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Friday, November 23, 2007

An acceptance speech zinger intro for KRudd



You wouldn't know it if you don't live in Australia, but we're in the middle of a Federal election. I say you wouldn't know it because it just started and it's just about to end. 6 weeks is all the pollies get this time. I wish I had the time and depth of knowledge to go into how it all works, but I don't. And on second thought, if I had that much extra time I'd likely still do something else. Anyway, it's almost a foregone conclusion that we're going to see a change of government. Labor should be coming in with bells on. This election may even actually deserve the trite and clich├ęd "landslide" moniker. We'll see.

In any event, as a publisher, I can post here what I think Kevin Rudd's acceptance speech should be should he win. I don't often write speeches, so it'll likely be rough, and I actually only intend to make one point, so may gloss over a lot of the details of protocol. Here goes:


Firstly I'd like to thank all Australians for voting, for taking some time to register their best intentions for this great country. I'd particularly like to thank those who voted for a change in the leadership and direction of this country. I truly believe that this is a necessary change. I believe this for many reasons. I won't name all my reasons right here right now, I hope to make my differences with the previous leadership more clear as time goes on. I hope to do that through considered policy changes and frequent and frank communication with the people of this nation.

And in order to start that conversation, there's something that I'd like communicate right now. It's something I think long overdue and long preventing fare Australia from advancing. In accepting the leadership of the government of Australia I find it my solemn duty to accept responsibility for the actions of that government. Where we may not have been directly involved with the actions and policies of past governments, as a body, a body of which I am now the elected leader, the government of Australia is a continuous, and above all, accountable entity. The government, and the laws that government makes, not the people who fleetingly inhabit that government, are what define soverign Australia in a historical sense and provide for our current status as Australians, unified and diverse. With this in mind, I'd like to direct the following statement to the aboriginal people of Australia.

The aboriginal peoples of Australia have a history on this continent that goes back over ten thousand years. It's only in their very recent history that Europeans came to have an effect on their civilization, their land, their families. The effect has been nothing short of disastrous. Starting with clearly discriminatory policies put in place by the pre-Australian government, and followed on through to this very day with policies and legislation that has been, at best poorly suited to fostering aboriginal culture, and at worst profoundly damaging to the viability of these ancient and valuable ways of living and understanding our world.

Because of the actions of the Australian governments of the past we have lost, forever, entire languages, cultures, histories. Because of the inaction of more recent Australian governments we continue to be at risk of losing the wisdom that remains. This profound loss through the disregard for an entire class of person cannot be left to stand unopposed. Furthermore, the entirely personal damage that continues to affect those who were wronged by these policies cannot go unmentioned in our history. Policies that showed wholesale disregard for the sanctity of the relationship between a mother and her child, a people and their language, a community and their land cannot remain unanswered for in the body of an accountable democratic government.

So with my voice, the elected voice of the people, I'd like as my first official duty as Prime Minister of Australia to formally apologize for the active transgressions of past governments, and the silence that continued on the subject to this day. I can say with authority as the democratically elected voice of the Australian government, that it's simply time to say sorry. I apologize on behalf of all that Australians consider decent, on behalf of what I believe it is to be Australian, and out of respect for the actual human beings who want to know for certain how the Australian government considers this issue.

Some people will rightly point out that a simple apology will do no good. It may in fact bring with it a great deal of conflict. I say, for grave mistakes, grave prices will be paid. Perhaps it is the Australian government's time to pay the price for the woeful disservice it has imposed on the traditional owners of this land. Therefore, in the coming days I will be announcing policy directed at providing aboriginal communities with appropriate, considered and humane assistance in achieving goals that I will leave to those local communities to set. For the damage that has been done can not be fixed by the efforts of the federal government. Any fixing that can be done must be done by individuals and families at that local level. The best we can hope to provide is a safe, well resourced environment in which to blah blah blah and so on...


Hearing this would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. That's why I doubt we'll hear it. Kevin isn't much the hair on the back of your neck sort of guy. He's more a picking your earwax sort of guy. But again, we'll have to see. I'll send this off to him as a suggestion further to those I've already made. Can't hurt.

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