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EYE-BALL Opinion on – Title: The Government’s “Closing the GAP” report into “Indigenous Wellbeing” …

February 15, 2012
The Government’s “Closing the GAP” report –
into “Indigenous Wellbeing” …
Julia GILLARD delivered her Government’s ‘Closing the Gap’report on indigenous wellbeing and integration to the Parliament this morning – and in listening to her tone and deliverance – many many thoughts rushed forth –

  • … is this the same person who stabbed Kevin RUDD in the back –
  • … is she the same person who can tell a straight face lie one day and bring on tears and emotive narrative to raise the hairs on listeners necks –
  • … who is this woman serving as our Prime Minister – is she drawing from bi-polar type experiences of depressive episodes and extremes of political highs to change her persona to suit the circumstances –

The woman in Julia Gillard shone through with this speech – the Parliamentary chamber listened in silence – you could hear a penny drop – no interjections – an odd throat clearance – is was amazing – and when the Opposition Leader rose to respond – he was first to congratulate the PM on her speech.

The comparisons with the ‘Question Time’ rowdiness and so called ‘robust’ debate congers up the whole concept of televised ‘Question Time’ being the ‘soap’ viewing allowing Politicians who are normally never near the media cameras to get their time in the spotlight.

One day both sides are clawing and scratching and presenting to the Australian public the childlike behaviour that the House descends into – and then the next day – it appears that all is forgiven and everybody is talking in glowing terms about one another across the aisle …

Does this confuse you? Is the subject of Indigenous wellbeing such a ‘no-go’ topic that neither side wants to thrown a ‘barb’ that might – or could be interpreted negatively and backfire?

Emotive Politics is on show everywhere when it comes to private and personal discussions – the rules of backyard barbeques and gatherings is to stay away from politics and religion as debate topics – yet these two issues are the most emotive of subjects and should be discussed openly.  It is only through experience in how discussions on these subjects turn out that they are taboo subjects.

The House is where politics is the only subject – what the public see during Question Time can only make us all think negatively of our Representatives – should it be their role to improve their image – or should we just accept that what happens in televised Question Time is a reflection of backyard arguments when politics is discussed.

Why is politics the emotive sponsor to heated discussion?  How many of us truly understand the Parliamentary process and the Party line politics that has replaced true democracy?

The INDIGENOUS issue is 200+ years in the making – the reluctance of Howard to say ‘sorry’ resonated with many in the electorate – but the proof and reality is that European expansion across the globe treated indigenous populations in ways that could never be tolerated in the western world today.  Why was it so hard for Howard to say ‘sorry’ – we all saw the RUDD apology and his political ratings soared as a result –

What we saw in the parliament today was a tone of conciliation – not confrontation – was this a true reflection of how each party really feels or was it just politics being played out to manage profile and media attention?

Since Keating sponsored the ‘MABO’ legislation – indigenous affairs have played a greater part in the political agenda.   Yet – indigenous representation in the House or Senate is miniscule – to get elected to Federal Parliament requires mammoth funding and alliance with a National Party mechanism – Independents have been born from Party membership defections – the current exception being Andrew Wilkie – but the Party political demand that Members vote the Party line above the Members own conscious and the wishes of their electorate is destroying our form of Government and Democracy.

Should Independents have the responsibility for the balance of power?  Their vote count is hardly representative in the total vote tally.   This minority Government claims to be working successfully – but without Craig Thompson sitting on the backbenchers of the Government all last year – how much legislative process would have been achieved?

Having a Member with the overhang of criminal charges being laid – and the oversight that the delay in the investigations was interfered with by the PM’s office to allow her to maintain the numbers to form Government – brings the political process of this Government into question.

Identifying the Julia Gillard who spoke to the House this morning with all that is known of her role in the RUDD dismissal and her deeds to hold onto the PM job is impossible.  She is portraying multiple type persona’s and which is the real Julia Gillard?


To have your say where it counts:  – contact your Local Federal Representative and have your say  – please use the links below to find your Local Member and let them know how you feel about this – of you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Link to Previous EYE-BALL Posts.


The EYE-BALL Opinion …

  1. david the pragmatist
    February 15, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Your article is well written and the points made are subjectively fair. Indigenous matters are contentious as it supposedly raises the guilt associated with racial conquests and treatment.
    I personally (admittantly subjectively) I do not feel guilty.I sometimes feel embarassed by “red necks” who are overtly racist but this is not a feeling of guilt for the issues that continue.

    The indigenous problem is a cultural issue that rises from one society overpowering another.

    Evolution to a point transcribes this. We have to my knowledge thrown money care and all sorts of benefits to the Aboringinal population, probably and arguably descrimanated against many other Australians in the process and we have been singularly unsuccessful in easing the public guilt that the media does not let us forget. For no other reason than the media see an ongoing political story. Like many things in the media I believe the hyprocisy is rife.If the Aboriginal people were allowed to get on with life I suspect they would do much better than being constantly reminded of how badly they have been done by.

    Modern politics is about spin and the quandry that politicians can not let go is what they are told are the crucial issues that effects our daily lives. Mostly media driven to make a story!

