Sick and tired of Pauline being sick and tired…

It’s one of her favourite phrases, isn’t it?

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Bit of a stink in the last few days about what the government insists was an “error” in the Senate, that is supporting a motion “that it is OK to be white”.  Why this may not be OK is pretty bloody obvious, I would have thought, but you may care to see Business Insider on the subject: “But as it turns out, the exact phrase ‘It’s OK To Be White’ actually did have links to neo-Nazis – on several fronts.”

Pauline feels hard done by:

Ms Hanson says the backdown came after the government was “spooked”  by the Labor Party making connections between the motion and a Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi agenda.

“What a load of bloody hogwash!”

“This has got nothing to do with racism. This is about what is happening in our country.

“I’m white, and I’m proud of it….”

The other day I spooked a few friends on Facebook by publishing this selfie:

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I commented: “This got recycled in Quadrant, and I wasted my pension buying it to see what my old Sydney Uni classmate [Dyson Heydon] (1962-3) had to say.” The item is in fact a year old. It is Tory as, of course, and includes this observation:

But for present purposes let us remember the opening words of the Imperial Act which brought our Constitution into being:

Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble federal Commonwealth under the Crown…

Made me check and I found to my surprise this on the US Constitution:

Neither God or Jesus are mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Nor are they mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Satan also doesn’t show up. Colin McGinn was on Bill Moyers special series on Faith and Reason on PBS last night and mentioned that God is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

So I checked this morning and could not find God or Jesus or any of his disciples, or for that matter Satan, in the U.S. Constitution. I guess I just never looked that closely before because to hear all the debate from the right wing evangelicals and Bush conservatives I could have sworn it had to be there somewhere or what was all the fanatical noise about – like “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance….

Passing on, back to Quadrant, you might note on that cover The Ideology of White-Hatred. “‘Whiteness’—according to our leftist intelligentsia—is both the cause and the consequence of world domination by a conspiratorial elite.” Surprise, surprise!

Let me refer you to some of my old posts, the first from 2001!

In our school newsletter I had been running a series of articles dealing with racism, leading up to the International Day for the Elimination of Racism on March 21 2001. I received the following anonymous letter from a senior student. I would be interested in your responses. I would not normally publish an anonymous letter, but behind the anger and some serious misconceptions, I feel there is an intelligence that deserves respect. I have slightly abridged the letter, but kept true to the author’s views.

On March 2 2001 I received another very polite letter enclosing an American White Supremacist article taken from the Web, I have linked a counter-article by sociologist Caleb Rosado. Please consider….

The second, How Martin Krygier ambushed the Quadranters…, is from 2006.

There they all were on the 18th September celebrating Quadrant’s 50th anniversary, and there was Martin, son of magazine founder Richard Krygier, along with the venerable Dame Leonie Kramer, P P McGuinness (the current editor) and of course the sometimes dippy Duffy, all bent on lauding John Howard’s favourite magazine, in what may also be John Howard’s favourite radio show, with the possible exception of Alan Jones at breakfast on 2GB of course. And it was all going swimmingly until the last few minutes:

Michael Duffy: Martin, can I ask you the same question? Before 1989 Quadrant had a neat role, if you like, a very specific role. What is or ought its role to be? Or does it still have a role?

Martin Krygier: Here I’d part company with my colleagues on the panel. I think it has a very clear and enormously important role until 1989. The end of communism meant the end of an overarching enemy which was relevant at every political level. That meant that you could die and it wasn’t an ignoble thing to do, and that’s what happened with Encounter, or you could do something interestingly and individually different in a more complicated situation, and I believe that under Robert Manne that was being done. I think that more recently, in a way which is not completely as a result of recent trends, but I think that as a result of the culture…we’re a political culture that hunts in packs and there was a tendency once you’re sort of pushed to one side in popular polemics for Quadrant people to actually quite like the role of pariah and being the anti-pack pack. I think that that has continued with a vengeance over the Aboriginal issue and many other things in recent years and it has dismayed me and it’s why I’m not associated with Quadrant now. And I think that it’s…where things are complicated, where it could be that the opposite of a proper position is a foolish one, but that there are many possibilities, many complexities which one could explore, Quadrant seems to me to be a sort of radical simplifier which always finds somebody on the other side, whether they be politically correct (to use the phrase), to be contrarian with. And then people find themselves (or at least I find myself) forced between a pack and the anti-pack and not feeling particularly attracted to either. I think this spirit of dichotomies (I think often false dichotomies) has become dominant and I regret it.

