GovThuggery round-up

Atticus has “Secret police inquiry a whitewash” at Larvatus Prodeo

Here is the unsurprising conclusion of the investigation into badgeless APEC cops:

Police commissioner Andrew Scipione ordered an internal inquiry by the Professional Standards Command, which found there were real concerns that pin-backed name tags could be used as weapons against officers.

This is a bit strange. The SMH reported last week that “[t]he badges are made out of cotton and are attached to an officer’s blue riot overalls with velcro.” It’s hard to see how velcro could be used as a weapon, except perhaps as identification evidence.

Photos are here and here.

Atticus continues:

The dark rectangle on the right of their chests is the velcro to which the identification patch is attached. These officers therefore can not be afraid of pin-pricks.


Jane Simpson at Transient Languages and Cultures has “Are you sick of emotional wallpaper? Complain!” The Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald have been illustrating news reports about sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities – with random photos of Aboriginal children. Jane dubs this illustration strategy “emotional wallpaper”.

Complaints were dismissed by the Australian Press Council on the basis that having a photo of a specific child on a story about the abuse of Aboriginal children wasn’t at all confusing or misleading, and didn’t in any way imply that the specific child photographed had anything to do with the story.

Simpson continues:

The newspapers claim the parents gave consent for the pictures. I wonder if they can document this? I wonder if the parents really knew the implications of giving consent – was it informed consent? No way would Rupert or Jack Herman, or the journos give consent for pictures of their kids to be used in such stories. They know too much about what pictures and text side-by-side can do.

Wanna complain? …

Jangari comments:

Presumably, the duty to inform the public of important issues and the right to illustrate these issues with photographs are not separate, but rather the photographs must pertain in some way to the issues of which the public is being informed. That is, I would expect that the story illustrated with a picture of, say, Rupert Murdoch, is about Rupert Murdoch in some way, as opposed to the story being about Jacques Chirac for instance, and merely being illustrated with Rupert Murdoch’s picture simply because he is picturesque (how fanciful).

That said, if the only relation that holds between the subject of a photo and the subject of an article that the photo illustrates is that they have ethnicity (roughly) in common, then I would contend that the Murdoch/Chirac example is equally as permissible.


Lastly, Kim Christen expands on the government’s Red Centre Centrelink clusterfuck (can I call this the RCCC from now on?) in “Centrelink Madness”. In the last reports, we were told that Aboriginal people subject to the income-quarantine restrictions would have to spend the quarantined 50% of their income at Woolworths. Now we’re told it’s Woollies, Coles, or K-Mart. But it goes downhill from there: the welfare recipients will have to declare in advance how much money they will want to spend and at what store. No shopping the specials, no deciding on the spot what to buy where, as white people can. Add that to your “white privilege” lists. And every pay period, recipients will need to transport themselves and line up at a bus in the Alice Springs hospital carpark to get their voucher cards.

It gets even worse. Kim:

In another bit of Centrelink/intervention madness, last week when the head of Centrelink was in Tennant Creek explaining the policies to Aboriginal organizations, he said that those people living in town camps will have 1/2 of their incomes quarantined, BUT those in street addresses won’t. So”¦the grandmothers living in Mulga camp looking after a heap of kids will be punished and the drinkers who live in town, won’t. And this makes sense because? And this helps children how?

Categories: culture wars, indigenous, Politics, social justice, Sociology

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. The NT intervention just gets worse and worse. People are becoming numb about it, which is exactly what the govt wants, so that they don’t notice anymore and then then don’t have to actively decide to look away.

  2. And check out David Scrimgeour’s piece in Crikey today, which susggests that the Government is basing the intervention on some ideas of Helen Hughes

    * Small communities should be consolidated into “core concentration centres”
    * A health audit of all children should be conducted;
    * Local government should replace local councils, if necessary under a government-appointed administrator;
    * Communal title should be converted to leasehold;
    * Public housing should be privatised, with new houses and funding for maintenance to go only to those communities with 99-year leases;
    * The permit system should be abolished;
    * CDEP should be ended;
    * Customary law should be ended.

    “core concentration centres” has an awful ring of Arbeit macht frei, except that by closing CDEP they’re reducing the possibility of work.

  3. She actually used the term “concentration centres”?!

  4. At the annual conference of the Australian Linguistics Society this week in Tandanya, South Australia, Jane gave a presentation in which she outlined her prognosis of the likely effects of the intervention strategy.One of the more severe long term effects was the loss of employment opportunities in smaller regional and remote communities as a direct result of the scrapping of CDEp, and coupled with the madness of making aboriginal people shop at Woolies, Coles or K-Mart, will obviously encourage people to move out of communities and into towns. This is also consistent with the crackdown on grog in communities but the availability in towns. Then of course, there are no bilingual programs running in schools in towns (there are only 9 or 10 bilingual education programs running in all 119 non-urban (outside Darwin or Alice Springs) schools), which means further presure will be placed on indigenous languages. And this, as we have all observed just about everywhere in the world, causes devastating and deleterious social effects, thus feeding back into the entire poverty cycle.

  5. Hi Jangari. Thanks for bringing your perspective on the language effects into the discussion. I’m curious as to whether any government representative has made any statement on language-murder issues and the RCCC/Intervention/Recolonisation.

%d bloggers like this: