Without reading Ted’s book and seeing the depth of his …

Comment on When NT was officially ‘a country for the White Man’ by John Bell.

Without reading Ted’s book and seeing the depth of his reasoning, it is hard to critique his passionate assertion that the “smug, safe, luxurious lifestyle that we all enjoy” derives from the pre-WW2 White Australia policy in “sordid little Darwin”, a pre-dominantly non-European town in the early 1900s.
It could well be that “that’s where it all started” for Australia in early colonisation days, but I have serious doubts about Ted’s claim that “that’s why we’re conservative, particularly around things like immigration, to this day”.
Presumably, Ted is referring to blokes and sheilas of his Anglo-Celtic origins, like many of ASNO’s online readers. However, the conservative view of things nationalistic such as sovereign borders and immigration was not patented, nor is it owned by, the White Man (White Woman). It is a trait of all ethnic tribal countries around the world. We have to look no further than Japan and China at the time of the Broome pearl divers and the Peking Boxer rebellion.
Doubtless, many of the multi-ethnic inhabitants of “sordid little Darwin” in those early days were just as conservative as we were, perhaps even more so, and would have applied the same views if they had been in power in the Wide Brown Land. Japan of the Divine Wind millennia is the perfect example. And for the record, modern day Australia down here in Mexico (the Big Smoke south of the border) is fast replicating early Darwin’s non-European population domination in numerous dedicated suburbs eg Box Hill, Caulfield, Glen Waverley, Dandenong et al.
Conservatism in those suburbs is entrenched in the ethnic community and is growing mighty strong and rapidly. When the Education Department puts Ted’s book into NT schools, it might be a good idea to toss in an accompanying module on the relative values and political views that are held by today’s comfortable-lifestyle ethnic citizens in the NT community whose forebears came to sordid little Darwin in those days.
Regardless,the school authorities must make it mandatory that any teaching of Ted’s book to our school kids MUST be accompanied by a You Tube video of Ted singing “Nakamura, the boy from Okinawa”. The video with the camels walking across the beach. One of the greatest Aussie bush ballad hands-across-the-water tributes to multicultural friendship ever sung in all of Aussie Song Land!

John Bell Also Commented

When NT was officially ‘a country for the White Man’
@Nimby. Perhaps you are a bit harsh and sweeping in your criticism of Ted. All historians are story tellers, but there are at least three different types of historian storytellers. The first is the Edward Gibbon school of hard facts, gathered with meticulous academic discipline. Gibbon’s 13 year opus “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” set the gold standard in this category. Ted admits he is not in that school. The second type is a modern day phenomenon, the historian who interprets gathered facts through the prism of gender and racial stereotypes to try to explain the facts. Again, I don’t think Ted falls into this category. The third type is the natural born storyteller who blends facts with a bit of poetic licence and weaves them with passion to spin a great yarn. Usually, those who fall into this category, while consciously trying to get their views across in the spinning of the yarn, don’t take themselves too seriously. They tend to hit the spot that the common man understands and enjoys. I think Ted is this type of historian. Anyone who can pen a ballad such as Nukamora the Boy from Okinawa and put together such a magnificent video clip that makes us all reflect individually on our historical past without prejudgment deserves a tick of approval. Looking forward to reading the book.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Code of conduct allegations ‘vexatious, frivolous’ – councillor
@ Interested Darwin Observer. Admittedly, I follow the Alice Council from afar, but the way that the investigation of the complaint against Cr Cocking was conducted is pretty typical across local councils generally everywhere these days.
The blurring of tiered government responsibilities and charter is totally lost on the bulk of ordinary punters.
Councils are now a most powerful source of setting social political policy and forcing it on State governments.
They are frighteningly powerful in inner city electorates.
Jimmy is part of this council-power politicised cuthroat scene.
So he should toughen up, Buttercup, because there is be plenty more where that came from. On all sides.


Now $90m earmarked for Aboriginal gallery
Dare ask the question – where is this money coming from? Another $90m? Pfffft … chickenfeed!
Spending has overtaken the Australian economy like a virus. The NT is following Victoria.
Hang on … it’s election week.
Imagine trying to run a family household weekly budget like these politicians. The family would be on the streets in a month.


How much of our relationship with Aborigines is hypocrisy?
Jakub Baranski. Thank you for your view on Aboriginal dugout canoes. It is historically interesting.
I have had an interest since my youth in Matthew Flinders’ amazing circumnavigation of Australia in a tiny boat.
Then in 2003 I visited Japan and stumbled across a small maritime museum on the coast 80 km north of Tokyo. I was astounded to see a huge 12th century map outline of the eastern Australian coastline from the tip of Cape Yorke down to approximately the border of present day Victoria.
The young with-it Japanese curator told me that local fishing boats went fishing all the way down the Australian coast for centuries before the emperors banned overseas sailing after the Divine Wind attempted invasion by the Chinese.
Suspended from the three storey ceiling was a replica of one of those original fishing boats. Tiny. My mind boggled.
It would be terrific education for an Australian maritime museum to display such boats from different peoples and countries during these eras.
It would give us a greater appreciation of the comparative maritime brilliance of the different cultures.


Leaving town: Centre, its creatures will miss Kaye Kessing
Kaye. A very kind and gentle lady whom I am very proud to call a friend since early 70s Melanka days.
The mural on the Coles wall from the Ghan window is my lasting memory of a brilliant talent.
The friend of the endangered species. Alice has been greatly enriched by a good lady.


If you can climb Mt Everest and in Yosemite, why not Uluru?
I have never been able to work out exactly why The Rock should not be climbed.
Is it a spiritual religious thing? Or is it simply because the custodians think it is a “respect” thing?
If the latter, is it because the custodians feel offended or is Uluru considered a living entity that feels offended?
I am fair dinkum when I ask this. Different people have different views. It is confusing.


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