ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

November 2014



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Of soaring speeches and shit sandwiches

Two speeches in recent weeks in Australia have highlighted the shallow understanding of politics many leftists have.

Noel Pearson and Barack Obama are reactionaries, and in the case of Barack Obama, a war criminal and leader of the biggest death cult in the world.

Their sweet talking ways just mean they are more effective snake oil salesmen than the likes of Abbott.

The problem isn’t who is selling us the shit sandwich. The problem is the shit sandwich.



Comment from Kay
Time November 16, 2014 at 6:20 am

“…. the shallow understanding of politics many leftists have.” = they have a view different from yours. “The problem is the shit sandwich.” Really?

What’s your beef with Noel Pearson? Is it because he is against the welfare mentality so common within indigenous communities? Is it because he fights for indigenous self-determination, and for indigenous people to own and manage their own land and businesses? Is it because he supported The Intervention, in the face of overwhelming evidence of alcohol and domestic abuse within remote communities? Is it because he has championed ‘direct instruction’ as a means of lifting the educational standard of indigenous kids as a way of leading to their full engagement in the broader community? Is it because he favours a more positive approach to fighting discrimination against indigenous people, as opposed to the whingeing black-armband cries of the Left? Is it because he favours getting a better outcome for his people out of capitalism, rather than committing himself to destroying it?

I mean, what would Noel Pearson know? He is just an indigenous man, a lawyer no less, who was brought up in a remote indigenous community and spends his life working with indigenous communities and for indigenous rights!

I am absolutely certain the white inner-city latte-Left know so much better what is good for indigenous communities than does Noel Pearson!

Comment from Gary Foley
Time November 16, 2014 at 6:57 am

Kay, what a load of nonsense. Noel Pearson is largely despised by most Aboriginal peoples that I know around Australia (which I suggest is considerably more than you know). Passant is absolutely accurate in his description of Pearson as a “snake-oil salesman” and you seem to be one of those gullible masses who are ardent buyers of his snake oil 🙂 I suggest you do some reading and educate yourself.. or another

Comment from Kay
Time November 16, 2014 at 8:57 am

OK, Gary. You too are an activist in indigenous affairs. So you don’t agree with Noel Pearson – big deal. Does Noel Pearson speak for all Aboriginal peoples in Australia? Of course not. He doesn’t pretend to. No more so than any one white person could possibly be accused of speaking for ALL white people. Does New Matilda reflect the views of all indigenous people in Australia? Of course not. Very few people read this left wing paper anyway – white or black.

Noel Pearson comes from, and lives in, a very different part of Australia than you do, with very different issues to the fore. He operates within his own birth area, with his own people, and that area’s own set of issues. No doubt some local people support him, others oppose him. Once again, big deal. But he is better known throughout Australia than you are, although maybe you are more a darling of the inner-city Left set.

Is the Left any more qualified to speak for indigenous people, or any more qualified to know how best to give indigenous people the freedom to decide how they want to live, and how to finance that decision, than anyone else? I see no reason whatsoever to believe that, other than some indigenous people perhaps believing their interests might best be served by the complete disintegration of our society.

I have yet to see anyone come forward with any policies or approaches to indigenous affairs that show any likelihood of overall success. Perhaps because what is needed is a ‘horses for courses’ approach – different solutions for different communities. I am interested to see how well Noel Pearson succeeds in his own geographic area. If he does, that in itself would be a huge leap forward.

No jealousy of Noel Pearson’s prominence? Your very aggressive attack makes me wonder.

Comment from John
Time November 16, 2014 at 9:57 am

Dr Woolombi Waters in The Stringer: Australia’s so called “Aboriginal leaders” such as Professor Langton, Noel Pearson and Warren Mundine have no followers in our grass root communities. They demonstrate no foresight into the future or any real vision of hope for our communities. Instead they approach the issues with punitive, uncaring politics that only raises their profile in the White community with no consideration to collective responsibility or community obligation within our Black communities.

Comment from Kay
Time November 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Thanks for the link, John.

At the end of the day, indigenous affairs are still in a parlous state. Is it Noel Pearson’s (and Marcia Langton’s and Warren Mundine’s) fault? Definitely not. Is it the fault of those who criticise Noel Pearson? No. Everyone tries their best in the way they think is going to produce better outcomes. Nothing has worked so far. No wonder Pearson, Langton and Mundine are trying a different approach! That not everyone agrees is no surprise. Since when do you expect all indigenous people, or all white people, to have the same views as their fellow man (or woman)?

Has anyone polled every indigenous person in Australia re whether they support or disagree with Noel Pearson? No, of course not. Yet his critics are quite happy to say Pearson, Langton and Mundine “have no followers in our grass root communities” and “Noel Pearson is largely despised by most Aboriginal peoples that I (Gary Foley) know around Australia”. Maybe Gary Foley and his fellow critics have limited appeal in the bush – who knows. Unless it is a secret ballot, people tend to tell other people what they think they want to hear.

What I see here is possibly the good old ‘tall poppy’ syndrome, and possibly a tinge of jealousy. Certainly there is some Left wing bias at work.

I would welcome different approaches to indigenous issues in the desperate hope that some approach, somewhere, sometime, is more successful than past failures. Frankly, I don’t care if the success is initiated by the Right or Left, as long as it proves to be successful. But, it should be noted that both success and failure require time to unequivocally be demonstrated. To condemn ideas just because one disagrees with them, or doesn’t like the person proposing them, is hardly a helpful approach.

