August 24, 2005


Accept Australian values or get out (Michelle Grattan, August 25, 2005, The Age)

A day after the Prime Minister's summit with Muslim leaders, the Government stepped up its push to get "Australian values" — epitomised, it says, by the Anzac story of Simpson and his donkey — taught comprehensively to Muslim children.

On Tuesday Treasurer Peter Costello said people thinking of coming to Australia who did not like Australian values and preferred a society that practised sharia law should go elsewhere.

Dr Nelson said he would soon meet the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to discuss programs to ensure those in Islamic schools and all other children fully understood Australian history and values.

"We don't care where people come from; we don't mind what religion they've got or what their particular view of the world is. But if you want to be in Australia, if you want to raise your children in Australia, we fully expect those children to be taught and to accept Australian values and beliefs," he said.

"We want them to understand our history and our culture, the extent to which we believe in mateship and giving another person a hand up and a fair go. And basically, if people don't want to be Australians and they don't want to live by Australian values and understand them, well basically they can clear off."

Dr Nelson said if the country lost sight of what Simpson and his donkey represented, "then we will lose the direction of the country". John Simpson Kirkpatrick, carrying wounded soldiers on his donkey, is the iconic image of Gallipoli. "He represents everything at the heart of what it means to be Australian."

Folks who are most hostile to their own culture never seem to grasp this, but one vital aspect of a free society is that those who can't conform are free to leave it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2005 12:28 PM

oj. You think McCain would do the same thing if he were president?

Posted by: erp at August 24, 2005 9:02 PM

I think McCain would certainly be less accommodating of American Muslims than W has been.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 9:07 PM

By accommodation, I take it you mean the Saudi's?

Posted by: erp at August 24, 2005 10:41 PM


Interesting that you believe that. I doubt if any Republican President would (or could) be less accomodating, unless there is another major attack here. Making nice is almost a political imperative. It's one reason why the harsher voices on the Right (Pat Buchanan, etc.) have become even more marginalized since 9/11, not less.

If McCain's strongest selling point is his candor, his stubborness, his independence - then he can't afford to yield to nativist feelings and 'get tough' on the Muslims, or also on immigration. That leaves him wide open to the charge of being a crusty old goat, which he simply cannot fend off. It is a perception which could sink him very quickly (sort of like being comapred with Bob Dole).

Now, a Democratic President could certainly be more reactionary in dealing with the Muslim community, but, strangely enough, not with the Saudis. No Democrat can rock the boat on oil imports because they will support no alternative to importing up to 100% of our oil. Why do you think Jimmy delineated the "Carter Doctrine"?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 25, 2005 12:02 AM


No, American Muslims.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 12:28 AM


Bob Dole easily won the nomination when it was his turn. It's a hierarchical party.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 12:31 AM

Aussie values?

Tinnies, pokies and walloping the Poms?

Posted by: Brit at August 25, 2005 4:25 AM

Yes, Dole was the nominee. There was no serious opposition at the time. He lost when there was. So 1996 was a send-off?

But, I don't remember "President" Dole.

I do think McCain would stop a lot of the PC nonsense as it relates to the fears of profiling, though. He might actually mention the words 'CAIR' and 'terror' in the same sentence.

But my greatest fear with McCain is that he will prove to be malleable under the pressure of a Sheehan-type situation, where Bush is like a rock. McCain likes the audience too much. Can he make the transition from being the chatty, unctuous Senator into being the President? Don't know.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 25, 2005 11:17 AM

Dole came far closer to winning an unwinnable election than anyone would have dreamt possible.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 12:13 PM

You expected a polarizing candidate like Bill Clinton to win 45 states? Remember, he wasn't running against Pat Buchanan.

Had Newt not stumbled after Oct. 1995, and had Newt and Dole gotten along better, it would have been even a closer election. But that says a lot more about Clinton than it does Bob Dole.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 25, 2005 1:13 PM

it wasn't a matter of Newt but of Perot. Had Perot followed through on endorsing Dole as they negotiated briefly he would have either won or lost in a squeaker.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 1:46 PM

You know, I had actually forgotten about the hand grenade with ears.

You are probably right, but the GOP's performance in late 1995 set the exact wrong tone for the 1996 election. Even with a Perot endorsement, I doubt if Dole would have won - he was just too flaccid a candidate. Kind of like Humphrey in 1968. Had the election been close, Clinton would have just campaigned harder.

In Dole's defense, the party was changing, and he just wasn't able to get with it. He was a 1976 Republican running 20 years later. And, after GHWB in 1992, he reminded too many voters of the tired, grumpy old Republican 'establishment'. Reagan may have been 69 in 1980, but he wasn't tired and he didn't act like some stuffed shirt from the 1950s. But Bush Sr. did, and so did Dole.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 25, 2005 3:44 PM

It had already become a Republican country--he could have won a two party race.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 3:50 PM