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Thread: Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

  1. #1

    Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

    Cruelty and xenophobia shame the ‘lucky country’

    John Pilger: COMMENT

    06 Feb 2007 23:59

    The Australian writer Donald Horne meant the title of his celebrated book, The Lucky Country, as irony. “Australia is a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck,” he lamented in 1964, describing much of the Australian elite as unfailingly unoriginal, race-obsessed and in thrall to imperial power and its wars. From Britain’s 19th-century opium adventures to the United States’s current travesty in Iraq, Australians have been sent to fight faraway people with whom they have no quarrel and who offer no threat of invasion. Growing up here, I was assured this was a “sacred tradition”.

    But then another Australia was “discovered”. The only war-dead Australians had never mourned were found right under their noses: those of a remarkable indigenous people who had owned and cared for this ancient land for thousands of years, then fought and died in its defence when the British invaded. In a land littered with cenotaphs, not one honoured them. For many whites, the awakening was rude; for others it was thrilling. In the 1970s, thanks largely to the brief, brave and subverted Labor government of Gough Whitlam, the universities opened their studies to these heresies and their gates to a society Mark Twain once identified as “almost entirely populated by the lower orders”. A secret history revealed that long before the rest of the Western world, Australian working people had fought for and won a minimum wage, an eight-hour working day, pensions, child benefits and the vote for women.

    Today, Australia is not often news, cricket and bushfires aside. That is a pity, because the regression of this social democracy into a state of fabricated fear and xenophobia is an object lesson for all societies claiming to be free. In power for more than a decade, the Liberal Prime Minister, John Howard, comes from the outer reaches of Australia’s “neocons”. In 1988, he announced that a future government led by him would pursue a “One Australia Policy”, a forerunner to Pauline Hanson’s infamous One Nation party, whose targets were black Australians and immigrants. Howard’s targets have been similar. One of his first acts as prime minister was to cut $400-million from the Aboriginal affairs budget. “Political correctness,” he said, “has gone too far.” Today, black Australians have one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, and their health is the worst in the world. An entirely preventable disease, trachoma -- beaten in many poor countries -- still blinds them because of appalling living conditions.

    And yet Howard rejoices in his promotion of “Australian values” -- a very Australian sycophancy to the sugared “values” of foreign (American) power. The darling of a group of white supremacists who buzz around the Murdoch-dominated press and radio talk-back hosts, the prime minister has used acolytes to attack the “black armband view of history”, as if the mass killing and resistance of indigenous Australians did not happen. The fine historian, Henry Reynolds, author of The Other Side of the Frontier, has been thoroughly smeared, along with other revisionists. Flag-waving and an unctuous hand-on-heart jingoism about which sceptical Australians once felt a healthy ambivalence are now standard features at sporting and other public events. These serve to prepare Australians for renewed militarism and war, as ordained by the Bush administration, and to cover attacks on Australia’s Muslim community. Speak out and you may break a 2005 law of sedition meant to intimidate with the threat of imprisonment for up to seven years. Once described in the media as Bush’s “deputy sheriff”, Howard did not demur when Bush, on hearing this, promoted him to “sheriff for south-east Asia”. Like a mini-Blair, he has sent troops and federal police to the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and East Timor. In newly independent East Timor, where Australian governments colluded with Indonesia’s 23-year bloody occupation, “regime change” was effectively executed last year with the resignation of the prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, who had the temerity to oppose Canberra’s one-sided exploitation of his country’s oil and gas resources.

    However, it is one man, David Hicks, a spectacular loser in the new Australia, who now threatens Howard’s “lucky” façade. Hicks was found among the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 and sold as bounty to the Americans by CIA-backed warlords. He has spent more than five years in Guantánamo Bay, including eight months in a cell with no sunlight. He has been tortured, and never charged with any crime.

    Howard and his attorney-general, Philip Ruddock, have refused even to request Hicks’s repatriation, because there are no Australian laws under which Hicks can be charged. Their cruelty is breathtaking. A tenacious campaign by Hicks’s father, Terry, has ignited a kind of public shame that is growing. This has happened before in Australia, such as the courageous direct action by young people who forced the closure of notorious outback detention camps for refugees from overseas, with their isolation cells, capsicum spray and beatings.

