To think Australia have really gone and done it now?? Shocked and disgusted.

(342 Posts)
NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 17:39:17

Australia have removed themselves from the UN Refugee Convention.

here...this happened only today

They've basically decided that ANY refugee coming to Australia on a boat will now be "processed" on one of their offshore Manus Island where there have been numerous suicide attempts and conditions are DREADFUl with people slepeing in places with no doors or in metal storage containers...this is in HIGH heat.

I am shocked. And disappointed... we are talking about refugees here. People already traumatised and lost. The places they're being sent to now are already under investigation for their disgusting conditions.

HollyBerryBush Thu 16-May-13 17:41:21

They are strict on immigration, not a soft touch. I can't think of anywhere in the world that is currently a war zone that would have Australia as it's first port of call, which is where refugees are supposed to go, to the first safe haven and claim asylum.

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 17:43:11

Not surprised they were trying to get out of taking refugees back in 2001 when there were boat loads of their shores - it is pretty disgusting behaviour

GoodbyePorkPie Thu 16-May-13 17:45:09

It's awful sad

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 17:45:53

It is disgusting and it's doing nothing to dispel the rumours of racism in Australia. I love DDs are half Aussie....I feel sad about this.

GoodbyePorkPie Thu 16-May-13 17:47:17

But I can't say I'm shocked after Australia's treatment of past refugees - eg the Tampa incident.

Shallishanti Thu 16-May-13 17:48:12

that is truly shocking

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 17:49:17

There is talk of diseases such as malaria and typhoid being rife on Manus...none of the sleeping areas have doors and so families have no privacy. The heat there is intense and can you imagine door to keep the heat out......this is Papua New Guinea we're talking about...they've got little children living in these conditions and won't admit it.

vivizone Thu 16-May-13 17:49:30

That country has a ugly ugly history and they're in no hurry to clean their image. All the money in the world and I still wouldn't spit on it let alone touch it. Yuck.

MamaMumra Thu 16-May-13 17:52:13

Terrible but not surprising unfortunately.

TidyDancer Thu 16-May-13 17:55:46

Gosh that's awful.

My experience and friend's experience of intense bigotry in Australia makes its very much not surprising though.

Longdistance Thu 16-May-13 17:56:17

It doesn't surprise me tbh. They can't even have their peace with the indiginous people of Australia. They continually balls it up.

I laugh when they say its a new nation, new country. Utter rubbish, there were people already living here, you just decided it was nice,and tried to kill all the locals.

I'll get off my soap box now.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 17:57:42

Didn't Australia start out as a British prison colony? Didn't British authority sell Australia bit by bit to British settlers and throw natives out of their land?

Whose fault is Australia's ugly history, I wonder?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 17:58:23

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NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 17:59:15

Cote it did yes....but those British people who did that were from another century. Their least the ones in Britain have moved on. Shame the same can't be said for those in Oz.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:01:05

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to "move on" in regions with huge historical injustices.

Look at Israel and the Palestinians.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 18:04:29

You can't compare Israel to Australia.

MomsNetCurtains Thu 16-May-13 18:06:24

Woah. Less of the stereo typing of an entire country please! Red necks? I'm British but live in Oz - not every Aussie is racist; plenty are disgusted by these actions.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:06:39

What does "British people who did that were from another country" mean?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 18:07:15

Yes...rednecks. Not ALL of them but really. This is what they will appear as to the rest of the civilized world.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 18:07:34

Cote...another CENTURY.

MomsNetCurtains Thu 16-May-13 18:08:22

Then I assume you are a chav.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:08:29

Why can't I compare Israel to Australia, if there are similarities in the way the native population was treated by the newcomers?

Is it because I might be called "anti-Semite" if I say anything at all that is not positive about the Israeli state, whereas Australians are apparently fair game?

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 18:08:42

it says century not country

iPadTypo Thu 16-May-13 18:08:43

I am Aussie and I am not a redneck. Please stop being racist. Just because we are white does not make it ok to slag us off.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 18:09:15

My children are Aussie and my DH is Ausse iPad. I'm not racist.

SarahAndFuck Thu 16-May-13 18:09:27

"What does "British people who did that were from another country" mean?"

It was "another century" not "another country".

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 18:10:11

struggling to understand cote - what do you mean?

MomsNetCurtains Thu 16-May-13 18:10:12

OP You are being racist. It makes you appear as ignorant as you stereo type Aussies to be. Massive fail.

Circaea Thu 16-May-13 18:11:17

Whilst I don't agree with the approach to asylum seeker processing that Australia is taking, you do need to get your facts straight:
- wiping out most of the east coast aboriginal tribes was done by the British
- terra nullius was declared by the British
- arguably, racism against people who aren't white is a very British trait that Australia has inherited as a primarily British-origin country. Birmingham riots or UKIP for example. Ask the average immigrant in Britain whether they've experienced bigotry and see how many say no. I have friends who've experienced horrible racism, as in many countries in the world.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:11:23

Ah, that makes more sense Neo smile

As I said before, grave past injustices have a way of carrying conflicts across centuries. Just like what we are seeing between Israel & Palestinians.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:12:21

What is it you don't understand, ivy? Let me know and I will explain as best I can.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 18:12:33

Massive Fail doesn't really mean much when I'm looking at such actions Momsnets. I just think that saying they seem to be a country of Rednecks is a fine way to describe a country which has done this.

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 18:12:52

so due to the convicts having a grave past - their descendents have stopped taking in refugees?

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:14:15

"Momsnets"? Is this your first day on MN?

MomsNetCurtains Thu 16-May-13 18:14:57

You really can't see how sweeping a statement that is and makes your complaint about Australia redundant?! Ok then.

rootypig Thu 16-May-13 18:15:13

I don't think it's racist to say a country must collectively take responsibility for its government's actions, on some level. But to call it a "country of rednecks" is not defensible, and is only going to get people's hackles up, OP.

MomsNetCurtains Thu 16-May-13 18:15:15

No Cote, is it yours?

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 18:15:31

australia - not Australians

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 18:16:05

Cote has been here years and years grin

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:17:40

No, ivy, obviously that is not what I meant.

I was replying to vivizone's "That country has a ugly ugly history", which should be obvious if you read my post below:

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 17:57:42
Didn't Australia start out as a British prison colony? Didn't British authority sell Australia bit by bit to British settlers and throw natives out of their land?
Whose fault is Australia's ugly history, I wonder?

