Just a simple 70-something old patriot, me…

So let’s start with the National Anthem:

Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea:
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history’s page let every stage
Advance Australia fair,
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We’ll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

Seems quite a few of our modern self-appointed patriots and their groupies and hangers-on don’t subscribe to tosh like that. Last night I watched (until growing horror and nausea forced me to pull the plug) a weirdo we’ll call Adolf the Incredible Hulk on an ABC2/JJ forum called Hack Live. Back in 2015, by the way, The Hulk posted this fan-pic on his Facebook:

hulk

See that last comment from The Hulk himself? “There should be a picture of this man in every classroom and every school and his book should be issued to every student annually.” With three likes…

OK, so ABC2 decided to give the creep a forum last night. You can read their account:

Tonight’s show came a day after an Essential media poll showed that 49 per cent of Australians support a ban on Muslim immigration. So where did our panel stand?

First up, UPF leader [Hulk] got things going by saying that he believes Australians feel ostracized in their own country.

People who are proud to be Australian are “immediately made to feel racist, or uneducated bogans,” [Hulk]  said.

At this point he was – literally – dominating the debate…

Lawyer and community advocate Lydia Shelly [wearing a hijab] said [Hulk’s] far-right views and those of radicalised Muslims were like “two sides of the same coin.” but [Hulk]  wasn’t buying it. “I haven’t beheaded anybody, I haven’t killed anybody, so I think that’s a bit of a long shot,” [Hulk] said.

Former soldier who served in Afghanistan, Andrew Fox Lane, pointed out [Hulk’s] past convictions and his attitudes towards women that have been posted online. Andrew warned against a blanket ban on Muslim immigration and said the rhetoric around the debate has become too brash, and should be more pragmatic instead…

So not everyone on the show was a loony… Read these two reports on the program: Daily Mail and Pedestrian TV.

Truly – the bloke made some conspiratorial claims about who controls the migration of refugees, which was met with claims he believed in the Illuminati – but tbh, after he dropped that “so what”, it was game over.

Put simply, [Hulk] was given an audience tonight. He was given viewers. He was given everything he needed to put his case across… And he shat the bed with patently racist and nearly goddamned fascist ideas. He alienated anyone who might have wanted to understand his frothing fear of Islam, while only speaking to those who’ve already made up their minds…

I do fear for my country if these far-right terrorism fear-struck nutters like The Hulk dominate in the future. As I wrote on 15 September this year:

For example, The Revenant says her patriotism “will never be traded or given up for the mantras of diversity or tolerance. Australia had a national identity before Federation, and it had nothing to do with diversity and everything to do with belonging.” I on the other hand put diversity and tolerance at the core of my patriotism. I think “fair go” captures that. For more see my 2011 series Being Australian.

Multiculturalism in Australia is conditioned by compatibility with the citizenship pledge.

I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,whose democratic beliefs I share,whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.

There is scope there for 1,001 individual or cultural variations. Assumed is a sufficient degree of integration both for the welfare of the individual and for community harmony – but this depends above all on willingness to accept difference as part of our freedom as citizens.

Reject all self-styled “Patriots” and support  the better country we have been working so hard to bring into being.

Search here under patriot.

NOTE: In case you wondered, I use pseudonyms for certain individuals or groups to minimise my contribution to their ego-googling. I have no desire to add to their online presence more than is necessary in rejecting their ideas.

Update

Related reading: Peter Hartcher, Our new threshold of intolerance: Australia is on the cusp of a dangerous crisis.

… Turnbull has shown repeatedly that, while harsh on terrorism, he is an advocate for tolerance and unity. Shorten and Turnbull and all leaders need to protect this deep national equity. Yet we now know that this, while necessary, is not sufficient.

Australia is on the cusp of joining the West’s dangerous crisis of cohesion.

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