Friday, February 24, 2006

How to rubbish an opinion

I was just reading the ABC's reporting of Peter Costello's comments demanding immigrants to Australia adopt Australian values, or get the hell out. This has of course, provoked harsh criticism from Muslim groups, among others. I am not going to say anything about the comments themselves, I have not really heard or read exactly what he said. I have no doubt though, that this is yet another attempt by Costello to lead the debate on a divisive issue, as a means of raising his profile. I would, however, like to talk about the ABC's reporting of Costello's comments, which I found significantly more interesting.

What I find interesting in this report, is that the ABC has got straight on the phone to Pauline Hanson, and asked for her opinion of Costello's comments.

Now that's clever!

If you're a somewhat left-leaning news service reporting about a fairly right-wing opinion that has been expressed, then what better way to discredit such populist comments than to get Pauline Hanson to endorse them! Its even better than this. According to the ABC report, Pauline is "delighted" Mr Costello has "woken up" to the views she expressed for years and was condemned for.

Being myself a left-of-centre pro multiculturalist, I can't help but admire the subtlety of the ABC's bias on that one. No doubt equally (though perhaps less subtle) games are being played in other news papers and online news. If I had time, I'd give them a look too.

Here is more of what Hanson had to say:

"If Peter Costello is wanting to be a future prime minister of this country, he needs to take a tough stand on this, he needs to deal with it harshly, he needs to throw these people out of the country who do not embrace Australia."

"I'm delighted that he's finally woken up to commonsense and is listening to the Australian people, what's actually happening in our community"

The ABC then reminds us about a few facts:

In her 1996 maiden speech to Federal Parliament, Ms Hanson said Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians. She said they formed ghettos and did not assimilate and called for Australia's immigration policy to be radically reviewed.


Blogger Miss Eagle said...

Macca, pop over to The Eagle's Nest at http://eaglesplace.blogspot. com for two posts of mine related to Costello's speech. One is on citizenship and the other is highlighting an Amartya Sen article on multiculturalism. It appeared in The New Republic a couple of weeks ago but it seems that this is the appropriate time to comment. He has some very good points to make - particularly with his comments about plural monoculturalism. I am following your change of abode with interest as a former mining town girl - Mount Isa and Tennant Creek. When I moved from Townsville to Tennant( which you can drive in almost a straight line in 16 and a half hours), my furniture went via Brisbane! Can you believe it? Then they lost my bed and I got a new one - only the have the original one turn up. I had driven across with a mattress and pillows so they went on a cold-in-the-desert-in-July floor and there I slept for a week. Glad to see the bed - as I am sure you were to see yours.

Blessings and bliss to all in your new home

2/24/2006 02:34:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hanson has some valid points about assimilation of new migrants in a new country. Perhaps, she is unaware that this eventually happens as the next generation is brought up in Australian society, but is there a valid cause for concern for the lack of or partial assimilation?

It's like when a new housemate moves in your place. 1. He/she can get along his/her own business and not mingle whatsoever with the rest of the housemates. 2. He/she can abide by the rules set by previous housemates( and make compromises) 3. He/she can leave if 2. is unacceptable for him/her.

All 3 options reflect degrees of assimilation on the part of the new comer as well as degrees of tolerance on the part of the existing housemates. It's unfair to shift the onus of the blame on the newcomer.

3/22/2006 03:14:00 PM


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