Friday, February 24, 2006

whose values?

Costello and Howard are playing the race card again, probably to distract from the Government's culpability in the Iraq wheat scandal. Whenever the Coalition gets worried about electorate disatisfaction it pushes the fear buttons. No wonder Pauline Hanson is on the airwaves claiming vindication!

When Costello rants about Australian 'values' it is cringe making. The 'values' he stands for are about as far removed from what I hold dear as those that characterised the apartheid regime in South Africa in its hey day. The rampant form of xenophobic nationalism being trotted out by Costello and Howard is ugly and is the lowest form of 'politikking'.

But it seems to work in the current climate. It makes me ashamed that the outside world would perceive the 'social Darwinist' values mainstreaming under Howard as quintessentially Australian, but the populist feedback would suggest that many cheer from the sidelines as the boot is put into a religious minority. It is cowardly and malicious and should be anathema in a democratic society. Perhaps we are less democractic than we imagine - this 'dog whistle' politics has the whiff of times past that many people hanker after.

It was not surprising that the Sydney Institute was the venue on this occasion. With the man who saw so little, Gerard Henderson, leading the charge, we get a regular serve out of this apology for a think tank. Why do these people always look like they are suffering from permanent constipation?

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