As you have probably heard by now, Australia's general election of November 24 swept from power Liberal Party Prime Minister John Howard, who had held the office since 1996. It proved a triumph for his opponent, the Australian Labor Party's new and largely untested leader Kevin Rudd, who has a 27-seat majority in the federal parliament.
Among the election's issues: Iraq (to a very limited extent), the economy, tax cuts, national security, climate change, and quasi-generational change (Rudd is a youthful-looking 50 years old, Howard an increasingly tired-looking 68). Almost everything, in fact—except mass immigration, on which both candidates were locked in a bipartisan embrace.
Don't expect the average Australian newspaper editor to notice, let alone to challenge, this state of affairs. There is a reason why VDARE.COM has a disproportionately high number of Australian readers.
But, happily, one Australian noticed it—and not only noticed it but published a whole book devoted to it before the election campaign started.
Peter Wilkinson, editor of the quarterly Independent Australian, brought out The Howard Legacy: Displacement of Traditional Australia from the Professional and Managerial Classes (Independent Australian Publications, Post Office Box 8, Essendon 3040, Victoria, Australia, 2007, 170 pp). A past president of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute , Dr. Wilkinson comprehensively knows whereof he speaks.
The Howard Legacy is entirely unmarred by the crank-pamphlet Gestalt. Its author has concentrated severely upon number-crunching (Steve Sailer will enjoy reading this study). It bears no personal rancor towards the Chinese immigrants whose invasion he chronicles. When a government is foolish enough and short-sighted enough to roll out the welcome mat regardless of the possibilities for long-term assimilation, then, as Dr. Wilkinson says, "Who can blame people for taking advantage of these policies if they can?"
In table after table, diagram after diagram, Dr. Wilkinson explains the trends. Once John Howard first obtained office in 1996, he immediately cut back on immigration from all sources. In the 1995-96 fiscal year 99,139 immigrants were admitted; the annual total fell to 85,732 in 1996-97 and then to 77,327 in 1997-98.
But then it crept up after Howard's narrow victory in the 1998 election to a postwar peak of 107,366 in 2000-01. Another cutback followed this peak—the totals for 2001-02 and 2002-03 were respectively 88,900 and 93,914 immigrants. But by 2003-04 the total was ballooning again: in 2005-06 we had another postwar peak of 131,593. (A much more detailed statistical breakdown of immigrants' arrival patterns over the last decade can be found here. [Settler arrivals 1996-97 to 2006-07 Australia States and territories (PDF)])
To give Howard credit, he remained tough on illegal immigration, ever since his deeds in 2001. It was legal immigration that he encouraged and increased to record levels. But his 2001 success meant that his opponent declared his own opposition to illegal immigration, too. [Rudd to turn back boatpeople, By Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, November 23, 2007]
Australia is famously "girt by sea," and is a luckier country than the US with no shallow, fordable Rio Grande River for immigrants to cross. Illegal immigrants are thus a minor element in Australian demographics. The real problem will always be those immigrants the Government allows and encourages to immigrate.
Whence come these immigrants?
One thing for which we can be (slightly) grateful: in Australia, the U.S.-style family-reunification racket is no longer the juggernaut it was. Skilled migration has become much more prominent. There are even, mirabile dictu, attempts made to demand from skilled-migration candidates a certain proficiency in English. So far, so good.
But note how theory breaks down against the seemingly irresistible onrush of open-borders practice. Theoretically, as Dr. Wilkinson explains, overseas applicants for university study in Australia need to have passed Band 6 of the International English Language Test System (IELTS), which declares them to be "competent" in the tongue. But if a migrant is already here and wants the so-called Subclass 880 skilled-migrant visa, he need only pass IELTS Band 5. Two-thirds of those migrants who qualify for Subclass 880 are, in fact, stuck at the Band 5 stage. How very reassuring if you are forced to depend on them for preparing your tax return, or removing your brain tumor.
And yes, naturellement, however far behind the eight-ball the ethnic lobbyists might be at actually writing or uttering grammatical English, there is one word which they have perfectly mastered the art of pronouncing, to good careerist effect. That word is, of course, "racist".
Dr. Wilkinson takes us on a guided tour of the giggle-house now euphemistically known in Australia as "university education", with its zeal for handing out degrees to even the most inept foreign students. He quotes the surreptitious—and, necessarily, anonymous—confessions of the academics faced with such students: such as "I give them 51% to get them out of my hair", and "An audit demonstrated that it was almost exclusively international students who appealed against penalties."
