Prof Gerritsen in Alison Anderson’s cheer squad: Bess Price’s husband after the coup

p2211-Dave-PriceCOMMENT by DAVE PRICE

 

It seems that Nicolas Rothwell’s comment in The Australian on January 24 that Rolf Gerritsen is the “Territory’s leading public intellectual” has gone to his head a little.

 

Last weekend The Australian, for the first time, admitted to its readers that Rothwell is Alison Anderson’s partner. I have been trying to get them to do that for months. He has also become, obviously, Alison’s mouthpiece now she has fallen from power. And now Professor G has joined our Alison’s cheer squad.

 

Unlike Rothwell I have never tried to hide my relationship to my wife, Bess Nungarrayi, the MLA for Stuart, and yes I am her biggest fan. I will let your readers judge for themselves whether my obvious bias makes me worth listening to or not.

 

I have been pretty quiet in recent times because I am happy for my wife to speak for herself and her constituents in Parliament. And she is the rare type of politician who likes to get on with the job entrusted to her rather than waste time and effort fighting off criticism by internet trolls, rabid activists and public intellectuals who claim to know her people better than she does and undermining allies and colleagues.

 

I was amazed last September to hear Gerritsen’s “it’s all about rebellion” thesis to explain the dysfunction of Aboriginal communities and the ridiculously high incarceration rate of young Aboriginal men and, increasingly women.

 

He gave his thesis in a joint presentation with Don Zoellner. It was deeply paradoxical to me. Zoellner seemed to be asking for more resources and effort to be put into training and higher education and Gerritsen was telling us that students wouldn’t turn up to do the training anyway, just to spite us whitefellas.

 

It seems to me the height of absurdity to make the claim that Aboriginal people are deliberately choosing to live in poverty, violence, avoidable sickness and despair out of a politically rational sense of rebellion.

 

Gerritsen neglected to point out that 60% of Aboriginal male offenders are incarcerated for being convicted of violent crimes against their own women. So men are bashing and killing their women as a political act of rebellion against the Big Bad White Man, apparently. And they are rationally choosing a lifestyle that leads to chronic, avoidable illness and early death.

 

And they don’t send their kids to school or undertake training or take on available jobs because governments would rather they were healthy, off welfare and in control of their own lives. Yeah, that makes sense.

 

His praise for Alison Anderson also astounds me. I have known Alison for decades and I am very close to several who are related to her. I find it very hard to point to anything she has actually achieved although she has had plenty of chances.

 

She ran Papunya for eleven years. I recommend Skelton’s ‘King Brown Country’ on that period if you haven’t read it yet.

 

She was Zone Commissioner for ATSIC when I worked for that terminally ill organisation. She was then known as ‘the windscreen wiper’ to many of the Aboriginal people I worked with at the time.

 

I remember her standing gallantly by Geoff Clark after he’d been accused of rape by his own cousin. She has a way of picking worthwhile causes.

 

She then became an MLA and Minister in a Labor government and we all remember what happened then. My wife was appointed to chair the inaugural Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council by Marion Scrymgour, then holding the highest position attained by an Aboriginal woman in our history. Marion resigned the same day then came back once the ‘windscreen wiper’ had left the government and the party. Not a coincidence.

 

Alison then joined the Country Liberals and was promoted to the front bench in that government. Instead of getting on with the hard work that her portfolios demanded of her she chose to rebel after enthusiastically supporting, to us and within the party, the overthrow of Terry Mills. Bess Nungarrayi was the last to be won over on that issue. She is a loyalist through and through.

 

When she knew my wife wasn’t going to join her hare brained rebellion Alison immediately worked to undermine her position as she has done with all Aboriginal political allies that she couldn’t control. This I witnessed close up.

 

During the wooing period she called myself and my wife ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’, she is a Nampitinpa after all, Aboriginal people and anthropologists will understand. Then she told her ‘Mummy’ to her face that people thought she was ‘just a dumb bush blackfella who couldn’t do her job’.

