The BBC’s perspective: Controversies cloud Australia Day.
“In past elections, Prime Minister John Howard has proved himself particularly adept at exploiting voter fears about the threat to Australian identity from asylum seekers and new immigrants.
This year, a rejuvenated Labor Party, under its new leader Kevin Rudd, is determined not to be outflanked.
In condemning the organisers’ decision, Mr Rudd was wrapping himself just as tightly in the flag as Mr Howard.”
Just lovely. The two major parties are building their platforms on xenophobia.
I’d like to propose that being unAustralian is the new Australian:
“Prime Minister John Howard regularly touts his ideas for a so-called “Aussie test” for new immigrants hoping to become citizens – an examination both of historical knowledge and Australian values, like “mateship” and fair play.
In announcing a major cabinet reshuffle this week, he also renamed the Ministry of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.
Quite deliberately, he dropped the reference to multiculturalism and replaced it with “citizenship”. ”
John Howard wouldn’t know mateship if it shouted him a beer in the pub.
And this is equally hilarious and scary:
“Speaking on Egyptian television, Sheikh Hilali said that Muslims had a much greater right to be in Australia than whites.
“Anglo Saxons came to Australia in chains,” he told the chat show Cairo Today, “while we paid our way and came in freedom. We are more Australian than them. Australia is not an Anglo-Saxon country – Islam has deep roots in Australian soil that were there before the English arrived.””
I’ll be sure to tell my Irish ancestors that they’re due a refund because they shouldn’t have paid their way to Australia.