Former NSW premier, Bob Carr, autocratically selected by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, without it going to a vote of even the Cabinet, to fill the vacant Senate position meant Warren Mundine, who lobbied for the senatorial vacancy was overlooked - and who would have been the first ALP Aboriginal federal parliamentarian in the hundred year history of the party. The Prime Minister has publicly said that she values Mr Carr’s advice and that she has often consulted him on a range of issues.
Given some of the comments by Mr Carr on his personal blog relating to Indigenous issues many Indigenous leaders would be saying they are grateful Julia Gillard did not want him to fill the Indigenous Affairs portfolio - however there is more to this than meets the eye as to why and how Bob Carr secured the Foreign Ministry portfolio.
On Mr Carr's personal blog in a January 27 post, the day after the protest by people attending the Aboriginal Tent Embassy 40th anniversary celebrations which then resulted in protestors at the Lobby Restaurant, Mr Carr opened up with comments about the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
On Mr Carr’s personal blog – Thoughtlines with Bob Carr – he wrote, “I agree with Tony Abbott and think his remarks entirely sensible. The tent embassy in Canberra says nothing and should have been quietly packed up years ago.”
In reference to Aboriginal rights advocate Pat Eatock, Mr Carr posted, “Don’t look for logic. Prime Minister Gillard is targeted and some clown is shown brandishing her shoe yet she said and did nothing in respect of the tent (embassy). Suddenly, we are presented with a demand for ‘Aboriginal sovereignty’ – which can only mean separatism.”
Further in his January 27 post, in reference to the Lobby restaurant incident Mr Carr did not mince his words about whom he thought was at fault and wrote, “And of course the block-headed demonstration sets back reconciliation and would seal the defeat for Aboriginal recognition in the constitution if a referendum were pending.”
Mr Carr, who is being sold as an ‘intellectual giant’ wrote, “The ‘activists’ who run it (Tent Embassy) would be better off investing time in youth programs in indigenous communities. Every government in Australia is aware of its responsibilities to Aboriginal Australians. The debate is how you narrow the gap not whether you should and the debate is as serious within the Aboriginal community as between it and the white.”
Mr Carr took a number of shots at ‘Aboriginal sovereignty’ and said that nobody has defined it however Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre lawyer, Michael Mansell has produced detailed terms of references on Aboriginal sovereignty. Michael Anderson has also written volumes. Mr Carr was a supporter of Paul Keating’s ALP in watering down the intentions of the Mabo decision, which were further diminished by John Howard’s amendments 1998 – and which gave rise to the limitations that underwrite Native Title Tribunals.
In his post he praised author Peter Sutton, and referred to his book ‘Politics of Suffering’ and used this to impute that the word ‘Aboriginal’ should not be included in any government policy – imputing an argument for assimilation as the answer to equality.
Mr Carr has never hidden that he is a conservative thinker, pro-uranium mining, and in working from the top end of town down rather than from the bottom end up.
To those bloggers who posted a defence of the right of Aboriginal activists to walk over to the Lobby restaurant and to express their civil outrage, he replied (January 28), “Did the demonstration, the flag burning and the separatist rhetoric help the Aboriginal cause?”
On Feburary 27 the staunch Gillard supporter who has secured the government’s Foreign Minister posted, “If after Julia Gillard’s decisive victory in the Labor leadership ballot today there is a revival of white-anting against her, the whole party will explode with anger.”
How Mr Carr and Ms Gillard came to secure him the Foreign Ministry portfolio is another story, the truth has not been unfolded in the public domain, however it’s for another edition of The National Indigenous Times.
Keep on reading Indymedia, we'll soon post what we've sourced and written about why Warren Mundine was overlooked, how and why Bob Carr was parachuted, and for our Indymedia readers we will soon post what our sources have confirmed were the behind the scenes dealings and plotting, by the 'other faceless mob' who as if the elders of the party oversee things, and who got Arbib to stand down (he did not go willingly) and get Carr in (him being one of the 'other faceless mob') - only a select few of the Cabinet knew - and a good part of it was because they wanted Rudd to go (who made a fatal mistake in November over the UNESCO vote for Palestine's inclusion - and explains why Michael Danby was vehement towards Mr Rudd). It's all about power and vested interests.