This is our country. Tony Abbott
Where does one begin to comprehend this comment from someone who may be the next prime minister?
Firstly, this is clever. Yes, despite my deep displeasure with both major political parties, this is a clever ploy from Mr Abbott (and whoever wrote his notes).
Why? Because you can’t argue against it. Most Australians feel a deep sense of pride in their country. Family’s will count their generational links and more people than ever proudly proclaim their links to the First Fleet of 1788. It is an obsession.
How can Mr Rudd argue against this ingrained nationalism? There will be no votes in telling the truth. The truth being that way back in 1778, the illegal dispossession of the land, breaking the standards of international law of the time and ignoring direct instructions to speak to the locals means that the country isn’t ours, exclusively.
There should be a logical rebuttal: actually, Tony, this country is Aboriginal country, always has been, always will be. We are merely here sharing it. It is their land and we are here as long term guests.
There are no votes in this rebuttal.
The second part of this announcement evokes a former prime minister, that we decide who comes here. Again, this is clever. The Australian nation state, in colonial form and as federation, has always controlled, obsessively, compulsively with diligence and overzealous vigour who could come here. There is no counter argument. For safety and security reasons, people coming here, all people, must be checked. If refugees, their backgrounds checked. If people come on planes, same procedure. It is how it is. There will be no one saying that we-the government, as representatives of us- can’t decide who comes here.
There is a rebuttal, you can refute this: We must do this humanely. No more transportation to tiny islands with poor resources. No more demonisation. No more fear of the Other. The small number of people coming to Australia, seeking to share this land as long term guests, belonging to our nation state, is a good thing. It can continue to create a vibrant cultural identity, it can bring new people who new skills and ancient cultures.
How about saying that?