Devine was in fine form yesterday with an Australia Day message on the failure of multiculturalism:

It is not the
“culturally diverse community, united by an overriding and unifying
commitment to Australia” as the Prime Minister, John Howard, put it in his
Australia Day address, which is being questioned, but a welfare-driven
ideology, corrupted by politicians chasing the ethnic vote, which has
encouraged separate identities.

That’s an
interesting – and very touchy angle.

in the week NSW opposition leader Peter Debnam told The Australianthat the state government’s “softly, softly” approach on Middle Eastern crime
was a direct result of Premier Morris Iemma’s reluctance to offend Lebanese
powerbrokers in his own electorate.

the same paper carries a report that NSW Police were “told not to antagonise Lebanese”:

A former policeman
and political adviser has admitted NSW officers are nervous about arresting
Lebanese offenders.

Geoff Schuberg, a
former assistant commissioner and later adviser to former police minister
Michael Costa, has contradicted Premier Morris Iemma’s claim that his
Government was not soft on Middle Eastern crime.

Mr Schuberg told
The Australian that Police Commissioner Ken Moroney had allowed himself to
become a political pawn, attending press conferences with Mr Iemma to announce
police initiatives to boost the Labor Government’s standing…

If that’s
the case, then it’s profoundly anti-democratic.

debate is uncomfortable enough when conducted at a law and order or ethnicity

But it’s
more than that. If police – the people who uphold the authority of the state
granted to it by its citizens – turn a blind eye to behaviour that flouts that
authority by one particular group, more than the law is undermined. Democracy

If we’re
saying the unsayable in this debate, let’s say it all.