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THE RIGHT STUFF: Warren Mundine shows he’s got what it takes

mundine The Durban review conference farce fulfilled all expectations that it would do nothing to address racism and everything to remind us that too many of the world’s regimes are not just a force for promoting racism but for all other kinds of evil.

An Australian government official – without sanction from anyone who was elected – attended the disgraceful gathering. The Race Discrimination Commissioner – who perhaps mistook his role as promoting race discrimination – couldn’t resist the temptation to milk taxpayers for an all-expenses paid trip to Geneva.

Warren Mundine, a former National President of the ALP and a towering figure in Australia’s indigenous community, spoke out, denouncing the participation in the racist conference.

In doing so, Mundine showed just how brave, principle-driven and articulate a figure he is in our public life.

He let the Commissioner Tom Calma have it right between the eyes:

He’s given oxygen to those sort of ranting and ravings that are quite abhorrent to anyone who’s anti-racist or anyone who is strong on human rights.

The Geneva gravy train enthusiast was doing his best spin the presence of Iran’s ruler whose racist rant revealed the conference to be the anti-Israel hate fest it was always going to be:

TOM CALMA: That was one session, I think it probably went for 20 minutes or so. Any head of state has the opportunity if they attend this forum to, any United Nations forum, to be able to express a view, that’s an open invitation and as I understand it, protocol was followed, and the President was able to express a view…

ASHLEY HALL: But Warren Mundine isn’t buying that explanation.

WARREN MUNDINE: It’s an attempt by him to give credence to his views. ‘Look who I’m standing on stage with, look who’s standing with me. Look at the people who’s clapping in the audience’. You know you’re giving oxygen to the most vile and most racist and anti-Semitic views that you could think of. This is why I find it was quite a naïve, simplistic defence for himself.

Australia needs more indigenous leaders like Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson.

When they emerge, both political parties need to be ready and willing to swoop on them and smooth their path to Parliament, if they’re interested.

Mundine is interested, he’s made that clear enough to his Labor colleagues.

The NSW branch has in recent times much improved the quality of its representation since the election of people like Chris Bowen, Jason Clare and the all-powerful Svengali Senator Mark Arbib whose power shines nearly as bright as TV lights off his well-buffed head.

But that power hasn’t yet seen him able to find a seat for Warren Mundine and while that remains the case, it is clear that they will have failed in their mission to have elected the best and brightest on offer.

There’s one more important part of the Mundine story. He walks on the path of a little known but glorious tradition in Australian life: solidarity between the Jewish and Australian indigenous communities.

Few know of the story of William Cooper, an Aboriginal man who led a protest in 1938 against the persecution of the Jewish people in Germany after the despicable rampage “Kristallnacht”. The Age reported last year:

The director of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Geoffrey Zygier, said few people overseas bothered to protest the atrocity.

But William Cooper did, in a small but powerful way. On December 6, 1938, he led a delegation of Aborigines who walked from his Footscray home to the German consulate in Albert Road, South Melbourne.

The Argus newspaper reported the next day: “A deputation from the Australian Aborigines’ League, which visited the German consulate yesterday, with the intention of conveying to the consul (Dr R.W. Drechsler) a resolution condemning the persecution of Jews and Christians in Germany, was refused admittance.

“The resolution voiced, ‘on behalf of the Aborigines of Australia, a strong protest at the cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi government of Germany, and asks that this persecution be brought to an end’.”

An amazing story.

And it seems Warren Mundine is similarly willing to stand up for principle, regardless of the immediate popularity of the cause.

We’d be lucky to have him represent the nation in the Australian parliament.

Bring him on.

UPDATE: We were critical of the government’s apparent dilly-dallying over not attending the racist Durban review conference. But what was very interesting and encouraging was the wily Foreign Minister’s cunning plan to go along with a Dutch effort to snatch the racist conference from the bigot brigade usually in charge of it. When the bid failed, Australia and many other countries walked away, probably the biggest diplomatic win for the forces of freedom at its bleakest outpost at the UN in many, many years. The Australian’s Greg Sheridan tells the brilliant story.


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  1. Mundine has an abundance of talent.

    His attacks on the on the appalling state of the indigenous people of this proud nation stands in stark contrast with the damning silence of the extreme Left who have foisted their ideogical driven claptrap on us for 30 years.

    Make him the Labor Senator for the NT, where he can continue to do real good, rather than allow us to suffer the continued emabaresment of our current member Trish Crossin.

    Posted by Barkly Bugle | April 29, 2009, 9:59
  2. he might be intelligent and articulate but he is a sellout. he puts private wealth and the establishment before everything else. already have enough sellouts in parliament thanks.

    Posted by no more sellouts | April 29, 2009, 10:28
  3. Make him Governor General

    Posted by Mick | April 29, 2009, 10:29
  4. Mundine’s only fault is his profound decency. He got railroaded by his own party because too many of the mediocre aspirants were threatened by a man with real compassion and talent. We can only hope now that they have finally got power that they are little less uptight about letting true talent shine through in their ranks, and give this bloke the proper role he deserves in directing our nation’s future.

    Posted by Duncs | April 29, 2009, 12:11
  5. Posted by A. Ridgeway | April 29, 2009, 14:42
  6. What about Macquarie?

    Bob Debus is not running again (he’s now 64 years old) and he wants TIM DIXON, one of Rudd’s financial advisors to take the seat from him, although Tim lives in Balmain – hey, same as Bob.

    Posted by Dr Smith | April 29, 2009, 14:53
  7. roll Irwin out of Fowler, ffs

    Posted by Anonymous | April 29, 2009, 16:53
  8. We will cease Mun dine.We will make an intifada against him.Who cares if an Aborigine goes into Parliament?

    Posted by Jackson Muhgrabi.... | April 29, 2009, 17:06
  9. Another seat which will become available surely must be Robertson currently held by the delightful Belinda but not for much longer.Unfortunately I don’t believe the ALP,particularly the pussies of the so called “hard left”,want a man as honest and fearless as Warren Mundine in Parliament.His philosophies in relation to the advancement of indigenous people directly contradict those of the aforementioned pussies.

    Posted by Nark Latham | April 30, 2009, 15:52
  10. Posted by Uncle Bill | April 30, 2009, 18:05
  11. When all Jews stand together against the white inspired racism oppressing Aboriginal people here in Australia they can start declaring who is or is not a good Aboriginal leader.

    Until that happens I’d just shut the fuck up if I were them. There hyprocricy sticks to high heaven.

    Posted by Harry | April 30, 2009, 23:13
  12. Harry you are right -they are all Joos,all the contributors except you.Especially vexnews -edited by Landerjew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!We need to make an intifada against them regardless of whether they stick or stink.

    Posted by Jackson Muhgrabi.... | May 6, 2009, 19:15


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