Friday 19th of July 2019

awstralyan citizenship quiz .....

the awstralyan values quiz .....

 

With all the worry of Iraq, the Wheat Board scandal, the ten years of environmental paralysis, a newly credible opposition and the impending retirement of that great friend George, our esteemed Prime Minister is surely in need of a helping hand to get the Citizenship Examination right.

It seems there will be a question section on Parliamentary Democracy, so here are some suggestions on the history of such for inclusion in the test.  This assumes that the Test remains after the Federal Election, a moot point.

1.         Who was the Prime Minister of Australia from 1996-2007?

Rupert Murdoch

George W. Bush

John Howard

Janette Howard

2.         How much taxpayers’ money was used for Coalition advertising in the 2004 Federal election?

$2 million

$147 million

$10 million

You mean taxpayers’ money was used to elect a Party ????? (well, a Coalition).

3.         When the SIEV-X sank as a result of the Australian Government’s actions in repelling asylum seekers’  boats just before the 2001 election, how many people drowned?

None

A few

353

You mean people drowned despite their right to seek asylum here???????

4.         What was the most usual response of the Howard Government to events that went pear-shaped?

I don’t remember.

I don’t know.

I wasn’t told.

It wasn’t me/my Department..

All of the above.

5.         How was the Howard Government able to evade responsibility for the $300 million paid to Saddam Hussein regime while Australia was supposedly at war with it?

Saying: I don’t remember.

Saying: I didn’t know.

Saying: I wasn’t told.

Calling an Inquiry and curtailing the questions asked.

All of the above.

6.         Which was the most successful tool to maintain fear and racism in 2001.

The Tampa

The SIEV-X

“Children overboard”

Stealing more ideas from Pauline Hanson.

7.         What did “children overboard” mean in Australian culture?

It was the Policy statement of the Department for Doctored Photographs.

The end justifies the means.

If we could lock them up, why shouldn’t someone throw them in the water?

It was Howard’s PB in the “Run the Bastards Over” Championships.

8.         What was a “mate”?

A white, male, Anglo Australian.

Anyone who helped to steer the “Mateship”.

George W. Bush  (honorary Australian).

A vague, all-purpose term designed to differentiate people when necessary for political purposes.

9.         What was the “National Interest”

An elastic invocation applied to all Howardite decisions and plans.

The dollar.

The Reason for  Everything.

Money saved from paying wages to service the growing foreign debt.

10.       What strategy did the Government and its media cronies adopt when the war on Iraq backfired?

To cling more closely to the Skirts of Bush.

To cut and run.

To cut and walk.

To change the subject.

11.       What was the culture of the Department of Immigration?

A.        Appalling.

B.        Not the fault of the Minister.

C.        “Read nothing; admit nothing.”

D.        “We can always fall back on undisclosed compensation.”

12.       Which event of the Howard years would best deserve the title “Flour Power”?

Side-stepping responsibility for the Wheat Board scandal.

The “murderous criminality” (Howard) of the Indonesian Embassy being sent a packet of white powder.

13.       What role did Alan Jones, Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine and others play for the Howard Government?

Megaphones

Policy writers

Suits of armour

Little mates

14.       What title is given to the policy to prevent asylum seekers’ boats from reaching Australia?

The Final Solution

The Pacific Solution

The Shrinkage of Australia for Migration Purposes

Australian Dissolution

15.       What was the Howard Government’s Environment Policy?

If George won’t do it, neither will we.

Add Ethanol.

Promise anything, just win the election.

Go nuclear. We can’t possibly be around when that backfires.

16.       In the Howard lexicon, what did “never, ever” mean?

Nothing.

Until next time.

Just you wait.

It was a howardly phrase, designed to placate, distract and postpone.

17.       Which was the most illogical position of the Howard Government?

We had to honour the Anzacs and claim their spirit even though we weren’t there when it happened but we couldn’t say sorry to the Aboriginal people for what happened to them because we weren’t there when it happened.

The Government believed faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and said that the invasion was not aiming for regime change, but when weapons did not materialise the attack was justified by the need for regime change.

Saddam Hussein’s murderous regime was cited as reason for sanctions and invasion, but the mass murderer Suharto was befriended and lived in happy retirement a little to our north.

18.       Which title best fits the Howard Years?

Lying Low Down Under

Hubris Inc.

We Knew Nothing

Playing Tea-Lady to the Americans

19.       What was John Howard’s nickname?

Bonsai

Shrubya

The Sheriff of Rottingham

The Asia-Pacific Solution

20.       Where did John and Janette Howard retire to?

Baghdad

Nauru

Christmas Island

A Ranch in Texas

21.       How can the Howard Years be defined?

The Era of Government Irresponsibility

“We all agree with GWB.”

The Dollar Rules. OK?

Lower, Meaner, Nastier 

22.       If a citizen became concerned about the Iraq War, asylum seekers, David Hicks,  manipulation of voter sentiment through election-time bonuses, the stacking of the High Court, the reduction of everything to its possible monetary value,  the stacking of the ABC Board, the re-writing of history, the use of fear to control the populace, the “I didn’t know” mantra, the silencing of public servants, the tight control of Freedom of Information laws, the stripping of workers’ rights etc. etc. etc., what would he or she be more likely to be called? 

A Member of the Latte/Chardonnay Set

A Leftie

A Howard-hater

A Candidate for a Security Check

 

Susan Connelly
13 December, 2005                                       

Feast of St Lucy,
Patroness of the Blind.

breaking ranks .....

from yesterday’s Crikey ….. 

Abbott throws our Muslims a lifeline

Charles Richardson writes:

‘This morning's Age gives a prominent headline to Kevin Rudd's declaration that "I have never been a socialist and I never will be a socialist."

But the paper's competitor has a much more serious break with tradition: in The Australian, Tony Abbott repudiates the central plank of his government's electoral strategy of the last five years.

The piece is an extract from a speech Abbott gave in Sydney last week to a conference on "The Journalist and Islam", in which he methodically strips away all the justifications for scapegoating and demonising Australian Muslims. You need to read the whole thing, but a few quotes will give the flavour:

... in these times, unlike the convict era, every newcomer has, in effect, voted for Australia. ... treating migrants and migrant cultures as interlopers is going to make the challenge of integration harder...

The last way to reach yet-to-be-convinced Muslims is telling them, in effect, to like us or leave. ... Media portrayals of xenophobia and extremism are inevitably inflammatory in the short run, but in the long term force people to confront their own prejudices.

Abbott explicitly equates the Muslim experience with that of an earlier generation of Irish Catholics: "This is far from the first time some Australians have been concerned about the readiness of ethnic and cultural groups to assimilate".

Does he not realise that many of his constituents (and colleagues) would have heart failure at the thought that Muslims might one day be as numerous or prominent in Australia as Catholics are now?

This is as clear an attack as you are likely to get on the subtext of John Howard's repeated messages to the Australian public: that Muslims are uniquely resistant to assimilation, that Christianity is fundamental to Australian culture, that immigrants have to adjust to our values, that talking about the causes of terrorism constitutes appeasement, that the Cronulla riot was a media beat-up, and so on. Abbott one by one demolishes these shibboleths.

Is he serious? It's hard to say; we know there is some discontent within the Liberal Party at the idea that the prime minister could be shaping up for an election campaign on anti-Muslim bigotry, and Abbott could be positioning himself accordingly. I confess to some personal interest in this, since I first suggested almost two years ago (Crikey, 3 March 2005) that he could try to outflank his rival Peter Costello on the progressive side of refugee-related issues.

On the other hand, it's hard to believe that he could be dissociating himself from his mentor Howard as dramatically as he seems to be.