Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Multiculturalism and welfare

Casting off the gloom of the post below, Australia (once again) is moving to uphold some of the aforementioned Enlightenment principles after decades of neglect.

Aboriginal offenders [will] no longer be able to "hide behind" customary law to get reduced sentences for violent crimes under a proposal to crack down on rampant physical and sexual abuse in indigenous communities.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough will put a plan to scrap consideration of cultural law as a mitigating factor in serious crimes to state and territory governments at a national summit.
The case that has brought this to the boil concerned an Aboriginal elder in the Northern Territory, 55 years old, who 'bashed' and had anal intercourse with a 14-year-old schoolgirl promised to him as a wife. Tried and convicted, he was able to plead the rights granted him by "customary law" to "teach the girl to obey him"; these arguments persuaded the judge to pass a sentence of one month. (It was later increased on appeal to 3 years following a public outcry.)

The Australian newspapers are full of such cases of aboriginal child abuse at the moment. Keith Windschuttle lays the blame squarely on federal (state) policies that, through welfare payments, removed the need for the male to provide for his family.
Men who do not work have no social status, no sense of self-worth and little meaning in their lives. Others think badly of them and they think badly of themselves.
This was part of a programme that sought to get aborigines out of the cities, away from capitalism and allow them to achieve "sustainable development, stable populations, limited-growth economies and an emphasis on small scale and self-reliance". It has done quite the opposite, in no small part because it was directed from above more or less as in Uncle Joe's USSR.

(via Ninme)

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