|Mark (Maddog) Latham - humanity's best friend|
Some dogs make lovable little pets. Especially the cuddly fluffy kind which
resemble ALP policies so closely. When you cut them away and away, you realize
that there is no dog, just fluff, and Mark (Maddog) Latham's policy line-up
has been like a Chinese fluffy toy factory.
But Maddog occasionally does something which actually makes it hard not to like
him - like his savaging of ATSIC today and his proclamation that under his
government, it would be axed.
Racism is of course anyone's right. Anyone stupid enough to discriminate
against an individual on the basis of race merely creates opportunities for
others. Every greedy capitalist loves to see a foolish competitor turning away
that highly qualified job applicant with realistic salary expectations in favor
of someone less qualified because of the color of their skin. It creates an
opportunity to employ that persons themselves, and gain market share against
their soon-to-be-bankrupt competition.
But there is something about government's institutionalized racism which truly
turns the stomach. A government department which helps a needy Aboriginal
child, while turning their back on a equally needy white child because of the
color of their skin is truly sickening. And for the last two decades,
successive Australian governments have been spending towards a billion dollars
a year doing just that in their funding of ATSIC. Now Maddog intends to disband
But before celebrating by breaking out the best methylated spirits and passing
it round to the 'brudders', a long sober look at the details might be in order.
Unfortunately, as usual, there are none. Maddog hasn't said exactly what will
come later but there will be 'consultation on exactly what will replace
ATSIC' and that it will involve 'devolution, regional
partnerships and community empowerment'.
Huh ..? Oh yes, that's ALP-speak for yet another government department.
One would think that killing Bob Hawke's little colored love-child would be an
embarrassment to the ALP. It would be an admission of total failure in ALP
policy, but the mainstream media is letting his get away with simply blaming
the Coalition for not giving ATSIC enough money. Strangely enough his solution
is not to simply give it more money, but to give the money to someone else.
The good thing is that this move is likely to embolden the Coalition, who
have not been brave enough to axe the dysfunctional racist department, but
have merely pursued the policy of letting it wither on the vine. In the
bidding war which invariably precedes a federal election, what policy
will Johnny (everything-in-moderation) Howard offer to top this one?
One can only hope it is a cost-cutting war.