So that's twice in recent times the Labor PM has saved the Opposition Leader from the consequence of a gaffe over indigenous affairs.
The first was Kevin Rudd helping Brendon Nelson over the disaster that was his address in the Apology by going across the chamber to get Nelson to accompany the elders into the Parliament.
Then yesterday we had Julia Gillard ensuring her security detail escorted Tony Abbott as well as her out fro the Lobby restaurant.
It transpires today that the activities that the PM regretted for disrupting the ceremony were in part caused by one of her staff being in a communication chain that passed on Mr Abbott's planned location for the day to the protesters. It doesn't seem to be he wo informed them of Mr Abbott's view that the Tent Embassy had passed its useful time. It wasn't he or anyone else that inspired Mr Abbott to assert that really we'd taken care of aborigines now with the apology and possible constitutional recognition so they didn't need their Embassy.
The Liberals in Government are notable for the demolition of ATSIC (for goodish reasons) and the NT intervention. No matter how honestly motivated the latter was it was as poorly executed a piece of paternalism as was taking half-caste children from their parents.
Perhaps, rather than saying it is tme the Tent Embassy moved on, we should consider the value of a permanent "embassy" - a place of representation of the indigenous Australians - within the Parliamentary triangle. And perhaps National Australia Day/Invasion Day/Survival Day ceremonies could start with a smoking ceremony there like NSW ones do with a smoking ceremony at Farm Cove.
It would be more useful than the former ATSIC building stuck over by the Museum of Australia.
I note that Google Maps identifies an area between Old Parliament House and the lake as "Reconciliation Place" - but it just seems to be a circle. If that is indeed what it is - more needs to be made of it.
Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est