Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hypocrisy of the Most Breathtaking Kind

For those gentle readers who do not like my occasional forays into Australian politics, please look away now. But this one is relatively brief.

In perusing the blogs and the news today, I just couldn't help but notice that in one breath PM Howard is ramming the NT Aboriginal legislation changes through Parliament with barely enough time for consideration, let alone debate or, heaven forbid, consultation with the communities concerned, while in the next breath he is attacking Queensland's proposed forced local government mergers for having a lack of community consultation.

The sheer bald-faced audacity. Consider these two reported quotes from Honest John:

1. From the ABC a couple of days ago

"[Labor] is entitled to see the legislation and to express whatever view it wants, but I want to make it clear, we will not be changing our approach in the Northern Territory," he said.

"We will be going ahead with all of the elements of the intervention plan that [Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal] Brough and I announced, including in relation to the permit system and the prohibitions on alcohol."

In other words, not Labor, which has indicated a willingness to take a bipartisan approach on this issue, not the academics who created the original reports on which Howard and Brough are acting, not aboriginal leaders in general, and not the communities concerned are to be given any voice or influence over the specifics of the legislation. They can all just go to Hell because We Know Best (or will not have Our Agenda meddled with).

2. From today's SMH

"I challenge the Premier of Queensland, let the people speak on your amalgamation proposal.

"Let this be a reminder that if you remove the check and balance in our system and if you have Labor governments at every level, this sort of behaviour will become the norm."

Checks and balances. Yeah, right, you are something of an expert about the abuses that can occur when checks and balances are removed aren't you, Mr Prime Minister. Makes me retch.

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