Catsnotrats Thu 16-May-13 18:17:59

I'm also Australian and am completely horrified by this latest development. It really upsets me that my own country can be so dismissive of people's basic human rights. I was brought up in a multicultural neighbourhood and was taught in absolute racial equality (including for indigenous Australians). It really upsets me when I see this not being carried out by my fellow citizens.

However I take exception to some of the comments generalising about Australians. Yes some are 'rednecks', but I'm not and neither are any of my family or friends. Vivizone I found your remarks particularly offensive.

rootypig Thu 16-May-13 18:18:10

Cote I think you need to slow down and read more carefully! she's talking to the poster MomsNetCurtains....

I lived there for two years, I'm not surprised.

TattyDevine Thu 16-May-13 18:19:14

I am Aussie. I have been here 15 years, so have spent nearly as much time here as I did there - I left when I was 21.

There is more "racism" or at least "bigotry" there than there is here. Considering also the population there, this is worrying. However, without justifying it, they only got rid of the "white Australia policy" in the 1950's, there have been all sorts of problems and social issues surrounding the indigenous peoples, the economy has been fragile, etc, all which have contributed to it.

Not justifying it at all.

We are all just one natural disaster away from being refugees.

I am saddened by this. There has been a "boat people" thing happening since before I moved here. It does sadden me. I'm not necessarily a Guardian Reading Leftie Socialist but nor am I a redneck, nor are many. Not sure what's gone out of touch. But Julia Gillard and anyone else in power needs to live with this decision.

TeddyBare Thu 16-May-13 18:21:44

I think this is really terrible. Rich countries claim they can't afford to take in refugees. How do they expect 3rd world countries to manage it?! It just results in the rich and privileged of the world turning their backs on the most vulnerable because helping them survive might mean a few less luxuries.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 16-May-13 18:22:13

It is not helpful or accurate to compare Australia to Israel hmm

What actually happens in the process of processing people? Is it likely that these refugees will be only be there temporarily?

I don't see the problem with processing people offshore. I wish we could do the same, then we wouldn't have so many people unaccounted for with no real idea of how many people are actually in our country. The problem is with the conditions people are kept in. I don't think a lack of doors for privacy is a huge issue, but people do need to be protected from the elements.

HollyBerry makes a valid point. Refugees are supposed to claim asylum in the first safe country, not the country that they like the idea of living in the most.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 18:23:09

I was quoting OP who said "Momsnets". It looked like she was trying to say "MumsNetters" smile

I'm unlikely to be more focused before DC go to bed, unfortunately.

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 18:25:49

I had read that post cote - and thought you were blaming the British with the comment, sorry still confused but possibly me not being with it - as you were

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 18:27:31

Ok I am sorry for saying Rednecks. I never thought it through. Not a nice expression at all and I wouldn't use it in RL so I shouldn't here just because I am angry.

imip Thu 16-May-13 18:29:04

I'm Australian, and this is deeply embarrassing. Unfortunately, a load of people will now mistakenly believe that all Australians are racist....

I have lived abroad for 10 years. While I have concerns about a very vocal racist element, this kind of thing is just perpetuated by the federal government. I know lots of very lovely Australians who are not at all racist.

It is true that the only 'successful' example of genocide was committed against the Tasmanian aboriginals. The treatment of the aboriginal people is a stain on 'modern' australian history. On the other hand, in my hometown of Melbourne, waves of immigrants from Greece, Italy and Vietnam; among others; have added to the diversity of the town and give the city part of its character.

I wish the government was more accepting of people fleeing appalling conditions and seeking a new life. There used of be more of a 'fair go' culture in Australia. However, we are not all racist rednecks. That's just the Federal government sad.

Moominsarehippos Thu 16-May-13 18:29:26

I have yet to find a nation who hasn't got any racism (or startling ignorance) - white, black brown or otherwise, so you can't blame the brits for racism, they didn't invent it.

Australia has a reputation for being hard to enter - legally or otherwise. Most Aussies I've met have been fairly pleasant folks, hardly BNP types. As usual, a government comes up with some looney law and the rest of the world makes assumptions.

thezebrawearspurple Thu 16-May-13 18:29:54

They've had a lot of problems with a few groups who refuse to integrate and create lots of social problems, as have other countries, they're doing something about it. That's their right.

GoodbyePorkPie Thu 16-May-13 18:36:42

"They've had a lot of problems with a few groups who refuse to integrate and create lots of social problems, as have other countries, they're doing something about it. That's their right."

That is an entirely separate issue from refusing someone humanitarian aid.

Cookiewise Thu 16-May-13 18:43:27

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zoobaby Thu 16-May-13 18:48:33

What clouds said.

Plus... You hear the argument almost daily about UK leaving the EU or withdrawing from the Euro Human Rights Court. It's all about the government making it's own decisions when and how it suits rather than having someone there to say "you can't do that".

Why can't/shouldn't countries look after their own interests?

Anyone see the Stacey Dooley documentary (yes hardly high brow I know) about the way the USA treats Mexicans trying to enter illegally? I mean they actually hunt those guys down with choppers and guns.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 16-May-13 18:56:24

Cookiewise hmm

What a load of bollocks.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 16-May-13 19:07:05

Evening all
Just a reminder of our talk guidelines for anyone who needs them.
Thanks ever so

RealityQuake Thu 16-May-13 19:08:30

There are many countries around the Pacific Rim in crisis which Australia would be a logical first port and the peoples in crisis of those nations won't know how dangerous it is to try to land there until it is too late.

Also, Australia's dark history is not from another century, it is not something to move past. Aboriginal Australians were considered fauna (animals) until 1967. Until then it was practically impossible to be done for murdering an aboriginal person and they were kept as slaves, in chains (because it isn't slavery if it does to an animal). That's only 46 years ago (and it didn't stop right away when they were recognized as human). This is living memory, people still alive today went through that, people still alive today did that to them. This isn't medieval history, this is modern history. The Aboriginal Australian nations have their interests mostly ignored and no say in this. I think the international community should make it clear to the Australian government how disgusting this is.

imip Thu 16-May-13 19:13:07

zebra unfortunately, I think your view is one that many Australians share. I was arguing with my mil about Somalians. She said how they shouldn't hang around in gangs and should integrate. I said that that must be hard when your country has been divided into two tribes who massacred ech other mercilessly. You've lived in a country that has no civil society. How do you ever attain the skills to 'integrate'. I think the focus in Australia should be on helping people to come to terms with their past, and helping them to live fulfilling futures.

Refugee children are held in detention. What kind of start is that to life?

