Notes from London

Greetings from London.

It has been quite a while since I have posted here at the Cafe, but after seeing the new John Pilger documentary at it’s premier on Thursday night I felt I had to post about it.

The documentary is called “Utopia” and is a sad statement on the way that we treat the first nation people in Australia. There are so many shocking moments (and they were moments that elicited gasps of horror from the audience). In the documentary he questions whether Australia has inherited apartheid from South Africa? And why the rest of the world does not condemn us?

In the documentary, I think it was Jon Altman from the ANU who asks the question (and i am paraphrasing):

Is it time that Australia asked for help from other countries to solve the problem that the indigenous population face, because we cannot seem to solve it ourselves?

Some of the interviews with politicians show how they really do not understand the pain that they are causing. Mal Brough and particularly Warren Snowden come accross very badly. A plague on both their houses.

I urge you to watch the documentary when it comes out.

English: John Pilger NS head shot

John Pilger  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

26 comments on “Notes from London

  1. Joni, how wonderful to see you at the Cafe again. That is a very interesting thought, why does Australia not ask other countries? It would seem to me that a majority of Australians either consider that there is no problem or if there is, that the problem belongs to the Aboriginal people themselves. The opinions of Andrew Bolt would seem to combine these two but most especially the former.

  2. Thanks for that Joni.

    Yes indeed why don’t we ask other countries, and we don’t even have to go far for starters, just next door.

    It hasn’t been flawless and many problems remain but New Zealand has done it much better than we have. How can two countries settled more or less from the same source be so different in their handling of the indigenous peoples?

  3. Just love it when others or outsiders talk about Australia.
    Just talk to anybody who has been based at any of these settlements.
    It is an amazingly bad story and it is time these people showed some
    ownership and responsibility.
    The level of sexual abuse of their children ( both boys and girls ) was almost 100% , no excuses here.

  4. I like the idea of overseas people taking an interest in Aboriginal Australians. Not enough people here do.

  5. Vbs, a.k.a. the exth-spurt…. he’s talked to ‘somebody’ and now knows all about it……. drip !
    Hi joni, …. a phil-um that depicts Mal in a bad light 😕 …. No… not possible 😯 ! .. is it ??
    I will keep an eye out for it… and hope I don’t ‘cringe’ to much 😉 😦

  6. VOYAGER you jerk, joni is not only an Australian but was an original blogocracy and founder of blogocrats from which Café Whispers was formed. He has far more validity to comment than you will ever have.

    Not only that joni has more lucidity and knowledge on Australia than you have shown in your narrow minded ideological based lame and gormless posts here.

    I note that you never made the same criticism against an American visitor who on occasion posts on Australian affairs here, and on Aboriginal matters. Wonder if that’s because he’s right wing?

  7. Yes, Möbius, it’s because he’s right wing.

    And Joni was also one of the original founders of Café Whispers.

  8. You provide some great stuff. I get a lot of my real news from you. Congratulations. Please keep it up. Cheers, Penny

  9. “The level of sexual abuse of their children ( both boys and girls ) was almost 100% , no excuses here.”

    Where is the evidence for this statement. Like must that was said during the Intervention of Bough, it was not fact.

    The stories of abuse children, they used to warrant their actions where not hidden. They came from the NT criminal courts, where the perpetrators were convicted.

    Mr. Bough took the Army and doctors in to examine all the children for sexual abuse. Thankfully the doctors refused to cooperate, as this would have been child abuse of the highest order.

    There have not been a increased in the number of sexual abuse cases, revealed since the Intervention.

    In fact, bringing in the police and army, scaring the daylights out of the people would have put back the chance of sexual abuse of the children being resealed decades.

    One has to earn the trust of the community and the children, to encourage them to come forwarded. This is true in any community.

    These perpetrators are family members, father and brothers and cousins. NO child wants to be responsible for them being jailed.

    This is the great dilemma that many victims find themselves in. Yes, they want the abuse to stop. They do not want to see anyone go to jail.

    I have sat in on interviews, by police and child protection workers, were there has been full disclosure, of shocking abuse, but unable to go any further, as the child refuses to cooperate. All the child wants is it to stop. They are not willing to give evidence to put the father or grandfather in jail. One cannot proceed without their

    This is the big elephant in the room, as the present Royal Commission into Institutional abuse.

    How do the police and community take action, without a conviction. Nearly impossible.

    I have not seen one bit of evidence that the intervention has saved one child from abuse.

    From where I sit, the ones that were harmed most by Bought and Howard, where those that were doing the right thing.

  10. I will add this. These children were more at risk, from the overcrowding, they lived in.
    One cannot protect any child, under such conditions. It is impossible, with bodies sleeping everywhere.

