12 Oct 2007

Howard on Australia

Howard has pronounced federation non-existent in Australia. We are not a federation he says. A country conceived as a federation is not one.

Well, this is hardly a problem. Australia is a federation of a collection of white settler states. Let's abolish these states. But Howard actually doesn't want to do that. Howard doesn't oppose federation as long as the federated units are each of them white settler states. He opposes a federation that would actually recognise and respect minorities. He opposes a federation with Aborigines. He denies the existence of Aboriginal peoples on this continent not part of the Australian imperialist settler state.

He proposes a referendum – a referendum of the majority to deign to acknowledge a minority, but not as an equal, merely their very existence, but then only on the caveat that it is as a part of Australia dominated by Howard and his ilk, a small trace in the lineage of contemporary Australia that confers legitimacy on this brutal construct by giving it a claim to be the heir of the indigenous people of this land.