tasmanians.

    In my opinion most Tasmanians still take on that appearance.

  54. Miglo, it much be getting pretty boring over at the GT site, to have the likes of ol’ Sancty(Abbott) el gordo(Hunt) coming over to Cafe Whispers, next it will be Ratsarse(Hockey) & Splatterbottom (Pyne) invading the site, but hey I don’t mind TB coming over to the site, he talks a lot of common sense.

  55. And via India..

    Based on a series of genetic tests, they believe Aborigines travelled from Africa to Australia via India.

    Dr Raghavendra Rao and researchers from the Indian-government backed Anthropological Survey of India project found unique genetic mutations were shared between modern-day Indians and Aborigines, suggesting Australia’s indigenous people had once spent time on the sub-continent.

  56. Migs, here’s one for you..if the Aboriginal people were considered the most miserable on earth, then why did Arthur Phillip name the cove Manly: “their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place”.

  57. Hi Crowey. The last few times I’ve looked at GT all they’ve been talking about is what I or others have said over here. How could that be boring? :mrgreen:

    Funny enough, I’ve always got on well with Sancty. We’ve never crossed swords and we always show each other due respect. TB can come up with outstanding comments and most people enjoy his dialogue. I do not always agree with what he says but that is not a point to argue. Actually, sometimes I bitterly oppose what he says and I should engage him more. He doesn’t mind a good stoush. Unfortunately, he has more time for it than I do.

    El gordo is el gordo.

  58. Unfortunately, he has more time for it than I do.

    I wish! Retirement doesn’t mean less work … it just means you do it for nothing! (ie most of yesterday with a friend … 80 plus … getting his computer on the interwebby thingy.

    BTW, thanks, for the distinction, … 😉

  59. Miglo,

    They were not lightly armed, even though you suggest light resistence. Against rifles, spears can offer nothing else but light resistence.

    With the use of appropriate tactics, the spear, with the use of the woomera, and sufficient marshalled numbers could have expelled the invaders, however, like the Irish, Welsh and the Scottish, their penchant toward fighting one another diminished their ability to respond effectively and like the Irish and Scottish, the invasion was effective. We Australians declared our Independence of the British Parliament in the earlier part of the last century, though remained under the Monarchy; a process that the Scottish are at present trying to enact. Interestingly the Scottish are a Mix of Scottish and Celt along with Norse, and now English, all equally enabled. What we need is for all to be equally enabled which, although I was living with my family in Malaysia at the time, I believe the referendum was intended to enable; we still have a long way to go to achieve said aim, and have to overcome those that wish to maintain the invaders outlook, those that wish to maintain the aboriginals in a position of curiosities, and those of small intellectual capacity that are just plain racist. A major problem is that of how to allow those Aboriginals who wish to maintain a traditional lifestyle, without demeaning them or leaving them behind in education or health, or opportunity to advance themselves as and when they wish too. We as Australians need to foster more respect for one another, yet it is still difficult to get the Engineer to fully respect the Artist, as it is to have the Theoretical Physicist to respect the Chemist. To many are the prejudiced, that take prejudice as an end point, not a starting point for enlightened regard of the world around themselves.

  60. The main concern of the British invaders was to create a gaol and the solders were lightly armed, like guards at a prison camp, to keep the prisoners in check.

  61. I seem to remember it was not Australia they meant to empty their jails out to, but somewhere in Canada with a similar name.

    Cannot recall but I am sure I read that somewhere.

  62. Chris and,

    A major problem is that of how to allow those Aboriginals who wish to maintain a traditional lifestyle, without demeaning them or leaving them behind in education or health, or opportunity to advance themselves as and when they wish too.

    Excellent thoughts Chris. My first thought was How does any child of the outback receive an appropriate education? Sometimes children must attend boarding school, however with recent advancements in technology more are choosing to remain with parents/communities via Distance Ed. It would seem to me that providing this to Aboriginal communities should be a priority.