    Howard faces no real opposition from the compliant Labor party. The trade unions, facing a rollback of Australia’s workers’ rights and up to 43% youth unemployment, have stirred, and filled the streets. But perhaps something wider and deeper is coming from a nation whose most enduring and melancholy self-image is that of disobedient larrikins. During the recent Ashes cricket series Ian Chappell, one of Australia’s most admired captains, walked out of the commentary box when Howard walked in. After seeing for himself conditions in a refugee prison, Chappell said, “These are human beings and you can’t just treat them like that ... in cricketing parlance it was like cheating. They were being cheated out of a fair go.”
    Source

  2. #2
    Cúchulainn
    Guest

    Re: Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

    Australia is not an open house for every race under the sun. We were founded as a White nation, and we are still a White nation, no matter how many Sudanese, Somalian, Vietnamese and Chinese refugees the cosmopolitan government wants to bring in to fill our prisons and unemployment queues (or in the case of Asians at our universities, how many Whites they want to displace). Those are different nations living within our borders. They are aliens with no right to come here. The only assimilable races are European, and perhaps some pan-Aryans like Nordindids, Iranids, etc. But even then, not likely. After all, we struggled enough with Greeks and Italians becoming Australianised (though I think it's safe to say we've finally achieved that).

    Anyway, all these bleeding heart liberals give the Australian "fair go" a bad name. A fair go implies economic equality of opportunity for White Australians, who are the rightful and most populous inhabitants of this country. It is our nation which stands so beautifully on the shores of the Pacific, Southern and Indian Oceans! It is not anyone else's, and I'll be damned if we lose our European paradise to the same hordes which now sweep across the old countries, flooding through the open gates of multiculturalism.

    If Muslims come here they will bring a culture antithetical to the "fair go" of Australian culture. They will bring Sharia Law, oppression, brutality, and primitive Semitic values. Blinded fools look only at the seeming oppression of a few refugees and migrant individuals by the Australian government. But if we don't look at the bigger picture our nation will be ripped out from under us.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Cúchulainn
    Guest

    Re: Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

    Britishness itself is a term suggesting a blend of peoples. The modern Briton can lay claim to Paleolithic blood as well as Celtic, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Norman, etc. Australia is even more successful than Britain at creating cohesion between Celts and Anglo-Saxons, because we are more removed from matters of petty nationalism.

    I agree that some cultures, even European cultures, are so far removed from ours that assimilation is very unlikely. But British culture would not exist if not for the massive influences of classical Greek philosophy, Roman law and Roman imperialism; and yes, even France lays claim to influencing British society in a large way.

    Today there is no minority, no matter how closely related to the mainstream, which views itself as anything but an estranged minority. This is due to multiculturalism. If assimilation had been our preferred policy, I believe most Europeans would have adapted to our way of life by now. The state has the power to mould the nation, though the state is itself a product of the nation. It is the legal and political framework created by the people to achieve their desired ends. Right now that framework has been hijacked by anti-nationals. It needs to be reclaimed wholly, and then we'll see whether some Europeans have the capacity to embrace our culture wholeheartedly.

  5. #5

    Re: Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

    I think you're misunderstanding me Cuchulainn.

    I agree that some cultures, even European cultures, are so far removed from ours that assimilation is very unlikely.
    I don't believe in assimilation for foreigners into this country. If they are not of Germanic or Celtic background (racially and culturally) then they don't belong here fullstop. Whether or not assimilation is possible is irrelevant in my mind. Even if it is possible, it is still undesirable.


    But British culture would not exist if not for the massive influences of classical Greek philosophy, Roman law and Roman imperialism; and yes, even France lays claim to influencing British society in a large way.

    Today there is no minority, no matter how closely related to the mainstream, which views itself as anything but an estranged minority. This is due to multiculturalism. If assimilation had been our preferred policy, I believe most Europeans would have adapted to our way of life by now. The state has the power to mould the nation, though the state is itself a product of the nation. It is the legal and political framework created by the people to achieve their desired ends. Right now that framework has been hijacked by anti-nationals. It needs to be reclaimed wholly, and then we'll see whether some Europeans have the capacity to embrace our culture wholeheartedly.
    I wonder why this is only a present-day cultural issue for you? Do you not see the importance of our Australian/British/Irish history prior to the relatively large influx of foreigners entering Australia post-WW2 and slowly changing the face of this nation?? You don't value preserving our racial make-up and cultural ancestry?? Why would you want Australia to become a melting pot of multiple European ethnicities and sub-races?? We should stay true to our forefathers and hold respect for our history as British/Irish people. This is who we are... not Italian, not Macedonian, not Croatian, not Polish.

