13 Feb. 2008

That apology in full . . .

Here. No great surprises.

It's assimilationist, although to an extent that is banal and utterly unsurprising: it asserts that Aborigines are "our fellow Australians" (with Australia defined implicitly as a nation), and most ridiculously that the apology is "part of the healing of the nation". Insofar as this refers to the actual nation that Rudd represents, White Au$tralia, this is perfectly sensical. But the attempt to assimilate Aborigines to Au$tralia is not an act of healing, but an act of ingestion!

It does however apologise in much too limited a way. It apologises specifically only for the Stolen Generations (capitalised!). It does not apologise for the murdered generations before that, nor for the stolen land before that, or since. It does not apologise for the continuing oppression of Aborigines. Here it is particularly invidious in declaring "this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again" and that "the time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future". Unless this signals a coming massive change of public policy, it's outrageous.