7 July 1998

27 Florence St.,
West Perth 6005


Dear Linda,

A short note - yes I am going to Melbourne tomorrow. Let's just hope the in-flight staff are different to the Sydney- Melbourne leg. Love the story about King Rat. Frank Sinatra, wasn't it, in the film version of your apocryphal tale? You ask about compromise - well I don't think so - this doesn't feel like a compromise to me. That's what's so nice, really.

I didn't know about your niece. I am so sorry. I hope it works out.

I am listening to the Wik debate in Parliament. It is depressing to realise that we are hearing the biggest historic sell-out this country has ever seen. It looks like in the future people will look back and say, the 7 July, 1998? wasn't that the date that the right to negotiate was extinguished? Which brings us back to compromises; negotiation surely carries within it the potential for compromise. To negotiate in good faith, as they say. Then how has our Prime Minister managed to highjack the word, lasso it to his own barrel? I guess it comes down to the old liberal model: on the one side we have the Farmers, country folk, mining companies, the Electorate, the People of Australia; on the other side the Indigenous population (who now by definition are excluded from belonging to the groupings on the other side). And I, the Prime Minister, will humbly absent myself from the side of Power (where I have resided to date), and deem to function as the apex of Reason, the scales that balance extreme positions.

I have to go. The domestic sphere beckons. Washing, the dishes. Thank you again for your letter, although I leave much unsaid and too much unanswered. But I guess that a letter always inscribes absence, gaps, silences, in order that writing can live on in the future!