Howard's right: it is our hurricane Katrina

Howard has been quoted as saying the "emergency" in Australian indigenous communities is "Australia's own hurricane Katrina" and I think he's right. Just as Bush did nothing for years knowing about the danger, Howard's government has had more than ten years to sort this situation out, or at least make some inroads.

Instead they've been pushing their ideology instead of actual solutions, talking about "mutual obligation", encouraging property ownership over traditional shared ownership, fighting tooth and nail to stop the land rights movement and of course refusing to apologise for the mistakes of the past, mistakes often made in the same paternalistic frame of the current intervention.

Now it's all come back to haunt them. Where Bush will be remembered for Lake George, the puddle that was once New Orleans, Howard will be remembered for his refusal to do anything to help indigenous Australia, and acting far too late and with characteristic paternalism.

I must say, I certainly agree with Howard when he says "we should have been more humble". If only he were.