The Divergent Political Path

There are two distinct facets to politics in Australia today.

One is based on rational concerns about the direction in which our nation is heading and the other is about doing whatever it takes to cling to power. These divergent approaches are evident at both state and federal levels.

Last week, I read about the Victorian Government introducing some new initiatives as part of their multiculturalism policy. Regular readers would know that I consider ‘multiculturalism’ to be a divisive and flawed agenda. My concerns have been attacked from pillar to post by a procession of politicians and activists who would rather admire the emperor’s new ‘multi-culti’ clothes.

However, there are now signs that the denial syndrome may be about to change in some pockets of politics.

The Victorian Government seems to be one of the first to acknowledge the concerns of many people within our community; that there are problems with some groups of migrants not ‘fitting in’. In an attempt to redress this problem and to build social cohesion, the government is placing a renewed focus on citizenship.

Boldly standing up to the PC teachers union, schools will be encouraged to sing the national anthem and raise the Australian flag. They will also feature a revamped civics program. Older migrants will be encouraged to volunteer for important community groups like Rotary clubs, school councils and the Country Fire Service to get them more involved in the broader community.

The usual suspects warned against ‘simplistic notions of nationality’, conveniently forgetting that nationhood is what actually unites us as Australians. Recognising and supporting the symbols of nationhood as a means of building cohesion is just common sense.

Unfortunately, common sense has gone missing from our federal government. Their latest foolish decision has been driven by social media. In response to a campaign by lefty activist group GetUp!, the government has decided to effectively ban the fishing trawler, the Abel Tasman.

Ignoring the facts in favour of Twitter pressure is a new level of absurdity for the Gillard Government. Even their legislative response to assuage the concerns of the electronic fear-mongers is extreme and seeks to give the minister unlimited power to stop any fishing vessel on the basis of ‘social uncertainty’.

It is important to support sustainable fisheries practices in our waters, but what does this decision really say about our government? It’s just another case of the Gillard Government making things up as they go along.

Only months ago the Minister for Fisheries was defending the strength of the science and environmental consequences of allowing this ship to fish in our waters. After all, it uses the same size nets as other fishing trawlers and will still be limited by a strict fishing quota.

The problem seems to be that it is bigger than other trawlers and that scares the activist left. They don’t like big business, big boats or big ideas. One could accuse them of being megalophobics, except for the small matter that the thing they like most is big government.

It is a sad day when a federal government is prepared to risk our international reputation as a good place to invest by changing laws that companies have already gone to great lengths to comply with. This is the second time they have tried to shut down an important industry in the face of a hysterical campaign based on falsehoods peddled by green activist groups. Do you remember the live cattle exports fiasco?

The decision to send the Abel Tasman packing is the latest desperate move by a government that will do whatever it takes and is prepared to make us pay any price just so they can cling to power.

Australia deserves better.

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