So Peter Costello has lashed out at “mushy misguided multiculturalism,”
warning that Australian values are “not optional” and that migrants who do not
share them should be stripped of their citizenship in a hard-hitting speech to
The Sydney Institute.

It’s wonderful to see the Treasurer swinging his
support behind the spanking new $180 million “So where the bloody hell are you?” tourism
marketing campaign. That’s
copping some stick today for being a bit too outre ocker.
Advertising experts have claimed the crass approach will colour perceptions of
Australian trade overseas.

Just like Cossie’s comments. They might be good
domestic politics for him – remind his colleagues that he’s not just some reconciliation-walking,
republic-voting pinko – but they’re crap economics. And that’s what he’s
supposed to concentrate on.

Michelle Grattan describes the remarks as “unnecessarily
confronting”:

In the globalised
world, it sounds simplistic to maintain that “the fact that you have moved
to Australia says
that there is something about Australia that
you want to embrace that you do not find in your country of birth”. Of
course, as became obvious, Costello had in mind not sophisticated globalised
workers, but Muslim migrants.

And
there’s the rub. The Ted Bullpitts the Treasurer was pitching at aren’t exactly strong participants in the global
economy. They’re not participants in much – other than whining. These pillars
of “Australian values” don’t have much to offer beyond the odd “So where the
bloody hell are you?”

Peter
Costello might like to compare their contribution to the wealth of the nation with
that of some bloody kikes and wogs and ethnics – say Frank Lowyand Gus Nossal,
for starters.

Unless he’s more concerned with his chances of
becoming prime minister than he is with the national economy.

Peter Fray

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