Personally I hate the fact that boat people come to Australia. Or any other country for that matter. I wish that their country's were lovely places to live. Thriving societies, not dictatorships run by a few power hungry people.but that's not the case....

inabeautifulplace Thu 16-May-13 20:34:56

"It is true that the only 'successful' example of genocide was committed against the Tasmanian aboriginals."

Yup, committed by European settlers IIRC?

"Aboriginal Australians were considered fauna (animals) until 1967. Until then it was practically impossible to be done for murdering an aboriginal person and they were kept as slaves, in chains (because it isn't slavery if it does to an animal)."

I'm sure there are many better versed in Australian history on here, but that seems a remarkable claim. Do you have a source?

zoobaby Thu 16-May-13 20:47:02

Some people have rightly pointed out that Australia's treatment of indigenous people is awful. However, as was said up thread (I may be wrong, but perhaps this is what Cote was talking about), the entire society, culture and government is based on the British system. Everything that it has become is due to its British beginnings. It was colonised by Britain, its govt is the Westminster system, all of its views were established by British settlers (both convicts and free settlers) and it still has the Queen as Head of State. Australia was settled in 1788 and became independent in 1901, only 112 years ago. I bet some UK shops have cheese for sale that's older than that!

Australia is incredibly insular - it's due to a thing called the tyranny of distance. Australia has never been forced to reach out the way that the countries of the EU were. It has never experienced wave after wave of invasion over millenia and it has never experienced the horror of war, EVER.

Instead it has been left alone to simmer in its isolation and security. Throughout its very short history, it has been incredibly isolated from the rest of the world. International travel is a modern invention, it tooks weeks by boat, so people who went there stayed. They developed ideas and those ideas were perpetuated by subsequent generations.

Ever hear of the "Ten Pound Poms"? They were British settlers (lots of Italian and Greek people went at the same time) who were assisted by the govt to relocate to Australia after World War Two.

Yes, there was the White Australia Policy. People with predominantly British/European ancestry wanting newcomers to be similar to them. Don't forget that this was the era of Communism... reds under the beds and all that. They were suspicious of other cultures and simply going on what they knew. Can you blame them?

The Australian Prime Minister was born in Wales. That's the Wales you'll find on the map to the left of England.

Australian society is evolving and catching up to the rest of the world. Just slowly.

GoodbyePorkPie Thu 16-May-13 20:47:23

inabeautifulplace it's absolutely true. I'm on my phone right now and can't google but google the 1967 referendum which finally allowed Aborigines to be 'reclassified' as human beings.

zoobaby Thu 16-May-13 20:51:59

In relation to Australia's treatment of indigenous people... look up the lega term "Terra Nullius"... which was proclaimed by... yep, you guessed it.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 20:58:06

Zoo it's very far removed from UK culture now....and as for them never experiencing the horror of war...they certainly lost enough men in the second world war. They also went through rationing and poverty in the 30s before that.

We've all moved on a lot from those many ways, the UK is far from perfect but we've prided ourselves on welcoming people of all nationalities for a very long time....and we continue to do so, integrating as best we can and as imaginatively as we can. I wish the same could be said of Oz.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:02:05

But why is it wrong to be strict about allowing immigrants into your country. Why is it wrong to want to retain all your own traditions and ceremonies and not have to have them changed because there are a lot of other cultures overtaking your own.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:03:02 you know the difference between REFUGEES and IMMIGRANTS?

GoodbyePorkPie Thu 16-May-13 21:04:06

Fluer we're not talking about immigrants and immigration policy. We're talking about the humanitarian act of taking in refugees from war torn countries.

Not sure why your own traditions and ceremonies would even be changed by immigration in the first place but that's another discussion.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:04:08

AND Fluer....Australia was built on newcomers...a country of IMMIGRANTS who stole the land from those whose right it was.

And now they cannot accept people fleeing war torn countries....REFUGEES who have seen terrible things in terrible circumstances and who are running for their lives.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 16-May-13 21:10:50

There is a very distinct difference between refugees and immigrants, obviously, but presumably that's why they want to process people before they get to the mainland.

I might be being very naive, but there's a reason I asked about what happens during processing. I'd have thought that if people are found to be genuine refugees, then they will be allowed to go to the mainland. If not, then the Australians have simply prevented illegal immigrants from entering their country.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:11:23

Will the refugees end up staying there though?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:13:53

Clouds I think that there are people who end up there for years.

Here is a link to a FB page...Im not sure if it is "official" in anyway...but there is lots of information on there.

Spaghettio Thu 16-May-13 21:14:16

Well said zoobaby

zoobaby Thu 16-May-13 21:14:31

This is quite true/humorous.

Seriously though Neo what about the people who sit over in those camps in Calais just waiting to cross to the UK? What do you think about those folk?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:18:15

Zoo...nobody is making them stay there though are they? Those aren't refugees I thought?

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:18:23

Australia was built on Britain sending prisioners there to do the hard labour and because British prisons were too full and they could no longer send them to America because America had become independent. But since then Australia has become a country of proud people who are "Australians" and quiet different to British. They want to keep their country from becoming overrun with immigrants ( or refugees). This country has suffered because of immigration and is losing its own identity.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:19:58

Just seen that in fact they ARE refugees in the makeshift camp in Calais....the French government have a duty to see that they are looked after....and the British to ensure they are seen by officials.

It's a bad situation....but it's not that they are forcibly detained there.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:21:23 have only just learned the difference between a refugee and an immigrant...but you've not learned it well so I reiterate...they're not the go on and ask whoever it is told you what you've just quoted...ask them to explain again.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 16-May-13 21:21:30

I am absolutely not condoning this but in a similar way, the US is the only country in the world (except Somalia and South Sudan) that has not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Where's the outrage on behalf of these children?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:22:33

Wibbly it's a good point but it's another thread.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:23:37

Explain what Neo???

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:27:08

Of course I know the difference between refugees and immigrants but refugees often end up staying in the country that has given them refuge.

inabeautifulplace Thu 16-May-13 21:31:30

GoodbyePorkPie, here are a few quotes from the Wikipedia article:

"It is frequently stated that the 1967 referendum gave Aboriginal people Australian citizenship and that it gave them the right to vote in federal elections. Neither of these statements is correct. Aboriginal people became Australian citizens in 1949, when a separate Australian citizenship was created for the first time *(before that time all Australians, including Aborigines, were "British subjects").*"

So just to be clear, Aborigines were not legally classed as animals, they were British subjects until 1949, then Australian citizens.

