Chewin' the Gristle


Hello Gristlers! and welcome to Chewin’ the Gristle, the week’s political bits that we found hard to swallow.

In this, the season of peace and goodwill, the true human face of Christmas has come to the fore and apparently it’s White.


Last week, saw the return of Pauline Hanson  and this week, the Party that expelled her and then spent years making her mainstream, got working again to ensure that she wasn’t left hanging.

The week was framed by the recent death knell for Multiculturalism. Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration Andrew Robb has recently called for an end to this patently silly concept, and this week John Howard was out and about doing the eulogies. I think John represented the views of all ‘right thinking’ Australians when he said he prefers ‘Unity over Diversity,’ which is roughly akin to saying I prefer ‘the colour blue over a drive in the country.’

The only problem is that, if diversity is out, then we may have to all become five foot eight suburban lawyers from Kogarah on the other hand, we would all then be far more successful than we deserve to be.

Just to ensure that Multiculturalism is actually dead, the Federal Government has announced a new test for suitability to be an Australian Citizen. Anybody looking to become a citizen will need to answer 30 questions designed to ensure that they are not un-Australian. According to reports, the test will include questions on Australian landmarks and the history of Indigenous disadvantage so if you know where the Big Banana is and are familiar with the term ‘Black armband’ you should be OK.

Predictably, the debate has not passed without the word ‘mateship’ getting a run. As best as we can tell, this is a uniquely Australian concept eloquently described  by Howard on ABC Radio as:

a great Australian concept, it’s a concept of everybody pulling together in common adversity. It’s a concept of treating people according to how you find them and not according to the colour of their skin.

Yep, uniquely Australian. You won’t find those values anywhere else in the world. Thanks mate!

Thanks to Bill Leak

While we’re on all things multicultural (or the concept formally known as ), this was not a good week for Young Australian of the Year and all-round community leader Iktimal Hage-Ali. The young leader was apparently questioned by police in relation to a drug dealing ring. She wasn’t actually charged with anything but this wasn’t going to stop NSW Premier Morris ‘Teflon’ Iemma from dropping her quicker than you can say ‘State Election.’

At last count, Hage-Ali had taken ‘mutual leave’ from her job with the NSW Attorney-General’s Department and stood down as Young Australian of the Year, all because she had assisted police with their enquiries. The moral of this story, of course, is if you are in the public eye and the police want to talk to you, you should run away. You may be a fugitive but at least you can keep your job.

The face of this week’s ‘bugger global, only locals’ campaign was provided by Tamworth City Council. Yes, the home of the Tamworth Country Music Festival has clearly been watching Cronulla and tuning their ears to Ipswich (Hanson‘s, not the Ripper’s) with their decision to reject an offer of funding from the Department of Immigration to resettle five Sudanese families.

The local Mayor, James Treloar, perhaps looking to land a future job in Federal politics, has taken a strong and courageous stance against the families. ‘Ask the people at Cronulla if they want more refugees,’ he thoughtfully stated, adding that apparently there is tuberculosis and polio in Sudan and we can’t trust DIMIA to screen those things. We are not sure if Councilor Treloar is a personal friend of Ms Hanson, or just a fan.

When Tamworth won the ‘Best Western Friendly Town Award’ last month, who would have guessed it actually meant that they are friendly only to people from the best Western countries.

Finally, and not race related, the army has come out with assurances this week that they look after their weapons after nine anti-tank rocket launchers went missing. In a strong response, the NSW Police Minister John ‘Where’s Wally’ Watkins has been on the job, firmly stating that we must stop rocket launchers being stolen from the military. Good to see the long tradition of genius NSW Police Ministers continues.

Police will not confirm whether these weapons have been stolen as part of an escalating ‘Christmas Decorations’ war in the notorious ‘Candy Cane Lane’ in suburban Sydney.

Merry Christmas to all Gristlers, and to all a good night.

You can catch the Gristle on Radio 2SER 107.3 in Sydney or on the web at every Friday evening from 6:00 to 6:30.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.