Politics and activism


Rosa Lee Long, Queensland’s only sitting One Nation MP, was returned in her seat of Tablelands in the Queensland state election on Saturday.

I only mention this because she’s actually a distant (non-blood) relative of mine. On the Chinese side of my family there are a mass of Lee Long family members, and I understand Rosa is the widow of one of my dad’s cousins. The irony of a member of a party that is widely perceived as racist having been married to a Chinese man was not lost on the media, and her return even made the international media.

(Isn’t it funny how overseas media use the generic term “lawmaker” when talking about other countries Members of Parliament.)

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “Rosa”


I know this is a very hard subject to discuss, however I can give you my opinion as a new resident. I have read Hanson’s statement, and indeed it has a lot of racist content, however, there are a few points I have to agree with her (sadly). As you know, my country (Peru) was also invaded by the Spanish Conquerers. They killed a lot of aboriginal people, stealed from them and destroyed a beautiful culture. However, that is past now. My country, being poor as it is, give subsidies to people not based on their race, but on what they do. For example, if you are involved in agriculture, you get help. It is different to say “you only get help if you are an aboriginal that is involved in agriculture”. Several years have passed, and now we are all part of the same society.
about multiculturalism, Australia is beautiful because of that; however, many people don’t respect the way of living of the australians, and cover themselves with arguments like religion, tradition, etc. I have my own culture, but if that interferes with the life and laws of the australians, then I have to change, I can’t expect Australians to change because of me. I AM THE GUEST HERE.
A simple example, in my country it is usual to drive like a lunatic, and that’s the normal way of driving there. However, here I had to learn a lot of new road rules and respect them, I couldn’t expect Australia to endure my way of driving just because it is part of my “cultural background”.
If someone doesn’t want to adapt to the Australian rules, I think they are more than welcome to leave the country and go back to theirs.

Australia was built on immigration.

The aboriginals 40k or so years ago, then the europeans, then the Italians and refugees after WW2, then the asians, now the arabs and so on.. Each group complains bitterly about the next.

I guess my main complaint with Pauline and her ilk was just the level of ignorance. Australia will be a backwater in 20 years if we continue with the immigration numbers we are generating under Honest John. An ageing population, a workforce lacking skills and labourers is not a recipe for a profitable balance sheet for your fish and chips shop.

Did you know that the Tampa refugees are still not Aussie citizens? Probably it’s popular politics at it’s best but it’s just really dumb on every other level.

Ignorance is never pretty.

At some point I’m predicting that economic reality will overtake the redneck view that ‘immigrants take er jerbs! (our jobs)’ and we will need to open the gates for young skilled asians (please) to join our tax paying ranks.

And no it’s not important how long your ancestors have lived in this country. Lets think about the next century which could be critical for the future of our country and the globe.

Andrew, it is your sort of attitude that gets my goat. It’s all nice getting on your high horse about racism, but you haven’t given a single reason why you think why Hanson, One Nation, or it’s policies were racist. Daniel was carefull to say “widley percieved”, so he acknowledged that he doesn’t have any direct information.

I would suggest you don’t know of anything in her maiden speech or in One Nation’s policy that is racist. I think (as far as I recall) there was one comment/adjective in her speech and One Nation did have a white Australia like immigration policy. But their policies also stated that all Australian citizens shold be treated as equals.

Did you never think it strange how the media reported her as racist without ever pointing out a single racist statement, and that she alsways got very harsh treatment by all the mainstreem media except the ABC. If not, then I suggest you may as well give up on political opinion and stop describing people you know nothing about as ilk.

Martin not sure where you think I mentioned racism. The word ignorance was freely used however.

It’s an issue that is worth some debate perhaps, but If you read what I said you don’t appear to have understood it. Perhaps you think immigration and racism are interchangeable terms?

Hope the goat ride is good though! :)

Ermm sorry to have turned your blog comments into a potential soap box.

My point that we really need more young people to immigrate to Australia (regardless of what race they are or what they wear on their head) and we need to encourage our young smarties to stay. Kind of off topic somewhat.

Anyway thats enough from me, keep on blogging!

Andrew, OK you didn’t say racism anywere. And I guess it was not the main topic of you posting but I still think the references to “each complains bitterly about the next” and “redneck” refer to racism. I still hold with my comments about the media and the common perception of Pauline and One Nation.
And I almost feel like apologising for suggesting you were having a rant, except you did go off like a lot of people do about Pauline Hanson (mostly about racism or “Rednecks”) without really relating it to her. People with those sort of attitudes would no doubt be attracted to the party as would all except the hardest fo racists, but I still don’t see that as policies of the party.

And yes I have treated this blog as a soap box, but like you said you did it first.

The wikipedia article on Pauline Hanson nails it, based on my reading of her maiden speech – not a racist as such, but a nativist (basically, “don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are xxxxx. But the bastards don’t integrate, so they shouldn’t be let into the country”). Or perhaps, better described as a monoculturalist – she didn’t care about the colour of your skin, just the accent coming out of your mouth. If I recall correctly, the One Nation party seemed rather light on in intellectuals and trained administrators (economists, etc) – recall the “just print more money” quote? Some of the policies she expoused in her speech were just plain nuts. And like flies to honey…

I actually have some serious problems with the crap Pauline was spouting back then. And what was possibly even more damaging was the attitudes it sparked in some people. (For instance one person who emailed me, outraged that I dared to call my diary “Average Australian” because she thought I looked foreign.)

But yes, I did word my post carefully because it wasn’t a debate I wanted to research properly and take on this time round.

You guys go for it by all means though; just keep it orderly. :-)

Well ok if it’s alright :)

Yeh I feel that could be a fair enough interpretation ‘nativist’ (interesting new word). I really am not interested in race and perhaps Pauline never was either. Nativist, well thats fine with me.

Actually Josh said it pretty well I think. I wasn’t aware of the ‘print more money’ quote, but there were plenty of other examples of policies demonstrating an astounding lack of intelligence, awareness of history, base in reality and so on.

But I am getting off topic from my original off topic point which is: We need to rethink out immigration policy quickly in this country cos we have it all very very wrong at the moment imo.

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