Sept 17, 2008, Janet Albrechtsen:
... on Friday evening ... Philip Ruddock celebrates 35 years in federal parliament ... an opportune time to review his role in some of the most contentious areas during the past decade in Australia ...Wow, Mr Ruddock is a super-cool visionary immigration reformer. Ahead of his time. A Cool Hand Luke who managed to convince Australia that immigration is a good thing. All without any hint of uncool emotion. Let's look at Cool Hand's work...
Never fazed or flummoxed, Ruddock always responded with indisputable facts, not uncontrolled feelings. Even his demeanor infuriated the critics ...
In that time, Ruddock has had a clear narrative, long before that word became fashionable. He steered Australia towards greater appreciation for, rather than suspicion of, immigration. Even for a country steeped in a migrant history, there is a need for Australians to feel comfortable about immigration.
... As minister for immigration from 1996 until 2003, Ruddock recognised the need to take people with him, not scare them off, when advocating increased immigration...
Ruddock helped to allay the discomfort with strangers factor. He encouraged community acceptance of immigration where new arrivals would be seen as contributors, not freeloaders ... Rather than seen as stealing jobs from Australians, migrants came to be seen as the saviours for small towns looking to employ people in their abattoirs, on their farms and in their small businesses.
And when, in November 1999, boats of illegal immigrants started arriving on Australian shores just about every second day, border protection became integral to building long term confidence in an organised immigration program ...
Ruddock knew better than to be swayed by hysterical emoting. His ministerial eye remained fixed on the long-term objective of securing mainstream community acceptance for increased immigration. Ruddock’s place in Australian political history will record that immigration grew every year after 1996, rising from 67,100 in 1997 to more than 142,000 in 2006. The fair-minded will call that a genuinely compassionate outcome.
... The appointment of Ruddock—one of four Liberal MPs to cross the floor of parliament to vote in favour of prime minister Bob Hawke’s motion against discriminatory immigration policies—signalled a commitment to non-discriminatory immigration policies. Under Ruddock, more than 80 per cent of Afghans and Iraqis were granted protection visas at the primary decision-making stage and the local Islamic community is more than 40 per cent higher than it was in 1996. Under Ruddock, Australia had one of the largest per capita refugee and humanitarian resettlement programs in the world. More compassionate outcomes accepted and supported by the community because they knew that Australia, not people smugglers, determined them ...
"As attorney-general from 2003 until 2007 ... over national security and anti-terrorism laws ... Ruddock once again steered a course to ensure community acceptance of laws needed to protect Australia ... concluding ... as the most successful terrorist prosecution this country has seen."Let's see, Cool Hand's government presides over increased immigration for 12 years. The increased Muslim population causes the need for new terror laws. Cool Hand delivers new laws and convinces us that they're a good thing but does not question the wisdom of an increased Muslim population, that would be uncool. The increasing Muslim population also spawns the Benbrika terror cells but, thanks to Cool Hand's laws, we have the "most successful terrorist prosecution". So he's digging holes with the left Cool Hand and filling them in with the right Cool Hand. Progressive dilemma solved?
"Ruddock neutralised the issue" that he created. What's even cooler is that, as the Muslim population continues to increase with Cool Hand's increased immigration, the number of successful prosecutions will increase! Although, to a fair-minded person, as your Muslim population increases, so also does the likelihood of successful terror attacks, and successful sharia creep, successful honour killings, etc. But it's not cool to talk about that. It's only cool to talk about Cool Hand's laws, not Cool Hand's increasing Muslim population. Why? Don't ask me, talk to the Cool Hand.
Surprisingly, Cool Hand, whilst still being cool, is then booted out of office. Not his fault, I'm sure, it's probably because of his evil boss:
When the Howard government lost office last year, he did the honourable team thing. Insisting on the need for party renewal, the father of the house went to the back bench. It was a shame the party allowed him to do that.Did Cool Hand misread a curveball?
The truth is that, while Howard did not change his spots much during the 33 years he represented Bennelong ... the demographics of Bennelong were transformed by migration ...Surely Cool Hand's visionary abilities saw it coming?
By 2001, almost one-fifth of Bennelong residents were Asian-born. More than 40 per cent of them speak a language other than English at home, which is more than twice the national average. The new Australians of Bennelong are not anti-Howard, but the point is they are not glued-on Liberals, unlike the WASPs they replaced.
"Any seat with more than 20 per cent of its voters born in non-English speaking countries at the 2006 census has a Labor sitting member today with one exception - Bennelong" ...So Cool Hand Ruddock was suicidal? How can that be? Don't ask me, talk to the Cool Hand.
So is the Liberal Party taking stock of the situation and slowing down immigration to preserve its long-term viability? Not at all. It's doing the very opposite. The current Government has almost doubled immigration over the last ten years to about 180,000 per year.
I'm starting to lose confidence in Cool Hand. Not only is he filling in holes he dug himself, but he's still digging bigger holes, and he's suicidal too! I'm starting to wonder if Cool Hand really did convince us that immigration was good. Maybe we were just mesmerised by his cool? If only super-cool Janet would have pondered some more questions, like: if Australians believe immigration is so good ...
- why is there still white flight from immigrant suburbs and schools?
- why do employers prefer Smiths?
- why is there segregation in our universities?
- why do most Australians think our refugee level is too high?
- why is there investor flight from immigrant suburbs?
- why do half of Australians in immigrant areas believe we have too many migrants?
- why do two-thirds of non-English skilled migrants fail to gain work in their fields?
- why do two-thirds in Britain fear race relations are likely to spill over into violence?
- why is there a bi-partisan call for net permanent immigration in Britain to be zero?
- is Europe headed for Islamification or civil war due to immigration?
- is the West headed for suicide or civil war?
- what lesson have we learned from Britain's knife crime?
- why are we still importing blacks when race cannot be transcended?
- how are we going to stop black savagery if we cannot talk about it?
- how are we going to stop no-go zones from developing?
- will liberalism really disappear up its own backside?
- does civic nationalism really have no future?
- have our nation's elite invited another group to come in and replace it?
- is the most catastrophic threat immigration not terror?
- do population imbalances endanger national sovereignty?
- when should I start hunkering down?
- if we are in a hole then why are we still digging?
- is this also a "primary decision-making stage"?
- how much does permanent residency cost?
- are we really a nation of halfwits?
- where can I live if I'm not an atomised and materialistic individual?
- how does immigration help our cities, threatened by the insecurity of water supply?
- is the economic benefit of immigration really 'chicken feed'?
- is it safe to leave your daughter in a hospital?
- should I always carry around cigarettes in case someone asks for one?
- can you leave your mother alone?
- can your daughter swim at the beach?
- can I hail a taxi?
- is this guy a "small town saviour"?
- is this what a slut now looks like?
- should our tourism slogan now be "where the bloody hell are you going to be killed?"
There are so many more questions I wished Janet would have answered. I'm sure you've got your own list too. Alas, Janet, Cool Hand, little Johnny, and now Chairman Rudd, will all remain enigmas who support immigration without ever answering these questions. I guess facts, of course, will never suffice for some. Although, I guess all those questions do sound a little hysterical. Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just not cool.