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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

bigoted conservatism « Previous | |Next »
July 20, 2006

Four Corners had a story on the bigoted conservatism of brattish, drunken Young Liberals in NSW. They loudly sung "God save the Queen" over an Aboriginal elder's speech and went around chanting, "we're racist, we're sexist, we're homophobic". Australian conservatism has turned quite nasty, but Miranda Devine saysthat it is just a bunch of young Liberals rocking the status quo.

Another example of bigoted conservatism is Piers Ackerman's postings at the Daily Telegraph. Addressing the effects of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon he says:

The latest Middle East conflagration has flushed out a new class of dual nationality super-snivellers who believe mere possession of an Australian passport guarantees them security in their “other” homeland...While this bunch of insufferable ingrates whinge and whine, the stressed and overworked team at the hard-pressed Australian Embassy in Beirut is pulling out all stops to arrange evacuation aboard a ferry chartered at extortionate cost to all Australian taxpayers...Apparently 400 of the dual citizens demanding assistance to leave are in southern Lebanon, that part of the nation occupied by the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organisation, which, with the Palestinian Hamas terrorists, has long been dedicated to erasing the nation of Israel from the map. Presumably, some of these Lebanese-Australians vote in the Lebanese elections and, just as probably, also voted for Hezbollah candidates, though the group is listed by the Australian Government as a terrorist organisation.

These Australian citizens can go to hell is the mesage. We don't care about their plight. They deserve it. There is no mention of Hezbollah being a legitimate political party in Lebanon's liberal democracy. No concern for the dire humanitarian situation or the civilian casualties due to the Israeli bombingof a sovereign nation. No mention of Israel occupying the Shebaa Farms or the way that it frequently incite and intimidate the Lebanese population with military operations, sonic booms, border attacks, and the abduction of Lebanese civilians.

The inference is that these Australian-Lebanese citizens are traitors. How dare they criticize the Howard Government. There's bigoted conservatism for you. It appeals, and gives voice to, the bigotry of the Daily Telegraph's audience. Just like Alan Jones and Tim Blair.

As we read further on this post at Akerman's blog the paranoia takes over:

And while the coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald goes out of its way to blame Israel for belligerence, intransigence and even, most laughably, for a lack of “proportionality” in its response to aggression, it must not be forgotten that this current crisis was triggered by a Hezbollah raid into Israel and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.This is not a war of Israel’s making. This is part of the ongoing jihadist war to dominate the world.

World domination huh? Work up the fear. We are not safe. It's a suitable case for psychoanalysis, don't you think, given that it is the US that is the global hegemon.

Andrew West in New Matilda (subscription required) says that:

Piers Akerman in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Andrew Bolt in Melbourne’s Herald Sun.... do not consider themselves independent commentators. They consider themselves part of the ‘movement’ whose duty it is to echo, through (very skilful) populist repackaging, the official line of the current Federal Government, be it on industrial relations, the Iraq war, or national security laws.....This form of ‘movement’ commentary/activism is lifted straight from the playbook of American conservatism, which has worked so well for its practitioners. You disperse your supporters throughout the media and think tanks and make sure they all parrot the same line..... this chorus helps build a momentum, a feeling of inevitability and unanimity for certain policies.

He's right about this about the movement and the publicity machine. West says that these strategically placed commentators dutifully echo the party line to achieve a common aim — the perpetuation of the Howard Government.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:50 PM | | Comments (11)
Comments

Comments

Well I guess I am a bigoted conservative then. It's one thing to be visiting there which may require living there and it is another to be living there.

The latter involves taking advantage of what our country offers them.

Vee,
it's a global world and dual citizenship is acceptable (and legal) even in Australia.

So I can live six months in Australia and six months in Britain and be a citizen of both. A bigoted conservative (of the Anglo-Australian variety) would not object to that. It's what they do and they are proud of it.

So why are there different rules for Lebanese Australian citizens? Isn't Australia a multicultural country? Many of the Lebanese Australian citizens were on holiday when Israel started bombing Lebanon. Why cannot they be helped to return home?

Moreover the state has duties and obligations to help its citizens in emergencies --- it does not have these with non-citizens.The situation in Lebanon is an emergency and the state has an obligatin to get its citizens to safety --bring them home if they want to return to their country.

Bigoted conservatism in the Liberal Party and its publicists is quite nasty.Why doesnt Ackerman say it explicilty --we won't help the Lebanese Australian citizens because they are non-white and Arab.

As I said there's a difference between living and visiting, what happens if or when there's a conflict of interest?

Or if I was to turn the argument around, as you distinctly said Anglo-Australian variety - perhaps the people that think like that are the bigoted ones?