Comment from John
Time November 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Amy McQuire, New Matilda: So whilst non-Indigenous Australia was almost unanimous in its praise for Pearson’s Whitlam eulogy, the reaction from Aboriginal Australia was very, very different. It always is.

Comment from John
Time November 16, 2014 at 6:42 pm

The Guardian headline: Noel Pearson and Warren Mundine effigies burned in Indigenous G20 rally. (Also Marcia Langton’s).

Why is this happening? because Aboriginal people are completely pissed off with their rotten treatment and the sellouts as they describe them like Pearson, Mundine and Langton.

Comment from John
Time November 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Solutions? A treaty, recognising prior ownership and sovereignty, and paying the rent.

Comment from Kay
Time November 17, 2014 at 7:06 am


I doubt there is one country in the world (or hardly any) that has not been subject to many, many invasions and subsequent bad treatment of the previous inhabitants. Australia is just one of them. I don’t see other countries actually paying “rent” to any one of the many previous inhabitants. The Aboriginals are lucky Australia was truly ‘terra nullius’ when they arrived from Asia tens of thousands of years ago, I guess, or they too might be hit up for some “rent”.

If you compare with similar countries to Australia – NZ, US, South America, Canada, etc – where white invaders have overwhelmed the First Nations inhabitants, land rights legislation has been enacted, and various programs are in place to help these peoples achieve what they want – either the right to remain on their tribal lands and live the way they wish, or to fully integrate with the rest of society. We should be looking at these countries, how they have addressed the issue, and how successful it has been.

Certainly, in the US and Canada, ‘dry’ and ‘damp’ towns and areas are common. Whilst in the US Four Corners area in 2008, we stayed for a week in Chinle, in the Navajo Nation, a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory covering 71,000 km2, occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico. It is the largest land area assigned primarily to an Indian reservation within the US. The Nation has one of the largest tribal governments in North America. Its institutions include a judicial system, and large law enforcement and social service agencies. Additionally, it acts as a major steward of public lands in the Southwest; these lands encompass major natural sights such as Antelope Canyon, Shiprock, Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley.

The US still asserts plenary power to require the Navajo Nation to submit all proposed laws to the US Secretary of the Interior for Secretarial Review, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Most conflicts and controversies between the federal government and the Nation are settled by negotiation and by political agreements. Laws of the Navajo Nation are currently codified in the Navajo Nation Code.

Lands within the exterior boundaries of The Navajo Nation are composed of Public, Tribal Trust, Tribal Fee, BLM (Bureau of Land Management, mainly NP or National/Historic Monument), Private, State, and BIA Indian Allotment Lands. On the Arizona and Utah portion of the Navajo Nation, there are a few private and BIA Indian Allotments in comparison to New Mexico’s portion which consists of a checkerboard pattern of all the above lands. The Eastern Agency, as it is referred to, consists of primarily Tribal Fee, BIA Indian Allotments, and BLM Lands. Although there are more Tribal Fee Lands in New Mexico, it is the intention of the Navajo Nation to convert most or all Tribal Fee Lands to Tribal Trust.

Certainly, this has involved huge payouts by the US government as compensation for various issues (see link), but the the First Nation people themselves will be in a position to run their lives in the way they wish. The Navajo Nation is completely ‘dry”, although local Navajo police officers are kept pretty busy enforcing that, preventing bootlegging of alcohol. It was explained to me that the Navajo are spending their money on building their own schools and colleges, as opposed to casinos (common in all other tribal areas, with mixed results). The Navajo see education as the way out of poverty, and as the path to individual self-determination. All businesses in the Nation are owned and run by local Navajo people. It is a very impressive place to visit.

In places like the US, Canada and NZ, and Australia, First Nations people’s biggest issues is how to address the scourge of alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Living from one welfare cheque to the next is not going to address that major issue. Helping indigenous people to develop and run their own businesses, including on their own lands, is one good way to get people of the welfare-cheque roundabout. This is what Noel Pearson proposes in his own geographic area. Why not let this happen and see if it has a better outcome than those who would prefer just to have indigenous people get a bigger welfare cheque. There are good examples overseas to look at.

Burning effigies of Pearson, Langton and Mundine? A real leap forward, I don’t think! It seems to me that what the inner-city indigenous leaders are after is just a more lucrative public teat to suck on, rather than looking at ways of removing their people from the welfare trap!

Comment from Kay
Time November 17, 2014 at 9:00 am

It seems to me that all these indigenous ‘leaders’, including Pearson, Foley, Sam Watson etc etc are plagued by the curse and motivator of most so-called leaders, both black and white – excessive ego and arrogance. We see it on display every day on TV. And not one of them is so clever as to have all the answers, and certainly none of them are without their human flaws.

But all ideas need to be explored to find an acceptable and successful way forward for all Australian citizens, both black and white. This ‘poor bugger me’ black armband approach by the inner city latte set has not been very successful, and has only resulted in pitting black against white. And, given that the majority of the population are the non-indigenous tax-payers, from whom all welfare handouts come, pitting them against the indigenous community seems at best stupid, at worst ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’.

In-fighting within the indigenous community just takes the pressure off the government to seriously consider a long term solution. And the indigenous community is indeed VERY divided, at the very minimum by the vastly different issues confronting those in the city versus those in remote communities! Burning effigies of Pearson, Langton and Mundine merely symbolises this division, and does not do the indigenous community any credit or good.

Write a comment