Acknowledgement of “Country” or just a small portion of it?

OK, I’m going to go into one of the areas where I am considered “right wing” but, to be honest, I think this is something that needs to be discussed.

I’ve mentioned in my comments before a pet peeve of mine in regards to what our school does before every assembly, presentation, and open school day. And that is an “acknowledgement of the country’s original owners, and to indigenous elders both past & present”. I honestly thought, given the indigenous background of some teachers at the school, that it was a localized thing. However, “The Missus” brought to my attention the fact that this “acknowledgement” is mandatory not only for schools but for all “public events” now, including “St Patrick’s Day”.

Apparently this is meant to encourage closer relations between indigenous & non-indigenous Australians. I cannot for the live of me see how! We get at most two days per year to acknowledge the sacrifice our Australian soldiers have made in protecting Australia from external threats. We have none at all for those that worked on the “Snowy Mountains Scheme”, providing water & clean(ish) power for millions as well as bringing in the ancestors of our current multi-cultural society. And they are getting an “acknowledgement” every-time my child gets an award for hard work at school, every-time there is public ceremony opened by a government official, and (for crying out loud) for a celebration of an Irish holiday. That’s right, we’re acknowledging the indigenous elders alive, dead, and otherwise when celebrating the Irish!

Now, I am not racist (which is often the call when this type of subject is brought up). I think an indigenous person is just as important, valuable, smart, & capable a person as anyone else. I have no big quibbles about the extra money they get for AbStudy & so on they get from the federal government, as I have seen the situation alot of them live in. They are human beings, just like the rest of us and any help to get them out of these conditions is a good thing.

On the other hand, “acknowledging” them at the opening of an envelope is not helping them in anyway, nor is it (in my mind) fostering good relations between them & us. Treating them as if they are special (and making it a mandatory speech heard by our young children) will breed resentment. Currently I am annoyed at this celebrity style treatment of the indigenous people where there is simply no connection between them and what is occurring. They have no input whatsoever on the hard work my child puts into his education, and yet it is compulsory for him to hear a fawning speech about them before being given his acknowledgement. Right now, the target of my ire is the bureaucrats/politicians that made this mandatory. However, it won’t take long for this to spill over to the people being talked about, and I bet you pounds to peanuts most people annoyed by this skip the “rule makers” and direct their anger toward the subject matter… you know, the people this is meant to be foster good relations with!

What are other people’s thoughts on this? Am I alone in this feeling that in going to far, the government is going to cause resentment where there was none and move “acceptance” further away for those that already had bad feelings in this?

Midweek Mayhem!!

Hello and welcome to Midweek Mayhem!

The place where we get to talk about anything and everything – including bikie gangs – which begs the question; should we call ourselves “the blogatero’s?”

As it much as it may come as a surprise, I’ve never really been attracted to “the bikie scene.”

It’s all just a bit too unkempt for my liking. And with the standard fashion consisting of aged black leather and torn denim, long greasy hair and generally poor hygiene, I still to this day, fail to see the attraction. I doubt I’d fit in anyway, even if I went for the ZZ Top look with the beard and sunnies, I’d probably end up looking like some demented effeminate leprechaun that would be more befitting a bogan Christmas tree decoration than a butch bikie.

In saying that though, one of my neighbours used to be a bikie and he occasionally reminisces about the camaraderie and ‘brotherhood’ that existed “in the old days.”

There’s no denying that some bikie gangs actually do some “good things.” The occasional charity run for sick children and so on.

They also happen to smash people’s heads in, engage in blood-ridden turf wars, execute random drive-by shootings, and pretty much run a large part of the country’s illicit drug distribution network.

In South Australia, the State Government has taken some pretty strident steps towards outlawing motorcycle gangs, and with the recent brutal murder at Sydney airport, there are calls for the outlawing of bikie gangs nationwide.

It seems that the police have pretty much allowed gangs to foster unfettered, and with their formidable fortress like premises, they can present an intimidating and unsettling presence when travelling in formation.

But is “banning” bikie gangs the “right” answer? Some people argue that there are legitimate motorcycle enthusiasts (the retired mum and dad types) that would suffer under such legislation if it were introduced.

What do you think? What is the answer to the increasing violence and all the societal problems that go hand-in-hand with the bikie gangs?

So rev up the hog, and let’s get cruisin…..

Flick Crit: Not So Gran Torino

Latest film review at Cinema Takes is Not So Gran Torino:

The setting for Gran Torino is the Global Financial Crisis’ ‘Ground Zero’: the suburbs of ‘Motor-City’ Detroit before the worst of the sub-prime meltdown.

I didn’t review Gran Torino when it was first released because I was disappointed with it. It deserves big ticks for: good acting; a tight script and topicality. But the crosses are a lot to bear from such great filmmakers: lack of originality; pedestrian predictability and a dearth of insights. Going by the box office and its continuing presence in Australian cinemas I seem to be in a small minority.


Costello a better chance of Beating Rudd

Oh dear, in another kick in the guts for Malcolm Turnbull, a new newspoll conducted for The Australian has concluded that more voters say Peter Costello has a better chance of beating Kevin Rudd at the next election than Malcolm Turnbull.

A Newspoll taken for The Australian newspaper last week found 46 per cent of voters said Mr Costello had a better chance of defeating Mr Rudd, while 35 per cent believed Mr Turnbull had the best chance.

Mr Costello’s lead is similar to the lead he held over the opposition leader earlier this month when 45 per cent of voters said he was the best candidate to lead the Liberal Party.

At that poll 38 per cent of voters said Mr Turnbull was the best candidate.

Since that poll Mr Rudd has extended his lead over Mr Turnbull as preferred prime minister from 40 to 45 percentage points.

In the most recent poll Mr Costello outstripped Mr Turnbull in every category, even among Labor voters.

Among coalition voters, 54 per cent said Mr Costello was the best leader to beat Kevin Rudd and 36 per cent said Mr Turnbull was the best leader for the job.

However, Opposition Senate leader Nick Minchin has slammed the media’s preoccupation with opinion polls, describing it as “neurotic”.

“The commentaries fascination with them when we’re… not even half way through this government’s first term… is a bit neurotic,” Senator Minchin told ABC Television.

“Peter Costello is a great asset to our team and clearly contains a widespread level of support in the community and that’s great,” Senator Minchin said.

“(But) Peter Costello is not a candidate for the leadership.”

Mr Rudd led Mr Turnbull 65-20 as preferred prime minister in an earlier Newspoll.