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Tuesday
Jul242018

Australia Is No Longer 'Big Brother' 

The very important Bryce Edwards article in today’s HH, and in particular the acting Prime Minister’s response to press conference questions indicate a severe deterioration in the relationship witrh Australia – a change that should cause concern.

Peters' contention that all inter-country relationships are ‘fleeting’ by their very nature and personality, none more so that that created through the actions of their Immigration Minister Peter Dutton who has the unfortunate habit of throwing his height around on deportations. This is to demonstrate his unrelenting determination to remove as many New Zealanders as possible under their contrived “good character” rule that is simply an excuse for a suspension of universal laws on human rights.

And Prime Minster Turnbull, as weak a PM as ever in Australia’s recent history, appears totally powerless to reign him in for fear of instantly losing office. Read Edwards article to understand just how serious this has become. And for an Australian view, albeit, that of a Liberal Sydneysider with quite close ties to this country on a number of fronts, see the 30 minute ABC program ‘Don’t Call Australia Home) fronted by ex-Wallaby hooker, and respected journalist Peter FitzSimons.

This deportation process has seen over three years, 1,300 Kiwis by nationality if not residence, locked up in deplorable conditions until they have agreed to be deported to a country with which most have no affinity whatsoever. Many more will follow while the Coalition remains in power, and possibly thereafter. Labour see it as electoral poison to even express an opinion.  

I know that many readers will be dumb-founded at this turn of events, and the hard-nosed attitude demonstrated in Canberra towards their long-time ‘best-mates’ across ‘the ditch.’

Having lived in Australia (and Papua-New Guinea where I worked for the Australian Government) for some 25 years of my life I believe that I am in a position to comment on the underlying reasons for this almost unbelievable state of affairs.

It is not that they actively dislike us – they are simply unaware of our existence for the great majority of time. New Zealand receives almost zero attention in their media, other than  to report on snow conditions in the Southern Alps, and by way of identifying the origin of violent offenders when they pass through the court system.

Try and find anything other than fascination with a baby-producing Prime  Minister, and you look in vain. I know that I am certainly not the first to draw attention to this phenomenon, but it still bears repeating. We simply don’t exist for the great majority of Australians.

Maori have always been regarded as ‘good Abos,” by even well intentioned white Australians. The depth of racist belief, and invective is almost beyond our comprehension, and was something that I had great difficulty coping with when I first arrived in 1958, but you soon learn to shut-up in order to fit in.

It explains why I was recruited in 1998 to head up a Aboriginal run Health Board in the Northern Territory  when the directors indicated that they specifically wanted a New Zealander for what was a pioneering health initiative that unfortunately ran its usual course of Australian Government funding of Aboriginal initiatives – five years to be precise! It precisely reflected the patronising and token attempts to repair 150 years of Aboriginal health neglect, and its very success clearly troubled Canberra.

The level of underlying and insidious racism that affects every aspect of indigenous relationship is pervasive, corroding, and debilitating. The lip-service paid to concepts of ‘country’ during official events are about the only time that the average Australian experiences contact with Aboriginal culture, and it is as meaningless to the average ‘Oz as the didgeridoo.

I am relating my experience in this regard because I strongly believe that Peter Dutton’s efforts to deport as many New Zealanders as possible on ‘his watch’ is actually rooted to a desire to remove as many Maori as possible for the simple reason that they are seen as providing the basis for a myriad of motor-cycle gangs across all the States.

It won’t break the hold of the gangs, many of which are actually based on white-supremacist principles, but it will at least serve the purpose of satisfying a deep-seated resentment arising from Maori being widely seen as ‘trouble-makers,’ and a racial grouping that has managed to become established in Australia through long-standing defective immigration arrangements with New Zealand.

Don’t for one moment assume the vast majority of ‘fair-minded’ Australians stand in the opposite corner, and are simply waiting for an opportunity to dispose of Dutton, and his party. That may happen, but don’t count on it, and don’t for a moment assume that Labour would reverse the policy. No matter what the Average Oz may say, their behavior at the ballot-box is generally quite contrary, and in the main supportive of Dutton's methodology. In fact, he could well replace Turnbull in any spill.   

Little and Peter’s measured responses over the last few days represents a substantial real politic change in our relationship. It was inevitable, and timely, and we all need to understand that we will be no better regarded in Canberra from now on than Singapore, or Malaysia or many others of similar importance to the Australian economy. Our defense and foreign affairs policies need to be adjusted accordingly, and with less deference to ‘big brother.’

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Andrew Little has written this response - https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/26-07-2018/andrew-little-sometimes-calling-out-your-best-mate-is-the-right-thing-to-do/

July 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDenis Tegg

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