Friday 21 April 2017
1 As a true blue Australian citizen I was perplexed with yesterday’s joint press conference between the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to announce changes to citizenship laws. In fact, I became angry that they could play the race card in such an obvious way. The changes were designed to strengthen Australian citizenship. What nonsense.
It was all smoke and mirrors designed to win back One Nation voters who have deserted them. They couldn’t even provide details of their proposed changes.
Asked at least five times to define ‘Australian values’ neither of them could. But it didn’t stop them from continuously repeating the term which seemed to get the journalists a trifle upset.
They seemed to be implying that these mysterious Australian values are somehow unique or peculiar to the local citizenry.
Are these the values that dared not pass their lips?
Respect for the equal worth, dignity and freedom of the individual
Freedom of speech
Freedom of association
Freedom of religion and secular government
Support for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law
Equality under the law
Equality of men and women
Equality of opportunity, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background
A spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play, compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good
But surely these are universal values common to most educated democracies.
So what are these uniquely Australian values?
Are they that one of our national songs is about a thieving itinerant worker who steals a sheep and commits suicide to avoid being caught?
Our national hero is a bushranger who ran around with a saucepan on his head.
Are our values built on our ability to overcome defeat on the sporting field?
Ricky Ponting is one of Australia’s greatest sporting heroes, for being the only Australian Cricket Captain famous for having lost the Ashes twice.
Do we look up to the values of Don Bradman who famously scored a duck in his last Test innings, thus ensuring he spectacularly failed to achieve a test average of 100 by the slimmest of margins?
What about the ABC who identifies so closely with his example of almost succeeding, while actually failing, that its GPO Box number is 9994 (Bradman’s ultimate average of 99.94)?
What about our armed forces who we celebrate with a biscuit?
We celebrate a massive and humiliating defeat in WW1 caused by British arrogance, idiocy and bad management. That’s why we prefer English migrants above all others. They make us look less stupid.
Most of our national icons are owned by foreign companies.
Our most famous piece of architecture was designed by a Dane.
Our most coveted sporting trophy is a bunch of ashes. The last day of an Ashes Test is called a “sickie”.
The country prides itself on its healthy disrespect for authority. It proved it at the Eureka Stockade when the miners fought the tax collectors. Sadly, they lost!
Australian Values, Fair dinkum.
Are our values enshrined in the example set by government, locking up and throwing away the key for asylum seekers on Nauru? What values do we find in committing people to a life in prison for not having perpetuated a crime?
Can our values be seen through the prism of and function of our body politic? By the standards our leaders set. By their corruption and incompetence.
We have built an entire culture on dubious values.
What about a “fair go”? Now that’s a tradition engrained in us. We give everyone a fair go unless it is politically useful not to do so or there is some advantage for our media to attack them.
What about the values we used to justify unilaterally attacking Iraq on the basis of a lie. That doesn’t mean we don’t respect democracy. We do. Specifically, we respect the democracies of Burma, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China and Khazakstan.
As Australians we value and have a deep respect for a wide diversity of European cultures such as English and American.
You might recall that we demonstrated these values with the Cultural Respect classes we hold yearly in January at Cronulla Beach, a famous sewer near Sydney.
Again we demonstrate our values by showing tolerance. After all we tolerate homosexuals. We just don’t like them in our churches. We tolerate their awful deviant practices as long as we can avoid the mental pictures. Our values are such that at some time in the future we may even consider marriage equality.
Disregarding the fact that Australia has arguably the worst record of domestic violence in the world. Australia values and respects its women.
All Australians (except politicians) respect and value democracy. The government values the wishes of the people. It takes care to listen to the people and to their wishes, and then it does what it wants.
We value our own but prefer the head of another nation as our head of state. Australian values indeed.
And we value the existence of our indigenous folk so much that we might one day acknowledge their presence in our constitution. No hurry though.
My Australian values might be different to yours but we are a multicultural country.
2 I said but a few days ago that one only had to look at the property ownership of our politicians to find a reason for the Governments blanket ban on any changes to Capital gains and Negative gearing. Showing true self-interest and, might I say, Australian values. Yes the system has been set up to advantage the rich and privileged and of course our politicians. We should value them and we do.
The ABC says ”There’s no housing affordability crisis in the ranks of Federal Parliament’s members and senators.”
Even the razor gang, the group that slice and dice the budget and will ultimately decide on the housing affordability policies own many properties.
It’s composed of Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who owns two residential and three investment properties; Treasurer Scott Morrison, who owns a home at Dolans Bay; and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who with his wife Lucy owns several properties, including a home at Point Piper and an apartment in Canberra.
Together with their perks on allowances it truly is a scandal what they are getting away with.
But they are the defenders of Australian values.
My thought for the day.
”Often our opinions are based on our values rather than our understanding and the difficulty is separating the two”.
PS: I acknowledge the contribution of Australian Values in the writing of this piece.
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