It goes without saying that the use of the two words ‘final solution’ in a parliamentary maiden speech about immigration, culture and ethnicity is abhorrent. Whether the choice of phrase was accidental or not, it is disappointing that someone smart enough to be elected to Parliament did not spot the potential for the phrase to cause great distress to victims of the Holocaust and their families and communities. And to realise that the unfortunate turn of phrase would merely lend succour to the leftist grievance industry and lead – predictably – to the masking of the actual discussion the speech was attempting to initiate.
But Fraser Anning is no fool – and certainly no anti-Semite; he has already made his mark in the Senate in a few short months with bold and important suggestions. He has advocated moving the Australian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He has attempted to introduce legislation that would allow young women to protect themselves with Taser-like devices or pepper spray. And it was largely due to Senators Anning and Hanson’s successful agitation on the topic, brought to national attention by Speccie columnists David Adler and Andrew L. Urban, that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop agreed to divert $10 million of Australian aid from being used for nefarious Palestinian terror activities.
Yes, the Senator should apologise for the offensive nature of his remarks. But condemnation and outrage are the easy part. Far harder is being mature enough to actually confront the awkward and difficult questions that Senator Anning, however ineptly, appeared to be attempting to ask. Despite the mischievous reporting from certain quarters, he did not call for a return of the repellant White Australia policy. Race-based immigration is preposterous and grotesque.
Senator Anning’s argument, however poorly phrased, was based on a combination of two facts. Firstly, as articulated by John Howard as PM, Australia has every right to decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come; and secondly, in recent years governments of both persuasions have neglected their duty to properly plan our immigration intake with commensurate integration policies. Several decades have now passed where ‘assimilation’ has been a dirty word, sneered at by the Left. The consequences of this error are apparent.
Australia is a proud and successful melting pot – perhaps even the most successful ‘multicultural’ haven on earth, as we frequently skite. There is no denying the extraordinarily successful melding of Anglo-Celtic cultures with the post-World War II influx from across a hotchpotch of ravaged European and Middle Eastern societies. Nor the equally inspiring integration of Asian cultures into the Australian mainstream. We are a proud nation whose strength does indeed stem from our richly ‘diverse’ backgrounds, including our indigenous heritage.
But to remain so into the future we must not only anticipate but also avoid mistakes of the kind made throughout Europe, where a failure to integrate generations of ‘guest workers’ and floods of immigrants since the 70s has led to violent ‘no go zones’, welfare hellholes, lawlessness, mass unemployment, ‘grooming’ gangs, virulent anti-Semitism and radicalised communities on the outskirts of, or within, major towns and cities. To ignore this reality, and to refuse to contemplate whether such ghettoisation could occur here, and if so how to prevent it, is reckless and naive. Particularly given that we have the highest rate of immigration in the world into our already overcrowded and congested cities.
As far as this magazine is concerned, the best immigration policy is the one that gives every opportunity to those enterprising individuals from afar who wish to come to this country in order to actively contribute to and enjoy its success, its peace and its prosperity, and who yearn to abide by its laws and to share in its values. The obvious but uncomfortable and vexed question is whether some cultural backgrounds, or indeed individuals, are, by dint of differing loyalties and priorities, opposed to such a commitment. It is not a question that will simply go away by a stubborn and ideological refusal to discuss it.
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