The ‘stolen generations’ claim is a constant refrain in the Marxist narrative, despite not one case succeeding at law. And why wouldn’t it be? It is a massive weapon in the extreme left’s goal to create chaos and destroy the nation that was founded in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 and endured whole until the 1950s. Sure, Aboriginal children, full and mixed blood, were removed from their parents, but they were removed for the benefit of the children, as the authorities then judged. In most cases, it was the right action. Tony Thomas provides some background to the political issue of ‘stolen generations’ with a review of Nicholas Hasluck’s book, Bench and Book.
The Unsinkable Child-Stealing Myth
Tony Thomas, Quadrant, 12 October 2021
A bit of judicial biffo goes on all the time as appeal courts rule on whether a trial judge got it right or wrong. A case in point is the High Court’s unanimous critique last year of two Victorian appeal judges who sent the innocent Cardinal Pell to prison. Such court language has a polite veneer. But do you ever wonder what judges really think? To find out go buy Nicholas Hasluck’s Bench and Book, (Arcadia, $44), published a month ago. It’s his two-year diary from 2000 when he became a WA Supreme Court judge. He reitred in 2010.
Barrister Nick, also novelist, memoirist and poet, took crimson while continuing as chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and finishing a Jacobean-era novel, Arbella’s Baby, writing as “Margaret Martin” in a post-modern identity twist.
Book and Bench publishes for the first time his private biffo with ex-High Court Judge Sir Ronald Wilson over the latter’s Bringing Them Home Report of 1997, source of the “stolen generations” story and alleging government-administered “genocide”.
Hasluck’s father, Paul, was Commonwealth Minister for Territories running Aboriginal policy and administration in the Northern Territory from 1951-63, and Governor-General 1969-74. Paul Hasluck, with his devotion to Aboriginal welfare, didn’t actually spend his time stealing part-Aboriginal kids from their wailing mother’s arms. Equally absurd is that Paul’s bureaucrats did the stealing behind his back; Paul was fanatical about portfolio detail.
Yet if Bringing Them Home were true, Paul had to be a genocidal monster. Paul’s son, Nick, was not having any of that.
The intra-judicial explosion detonated when Sir Ronald wrote effusively to Nick congratulating him on becoming a judge (their Perth homes were only 7km apart as the crow flies). Sir Ronald doubtless expected a grateful reply. But Nick was stewing over Sir Ronald’s telling the National Press Club in 1999 about NT ‘genocide’ in the Hasluck era. Nick blasted Ron; Ron lashed back. They banged heads to mutual exhaustion. And later, Ron admitted to Patrick Carlyon of The Bulletin (June 2001) that his ‘genocide’ claim was a crock (p258) – which hasn’t stopped the Australian wokerati spraying the term around regardless.