Friday, December 15, 2006

"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…]

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At December 16, 2006 8:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I may have been born here but I still don't know what Pauline Hanson and now Howard mean by "Australian Values", except that they do not appear to align with my values. What will happen to "unintegrated" Ausralians like me when we fail their little test???

On a more serious note, take a look at the last ABC Lateline transcript for 2006:

Former staffer to the Prime Minister GRAHAME MORRIS: “The idea that this Government, or the office of Prime Minister or the Prime Minister himself, would go into an election campaign fighting on Labor's issues is just not real. There will be a few things that will come up, something to do with middle Australia and families, which will be the election decider..….. The economy, I accept, that will be important right through…… But I don't think it's going to be an Iraq or foreign affairs type election at all. I think it will be much, much closer to home. Something to do with families, something to do with how does one make sure that this wealth we have going in much of the country flows through to, or keeps flowing through to ordinary mums and dads. That will be the interesting part of this election campaign”.

Could (conservative) "values" be the issue Howard is hoping will distract us from the economy and the war?

At December 16, 2006 11:59 pm, Blogger phil said...

The idea that Graeme Morris should be more believable than is his former master is risible. He's just doing his former master's bidding, by spreading a few red herrings around the airwaves. That mob are all born liars and everything that any one of them says should be treated as a fabrication.

Jeez, that feels better!


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