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We cannot let racism win

Thursday 26  July 2018

It’s a sad day for Australian politics when our Prime Minister plays the race card.

To the point of boredom he tells us that we are the most successful multi-racial country in the world, yet at the same time tells us people are scared to leave their homes to eat out.

On the eve of some important by-elections, Malcolm Turnbull is doing whatever he can to give those standing for his side of politics a better chance. If his means playing the race card regardless of the facts, the truth, or personal belief, he will do so. I don’t believe he is a racist.

Peter Dutton started it saying that African gangs were “wreaking havoc” in Victoria. Sudanese particularly.

Here are some extracts from a sensible fact-laden piece the Melbourne Age reported in a video piece by Waleed Aly:

In an eight-minute editorial package written with The Project producer Tom Whitty, Aly on Thursday presented a number of statistics that placed question marks on recentclaims by several politicians that violent African gangs were “wreaking havoc” in Victoria.

“This week the Prime Minister said something interesting,” Aly started, cutting to a video of Turnbull in a 3AW interview earlier this week.

“There is real concern about Sudanese gangs,” Turnbull says in the video. “You have to be walking around with your hands over your ears in Melbourne not to hear it.”

“What’s interesting,” Aly said, “is I live in Melbourne and the only place I’ve heard concerns about Sudanese gangs is on talk-back radio, where the PM made those comments. But the PM was adamant: people are scared.”

According to Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency, crime has actually dropped 9 per cent in the last year in Victoria,” he said. “Sudanese Victorians make up 0.1 per cent of the population and account for just 1 per cent of all crimes committed last year.”

Adding that while the Sudanese community is clearly over-represented in the crime stats, Aly said that what’s more interesting is that “Australian-born Victorians were responsible for 71.7 per cent of the crime committed last year”.

Despite these figures, Aly pointed out, Turnbull continued to push the point that there was an issue with African gangs specifically.

We read in yesterday’s online Guardian that Australia will consider adding a “values test” for those considering permanent residency in order to protect its “extraordinarily successful” multicultural society.”

I have asked on social media on many occasions if someone could tell me just what specific Australian values there are that are not universally held by other social democracies. I have never had an answer.

In London the Citizenship and Multicultural Minister Alan Tudge, last week, in a speech to the Australia/UK Leadership Forum was suggesting a “values” test to fend off “segregation.”

“Segregation,” I thought to myself. I dislike the word intently for the images it places before one’s eyes, but nevertheless it is something we have practiced for as long as immigration has existed and is as natural as life itself.

When the Italians came to Melbourne they gathered together in Brunswick, the Greeks in Carlton and the Vietnamese in Springvale and now Box Hill. And so on. Then over time they disintegrated and neatly integrated into general society.

“Some of the challenges to social cohesion that we are facing today are similar to ones that the UK is facing – such as ethnic segregation and liberal values being challenged,” Trudge went onto say.

His speech was full of racial overtones calculated to incite further violence back home. And it seems to be working.

The front page of the Saturday New Daily reads “Wild scenes as far-left protesters clash with cops at far-right event in Melbourne.”

An observation

“The purpose of propaganda is to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetrated on you.”

A headline in last Saturday’s Australian (fire-walled) read:

“Malcolm and the True Believers” by Greg Sheridan: “The PM reveals he prays regularly, believes in afterlife and is inspired by Jesus.”

Given that Jesus was the world’s first socialist he arguably has a conflict of interest.

Australian politicians currently have a 15% trust rating. When people in the LNP who are not necessarily racist deliberately play the race card to steal a few votes from a real racist in Pauline Hanson they not only shame themselves but the nation itself.

When the Prime Minister seeks to incite racial hatred he demeans himself and the great office bequeathed to him.

An observation from Craig Emerson:

“Howard tried this in 1988 with Asian immigration. Who would have imagined Turnbull would try it again in 2018. The Liberals haven’t changed in 30 years. Very sad for our country.”

Dutton was at it again last Sunday and twice this week I have seen him repeating the same stuff.

Growing up as a small boy in Brunswick I witnessed this thoughtless bigotry. I was told not to walk to school on the side of the street where the Jews lived but happily sought their friendship when I arrived.

I lived through the period of Italian and Greek immigration when most Australians through their ignorance looked upon them with disdain. Later they celebrated the marriage of their sons and daughters to them even overlooking a religious divide.

I celebrated as Australia began to absorb the breathtaking contributions of these nationalities that saw us grow as a nation.

Along the way there were tensions but they never stopped the Advance of Australia fair.

I observed the advent of Asian immigration and all the recycled hatred only to see it vanish in the same way the Greek and Italian animosity did.