  63. TB, if it’s a fight your after . . . I’ll give you one.

    You really do miss the point, sometimes … Miggsy … but you’re not alone …

    … and that’s your second reference to “fight” on this thread …

    Actually, sometimes I bitterly oppose what he says and I should engage him more. He doesn’t mind a good stoush

    The first sentence is what blogs are about (for my edification anyway) … the last sentence … is not true, BUT I do have a low tolerance for … ignorance (in the true sense of the word), academic nonsense as opposed to my personal experience in the field, BS and hyperbole …

    You humans :mrgreen:

    … for those who don’t know where I’m coming from (unlike Min, Miglo and other posters of long standing who know me well) … I have trade, undergraduate and graduate qualifications, experience in staff/line management and consultancy (including self employed) work experience in a number of fields … and locations … ie across Oz, USA, South America and PNG …

    The Minister for War Water Finance & Fun, (my lovely wife of 44 years and partner extrodinaire), and I, have now both lived in three countries … she (Holland, Australia and PNG) and me (England, Australia and PNG) we have also had the privilege to visit in excess of 20 countries on three continents …

    … I confess that it may make me sound intolerant to some … but I firmly believe that the people I have met on my travels all want the same … a happy family life, food, shelter, understanding, work when they need it, a future for their children and PEACE!

    Colour is only a barrier to twits … I like nice people … white, brown, yellow, black, blue and brindle (I have froends born in many places and of many political persuasions) … I don’t like people who take advantage of race difference or colour … from any perspective …

    I confess to intolerance of organised reliigion of any denomination … too many are hypocrites … but that stems from personal issues …

    As an agnostic I prefer to walk the talk rather than talk the talk …

    Much of my work in the last 30 years, before I retired, was away from home … mainly on minesites … I therefore love being at home watching my two kids’ families and my five grandkids develop … they all live within a two minute walk …

    Why have I given so much info here … for credibility … I generally prefer to post at GT … but I post here when I have something to say … not to create a “stoush” …

    No-one here or at GT influences my independent comments! Yet …

  64. Migs, here’s one for you..if the Aboriginal people were considered the most miserable on earth, then why did Arthur Phillip name the cove Manly: “their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place”.

    Min, the remark that they were the most miserable people on earth was used by Dampier and presumed by Cook even before he came to Australia.

    Phillip named the place Manly after one of his officers commented on how manly the male Aborigines looked. Bit of a difference to Dampier’s observation.

  65. TB, you’re a hard bloke to please. You don’t like groupthink yet you don’t like a stoush either. Maybe you misinterpreted the meaning of the word. It was my attempt at ‘front bar’ talk.

    BTW, I wouldn’t go around advertising the fact you prefer to post at GT. Not here, anyway. Think of your credibility.

  66. With thanks to the Geelong Trades Hall for a copy of the transcript:

    At Geelong Trades Hall Council last week the following motion was adopted. Aboriginal Tent Embassy 40 Years, Condemning Tony Abbott and Supporting Kim Sattler. Recommendation “ This Council acknowledges 40 Years of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra and supports it’s continued struggle for land rights & justic…e for Aboriginal people in Australia & Torres Straits . We condemn Tony Abbott & reject his inflammatory remarks relating to the Embassy. If Australian politicians treated Aboriginal people with respect, politicians would not have to hide and rely on overzealous security idiots. GTHC congratulates Comrade Secretary Kim Sattler and support her actions involving the Tent Embassy. It is a step backward for democracy & free speech when one cannot discuss where politicians are or what they are saying. We need more accountability from those elected, not less.” T. Gooden / J. Cameron CARRIED

  67. Miglo @ 5.51pm,

    BTW, I wouldn’t go around advertising the fact you prefer to post at GT. Not here, anyway. Think of your credibility


  68. ‘..the miserablest people in the world’….Dampier would do well to visit ‘struggle street’.

    I’d like to see TB here more often. He has the ability to cut through the BS.

    Min, that Geelong Trade Hall motion reminds me of my Labor Party meetings in the seventies….Comrade Secretary?

  69. Min, the last time I heard the word comrade was from Gough Whitlam when addressing a Sydney Labor Club function in Surrey Hills. 1978, I think. All I remember of his speech was Margaret saying, ‘Oh for christ’s sake, Gough, sit down’! Needless to say he kept on talking.