"Section 127 was wholly removed. Headed "Aborigines not to be counted in reckoning population", it had read:

In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted.
This section should be read in conjunction with Section 24 and Section 51(xi). The section related to calculating the population of the States and Territories for the purpose of allocating seats in the lower house of the federal parliament and per capita Commonwealth grants. *The context of its introduction was to prevent Queensland and Western Australia from using their large Aboriginal populations to gain extra seats or extra funds.*"

From what I read, counting Aboriginal people in the census has been really important in a wide range of social improvements for them, so it's shameful that they were omitted for what appears to be financial reasons. I can't see how it equates to them being treated as slaves though.

imip Thu 16-May-13 21:31:53

Yes beautiful place it was indeed European settlers that were responsible for the genocide of the Tasmanian aboriginals.

Hoping I have my australian and NZ history correct here and am happy to be corrected on the NZ bit, but James Cook signed the treaty of Rarotonga with the Maoris in NZ, a legal treaty essentially buying land in nz I think. As someone has already pointed out, Australia was declared terra nullus. Because the indigenous tribes lived nomadically, cook argued that no one owned the land, and therefore it was British soil. It is systemic racism towards the indigenous people.

I am sure this is still the case that refugees in Australia must live in detention until they are granted residency or returned 'home'. This includes children. Happy to be corrected, very happy, actually...

I love my country. Am the child of a ten pound immigrant. Lots of lovely, tolerant people living in a diverse society. There is lots of racism. But I would hate for that to define us.

Just to correct a point upthread, there was fighting in Australia during ww2. Darwin was bombed. And as others have mentioned, a heck of a lot of Australians died in the world wars.

Morloth Thu 16-May-13 21:32:36

So every person in the UK hates disabled/poor people and wants them to starve/freeze.

I am Australian, I do not agree with this.

Glasshouses and stones come to mind.

Spaghettio Thu 16-May-13 21:36:39

Yes, can we stop with the mass generalisations please? 25million people don't all think the same thing.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:36:52

Imip I also corrected that...Australia was affected by the war and they came to the Uks aid before the USA did.

Morloth...nobody is saying all Aussies are racist...I said one bad comment but I wasn't directing it at all Aussies....I said people would THINK this of them...that people would think Aussies were racist in general.

And they will.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:37:43

Is it all over the news in Oz? Because it isn't here and it should be.

imip Thu 16-May-13 21:39:07

Indeed... Pm Menzies quote, "to the extent that England is at war, Australia is also at war"

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:41:21

Aussie women went into Mutitions factories and volunteered at Red Cross centrees just as British women did. They took over mens jobs and society in general suffered from similar effect to those of the UK...without the trauma of extensive bombings but still...they lost people...a lot of them.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:45:06

They also lost a lot of their men in the Vietnam war and the country was very affected by it.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:46:30


Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:47:01

And what might that face be for

SanityClause Thu 16-May-13 21:48:24

I'm Australian, and am deeply shocked and hurt by this action of the government, being carried on in my name.

I also agree with Morloth's comment about glasshouses and stones, though. It's very easy to point and sneer at others. It means you don't have to focus on your own shortcomings.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:51:27

Sanity that's it...that's partly why I'm upset. Because DH and DDs are Aussie I feel this reflects on them somehow.

I'm not pointing or sneering...I just wanted to discuss it.

FairlyDinkum Thu 16-May-13 21:53:06

Did you mean that by passing this legislation Australia has 'effectively' removed itself from the Convention? If not, I have to point out that Australia has done no such thing. It remains a signatory to the Convention.

I, as an Australian, do not support this policy. I work/study in this area and know many, many people who oppose it. From where I stand, the opposition is significant - but I understand I stand from a liberal, educated point of view.

I'm not sure how much you know about Australia's history with refugee issues OP, but this is hardly new. Up until this point (with a short break when Rudd was in government), if asylum seekers arrived on the outlying islands of Australia, they were processed offshore. All this legislation means is that if they actually reach the Australian mainland, they will also be processed offshore. The whole of the mainland will be excised from the migration zone. Asylum seekers arriving by other means (plane) will still be processed onshore.

I know you have apologised for the redneck comment OP but I just want to say that I have my own misgivings about parts of other country's culture - Britain included. I would never dream of insulting you all in such a wholesale way.

Morloth Thu 16-May-13 21:56:27

You cant just disappear a statement by retracting it.

Why would I bother discussing something with someone who has written me off as a redneck?

It probably doesn't matter what a great deal if Europe thinks anymore. The power has shifted.

The sooner we become a republic the better.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 21:59:07

Morloth...that's up to you...but as I am the OP on the's going to be awkward isn't it? I'm still on here and I'm staying here to discuss the issue. You can just ignore me if you like, I don't care.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 21:59:47

I find your comments very rude and insulting in tone Neo.

zoobaby Thu 16-May-13 22:00:54

Neo the refugees in Calais are desperate to get to the UK. For many reasons but predominantly because they see the UK as a better option than France and however many other countries they crossed in order to park at Calais and take their chances on getting a border crossing. This is exactly the same for Australia. One country that springs to mind, but by no means the only one, is Afghanistan. Look on the map to see how many countries are between there and Aus.

Australia does actually take a fair number of legal refugees (sorry can't look up as on phone). But these are the ones who go about it the right way and not the queue jumpers who do it illegally by getting on a boat in Indonesia. Something in Aus law means that those refugees who actually step foot on Aus or its territories have a greater chance of being granted leave to stay. Why should they take the quota and deny someone who has applied correctly? Also it is sometimes proven that these "poor" refugees are anything but and are actually very unsavoury characters.

That is the exact reason why these off-shore facilities exist... to prevent the use and abuse of that argument. Here in the UK we're always being told about the abuse of particular loopholes that allow particular unsavoury people to stay here.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 22:02:57

Fairly I never said Australia had "effectively" anything. They have however flown in the face of what the UN is about.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 22:04:54

Zoo for me the main issue here is the way the refugees are being treated offshore. It's beyond me...truly shocking. I agree that in an ideal world, all refugees would apply properly...but realistic is that hope? Not very when you consider what these people are leaving behind.

FairlyDinkum Thu 16-May-13 22:08:08

That's what I meant Neo. That you weren't saying that they had actually left the Convention.

Spaghettio Thu 16-May-13 22:09:08

Refugees are treated appallingly in lots of countries. Why are you focussing so much on Australia?

Yes it awful and it shouldn't happen. Yes lots should be done to correct it and people should be given their basic human rights. There is no excuse. But are you going to pick on any other countries and their horrendous treatment of refugees?

