Australia: flag issue fails to fly

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Jan 28 16:25:50 UTC 2007

Flag issue fails to fly
By Piers Akerman

January 28, 2007 12:00

TO the utter chagrin of self-described progressives, Australia Day was
celebrated uneventfully around the nation. At ceremonies and festive
gatherings in towns and cities, on beaches and in parks from the coast,
the Australian flag was flown and flapped flagrantly without provoking
riots or orgies of nationalistic mayhem. Given the advance warnings of the
catalytic effect the flag can have on savage youths issued by the
politically correct, ranging from Green politicians to Ken West, the
organiser of Sydney's Big Day Out concert, this was a near improbability.
Tolerance of the flag was equated to tolerating gang colours.

But on digging a little deeper, it was not so much the stars of the
Southern Cross that were likely to cause the picnicking mob to explode, it
was the presence of the Union Jack in the corner that was of real concern.
The attacks on the flag were really thinly disguised arguments against one
of the symbols of modern Australia's undeniable heritage, its early
beginnings as a British colony and its rich debt to British law, language
and civility. Australia is, however, a distinctly different nation from
Britain and most Australians are mature enough to understand that.
Australia is also a nation which, until recent times, has a history of
successfully integrating migrants (more akin to the United States
experience than Britain), though some Australians are still doing their
determined best to rip apart the fabric that unites its people and foster
separate cultural identities in the name of multiculturalism.

NSW Opposition leader Peter Debnam upset Premier Morris Iemma and petty
Liberal pecksniff David Redmond, the mayor of Sutherland, when he defied
the council's ban on mentioning multiculturalism in the course of his
address at an Australia Day citizenship ceremony. Debnam was cheered when
he told his audience that becoming an Australian citizen did not mean that
people could recreate their old country in the new. He outlined a plan to
introduce an Australian Values and Civics Test for Year 6 students based
on the federal Government's new test for new citizens and said the
existing "English as a Second Language'' program would be renamed
"Teaching English as First Language''.

Given the hysterical inability of the notorious Lakemba-based Mufti Sheik
Taj Eldeen Alhilaly to speak English or find a translator who doesn't
reduce his poetical Arabic into virulent hate speech in praise of suicide
bombers and opposed to Western culture, this should be welcomed. Debnam
also proposed a new free civics and citizenship course to be run through
community colleges, which should be a winner with the former students of
Granville Boys High School responsible for making the disgustingly violent
video posted recently on YouTube. Reclaiming multiculturalism for
mainstream Australians who believe that it should be a policy for
inclusion, not exclusion, is straightforward enough.

Multiculturalism must be a policy for integration not separation. As
Debnam said, it must be a policy that shows respect for our different
cultural backgrounds, including indigenous Australians, but focuses on
Australian values and an Australian way of life that we share as a first
priority. His commonsense suggestions were, however, opposed by Iemma, who
said it was "ill-advised'' to make such comments on Australia Day, and the
Federal Liberal MP for Cook, Bruce Baird, who distanced himself from
Debnam, saying: "They were his words, you ask him about them. I certainly
know in this community we appreciate the various countries people come
from and we celebrate that.'' The notion that all cultures are equal and
have a place in Australia is sheer humbug. Subscribers to this belief
should ask the doctors and nurses treating women who have suffered genital
mutilation for cultural reasons whether they agree.

Writing for the signandsight website, Pascal Bruckner recently called
multiculturalism the "racism of the anti-racists''. He illustrated his
argument by noting that Job Cohen, the mayor of Amsterdam, had demanded
that the Dutch accept "the conscious discrimination of women by certain
groups of orthodox Muslims'' on the basis that a "new glue'' was needed to
"hold society together''. "In the name of social cohesion, we are invited
to give our roaring applause for the intolerance that these groups show
for our laws,'' he wrote. He could have been writing about Australia's
politically correct politicians who defend the ghettoisation of
(principally Muslim) migrants on the grounds that their culture demands
their women remain segregated by clothing and custom from the mainstream.

There may be some irony in the fact that the so-called progressives who
want to see archaic and barbaric customs perpetuated in the name of
tolerance and multiculturalism also hopefully predicted that a display of
national pride would lead to intolerance and violence. The reality is that
their misguided calls for tolerance are only providing platforms to be
exploited by the purveyors of hate.,,21127177-5001031,00.html#


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