 

Then of course it was Clive Palmer to the rescue and now he’s a goner, we knew that couldn’t last, two similar personalities in competition for the lime light, and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu has come home again although we don’t hear much from him.

 

Her last political ally, apart from Eli Melky, is an MLA who thinks that a violent fracas in public leading to a charge of aggravated assault and disorderly behaviour “happens all the time in families”.  And in all this time what, Professor Gerritsen, has she achieved apart from destabilizing, protesting and insulting, bad mouthing and undermining any other Aboriginal leader with a view different from her own let alone the whitefellas? And this has benefited her people somehow? And they are too dumb to work all of this out?

 

Bess Nungarrayi has stayed loyal to the Chief Minister because she believes that he has the best chance of doing the best job for the people in her electorate, white and black, given the alternatives. She was not given forewarning – neither was the Speaker, the party members or the management team – of the midnight coup attempt and was offered a fait accompli – “Adam Giles is gone whether you like it or not, we’re sending you to the back bench and now we are demanding your support”.

 

The last straw was hearing that Alison was waiting in the wings to make a dramatic come back. Far from being a hypocrite Bess Nungarrayi, like Marion Scryngour before her, has stuck to her beliefs and to her guns and will continue to do so no matter who holds the reigns of government and no matter what harebrained scheme Alison is up to.

 

Prof Gerritsen, you should talk to more Aboriginal people than just Alison. A conversation with Bess Nungarrayi may have been useful before you join in Alison’s campaign to undermine her politically. She speaks four Aboriginal languages, by the way, not just Warlpiri. Alison is your informant on this question as well I gather.

 

[PARAGRAPH deleted February 19, 2015 – ED]

 

My wife has been getting continuous and vocal support from both Aboriginal people in her electorate, and in others – the ones Professor Gerritsen doesn’t talk to – and whitefellas, a posse of whom were prepared to literally ride to her rescue when news of the coup attempt broke. She has also received warm congratulations from the staff of the departments she is responsible for because they see her work everyday and see her honesty, good humour and total lack of hypocrisy.

 

Another very clever Whitefella public intellectual who knew the electorate of Stuart better than we do, Antony Green, predicted that Bess Nungarrayi didn’t have a hope of coming out on top in the last election. She was up against a popular male, Aboriginal incumbent minister and needed a swing of 16%. “Impossible” he said. She got a swing of over 18%. Next year we’ll see if Prof Gerritsen’s prediction is worth listening to.

 

 

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23 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Mack
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    @ Leo Abbott: “And you’re trying to live a political existence (life) through your wife.” These sorts of thoughts are best left in your imagination unless they are the best you have to offer.
    @ The Price is wrong: “In short, it’s gut churning watching both of you shamelessly defending your wife / mother on all forms of media, much to the disgust of the wider public. Give it a rest.”
    You may find it gut wrenching but I don’t. “Gut wrenching” is a loaded term. I think the Price is right on this occasion. I for one would prefer that Dave continue commenting on anything relating to Indigenous affairs. He makes sense.

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  2. The Price is Wrong
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:50 am

    @ Dave and Jacinta:
    In short, its gut churning watching both of you shamelessly defending your wife / mother on all forms of media, much to the disgust of the wider public. Give it a rest.
    Neither of you are qualified with any sort of political nouse, so please take a backseat and let the Minister get on with the job.
    Also, I find it interesting, Jacinta, that you feel offended at Leo Abbott’s “racist” description of your father, yet it was Dave who sat there on SBS Insights “Aboriginal or not” program and felt he was qualified to comment on the identities of apekathe (mix descent) Aboriginal people (myself included) as unauthentic – causing offence to the majority of Indigenous Australian’s who are of mixed descent.
    Your mother, prior to her appointment, was also the ringleader (along with one other noteable) who abused former Minister Hampton at a polling booth some years back for not being a language speaker.
    Stones from glass houses … I for one would prefer that Dave abstain from commenting on anything relating to Indigenous affairs. He’s had his say.