Vee,
yes there are conflicts and tearing loyalties with dual citizenship.

When the crunch comes Lebanese Australian citizens need to make a choice-- to stay or go. Those Shiite Lebanese-Australians living in southern Lebanon who have tenuous links with Australia because Lebanon is more their permanent home have decided to stay.

Many have decided to leave. The state should help them---it is what the other nation states are doing eg., the US, India Canada, France, Britain.

Ackerman says the state shouldn't help. He should be criticized as it is prejudice.

vee, Political identity is not necessarily the same as economic identity either. The Australians in Lebanon may identify themselves fully as Australian, and proudly so.

To cut them off at the knees for some 'stay at home' Fortress Australia view of nationalism is not cool. Australia is bigger that.

Cam
Piers Ackerman would work in the US as a journo for Murdock but still himself an an Australian citizen.

He is being dishonest here because his shrill pushing the Fortress Australian conception of Australian citizenship against Lebanese Australian citizens is just done to push the agenda of conservative movement.

Gary,you have hit the nail right on the head "AUSTRALIAN CONCEPTION OF AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP AGAINST LEBANESE AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS IS DONE" to push the agenda of the conservative movement.Oh yes this is what it is all about"WE WILL DECIDE WHO COMES TO OUR COUNTRY" These bastards are up to their necks in this horse shit,they are drowning in it.The detention of Australian citizens in immigration camps and on it goes.They have plunged the dagger in up to the hilt and there is no pulling it out.They must play there last hand with a pair of deuces.Like Custer at the little big horn"dont take any prisoners" Never in my niave life did i ever expect to see the likes of the current Australian, U.S.A. and British governments.They couldn't orginise a pub chook raffle amongst the lot of them.A puppet,a poodle,and a retard my God.

Phill,
I did say the Fortress Australian conception of Australian citizenship against Lebanese Australian citizens. Fortress is crucial since Australia recognizes and accepts dual citizenship.

It makes you wonder if there were 25000 dual citizens trapped by military action somewhere like Ireland or England - and that they were good white, Christian dual citizens whether we would be pulling out all stops and whether the media would be screaming if they weren't immediately repatriated.

Reminds me of Tampa - if the refugee's on Tampa had have been White farmer's fleeing Mugabe in Zimbabwe, would there have had to have been such callousness displayed.

The current government deliver's to that deep undercurrent of racism that lies in Australian society, yet again.

BigBob,
Or Jewish Australians working and living in Israel for that matter. Julie Sezberg in The Age captures the issue well.She says that the latest attack on treasonous migrants comes amid revelations that at least 25,000 of the Australians currently in Lebanon effectively live there and most also hold Lebanese citizenship. Apparently about 800 Australian citizens in Lebanon receive government benefits, mainly the age pension. She adds:

What despicable chutzpah, the argument goes. These people abandon Australia and then press the distress button when a minor war breaks out in their home country. And when we don't come fast enough they cry discrimination. "Choose us or choose someone else," demanded one columnist for the Murdoch press. "Dual nationality super-snivellers," sneered another.

She comments:
OK, Australia could toughen its laws and force migrants to make some hard choices about belonging. So, attention, all Yugoslavs, Italians, Brits, Greeks, Turks - no matter how hard you've laboured here, the taxes you've paid, no matter how rich your overall contribution to Australia, the party's over. Only, imagine if every other country issued the same ultimatum. Large tracts of every continent would be choked with people on the move.

Some dual citizenships are okay for our One Nation paleo-conservatives Some are not.

Gary the headline in the West Australian 22/007/06 says it all "BILL FOR EXODUS TO TOP 25m:DOWNER.Now I was thinking is he extolling the virtue of spending the bucks saving Australians, er sorry that should have read Lebenese with Australian passports, or moaning about it? But then I read a bit more,those with out a return ticket would have pay to be evacuated.They didn't dissapoint me these conservative bastards they are working out the cost factors before anyone has been saved yet.I wonder if cabin space or seat allocation will be awarded on a points system.I reckon it will go something like this.Immigration Official to Mrs Mustuffa!"How long have you spent in Australia"-"Mrs Mustuffa -" twenty years" -Well that entitles you to third class accomadation please take a seat on the tomato crate in the Forcastle head. Imagine if you will 20 Lebanese tied down on each wing of a jumbo jet.I could go on taking the piss but i am weary of these bastards.But I gots ta tell ya nothins gonna change in the attitude of some people,reading some of the other bloggs some of the wingnuttery are,Now get this!discussing the current attack on Lebanon by blaming the mating habits of Arabs i kid you not.Larvatus Prodeo is a whoot go and have a butchers.And my wife wants to know why I drink.Im going Im frothing at the mouth again.