Tolerant for too long

Graeme Campbell
Independent Federal Member for Kalgoorlie

I base my views on immigration on three simple premises.

1. The only reason for immigration is its net value to Australia.

2. No government has the right to irrevocably change the ethnic make-up of a nation without the support of the nation. Because of the bi-partisanship of all major parties, the Australian people have never had a say in this matter.

3. I endorse entirely the words of John Stuart Mill when he said, "If a people do not have the right to decide with whom they share their country, they have no rights at all."

This is so basic I believe it requires no further elaboration.

Back in the 80's, after Blainey's crucifixion on immigration, I was censured in Parliament at the instigation of Hawke [then leader of the Labor Party] and Peacock [then leader of the Liberal Party] for my comments on immigration.

In February 1988, before the release of the Fitzgerald Report, before the formation of Australians Against Further Immigration, before John Howard's sensible remarks on Asian immi­gration, the Melbourne Age reported my criticism of the Labor government's immigration policy "... as too heavily favouring Indo-Chinese migrants ... Australia is not part of Asia ... ability to speak English to be restored ... we could be doing much more about training Australians" etc..

It has been a long haul since then, and a truly ironic one - having been ejected from the Labor Party in late 1995 for these mainstream views, re-elected in March 1996 on the basis of them, and now facing a One Nation challenge for my seat of Kalgoorlie when the thrust and direction of Pauline Hanson's maiden speech and subsequent policy platform was imparted to her from my office via a member on my staff whom I continued to pay for three months whilst he did it!

What the heck - the god of politics works in weird and wonderful ways!

The fact remains however, that if the intellectual class in Australia had openly and honestly supported both Blainey's and Howard's commonsense back then, all the media generated mudslinging and pseudo anti-racist cant of the last two years, all the polarisation could have been avoided.

Instead however, those who called the shots in the anti-Hanson propaganda decided that a 'race debate' was the enema we had to have. The naturally lingering fondness for a predominately white Australia and the consequent often polled suspicions about continued mass Asian immigration had to be urged from the gut of the majority.

Besides, keeping the debate milling around in these murky waters was better than risking the debate moving into matters of trade. As an aside, during the two and a half hours of voodoo incantations that passed for a debate on Hanson, our Foreign Minister said, "Free speech is all right, but you can't let free speech interfere with free trade." Then he realised what a stupid thing he had said and blustered that "no one here doubts the benefit of free trade and I am a fair trader not a free trader."

These people thought that if John Howard was caught short in the process, all the better, he deserved the embarrassment. After all, there were his remarks in '88; there were his quick cuts to immigration foreshadowed within weeks of winning office; his swift destruction of the Bureau of Immigration Multicultural Population Research; his dispatching of the Office of Multicultural Affairs out of the PM's department and his administrative clean-up of the corrupt shambles in which immigration had been left by Labor. And how dare he drum Mr 'We are part of Asia' Keating out of office anyway?

History and politics naturally intersect in all countries at all times, but seldom do the pre­eminent practitioners of both disciplines pair off in such per­fect ideological and chronological sequence and in such acute antipathy, i.e. Blainey is to Howard today, as Manning Clark was to Keating in the previous government.

Howard's high regard for Blainey is well known, as was Keating's eulogy at the time of Clark's death.

In March '89, professor Clark was speaking at the opening of the new ACTU offices in Canberra where he said, "I believe very strongly we must fight for the end of the Anglo-Celtic domination of Australia."

Since late 1996 our betters have been hectoring us about our parochial and remedial attitudes to what they consider to be the unalloyed joys of diversity-multiculturalism-multiracialism.

Many countries are further down this path and the following brief survey of recent specialist academic literature shows ethnically and racially diverse societies to be less car­ing societies.

It is more difficult to construct comprehensive welfare systems in multicultural societies than in homogeneous ones.

A draft World Bank Working Paper (6009) Public Good and Ethnic Divisions, prepared by Alesina Baqir and Easterly in 1997 saw the situation this way: "A multi-city study of municipal spending on public good in the United States showed the more ethnically or racially diverse cities spent a smaller portion of their budget and less per capita on public goods than did the more homogeneous cities. The effect occurred whichever group was in the majority."

Contrary to multicultural propaganda, ethnic and racial diversity retards economic growth, especially that kind originating from the public sector. It also tends to destabilise countries politically, with significant economic consequences.

A general conclusion is that ethnic diversity reduces economic performance indirectly by affecting public policy, political instability, and other economic factors. Ethnic diversity explains 28% of the growth differential between the countries of Africa and east Asia (i.e. the higher the diversity, the lower the growth rate).

Ethnic Chinese now control most of the Malaysian economy, resulting in resentment and political counter-measures on the part of the Malay population.

Malaysian ethnic harmony, such as it exists, is bought at the cost of political freedom and severe ethnic quotas which essentially repress the Chinese minority But without these controls, the native Malays would be completely dominated by the ethnocentric and industrious Chinese.

The same applies to Indonesia where the Chinese constitute only 3% of the population yet control more than 70% of the corporate economy. Despite residing in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries, the Chinese are still ethnically distinct. They do not readily assimilate.

Howard's dilemma is that although he is in tune with the feelings of mainstream Aus­tralia on immigration, multiculturalism and the Asianisation it has produced over the last 20 years, the big end of town on whose financial patronage his party is increasingly reliant, is itself increasingly internationalised, and less Australian orientated.

As a consequence it shows increasing disregard for the electorate's feelings on immigration (as evidenced by its constant calls for substantial increases) when those feelings clearly threaten expansion of economic activity related to sales, city and infrastructure expansion and the speculation immigration-induced population growth en­sures.

In short, big business (which is increasingly foreign owned) makes big profits from immigration.

The long term costs, e.g. government debt for infrastructure establishment, downward pressure on wages and conditions due to competition for employment with newcomers, strained public health and welfare systems, ethnic crime, urban congestion, environmental degradation and loss of social cohesion are borne by the increasingly powerless but expanding lower socio-economic segment of the public.

Australia must remain a predominantly white society as was the national will to federation in 1910. The introduction of a balanced zero net migration policy (15,000 to 30,000 per annum) in combination with a constitutional change to incorporate Citizens Initiated Referenda are both urgent and necessary prerequisites to that outcome.

In conclusion I can do not better than quote the Australian poet Mary Gilmore:

      "I have grown past hate and bitterness
      I see the world as one,
      Yet though I can no longer hate,
      My son is still my son.
      All men at God's round table sit.
      And all men must be fed.
      But this loaf in my hand,
      This loaf is my son's bread!

Printed in the September/October 1998 edition of National Focus (vol. 1, issue 4), p.10

Articles by Graeme Campbell