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Don’t like Modern Australia…. what would you give up then..

A huge issue I have with the conservative politics is the ” we want things like they were” argument. An argument, that came to the fore again with Jim Wallace stating his 96 year old father didn’t recognise Modern Australia, and the implication that this was bad.

Which part is bad, is the point of conjecture. A point that is never applied evenly or fairly, with examples always singled out around policy areasthat fit the agenda of the person making the statement. From Immigration Policy, Sexual Equality, Gay Rights and even Employment, everything was always better back in the day. Sometimes that day precedes before the people making these statements were even born.

Post WWI in Australia was a place that women had only recently got the vote, couldn’t run for Parliament and were a minority in most work places. ABC radio was not to come around until 1923. Two thirds of thecountries income came from wheat and wool only. And Kingsford Smith would not finished his first flying circuit of Australia till 1927. Modern medical treatments still hadn’t been invented yet, and the great depression still hadn’t come. Is this the time that people are harking for?

Perhaps the post WWII Australia is what people would like a country thatbecame founded on “Populate or Perish” (*Well if you are white that is o.k). ABC Radio was a major force, but it would 11 years afterthe war before we got ABC TV, so perhaps just radio and newspapers was allthe information that we needed. Aboriginals didn’t become citizens of Australia until 1949, and didn’t get the right to vote inQLD and WA until 1962. And finally the world now had Penicillin, which hadjust kicked off in 1944 to mass manufacturing, so at least a simple infection wouldn’t kill you. Is this the time people want back.

Rushing forward into the post Vietnam era, we have TV ( and colour is coming soon), modern suburbs and pretty decent health care. Of course, we didn’t have medicare, equal pay for women is still (and still is) a long way off, but at least now universities were free for most. So perhaps this is the period that people are harking back for.

Now of course, we have the internet, instant global communications, cheap and reliable interstate and international airtravel, health care that even 20 years ago would have been considered miraculous with PET/MRI scans finding diseases that were untreatable not that long ago. Of course we can’t treat lung cancer or asbestosis to 100% but society has taken stepsto cut these and simailar issues out.

Our biggest export is now our dirt, but we do have a large number of Nobel Prizes to our name for many things and we do as a country lead the worldin a number of aspects when it comes to technology. Our biggest trade partners are also countries that were excluded by the White Australia Policy, China, Japan, South Korea.

So which do we give up. To get where we are today is a journey made of all of these parts. Modern birth control and education has liberated women to the highest roles in the land and yet we need to go back because people don’t recognise the country.

I don’t like some parts of modern Australia, but I do like health care, science, technology and all the benefits that they have brought. Perhaps those harking back for “simpler” times could list all the things they are willing to give up, I think the list would be pretty short.

Sorry should mean the action, not just the timing…

Once again, someone has said sorry. But once again, using weasel words to get out of actually expressing remorse or regret for what was said. Today’s culprit was none other that Jim Wallace from the Australian Christian Lobby. Whilst him saying something offensive really isn’t a surprise given the history of the ACL but today’s “outburst” was particular humdinger.

From his twitter account this morning, Anzac Day…

“Just hope that as we remember Servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for – wasn’t gay marriage and Islamic!”

Saying this is offensive doesn’t come close. This comment presumes there were/are no Gay or Islamic service people in Australia. Thus the sacrifice they have made for our country is dismissed in his own bile and hatred. Turns out if you lobby for Jesus the way he does, hatred and bigotry are accepted.

So we come to the hurriedly rushed out apology.

“”I unreservedly apologise for sending that out,” Mr Wallace said.” ( Herald Sun )

“Ok you are right my apologies this was the wrong context toraise these issues. ANZACs mean to much to me to demean this day,not intended” (Twitter)

Sorry, but WHAT THE FUCK. You are sorry for sending it out, but not for the tone, the message, the intolerance and the lack of understanding that it shows. Ah, but it is o.k, you have said sorry. Unless he was under the influence of drugs, mind control, being held captive in renditionand forced to write the original tweet, he did compose it, he did type it and he did choose today to send it.

If I said to a manager at work, “Sorry for the timing on questioning your sexuality” for example, would that count as saying “Sorry”, no it wouldn’t. It is time that we stood up against these statements and these kind of apologies.

Perhaps if Mr Wallace took some time to look at what the Islamic world has given us, things like say Algebra, our numbering system, a true public hospital system, university degrees, and saving us from countless Cat Stevens records he might want to stop and realise that the Crusades are over.

( there is a clarification on the ACL website ( which I doubt will change any of the above), but obviously praying to your ISP doesn’t work, and their website fell over )

( edit… the ACL website is back up, guess what, the clarification is about the timing, and the fact his father doesn’t recognise modern Australia compared to 1945 Australia… well, times do change, and I think for the better )

Update: Here is his explanation on Sunrise 26/4/11….

I particularly like the “oh the vitriol that is on twitter”,and quick lets talk about a swimmer instead of me, its wasn’t me it was the twitter brigade, I’ve only be on twitter for a week.

Which Australian values does he want anyway, post WW1 or Post WW2, Post Korea, Post Vietnam, Post Iraq etc. The differences in Australia between WWI and WWII were huge, it would help if he clarified which particular Australia he wants back. Doe he want the no women in Parliament (Pre WWI), White Australia Policy (Pre Vietnam) etc, a hark back to before technology inevitably change society, like radio, then tv, now the internet.

Yet, the only thing he is sorry for is the day he sent it, not the content.