What country is Brandis describing?
Liberal frontbencher George Brandis in the Sydney Morning Herald:
When I was growing up in Sydney in the 1960s, Petersham was a popular place of settlement for immigrant families – “New Australians”, as they were often called.
Our next-door neighbours were Chinese, next to them was a Greek family, there was an Italian family directly across the street. At my local convent school, St Thomas’s in Lewisham, almost half of the kids were from non-English speaking backgrounds.…
With each new wave of settlement there has been, from some among the established population, suspicion and resentment. Equally there has been, among those newly arrived, fear of the new and unknown, and a desire to cluster together to preserve the traditions and customs of their homeland… Then, the new generation, whose experience is only of this country, seeks to break free of the bonds of its parents’ culture and identifies primarily with being Australian.
George Brandis is the federal shadow attorney-general.
The following comment was snipped for length by the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt Blog, but can be read here in its entirety.
The first ten years of my life were spent in what today would probably be called the multicultural success of the planned community/city of Elizabeth in South Oz. The fact is, it was multi-ethnic from a strictly European point of view and can be both classed as a failure and a success, depending on how much hindsight you have.
Elizabethans of the 60’s and 70’s were predominately of British origin. The remainder were Europeans from the South of Spain to the North of Scandinavia, but the majority were Germans, Greeks and Italians. When first arriving in Australia, all immigrants who had not already made plans, were given the option: live in the immigration camps in appalling conditions until you can find your own accommodation, or move to Elizabeth and accept government housing. My grandparents chose to live in the camp until their own home was completed, but my parents who came from Scotland as children, willingly moved into government housing in Elizabeth which is where I noticed the following issues. It was not uncommon for a non-English speaking family to reject Australia, refuse to allow their children to speak English at home or have English speaking friends in their homes. Most of those types were members of ethnic social clubs and often returned “home” to their own country within a few years.
Those that stayed didn’t always integrate well, but by the 80’s they had integrated to some degree because they had lived here for twenty plus years. Their children were fully integrated, bi-lingual and were no different from the rest of us of British origin. George Brandis might call that a multicultural success, but considering much of the culture was the same, we were racially the same (bear in mind that John Howard has stated that multiculturalism is really multiracialism which is the integration of non-Europeans into Australia) and the only real difference was language. Some could not overcome that but most eventually did. Sure, the Italians (for example) worked hard the moment they got here, but reports from my parents generation are that they (the English speakers) were refused for jobs because they did not speak Italian. I can testify that I had the same problem in the 80’s because I did not speak Vietnamese and that it was rather annoying to say the least. But what did I find by the 90’s? The second generation of Italians to be born in this country had turned their backs on Australia. Unlike their parents who were my peers, they adopted the stance that we were all “Skips” and inferior to Italians.
All of this means that while the process of integration was in place, those of the same race but originating from a different nation and of a different language can get along without any problems. It was the failed multicultural experiments of the 80’s and on that turned those Australian children into Italian Nationalists.
Keeping all of that in mind, there is no evidence that multiculturalism has been a success. All it has done is built separatism and since 1973 it has brought on racial and cultural enclaves such as Vietnamese run Cabramatta which was a no-go zone for whites in the 80’s and today’s Middle Eastern crime war-zone of Bankstown. And when you compare that to other nations who do not have us “white racists” to contend with, you notice that they too are divided into racial and cultural enclaves. At least with a second generation Australian kid claiming he’s Italian, you can send him home so he wakes up to himself and realises that us “Skips” are not his enemy. Can’t say the same for a Tongan, a Lebanese or Chinese.
Cailen Cambeul of Adelaide, SA