Mood: hug me
Picture: Jimari aged 4 picture of this writer, we've kept this last 10 years. A child dearly loved and as I understand is at a selective school here in Sydney (?) these days. He misspels my name as LOM and draws me with black skin and a beard. I like that. He asked me once "Why is my skin brown?" I told him without blinking that's normal for an Aboriginal boy and that was what he needed as we went on with things.
I keep coming back to the Brendan Keilar picture as a child in another story here on SAM news blog, his gorgeous children with their silent accusation - why didn't you help save our dad from violence, and now this story about beautiful Aboriginal children at risk.
This is why: Those healthy loved children beaming out of their class photo year 6, 1975 we pictured in an earlier story including Brendan Kielar and this writer aged 11 or so) shows child raising done right. We were the social echo 30 years ago of the healthy kids of Brendan, the next generation, he raised well and strong till his outrageous death Monday this week when evil trespassed on this natural cycle. Brendan, a perfect exemplar of the Liberal Party faithful philosophy of life cut short by foul murder.
What power all those innocents, including front and centre of the major Fairfax press here in Sydney 20th June 07 and many other places in Australia?
Exactly this: Brendan died a successful lawyer, and an admired one by the profession left "numb" by the foul violence in Melbourne. The federal govt and many in Opposition are filled with lawyers that we expect shuddered at BK's disgusting death, not least John Howard ever the student of Big Media.
The Keilar family can believe the anger and frustration will be huge. Indeed we posed the question here "Where does the evil come from?" noting the cyclical nature of violence and the instinctive urge for revenge. We suggested a better Christian way somehow not the same old base aggression. Today page 3 the Daily Telegraph today 22nd June in a comment by veteran Mal Farr, that paper states "PM leads the way against evil".
Not the evil that struck the Keilar family exactly causing their desperate searing loss, especially those kids well caught from falling into a crack by State Govt public intervention. (Bravo Victorian ALP Govt.) No, the PM is moving to catch the beautiful Aboriginal children falling in the cracks now, also victims of criminal violence. Will it work? We can only hope so.
See what I'm saying? The public awareness of duty to children is high. The challenge is very great on Black kids, and the reports are in again.
And to top it off the ALP federal Opposition have performed strongly on the federal govt's territory of the economics of productivity. Democracy really engaged, a real adversarial contest as here Wayne Swan: Howard, Costello in state of denial | Opinion | A moral victory for the Opposition in the conservative The Australian.
So the federal govt in this hard fought election year contest have moved in turn in reaction to poach the traditional territory of the traditional ALP being social welfare and support for Black Australia.
It may not be the most pure political motivation to shift the focus off the economics of productivity, or climate change debates the govt is surely losing, but the bipartisan general support to save child victims (demonstrated in Brendan Keilar's case above), must happen, for them but for our own society's sake too. These damaged Aboriginal kids are the prison population of 5 and 10 years from now. The suicides. The petrol sniffers. The bank robbers. It's as simple as that. The Howard govt want's to break the cycle the Left traditionally worry about too.
We feel all this is facilitated by the huge communication impact in the Big Media around Brendan's white kids as victims in a ripple effect from criminal violence, and the terrifying conundrum "Where does the evil come from?". The answer to that, we submit, is that it's all around us like benign bacteria and viruses that only become really dangerous in unhealthy environments turning toxic like the common cold into pneumonia this winter, we notice sending people in the political community to their sick bed.
It's the healthy social and general environment that we all as citizens have to work so hard at to nurture Australia's children. The kind of incredible endeavour and discipline demonstrated in Brendan Keilar's life for his kids.
You just keep achieving stuff don't you Brendan by your example and death. A life's work which is still travelling, and how.
We've seen this before - the transmutation of one semi related concern to another big concern in Big Politics: The angst and disgust at the hanging of a reformed Van Ngyuen in Singapore, resulting in huge public awareness and this Federal Govt reaction with hundreds of million$ in aid for other victims of circumstance in Asia - the Pakistan Earthquake in that case, and other initiatives. To prove to the voters our Govt does have a heart. They do of sorts, in a political context at least.
Those in the Big Media without these insights of the synergistic nature of morality with self interest in Big Politics are displaying understandable cynicism at the Howard Govt 'ambush' of the States and Territory Governemnts and 11 years of delay. Sure all reasoned suspicion but a bit narrow.
Last night on ABC PM Mark Colvin tested Minister Brough what had changed between an interview last Friday and yesterday afternoon only 6 days? A Cabinet meeting was the response. A Cabinet meeting this week. Was it on Wednesday 20th June when those white children stared out of the front pages in silent accusation as victims one step removed from ultra criminal violence? Because if you care for them you must care for all children the victims of criminal violence regardless of race colour or creed.
Did those childish eyes one way or another bring the killer Hudson in to surrender? We suspect so. They certainly closed doorways to escape.
The key to understanding this big announcement is the PM's choice of rhetoric - 'what if it was in Dickson (a suburb of Canberra) or Melbourne or Sydney?' he asks. That's the picture of Brendan's kids articulated by the Prime Minister on my radio today. Howard's a father and he knows the power of those innocents with just a look or a word or a picture above. Indeed Howard was a city lawyer like Brendan with kids like him and he might well have recognised himself.
Claire Martin the NT First Minister for the ALP knows this is a road train sized political juggernaut of huge moral and legal proportions and she is right to say time to act bigger. The federal opposition leader too. If it's a legacy pride thing as one talk back caller says well I don't care a jot one way or another.
Let's see how the detail and cross cultural cooperation pans out including existing expertise in the sector. Maybe we Australians can make it better for a change?
Postscript #1 25th June 2005
Warren the cartoonist at the Sydney Telegraph has an inspired cartoon about the nature of high level politiking over this serious "above politics" issuem involving the life and death of our young Indigenous citizens. Leveraging another story evocative picture story on page 7 "Like bats out of hell - Endangered creature swoops on park land" (offline for now), combined with the fact of end of Parliamentary sessions in Canberra for the next 6 weeks or more, Warren offers this: