November 13, 2005

E PLURIBUS UNDER (via David Hill, The Bronx):

Howard watches his words (Matt Cunningham, 14nov05, Herald Sun)

PRIME Minister John Howard last night refused to back a multicultural Australia saying he preferred a cohesive, integrated society.

Asked if he liked the word "multiculturalism", Mr Howard said: "No, not particularly.

"Different people have different versions of what it means," he said.

"I'm in favour of drawing people from everywhere and when they come to this country I'm in favour of them becoming Australian."

Try to have many cultures and you'll have none. Odd that only the Anglosphere grasps that.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 13, 2005 7:31 PM

It's a bit more complicated. Basically, you can keep most of your cultural traditions if you just agree to accept a few basic concepts. Paradoxically, one of the shared concepts is that other people have their own cultural traditions and you are mostly obligated to tolerate that as long as no laws are being broken.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 13, 2005 8:57 PM

You can keep them so long as you make them conform to ours.

Posted by: oj at November 13, 2005 10:03 PM


Right, but the necessities are minimal -- basically, you have to think of yourself as an American and agree to obey our laws.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 13, 2005 10:31 PM

That would be John Howard, the leader of the Liberal-National Party coalition and a self-described Australian nationalist, wouldn't it?

But another thing that, of course, has united all Liberals, and in that collective unity has separated ourselves from our political opponents, is our profound respect for and pride in the history of this country. We may have a debate about the appropriate balance between the central government and the states, we may talk about centralism and federalism. But there is one thing that Australians should never tire of talking about and should never tire of identifying themselves with, and that is the cause of Australian nationalism. Some people say Iím a centralist Ė Iíve even heard one or two of my colleagues say that. I am certainly not a stake-rightist, and I am not a centralist but I am an Australian nationalist. And my national sentiment transcends any regional parochial or state sentiment that I might in the dim distant past have had. I not only refuse to barrack for New South Wales in State of Origin rugby league matches out of respect for the marvellous generosity of the Queensland people at the federal election, that is one of the reasons why I refuse to barrack against my good friends from Queensland, but of course another reason is much and all as I love the city in which I grew up I have never felt any personal identification with the State. Perhaps that varies according to where you grew up. But a sense of commitment to the unity and the wholeness of the Australia nation is something that I think is very important to Australian Liberals. [Emphasis added.]

Address of the Prime Minister, the Hon. John Howard MP, at the launch of the publication, The Conservative, (Parliment House, Canberra September 8, 2005).

Posted by: David Cohen at November 13, 2005 10:32 PM

TREASURER Peter Costello said
radical Muslims would not be allowed to turn Australia into an Islamic state.


"If you are somebody who wants to live in an Islamic state governed by sharia law you are not going to be happy in Australia, because Australia is not an Islamic state, will never be an Islamic state and will never be governed by sharia law," Mr Costello said.


Mr Costello said anyone who was alienated by Australia's form of government, judicial system and civil rights and wanted something else "might be better advised to find the 'something else' somewhere else".

"There are Islamic states around the world that practise sharia law and if that's your object you may well be much more at home in such a country than trying to turn Australia into one of those countries, because it's not going to happen," he said.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 13, 2005 11:54 PM

Mike, I haven't seen the concept put more succinctly. Think American and obey our laws. Says it all!

Can anyone explain why God put Australia so far away from us and gave us Canada instead? I so would like to visit the antipodes but the thought of 20 hours on an airplane doesn't appeal. Do tramp steamers still take passengers, I wonder?

Posted by: erp at November 14, 2005 5:52 AM


Yes, Howard is a nationalist, having won elections by attacking both abos and Asian immigrants. Britain's next Tory P.M. will likely be similar. Everyone but us is nationalist, that's why you're forced to refer to "American nationalism."

Posted by: oj at November 14, 2005 8:48 AM

Mr. Murphy: I'd add that you also not be too dismayed when your children reject your culture and embrace the American culture.

Posted by: Buttercup at November 14, 2005 8:48 AM


To the contrary, those elements are maximal in human history as evidenced by the fact they obtain in only one country.

Posted by: oj at November 14, 2005 8:49 AM


No, our culture is right to say that nationality is nothing to get bitchy about. Other cultures are wrong to emphasize it so heavily. It's not a big deal -- or at least it doesn't have to be, as we've proven.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 14, 2005 8:35 PM


What are you talking about? Seriously, I'm confused.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 14, 2005 8:38 PM


We. Who else?

Posted by: oj at November 14, 2005 8:55 PM


Not too many others I can think of. So what? That hardly changes the silliness of their hang-ups.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 14, 2005 9:49 PM


Basically, what I'm saying is this: If other countries were more like us in this respect, they would realize that racial nationalism is ridiculous.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 14, 2005 9:52 PM

Do tramp steamers still take passengers, I wonder?

They sure do, although they run on diesel now.

I've read that booking a passenger trip on a freighter can be quite nice, although there's rarely a midnight buffet.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at November 15, 2005 2:59 AM


Of course. They aren't.

Posted by: oj at November 15, 2005 8:30 AM