Michael Duffy: We’ll have to leave it there but clearly things got a lot more complicated after 1989. Thanks very much to all of you for coming on the program.

Amen, Martin. But then I admired your 1997 Boyer Lectures too….

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4 thoughts on “Sick and tired of Pauline being sick and tired…

  1. Nice to see your “old Sydney Uni classmate” being quoted here – I know him reasonably well these days, and I’m sure he would be as disappointed in you, as I am, that you did not extend your quotation a mere couple of sentences:

    Those words reflected what the elite of the Federation generation saw as fundamental. They do not reflect what modern elites think. The public voices of modern elites are not humble. They conceive themselves to have entitlements and rights, not blessings.

    At least one of you absorbed something.

    • I think “Tory as” is a fair comment on the piece. I’m afraid I always am peeved by the “elites” moan that features in the addition you made; though I chose to ignore it in the post. When I was Jack’s (he was Jack then) classmate — and a nice guy he was to be sure — I was overawed rather by his height and even more by his elite background, my being just a poor scholarship boy from The Shire and the first in my family to go to Uni. I was also a member of the Evangelical Union — Jack wasn’t — and went on to a period of convinced Calvinism. I was even presented with a copy of Calvin’s Institutes for my 21st birthday by fellow Elders of Sutherland Presbyterian Church. Sometime around 61-2 we read large chunks of Edward Gibbon, including the famous Chapter 15 on Christianity. It took a while for its Enlightenment message to get through to me — years in fact, While that has its faults, it remains a great representative of the kind of Western thought Jack glosses over in that lecture, where his account of Christianity, with which I do not entirely disagree, is however remarkably utopian or tendentious. It is a stretch to see St Paul as a forerunner of later Western liberalism and democracy.

      I think both DH and I have absorbed quite a lot of what we sat through at Sydney Uni in 1961-2; indeed he went on in 1964 to First Class Honours and the University Medal in History. I did Honours English that year but learned what in retrospect was quite a lot of nonsense from Sam Goldberg — though he was inspiring — and the Leavisites. Oh, in 62 I did come first in Asian History. But of course no Rhodes Scholarship or ultimately becoming a Justice of the High Court.

      My purpose in this post was not to review Heydon’s lecture; however, I was intrigued by the fact that a late 19th century purely conventional citation of God in our Constitution contrasts with what one always thought must be in the US founding documents. I don’t think any construction about “modern elites” can be made from the bit I quoted. Looking at the US example though one may well come to conclusions about the Enlightenment and Deism among American elites at the time of the American Revolution.

  2. Oh, Kvd, why should Neil quote the entirety of Heydon’s piece? Or even the sentences you choose?

    After all, as Heydon goes on to imply, belief in blessings goes with belief in God. Come to think it is the very next sentence, which you don’t quote.

    Neil probably has that (albeit in a South Sydney Uniting Church kind of way). Must the rest of us?

    Neil, you did not need to part with any part of your pension to read ‘umble Dyson’s observations. That particular essay is (now at least) available for free online, and there’s always the library! Maybe you were just winding your [Facebook so ” “] friends up?

    Meanwhile, kvd, your slapdown of Neil as not having absorbed anything in DH’s and Neil’s shared classes circa 1961 seems not so different from the “elites” intolerance DH so decries in his Jeremiad, which so sportively ranges across chosen patches of history (Antioch, the Girondists, Nazi Germany, Israel and people not giving up their seats on trains) in a vein which surely you cannot deny is “Tory as.”

  3. Pingback: One thing leads to another … treasure! | Neil's Commonplace Book

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