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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Let it die

The White Australia policy is a blight on our history. A new book examines this legacy and my review in this week's Bulletin is here.

Author and refugee activist Arnold Zable recently launched the book in Melbourne. His speech captured the essence of Gwenda Tavan's book:

"Perhaps, one day, we will again have a prime minister who can fully embrace an inclusive and plural society based on the recognition that we are, in essence, a land of indigenous peoples and immigrants, a new world with an ancient past. Meanwhile, we rely on the efforts of advocates and support groups with an alternative vision, and on the efforts of dissident backbenchers. We also need studies like Gwenda Tavan's to learn of the hard-won reforms that took Australia beyond the racially based policies of the past."


Blogger Ambrose said...

I don't know whether it's proper blogging etiquette..but I disagreed (somewhat) from Zable's conclusions as written in an Age article (that seems to be similar to the speech)

As I said in my post we may as well have a 'prime minister who can fully embrace an inclusive and plural society' and praise the 'efforts of advocates and support groups with an alternative vision' but a return to the 'good old days of multiculturalism' will be worth little if a significant proportion of Australians regards the ideas of cultural pluralism, refugee rights etc. with hostility.

This top down approach hasn't worked then and it won't work in the future. All it will create will be another Pauline Hanson and another Howard ready to exploit it for electoral gains.

What we need is a community inspired paradigm shift.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:01:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I also reckon a community inspired paradigm shift is needed. And many living here are fearful of the 'other' and are inherently racist. It is, therefore, the job of leaders and community leaders to dissipate this fear and explain why a multicultural society is the most ideal for here.
As for winding back the clock. Gains were certainly made in the 70s and 80s, despite the country's inherent racism. And today, we need to remember those gains as well as fight the ever-increasing dislike of Arabs/Muslims.
Sadly, the so-called alternative, the ALP and Laurie Ferugson et al, are so clueless as to be frankly unelectable...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:07:00 am  
Anonymous MSM watcher said...

Tim Blair got you writing for the bully now?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:34:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Er, no.
Tim Blair had nothing to do with it. I'm writing for a number of publications, Fairfax, New Matilda, the Bully, and others. Different mediums, different styles. And a freelancer's gotta earn a living while writing a book!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:11:00 pm  
Blogger Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.
- Elbert Hubbard

'Losing race' that is a winning title even if it is on a sad subject, Anton

The review grabbed me by the mind as well as the heart ... Ta

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:56:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks Jozef.
Wish I could take credit for the title. Thank you Bulletin.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:14:00 pm  

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