It is getting close to Christmas and the New Year, and soon the debate around the celebration on January 26th will rise again. According to Andrew Bolt’s reference to Leo Maglen’s article in Quadrant, implies that ‘Aboriginal’ people of these lands now known as ‘Australia’ should just –
“BE GLAD IT WAS THE BRITISH”
Leo Maglen asks: “what do the activists think would have happened to Aboriginal Australia if the British had NOT colonized the continent. Be grateful, because there is no way a land occupied by tribes with no technology and an essentially Stone Age culture would have been left to them”
This arrogance, typical of Andrew Bolt is the same attitude imbued by many Australians who deny reality for 24 hours every year to celebrate a country, that was built off the backs and blood of our ancestors. This common attitude feigns ignorance of our legitimate demands for the basic ideals of all humans – justice, equity, pluralism.
The lengths and depths Meglan takes to compare the history of other Colonized people of the world to our situation in Australia is more of a childish justification and a chase of emotions and denial of facts. It reminds me of a child stomping their feet and carrying on after being smacked for taking something they shouldn’t have taken off the lolly or toy shop shelf.
Maglen’s attempt of comparing colonized history to play down the unjust doings on this land instead of grasping reality are common examples of blaming the people (not Activists) for making White Australia feel helpless – a special example of “blaming the victim”.
His attempt to try to sweeten the sourness of Australian history and the occupation of our lands is of arrogance, denial, and not worthy subject matter for debate or press release, but one I thought I would take the time to for Andrew Bolt. We only ever hear this sort of talk from those with an assumption that ‘White Australia is right’ and others are here only as ‘White Australia’ are willing to put up with them.
First things first – ‘Invaded’ has never been a question.
WE DON’T HAVE TO PROVE ANYTHING. AUSTRALIA MADE THE CLAIM!
Our land was INVADED – Australia’s claim to Sovereignty is an untenable fiction and outside the legal bounds of British and International Law. It is a ‘historical’ and ‘Archaeological fact’ that we were first on this our lands. It is not up to us to prove we are the Sovereign peoples of these lands by birthright, it is up to those who made the claimed the claim we are not to prove it?
Response to Maglen, quoted from Bolt’s Blog –
On no other continent have the original inhabitants been successful in holding on to their lands and traditional ways of life. Through waves of invasion, conquest, migration, settlement, by people ever more technologically and organisationally advanced, similarly nomadic hunter-gatherers either adapted, or were forced into ever more remote, inaccessible and inhospitable terrain, as in Asia, Africa and the Americas, or driven to extinction, as in Europe and the Middle-East… So it if hadn’t been the British, it would have been someone else, or a bunch of others, contesting the terrain, carving it up, claiming it as their own…
‘No one does it better than the British‘
The British are coming! Over the centuries, we’ve invaded a staggering nine out of 10 of the world’s nations- https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227705/The-British-coming-Over-centuries-weve-invaded-staggering-90-worlds-nations.html
No-one else in the region, the Papuans, the Javanese, the Japanese or the Chinese, for example, felt so inclined or had the logistics to invade the place. Otherwise, presumably, they would have done so ages before…
The ability to communicate and negotiate with other Nation States is evidenced in earlier dealings from time immemorial with the Macassans, the Portuguese, Dutch and French, before the British arrival and invasion by Captain James Cook.
There are many accounts of our interaction with foreigners recorded orally, archaeologically, and in historical records. There were many attempts to arrive on our lands and the majority of visitors were greeted with hostility or simple evacuated their attempt of arrival.
This site has the oldest length of non-stop recorded history in the world. There are hundreds of recorded vessels painted all through this area. Even the oldest painting of a boat in the world is also found on our lands.
By the modern era, therefore, it was most likely that it would be a European maritime power that would do it and, of those, there were only four other real contenders – the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch and the French…The Spanish and the Portuguese had a record for being less enlightened and more despotic colonizers than the British ever were, and their legacy in the lands they did conquer has not been as stable, democratic or economically as successful…
These comparisons of history are irrelevant and Meglan’s continuous search for relevance can only be compared to a grounded school child trying to convince his father to let him go out with his friends.
