Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gillard's smartest move: becoming another Hanson

Gillard's smartest move: becoming another Hanson

John Pasquarelli - The Australian - July 20, 2010 12:00AM HOW many more solutions will there be as Liberal and Labor stand toe to toe over the constant stream of boats illegally entering our waters?

Long ago, we should have seriously reviewed our membership of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, as changing times have swept the original motives for its creation aside.

Australia benefitted hugely from the many post WWII migrants and refugees who came here, rapidly assimilated and locked arms with the rest of us.

Before he was garrotted by Labor thuggees, Kevin Rudd came out in favour of a "Big Australia", but that set the alarm bells clanging with mainstream Australia, as it coincided with his disastrous policy on people smuggling that resulted in boats arriving almost every day, as well as a continuous stream of media reports detailing the ethnicity of criminal offenders despite the PC brigade, including some senior police, trying to censor such material.............
In 1996 when Pauline Hanson called for "all Australians to be treated equally" and for ATSIC to be abolished, most politicians and the media vilified her in the most venomous way for her attack on the Aboriginal industry, but when Noel Pearson made similar comments 10 years later, he was warmly embraced.

Remember Hanson on how she had the right to invite who she wanted into her home and the famous "we are in danger of being swamped by Asians" statement?

Labor's polling has obviously shown that ordinary Australians are mightily concerned about these issues more than ever and in a breathtaking act of gross hypocrisy, Julia Gillard has dumped Rudd's Big Australia, as well as veering away from his asylum-seeker policy.

So much for Rudd saying that he would never move to the right on such matters and expecting Gillard to heel to his command.

Gillard's brazen echoing of Hanson has her encouraging mainstream Australia by exhorting it to debate issues such as border security and the boatpeople without fear of being labelled racist and intimidated by the agents of political correctness.

Calling for openness in public debate to be a mark of her prime ministership as long as people spoke with goodwill and were not critical of other's race or culture tells me that after all her clever and too-smart plagiarism of Hanson, Gillard fails to understand that it is cultural incompatibility that is the root of all the problems connected with refugees and migrants, the element that hinders us bringing in, in her words, "the right type of migrant".

It was suggested to Tony Abbott months ago that he should embrace the mainstream by encouraging people to debate all those issues connected to multiculturalism and immigration via dedicated postal and email addresses, but nothing happened and now Gillard has gazumped him.

Neither Gillard nor Abbott have an effective solution to the people smugglers as the successful way would be far too hard for most politicians to handle.

Our laws must change and people smugglers and their clients would be warned that they face arrest on criminal charges and serious time in prison: no visas, no "Hotel Australia". All boats would be destroyed and big bounties for bringing people smugglers into Australian jurisdiction would be advertised.........

She is now standing in front of the cameras like an automaton delivering her spin words "sustainable" and "moving forward" but her cynical intent to morph into Hanson may prove to be one of her best moves.

John Pasquarelli is a former adviser to Pauline Hanson.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unmarried Gillard wedded to a nation that upholds injustice

Unmarried Gillard wedded to a notion that upholds injustice


When Julia Gillard became Prime Minister, many of us were triumphant at this ultimate smashing of the glass ceiling in Australian politics. Some chose to see it as a progressive step forward for those of the marginalised red-haired population, who now had an Australian celebrity to celebrate with more serious credentials than Nicole Kidman or Cameron Ling from the Geelong Cats.

One person declared ''Gillard is doing it for all the unmarried, barren atheists'', and that she clearly understood ''the church and the state should butt out of people's private relationships''.

Amid this optimism that Gillard's difference to her prime ministerial predecessors apparently represented, Australian gays dared to hope the refreshing lack of religious affinity at the highest level would mark a new approach to gay marriage rights that differed to the social conservatism of the Howard and Rudd years. It was wrong.

Gillard took time out from her mining tax deal-brokering to declare it was still the government's view, as well as her personal one, that gay marriage should not be legalised in Australia. She told Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O on morning radio that: ''We believe the Marriage Act is appropriate in its current form, that is, recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman.''

Yet treating marriage as some grand prize of heterosexuality reinforces the ultimate dichotomy between a man and a woman. While extending the right to marry to gay couples would be a progressive step forward for the homosexual community, it would also smash another cultural norm - the gender inequality of marriage. Even in today's most liberated households, women predominantly take on the bulk of domestic and child-rearing duties, even if they work in some capacity outside the home.

Some may choose to do so. But while fighting over whose turn it is to clean the toilet after mutually busy days at the office may seem mundane compared to fighting (as our mothers did) for the right to work outside the home in the first place, for many married women choices remain dangerously limited.

Bettina Arndt recently chose to deride Gillard's de facto status, claiming as Australia's most significant female role model, Gillard was doing it all wrong. Apparently the idea of Julia and Tim ''playing house'' in The Lodge without a marriage certificate set a bad example for us women, as de facto relationships limit our choices whereas marriage strengthened them.

Yet under Gillard, same-sex relationships will remain de facto by default, and they, obviously, cannot be characterised by a lack of choice for one partner based on gender difference. There is more at play than the absence of wedding rings...........