Spaghettio Thu 16-May-13 22:10:08

Is it because Australia is majority white so you won't be accused of racism by picking on them?

zoobaby Thu 16-May-13 22:11:23

Imip I think it's the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 (so quite some time after settlement), which was created/allowed mostly because the NZ Maoris are very different to the Aus Aborigines.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 22:11:53

Spahettio because my children are haolf Australian and my DH is Australian. Did you read the thread? It is relevant to me...oh and because this news is fresh today possibly???!

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 22:16:31

Why is it unreasonable to vet people before they can enter a country. That country still has a responsibility to the people who already live there.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 22:20:37

Keeping people in crates in hot weather is not vetting them Fleur.

Spaghettio Thu 16-May-13 22:21:27

Yes, I understand that - you have mentioned it a couple of times. hmm

But you seem soooo angry at Australia. Are you angry at other countries? Do you get why Australian on this thread are getting annoyed at your sweeping generalisations?

Spaghettio Thu 16-May-13 22:22:36

Keeping them in tents in African war-torn countries is also not acceptable. But sometimes emergency housing is necessary when a count is being inundated with refugees.

Morloth Thu 16-May-13 22:23:11

No I am happy to argue but you left out the chan of any reasonable discussion when you wrote off an entire nation.

How can you bear to be married to such a disgusting racist?

I remember a Guardian article on the conditions in Calais camps, should I extrapolate from that that tge UK is racist and doesn't care about those refugees.

God we need a republic.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 22:23:26

I am angry yes Spaghettio. Only a fool or a racist would not be.

gordyslovesheep Thu 16-May-13 22:23:56

That country still has a responsibility to the people who already live there that struck me as so very ironic

it's a disgusting attitude to the most vulnerable human beings (their change of policy not the above comment!)

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 22:27:01

Yes it is vetting them. This is emergency housing (as said above). These refugees still have to be vetted and processed before being considered to be allowed into the country. Its never going to be brilliant housing is it under the cirumstances.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 22:28:39

Emergency?? There has been a detention centre there for YEARS! Why have they not put decent accommodation in place?

Spaghettio Thu 16-May-13 22:39:42

Even though you are keen to push forward you Australian family, you've (almost single handedly) managed to piss off all of the Australians on this thread.

Although I agree with your points about refugees being entitled to basic human rights, you've gone about this the wrong way. Tarring the whole country and it's population with one brush (which is what you said you were worried about for your family's sake) is not the way to start a debate.

I'm going to bed now, before I get called a redneck again.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 22:43:54

Well Im glad that they vet refugees and immigrants. UK could do with more stringent rules for vetting people wanting to gain entry to the country to prevent what has happened ie. the loss of cultural identity due to the high influx of immigrants illegal and legal. British people are not allowed to have their traditions and ceremonies ie Christmas and easter because of the high level of peoples from other cultures. Surely preserving your own traditions is important and that peoples from other cultures should integrate rather than expect everything to change for them.

Morloth Thu 16-May-13 22:44:09

Saying you have an Aussie family in tgis instance is like saying something horribly racist and then saying 'I have lots of black friends', oh well that is OK then...

Mimishimi Thu 16-May-13 22:54:11

I live in Australia and am Australian. I didn't hear about this at all. I agree it is unfortunate for genuine refugees. The problem is that for some time we've had organized crime gangs running boats from Indonesia/Sri Lanka etc who take mainly economic migrants who can cough up tens of thousands of dollars for their passage. Most genuine refugees never get a look in when it comes to these gangs. Not a few of these who come via this way have been found to have a serious criminal history ( not just petty theft like many of our forbears), many involved with war crimes, in their countries of origin. I doubt we will stop taking refugees applying through other channels (eg refugee camps in Africa) though.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:02:03

Yes Mimishimi there are usually real reasons why these rules regarding refugees are put in place as you have gangs and persons with dubious pasts. Not all persons seeking asylum are genuine and refugees still need to be assessed before they can enter the country for these reasons.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:07:12

Well the attitudes of the Aussies on here are defensive aren't they? That's not encouraging but not surprising sadly.

AmberLeaf Thu 16-May-13 23:08:57

British people are not allowed to have their traditions and ceremonies ie Christmas and easter because of the high level of peoples from other cultures

This is actually bullshit, do you really believe this?

I agree with others here that it is wrong to make generalisations about a whole nations people, but whenever this comes up [as it often does on any australia related threads] people will 1.blame Britain for their countries shit. 2. bring up current 'bad' British situations as if that somehow detracts from it.

Both of the above always come across as strange to me.

I would and do protest about things, bad things being done by the government in Britain today, even if they don't affect me.

Is the average [not racist] australian protesting about this issue? if not, why not?

Because unless people do protest, then it will appear to the outside world that it is something that the average australian agrees with and it will reinforce the widely held opinion that most australians are racist.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:09:37

Why would it be surprising for people under attack to go on the defense?

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:14:07

But it is true. There are many areas in inner cities and suburbs around that are not allowed to have their "Christmas" celebrations or "Easter" etc because the school has pupils who are other nationalities. It is not bullshit.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:14:39

Cote I am attacking the government. Surely that's obvious?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:15:10

Fleur are you talking about Australia in relation to people not being allowed to celebrate things?

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:17:46


NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:18:40

Well the thread is not about Britain so I'm not sure why.

TattyDevine Thu 16-May-13 23:19:00

I stood upon the rocky shores, I saw the tall ships come
For forty thousand years
I was the first Australian

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:19:37

Because Im explaining the long term affects of not controlling and vetting refugees and my opinion.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:20:30

Britain is an example of how it can get out of hand very quickly.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:20:40

No, NeoMaxi, that is not clear at all.

Even if your intention is to attack the Australian government, you really shouldn't find it surprising if many Australians go on the defense since it happens to be their elected government.

AmberLeaf Thu 16-May-13 23:20:42

Fleur, it IS bullshit.

That just does not happen.

Please give details of the 'many areas inner cities and suburbs' this has happened in.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:20:53

Effects...not "affects".

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:21:35

We were in London around Christmas last year, and celebrations were in full swing, if anyone is interested.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:22:23 know what? I don't give a shit about some well fed Aussie who has no idea about what it means to have to live in a metal container with their have no decent utilities including have no right to go to a shop or to have a proper education....I really couldn't give a shit if you're offended. I give a shit about people who have no voice and no power and nobody to help them.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:22:50

Neo you really are a rude woman. Fancy actually pointing out someones mistake with grammer. Ha ha.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:23:48

And Amber where have you been for the last 20 years. Its been happening and it is happening. There are many threads on here about it.

AmberLeaf Thu 16-May-13 23:25:00

Cote, someone elected that government didn't they?

