On the Irish and Other Undesirables

Given today’s discussion of migration to Australia, this evening’s guest author is the illustrious Graham Freudenberg, no stranger to anyone who has an interest in the ‘left’ side of Australian politics. Mr Freudenberg’s article is published with the kind permission of John Menadue from his excellent forum, Pearls and Irritations.

Tasmania migration

Australia sometimes seems to suffer a mysterious case of multiple amnesia over immigration.

We are a nation built on migrants, but we have forgotten that almost every new wave of immigrants has been resented and resisted by those already here, especially those who were migrants themselves. It started around the 1820s when the convicts hated the first free settlers ‘taking our jobs’. We have forgotten that, without exception, each wave of immigrants has been successfully absorbed to national and individual benefit. We have forgotten that particular groups aroused special animosity, yet integrated so completely in one generation that it would scarcely occur to them to regard themselves as being of migrant origin. Such is Australia’s perhaps unique capacity to integrate and be enriched.

Take, for example, three of the groups among the 237 we comprise – the Irish, the Chinese and the Jews.

There is no expression of fear, bigotry, suspicion and hate now directed indiscriminately against Muslims that was not used passionately with malice aforethought and intent to harm and hurt against the Irish, the Chinese and the Jews.

With the Irish, the charges included actual terrorism, when the Fenian O’Farrell attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria’s son, the Duke of Edinburgh, at a picnic at Clontarf, Sydney, in 1868.

The persons who used these expressions and who used them as powerful political weapons were not clever ratbags on the make. They included Sir Henry Parkes, five times Premier of New South Wales, the ‘Father of Federation’, who regarded Irish migrants as part of the conspiracy of the Pope to take over the world. And Parkes put the world’s harshest anti-Chinese laws on the NSW statute books.

They included the Reverend John Dunmore Lang whose statue graces Wynyard Square, Sydney, and whose book, The Fatal Mistake, exposed the papal conspiracy in all its horror, dealing with the plot of his arch-enemy, Mrs Caroline Chisholm, to swamp Australia with hordes of unmarried Irish young women. For Lang, they had three irredeemable vices: they were Irish; they were Catholic; and they bred.

As late as 1937, the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Lord Craigavon, asked his Australian counterpart Joe Lyons: ‘Tell me, Lyons, have you many Catholics in Orstralia?’ ‘Oh,’ said Lyons, ‘about 25 per cent.’ Craigavon: ‘Good God! Watch ‘em, Lyons, watch ‘em. They breed like rabbits’. Lyons forbore to mention that he was a Catholic himself, and with (Dame) Enid, had thirteen children romping around the lodge in Canberra.

As for the Chinese, they brought every known vice with them, and being all male, the ‘crime not to be named among Christians’. They took our gold and brought their opium. True, we had forced China to buy Indian opium to finance the Empire in the Opium Wars of 1840-42, but that was in the sacred name of free trade. In any case, they were all barbarians, without any civilization worthy of the name.

As for the Jews, as late as 1939 the Australian representative, Sir Thomas White, at the Evian (Switzerland) Conference, called by President Roosevelt to discuss the question of German Jewish refugees, refused to increase the Australian quota, saying proudly: ’Australia has no racial problem and does not intend to import one’. Hitler loved it, and used it to great effect in a speech to the Reichstag three months before his invasion of Poland when the killing of the European Jews began in earnest.

In 1947, with shipping at a premium, the Australian Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell, made an arrangement with the Australian Jewish community that any ship specially chartered to bring Jewish refugees to Australia must carry at least 50 per cent non-Jews. ‘It would have been electoral suicide to do otherwise’, Calwell wrote frankly thirty years later, when his post-war immigration program had blossomed into the world’s most successful and creative – today’s multicultural Australia.

When I was at school in the 1940s, (Australian population: 7 million) we were taught that White Australia was not merely an important fact in our history, but one of its great positive achievements, along with the explorers, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Dame Nellie Melba and Don Bradman.

