July 22nd 2006

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Costello stays on ... for the time being

EDITORIAL: China: let the truth be told

ECONOMY: ABS report card on Australia's economy

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Liberals turning to Whitlam-style centralism

AGRICULTURE: Tax breaks for wealthy hurting agriculture

INTERNET FILTERING: Coonan's cash buys a dud

STRAWS IN THE WIND: In days of old, when knights were bold / Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings / When the music stopped / The never-ending blood feud / Keeping the lid on our schools

CULTURE WARS: Is it too late to save our civilisation?

SCHOOLS: Time to teach proper history

OPINION: The Muslim problem facing Australia

MEDICAL SCIENCE: Media hype over cloning and embryo stem cells

MEDIA: Time to evict Channel Ten's 'Big Brothel'

Adoption fears (letter)

Aboriginal tragedy (letter)

Sexual integrity and Big Brother (letter)

BOOKS: Laurence Rees, AUSCHWITZ: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' / THE NAZIS: A Warning from History


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Aboriginal tragedy (letter)

by Richard Congram

News Weekly, July 22, 2006

As one who has long regarded the National Civic Council as a bastion to ensure the triumph of common sense over nonsense, I was very surprised and disappointed to see the political correctness disease present in News Weekly.

In "No quick fix for suffering Aboriginal communities" (Canberra Observed, News Weekly, July 8, 2006), Health Minister Tony Abbott's realistic, sensible and responsible call for a policy of "new paternalism" was described as "inflammatory and unhelpful".

That criticism is all the more extraordinary in light of the article's later statement that indigenous communities have been the victims of a cynical social engineering exercise over the past 30-odd years.

Indeed they have, and prior to the beginning of that disastrous experiment their living standards and conditions were far above the deplorable and hopeless depths to which they have now sunk.

Yes, the previous official policy was, of necessity, paternalistic; but it was motivated by compassion, in exactly the same way as we were and are paternalistic towards our children.

No fair-minded person suggests that Aborigines should not be allowed to nurture their own history and culture; but before that is possible they must be lifted up from their present abject environment of poverty, illness, ignorance and self-harm.

Aboriginal leaders have been given considerable autonomy but have failed their people; and billions of taxpayers' dollars have been squandered over very many years in a vain attempt to improve the catastrophic situation.

It may be a truism, but we do elect governments to govern. They must ignore the misguided protestations of civil libertarians, naïve church groups and NGOs if the Aboriginal tragedy is to be ended. And, distasteful though some may find it, success can be achieved only through a policy of kind but firm paternalism.

Richard Congram,
Carindale, Qld.

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