Sunday, August 31, 2014
The First Fleet's Arrival is Australia Defining Moment !
Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, addressing the launch of the Defining Moments Project has nominated the arrival of the first fleet, along with the launch of Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper and publication of The Lucky Country, as defining moments in the nation's history. Mr Abbott marked the 200th anniversary of the death of Arthur Phillip (31st August), the first governor of New South Wales, by crediting the arrival of that first fleet from Britain in 1788 as ''defining moment in the history of this continent'' He repeated it twice for reflective appreciation. He went on:
''It was the moment this continent became part of the modern world. It determined our language, our law and our fundamental values. Yes, it did dispossess and for a long time marginalise Indigenous people, still it's British settlement that has most profoundly shaped the country that we are.
It has provided the foundation for Australia to become one of the freest, fairest and most prosperous societies on the face of the earth. So Arthur Phillip (left) is as significant to modern Australia as George Washington is to the modern United States.''
There is a great gain to Abbott from saying something plainly true that will cause tribalists and grudge-mongers of the Left to rage. It makes him seem the voice of reason against the representatives of division and unreason. Unfortunately, but increasingly predictably, one of the critics was Abbott's top advisor on indigenous affairs, Warren Mundine: ''It was also a disastrous defining moment for Aboriginal people. Does that mean that Aboriginal people would have prospered from that? Of course not.'' Mundine is increasingly acting like an opposition member in the government.
Mundine should check what Abbott said before rushing to criticise him. Abbott did not deny dispossession. He did not say everyone benefited equally. He is not talking in the absolutes of the deadshit Left. Mundine however is talking in those absolutes that go with being a leader of the ''race'' industry. His own family history, his own relative prosperity and his own freedoms should tell him that, yes, he has indeed prospered, too, from British settlement. Look at the society around him and the benefits that he enjoys in full measure. How much of that would be there had no British, or indeed, European settlement occurred? (photo below) It is simply beyond any rational argument that British settlement was the single event which most shaped how the vast majority of us live today.
Of course our Leftist ABC finds other critics to rage against Abbott - or rage, rather, against a truth which does not fit their preferred narrative. Let me mention two ungrateful Abos. Matilda House, (photo on right) who does native ceremonies at Parliament, and who in her own mode of life and ancestry betrays the profound influence white settlement has had on her too, yet protests: ''I can't fathom how a ship that sailed into Sydney Harbor could overtake 60,000 years before.'' Look around you, Ms House. You may not fathom it, but the fact that more than 23 million Australians speak English, not one of the 510 languages your ''mob'' had, and abide by English-derived law, not Aboriginal, tells you just how profoundly those wasted 60,000 years, without any defining moments, were overtaken.
Then there's fair-skinned Kirsty Parker, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, who must also know how defining an event white settlement was on her own family, too: ''This notion that the real Australia, the true Australia, the good and modern Australia started in 1788 is of course offensive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.'' Once again, note how Abbott's critics need to verbal him in order to damn, suggesting that what he actually did say can't be demonised to their satisfaction. Parker rebuts an alleged fact not by proving it wrong, but by damning it as ''offensive''. This is one of the greatest poisons in public debate today, to make free speech unlawful.
The Way I See It....while it may be ''offensive'' to some, I say to Ms Parker, that does not make it untrue. If what Abbott says is false tell us his error. Tell us what he overlooked, are there any defining moments that we must recognize the Aboriginals achieved during their 60,000 years of occupation of this continent?
When did you invent the wheel? When did you settle on one language to consolidate the 510 that kept you from uniting as a real society? When did you discover metallurgy? What were you doing when empires were rising all over the world with coordinated building activities? Oh yes, that
I say to all Aborigines, do not retreat behind the imagined walls of ''race'' that so artificially divide us. Face the reality, even your how life is more complex that this ''us'' and ''them'' dichotomy suggests. We have all been profoundly shaped by British settlement, and, not incidentally, overwhelmingly for the good.