  70. BTW, I wouldn’t go around advertising the fact you prefer to post at GT. Not here, anyway. Think of your credibility

    Mate, I was born in Yorkshire … and confess I spent the first 12 years of my life in the wrong country … but … Yorkshire “humour” is based on sarcasm … don’t even try it on a lad from the Pennines … Yorkshiremen, like Queenslanders (ask Parkinson) also have a reputation for being fiery … maybe that’s why I love being a Queenslande and very proud to be an Australian …

    And I can assure my cred is safe …

    Very sensitive here too I notice … no accusation of BS here, just a general statement, I did “accuse” of groupthink, a suggestion that you open your minds, I don’t deal in BS, Min, if you want to play silly buggers … that’s your choice..

  71. Miglo, maybe some see the problem as the women on this site do not know their place and you cannot keep them in line.

  72. (Curiously enough, TB, a peripatetic sometime-reader likes to imagine that an open-minded, independent-thinker is well-served by a variety of groups of various compositions and perspectives discussing a variety of matters variously; to avoid a potential recurse of (group)think about group(think), and/or partial-subjective normatives about normativities otherwise.)

  73. CU, are you playing the sexist card?

    If ’tis aimed at me … then your time be wasted … as with issues of race … male and female in my life are equal … albeit with a variety of skills to offer one another … my partner for life is just that … and I suspect my daughter, daughte-in law and grand-daughter would assure you of my deeds and words of equality … an old ploy but lacking in strengthe in 2012 … accept the truth of it … or play the Greer Game … to your eternity …

    I’m reading Arthur Conan Doyle at the moment (The White Company) and loving the 14th century prose … so meaningful … poor attempt, I know … but the sentiment above stands … thought it was fitting for a converted male chauvenist … 🙂

  74. No TB, I was being tongue in cheek and you would be the last person I would be aiming at, sorry.

    I am not so sure about others. including some females. Just look at Ms. Julie Bishop and Ms. Mirabella, they are worse than any male.

    I was reared by a mother who would not have known what the word feminism meant but believe me, she never stop to think that as a woman, she was barred from doing anything. I never knew her mother, but it would not surprised that she thought the same.

    Therefore I have never felt that being female made any difference.

    My father only had daughters, so helping with the cows and driving tractors was seen as the norm.

    Sadly TB there are many that cannot cope with women being equal and sometimes capable of having a opinion. The quality of this opinion has nothing to do with what gender one is born.

    Topping the class in a mixed school reinforced this belief. (I was not that smart. I do not want to give the impression that I have tickets on ,myself, I wasted a lot of my ability)

    No I am not pulling the sexism card, I am sending it up. It appears I did a poor job of doing so.

    TB, I believe you are aware of some who cannot see women as having any .worthwhile opinions.

  75. PS

    TB, and the it must be in the genes, my three daughter are extremely independent women.

    What I have trouble with is women who use their femininity to manipulate males. Cannot stand them.

    Ms. Bishop annoys me with the way she google her eyes at the three leaders she has served under.

  76. TB, the ladies on this site cop a fair amount of shit. Thankfully they are much stronger people than those who regularly throw it at them.

    As for Min playing silly buggers, I didn’t see anything in her comments to suggest she was.

    As for needing to open my mind, I feel it is open wide enough. Nobody is qualified to tell me otherwise.

  77. TB, I forgot to add, I was attempting to congratulate Miglo.

    He allow women on this site to flourish and appears to enjoy their company.

    We feel welcome and free to say what we like.

    There are a few other like sites but they are far from th majority. Women are tolerated but not mach more.

  78. And as far as the group think trite accusation, there is a list of authors on the RHS of this blog. There are others of course including the wonderful Debra Freeman Highberger who starting writing again (she advised me) after an 8 year break. Debra’s first novel, her autobiograhy has been accepted by an American publisher. We have all been promised a copy. None of this would have happened without Migs’ constant encouragement and belief in people.

