It must be said that mere name-calling is no form of argument, but it is really difficult to think of
Immigration Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews without simultaneously thinking po-faced plonker. My reason for that today is noting the first batch of on-line so-called Citizenship Tests have started, at God knows what expense. The Plonker is apparently now admitting it is actually an English test but fails to explain why this level of English — not to mention computer skills — is necessary (albeit desirable) for someone to be a perfectly functional Australian citizen. I have ranted on this before, as some of you know, under the rubric of “Trivial Pursuit”: you can’t possibly be an Australian citizen unless you know the country’s floral emblem. Really? Seriously?
I agree with Senator Allison:
And take note of this. This young Chinese man has more between his ears than the Plonker I suspect, and he is also honest and fair-minded. I take note of what he says about multiculturalism but would want to discuss it with him*, while agreeing with much that he says. I think like many he has misconstrued the idea somewhat:
What he does show in that video is that he does not need to sit for a Citizenship Test! He already has all the real understanding that anyone could ask of him, and more than many born here. His last point is spot on.
M would have failed back when he became an Australian citizen. I guarantee that. He may pass now. Meanwhile he has been a very successful and very productive Australian citizen for ten years. Go figure.
But we shouldn’t blame the Plonker entirely. The Garden Gnome is the real inspiration. Rarely has so much been spent by government with so little point or tangible outcome, except to demonstrate the discomfort people like The Gnome really have with diversity, with one qualification to that: the Book of Knowledge is rather good and should be freely available to all — in a range of languages.
* I would refer him, for example, to Pauline Webber’s Accent on otherness in the Weekend Australian. “Each speaks as one of us but with an accent that puts the emphasis in surprising places. Our cinema can only be the richer for the inclusion of such voices.”