Now we are confronted with yet more odious loathing. This time it is directed at those from the Africa. It doesn’t matter what their country of origin if they are Muslim they will suffer the full thrust of minorities xenophobia. Just as 99 per cent of Muslims want peace so do 99 per cent of Australians.

We have a long history of finding fault with things we don’t understand. At various times we have blamed communists, Jews, women, the devil, indigenous people and witches, even God, for all manner of things.

I have been privy to the ignorance that history has recorded on these matters and I am angry with the likes of Pauline Hanson, Peter Dutton and our Prime Minister who would seek to deny Australia of others who desire to, not only seek their personal freedom, but also the opportunity to give of themselves to the advancement of this great nation.

When I sit on the platform at Flinders street Station and watch the passing parade of ethnicity I can but only admire a country I could never envisage from the same seat in the 1950s.

My thought for the day

“Lying is wrong but lying to defend a lie is appalling immoral.”

As Tony Windsor tweeted:

“Turnbull would fail his own test …now the man with no values, no beliefs, no idea… a floundering father Emerald, like Trump he is someone to be ashamed of as PM.”


23 comments

  1. Paul

    Great to see another piece by you John, you seem to have vanished for a while. Great work, keep it up. Are you planning on continuing your “Day to Day Politics” pieces as they are always a great start to the day?

  2. Peter F

    Good to have you back,John. You are spot on. These politicians are shameless.

  3. John lord

    Good to be back Peter.

  4. Terence Mills

    Well said, John.

    Sometimes I think that Turnbull is just so out of touch that he takes all his leads from Peter Dutton a man who yesterday said that Australia would not sign a UN agreement which includes a commitment to

    “review and revise relevant legislation, policies and practices related to immigration detention to ensure that migrants are not detained arbitrarily, that decisions to detain are based on law, are proportionate, have a legitimate purpose, and are taken on an individual basis, in full compliance with due process and procedural safeguards, and that immigration detention is not promoted as a deterrent or used as a form of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment to migrants, in accordance with international human rights law”.

    Most reasonable people would find this UN agreement to reflect the humanity that needs to be to the fore in the management of asylum seekers and refugees. Dutton doesn’t see it that way as his whole purpose in maintaining indefinite offshore detention is for political purposes.

  5. New England Cocky

    Tony Windsor got it correct … again.

    But I can understand the difficulties of the White Anglo Saxon Catholic (WASC) sector. In Australia, 9/11 billionaires were refugees who worked their butts off to become successful. Now that is just unfair to the beach loving, surf crazy, beer swilling youth of Australia. Indeed, it is a suitable excuse for middle class parents benefitting from middle class government subsidies from Liarbral governments to give themselves a talking point at cocktail parties about their “personal sacrifices” for sending their screen addicted off-spring to crassly over government subsidised and academically under-achieving private schools.

    Then there is the gradual reduction of church influence in society. The ruling classes depend upon the churches to reinforce the dominance of the bosses, so the kiddie fiddling scandals should have been left well swept under the carpet! Thank you Detective Inspector Peter Fox (retired), Gold Walkley Award winner Joanne McCarthy from the Newcastle Herald and former PM Julia Gillard for the Royal Commission that the LIarbral Party is working to nullify for the benefit of Rome.

    I mean, what chance has a former Queensland policeman with an “interesting” police career and some “interesting” well placed LIarbral Party friends got of being successful and enjoying the high life style if he cannot suppress his Queensland police employment record and the sources of his alleged multi-millions? Why it is enough to make Brutus cry …

  6. Babyjewels

    Turnbull doesn’t see the hypocrisy in chanting that Australia is the best multicultural country in the world whilst, baldfaced, he lies about people being fearful of the Sudanese. Most disgusting, shameful PM ever. And considering Abbott went before him, that’s really saying something.

  7. helvityni

    Very good, John. Your posts have been missed….

    Like you, I keep asking: What are the Australian values, please list them to me.

    “Australian-born Victorians were responsible for 71.7 per cent of the crime committed last year”.

    If that is true also about people in NSW, I have to take up crime to belong into the true blue clan…..

  8. helvityni

    For Christ’s sake Mal , please leave Jesus out of this ugly Aussie battle……

  9. Terence Mills

    If what has been going on in the North Brisbane seat of Longman reflects Turnbull’s idea of Australian Values then we all need to hang our heads in shame.

    The hate and vitriol, the lies and vicious rumours aimed at Shorten and the Labor candidate, Susan Lamb have been over the top.

    And the main culprits are the Liberals and One Nation who both have dodgy candidates.

  10. Harry

    Good to see your insightful articles again John.

    MT’s only true values are getting re-elected, nothing much else matters and he has effectively ditched any moral scruples that he may once have had.