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  3. Eli Melky
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:40 am

    It’s the small people who try to belittle and humiliate others.
    “To belittle, you have to be little.”
    Khalil Gibran

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  4. Jacinta Price
    Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    @ Leo Abbot: Gees, “pomposity” – that’s a big word, Leo. I might write a song about it, it has a musical ring to it.
    Hilarious in fact everything you say the team my mother supports has done are all the things Alison has accomplished as an individual while being part of two separate governments and three separate parties.
    With regard to being a successful grant applicant you need to arm yourself with the right information before you have a go.
    The grant I applied for went to CAAMA Music to support me as an artist and went through the normal processes of government.
    Part of the grant supported the training and employment of young Indigenous trainees in the music industry.
    By the way, I would have loved if it were $20,000 but it was nowhere near this amount, in fact I would like to know where you get that figure from?
    Yes, Alison was the minister at the time and a lot of people are successful in applying for funding from the NT government.
    It was not Alison’s money, it was taxpayers’ money and they are the ones I am grateful to.
    This does not mean that I am beholden to Alison forever as a result.
    Governments should support citizens through their programs on the basis of the merit of their applications.
    It is not a system of patronage and vote or loyalty buying. Are you trying to accuse Alison of corruption?
    That’s the way the Mafia does business not a democratically elected government. It will not affect the way that I vote and if this is the way you think it should be done then you are wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself.
    I’ve continued to successfully apply for funding through Federal and NT government as an artist and in my line of work because my applications are based on merit and hard work.
    Your kind of thinking gives us blackfellas a bad name and if I thought that I was supposed to support the Minister of the time forever because I received a grant, I never would have accepted it in the first place.
    As for my mother, she is loyal to the team that she works with and has a mind of her own.
    Alison has tried to sabotage and undermine every team she has ever worked with. You of course have every right to vote how you want and to take part in the political process any legal way you wish to.
    My father is a whitefella and my mother is a blackfella. They both love me, as I love both of them and I will support them at any time against those who attack them on the basis of their colour!

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  5. Leo Abbott
    Posted February 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    @Jacinta Price: In answer to all your pomposity, if team is what you support, then I dare say the definition of how not to be a team is on full display with the team that your mother is supporting.
    In this so called team we have those who are self-indulgent, self-serving, self-centred and completely out of touch with the real world. If things don’t go their way, they pick their bat and ball and threaten to go home.
    They are the laughing stock of Australian politics; they are the worst in the history of the NT Parliament.
    Those who have passed would surely be turning in their graves in disgust of the behaviour of members of this CLP team.
    Their swapping of leaders and Ministerial portfolios and stabbing in the back has become legendary, even to the point where Caesar has been relegated to the back benches of story time.
    God forbid we aspire to become like such a team. This is not about you, your father or your mother; this is about the whole Territory which is at stake here. Your mother, and rightly you should be proud of her, however she made a decision to support this team.
    Of Alison Anderson, you speak ill of, in her capacity as minister at the time, I understand she was responsible for approving a $20,000 grant to aid in your musical endeavours, to name one. How quickly we forget.

