Two columns about prime minister John Howard's 'Aboriginal Intervention' campaign from two of Australia's most hysterical, hyperbolic, clarity-challenged blabbermouths - Piers Ackerman and Germaine Greer.
One of the two thinks Howard is just brilliant and never puts a foot wrong and has a heart of pure gold and would never let politics or the thought of winning the coming election influence his decision making, particularly when it comes to the fate of Australia's Aborigines.
The other thinks Howard is the scum that grows on scum and wants to drink the blood of abused Aboriginal children while stealing their tribes' land so his rich mates can move in and start mining more uranium.
You can guess for yourself which one is which.
Ackerman : While a majority of Labor supporters (80 per cent, according to Galaxy) believe the move is an election stunt pulled by Prime Minister John Howard, those most affected see it as an attempt to remedy a disaster long-neglected by governments. ...those who stupidly claim the Federal Government could have acted sooner are ignoring the tens of millions Canberra has given the states and the Northern Territory to deal with the inherent problems faced by those who have been kept subject to abuse in their isolated reserves by the appalling policies so warmly embraced by misty-eyed members of the kumbaya crowd.They both need to take a cold shower. Together, to save water. But for God's sake, don't post the footage of it on YouTube. We might accidentally stumble across it and then have to gouge out our eyeballs and use the new memory flush pill to empty our minds of that horrific vision.
Greer : Ever since white men set foot in Australia more than 200 years ago, they have persecuted, harassed, tormented and tyrannised the people they found there. The more cold-blooded decided that the most humane way of dealing with a galaxy of peoples who would never be able to adapt to the "whitefella" regime was to eliminate them as quickly as possible, so they shot and poisoned them. Others believed that they owed it to their God to rescue the benighted savage, strip him of his pagan culture, clothe his nakedness, and teach him the value of work. Leaving the original inhabitants alone was never an option; learning from them was beyond any notion of what was right and proper. As far as the pink people were concerned, black Australians were primitive peoples, survivors from the stone age in a land that time forgot.
Ackerman : Those most to blame for this horror are the promoters of the Aboriginal industry - from H.C. "Nugget" Coombs and his successors to the legislators who disenfranchised rural Aboriginals from the economy through the equal wage case 30 years ago, to the jurists who conspired to concoct the Mabo case and the authors of flawed reports on Aboriginal deaths in custody and the so-called "stolen generations".
Greer : As commander-in-chief of an army of police, the Australian Defence Force and hordes of doctors and nurses, (John Howard) will storm the 70 or so autonomous Aboriginal settlements in the Northern Territory.
Ackerman : It comes as no surprise that Labor's true believers - the dilettante North Shore doctors' wives - are loathe to support genuine action - because it focuses attention on the abject failure of the ill-conceived apartheid policies they marched for and in which they placed their deluded, emotive trust.
Greer : The name of the game, as usual, is bad faith. Everything Howard does is calculated to win him votes. The suffering of Aboriginal women and children at the hands of their deranged menfolk has been going on all Howard's life. For most of that time whitefellas made a joke of it. At this late hour, on the eve of a general election, he is suddenly taking it seriously. It is of no consequence that what he is doing is illegal. His treatment of asylum seekers and boat people is just as illegal, and it is widely admired by Australians and people who should know better.
Ackerman :The dewy-eyed media handwringers and academics who rarely miss an opportunity to bray their compassion for Aborigines are now silent....It's time these poseurs said sorry to the generations they have so tragically exploited.
But in reality, Germaine Greer's article is one of the better, and more comprehensive, stories on the realities of the 'Intervention' you'll find online today. She's spent plenty of time in Aboriginal communities up north where the elders have already intervened and worked out most of the problems of their society and want to be treated with the respect they deserve. They're still waiting. Greer is harsh on the history of the whitefellas treatment of the blackfella, because that treatment has been appallingly bad, more often than not, for more than 200 years. And not much has changed in the 11 years John Howard has been running the country.
Ackerman, meanwhile, just provides another example of why he is one of the highest paid propagandists in the country. He is so good at it. Never has a failing, disconnected and inherently dishonest Australian government as John Howard's had such a master of The Big Lie so firmly on their side. In Australia, there are few, if any, more rehearsed proponents of the vile, insidious personal attack, and practitioners of The Big Lie than Ackerman.
Greer still has hope for the communities she spent time, and believes that most Aboriginals need less interference from the whitefella, not more, particularly from those whitefellas who sell them booze and drugs and buy sex from their children, or just rape them for nothing. Almost nowhere in the storm of media coverage about the appalling child abuse in some Aboriginal communities was it mentioned just how often whitefellas with a few cartons of booze, or a cheap bottle of scotch, were the perpetrators.
Greer also believes the Aboriginal people still have a lot to teach white Australia about this massive country where we all mostly cling and congregate near the coastlines.
As Greer points out, on behalf of the female Aboriginal elders she calls friends, it doesn't seem to occur to the Howard government that the whitefella might actually have something to learn from the people who lived in these lands for more than 50,000 years.
Ackerman, meanwhile, is just dripping with his trademark rancid snobbery and dealing from the same tattered deck of tired old cliches he was already wearing out back when he was still even remotely relevant. And that was a long time ago. His bile and bitterness is so toxic, you might need to eat a big spoonful of honey after reading this to get back your sense of taste.