Story Teller – Australia

Harold Holt declaring Australia would go, “All the way, with LBJ,” was a statement of political irrationality almost on par with Bob Menzies quoting sonnets regarding a woman young enough to be his daughter, Queen Elizabeth the Second.
14 years earlier, however, when Pig Iron Bob, 15 years on from threatening to use the Crimes Act against the Waterside Workers Federation (precursor to the MUA) for refusing to load ships with scrap pig iron bound for Japan, called, in Parliament, for the Japanese to be kept down, Harold Holt exempted Japanese war brides of ex-BCOF Servicemen from the Dictation Test, one of the worst and most dishonest criteria for immigration into Australia.
Loathe though I am to quote Geoffrey Blainey, I remember seeing a ridiculous attempt at defending that policy by saying that China and Japan were keen to keep the West out. To examine it more carefully, let’s see how Blainey is using false equivalence. While it’s true that in 1793, China advised Britain that it had little to no interest in trading, access to trade with China came through wars (never mind the fact that Britain introduced Opium to China in an attempt to address a trade imbalance and in defiance of an Imperial prohibition), while early Chinese immigration to Australia came following news that gold had been discovered at Bathurst, and China didn’t engage in wars to force access to Australia. Japan, due in part to a different mentality, was eager to avoid this, so began copying the West.
I am not going to hold Harold Holt up as a hero, but I will acknowledge that he did the right thing in not denying those ex-servicemen the right to bring their wives to Australia.
Now, we see that this excuse for a government in Australia wants to introduce a requirement that a person be able to speak English for a spouse visa.
A man for whom I have a great deal of respect, who has the same GP as me, is Anglo-Australian and he has a Chinese wife. He spoke little Chinese and his wife little English, but they’ve been married for ten years and she now speaks English. He told me, and I agree, that you don’t need to speak the same language to communicate love.
To be able to speak English as a criteria for immigration is wrong. I am vehemently opposed to assimilation, but I do believe that a person should learn some English to live in Australia, as supposing you need to contact the ambulance, you need to be able to communicate.
I hope that Labor can get at least some of the crossbench to vote against this appalling piece of legislation and put the white Australia policy back in the dustbin of history where it belongs.

By ace101

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