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.”
“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.”