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Do you support Sophie’s refusal to say sorry?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

Show your support for Liberal Party parliamentarian, Sophie Mirabella, who stated her reasons for boycotting Sorry Day, Wednesday February 13 as follows …

On genuine concern for all Australians:

I … applaud any real attempt to improve the lives of Aboriginal people and abused or neglected children whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

On the Rudd government’s lack of transparency:

… the government did not release its legal advice regarding compensation claims that may flow as a result of the apology.

This motion of apology sets a worrying precedent.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

[photopress:noel_pearson_01.jpg,full,pp_image] Noel Pearson: Concerned about fostering Aboriginal victimhood

On the paternalistic nature of the Apology:

Noel Pearson spoke of his concern that the apology:

… will sanction a view of history that cements a detrimental psychology of victimhood, rather than a stronger one of defiance, survival and agency.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

On the destructive effects of modern day welfare policies:

In Australian history there have been successive policies that have been detrimental to Aboriginal Australians – the policies that ensconced the welfare mentality and dependency into the subculture;

the failure to confront the harsh truths of life in Indigenous communities;

the misguided paternalism which did nothing to right the wrongs of past decades;

and the damaging mindset of the victim mentality, which pervaded the psyche of Indigenous affairs and made coming face to face with the more pressing problems of Aboriginal communities nigh on impossible.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

On the flimsy basis on which the whole Apology is based:

The problem with the Bringing Them Home report upon which the apology and claims for financial compensation are based is described by well-known Aboriginal activist Noel Pearson when he states that the report:

… is not a rigorous history of the removal of Aboriginal children and the breaking up of families … it does not represent a defensible history.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

On the lack of definition of key terms:

The very term ‘stolen generations’ is not defined, is not qualified and, as such, is troublesome.

It is a direct lift from the Bringing Them Home report. It is a term that is too simplistic and has become an unqualified phrase.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

On Kevin Rudd (not necessarily deliberately) treating those who helped Indigenous children as criminals:

In purely legal terms, the word ‘stolen’ has specific meaning denoting criminality.

This gives rise to a host of troubling scenarios, not least of which is the question of whether welfare officers and other government employees are, by implication, to be held liable in some way for their involvement in saving children at risk of harm in local communities.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

That the welfare of the child is what should matter:

Every day in Australia there are children being separated from a parent because someone has deemed it to be in the child’s best interests.

Are these children stolen?

Some of the reasons that Aboriginal children were taken from their families in decades past are the same reasons that Aboriginal children are sadly taken away today.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

[photopress:bonnie_robertson.jpg,full,pp_image] Bonnie Robertson, Indigenous academic has identified: ” … violent crime and child sexual assault amongst the Indigenous community across Central Australia.”

On the violence to which Aboriginal children are subjected:

It sickens me that young Aboriginal children are still being diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases or identified as being in some other danger, yet some people would say removing them from such perilous environments would be creating the next stolen generation.

That Kevin Rudd and his staff have placed political posturing and partisanship above the good of children:

The protection of children is far more important than any individual’s political agenda, including that of the Prime Minister,

whose own staff led a back-turning campaign in Parliament House when the Leader of the Opposition was speaking in support of this motion.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

On the lack of transparency and accountability, and the lack of bi-partisanship shown by the Rudd government

Any parliamentary motion has a significant implication; therefore, why hide the wording?

Why only release it some 15 hours before it is to be debated?

Why should we as parliamentarians be refused access to the legal advice that the government sought to allegedly protect it from compensation claims?

It was either rushed or deliberately withheld from debate.

There was no chance to analyse the wording and its implications, much less to proffer a differing or alternative point of view and wording.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

On the vicious treatment and maligning of dissenters, and the engineered divisiveness of the PM’s “Sorry”:

Many who have dared offer an alternative viewpoint, expressed a contrary opinion on the wording of the motion or called for more debate have been called uncompassionate, callous and racist,

as if compassion is strictly limited to those who endorse the Prime Minister’s ‘sorry’ motion—as if they have an exclusive monopoly on compassion.

This clearly shows that we are not dealing with a unifying motion, no matter how well intentioned it has been.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

The ill-defined ‘sorry’ motion is now the basis for compensation claims, which is to be expected as this was also recommended in the Bringing them home report.Tasmanian Aboriginal lawyer and activist Michael Mansell said: … we won’t rest until we get that compensation package.

Former Administrator of the Northern Territory Ted Egan said the government should consider compensation.

Pat Dodson called for a compensation fund in his speech at the National Press Club.

One local Bangerang representative stated on local radio in my electorate a couple of weeks ago that this apology was the first step towards compensation.

Just two days after the apology, the front page of the Herald Sun carried the news of a class action against the government for multimillion dollar compensation claims for members of what were referred to as ‘the stolen generation’.

These are the unintended consequences of the apology.

Already the claims have come in thick and fast.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

That the Apology will not have the claimed healing effect:

This apology will entrench the notion of Aboriginal disillusionment and more firmly ensconce the victim mentality right throughout Indigenous Australia, as was noted by Noel Pearson in his moving and eloquent piece in the Australian on the day prior to the motion’s presentation in parliament.Pearson wrote: One of my misgivings about the apology has been my belief that nothing good will come from viewing ourselves, and making our case on the basis of our status, as victims.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

[photopress:andrew_bolt_02.jpg,full,pp_image] Andrew Bolt: “… the leading advocate of the ‘stolen generations’ still can not – after eight years of looking – name even 10 children stolen for racist reasons …”

That the “Sorry” misses the real point and does not contribute towards dealing with the real issues facing Aboriginal children today:

It is far more simple to offer apologies than give proper recognition of the more heartbreaking, unpalatable realities of life in Indigenous communities -

two-year-olds with gonorrhoea,

children as victims of gang rape,

squalid living conditions,

young minds diminished by an ugly mixture of booze and porn and all the other sorts of unutterable miseries that run rife and unencumbered.

An apology will not fix this, but a new mindset and better policy will go a long way.

To be lastingly compassionate is to make the hard, sometimes unpopular, decisions to tackle the horrific problems of systemic sexual abuse, substance dependence and lawlessness in Aboriginal communities.

Do you agree with Sophie?

Then join the “I SUPPORT SOPHIE” campaign list: click here.

[Update: Monday Feb 25 2008: The link to the North Eastern News News Poll asking "Do you support Sophie's refusal to say sorry" has been removed since the poll has ended.]

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