Every ethnic group except Northern Europeans was suspect. In his brilliant new biography of H.V. Evatt, Professor John Murphy quotes Evatt, then a rising star in Australian law and Labor, at an international conference on migration in London in 1926: ‘The Australian Labour movement was “bitterly opposed” to Southern European migration, especially Italian’ (p.82).

What a pity that in the crucial post-war years, and the next 50 years, when our need for migrants forced us to look beyond Britain, even beyond dubious sources like Italy and Greece, and now under successive governments of both parties, that our poor little continent is swamped with 24 million people from God knows where, we didn’t have, until 1996, someone with the integrity and intellect of a Pauline Hanson, to expose Australian naïveté in thinking ‘She’ll be right, mate’. But if history, our genuine aspirations for our economy, our security, and our reputation, in a region comprising the largest Muslim nation in the world and our largest trading partner, it may well be that she’ll be wrong mate.

The only difference in the 20 years since she first appeared on the scene when John Howard failed to repudiate her (although the Liberal party itself had done so) is that, while the immigration program proceeds as successfully as ever, to our continuing benefit, it has been marred by a poisonous bigotry she helped unleash. The result is that it is now impossible to have a proper debate on the immigration levels Australia needs for the next 30 years.

With fitting symmetry, Ms Hanson first came to notoriety with her attacks on aboriginal ‘over-privilege’.

Perhaps the aborigines, from their vantage point of 50,000 years of prior possession, got it right at the start, when they shouted at the polyglot mob on the First Fleet anchored in Botany Bay in 1788:

Wirra Wirra
‘Go away, Go away’

As she has acknowledged, her warning may be too late. By about 228 years.

Sovereign Union – First Nations Asserting Sovereignty

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541 thoughts on “On the Irish and Other Undesirables

    • Most people, including many who should have known better, were taken in.

      The Pub is a rare island of excellent judgment and good sense. But hey, we won’t say “Nah nah nah, told youse so!”

  1. Coalition launches fierce attack against wind and solar after blackout

    The Coalition’s attacks were predictable. They occurred last November when a smaller blackout was caused by another transmission fault but was again blamed on wind, and are part of an ongoing campaign against renewables that has now turned its focus to state based initiatives.

    Curiously, no such allegations were raised when West Australia experienced a major black out last week, when 130,000 customers lost power for more than an hour when a gas fired generator tripped, or when more than 200,000 people were left without power for more than a week in coal-reliant New South Wales last year after more storm damage to poles and wires

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/coalition-launches-fierce-attack-against-wind-and-solar-after-blackout-93841

  2. From Malcolm Roberts’ press release – one of many ‘interesting’ points:

    “Dr Jennifer Marohasy, a respected and renowned scientist, stated last night the winds that brought down South Australia’s singular powerline to Victoria were 87KM p.h. yet they extinguished power to the whole state while Queensland’s Cyclone Yasi’s winds were near 287KM p.h. and our state’s power grid remained online.”

    I’m sure I’ve heard that name before. 🙂

  3. Heard part of Daniel Andrews interview with Fran replayed on newsradio this morning – he totally skewered Turdball for his stupid comments on renewables, and he didn’t take any crap from Fran. Haven’t time to find audio link – have to do some work!

  4. I find it endlessly amusing hearing from people who are dismayed at Turnbull’s behaviour. A lot of them still believe that every RW statement he makes is some kind of aberration or misjudgement, and that his views are really quite progressive. And as time goes by they hang on to that belief but are becoming more and more baffled.

    I don’t know what it’s going to take to overcome their confirmation bias, but they need to do it soon, if only for their own mental health. Turnbull couldn’t be making it more obvious that he’s a political mercenary. He’s even dropped the fiction that he’s in any way progressive, and is just relying on people’s stubborn assumptions to do it for him.

