Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Orstrayian Test

Of all the ludicrous attempts at defining a national identity, former PM John Howard's authorship of some of the questions in the citizenship test would have to rank fairly high.

I however, think the man has been misjudged. I think he was a visionary - he saw from the start that the nation must inevitably accept wave after wave of immigration if it was to survive and he saw the need for a unifying force to bind the new Australians together.

The Cult of the Don.

Yup, that man, who was by repute an "arsehole" - a nasty little stock trader from South Australia was to become the new idol of a national religion that was, at its core, the epitome of John Howard's "Vision for Australia".

Howard wasn't writing questions to keep people out - he must have been coldly aware that five of the biggest groups seeking to land on our shores already knew very well who Don Bradman was - he just wanted to make sure they understood how high the Don must be placed in the national esteem.

After all it is not as if the English, South Africans, New Zealanders, Indians and Pakistanis have never seen a game of cricket - its just that their idea of who is a cricket hero needs a little adjustment before they'll really fit in to Australian society.

Sadly for Howard, although he may have been able to bowl a googlie in the last term, the electorate were all too aware that Howard, like Don Bradman had a limited game, played it then sat back and traded on the success that was as narrow in its scope as it was emphatic in effect.

Frankly the sooner the Bradman question, and some of the other pathetic attempts to deter African and European migrants and dealt with, the happier I'll be.

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