:: Saturday, 6 September 2003 ::
A national leader should always be searching for the threads of gold in a community, nurturing and bringing them out and focusing on the best instincts - running with the human spirit and not punishing it.
A growing public morality and probity based on notions of charity and human regard should not be traduced by slurs such as "political correctness", with the implicit support for an incorrectness.
It takes a long time to build institutions and new norms of behaviour and new acceptances of protocols in any country. To build them and then have them traduced is a terrible thing.
Oh dear. It is not incorrect to call wanking insufferable political correctness out for what it is. We are robust enough to deal with all this. I have written before that we are in grams and millimetre territory – it should be possible to measure the good of political correctness – no sacking a guy just because he is a Muslim – to the bad of it – never noticing the fact that Muslim communities in Oz aren’t fitting in altogether well in Lakemba.
And as for that last line, well it reeks of sadness over losing the 1996 election and the suggestion, the code here is that Howard has ruined Oz by dismantling all Labour’s good work. He has not. We have not gone backwards.
Those who want to celebrate only our European past, rejoicing in its prejudices, and who want us to be exclusive and cocooned and who employ division and ridicule in their quest, must lose.
Must lose. Again. Simply must.
This is reminding me of a speech I attended which Keating gave to a pro republic dinner before the 96 election. And it is about now I am feeling bad about my language in this post because at that speech, as in this speech, he is stridently calling like minds to the battle. And they weren’t there then. He was terribly mistaken about Australians then.
Many people are dispirited by this period, and they think that somehow the Andrew Bolts and the Paddy McGuinnesses and the Frank Devines, all these people, have somehow got the upper hand. But they will simply be a smudge in history.
What have they put into place that is enduring, which makes the heart skip a beat? Nothing. And, in the end, there will be no punctuation mark in our annals of history from their efforts, because the game is too big for them.
Gosh. I’ll bet the crowd applauded these slurs. Neither Bolt nor Devine and certainly not McGuiness is about to desalinate the Murray but give them a break, they are just journos. With a point of view. Call them a smudge. Guess that makes me a smudge too. Awful Keating snobbery here. Bad bad.
This is why those of a progressive mind shouldn't despair so much, because, arid as this period is, in the end these people have made no headway.
True words – you can’t make headway with a group that has circled the wagons and is admitting to waiting out this ‘arid period’ till all we right wingers simply die.
Always hitting them will be all these questions: Who are we? Can we borrow the monarch of another country perpetually? Can we go to the region and say we've turned over a new leaf but, by the way, we have never got to a proper basis of reconciliation with our indigenes? How do we find our security in the region? How do we make our multiculturalism work better? How do we make everyone feel as though they belong, that the place truly is for all of us?
These questions remain on the agenda, unsatisfied, unattended. But they are still sitting there.
These are good questions. And they are getting addressed in the pubs and on the footpaths as Keating identified. But the progressives do not like the answers. They do not even like the people who are giving the answers – other Australians with a non-left point of view. And they do not like the other questions that are now getting raised:
Who the hell are they? Why do they think their compatriots are all stupid? Why do they shit themselves about how the region feels about our Aboriginals? How can multiculturalism work better when they always want to treat wogs like victims?
Urgh. Basta on this one. That is a way lot of typey typey. But the papers this weekend were a rich vein of madness warranting some close wog scrunity.
:: WB 4:23 pm [link+] ::