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  6. Jacinta Price
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    @ Leo Abbott: Wow, you sound like a whining kid who didn’t get picked for the team Leo.
    Now your true colors are there to be seen by all, you talk about the race card but you are the only one making racist comments.
    Fortunately many blackfellas from the bush don’t have the same kind of racist attitude you’ve just displayed and fortunately they never voted you in either because clearly they were aware that you lack the intelligence and integrity it takes to be in the position my mother Bess Price is in.
    The bush blackfellas and the whitefellas who are their family don’t actually view everyone as someone belonging to a race but rather that they are of the human race.
    We are all dealing with human issues in the NT and I can tell you now my father has dealt with his share of those that belong to our family.
    He’s paid his dues; he’s walked this earth alongside my grandfather who loved him deeply. Eli is just an observer. So please don’t try to detract from the fact that your comment is racist by saying, “and don’t come back to me with the race card” because that is weak and pathetic. But at least all who read it know your true views on “whitefellas”. You stick to your guns though because I can see it’s got you nowhere fast and we all know why you’re licking Eli’s boots – because you’re in his pocket.
    It’s not about winning brownie points it’s about doing the right thing by the people who voted you in, and I’ll remind you again, you weren’t voted in and instead of coming after others out of vengeance why don’t you and Alison get off you behind and actually do something for your mob.
    Be positive and be proactive instead of jealous, bigoted, immature and lazy. You might be able to pay your own debts then?
    As for Eli all I’ve ever heard him crow on about is how he’s such a hero and a champion especially at 6am in the morning when no one else is there for the poor little Aborigine, he’s trying to save when jogging through the outback and now that standing in the face of danger the unruly mob (being my family and therefore my father’s family) who were armed to the teeth.
    But he’s helped you out, hey Leo, he’s helped this blackfella out and so he’s your hero.
    None of you are team players; you’re all out for self-gratification. Eli is a runner, a solo sportsman not a team player.
    Alison’s track record speaks volumes; it tells us that she certainly isn’t a team player. Instead when she’s been seen to be doing nothing she screams and rants in order to deflect blame and responsibility and scrambles to get anyone else to take her side by manipulation or bullying and you … well you just belong to them.

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  7. Leo Abbott
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Leo Abbott responds to Dave Price attacks against Eli Melky and Alison Anderson.
    @ Dave Price: At the end of the day your’e still a white man (and don’t come back to me with the race card) and you’re trying to live a political existence (life) through your wife.
    You portray that you know a lot about indigenous communities and understand culture. Personally attacking Eli Melky isn’t going to give you the Chief Ministership or any clout within the CLP.
    Like myself, Alison Anderson and Eli Melky, you as well as Bess will be chewed up and spat out by your party power factions when you’re use-by date is upon yourselves.
    You don’t have to be Einstein to see how things have happened within politics especially in your party.
    The greater Northern Territory constituents, people that have voted, regardless of which party, these people need to have confidence of like-minded Territorians to better represent us, and to move the Territory forward.
    Within the CLP there are good hard working conservative members who want to move the Territory forward and I am proud to say they are my friends.
    To me Eli Melky is one person I would gladly stand beside and work with him towards moving the Territory forward with integrity and credibility, as opposite to your style of bullish personal attacks at those who don’t agree with you. Winning brownie points within the CLP will only get you as far as the door at the next election, please shut the door behind you as you vacate the premises in Todd Mall.

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  8. Harold
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Anyone previously wondering why the CLP is in such disarray. These blokes used to work together for the good of a common cause. The secret is out, at branch level the party is a shambles. Their only saving grace may be that their direct competitors don’t appear to be travelling any better.

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  9. Davies
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Observer. You say there seems to be little in Anderson’s career to suggests she cares for much else than her own interest.
    Her interests are her own, as you say, but they are also those of her constituents, the Aboriginal people she represents.
    Ask them and you will see this for yourself.
    It is only Whitefellas (and Bess Price) who attack her.

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  10. Observer
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    It would be a foolish party to ever again associate with the increasingly toxic Alison Anderson. The prospect of Anderson and Lee rejoining with the CLP had van Holthe succeeded in his power grab, has shown his poor judgement.
    There seems to be little in Anderson’s career to suggests she cares for much else than her own interest. A look into Alison Anderson’s past at Papunya would probably be just as revealing as the Foundation 51 saga. Where there’s smoke – there’s fire.
    So, to support Anderson and proclaim her brilliant attributes puts one squarely into the company of some rather dull minded individuals – such as Tony Abbott – surely one of the most intellectually deficient politician’s of our time.
    Meanwhile, Bess continues to work with integrity.