  5. Cont off topic – Crikey came good today even the4 comments opened up without signing in, all back to some sort of normalacy they must be monitoring the Pub. be alert we need more lerts

  6. Here’s the Daniel Andrews/Fran Kelly interview.

    [audio src="http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2016/09/bst_20160930_0737.mp3" /]

  7. The Libs don’t have to replace their Spineless Wonder: he’ll continue to do as he is told.

    Maybe come the next election or when his poll popularity sinks to whatever they think is unacceptable.

  8. CSG is on the nose

    Australia’s biggest mortgage provider has declared a Queensland property with coal seam gas wells “unacceptable” as security for residential lending, raising fresh concerns that people living in the state’s gasfields may be unable to sell their homes.

    But Queensland Gas Company (QGC), which owns the wells on the Chinchilla acreage, has insisted that no properties that host its infrastructure have had their values negatively affected.

    A letter from the Commonwealth Bank, obtained by Guardian Australia, shows the presence of four wells on the 240-hectare property, currently on the market, was the sole reason given for refusing the owners’ application for a $500,000 bridging loan to buy a new home.

    The application “fails to meet the bank’s lending criteria” because the Chinchilla property was “unacceptable” as security, despite being wholly owned by a couple with no outstanding debts or credit blemishes and a primary income reaching well past the top tax bracket.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/30/commonwealth-bank-coal-seam-gas-makes-property-unacceptable-as-loan-security

  9. Andrew Street on the “Wyatt Colonial Roy”

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/the-reckless-ballad-of-the-wyatt-colonial-roy-20160930-grrzq2.html

    There was a Wyatt Colonial Roy, who once was an MP
    He ruled the seat of Longman, from Caboolture to Ningi,
    He backed the Turnbull challenge lest T. Abbott did destroy,
    The hopes of second termage for the Wyatt Colonial Roy.

    He thus became a minister whose future seemed assured,
    But advice he gave James Ashby didn’t seem quite above board.
    When asked of Peter Slipper he became extremely coy,
    When chatting to the AFP, the Wyatt Colonial Roy.

    To his good fortune all the scandal seemed to gently die,
    Yet Roy was dumped from power by his voters in July.
    And so he grew a manly beard to look less Fauntleroy,
    And set off to Iraq last month, the Wyatt Colonial Roy.

    And sure, Iraq’s a war zone, as Australians well know,
    The government advises it’s a stupid place to go,
    But if you want to show that you’re a grown up, not a boy,
    Then why not do it anyway, young Wyatt Colonial Roy?

    What was Wyatt doing there? Well, nobody’s quite sure.
    Why choose to be a tourist in an active zone of war?
    Presumably he knew they’d guns and mortars to deploy,
    “But soldiers will protect me!” figured Wyatt Colonial Roy.

    No sooner had he gotten there a fight had begun!
    But Roy hung ’round to film it, rather than turn tail and run.
    “My courage under fire will sure impress the hoi polloi,
    “Though there’d better be an airstrike,” hoped the Wyatt Colonial Roy.

    And yes, he got courageous visuals upon his phone,
    And used much military slang in interviews back home.
    “They joked I was a mascot Malcolm treated like a toy,
    “Now everyone will be impressed!” thought Wyatt Colonial Roy.

    But though he dreamed of all the praise and accolades to come,
    Instead he got a slapdown from his parliamentary mum,
    Julie Bishop asked “why were you in that damned convoy?
    “You’ve got no business being there, young Wyatt Colonial Roy!”

    But Wyatt’s kept insisting that he still did nothing wrong,
    As questions as to why he went are asked by Penny Wong.
    It’s fun to play at soldiers, sure; it’s such a simple joy:
    At least the beard quite suits you, honest, Wyatt Colonial Roy.

