Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Australian Index - one year ago today

Each day The Australian Index features a small group of bog posts from one year ago. I feel flattered that today they included one of my posts, Mr Andrews, Tamworth and Sudanese Refugees.

Re-reading the post brought that time back. I am so glad that things have moved on.

I was really caught in some of the dilemmas of the period.

At one level I was attacking the Government about their treatment of refugees - my concern about failures in due process remain. At a second level, I was concerned about the way media (including blog responses) led to Australia being typed as racist internationally - again, this is a continuing concern. In all this, I was trying to be fair and to un-package issues so that they became clear.

Looking again at the post, I think that it is best classified now as a historical piece, something that provides a record of the time.

Considering my own reactions on re-reading the piece, I suspect that the Howard Government will come to be typed by its reactions on terrorism and refugees. This may be unfair, Australia's relatively good position in the current global financial crisis is due in part to the Howard-Costello Government, but history tends to remember the failures and sometimes injustices.


Anonymous said...

Well done, Jim, and it is amazing how often people read one's older posts.

Trouble was the Howard government really didn't have to do all that stuff re refugees, and they will be reviled (I hope!) for much they did. On the other hand it is true they were in some ways more generous in their migration program, and more various in its sourcing, than most.

And yes, your last point is true, though it did commence under Hawke.

At the same time, I couldn't help having the irreverent thought that at least Mussolini had the trains running on time...

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Neil. You are right on Mr Hawke and in fact Mr Keating - the fact that we have a floating dollar is critical just at present. A naughty thought re Mussolini. I am strongly tempted!

Anonymous said...

neil, some of those Eurocrats willing to brand us as racist have since adopted the Howard model so I wouldn't worry about international labels.