Same as some in Britain are responsible for electing our own gov.

I didn't vote in this gov, so if an australian started a thread criticising it, I would say 'yep, I agree it is very wrong' etc etc.

I don't think Id start talking about the shitty stuff australia has done. I wouldn't take it personally, unless it was my beliefs/opinions/actions that were being attacked.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:25:05

I'm not offended, especially since I'm from another continent and have never even been to Australia.

Your recent posts make you look slightly unhinged, FYI.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:25:13

And it is in schools that the traditions are not allowed to be upheld.

AmberLeaf Thu 16-May-13 23:27:09

And Amber where have you been for the last 20 years

Umm, I have been living in inner city London funnily enough!

You are talking out of your arse IMO...or reading/believing the daily mail.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:28:37

No Amber. It happens in a lot of schools and institutions . My friends have to put up with it a lot and it does sadden them.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:29:19

Amber - I'm not so sure that it such a horrible thing to deter immigrants washing up on one's shore. Many people here seem to think that the 15,000 immigrants into Australia each year are all refugees escaping death and torture, but as someone else said, those people prefer to go by land to their country's nearest neighbour, and are unlikely to scrape together $1000s/person necessary to pay the smugglers.

It is a tough and morally ambiguous question, imho.

AmberLeaf Thu 16-May-13 23:30:03

No it doesn't Fluer.

You are lying/talking shit......take your pick.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:30:23

Cote I wasn't referring to YOU...,just to the general Australian population who love to get wound up about these things and at the same time remove themselves and distance themselves from the faceless hoards of potential immigrants that they fear.

And Fluer...maybe it IS rude but you've made so many ignorant statements on this thread that I truly think you need the help.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:31:04

Cote we are not talking about IMMIGRANTS but about REFUGEES.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:32:28
Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:33:03

And of course it happens. Im sorry but I think you are the one who is talking rubbish.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:34:06

Fluer a link to YAHOO ANSWERS does not a reliable example make. YA is the known haunt of children and nutters. grin

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:35:28

That is what you would like to talk about.

But you don't know how many of those people illegally attempting to enter Australia are legitimate refugees fleeing real danger for their lives.

AmberLeaf Thu 16-May-13 23:38:34

OMG grin

Yahoo fucking answers as 'evidence'?

That was funny.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:38:42

Cote...yes...the thread is about refugees. We can't start guessing how many are legal! That's just stupid avoidance of the real issue. It's like me saying "Oh the bedroom tax is disgusting because it's penalizing the disabled." and someone chiming in "Oooh yes but what about all those selfish people who have three spare rooms and money to move but choose not to!?"

Does it invalidate the experiences of the disabled who need the extra space for their equipment? Ofcourse not!

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:40:42

Neo it doesn't really matter what I am referencing. I could easily find other references. But to say that this is not happening in schools is untrue and its not just London.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:43:07 Save the Children certainly don't think children belong on Manus Island...have a look at the link.

STC believe that adults and children would do better in community accommodation. Real damage is being done to generations of the future here.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:43:49

Go on then Fluer. Find a decent reference. It DOES matter what you reference because you're chatting away about things which are not true.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:44:36

Tbh Fluer you sound like Alf Garnett.

AmberLeaf Thu 16-May-13 23:45:16

Go on then. Find other references.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Thu 16-May-13 23:47:26

Christmas, Diwali, Eid, Vaisakhi, all celebrated locally and in schools across inner-city Birmingham. Nobody is offended apart from the Daily Fail

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:47:38

Again, you would like it to be all about miserable refugees escaping death and torture, but it is about all immigrants that attempt to illegally enter Australia.

If they are really escaping death & torture, surely these offshore facilities they will be waiting at while their application is processed would be an improvement?

If this legislation is really implemented, there should be a dramatic decrease in asylum seekers, so the legitimate refugees fleeing death and torture would be processed and admitted for legal residence in far less time.

As I said before, I don't have a dog in this fight but have to say that it is not as clearcut as you would like to believe.

Anifrangapani Thu 16-May-13 23:49:27

In the seventies we had some friends come to visit us in Sydney. They lived in South Africa. They were shocked by the casual racism they saw in Australia. I have already given up my Australian citizenship because of the unlovely view towards their fellow immigrants.

I am lucky that I have this luxury. I do not believe all Australians are racist, but those that aren't must stand up for their fellow world citizens. Please make your voice heard - if you have the vote ther write to your representitive/ senetor. If like me you live overseas and have a flag of convenience the renounce your passport publically ih the international press.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:50:47

No is NOT all about Immigrants...and living in a metal container with no decent medical supplies to hand is NOT an improvement and you are sounding more and more ignorant with every post.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:51:31

I am flabbergasted at your ignorance tbh. "Oh they've come from shit lets just put them in shit." that's more or less what you are saying Cote. How disgusting.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:52:48

That is not what I've said at all. You really need to calm down. As I said before, your recent posts are making you look unhinged.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:52:55

it is about PEOPLE. Fellow human beings who have suffered. Not about "your patch" and "your money".

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:54:26

Cote I do not need to calm down at all. Your last post was awful. And please don't do the old MN thing of "You sound mad" as a way to deflect criticism. It's a horribly sexist thing to do and comes from the old attitude of the "hysterical woman".

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:57:53

If you are interested in campaigning for the facilities to improve and for a school to open for asylum seekers' children in those facilities, I would be the first to congratulate you.

In fact, if you read a bit you will see that construction for a permanent facility (i.e. not tents and not metal containers) is soon to start in preparation for the implementation of this recent legislation.

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 23:58:04 you go ladies if you really need me to do it and there are many more but you can find them for yourself, Im sure. grin

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 23:59:52

Yes yes they've been saying that for years Cote. They're not great at delivering the goods though. One doctor (Aussie) who worked out there asked repeatedly for oxygen and other medical supplies only to find they never came. He said there were children there with dangerous conditions and that the place is far too remote to keep such people at. I'll believe their promises when I see them...not holding my breath.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 23:59:54

There is nothing "sexist" about one woman telling another that her shouty hyperbole is making her look unhinged hmm

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 00:00:23

Fluer your link does not work. I would add a cheerful smile but I'm all out.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 00:00:36

Cote yes there is.

Fluer Fri 17-May-13 00:01:12

But you can still follow the link

CoteDAzur Fri 17-May-13 00:01:18

Construction starts in July, apparently.

If it does, will you be happy?

CoteDAzur Fri 17-May-13 00:01:46

Again, you would like it to be so, Neo.

There is a pattern developing here.

