The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Clash of West-Islam civilisations rejected

There has been some speculation in recent times that Howard will play the Muslim dogwhistle in his election prelude with the Australian values debate providing the chorus. A survey conducted by The Age and the BBC World Service has found that world opinion emphatically rejects the idea that Islam and the West are heading for an inevitable clash of civilisations.

The most common view in 24 of the 27 countries was that tensions arose from conflicts about political power and interests, but on the question of whether the main cause of current tensions between Islam and the West was the intolerant minorities on both sides, 68 per cent of Australians agreed, compared with a 39 per cent average across the 27 countries.

That more Australians regard the present problems as being caused by intolerant minorities (as opposed to Bush’s War on Terror) is testimony to the effectiveness of Howard’s fearmongering and dogwhistling, eagerly assisted by tabloid media attack dogs and their inciteful pot-stirring.

However, if the Howard government plans to continue developing our reliance on skilled immigration (as opposed say to investing in education) there needs to be effective policies to facilitate the peaceful and productive settlement of immigrants, as well as fostering mutual respect, tolerance and understanding on our journey to being Aussie.

Oh yeah, that’s right, we used to call it multiculturalism. In the decades after the second World War, Australia was successful in accommodating large numbers of European immigrants who have become an integral part of our Aussie culture. We also had some innovative policies to support immigrants and even then, it took a generation.

In the last decade we have seen an increasingly narrow political view coupled with a harsher sink-or-swim market-oriented policy practice. Multiculturalism has been negatively spun to represent immigrants stubbornly refusing to relinquish their cultural and experiential heritage rather than becoming Aussies and speaking English in time for the next Australia Oi Oi Oi Day.

First posted at The Dead Roo.

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Filed under: Australian values, Politics

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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