As I mentioned, I'm not going to write about work here for awhile. Partly because I feel like my job is taking over my life, but also because I want to get back to my old territory of disjointed political rants.
Of all of the Howard government ministers, Peter Costello can usually be relied on to put his foot in his mouth slightly less often than most of the others. He's not immune the poorly thought-out speech though. In an address last night, costello opnied that Muslim immigrants should embrace Australian values before being granted citizenship; dual citizens would be stripped of Australian citizenship if they failed to comply. Costello stated that Australia has one system of law (Aboriginal tribal law notwithstanding) and values, and those who don't like it should leave.
Which brings me to my two points:
- What the hell are Australian values anyway? Who decides? Alot of what is perceived as the Australian ethos is based on outmoded concepts anyway, the "outback mentality", an Australia that doesn't exist anymore, if it ever did (witness Howard's failed attempts at Referendum to introduce the word "mateship" to the preamble to the Constitution. Although the basic concept of mateship maybe a noble one, it is in itself divisive on gender grounds - and in any case is outmoded. Except for a certain small number of older men, no one in Australia actually uses the word "mate" to refer to each other.
- Even if these values are superior, or held to be so at the moment, they are not immutable. There is always room for improvement. To give just two, albeit significant, examples: until the 1970s Australia pursued an openly rascist immigration policy ("White Australia") and also forcibly removed Aboriginal children from their homes so that they could be raised in "white" society ("The Stolen Generation"). At the time, thse policies were seen as the Right Thing to Do. But times change, and a country has to change to improve as well. Australia cannot afford to seal itself off from new ideas and concepts, cannot afford to varnish now and call it good. One day, we may look back and see that we were wrong.
(Well, about many things we already are wrong now, but this isn't the post to go into that. Rest assured, I certainly will at a later date).
So I'm devising a new political rhetoric.
Non-problems need non-solutions! The politics of the bleeding obvious.
Finally, on politics...I just can't resist this story. On Thursday, Tony Abbot was attacked by a psychiatric patient whilst visiting a hospital. I leave it to you for an amusing comment.