In response to Remarks last Thursday by our 'beloved' treasurer Peter Costello (ref Article "Our Values or Home"
) I would like to offer these criticisms.
Firstly in response to the catch phrase he used "mushy misguided multiculturalism" I would suggest that this makes a mockery of the significant efforts the majority of Australians have been making towards being a multicultural society. As observed by Peters brother Tim Costello, multiculturalism is hard, and I feel that it is something worth working towards.
Secondly by singling out people who have dual citizenship for different forms of punishment than those of us who only have Australian Citizenship, you are creating 2 distinct classes of Citizen, and the distinction is most definitely racist, boiling down essentially to "those who were born here (the pure bread "Australians") and those who weren't. I am whole heartedly in favour of the rule of law, and the law needs to be applied completely impartially to all who are in the society. Although, with the recent advent of sedition laws in Australia, I do feel there is scope to use the rule of law in a very dubious way.
Thirdly, I think that Peter Costello has confused Laws with Values, and it was scary to see the two mixed in such a casual way. You can't legislate values, the concept is preposterous. Further, I would really like to see this set of values that every Australian is supposed to subscribe to. The only possible way to have such a set of values would be to have a very small set of "motherhood statements" which no-one could feasibly disagree with. ie... "We value a peaceful society, we value family, we value community etc.... " which really is completely impractical for any legislative purpose, let alone attempting to build a society on. As soon as you start to add any more complex values, you start to have conflicting values, and you would get less and less Australians "dual citizens or otherwise" subscribing to these values. You certainly would not be able to make ridiculous sweeping statements about an entire nation of more than 20 million people holding the exact same set of values.
In conclusion I think that the analysts are correct, our 'beloved' treasurer is simply making these statements to gain political mileage. Firstly with the baser instincts of the electorate who have been fed a diet of fear ever since September 2001 and allowed our country to participate in a war who's reasons kept changing as we went along, and secondly to the more right-wing elements of his party in the hope he will be seen by them as a possible replacement for the top job.