23 thoughts on “Unwanted publicity for Australia

  1. I didn’t realise that calling for the equal treatment of the races was the same as playing the race card.

  2. A small point, but an important one: the NY Times writer said the Tampa was a leaky refugee boat. Of course, the Tampa was actually a Norwegian freighter.

  3. If this sort of article is what’s giving Australia a “bad name” then we’ll just have to wear it. I don’t see why we should allow slanted reports in that notorious left-wing journal to determine our immigration policy. Fancy depending on Julian Burnside and Andrew Bartlett as the only Australians quoted. Its like having Sir Oswald Mosely commenting on Churchill’s anti-Nazi policy or having Osama Bin Laden and John Pilger as the only commenters on 9-11.

    I refer to immigration policy above, not refugee policy. Even in the case quoted in the NY Times article, the people involved had been in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia before embarking on the people-smuggling expedition out of Indonesia. Immigrants seeking a better economic outcome, not refugees escaping persecution.

    As to your “right-wing leader playing the race card” it’s not clear who you’re referring to in this case. If it’s the National Party politician, perhaps you could explain why he merits such a damning slur from you. It’s certainly not obvious from this side of the Tasman.

  4. The depiction of Don Brash as a “Right Wing politician playing the race card” is a tad histrionic. He’s hardly a racist – via whatever analysis you might care to apply – and he’d be a pronounced ‘wet’ on most social issues in comparison to the Liberal/National mainstream Given Helen Clark’s swiftness in moving towards his broad policy position,is she now a “sightly left of centre politician playing the race card?”

    Given that David Lange once observed that she was “so dry that she’s combustible,” it might well be that Don Brash is damper.

  5. Whilst I would agree with Pr Q that Aust govenrment has a moral responsibility to take care of persons fleeing tyranny, it is also the case that Aust political movements (eg the Broad Left) have a responsibility to support the sovereign law of the Land. This entails opposition to legal subversion:
    externally: people-smugglers
    internally: ethnic-lobbying rotten-bourough mongerers
    It was the intellectual failure of the Left to wink, or ignore, civic deformations of that kind, prefer the cheap moral vanity of politically correct sloganeering, po-mo Republic, multiculturalism etc.throughout the 90s.
    It was the political failure of the Left to push for symbolism over pragmatism.
    And it was a moral failure of the Left to engage in branch-stacking and equity&diversity empire building to exploit ethnic grievances.
    These are the things that lead to the Howard Reaction.
    Thus the refugees paid the price for the Left losing the plot.
    Will Leftists just for once, acknowledge that there is some fault on their side in this issue, instead of posing as morally perfect?

  6. And of course, Howard has maintained and increased total immigration and legal refugee intakes. The NESB ratio of alien intake has also increased. And he destroyed Hansonism as an effective political force. Some race-card playing politician!

  7. And lets not forget that Howard, wisely or not, helped to liberate East Timor, Afhganistan and Iraq from secular and sectarian tyranny.
    New Zealand did virtually nothing to help these enslaved people, preferring to stay clear of any “trouble spots”.
    Australia can be proud that it stood up for freedom against tyranny. The same cannot be said in equal measure for New Zealand. So handing out “good citizen of the world” pats on the back for the Kiwis is a little premature.

  8. Hang on folks – it wasn’t JQ who said that Don Brash was ‘playing the race card’ – that’s the headline in the ‘New Zealand News’ that he linked to. So don’t shoot the messenger OK.

    Also WTF are “ethnic-lobbying rotten-bourough mongerers” and does Jack Strocchi have anything useful to say that can be said in one reply instead of three?

  9. I for one am pleased that both John Howard and Mark “Call me Howard-lite, except for Iraq” Latham are against swarthy foreigners enroaching our beloved borders.

    If God had intended Australia to be anything other than White, he would have made it that way.

  10. Kyan, John Quiggin has adopted the language used in the link in such a way that he clearly believes Brash WAS using the race card and that he (JQ) disapproves of him for even raising the issue. The “messenger” was expressing a definite point-of-view and to criticise him for it is certainly NOT shooting the messenger.

  11. For Kyan’s benefit, the rotten-borough mongerers are the Hawke and Keating era troglodytes who deliberately subverted immigration policy to:

    -increase the family migration quota to 70% of the immigration stream
    -hand over millions of dollars to the ethnic lobby in return for votes
    -deliberately DISCOURAGE the assimilation of immigrants into Australian society, instead urging seperatism (and howling down anyone who pointed this out as “racist”)

    The results were disasterous and completely against Australia’s national economic and security interests. Somehow we scratched our heads in confusion as to why we have open warfare in the streets of Sydney between rival ethnic groups, plus chronic unemployment among same.

    Don’t think we won’t get more of the same if the ALP get back into power.

    Nick Bolkus, Laurie Brereton and Paul Keating were behind the bulk of this perfidy. They and they alone are responsible for Pauline Hanson and the subsequent attacks on Asian immigrants.

  12. “If God had intended Australia to be anything other than White, he would have made it that way.”

    John Latham is either a rather brash ironist or an easy target.

  13. For six decades I’ve been interested in how people discussed race. Views may have changed over the years; but one common theme has been a complete disinterest, on the part of most protagonists, to examine the evidence calmly.
    The biggest difference nowadays, seems to be the tendency to see becoming excessively emotional in your position as a “virtue”.
    Isn’t postmodernism wonderful?

  14. You can’t beat the Declaration of Arbroath for an irrefutable argument (you don’t want to argue with those boys).

    From my limited acquaintance with Julian Burnside, I’d have to say his approach is more influenced by his barrister’s trade than by his set of values. That is, while he is pro-refugee, his one-sidedness comes from his being in the adversarial business rather than an enquirer. It’s a professional disease.

  15. Ron,

    Not a day goes by when I don’t have “a re-think on Iraq”. The strategic decision to invade was wrong, as is now clear to any sentient being.

    The war will probably result in moral improvement in the Iraqis state ie freedom, integration with the world, prosperity.

    Howard was correct to aid the US in the invasion, since it has improved AUS strategic position with the US alliance, at little cost to AUS so far.

    Insofar as the war lead to the moral improvement of Iraq, Howard can take some credit. Ditto for Afghanistan and Timor.

  16. It’s deceptive to see John Howard as deeply conservative on these issues when he’s running the second highest immigration rate in Australia’s history. He is as much a liberal on the immigration issue as Latham.

  17. Looks like Jack is re-thinking Iraq between each paragraph. 🙂

    “The war will probably result in moral improvement in the Iraqis state” … for those that survive the coming internecine apocalypse which any invasion was obviously going to lead to.

    You’re right on Timor, but Afghanistan and Iraq are destined to be recorded as the worst failure of strategy for decades.

    As for the alliance with the US favouring us – lets watch HDTV in 5 years’ time for the baselessness of that statement to be seen.

  18. ah jack, continually good value.

    i fail to see how it was a bad strategic move for the US. they now control the worlds second largest oil reserve.

    furthermore, they are winning on the humanitarian front and eventually people will realise this, both within and out of iraq. if people are better off now than under saddam and sanctions (a necessary couple) the state will eventually be more stable.

  19. c8to “they are winning[in Iraq] on the humanitarian front and eventually people will realise this” LOL!!

  20. “they now control the worlds second largest oil reserve.”

    I could have sworn that this was explicitly rejected as reason for going to war by a number of extremely senior commentators (especially in The Australian (something about cardigans comes back to me?).

    Are you saying they were lying?

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