The little darlings are impressively gifted in plagiarism also. Encouraged, no doubt, by the plagiarism-mania already flourishing locally at the highest levels, thanks to the likes of David Robinson, former boss of Melbourne's Monash University, who resigned after the third time he was caught committing plagiarism.
On and on it goes, with a particularly valuable rogues' gallery of modern Chinese-Australian legislators, few of whom could be trusted on any topic more controversial than tomorrow's sunrise. Most of them have nuisance value rather than anything more sinister. Some are downright amusing, such as one Peter Wong. Mr. Wong served in New South Wales' parliament (from the 1999 state election to the 2007 state election) as representative for an anti-Pauline-Hanson operation , only to fall out with the party's Jewish executive director by denouncing Israel.
The sole gallery member to make a national name for himself has been Melbourne's mayor John So , subject of a reverential rap ditty called "John So He's My Bro."
Mr. So's more or less total inability to speak English, despite having lived in Australia since 1964, is the stuff of Internet legend . It briefly threatened to derail his chances of obtaining the mayoralty, when that office was thrown open to popular election for the first time.
An opposing candidate, Peter Shepperd, bravely raised the matter of Mr. So's difficulties with the English language. Then, in Dr. Wilkinson's words, "The dreaded cry of 'racism' was raised and Shepperd withdrew from the contest."
Clearly, no one has dared tell Mr. So about Tom Lehrer's deathless epigram: "If a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is shut up."
VDARE.COM readers will already have encountered the saga of Australian law professor Andrew Fraser , suspended from Sydney's Macquarie University after he dared to question the prevailing utopian dreams of multiracialism. These ludicrous proceedings The Howard Legacy discusses at some length.
Dr. Wilkinson makes it clear—without actually saying outright—that the single most tragic element in modern Australian society is not the "racist" culture in which we are supposedly marinated, but rather, our complete lack of a First Amendment or anything like it. The anti-Fraser campaign was, after all, doing nothing more obscure than imitating the success of the lynching bee that 20 years earlier had forced the eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey out of his job.
Dr. Wilkinson's interests are not confined to the Australian scene. One book to which he repeatedly refers is Amy Chua's World On Fire, with its first-hand accounts of successful but locally detested Chinese in the Philippines, and its surveys of economically dominant but politically hounded market minorities (whether Chinese or other) elsewhere.
Malaysia has famously addressed the problems resulting from its own Chinese market minority by two methods:
1. mass murder, such as Kuala Lumpur's May 1969 anti-Chinese rioting, which remains off-limits for public discussion in Malaysia;
2. a racial quota system, which Prime Minister Abdul Razak formulated in 1971 to give preference to Malays in education and bureaucratic employment.
Dr. Wilkinson is not, need one say, advocating such anti-Chinese maneuvers by Australian rulers. But one does wonder how far Australian administrative Caucasophobia has to continue before alienated and marginalized whites start pining for a Malaysian-type solution.
Thus far, The Howard Legacy has been totally ignored by Australia's predominantly dopey Mainstream Media. Meanwhile, said media are happy enough to report with slavering enthusiasm such fatuous schemes as former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie's demand that the country's population be raised from 20 million to 50 million. And no, this is not an official bulletin from the Lyndon LaRouche brigade. This is reality, or what passes in Australia for same. ['We need 50 million Aussies', The Courier-Mail, September 04, 2007]
As for the November 24 election, its outcome combines with Dr. Wilkinson's text to inspire the hope that the Liberal Party will be euthanized altogether. (Already the Liberal Party has proved unable to control any state or territorial legislature since 2001.)
A good precedent exists for this collapse: the annihilation during the 1940s of the United Australia Party. Since this movement was little more than a shill for Big Business at its stupidest—and had forced from office Sir Robert Menzies, its one leader of stature—there was no point in trying to revive it after it had been clobbered at the 1943 general election .
Instead, Menzies had the insight (even before that election) to start a genuine conservative movement from scratch. The movement which he envisaged—and which, after 1943, he very largely effected—would avoid the UAP's dim-witted class warfare, and would focus on those whom Menzies himself called "The Forgotten People." In this respect, Pauline Hanson may prove to have been a harbinger.
Merely to read Menzies' remarks is to realize anew how unthinkable they would be, from any large Australian political organization's head, today. To find out exactly why they are unthinkable, we need look no further than Dr. Wilkinson's painstakingly assembled statistics.
R. J. Stove [send him mail] lives in Melbourne and is a Contributing Editor of The American Conservative. The views he expresses are his own.