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  11. Eli Melky
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    @ Daniel Davis: You would be one of the members of the local CLP branch who I can say is a real loyal and hardworking person.
    As the Vice President of the Party and former Chair of the branch, I expect you to leap to the defence of your MLA and her husband.
    But that’s all you got, the old divide and conquer by attempting to put a wedge between Alison and I, supported by your recollections.
    It’s a shame that those who were elected on the back of your and many other loyal CLP members’ hard work have let the Territory down in such a big way.
    Sadly we are now the laughing stock of the nation thanks to their antics.
    I look forward to any future investigation into the CLP campaign funding and their relationship with Foundation 51 and whatever else there is.
    I have no doubt that will be very entertaining to many Territorians.

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  12. Dave Price
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Eli,
    The incredible feeling of disappointment and the loss of regard is mutual.
    Your disloyal and conspiratorial behaviour disappointed me ages ago. And one man’s profound statement is another’s rant.
    Like your comment – I’d certainly call that a rant and a not very rational one either. I can live with you not respecting me, I never thought you did. I responded to Rolf Gerritsen’s putting down of my wife in order to raise up Alison.
    Please read his interview more carefully. You see this is how democracy works Eli, we all have different opinions and we all have the right to express them. You have also have the right to react like a petulant, hysterical child to mine if that appeals to you but I think you go too far.
    As for spitting in faces, Alison has viciously insulted a line up of some our best Indigenous leaders if they didn’t agree with her take on issues in the NT.
    Before Adam Giles there was Marion Scrymgour, Malarndirri MaCArthy, Noel Pearson has come in for a few serves, and most recently Prof. Marcia Langton for daring to truthfully warn us of the potential harm the drug ice could do to remote communities.
    And you aren’t all that bad at spitting in old comrades’ faces yourself. I used to support the ALP and there are many who still do that I have great respect for, and they for me, although I’ve jumped ship so to speak. Expressing a political disagreement is not face spitting, my excitable ex-friend, it’s democracy at work.
    All I said about you was that you were one of Alison’s few remaining political allies and you have just vindicated my remark by your little rant. How is that a spit in the face, exactly?
    Yes, I do remember your contribution to the election out at Yuendumu. Though I don’t remember you being the only man standing bravely facing an “unruly mob armed to the teeth” like Kitchener of Khartoum.
    I have known members of that “unruly mob” for over thirty years and felt in no way intimidated by them, let alone threatened. And they vote too, voting early to make sure that their later activities didn’t take that right away from them.
    I do remember several others carrying on in the face of that disturbance, others in the team from town, as well as local Warlpiri who were also not particularly worried by it. You remember only yourself it seems.
    You’re not much of a team player if you can’t even remember the rest of the team. I didn’t run and hide, with girded loins and jaw set firm I went through the “unruly mob” to retrieve our gear from the second booth the police had closed down. Maybe you didn’t notice. Do you still expect my loyalty after you deserted us and spat in our faces? Odd.
    You do no service to the people of Yuendumu by making such inflammatory, unwise remarks in order to big note yourself. But they are typical of those who know very little about the bush communities.
    So tell us, are you still with Uncle Clive or have you moved on from there, as the others seem to have?
    Is Jacquie Lambie giving you advice on Indigenous policy? She will no doubt be an invaluable aid to you as you bravely and single-handedly wrest political control of Stuart away from the diabolical Prices with your deep knowledge of, and empathy for the unruly, armed mobs of that electorate.
    I don’t see myself as having much personal influence at all over that electorate, or any other, do you?
    If you do I’d like to see your evidence. It’s a flattering suggestion.
    In the end, Eli, we don’t care much what a few Labor trolls, soft headed lefties, professional protestors and ex CLP PUP loyalists in town think.
    We care what the people of Stuart think. We will accept their decision. We believe in democracy. You do your damnest! Once more into the breach!
    Signed: Dave Price ex DLP supporter (when I was too young to vote), ex-Worker’s Socialist Alliance supporter (one vote, my first, which I’ve deeply regretted since), ex-ALP supporter, but never a member. You’ve got to grow up sometime.