    What a shame that politicians cannot vote from their heart and make things better for their constituents along the moral lines of presumably why they ran to be politicians.
    The points you raise about Gillard are fine but it seems to me that your hypocrisy is again evident when you critise Howard for not saying “sorry”.
    It seems to me that John Howard had a personal belief not to apologise, the subjectiveness of that decision should not be overlooked in the context of him doing something he believed in. How many of our politicians vote witheir feet in such circumstances. Wether you agree with him or not, he did it his way and good luck to him, I just wish a few of our others did the same.

    PS Its “Mabo” not Marbo.


  2. February 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Hi David the Pragmatist:

    Thanks for the spell update …

    The post was attempting to raise the Gillard persona changes – the issue of the ‘Closing the Gap’ Report on Indigenous wellbeing was the medium she used to alter her public profile at a time when there is so much negativity happening in her PM’ship.

    On the Indigenous issue – Howards reluctance to say ‘sorry’ was born out of his belief that he did nothing to warrant his apology. This is a ‘cup half full – half empty’ type of debate – Germany paid for years over the crimes Hitler was responsible for – did any of the rest of the World forgive all other Germans after Germany were defeated – NO …

    The human instinct is to deny – and Howard’s instinct was about legal ramifications – New Zealand paid out Billions to the Indigenous population during the 90’s in their reconciliation process – Howard was wary of this and that is why he would not make the public apology …

    Trying to domesticate the indigenous populations around the world to Western standards has failed at every turn – why is it important that these population’s need to be made to live up to western standards …

    On education, health, housing, welfare, and all the other pointers contained within the ‘Closing the Gap’ report – yes by our standards this population live inferior lives – but do they not have self-determinatuion entitlements – as you said throwing money at the problem is our way of appeasing our conscience – is there a better way?

    Mal Brough talked Howard around on the plight of the indigenous population – exposure to their living standards is gut wrenching and something all Australians should acknowledge. Helping them help themselves is what the ‘Closing the Gap’ is about – and in another ten years or if the promise’s made by this Governemnt are realised – then more will have been done in the last 15 years to help indigenous communities than all the wasted effots of past decades combined.

    As always – time will tell – and when Julia puts on her game face once again this afternoon during Question Time – this mornings gregariously friendly experience would have long been forgotten.

    Again – time will tell…


  3. david the pragmatist
    February 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    The following is a direct quote from your response above,

    “On the Indigenous issue – Howards reluctance to say ‘sorry’ was born out of his belief that he did nothing to warrant his apology. This is a ‘cup half full – half empty’ type of debate – Germany paid for years over the crimes Hitler was responsible for – did any of the rest of the World forgive all other Germans after Germany were defeated – NO …”

    Howards reluctance was justified…..is this what you mean…..I suspect when Howard was originally quoted in your blog, you meant it to be a negative…..you see how the context in isolation is now a positive from your perspective! Finally you make an unfactual statement when you said “rest of the world forgive after Germany was defeated! you cannot assume or presume on behalf of the rest of the world……..you could have said most of the rest of the world and maintained a half truth or subjectively said I assume the rest of the world.

    These points emphasize what i always have said about your opinion pieces ie you are no different to politicians or the media when it comes to creating emphasis on the opinion you want to create. BE OBJECTIVE about your opinions and balance your critique and you will then be worthy of having opinions people can respect.

  4. February 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm


    You’re comparing ‘dick’ sizes in a baby contest –

    The general consensus after WWII was that all Germans were responsible for Hitler – all history acknowledges this in many ways – in fact Germany could not forgive itself for decades after – the analogy was used to emphasis Howard’s liplock over saying ‘sorry’ – some men can’t say the word – they’re never sorry for anything they do …

    Nitpicking aside – if this is all you could find to write about as a response – your days are becoming more boring …

    Read Harry’s Growl – his humour might make you smile …

    EYE-BALL …

  5. Herman
    February 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants

    John Howard’s epitath is slowly being written. For Australia’s 2nd longest serving Prime Minister to be the first dumped in his electorate, while still PM, is not a label anyone would rest easily with. John Howard’s ultimate demise will be put down to Workchoices. Personally I turned against him after the Iraq invasion and the crap on Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Kevin Dudd’s early popularity will be ascribed to doing simple things like, signing of Kyoto and Sorry. As he is now Foreign Minister and Aspiring Leader his epitath will not be written for sometime.

    Thereafter as we ponder the relative contributions (particularly of Howard) and his obstinance over Sorry and Reconciliation. It parallels his obstinance over Workchoices and failing to pass the reigns over to Peter Costello. Had Peter Costello had been Opposition leader in August 2010, I believe he would now be PM.

    This comes to the old proverb, if but for a nail the horse would have been shod, if but for the horse the message would have been delivered, if but for the message the battle would have been won, if but for the battle the war would have been won.

    So who is the giant, and who is the dwarf standing on shoulders.

    Dwelling on Howard’s stance to reconciliation does not achieve much. This comment has had me pondering deeply.

    What is relevant is can we learn our lesson from the mistakes of the past. Social attitudes have evolved, and continue evolving. Are our current crop of politicians able to do what is wisest in the circumstance. Enquiries like the government report can themselves be circumspect. Eyeball wrote the piece questioning is this the same woman etc. Do we take it at face value? Was the delivery in parliament truly heartfelt or the chamber just recognised its polling value. A bi partisan approach. A big criticism of this parliament is opinion polls dictate policy.

    We want our leaders to inspire. Not behave like school yard bullies or bar room brawlers.

    Give us more Giants.

  6. March 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    An amazing article, thanks for the writing.

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