Terrorists under the bed? TAB has the answer

As scores of Strayans tremble with fear at the thought of a few thousand juvenile offenders making their way to Straya, selling  grannies into slavery and marrying foetuses we thought it was time we as good citizens reviewed our Boredom Security.

We are not keen on the current threat alert. Too dull, not granular enough. Too easily confused with the bushfire alert. Nothing with which to to engage the reader.

And it looks rather like a galah flattened by an out-of-control B Double – which could well be a metaphor for this country.

So we decided to produce our own.



Enjoy – fridge magnet coming soon.

Why why Wyatt?

For those who don’t know Wyatt Roy is the small but perfectly formed (and very young) LNP MP from the very marginal Queensland federal seat of Longman.

We must admit we were worried about Wyatt’s welfare when he arrived in Canberra and was immediately swooped upon by Christopher Pyne. However so far the strawberry farmer has extricated himself into the orbit of Malcolm Turnbull, kept his nose clean and has been commendably quiet as befits someone who has little life experience.

Until now.


The nametag reads Dazhagarangtuobudan-laxijiangcuo

Oh dear. We think this might be a poorly rendered nametag for a Chinese official of Tibetan origin by the name of Tashi Jiangcuo (or Xashi Xiangguo). 

But it might have been a very good idea if Wyatt had done his homework before making lame jokes on Twitter because he comes across as a culturally insensitive hayseed knob.

Whitewashed culture has dark implications



May 30, 2013

Lindy Edwards

Our Anglo-centric identity is a threat to social cohesion.

The mother and stepfather of murdered British soldier Lee Rigby. Photo: Reuters

As Britain reels from another terrorist attack by a British-born citizen, countries around the world need to be looking at how we build cohesion and social solidarity among our increasingly diverse populations. This debate is particularly important in Australia, as one of the world’s great immigration nations, and a country with a predisposition towards a truly dangerous cultural policy.

During the Howard years, a peculiar policy mix developed in which we reasserted an Anglo- centred account of Australian identity, and at the same time had a major expansion of non-white immigration.

At one level the policy rationale is clear enough. As the economy boomed there were strong business and economic demands for high immigration. Howard sought to alleviate Anglo-identified Australians’ anxiety at the change, by reaffirming their primacy in Australia’s society and culture.

Implicit in the Howard narrative is that the real Australians are British-derived, and everyone else is just the supporting cast who should keep their heads down. The multicultural Australian narrative of the 1980s and ’90s gave way to a story of white mateship, barbecues, and an increasing emphasis on the Anzac myth as defining Australian identity.

The signs of the cultural change he created are everywhere. You have probably noticed how in the 1980s the crowd at the cricket was doused in green and gold. In those days, Australian flags were rare and seemed anachronistic, yet now Australian flags with their Union Jacks are all pervasive.

The impact is most marked on our television screens. The Australia of our imaginations is projected onto the small screen. It is an overwhelmingly white world that looks nothing like our city streets.

It is a strategy that worked to a point. There are Australian Electoral Studies poll data that indicates people’s concern about immigration dropped in the Howard years, even as the number of migrants increased. However, it is a policy that is remarkably short-sighted.

The danger is inviting migrants to this country and then creating a cultural policy which locks them into being outsiders. This is not a huge problem for the first generation who usually feel like outsiders anyway, and are grateful for the opportunities their adopted home offers. The bigger problem is for the second generation, who are born here but continue to be treated as on the margins.

For kids of Caucasian appearance the problem is an internal one. Anglo-Australians don’t notice them. They merge into the landscape and don’t appear to be different. However, the young person themselves feels the exclusion of knowing the national story does not apply to them.

The bigger problem is for kids whose skin marks them as outside the Anglo tradition. These kids will grow up being treated like foreigners in the only country they have ever known. This compounds their internal sense of alienation. It creates a sense that they will never be truly accepted, and that the doors open to others are not open to them.

Social fragmentation and threats to stability do not occur because a society has different cultural groups. Every free society has that. We already have a range of subcultures, from corporate high-flyers, to footy-heads, to greenies, to conservative Christians and gay dance clubs. What is dangerous is when group identities become aligned with grievance.

The true threats to social cohesion arise when whole subgroups feel that they are not able to achieve their life goals and ambitions through hard work and playing by the rules – when they feel that, irrespective of merit, they will be sidelined.

The question of how we create a cohesive society in which everyone feels able to fulfil their dreams is a national security issue. The disenfranchised of the past simply became isolated Marxists or anarchists. These days, an increasing number are becoming jihadis with an ideology of violence and an internet of resources on how to take out their vengeance.

This is an issue on which our political leadership has been missing in action. The Labor government has continued singing from Howard’s song sheet, reinforcing rather than challenging the approach. Recent comments by Christopher Pyne suggest an Abbott government is lining up for more of the same.

With 50 per cent of Australians having at least one parent born overseas, this shouldn’t be a party political issue. It needs to be above short-term political stunts.

