Secondly, the cover of a report from the Australian Liberal Party about the ‘Achievements’ of the Coalition Government since 1996.
The title, ‘Strong Direction, Mainstream Values’, sends a chill through my heart. Isn’t a democratic government meant to represent all citizens of its country? In the case of modern Australia I won’t waste anyone’s time by suggesting the government should represent everyone resident in Australia because we all know that won’t happen.
As Kirsty says, “Check the white faces on the front page. I can’t believe it.”
And further, look at the gender roles represented. What do women do? Have kids and work as hairdressers. What to men do? Manly stuff! Business! Welding! Work in the outdoors. Oh, and breed. Because we need more White Australians.
Mainstream values
John Pilger, writing in The Guardian, Cruelty and xenophobia stir and shame the lucky country:
“Australia is not often news, cricket and bushfires aside. That is a pity, because the regression of this social democracy into a state of fabricated fear and xenophobia is an object lesson for all societies claiming to be free.”
“Flag-waving and an unctuous hand-on-heart jingoism, about which sceptical Australians once felt a healthy ambivalence, are now standard features at sporting and other public events.” That’s incredibly depressing if it’s true. Australians used to mock Americans for exactly that kind of thing.
I’d like to be cheered by the final paragraph but the truth of the first sentence is too strong for me to ignore: “Howard faces no real opposition from the compliant Labor party.”
“During the recent Ashes series, Ian Chappell, one of Australia’s most admired cricket captains, walked out of the commentary box when Howard walked in. After seeing for himself conditions in a refugee prison, Chappell said: “These are human beings and you can’t just treat them like that … in cricketing parlance it was like cheating. They were being cheated out of a fair go.””
Thanks to Kirsty, Grant and KD for the Howard tip-offs today.