Monday, February 06, 2017

I am fully in favour of my country admitting as refugees people who are in danger for their lives elsewhere

But they really do have to be refugees and their average standards of behaviour must be at least as good as the average of the host population. One expects gratitude, not hostility, from those who have been rescued. So, broadly, that excludes Muslims and Africans.

Australia does admit many refugees and has been admitting refugees for a long time. It started before WWII when thousands of Jews fleeing Hitler were admitted.

Then immediately after WWII, large numbers of "displaced persons" in Europe were admitted.  Then in the aftermath of the Vietnam war, large numbers of Asian "boat people" were admitted.

And in between, large numbers of economic migrants from rural Greece and Southern Italy were admitted.

And all those European and East Asian immigrants have blended in to the Australian peoplescape with minimal friction.  Their children act and speak much as other Australians do and their children tend to have a high rate of educational and economic success.  There were a couple of occasions when Yugoslavs bombed one-another but not one Jihadi indulging in random killing has emerged from them.  They have been of clear benefit to the country, bringing new ideas, skills and improved services.

And Leftists use that undoubted fact to argue that ALL immigration is desirable.  But that is just another manifestation of their manic and obviously wrong insistence that all men are equal.  All men are NOT equal and groups of men are also  therefore not equal.

Africans have brought their normal high rate of violent crime to Australia and many of the Australian host population have had much suffering inflicted on them as a result.  And many Australians have also died at the hands of Muslim fanatics.  Had we kept those two groups out, all that suffering would have been avoided. 

So I heartily endorse Donald Trump's moves to protect Americans from hostile sub-groups.  And I support Pauline Hanson's calls to do the same for Australians.  Opinion polls have shown that around 50% of the Australian population support Pauline's ideas in that regard so my thoughts on the issue are perfectly mainstream, not "racist", "xenophobic", "white supremacist" or any of the other insults that Leftists normally hurl at people who support selective immigration.

A coda

I get the impression that most people who have relocated to Australia are in fact grateful for the life they have here but I want to close this essay with a story about how powerful gratitude can be.

Persians appear to be particularly energetic people and that would appear to be why they have over the centuries created three great empires.  Once an empire declines, that is normally the end of it.  But not so Persia.  Hundreds of years later a new Persian empire will arise.  But it was in one of their weaker periods that the Muslims swept through and took control of them.  And in their usual kindly way the Muslims gave them a choice:  Convert or die.

Most converted but there were a few who clung to the native Persian religion of Zoroastrianism.  Zoroastrianism is a rather sensible religion that make a much better job of explaining the problem of evil than Christianity does. 

But when they found that living in Muslim Persia was going to be very dangerous to Zoroastrians, the strong believers fled to Gujurat, in nearby India.  They were received there with tolerance by the local Hindus.  There is a great variety of religious devotions in India so one more was no great problem. 

And the Persians (Parsees) were very grateful for the refuge India had given them.  And they expressed that both in words and later in deeds.  With their Persian energies, the Parsees prospered mightily in India and many became quite rich.  So what did rich Parsees do with their money?  They gave most of it away, initially to poor Parsees but also to other Indians.  They became a major source of charity in India.

So the Parsees did not share the fate of the Jews, with people becoming envious of their success.  There are of course always grumbles but Indians saw that Parsee success benefited them too and Parsees highlighted their giving as a act of gratitude so Indians felt that they had earned the charitable support. 

So Parsee gratitude for refuge sustained their welcome and even protected them when they became an economic elite.  Being grateful is as powerful as ingratitude is contemptible -- JR.

The violent Left are in Australia too

[NSW] Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she was disappointed by the "invasion day" protesters who burned the national flag and clashed with police on Australia Day.

Outside Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Ms Berejiklian said there were more appropriate days to debate the issue of whether Australia Day should be celebrated on January 26, and ways to demand change.

"We have a democracy and everybody has the right to protest but today's about everything that brings us together," she said. "I'm so disappointed that people couldn't express themselves in a more appropriate way on such an important day for our community."

The Willoughby MP would not give a date for her impending cabinet reshuffle, saying "I'm here to celebrate Australia Day and talk about that today".

She then headed into the arts centre where community leaders, local MPs and Australians recognised today for their services and achievements had gathered, including South Sudanese child soldier-turned-Blacktown lawyer Deng Thiak Adut and Olympic pentathlon champion Chloe Esposito.

Ms Berejiklian, just three days into her job as NSW Premier, told the diverse crowd the people of western Sydney valued respect and hard work, "and I can't think of two greater values that make us more Australian".

