Sunday, 9 March 2008

Another missive on the Aboriginal plight blah blah blah

You know, one day, a lot of people in this country are going to wake up and realise that parts of Aboriginal Australia are not Third World - they are worse. At least a big chunk of the third world is picking itself up by its bootstraps and ceasing to be Third World. Just look at what is happening in China and India, and what has happened to the stuffed economies of Eastern Europe, let alone the Tigers of Asia. In all those countries, a mix of education, investment, trade and the dynamics of capitalism have pulled hundreds of millions out of poverty.

None of these things appear to exist in many Aboriginal communities. Investment by "foreigners" (ie, white people) is shunned. Education is a joke - especially so when 20 year old males need an interpreter when they land in court (refugees from war zones in Africa have better English than Aboriginals who have grown up in an English speaking country). Trade is minimal, because little of value is produced. In fact, trade is all one way, with the "white" economy providing everything required for life to exist, and the "black" economy producing little in return (except for oodles of drunkeness, violence and despair). Capitalism is also a no-no, thanks to the perverse thinkings of Nugget Coombes.

In short, they are failed states.

What do many people do when they find themselves living in a failed state (or at the very least, a fucked up one)?

They move.

Where do you think all our refugees have come from? I don't remember any refugees coming from say England or India or Singapore. They are coming from Lebanon and Somalia and Afghanistan and the Congo, and 30 years ago, they came from Vietnam.

They have obeyed a very old, and very simple human impulse. If the conditions in your current location are crap, go somewhere else where they are nicer. Chances are, things will work out better for you and your family if you go somewhere nice.

People from all around the world figured out years ago that Australia is a much nicer place to be than say about 130 other countries. Same goes for the US and the UK. Even Kiwis prefer to live here.

So why is it that someone who lives within our borders finds it so hard to move to somewhere that is nicer? We have no controls or restrictions on internal migration. I can pack up tomorrow and move to Melbourne. I have previously moved about as far as you can in Australia - from Perth to Sydney (ok, you could go to Brisbane and travel further, but you get my point). Moving is not that hard - I have moved within Sydney something like 14 times. I moved office 15 times in 14 years. It can be done.

So if conditions are absolutely terrible in say Aurukan, why are people not leaving? All you have to do is stick your stuff in the car and go. I moved across the country with all my kit in a duffel bag, and I hitched a ride with my Godfather. In other words, I had very little stuff, and I didn't even have a car. I also had very little money.

It can be done.

The best thing the federal government could do is to send a bus with a big trailer to these communities once a fortnight. All it has to do is drive around with a loudspeaker, with the driver making an offer to relocate to the nearest capital city anyone who wants to leave. No charge, no questions asked.

Anyone that is still left after six months can go fuck themself.

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