The Spanish and Portuguese
In his 2007 book ‘Beyond Capricorn’ Canberra-based science journalist Peter Trickett claimed that Australia was discovered in 1522 by a Portuguese seafarer named Christopher de Mendonca. The book points to a 16th-century maritime map showing that Portuguese adventurers — rather than the British or Dutch — were the first Europeans to hit Australian land.
The Portuguese had the same opportunity to acquire our land as the British did over the centuries they circled, as did others. The fact that they did not take claim only points to their attempts being withdrawn on arrival or not long after. Why were the Maccassans allowed to spend so much time here? No WAR has ever been declared in our land and an unjust war is a violation of the Law that both the Spanish and Portuguese would still be aware of under Canon Law.
This attempt to try to keep taking us back centuries before the foundation of this land now known as Australia is only a justification for emotions and is irrelevant to the truth of our history. Another detour from the historical facts that founded this land, just like the orders Captain Cook was given 5 days before he set sail in 1763 that he ignored acting as an agent for that KING that gave the order.
Had [the Dutch] done so, then perhaps Australian settlement would have been much more like that of the Afrikaaners in South Africa, where they did put down roots, with all that would have entailed, particularly for the original inhabitants…
The Dutch first arrived on our land in 1606. The Dutch ship, Duyfken, attempted to establish territorial right upon our lands in northwest Australia. Repulsed by our force of arms, they recorded in the annals of the Duyfken this record:
“but every attempt to land was opposed by hostile Aborigines with spears in their hands”
At a further point where the Dutch landed and began to erect habitations, our People set fire to the boats, killed a large number of the crew, and forced the Dutch to evacuate.
In 1616 Dirk Hartog spent only three days examining the coast and nearby islands.
In 1696-97 Willem de Vlamingh navigated the Coast. He only found traces of Aboriginal people and only seen 10 Aboriginal people on his trip, he did not come into direct contact.
In 1688, William Dampier landed and was driven off. In 1699 he returned and was lucky to land and stay for a week.
The French, of course, have had a different attitude to de-colonization to that of the British. They, the French, have been most reluctant to give up any of their colonies, and in those in which the locals have not been able to force them out, they remain to this day, as they do in nearby New Caledonia and French Polynesia…
This movie director’s vision of another Nation invading our land seems to bring Meglan to the conclusion that colonized groups of the world have no rights or legal redress, and that our rights would have been stripped today others. He seems to also forget the fact that
‘Australia’ is the only British Colonizing country that has still failed to recognize the ‘TITLE’ of its Indigenous people.
“If a nation takes up arms when it has not received any injury and when it has not been threatened it wages an unjust war”
Emer De Vattel’s Law of Nations
In New Caledonia, January 1985 the Socialist government elaborated its plan for “Independence-Association,” which offered sovereignty to the Kanaks and firm economic and political guarantees to the European settlers. Land contracts, leases, and concessions would guarantee the use of the land, and Kanak first-ownership was recognized. Compensation would be ensured in mining areas (Fraser 1988:28-30).
Economic, social, and cultural reforms were proposed to alleviate the growing disparities between the largely Kanak, underdeveloped countryside and the wealthy European-dominated urban capital of Nouméa. Elected regional councils would be responsible for economic development, primary education, land reform, agricultural development, and so on. Introduced in a period of political tension and violence, the Socialist plan ran into difficulties despite its innovative solutions. There were killings on both sides.
NO ONE DOES IT BETTER THAN THE BRITISH!
So, all in all, the country could have done worse than have Arthur Phillip plant the Union Jack on its soil 226 years ago. Although they didn’t appreciate it at the time, Phillip probably gave the first inhabitants as good a chance of surviving.
Should a battered child appreciate it when the battering stops and be grateful for only the stopping? Justice is appreciated.
Once again the Original People of this land are told to just appreciate everything that has happened and accept justifications for other peoples emotions in denial of facts. What sort of person even bothers to go out of the way to try justify the theft, murder, mayhem, rape, and Genocide of a people, by saying that if they didn’t do it, someone else would have?
Jason Sansbury to firstname.lastname@example.org