Tony Abbott MP: Top Bloke

I have subscriptions to a whole bunch of varied and different email lists, and one of those is the email list of Tony Abbott MP, the former Australian Health Minister. And through reading much of what he writes, I’ve formulated the opinion “Tony Abbott is a top bloke, one I’d sit and have a drink with”.

Mr Abbott is a practising Catholic, and this often resulted in him getting loads of crap from the media, particularly in the debate over abortion drug RU486, and even more so in the weeks it was thought that he’d fathered a son out of wedlock, although later revelations found that the man wasn’t Mr. Abbott’s son. But now I’m getting sidetracked.

Tony Abbott, while still a member of Parliament, is actually out there doing something that will make a difference. Something pretty major. And now, I’ll copy the information from his email for you to read.

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Northern Territory National Emergency Response

This week, it’s been one year since the former Prime Minister of Australia John Howard launched the Northern Territory National Emergency Response, an initiative designed to bring safety and protection to Aboriginal communities, as well as bring about lasting economic change. The initiative has been described as a racist move by a racist Government, and the argument has been put forth by some sections of the community that it’s an attempt to keep Aboriginals down and remove their culture from them. This argument is false, it has always been to improve the lives of Australian citizens who have no jobs and few prospects in the towns in which they live.

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‘Stolen Generations’ listed as ‘genocide’

From The Australian, March 24 2008:

THE forced removal of children from Aboriginal families has been included in an international compilation of genocide events, reviving the controversy about the use of the term to describe the Stolen Generations.

Paul Bartrop, who co-authored The Dictionary of Genocide with US scholar Samuel Totten, has rejected the use of the word genocide to describe Australian colonial history in general, but says the use of the term can be “sustained relatively easily” when describing the Stolen Generations.

Dr Bartrop, who wrote the entry titled “Australia, Genocide in:”, said he used the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as cited by Ronald Wilson in his 1997 Bringing Them Home report, as the benchmark for the use of the term genocide.


Dr Bartrop’s entry states that the charge of genocide was “vehemently rejected by many who had previously viewed genocide only from the perspective of killing. Others agreed that removals had taken place, but that the report was unfair in labelling the policy as genocide in view of the fact that those carrying it out were acting from good intentions”.

“When we look at the Stolen Children, it’s unequivocal,” said Dr Bartrop, head of the History Department at Bialik College in Melbourne.

“But there seems to be a strong view among Australians that we’re too good for that, we’re all good blokes and we don’t do those things here. People who think that way need to grow up and face facts.” [emphasis mine]

That’s it. I’m speechless.

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