Going back in time with Tony Abbott

Recently, I was watching a Youtube video of British physicist Brian Cox explaining the difference between the dimensions of time and space.

Recently, I was watching a Youtube video of British physicist Brian Cox explaining the difference between the dimensions of time and space.

In it, he talks about how Einstein’s theory of general relativity prevents you from moving backwards in time, into the past.

“It protects something really important, which is cause and effect. So the fact if I throw a ball at you right now, and it hits you on the head and you fall off the wall. Me throwing the ball caused you to fall off the wall. And that minus sign sort of protects that. Even if you can slow time down and sort of speed it up, and you can even reverse the order of things… you can’t reverse the order of things that cause things to happen,” the professor said.

Sometimes, when I read the latest happenings in Indigenous affairs… I think that maybe Einstein’s theory just doesn’t work for us. Whitefellas don’t want to abide by their own science. Because although there is cause and effect, sometimes I feel we really do go back in time. There is nothing protecting us blackfellas — no minus sign — to stop politicians moving backwards.

I thought that when reading the latest news that former ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous affairs’ Tony Abbott suddenly wants the Indigenous affairs portfolio, using the most disadvantaged, vulnerable citizens in this country to push for his own personal ambition — to get back into cabinet.

Think back to 2008, when Malcolm Turnbull was opposition leader after defeating Brendan Nelson for the Liberal leadership. At the time, Tony Abbott expressed his displeasure after being handed the Indigenous affairs shadow ministry.

He infamously quipped at the time that he would ‘like to be closer to the action’. As in, not in the Aboriginal affairs portfolio… but something that would elevate his status.

Fast forward to now, and he has changed his tune after being cast to the political wilderness. He now wants to push Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion — yet another white man — out of the way in order to ironically, ‘get closer to the action’ — which apparently, now takes the form of Indigenous affairs minister.

It’s almost as if you can move events around, switch around their order, even bring causality into the mix, and you still end up at exactly the same place.

Tony Abbott pushing himself back into Indigenous affairs, the same mainstream media outlets swallowing the lie that he has a “strong interest and passion”, quoting the same hand-picked leaders to bless his accession, and then offering lazy analysis based on the most recent event in Aboriginal affairs that comes up in Google.

Suddenly, Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion’s entire tenure in Aboriginal affairs is based around his telling response to the Four Coroners Don Dale expose, even though he has done even more damage in other areas, areas which actually have been promoted by Abbott himself.

I mean, if you want to get Scullion on anything, you could look at his deteriorating relationship with the NLC and the CLC… and his underhanded assault on land rights in the NT and how he has wrestled control over the multi-million dollar Aboriginal Benefits Account, which is supposed to be controlled by Aboriginal people and is made up of mining royalty equivalents that is supposed to go towards helping Aboriginal people in the NT.

Why doesn’t the mainstream media put the blowtorch on his Community Development Programme (CDP), which the government’s own statistics already show is punishing the poorest people in this country — those living in remote Australia.

While Scullion continues his lies that this is an answer to the chronic issues with unemployment in remote Australia, the reality is this — Lisa Fowkes at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at ANU recently found that Aboriginal jobseekers on CDP are being hit with financial penalties at growing rates.

The number of penalties to remote jobseekers on CDP have exceeded those on the non-remote, and predominately non-Indigenous JobActive.

The overwhelming majority of these serious penalities are due to ‘persistent non compliance’ rather than ‘work refusal’. It means that Aboriginal jobseekers are being slapped with penalties of up to 8 weeks without income support, for failing to abide by the rigorous, strict requirements of the programme — that they must work for the dole 25 hours per week, five days per week.

Now think of the effect that has on people — eight weeks without income support for being unable to turn up to work, where you are doing often meaningless activities for a measly dole payment, which in the NT is also quarantined anyway.

It’s absolutely outrageous and it was directly caused by Abbott, the previous Howard governments, and the Rudd and Gillard government’s gradual dismantling of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP).

But now, you see no analysis on this.

Abbott’s time as ‘Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs’ also included his telling remarks about ‘lifestyle choices’, that Australia was ‘nothing but bush’ before invasion, his expensive volunteer tours in Indigenous communities followed by salivating media lapdogs, his kowtowing to Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and the impact it had on social security… and there is so much more.

Really, regardless of what whitefella you have in the position — you are still gonna get more of the same.

And of course, the one thing that does stay the same — that stays frozen in time, is the fact white politicians will always use Aboriginal affairs for their own aspirations — regardless of how much of their propaganda the media wants to lap up.