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The Forum > Article Comments > NT blackfellas labour for a better life > Comments

NT blackfellas labour for a better life : Comments

By Brian Johnstone, published 12/1/2006

Brian Johnstone argues the promise of a better life for Northern Territory blackfellas since the demise of the Country Liberal Party has not materialised.

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Thank you for an interesting example of political machinations.

The fact that the terms, Left /Right increasingly appear to highlight a persons political stance does not fully appreciate the deeper structures of society.

From what I read here, the protagonists are 'the northern suburbs' and 'the bush'. Could this read the 'rich v the poor', the white middle class v black lower class. Is the ALP sucking up to the northern suburbs to hold power at the detriment of 'tradtional' working class/poor Australians.

And is it not the case that Federal ALP are supporting more and more the 'economic rationalism' of the neo-conservatives because it gains votes.

For 'traditional' ALP voters the question is, who will fight for my rights, the rights of the 'working class' and marginalised Australians, not only in the territory but Australia as a whole.
It appears that it is not the Australian Labor Party.

Is it any wonder that the 'Tree of Knowledge' in Barcaldine is slowly dying, shedding limb after limb each time the ALP falters.
Posted by Coyote, Saturday, 14 January 2006 10:37:09 AM
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I recall watching the election and victory of NT Labor on TV but my horrible cynicism got in the way of me really believing this would eventuate in a sea change for blackfellas. If anything its now a benign form of political racism not overt as was with the CLP.

For others with this point of view we knew that Martin would perform all the ritual symbolics (like Garma) to appease the Leftist factions - but insofar as any real change in the internal infrastructure of power and privilege within the NT politics ,we knew that Labor would bend over backwards to remain in power. And this is exactly what you speak of and what they did.

The real test of the pudding will be those 5 Indigenous members of parliament and whether or not their electorates feel they have delivered.

Clare Martin, Peter Beattie, they all read from the same page when it comes to opportunistically using blackfellas for political fodder. Wayne Goss was perhaps the original architect of this cop-out approach to blackfella issues. His excuse was the back draft of conservatism left by JBP. Beattie with a huge majority in Qld has no excuse. Once suspects itís his and his partyís deep loathing for anything Aboriginal.

So in broad terms Labor has strategically walked away from blackfellas right across the nation.

Champioing black issues donít win votes, but blaming blacks for their own lot sure does. Mundine must be seen as a god send to Labor machine men who know this to be the case. They donít need Pearson, theyíve got a plastic K-mart version with their own ON=OFF switch.

Creating psuedo Aboriginalist positions in policy are as token in politics as are Aboriginal paitings you'll find hanging on the walls of parliamentary annexes and the corporate halls and foyers at the big end of town. They provide an illusion of social justice for a fraction of the price.
Posted by LEO, Saturday, 14 January 2006 6:04:34 PM
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