Piers Akerman versus the 1933 edition of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary

It’s ages since I bothered with Mr Akerman, the self-styled conservative who poses as a reasonable commentator in the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Today, given my own little dummy spit on Facebook, I thought I would attempt to out-pedant him.

My dummy spit? Here:

I was not impressed by yesterday’s circus in Canberra. If that puts off some of my friends here, so be it. I am sick of crap both left and right on these matters, totally over it, totally!

Akerman’s crap is as follows:

EVER ready to cry “racist”, Labor is now backing proposed changes to the Australian Constitution which would enshrine a two-tier citizenship based on claims of race.

That’s what used to be called apartheid when South Africa had such evil laws.

Labor has promised to hold a referendum on the constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians on or before the next federal election, due next year.

Like the word “gay”, “indigenous” no longer means what it used to – originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment.

That would mean that every person born in Australia is indigenous.

But in the Orwellian newspeak of the politically correct “indigenous” does not mean born in Australia. It means Aborigine as in Australian Aborigine, a definition that is also becoming increasingly fluid…

I could be really annoying and point out that so far as I can tell “gay” has never meant “originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment” – but that would just be mean of me! However, to “indigenous”.  It would have surprised Sir Thomas Browne writing in the 17th century to hear he was being “politically correct” when he insisted that Africans are not “indigenous or proper natives of America.”


Kangaroos are indigenous to Australia, Piers; rabbits, dogs, cats and Akermans are not.  Even when born here. Which you were not. I suppose that makes you an Indigenous Papuan?

Oh and do note what a true conservative I am in the matter of dictionaries… Winking smile


Not a good look

I was disturbed by these scenes, in all seriousness. Were you?

OK, for the sake of background go to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy website

Then there are some related readings:

Make up your own minds about all this. Reactions have been varied, as the Herald story indicates:

… The protesters had reacted to Mr Abbott’s comment earlier in the day when he was asked if the tent embassy was ”still relevant or should it move?”.

He said: ”I think the indigenous people of Australia can be very proud of the respect in which they are held by every Australian and, yes, I think a lot has changed since then and I think it probably is time to move on from that.”

His comment was replayed on TV and heard by the 1000 people gathered at the embassy.

”The Opposition Leader on national television made a comment to tear down something that we have built over 40 years which is sacred to us,” said the chairman of the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations, Fred Hooper.

”So what do you expect us to do when we’re 200 yards away from the person that makes that comment? Do you expect us to say, ‘Yeah, Tony, we’re gonna do that now, we’re gonna rip it down’?”

But the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, said he was appalled at the disrespect and aggression shown towards Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott.

"An aggressive, divisive and frightening protest such as this has no place in debates about the affairs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples or in any circumstances," Mr Gooda said.

"While we need to acknowledge that there’s a real anger, frustration and hurt that exists in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around Australia, we must not give in to aggressive and disrespectful actions ourselves.”

Several of the embassy’s leaders, including Sean Gordon from the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council in north-western NSW, said they planned to protest again on Saturday and in the future. ”There will be more protests on this. You can be sure this will go on for some time,” Mr Gordon said.

”To come here, on the 40th anniversary, to say these things. What does he expect? We are not going to go away. We will not forget this … Our people are dying of depression, of the grog, and we have this bloke talking about tearing us down, taking us away.”…

I am rather with Mick Gooda. I also wish I could point with confidence to “people … dying of depression, of the grog” whose lives have actually been made any better by any of the politicking going on at that Tent Embassy or in Canberra more generally.

See also on Club Troppo An overheard bus conversation. Recounted without comment. I won’t comment either!

At least Australia Day was good for the blog.

In the past seven days:

  1. A very personal Australia Day 26 January – my family 242 views
  2. Home page 234
  3. Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta Episode 3–SBS last night 159
  4. Being Australian 16: inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style 9 – my tribes 44
  5. Australia Day: Being Australian 32
  6. I can’t believe the brain snaps Charlie Teo is causing… 29
  7. Being Australian 20: poem and song, images, dreams, nostalgia, England 28
  8. Happy Australia Day: all of us 21
  9. Being Australian 11: inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style 4 20
  10. Australia’s Got Talent 2011 Grand Final 15
  11. Cabramatta again, and William Yang 13
  12. The Chinese are coming… 12
  13. There is a land where summer skies… 10
  14. Being Australian 1 — Waleed Aly on SBS last night 10
  15. Nostalgia and the globalising world — from Thomas Hardy to 2010 10