The radical intervention into Indigenous Affairs in the Northern Territory announced on 21 June is not just about John Howard and Mal Brough it’s about the knowledge and expertise of our Coalition Government working together in a time of crisis.
Sure, there’s an element of politics in all this after all, for 11 years, the Howard Government hasn’t actually done very much, and internal Liberal Party polling has revealed that voters are finding it hard to be passionate about ambivalence, yet again.
Some hangdogs and cynics have suggested that voters will ignore Indigenous issues, and they may be right. But what they’ve ignored is that Howard’s now assembled the political and intellectual heavyweights of the Coalition and they’ll be working as a world-beating tag team on this one.
Anyone who’s read the Little Children Are Sacred Report will know that the issues it raises are very complicated there are no silver bullets and no single solutions. But what Howard’s discovered is that many of his proposed solutions have a one-to-one fit with the available talent in the Coalition.
For instance, Mal ‘Rough’n’Tough’ Brough is finalising the delivery of high speed internet to all Indigenous communities. Known affectionately as Broughband, the technology is just like the Queenslander himself it’s real quick and it kicks butt. But what really has everyone excited is Broughband’s ability to instantly detect a user’s attempt to download p*rn, which it replaces with a random file of scriptural quotes from the King James Bible. P*rn? Problem solved! Tick.
The Indigenous Emergency (TIE) will see the release of other brilliant inventions from the Clever Country. Everyone knows alcohol withdrawal can be tough, so down at Kirribilli House Janette Howard has been concocting Janette Juice. Developed over the past four years at a cost of almost $110,000 and the results are spectacular. When consumed, the drinker literally pulls their punches, making them largely harmless. Much like a methadone program, Janette Juice has the potential to make drinking grog completely harmless. Alcoholism? Problem solved! Tick.
The Howard Government knows that the only genuine hope for Indigenous Australians is sport. So, a suite of programs will be unleashed on the Top End including The Mad Monk’s Long Ride. Not dissimilar to Mao’s Long March through China but in a far more inhospitable climate, Tony Abbott leads a bike riding and camping adventure to all the nice parts of NT that everyone would like to visit. There will be (full) health check-ups for all kids that successfully complete the event. Lack of sport: Problem solved! Tick.
Then there’s the Coalition’s answer to Ned Flanders. He may live in Tasmania, but Senator Guy Barnett is just as concerned about sexual abuse of kiddies in NT. With this in mind, he has personally approved an Army transport to drive around townships playing a recording of the Barnett family singing ‘Kumbaya.’ Paedophilia? Problem solved! Tick.
Further confirmation that the Howard Government is in this for the long haul, comes from semi-retiree Bruce Baird who has promised swimming lessons to all kids in Mutitjulu and will be at the pool (there is a pool, isn’t there?) Monday morning at sparrow’s fart, post-election victory, to start everyone on their laps. Stroke Correction? Problem solved! Tick.
Some of these measures may seem extreme but the Howard Government knows when sensitivity to cultural protocols is essential. For this reason, a community consultation program (actually it’s a Public Private Partnership) will be activated, and is a super opportunity for elders to have a quiet chat in confidence. Said chat will be conducted with one of three Compassionate Community Panel members: Nick Minchin, Ron Walker or Chip Goodyear. Cultural Protocols? Problem solved! Tick.
The States have shown that they are utterly incapable of addressing the Indigenous problem, but the Howard Government is showing them the way. And who better than the great White hope of Black politics, Noel Pearson. The Noel Road Show will be travelling everywhere south of Torres Strait with his PowerPoint presentation, The Incompatible Truth, which highlights why everything horrible is the fault of all those Whitlam-loving, welfare cheats. Inspiration? Problem solved! Tick.
Kids in all the States and Territories will also get the chance to participate in Julie Bishop’s National Staring Competition. Keeping Julie Out of the Way? Problem solved! Tick.
At this moment, Peter Costello hasn’t offered his input. He wasn’t informed of any details regarding TIE, and therefore he isn’t participating.
But the last word has to go to John Howard, whose acute sense of political rhetoric is fast approaching Martin Luther King’s in terms of power, sensitivity and passion. When Australia eventually goes to the ballot box later this year, Honest John will remind voters that ‘if you don’t vote for us, a Black child will be sexually abused.’ Genius!
Next week: Rudd Attack. Kevin responds with a policy that’s bigger, better and way less interventionist including: Sing Song with Peter Garrett.
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