  79. Migs,
    As for needing to open my mind, I feel it is open wide enough. Nobody is qualified to tell me otherwise.

    Very true 🙂

  80. (Harkening back to ‘so what’, and just off the top of my head, some ideas about sewing buttons alongside the embroiderings of histories…

    1) sovereignty(ies) may not have been ceded or extinguished, as much as anyone might wish that all Australians, and some very particular ones, move on from that – and there are patent analogues to extinguishment mechanisms of native title to consider, with a recently suggested lapseability of claim(s), say, for effluxion of time or supervening change/(f)utility, illustrating the disconnect; a past-and-present policy continuity arguably done on the basis of a still-bootstrapped historico-legal fiction (see Miglo’s stimulus above), and perpetuated via same or similar (un)clean(ed) hands unto the present day
    2) the recent Constitutional recognition report notes that sovereignty is a potentially live legal and more general question, while stressing that recommended Constitutional amendments, as recommended, will not necessarily affect, nor will they unsettle or even touch on, that remaindered legal question/aspiration
    3) unlike Miglo, I’m not sure, conceptually- if not practically-speaking, that 1967’s recognition of indigenous persons as full citizens of Commonwealth necessarily nullifies collateral or latent past and/or present and/or future sovereignty(ies), any more than (dual-)citizenship(s), or co-existent State-Commonwealth memberships, or some other two-hat model, is presently precluded or preclusive at-law
    4) the emergent properties of an international normative framework for (recognizing) (non-)recognition of indigenous populations’ and cultures’ extended ‘rights’, not just recognition of ‘them’ (a subtle piece of rhetorical legerdemain, and covert agenda-setting for a site of otherwise contested terrain in contemporary Australian politics, when potential content of/for a range of recognition(s) disappears, say, into a naturallly-preferred-and-proferred formal attenuation, eg sequestering-via-preamble, or even accelerated assimilation via Constitution), in the global post-colonial rebound; and commonplace character assassinations of some advocates for any such intrinsic or extended repository of ‘rights’, or resort to it, especially of persons whose orbits have yielded a more comparative-international perspective, and who bring cross-fertilizations of potential political (re)organization(s) and buttressing(s) of claims back from their travels in time(s) and place(s), literally or academically; tweeting Treaty advocates being a classic example of the accepted practice
    5) a notable shift in political language-in-use, from A/TSI, to First Peoples, to First Nations
    6) general queries about the event-ual dynamics of broader and/or narrower and/or multi-perspectival conceptions of the form(s) and content(s) and process(es)of reconciliation(s).)

  81. So, Meta …

    … if I understand your thinking (usually way beyond my limited intellect) … you agree that the past is the past … the future will hold whatever politics humans will twist and turn with and whatever natural events are thrown at us … but ideally we should live peacably together in the present … recognising and supporting each others strengths and weaknesses?

  82. For those who may have missed it, here is a link to one of Debra’s truly inspiring stories, one of my favorites. Artist Debra wrote this about one of her Summer Students and close friend.. Debra was telling me that she knew Aimee for two years before she realized that she was a dual amputee.

    Group think? Ah well, some people just aren’t interested in anything other than harping negativity.

    Aimee started her life as a newborn with no fibulas. Because her tibias would eventually not support her they made an early decision to amputate when she was one years old…

    This wonderful and amazing woman I am talking about is Aimee Mullins. Some of you may know her as the first Paralympics’ athlete to run on Carbon Graphite legs; which she did in 1996 in Atlanta.

    It’s a little off Migs’ topic, but in some ways not..there are those who inspire us all to do a little better and those who seek to drag us down.

  83. (“It’s a little off Migs’ topic, but in some ways not…” *Trying very hard not to teletimeport to Victoria, Canada, 1994; preferring to teletimeport to Canberra, 1998 and/or Sydney, 2000*.)

  84. A very nice story here..

    Major Sumner, or Uncle Moogy, is an elder of the Ngarrindjeri, the people who held this territory before Europeans. They believe all the waters that come here, the river and lakes are one living body. David Unaipon, the inventor and writer featured on the $50 note, was one of their clan.

    Two years ago when the water system was dying of thirst, Moogy decided to go to the furthest point in the system, the upper reaches of the Darling in south-western Queensland, link up with local Aboriginal groups and dance for the river’s future.

  85. It’s good to see a positive story in the media, Min, but it is ruined by the use of the word ‘clan’. This was a term coined by Professor Stanner, who many Aborigines did not like.

    In some states the use is quite acceptable to Aboriginal people, in others it is offensive.

    To me, it sounds very Scottish.

    “Do ya hear me, ma lassie?”

  86. Migs, yes I hear you laddie 🙂 I have never heard the word ‘clan’ ever used..most times it’s ‘people’ or ‘family’.

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