Fluer Fri 17-May-13 00:01:49

O I see. Sorry about that.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 00:03:05

Cote no I won't because vulnerable people do not belong on an island miles from anywhere....kept against their will when they've come from a war torn country already. And I will be interested to see how long construction takes IF it begins in July.

Gomez Fri 17-May-13 00:05:22

Morloth why do the French camps in Calais, France lead you to suggest this would be grounds to accuse the British of racism?

Any citizen or resident of a rich prosperous country which chooses to treat anyone like this shouldn't be ashamed they should be fucking furious and making their anger heard.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 00:05:39

FGS, this happened overnight! Can you give us all a chance to actually get out of bed, turn on the news and even hear about it before you start screaming that we're all racist? It's 9am in the morning here. Most of us haven't had time to write a sternly worded letter to our politicians expressing our disgust at this piece of legislation yet. There was NO press about this. It was done extremely quietly.

Branding an entire country racist is like the pot calling the kettle black.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 00:07:31

Thank you Gomez. I'm getting tired and am going in a minute. I am so angry about the way people are brushing this off.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 00:08:04

Midnite who's screaming? hmm

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 00:08:37

And also...I heard about it your time yesterday from an Australian resident.

Fluer Fri 17-May-13 00:10:12

People are all entitled to their opinions Neo. You have yours and others have theirs. Doesn't mean that others are wrong nor that you are wrong. Not sure why you are getting so angry and aggressive with people though. A discussion is just that and if you cant manage to be civil then you shouldn't be starting posts like these. People do not have to agree with you.

Rulesgirl Fri 17-May-13 00:20:21

Have read through this thread and the one thing that stands out to me is how rude you have been not only to Australians but also in that you are ramming your opinions down others throats but not seeing others points at all. You have put other posters down and tried to be big by negating what they have said and telling people off for their spelling and adding your little nasty faces. Don't start threads just to say your piece, be prepared to listen with an open mind. You don't live there and there is always more to something than meats the eye. And Amber of course there are schools that are not allowed to have Christmas celebrations of the Christian kind but have to just have holiday celebrations instead. To deny this and tell someone that they are talking shit just shows how ignorant you are.

Rulesgirl Fri 17-May-13 00:21:28

"meets" .

rootypig Fri 17-May-13 00:40:37

If they are really escaping death & torture, surely these offshore facilities they will be waiting at while their application is processed would be an improvement?

So we can treat people however we like, as long as it's better than "death and torture"? the way we treat people isn't grounded in principle - in what we have decided are basic human rights?

I find that attitude quite shocking.

I don't know anything about the situation in Australia, though don't find what Neo describes difficult to believe. We have plenty to be ashamed of in this country too - not least the appalling conditions and unlawful child detention at Yarl's Wood. It is all too easy to mistreat people who are being detained in poor conditions, apparently - yet another reason not to do it.

Sunshineandwaves Fri 17-May-13 00:41:40

I am Australian and I am not racist. Neither are my friends. Neither are my family.

This thread is insulting on so many levels.

Neo on the basis of your argument can I presume that every UK resident agrees with every decision made by the UK government?

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 00:50:40

By the way, this legislation was passed by a Prime Minister who is a 'ten pound pom'. If you'd like her back, there are many, many voters who would be happy to chip in the cost to put her on a leaky boat and shove her in your general direction.

Kungfutea Fri 17-May-13 01:07:33

Interesting that cote manages to get a bit of Israel bashing into a thread on Australia.

Plus ca change, plus le meme chose or however it goes.

imaginethat Fri 17-May-13 01:07:45

I am not Australian but I feel deeply offended on behalf of Australians. There is so much bigotry and hate in this thread. Maybe look at your own shortcomings before letting rip at others.

Mimishimi Fri 17-May-13 01:23:41

There is more of a comparison to be made between Australia and it's treatment of the indigenous population with Israel and the Palestinian situation than there is between Israel and Australia over refugees. I am sure Israel has quite a strict immigration policy which applies only to Jews fleeing from other lands ( please correct me if I'm wrong). We do take in a fair number of refugees given our population size but are you arguing Neo that we should just take anybody's claim to be a refugee at face value? We obviously need to process applications. I do think we could relax some work rules that apply to refugees who have been approved for release into the community pending their refugee claim. Most of those people get approved anyway.

esselle Fri 17-May-13 01:32:52

Gosh I was getting worried that I had missed the monthly "Australians are all racist and horrible" thread but thankfully I found this gem!


esselle Fri 17-May-13 01:43:44

Goodie I'm also a redneck too....

Thanks neo you seem to know me oh so well!

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 01:54:32

::drags the sofa on to the front lawn::

Apparently it's what rednecks do.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 01:58:51

Then term 'wog' is still widely used in Australia I believe.

ClaudiaSchiffer Fri 17-May-13 02:01:44

Oh squoosh, if you do a bit more research you'll realise that Wog has been appropriated by Greeks in much the same way as Nigger has by AfricanAmericans.


squoosh Fri 17-May-13 02:04:55

Oh dear, now you're just embarrassing yourself.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 02:07:59

Minstrel shows?


ClaudiaSchiffer Fri 17-May-13 02:09:32

What? Why?

I'm pointing out that the word Wog although massively offensive in the UK/US has been appropriated by Greek and Italian residents of Australia in much the same way that the word Nigger has been incorporated by Black Americans.

Personally I wouldn't dream of using either word, but for you to imply that it is used in the same way as in the UK is just wrong.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 02:10:04

Actually Squoosh, Claudia is right (although not necessarily about the N word comparison). The term "wog" really has been taken over in Australia and does not have the cultural slur that it once did:

More recently European-Australian performing artists have taken ownership of the term "wog", defusing its original pejorative nature—the popular 1980s stage show Wogs Out of Work created by Nick Giannopoulos and Simon Palomares was an early example. The production was followed on television with Acropolis Now, starring Giannopoulos, Palomares, George Kapiniaris and Mary Coustas, and films The Wog Boy and Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos and parodies such as those of Santo Cilauro, Eric Bana, Vince Colosimo, Nick Giannopoulos, Mary Coustas and SBS Television's offbeat Pizza TV series have continued this change in Australian cultural history—with some even classifying a genre of 'wogsploitation' of pop-culture products being created by and for a proudly "wog" market.[3] Recent works of the genre have been used by Australians of non-English speaking backgrounds to assert ethnic identity, rather than succumb to ethnic stereotype.[4] Upon the release of Wog Boy 2, Giannopoulos discussed the contemporary use of the term "wog" in the Australian context:

"I think by defusing the word 'wog' we've shown our maturity and our great ability to adapt and just laugh things off, you know... When I first came [to Greece] and I started trying to explain to them why we got called 'wog' they'd get really angry about it, you know. They were, "Why? Why they say this about the Greek people?" You know? But then when they see what we've done with it—and this is the twist—that we've turned it into a term of endearment, they actually really get into that..."

