Pat Dodson's capitulation

As an Aboriginal lawyer and long-time land-rights activist, I am shocked by Pat Dodson's open capitulation. The man who once called John Howard's plans "fascist" now says there is little difference between Howard's view and the Aboriginal view. That is patently not true.

Not only are Aborigines entitled to get lands back, get compensation for the stolen generation and have our own forms of representation - but we badly need them. Put white Australians in our place and see if they would swallow "mutual obligation" as a response.

The growing number of Aborigines clambering to accept Howard's policies is just about some wanting the limelight. We won't get any lands back as a result of people agreeing to Howard's master plan.

Pat and other older leaders have a role to play - but only in support of new leaders coming along, not instead of them.

Michael Long's determination to highlight the plight of his people in the way he did was a breath of fresh air. His point was that the Howard agenda was not working and Howard had to change. Michael Long got people in the door, only to see those people endorse the Howard approach.

Murrandoo Yanner's style over the death of a Palm Islander in police custody struck a cord with Aboriginal people around the country. Those crawling to Howard may get the publicity, but the likes of Long and Yanner have the hearts and minds of Aboriginal people.

Michael Mansell,