May 13th 2006

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Twilight for Australia's fishing industry?

EDITORIAL: Race riots reveal China's hand in Oceania

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Defence - incompetence and bungles galore

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: A political vacuum waiting to be filled

POLITICS: WA Liberals, Nationals in self-destruct mode

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Darfur tragedy / Not all the world loves a soldier / Judicial politics / When half a glass is half empty

SCHOOLS: Great books trashed by radical teachers

RAILWAYS: A transport revolution for Australia?

ENERGY: US opens new ethanol plant every 10 days

ABORTION: National senator's key role in RU-486 fiasco

FAMILY: Co-habiting couples and child neglect

NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION: Could US-India nuclear deal undermine security?

Chinese slave labour and state-sanctioned murder (letter)

RU-486 abortion drug 'deeply scary' (letter)

Motherhood devalued (letter)

What about jobs for men? (letter)

BOOKS: GENTLE REGRETS: Thoughts from a Life, by Roger Scruton


Books promotion page


by Kevin Ivens (reviewer)

News Weekly, May 13, 2006
Organise or perish?

by John P. Kennedy
Sydney: Cushoni Pty Ltd
Paperback: 75 pages
RRP: $17.00 (incl. postage) *

* Copies of the book may be purchased by sending a $17 cheque (incl. postage) to Cushoni Pty Limited at 7 Ilford Road, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086.

John P. Kennedy, a Sydney Certified Practising Accountant and solicitor - once a leading figure in the NSW Democratic Labor Party - speaks of the cohesiveness and organisational strength of a number of non-European migrant groups. By comparison, European Australians suffer the political disadvantage that they never care to see themselves as a separate cultural group in their own right.

Kennedy warns that, if European Australians don't emulate other cultural groups by banding together, nurturing their traditions and acting as a community, they risk losing their culture altogether.

Kennedy's book is nothing if not controversial. But, in case readers should be tempted to take offence at the author's political program, it should be remembered that it is our politicians who initiated ethnic separatism in the first place, with their vote-buying rhetoric about multiculturalism - a policy about which Australian voters were never consulted.

It could be logically argued that, since politicians persist in encouraging ethnic differences in this way, it would be foolish for any migrant group not to organise to make itself heard and pursue its collective interest.

Kennedy proposes establishing a sort of European Australian Association that would be democratic, federal in structure and based on voluntary membership. It should complement, not supplant, existing European ethnic communities, and should not succumb to a selfish, inward-looking tribalism.

The question the reader will ask: is this really the best, or only, program that European Australians can pursue?

Identity politics and ethnic separatism, one suspects, may often be a reflection of a general public distrust of governing institutions.

A better and more lasting solution would be to campaign for greater probity and accountability in public life, and the upholding of the principle of equality before the law.

In this way, migrants, wherever they come from, will be more likely to assimilate, to give their primary allegiance to Australia, and to take a greater pride in our country's institutions and values.

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