Somehow, the progressive wisdom has decided that those who fly Australian flags are “racists” rather than “nationalists”. So the word nationalism is now, in informed circles, code for the word racism. To add insult to injury, it seems those who fly Australian flags are less intelligent than those who don’t. Intelligent people are “global citizens” who do not fly flags or admit to being Australian when travelling overseas in case they should be accused of being “racist”. If caught out in a social situation in Europe or the United Kingdom, with regard to our treatment of refugees or Aborigines the progressives can claim to be “ashamed to be Australian” and thus maintain their global integrity.
Australia’s international reputation with regard to its treatment of Aboriginal people is appalling. We the citizens have paid for it. We have, for example, paid Mick Dodson to travel to and from the United Nations in New York and Geneva, maintain his accommodation in both places, given him a generous wage as our indigenous representative, all so he could write into the UN’s Declaration on Indigenous Rights a demand for separate government, and at the same time denounce Australia for genocide over the “stolen generations”. We have paid SBS to produce films and documentaries such as Immigration Nation, First Australians, The Magistrate and Living Black. We have paid for films such as Rabbit Proof Fence and Australia. We have also paid for novels such as Alex Miller’s The Stone Country and Kate Grenville’s blinkered English colonising sagas purporting to be Australian history. We have paid for the extensive publication of black-armband professors of Australian history. They all seek fame through Aboriginal despair. These are the stories of white Australia broadcast throughout the world and in isolated Aboriginal communities via television and the internet—they are the stories which prevent the children from going to the school which is demanded by the racist, imperialist, capitalist, whitefella government—the teachers of the hated enemy invaders. Learning to read and write is for “Uncle Toms”—teaching English literacy and numeracy is a racist act.
The global citizen is often ashamed to be Australian. Many of those who prefer to be a global citizen rather than an Australian citizen come from the same inner-city cultural elites that house the core of left-wing progressive politics. First-generation Australians such as those employed at SBS, public intellectuals such as Robert Manne and Raimond Gaita, academics of almost any discipline, teachers, actors, movie-makers, the arts industry, novelists, poets, playwrights, many journalists—all seem to be much more concerned with their responsibilities as global citizens than as Australians. Our arts, plays, poems, novels echo the demands of global fashion rather than any concern with the Satya (search for truth) of which Gandhi spoke.
So we find out about who we are by viewing ourselves through the eyes of the world. Yet the world has already been misinformed. Kangaroos are not a threatened species and at times they need to be culled. The original inhabitants are not just noble savages. The three children depicted in the film Rabbit Proof Fence were not “stolen”. The entire “stolen generations” thesis is demonstrably incorrect. Australia has never been guilty of genocide or attempted genocide or any of the other tawdry fly-catching UN definitions.
Increasingly democracies are threatened with international laws and ideological imperatives that have been written by unelected global citizens employed as bureaucrats. The United Nations is another country seeking to colonise the world. If it is misinformed, it could be seen as an invader.
In January the Aboriginal activist professor Marcia Langton stated that Australians would be viewed as racists (“and self-consciously and deliberately so”) by the international community if they failed to pass her committee’s recommendations at a referendum. So democracy in Australia and one of its most distinctive tools, a referendum, should be passed because if we vote it down the misinformed and under-informed international community will disapprove—perhaps even take out sanctions against us. Langton, it seems, for all her belief in Aboriginal exceptionalism, is also a global citizen. She has tripartite preferential citizenships: first Aboriginal/indigenous/original inhabitant, second global, and third Australian.
Global citizens are bound by certain moral imperatives that seem to come above any of their responsibilities as Australian citizens, yet which Australian citizens must pay for. Illegal immigrants must all be accepted as refugees and financed into the Australian community by Australian taxpayers. We are required to send out expensive customs vessels to pick up protesters who board enemy ships in the night seeking to enforce international law. We are required to tax ourselves mercilessly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in order to lead the world to save itself from climate change. We cringe like beaten animals before the international community in case we should be seen as backward. Globally, the gatekeepers of everything can employ anybody from American pirate ships to presidential documentary-makers to enforce their laws and moral imperatives. If this new country is to colonise or invade sovereign countries through the auspices of the UN, it should at least be democratic and transparent. At present it seems to be autocratic, if not totalitarian and secretive (as in its IPCC).
Like most Australians, I view the global community through my Australian citizenship. I am first and foremost an Australian citizen. I prefer to view climate change through the Australian landscape before accepting the theories, models and hockey-stick graphs of unknown scientists operating in foreign universities. Though I may doubt the CSIRO, at least they are Australian and I know the standards that are expected of them and so do they. I know more about the waxings and wanings of our indigenous people and their politics than do any of the revolutionary global indigenous experts working at the UN.
If the indigenous rights committees of the UN had their way, Mal Brough would not have been able to instigate the Northern Territory Intervention, which was the only way to begin to address the epidemic of child abuse that had engulfed isolated Aboriginal communities. Most Australian citizens know about these things and our governments are able to develop policies and procedures to address them. We are also able to pay for them.
Global citizens are unable to see Australia except through the lens of the global community, and yet the “global community” is really yet another small cultural elite which has colonised the UN. Global citizens pledge allegiance to this unelected unrepresentative cultural elite. They see themselves as the most intelligent people on earth. Yet they are consistently and comprehensively misinformed.
Patrick McCauley’s contributions to Quadrant include “Ashamed to Be Australian” in the June 2010 issue.