    With people coming and going.

  11. The level of sexual abuse of their children ( both boys and girls ) was almost 100% , no excuses here.

    I just picked up on that Fu.

    That’s an outright lie VOYAGER. Howard went on about rampant sexual child abuse in Aboriginal communities, but Brough was by far the worst perpetrator of the misinformation, going on about organised paedophile rings. The intervention didn’t find one, nor did it find the rampant sexual abuse cited outside the cases that had already been reported before the intervention.

    The claims of rampant child sexual abuse were an excuse for the intervention, which as Downer revealed, was written up overnight in the hope of halting flagging opinion polls.

    It was pointed out to Howard that there was as much child sexual abuse in the suburbs of our major cities, so was he going to run an intervention there? Also it was pointed out that some miners, truck drivers and agents who had access to or through Aboriginal communities groomed young Aboriginal girls with porn and alcohol and would Howard do anything about that. He said it didn’t matter who was perpetrating the abuse they would be bought to justice.

    Howard never ran one investigation or police enquiry into anyone outside the communities abusing Aboriginal children, the entire investigation was conducted within them and solely against Aboriginal adults.

    It would really behove the right wingers to do a cursory lookup of facts before making blatantly false statements like that and then shooting themselves in the foot. And it’s especially iniquitous in this case as VOYAGER thought he was preaching lies to a someone who was ignorant in Australia so though he could pull the wool over their eyes.

    The incongruity is that Joni knows more about Aboriginal culture and contemporary indigenous events than the scant knowledge of them VOYAGER has shown so far.

  12. ME. when it comes to sexual abuse, I was amazed at the amount found in the so called, better families especially where one found religion.

    Also amazed at the incidents, that involved generations of the family. Grand dad, carrying on from his children to the grand kids.

    Over crowding not to blame in those families.

    It would surprise some, the number of mothers that were abused by their fathers. telling their daughters, they have to put up with it. I often wondered, if the kid’s father knew. Most were not around.

  13. ME, unless the child agrees to appear in court, very little can be done. It is rarely the case, that there are independent witnesses.

  14. G’day Joni, great to hear from you, and thanks for the post.
    While asking others who have to deal with indigenous populations for advice on “what works” would indeed be a rational approach to take, the likelihood that the current incompetent incumbents would even consider, let alone take such advice seems to be zero.
    One only has to consider their laughable and disgusting policy approaches to asylum seekers, the economy, and the environment (upon which we all depend) just to mention a few matters the where the lnp demonstrate that they are only influenced by ideology, with reality playing “second fiddle” to their fascist fantasy.

  15. I am Dutch and I am interested already for a long time in issues concerning Aboriginal Australians. The reason why at least European countries don’t condemn Australia is, as far as I can see: 1) Australia is very far away en politically of little interest to Europe. For example: the elections in Australia are good for a minimum number of short articles. None of them are really critical about Tony Abbott and his rather primitive statements and views. Most people here don’t even know who he is or that there was an election. 2) Australia has a very good feel for “selling” it’s country as a beautiful continent with fantastic landscapes. That’s all most people in Europe know about Australia and they love it. Of course most tourists know that there are Aboriginal people but their knowledge hardly ever goes any further than boomerangs, dot paintings and Uluru. Or they are extremely prejudiced and think all Aboriginal people are drunks and lazy bums. They don’t know anything of the diversity of the Aboriginal population (urban vs. traditional, them being not one people but many nations etc.). With a little bit of luck all they heard in the last years about Aboriginal Australia is that there was an apology and most people think everything is allright now. That’s one of these other brilliant moves of Australia. With the symbolic actions the country manages to get the attention of the world and put it ‘to sleep’ at the same time. The negative issues never cross the borders. It’s very hard to do something to change this view. I have tried a couple of times by organizing public viewings of the movie Our Generation. That was very succesful and the viewers really found it an eye-opener. They were shocked to find out what their dream destination is really like. But of course this is only on a small scale. It would be great if Utopia could also be brought to Europe. A suggestion: bring it to next year’s Down Under Australian Film Festival in Berlin. Our Generation was a great succes there. I am happy to organize public viewings. I have a mailing list and quite some contacts to realize this.

  16. If you want to see what PM Abbott, the self appointed Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and who broke his first promise to them in his week in office, thinks of the people he is the minister for.

    Why I won’t celebrate the William Bugmy decision

    In a very short time he has reversed position on almost every policy he opposed and promise he made in opposition, including those he made to the Aboriginals. Only a current State Premier here has a worse record in this country, but Abbot is rapidly overtaking that leader as well.

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