We need political leadership with the maturity to realise that for the Anglo-identified population there is a tension between their short and long-term interests. In the short term they benefit from preserving their privilege, but in the long term their interests lie in social stability, peace and cohesion.

We need the kind of leadership that can grasp the magnitude of the challenge and bring us together by focusing on the long term.

Lindy Edwards is a senior lecturer in politics at the University of NSW and the author of The Passion of Politics (Allen & Unwin, 2013).


Defending without an attacker

By Matt Elsbury – posted Friday, 26 April 2013

Matt Elsbury

According to Christopher Pyne, Anzac Day is undervalued in our current school curriculum, being “locked in” with the likes of Harmony Day and Reconciliation Day. Despite the group that the day represents, and the day itself, being studied at various year levels, apparently Anzac Day is at risk of being eroded by political correctness. Anyone not going through yesterday with their eyes shut might have been left with a different impression.I am reminded of the slew of social media postings that appear every year in late January, perpetuating the myth that Australia Day is about to be rebranded in a fit of multiculturalism as Citizen’s Day. The fact that this is blatantly and obviously untrue doesn’t stop some people from leaping to Oz Day’s defence, demanding that those who immigrate here immediately speak English, eat a pie and follow a football (not soccer, FOOTBALL) team, or leave.

I have a potential solution: every year, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day offer gifts and pampering for those who qualify, and while Christmas and Easter have their religious, social and family ties, they are also given a magical sheen for children. Perhaps we should cater to another societal group in a similar way, and establish White Fear Day.

For one day a year, Strayans who are convinced that people of a different hue have come to our sunny shores with the sole intention of eroding the traditional values of Australia, and Taking Our Stuff, would gather at officially sanctioned White Fear Barbecues. There, without fear of suffering the eye-rolling disapproval of bleeding heart pinkos, they could indulge their beliefs that asylum seekers are indeed “illegals”, who have risked their lives to come to Australia in order to either take our jobs, or blow them up. For one day a year, they can talk loudly about how we are less than a decade away from Sharia Law, how people should list themselves as Christian on the census, even if they aren’t, in order to prevent a mosque being built next door, and how Christmas itself is under threat from cultural oversensitivity. Alan Jones could be the official patron, and the day could close with a minute’s silence to mourn the passing of what it means to be an Aussie.

There is, however, a deal to be struck before White Fear Day can be implemented. For the rest of the year, participants must acknowledge, and live in, reality. This means that for three hundred and sixty-four days, they must admit that seeking asylum is not a crime, that Christmas is as safe as Sharia law is distant, and that the government doesn’t build mosques, regardless of whether you describe yourself as Christian, Muslim, Jedi or Platypus. It also means that those two pillars of Aussieness – the belief in the “fair go”, and the love of the battler – should be adjusted slightly. Namely, thinking more deeply about who should be allowed a fair go, and realising what some people have had to, and continue to, battle against.

It’s a tactic used with monotonous regularity; positioning oneself as the defender of something that isn’t actually under attack (see Equality, Marriage). The National Sorry Day Committee has expressed surprise at their commemoration being painted as one of the villains of this cartoon, pointing out that their event and Anzac Day “…are not in opposition – both Days are linked in our shared history, and commemorating both is now an intrinsic part of being Australian”. This states, clearly and efficiently, the hollowness of the Member for Sturt’s gambit – he is the self-appointed watchdog, but instead of confronting intruders, he is merely barking at passers-by.

Joining in the noise, Dr Kevin Donnelly of the Education Standards Institute accidentally gave a howler of his own. In describing the current syllabus, Dr Donnelly says “Australia and our character is ignored in the history document, because it’s all about diversity and difference and multiculturalism and different perspectives. It’s a very one sided, politically correct view of Australian history…” All about diversity and different perspectives, and yet very one-sided? This is a very telling paradox – the goal of acknowledging a variety of viewpoints is to avoid taking sides at all, so by describing this as one-sided, Dr Donnelly establishes those he seeks to support as being “the other side”, thus drawing a line in the sand instead of simply enjoying a day at the beach.

The problem is this; what Dr Donnelly describes as political correctness, and Christopher Pyne refers to as “…a confidence-sapping ‘black armband’ view of our history…”, others would simply call context, and context is never a threat to an idea worth preserving. Clearly, the thousands of all ages who head to Gallipoli each April 25, and the respect and ceremony given to the day itself around this country, show that Anzac Day’s significance is not being lost, and to suggest that school curricula need to be adjusted to preserve it is merely the Shadow Education Minister shadow-boxing.

About the Author

Matt Elsbury is a stand-up comedian, satirist and writer based in Melbourne. He has toured nationally and internationally for over a decade, and has more than a dozen Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows on his resume, including 2007’s meaning…?, where he analysed the modern use and abuse of language, described in The Age as “…a bleak and funny tour of a world drained of truth”. He has appeared on Foxtel’s Comedy Channel, and on the ABC on such shows as O’Loghlin on Saturday Night and Standing Up! He can be found struggling with Twitter’s character limit under the handle @thinkforasec.