Peter Roebuck makes a salient point in regard to the latest cricket controversy:
Now the Australians faced a critical choice. Already the match had been highly contentious. Already their opponents were feeling aggrieved. After the Haneef case, an entire community was feeling disaffected...Indeed! I doubt the latest controversy would even have happened if we had not had a full decade or more of Howard-sponsored nationalism in this country.
Yesterday I saw a yound kid at the shops (14 maybe?) wearing an Aussie flag on his T-shirt with the words "If you don't love it, leave." Now why is a kid that age pushing such a ridiculous ideological agenda? Because he is just a kid, and he has been manipulated.
Today, driving to work, I saw a lady with an Aussie flag printed on her cloth shopping bag. And then I noticed that her bag also had "The Sunday Telegraph" logo, so presumably it was a free giveaway with that Murdoch paper. What's that all about? Manipulation.
Remember last time we had a big debate on an Australian Republic, how discussion of the flag was also a major issue? Remember all the designs that were drawn up? Remember the excited chatter from the media, push a new flag on every front page? It wouldn't happen now, would it?
That's where we are today. A backwards nation of nationalistic yobbos. At least we once had the good sense to cringe at our lack of culture. Nowadays we proudly wave the tattered flag of ignorance, arrogance and insular xenophobia.
As Roebuck says:
Australians like to think they play hard and fair. In fact, they define these terms domestically. Multiculturalists believe this lies behind the narrowness of the local game.It's not just cricket, mate.
In related news, Aussie schools for Muslim and Jewish kids are now going to get bullet-proof glass, security cameras and 24-hour patrols:
Confirmation of the move follows unrest in the NSW town of Camden, on Sydney's southwestern outskirts, which has been the scene of angry protests by locals over a plan to establish an Islamic school.I guess it helps sell papers.
Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported yesterday that tensions were so high that white supremacist groups had planned a rally at the proposed site of the school on Australia Day.
UPDATE: Obviously, this was a deliberately provocative post. Tim Blair took the bait and several hundred mindless sheep have followed the link from his site.
But it seems what really irked Blair was not my criticism of his beloved ex-PM, but my criticism of the Murdoch rag he now works for. That's right, Blair is now "inside the tent" and writing exquisitely crafted professional prose like this:
Roebuck isn't rating Ponting's captaincy; he's rating his application to study at prestigious St Tossingtons College, Wankfordshire.Isn't that a great contribution to our national press? Keep up the great work, Timothy. I'm sure your mother is very proud of you.
CODA: Tim Blair has been diagnosed with cancer. Hopefully it will be a learning experience.