MDFF 30 September 2017

This post ‘The Common People’ arrived this week.

Ave plebs,

 Latin: ‘plebs’- the common people|
Latin: ‘scitum’- a decree

A ‘plebiscite’ is thus a decree by the common people.

Paul Young…Love of the Common People…

In Australia at present a postal plebiscite is being held.

The question being asked is: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry”

There are two boxes labelled ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ and just in case the common people don’t quite follow, in brackets it says ‘mark one box only’

Any proposed change to the Australian Constitution must be put to a vote of all Australian voters in a referendum.

The 1967 Referendum in which over 90% of the common people of Australia voted ‘yes’ is widely and wrongly believed to have given Aborigines (and Torres Strait Islanders) the vote, whereas what it actually did is for The First Australians and their descendants to be counted as people in the national census as distinct from being considered part of the Fauna and Flora of this continent.

Another common misconception in Australia is that the Doctrine of ‘Terra Nullius’ refers to a land devoid of inhabitants. As an Australian Prime Minister once famously put it “before the British settled it, Australia was ‘nothing but bush’…” That same intellectual giant also said that living in a remote part of Australia was a “lifestyle choice” that his Government wasn’t prepared to support. Actually Terra nullius alludes to there being no formal ownership of the land. Such was usually conveniently declared, without any effort to ascertain it’s truth or otherwise.

Terra nullius (/ˈtɛrə.nʌˈlaɪəs/, plural terrae nullius) is a Latin expression meaning “nobody’s land”, and is a principle sometimes used in international law to describe territory that may be acquired by a state’s occupation of it.

A quarter of a century ago the Australian High Court overturned “terra nullius” in Australia by what became known as the Mabo Decision.

For years now there have been moves to amend the Australian Constitution so as to recognise Australia’s First Peoples.

In 2010 when such moves once again came to the fore, country music star Warren H. Williams from Ntaria (Hermannsburg) spoke out against it. I quote from an article which appeared back then:

He says it is another move to pacify Indigenous people.

Mr Williams says asking the wider Australian community whether it is okay to acknowledge Indigenous people in the constitution is insulting.

“I mean this is … the 21st century and we’re still going to a vote to get Aboriginal people in the constitution, it is meaningless … we had to struggle to get the referendum in 1967, we had to fight, we had to beg, just about beg to get the Prime Minister to say sorry to our people,” he said.

“Why is that coming in all of a sudden, is it taking away from what we are arguing about, the Intervention and all that? It just seems like why, why is it happening?”

Mr Williams says the move is a weak symbolic gesture that is detracting from real issues affecting Indigenous people.

Great Southern Land- Warren H Williams……

I agreed with Warren H. back then and I still do. The Government sponsored ‘Recognise’ campaign officially came to an end about six weeks ago. These two images say it all:

In Yuendumu the last few days, temperatures have reached the high thirties (Centigrade). A brisk hot and dry westerly wind has sprung up. From a previous Dispatch:

“When wardapi (goannas) hear the sound of the karapurda they wake up from their hibernation slumber. Wirlititi (Emu-chicks) break out of their eggs and wildflowers begin to blossom.

Karapurda is a warm westerly wind which signals the end of the cold season.”

Warren H.Williams….Westerly Wind…

Increasingly we are being subjected to the politics of the red herring, the non-sequitur, bread and circuses, distractions all. The Spanish word ‘prestidigitador’ comes to mind.

Donald Trump’s brief trip to Saudi Arabia, when he sold that shining example of Democracy one and a half billion dollars worth of weapons, is hardly mentioned.

All we hear about are the latest Tweets.

…..tweet tweet….tweet tweet ….Bobby Day- Rockin Robin

Remote Australian Aborigines are being given the opportunity to mark a box (yes or no) on same sex marriage. No such opportunity is given them when it comes to such as land rights, bilingual education, inclusion of customary law in the legal system and just plain being allowed to decide how to live their lives.

As for the wider Australia, no plebiscite on approving one billion dollars in Government assistance to what would become the largest coal mine in the world.

No plebiscite whenever the Government decides to deploy troops overseas.

No plebiscite whenever the Government decides to sign up on Free Trade Deals.

No plebiscite on whether newcomers to this country should be competent in English. Very many current Australian citizens wouldn’t be- me included- if their parents or grandparents had been subjected to current English competency requirements. Many of our Parliamentarians’ English competency leaves much to be desired, especially when it comes to “clear thinking” which was a significant part of the curriculum when I received my secondary education in Australia.

Must stop. I’ll try and find some nice music to reward those who stuck it out ….

….I may make you feel,
But I can’t make you think…

Jethro Tull… Thick as a Brick…

Beatus scitique plebis unus