  6. #6
    Cúchulainn
    Guest

    Re: Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

    Melting pot implies compromise. Assimilation on the other hand demands complete submission to our way of life. But I see your point. Australia did not jump out of the earth. Our nation's history precedes Federation and stretches back through Britain to time immemorial. I am from an Irish and Scottish family, and I am proud of my heritage. But I think it is important to remember that even under the Immigration Restriction Act, Australian nationalist governments allowed European ethnicities to join us here. We do share a common heritage with all White folk. And today more than any time in our history, we Whites are threatened on a global scale by an alien, Semitic, violent enemy, whose people are flooding onto the soil of the old countries. If Europeans world-wide do not wake up and support one another, we will all lose our heritage.

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  8. #8

    Re: Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

    Melting pot implies compromise. Assimilation on the other hand demands complete submission to our way of life
    Yet the results are the same in both scenarios, in terms of loss of racial heritage... and both scenarios are undesirable. Both would see our end.


    Australia did not jump out of the earth. Our nation's history precedes Federation and stretches back through Britain to time immemorial.
    Yes.


    I am from an Irish and Scottish family, and I am proud of my heritage.



    But I think it is important to remember that even under the Immigration Restriction Act, Australian nationalist governments allowed European ethnicities to join us here.
    Non-Germanic and non-Celtic people only really began being allowed to migrate to Australia after the end of WW2 (what does that tell you ). There were vast campaigns post-WW2 designed to encourage Australians to embrace immigration from Slavic and Mediterranean countries... posters of depicting Eastern and Southern Europeans who looked unrealistically British (most blonde haired, blue eyed ). 'Twas all propaganda designed to create public acceptance of ethnic and racial foreigners migrating to Australia to boost population numbers in the fight to "populate or perish" (you've probably heard of this campaign)... or that was the official reasoning anyway. I don't believe it myself.

    Anyway, you might find this of interest? (I posted it in a separate thread a while back)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Australia

    Quote from the text.....

    Quote:
    The demographics of Australia cover basic statistics, most populous cites, ethnicity and religious affiliation. The population of
    Australia is growing at a rate of 1.2% per yer and officially reached 20 million people on 4 December 2003.[1] Australia is 52nd most populous country in the world and its population is characterised as largely homogenous, urban and predominately Christian.

    Immigration has been a major factor in Australia's development since the beginning of European settlement in 1788. For generations, most settlers came from Britain and Ireland, and the people of Australia are still predominantly of British or Irish origin, with a culture and outlook similar to that of the United Kingdom and the United States.

    Between 1839 and 1900 over 18,000 Germans came to Australia, especially the south; by 1890 they were the largest non-British section of the population. Some were persecuted Lutherans, others were economic or political refugees, for example the Forty-Eighters who fled Germany after the revolutions in 1848.

    Since the end of World War II, the population has more than doubled; non-European immigration, mostly from the Middle East and Asia, has increased significantly since 1945 through an extensive, planned immigration program. From 1945 through 1996, nearly 5.5 million immigrants settled in Australia, and about 80% have remained; nearly one of every four Australians is foreign-born. Britain and Ireland have been the largest sources of post-war immigrants, followed by Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, and the former Yugoslavia. [3]


    We do share a common heritage with all White folk.
    Well, if you go back far enough, the same could be said for Africans and Asians also.


    And today more than any time in our history, we Whites are threatened on a global scale by an alien, Semitic, violent enemy, whose people are flooding onto the soil of the old countries.
    Yet there is no "white" ethnicity, nor any "white" race.

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    Re: Opinion piece about the "The Lucky Country"

    Britishness itself is a term suggesting a blend of peoples. The modern Briton can lay claim to Paleolithic blood as well as Celtic, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Norman, etc.
    The same can be said of any nation. The thing is though, they were invaders, they came in and conquered Britain, and ultimately they merged with the natives.

    If the natives could have avoided it, I'm sure they would have, so why bring it upon ourselves voluntarily?

    I just don't see the point of inviting foreigners here; it's not going to be of any benefit, all it does is cause division. Even if they are, to all intents and purposes, culturally assimilated, their background/heritage isn't something they can escape from. In large enough numbers, they are bound to have a different outlook, and a different attitude toward the British heritage of Australia.

    I can't say I have an objection to a few foreigners assimilating, but what I don't like is the idea of making large-scale importations of them a matter of policy.

    The trade unions, facing a rollback of Australia’s workers’ rights and up to 43% youth unemployment
    Who on earth is this John Pilger? Unemployment is at a thirty year low.

    This has happened before in Australia, such as the courageous direct action by young people who forced the closure of notorious outback detention camps for refugees from overseas, with their isolation cells, capsicum spray and beatings.
    With living conditions probably better than those of the locals.

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