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  13. Daniel Davis
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 10:56 am

    @ Eli Melky: Thanks for providing my morning entertainment, your post just about had me in stitches.
    If I recall correctly, we’ve had many a discussion contrary to your new found support of Alison. If only she knew all the things you’ve said about her in the past, but hey, maybe she does, maybe it’s a case of keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.
    We all know Alison’s a great talker (and Nick’s written some fantastic parliamentary speeches for her), but a do-er she is not. Her inability to get anything done for her people, in any position she has ever had speaks volumes about her true ability.
    You make quite a pair, both happy to spruik rubbish and lies to achieve your own political outcome, unfortunately that does nothing for the communities you both try so hard to say you represent.

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  14. Davies
    Posted February 15, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Interesting that Bess was given the same nickname as Dave, as if they are interchangeable.

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  15. Eli Melky
    Posted February 15, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Dave Price, your rant here is as long as it is divisive and incredibly disappointing.
    I once held you in high regards but I am afraid I have lost all respect for you.
    Your need to put down Alison Anderson in order to raise up your wife is selfish and power grabbing.
    How quickly you forget that I was the only man left standing to face an unruly mob armed to the teeth while everyone ran and hid at Yuendumu polling booth during the election.
    Labor representatives had fled by midday and the booth was closed. It was I who stayed and went around to collect votes from house to house for your wife at great risk as the community was too scared to come out in fear of violence.
    I never left my post.
    This article spits in my face and insults a very good friend of mine in Alison Anderson who no matter how many times you attempt to insult, she will always be a better class than that unruly mob you call the CLP.
    I will now dedicate my whole focus on ensuring the CLP is a one term Government and wrest back the seat of Stuart from your personal influence.
    You are a disappointment and I regret I ever helped you in any way to win that seat.
    And a word of caution be very mindful with your reply as I will use it to fuel my enthusiasm to see you and the CL “want to be” P fall from power.
    Eli Melky
    former CLP member

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  16. Dave Price
    Posted February 13, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Well Lou you could teach a thing or two about venom.
    I can recall a lot of game playing during the election and I don’t think I was particularly good at it compared to the Labor old hands.
    As for Alison’s claim that Bess Nungarrayi won because of her support that Gerritsen repeats in his piece, I remember a lot of broken promises but not much support. A fair bit of game playing going on there as well.
    And an advisory council advises, it doesn’t act. It’s up to the Government it advises to act on that advice.
    It had 10 members who all had their say. The first minister it reported to resigned the day it was appointed, not much action there.
    The second was Alison Anderson, enough said. The third was Malarndirri McArthy after Alison jumped ship, a politician of uncommon integrity who tried hard but was sidelined by her Labor colleagues.
    And pokies, well she was in good company. Go into any casino in the NT and you will find some of the NT’s highest profile leaders at the machines. I don’t recall it being illegal.
    Alison Anderson signed a ministerial approving the closing down of Whitegate camp while she was Minister.
    Next we hear her crying for the human rights of its residents during a protest in the Mall – you see how we get “windscreen wiper”. A copy of that ministerial was given to the ABC whose editors chose not to mention it in their coverage.
    I strenuously object to my wife being labelled “Garden Gnome”. That has been one of my nicknames for years and I like it, I want to keep it. Warlpiri call me Jurru Marntarla, among other things I’m sure. It translates as ‘Wooden Head”. I’m quite proud of it but if you’re going to use it I’d prefer the Warlpiri version.
    Thanks for your gob smackingly patronising advice, Davies, you’ll forgive me for not taking it on board.
    Nicholas Rothwell has surreptitiously championed his partner’s cause for years – that’s not a disservice?
    And now Rolf Gerritsen has taken up the cudgels for Alison and told us that she’d win hands down no matter what electorate she stands in.
    That is the most arrogant, patronising political statement I think I’ve ever heard and he wouldn’t get away with it in relation to an electorate with a majority white population.
    He also told an outright untruth about my wife’s linguistic ability – no doubt being advised by Alison.
    That’s what I responded to. It’s not in my nature to let that sort of thing go unchallenged.
    I have the same right as everybody else to have my say. It’s a democracy. Prince Philip even scored a knighthood out of having his say despite being married to the Queen.
    You may not hear much from Bess Nungarrayi through the media but you also never hear from the voters in the bush because the media either aren’t interested or don’t know how to communicate with them effectively.
    Nungarrayi is very good at communicating with them. Anyway, I’ve had my say now.

