"Keep the riffraff out"
Yep. This is what I heard a man – who had just been sworn-in as a new Australian citizen – say about why the Howard government's plans for a citizenship test was a good idea. He was of English-Italian decent, and sounded very much like a Pom. He was speaking to ABC Radio, and I'm sure he was being quite serious.
And this is pretty much why I think Howard's citizenship test is such a degrading, condescending, hugely dangerous, and ultimately racist, proposition.
Tim, in Sterne, has dissected this issue very well, and managed to keep the sense of humor that I completely lost over this. He says that according to a Herald Sun report,
… the quiz will be delivered online, with successful applicants receiving not only Australian citizenship, but also the html code for a special blog badge to show off their newly-confirmed Aussieness.I suggest that it could look something like this:
That oaf interviewed on ABC radio was not alone, as Tim's examination of the Herald Sun's readership's response to this issue attests:
Naturally, the news that migrants will have to take a citizenship test has warmed the cockles of many a western heart. Embarrassed Aussie of Melbourne writes: "For too long too many migrants have come to the shores of Australia purely to find a better place to live. No thought of assimilating or enbracing our way of life. " And if migrants won't "enbrace" our way of life, what then? Riots, that's what! "The Cronulla riots started because the different cultures represented in this country are not assimilated, we as a country are not one."And, of course, tips this country right into Howard's openly admitted agenda: to replace multiculturalism with 'integration' – which is just a weasel-word for assimilation.
Antipopper, come home! We need you!
[Image by me; published as agit-prop under the terms of my Creative Commons license. BTW, the link in the 'html badge' is a dead end…]