Monday, February 27, 2006

Does this bloke seem true blue to you?

The Australian finance minister Peter Costellobeing a responsible, competent politicianhas been doing his best to smooth the tensions following the riots in Sydney a few weeks ago. Well, I figure he must have been, though I find it hard to understand how his actions will lead to such a result:

Mr Costello said migrants who did not respect Australia's laws and traditions should lose their citizenship.

He singled out the Muslim community and said it had a responsibility to uphold Australian values.

He insisted those people that did not were no longer welcome.

Let me get this straight. Costello is saying that Australian citizens whose opinions do not fit with what would have to be a government appointed body approved of should lose their citizenship? Well, if that is seriously what he thinks he ought to put himself at the front of the queue of those getting on the plane out of Australia! I would find it hard to think of a statement that could run more counter to the great Australian traditions of letting everyone have a fair go and letting them live their lives in whatever multicultural way they wish to. You do not teach people mateship by threatening to toss them out of the country if they don’t get it. Unfortunately, Costello doesn’t seem to be alone in thinking this way:

There has been backing too for Mr Costello from his boss, the prime minister.

John Howard was criticised earlier this week for controversial remarks he made about Muslims.

Yes, the Australian government is doing its level best to improve its standings in the coalition of the sycophantic. Or, perhaps, both Howard and Costello are trying to get the job of U.S. Ambassador to Australia. Neither seem to understand however that, once someone is an Australian citizen, the values they uphold are by definition Australian values – for better or worse. The best thing they could do to reduce tensions in Australia is to first tell Bush and his cronies to go and get lost and then tell the racists whose votes they’ve been angling for a thing or two about Australian traditions.


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