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  17. Paul Parker
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    “Indigenous issues” are a hard gig because the term “Indigenous” is a tool used to confuse issues, to pretend solutions are more difficult, to postpone, or avoid, addressing then resolving the problems.
    Whitegate … Those camping at Whitegate need to lodge an application for a lease with the land’s recognized title-holders (Lhere Artepe?).
    If a lease is sought and obtained, then with public release of the development plan, access to reticulated services, public support are more likely.

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  18. Davies
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Dave you say that Alison was called “the windscreen wiper”.
    Bess also has a nick name, she is called the “Garden Gnome”.
    That term relates to her obsequious disposition towards Adam Giles and her inability to make any contribution by herself.
    The Garden Gnome makes for a good picture and Giles displays her at every opportunity.
    But the Gnome struggles to answer questions and will follow any policy without reflection.
    That’s why she copped the blame for cutting off the water to the Whitegate people.
    As instructed, she cut of the water to a group of dispossessed camp dwellers and didn’t have the courage or the heart to go back on the decision.
    What Bess actually believes in is an unknown, she has many people talking to her and for her, including you.
    Each of them does her a disservice.

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  19. Dr Debz
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I have the utmost admiration for both Rolf Gerritson and Bess Price. Both great people trying their best for Central Australians, including Indigenous people.
    One thing I do disagree with Dave Price about in this opinion piece is that he seems to believe that Rolf is suggesting that people rationally make a decision to not listen to The Man.
    I don’t think that is what he means at all. A large amount of human behaviour is completely irrational.
    Even government policy is often irrational – for one example, the child health checks in the Intervention.
    The sooner the government wakes up to the irrationality of its policies and stops telling Indigenous people what is best for them, without consultation, the sooner we might see some results.

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  20. Mark Lockyer
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    If more people talked like Bess price we wouldn’t need an intervention. We would all have equal rights. Bess is the first to talk the truth. Keep up the good work, Bess.

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  21. Alan Smight
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Congratulations David you have summed up the lack of effort this lady has shown in her position.
    Never has there been a public figure that has played the poor bugger me card so many times.
    Mind you the class of people she surrounds herself with says it all as she found out with the highly rated PUP party.
    Your wife is one of the most genuine and honest women I’ve every had the pleasure of meeting and wish that more people had her morals and work ethic.

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  22. Christine
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Bess seems to be the quiet achiever, I have a lot of respect for her.
    Head down and just getting on with things. Indigenous issues are a hard gig for anyone, but perhaps particularly difficult for Bess in those times when other Indigenous public figures are attempting to undermine or destroy any gains that can be achieved.

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  23. Lou Hayes
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Another story full of the Price venom. You failed to mention the games you played in the 2012 election campaign, David!
    Yes, Bess Price was chair the inaugural Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council and what good did that do for Aboriginal people? Nothing, she was in a high position to speak up for Aboriginal affairs and education, but nothing. She sat in silence or in front of the pokies.

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