Standing in front of both the Australian and Aboriginal flags, she acknowledged the tens of thousands of years of Aboriginal history and said everyone should feel proud.

She spoke of her parents' move to Australia in the 1960s. "I don't think they would have thought, when I was four, that their daughter with a surname like Berejiklian would one day become the premier of NSW," she said, generating applause and cheering from the crowd.

"What I love about NSW is that it doesn't matter where you come from, or what your background, if you sign up to be an Australian citizen and support our community, you can achieve anything."

She remembers her own parents' citizenship ceremony, telling Fairfax Media: "It was the early '70s; I remember the day because I was allowed to have pink lemonade!"

In Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, hundreds of people at "invasion day" rallies chanted "always was, always will be Aboriginal land".

They called for the date of Australia Day to be changed, as January 26 was the day their land was invaded, the "beginning of all their troubles".


Changing the date of Australia day would be a condemnation of  Australia as we have it today

Which is of course the heartfelt desire of the Left -- but how many of us share that desire?  Most of us are glad to be who and what we are where and when we are

Australia should celebrate Australia Day on January 26 because it is right to do so. It is the day modern institutions, in our case British institutions, entered Australian life. They have brought with them the entire institutional and indeed ethical framework of modern Australia. They brought the rule of law, individual human rights, independent courts, free media, multiple centres of power in government.

Plenty of bad things have happened in our history but overwhelmingly Australia has been a force for good.

The arguments against changing the date from January 26 that were used last week — that it would be hard to achieve con­sensus for change, there is no obvious alternative date, changing Australia Day would imperil the cause of constitutional recognition for Aborigines, it won’t create any new jobs and won’t solve Aboriginal disadvantage — are all second-order arguments at best.

They are process arguments. Conservatives sometimes win a specific point at a specific moment with process arguments, but unless they make the arguments in principle, they mostly lose in the long run.

If we concede Australia Day is illegitimate, we concede to the shocking and corrosive argument that modern Australia is illegitimate. To do so would be to offer another victory in the slow, destructive march of identity politics through Western societies.

Some Aboriginal figures argue that Australia Day, which commemorates the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, should be changed because to them it symbolises dispossession and invasion.

In 1788 Australia was not ­controlled by a single Aboriginal nation. It is as near as inevitable as anything in history could be that in the 18th or 19th century Australia would be colonised by one of the European powers. British colonialism was vastly more benign than the colonialism of other European powers.

Nonetheless it is absolutely clear that many bad things were done to Aborigines in the course of Australian history. The story is not all bad but there is plenty of bad to go round.

One of the many problems mixing identity politics with history and civic symbols is that absolutely nothing is pure enough to pass muster. The result is a ­salami slice assault on a nation’s legitimacy, and debilitating symbolic battles without end.

More important, nobody alive today is either guilty of, or can ­expect redress for, an event that occurred 230 years ago. The whole idea would be rendered instantly fatuous were it not for the larger derangement we suffer of ideological self-hatred and the glorification of victim status, especially if you don’t actually have to be a victim to claim the status.

To some extent, anyone can play this game. I am an Australian of Irish Catholic background. If ­anyone with close genetic connections to me was on the First Fleet, they were in chains. When the Sydney colony was first established, it was illegal to stage Catholic mass.

As it happens, as far as I know, my ancestors didn’t come to Australia until the end of the 19th century. No doubt their movements were influenced by the Irish famine, the Great Hunger, in the middle of the 19th century. Given the injustice of the system the British ran in Ireland and the official indifference to the famine, it has more claim to be described as a genocide — a million died and a million emigrated — than many similar episodes in history.

So Irish Australians could, if they wanted, make a song and dance about the perfidy of British imperialism and refuse to celebrate Australia Day. What utter, ridiculous, laughable nonsense such a position would represent. And what a destructive, negative, sterile attack on the legitimacy of the nation it would constitute.

One of the greatest achievements of Western civilisation over the past 2000 years, since Christianity introduced the radical notion of every person possessing an immortal soul and free will, has been the acceptance of the doctrine that human beings are not guilty of anything by virtue of their membership of a race or any other group. Nor, logically, can they inherit special rights.

If my father and grandfather were axe murderers, I am not an axe murderer, nor am I responsible for their crimes. If my father and grandfather were saints, I may yet be a villain.

One of the greatest achievements of modern Australia is that all citizens, whether they achieved citizenship yesterday or were born here, whether their parents are migrants or their ancestors lived in Australia for any number of generations, are absolutely equal in their civic status and before the law.

