Dick Smith has long been a Little Australia man, steady in his opposition to immigration. If anything, he's become more so in recent years, making videos, running a website, announcing a political party that had as its central tenet that immigration was a "giant Ponzi scheme" based on "perpetual growth". There's never been anything racial, discriminatory or bigoted about Smith's hostility to immigration -- it's based on his economic and ecological views. But when the cancer of One Nation has returned to the Australian body politic, and anti-immigration populism is surging across the West and here, you'd hope Smith -- who remains an iconic and influential figure for most Australians over 40 -- would choose his arguments and facts with care.
Alas, no. Joining Sky's angry white men last night, Ross "Sydney Morning Homosexual" Cameron and Mark Latham -- two former politicians masquerading as victimised outsiders -- Smith blamed immigration ("200,000 a year") for almost the entire housing affordability problem in Sydney, warned that continued immigration growth would lead to the impoverishment of "most people" and that the services sector didn't provide real jobs, merely "selling coffee to each other or doing nails".