  10. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/30/please-prime-minister-burst-the-bubbles-of-self-serving-rhetoric-for-our-sake

    Katherine Murphy again begging the real Malcolm to stand up – don’t bother with the article, go straight to the comments where various “fact checkers” are tearing her apart, with several pointing out she made similar excuses for Abbott…

    Like this one from Daisy06

    Speaking of bubbles… On 8TH February, 2015 , KM wrote an article about Tony Abbott where she said:

    How the Liberal Party machine swallowed the real Tony Abbott…. The Tony Abbott I knew disappeared in 2013 as he sublimated himself to the needs of his party and its backers…

    Is this a case of history repeats:

    Now he’s locked into a cycle of concessions to stay alive. He’s being sucked back inside the Coalition bubble, issue after issue, at a time when Australians need him to be speaking to them, not genuflecting before his own people

    Or is it that both Abbott, and Turnbull, are simply weak and ineffectual leaders?

    • I just read the Murphy article – you were right, it’s not worth it. In fact, it’s deeply, committedly stupid. ‘Bubble Politics’ is not a thing, and putting it up as an idea just clouds the issue. If she’s saying politicians have a script they stick to, to the exclusion of other ideas or the facts, well duh. That’s not a ‘bubble’, that’s an abrogation of their duties. Murphy just wants to be sad because the man she put her faith in turned out to be a weasel, and she’s hoping against hope that he’ll magically restore her faith. We don’t need to see that in print, we really don’t. She can keep those thoughts to herself, and try to approach her occupation with more of a level head.

      There’s absolutely no point and no sense in lamenting Turnbull’s move away from ‘progressiveness’ to meek capitulation to the RW faction of his party. You just have to look at it for what it is, a betrayal of the ideals he sold himself on, and thus the negation of any claims he has to the support of this nation’s citizens. That’s it, that’s all there is to it. The Turnbull we have now is not the one we were sold, and we have no duty to be loyal to it. We should just vote it out. It’s a dud.

      The sooner people realise that no matter what figurehead they paste onto it, it’s always going to be the same Liberal Party scum, the better.

  11. Some stuff about Boy Wyatt’s Adventures in a War Zone.

    First – a reply to a post by Madwixxy on Facebook.

    Roy was there with “political consultant” Samuel Coates.
    Coates was former speech writer to David Cameron, and is now a writer for the Times in the UK.
    Roy has been writing for the Australian.
    Bishop issuing a statement distancing the gov from Roy’s trip suggests to me that he was there off-book, scoping out some kind of deal, and that Murdoch was likely involved. Roy’s passport should be cancelled and he should absolutely be prosecuted for travelling to Mosul, which (I may be wrong) is illegal at the current time

    https://www.facebook.com/Wixxyleaks/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/09/29/wyatt-roy-caught-deadly-firefight-between-peshmerga-and-iraq

    The only issue with that is we don’t know if Roy went anywhere near Mosul. If he did then he has committed an offence by visiting a declared zone.

    Declared area offence
    The offence of entering, or remaining in, a declared area is located at section 119.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. The provision makes it an offence for a person to intentionally enter, or remain in, a declared area in a foreign country where the person knows, or should know, that the area is a declared area. The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years’ imprisonment

    https://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/WhatAustraliaisdoing/Pages/DeclaredAreaOffence.aspx#MouslDistrict

    Simon Coates has been promoting this article by Roy on Twitter.
    Wyatt Roy reveals brush with Islamic State during Iraq visit
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/wyatt-roy-reveals-brush-with-islamic-state-during-iraq-visit/news-story/09dd273e7649b1ef2cebb5b9097362d7

    Roy admits he was not on an official visit, just there “to see a mate, get a feel for the environment, and talk to policymakers and industry leaders about their experience>

    If he did enter the declared zone around Mosul, or if he just picked up a rifle when he was with the Peshmerga, regardless of where he was then he is in a whole heap of trouble. And who was this ‘mate’ he wanted to visit?

    Fizza ‘has not ruled out an investigation’.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-30/turnbull-labels-wyatt-roy-'stupid'-over-warzone-visit/7891816

    i’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Fizza will be hoping the whole thing blows over soon. A weekend of grand finals should help.

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