There are no exceptions. Once we make exceptions, we start to sacrifice the best, animating ideas behind our own society.

Australian institutions — the parliaments, the courts, the armed forces and all the rest — are good institutions. They have their shortcomings and we are always working to make them perform a bit better. We celebrate the birth of these modern institutions in Australia on January 26, a day that was first celebrated in ­Australia very early in the 19th century. In any national celebration, we understand that we are not celebrating perfection, especially not historical perfection, but rather celebrating an aspiration for the good.

The most circular and depressing argument for change is that a given date or symbol is not unifying because it does not have 100 per cent support. Logically, this gives virtually any activist group, certainly any group claiming to represent designated victims, the power to destroy symbols and institutions simply by making a noise, and preferably by producing a few violent demonstrations to showcase the “passion” of their cause.

It is offensive, but rightly not ­illegal, that some protesters burnt the Australian flag last week. But consider, if anyone was foolish enough to burn an Aboriginal flag, an act I would certainly find ­utterly offensive, they could ­surely be prosecuted under the ludicrous section 18C of the racial vilification laws, as they would surely have caused hurt and ­offence.

This sort of civic insanity produces something like the Donald Trump phenomenon. But the reason to oppose it, and to oppose changing the date of Australia Day, is not that. It is because Australia Day celebrates our nation, of which, with all its imperfections, we have, all of us, every right to be proud.


WA election: dying town of Collie last straw for lifelong Labor man

David Miller knew he had to do something. The electrical fitter from the West Australian coal town of Collie grew angry as Chin­ese and Indian investors bought the two local mines and hundreds of workers were forced to take pay cuts.

As the jobs disappeared, one of the two football teams in town, 200km southeast of Perth, was disbanded. He watched unemployment grow and drug use and crime increase, as it has in many other towns.

The final straw, he says, was Premier Colin Barnett’s election pledge to partially privatise Western Power, the electricity utility that Collie — home to three coal-fired power stations — relies on for much of its economic activity.

“The town is dying,” says Mr Miller, 55, who reckons both of Australia’s major political parties have lost touch with the concerns of voters in towns such as Collie.

So the lifelong Labor voter and former union shop steward decided to contest next month’s WA election for One Nation, a party he says is “honest” and can shake up a broken political system.

He is running in Collie-Preston­, a seat won narrowly by Labor in 2013 but now notionally Liberal after a redistribution.

And he may be in with a chance, with One Nation state leader Colin Tincknell nominating Collie-Preston as one of 10 lower-house seats he believes the resurgent party can win. A Newspoll survey in The Australian yesterday showed One Nation­’s share of the primary vote has soared from 3 per cent to 13 per cent since October. University of Western Australia election analyst William Bowe said Collie had a lot in common with areas of the US Midwest that swung so strongly behind Donald Trump.

Collie is considered One Nation­ heartland, given its strong support for the party during its heyday in the early 2000s.

Mr Bowe said if the swing against the Liberal Party on March 11 was strong, as expected, it was possible One Nation could win the seat on preferences.

Speaking in Collie yesterday, Mr Miller said he was motivated to run by the Barnett plan to sell 51 per cent of Western Power, a move that would slash state debt.

“If Barnett sells Western Power, within three years this place will be a ghost town,” he said.

He said he had lost faith in the Labor Party’s economic polices. “I’ve always voted Labor but Labor have forgotten who they are supposed to represent,” he said. “They talk and talk, but there’s no meat on the bones.”

On the streets of Collie, potential One Nation voters are not difficult­ to find. Trevor Barrett, 70, another former­ Labor voter, said his main motivation for backing One Nation­ was Senator Hanson’s strong stance on immigration. He said he was preparing to put a One Nation sign on his front lawn and would volunteer to man the booth on polling day. Mr Barrett­ claimed Labor wanted to bring thousands more Muslims into Australia and that he was given the cold shoulder by local Labor MP Mick Murray when he raised his concerns about this.

The retired mine worker said he believed that Australia should be looking after homeless people and war veterans before it welcomed more immigrants.

Unsurprisingly, he is gloomy about Collie’s prospects. “It’s pretty much dead,” he said.

But not everyone is so negative.

The head of Collie’s chamber of commerce, Glyn Yates, said business conditions in town were not as bad as many suggested.

He said that authorities were working on a long-term plan to diversify­ the region’s economy and he believed tourism and agriculture held plenty of potential.

“But there is no silver bullet,” Mr Yates said.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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