  11. Kronomex

    Racism and fear of the “other” used as a political weapon. What else is new for politicians and, mostly, right wing parties.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Great article thanks John.

    This has been a scare-campaign-in-waiting as revealed by Misha Ketchell in the Age in January……

    “more than a year ago I was in Canberra and found myself in a private conversation with a senior minister in the Turnbull government. He said, out of the blue, that he was concerned about African violence in Victoria. He said people were terrified and the Andrews government was failing to handle the problem.

    Given that crime of this sort is a matter for state governments and it had nothing to do with his portfolio, I was initially perplexed as to why he might be taking up this issue. I needn’t have been. He made it clear that he and his colleagues saw a political opportunity to get involved and use the issue to help the Liberal opposition win the next state election in Victoria.

    Since that conversation I have wondered when this would occur, but now that wait is over.”

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/malcolm-turnbulls-sudden-interest-in-african-crime-smacks-of-opportunism-20180104-h0dd9x.html

  13. Josephus

    Is incitement to race hatred a crime , and if so why aren’t Dutton, the PM and the rest in court?
    Wondering too how it is that the NT government can happily ignore the findings and the Report on imprisoning and torturing Aboriginal youth post Dondale, ie nothing has changed. How can this be? Where is the law? Where are the common, decent people who should be in the streets and crowding MPs offices?

  14. diannaart

    PM Turnbull dog-whistling to racists in an attempt to make Andrews’ government look weak on crime.

    Can the PM stoop any lower?

    Of course he can!

  15. listohan

    “I observed the advent of Asian immigration and all the recycled hatred only to see it vanish in the same way the Greek and Italian animosity did.”

    We see similar attitudes by many to the likes of some commentators, Ms Hanson and Messrs Howard, Dutton and now Turnbull. But unlike the animosity to the latest migrant group, our well-founded feelings to those who have a habit of rising to prominence in the Big House remain. Why can’t we ever expunge them?

    If Turnbull isn’t a racist, is he merely an opportunistic hypocrite devoid of the values most of us claim to hold?

  16. James Cook

    Great article John. Thanks. Some writers refer to Dutton’s “interesting” career in the Qld Police force. Does anyone have any more information than that? I cannot imagine he was anything but an immoral, bent copper and probably depised by most of his associates but nowhere have I seen anything but conjecture and supposition. Does anyone have anything more substantial than that?

  17. Zathras

    It was John Howard who decided to abandon a long-held agreement between parties about never playing The Race Card.

    In his effort to win back some of Asian-hating Hansonites he picked a new soft target – boat people – and the country hasn’t been the same since.

    When our leaders deliberately go down this dead-end divisive path many follow, believing some of their own personal prejudices and hatred have now become legitimised. If not there, they use religion or dodgy statistics for support.

    Unfortunately the ALP also followed that lead so they have kept little moral ground for themselves.

    Chances are we’ve gone so far down that road there’s no way back, for this generation at least. Perhaps the next one will do better.

    As a wog growing up in the late 50’s I’ve witnessed how it works and can almost “taste it” when I see it in action. Most commentators on racism have never been targetted by it and many deny it even exists.

    The historic reason for Australia’s nationhood was largely based on the public desire to keep out the Chinese, following pickets and demonstrations on the wharves and the White Australia Policy was officially maintained for decades..

    The Sudanese strategy was used back in 2007 by the same people and for the same reason.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH684WWgi-8

  18. Jack Russell

    A moral, truly decent copper is a rare thing. I’ve been in the position of seeing too many good young people enter police academies, graduate, then develop a full suite of bullying deceitful behaviours within about five years as practicing members of the “club”, despite the rhetoric upper-level police management … who have all been through the same system … spout.

  19. Darren

    So, according to Mr Aly, what is more interesting than the fact that Somalis are punching well above their weight when it comes to crime (by an order of magnitude no less) is that people born in Australia (who, according to the 2016 census, account for 65% of Victorians) are responsible for 71.7% of crime in Victoria.

  20. roma guerin

    Thanks John Lord for the straight talking. Many of my extended family are in and out of the city all the time and they assure me that Melbourne is not this dreadful place the LNP/IPA makes out. Off topic – I miss my AIMN emails and all the regulars. I only see occasional AIMN articles on Facebook when some kind person posts them.

  21. John O'Callaghan

    You said,, I done believe he is a racist”.. well you might not believe he is a racist but after what he said about Sudanese and other minorities i think we can safely call him a racist… you may want to revise your opinion of him!

  22. John Lord

    Paul, the answer to your question is no. As I understand it the editors are overloaded as it is and in all fairness have limited writers to 3 posts a week. You can follow me on my Facebook page for other stuff.

  23. johno

    Shame on you Malcolm Turnbull.

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