Thus, in contemporary Australia, the term "wog" may, in certain contexts, be viewed as a "nickname" rather than a pejorative term[5]—akin to the nicknames ascribed within Australian English to other historically significant cultural groupings such as the English (nicknamed Poms), the Americans (nicknamed Yanks) and New Zealanders (nicknamed Kiwis).<<<

I know it's a wiki reference, but it really does sum up the issue quite clearly.

ClaudiaSchiffer Fri 17-May-13 02:10:18

Yes, Squoosh and there was MASSIVE uproar at that program. It was appalling.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 02:12:42

*Minstrel shows?

So? What does that have to do with the argument? A few idiots on a ridiculous television (lack of) talent show does not speak for the entire country. If you're trying to use Darryl Sommers as the spokesperson for an entire country, then you are the one showing your ignorance.

Kungfutea Fri 17-May-13 02:12:52

No, mimishimi, israel/palestine conflict is a completely different situation, certainly with respect to refugees and also with respect to indigenous populations.

There has always been a Jewish presence in the land of Israel, since ancient times, unlike australia which was 'discovered'. Jews didn't just arrive there, out of the blue, and begin slaughtering the native population like with Australia (or rather Britain at the time). This isn't a thread about Israel but it pisses me off when people just grab any opportunity to bash Israel (personally i do think its closet anti semitism a la baroness tonge and ken livingstone). A more appropriate example would be the colonisation of the Americas (north and south), no? Plenty of countries to choose from there! Or perhaps colonization of south africa by the boers and british? Why israel??? There is no 'aboriginal' conflict in Australia since there are so few of them left!

lately many Sudanese and eritrean migrants/ refugees have been making their way to Israel after being smuggled over the border from Egypt (which treats them like shit) by Bedouin. There has been a freeze on any deportations to Eritrea as its such a crackpot and repressive state.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 02:13:07

I think you'll find though that a significant proportion of the African American community have not 'reclaimed' the word nigger. They are still repulsed by it.

To imply that all black Americans call each other 'nigger' is wholly inaccurate.

ClaudiaSchiffer Fri 17-May-13 02:14:49

Ok squoosh, forgive me for bringing it up. I don't want to derail the thread.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 02:15:19

Something like that would never make its way onto British televison, that is my point.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 02:22:33

So? Does that make you superior to the rest of the world squoosh? Do you think that the british hold a patent over what the rest of the world finds funny?

Comedy, yes, even British comedy, is often about poking fun at yourself. Remember Frank Spencer? How about Mr Bean? In the case of this particular group of comedians, they have taken their own culture and used it to develop very successful careers for themselves. I'm not personally a fan of the Wog Boy or those types of comedy, but I give all credit to the artists for what they do. Many have gone on to highly successful careers here and abroad and are very well respected in the film industry here.

moremintsliceplease Fri 17-May-13 02:29:45

Not everyone living in Australia agrees with the decisions of what is a deeply unpopular government.


squoosh Fri 17-May-13 02:33:20

'Comedy, yes, even British comedy, is often about poking fun at yourself'

Poking fun at 'yourself' is a bit different to poking fun at other communities.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 02:33:35

Oh no Squoosh nothing like that would EVER make it onto British tv. Especially anything made by much loved British comedian David Walliams:

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 02:40:35

Ugh, never saw that, almost as bad as the minstrel show. I'm glad even the Daily Mail saw fit to highlight it.

I can only hope the Australian people made vigorous complaints against their racist comedy shows. Did they?

CrystalDeCanter Fri 17-May-13 02:41:56


Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 02:45:17

Yes, they complained in droves

The media here loves to freak about 'the boat people' <cue jaws music>.

This government decision makes me want to stick my head in the blender.
I will also just politely point out that yes we're defensive when attacked. We're not going to grovel on our knees apologising to you, are we?

Oh- the word is bogan. Redneck is for the US, thanks.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 02:46:49

Poking fun at 'yourself' is a bit different to poking fun at other communities.

They ARE poking fun at themselves. Every single one of those comedians are all from backgrounds that are traditionally called "wogs" in Australia. They're using their own culture to develop comedy. It's no different to a british comedian poking fun at the very aspects that make British culture different to others, such as American or even yes, Australian.
Seeing as they've made millions doing it, I don't think they're too worried about some random from the UK on an internet forum thinks about it anyway.

Have you ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Do you think that was racist?

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 02:54:43

But it's just been politely explained to me that 'wog' refers to people of Greek origin. The people on the clip I linked to were pretending to be the Jackson Five. Pretty sure the Jackson Five weren't Greek, although please do correct me if I'm wrong on that count.

Kind regards,
random in the UK on an internet forum.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 03:00:24

And the Jackson Five skit was absolutely panned in the media, social media and at the water cooler. I really can't believe that you can't see it as two separate issues:

1) A few idiots dressing up in black face and poking fun at another race.

2) Professional comedians using their own culture.

I really don't see how you can't get the difference.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 03:07:48

Professional comedians using their own culture? But it's not their culture if they're not black. hmm

I really don't see how you can't get the difference.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 03:09:01

The only 'comedians' I have referred to are the minstrel ones. I don't know what other comedians you are referring to.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 03:13:46

We seem to be having two different discussions at the same time. I am referring to the "wog" sketch comedy and the discussions about the word being reclaimed by the community and not considered offensive in Australia anymore as it is overseas. I would never call someone a wog, but it's perfectly acceptable for people to refer to themselves or their families as wogs. It just doesn't have the gasp factor about it anymore.

The blackface guys aren't comedians. They're doctors. Twatish doctors. Ironically, I remember reading that they are mostly from immigrant backgrounds themselves (a couple were asian, one middle eastern if I remember correctly).

AngsanaTree Fri 17-May-13 03:40:18

I'd like to see a couple of locations designated to refugees funded by the international community where people can be "processed" in humane conditions (well fed, clothed and medical available) and then every country in the world who is on it's feet be accountable for housing a percentage of them.

I see your point about Australia but disagree with it. Australia has had its fair share of disasters where people have been led to believe that if they make it to their shores they will be taken care of. Australia is a huge place with mostly rough coastline. There are loads of stories of people being killed and boats being wrecked trying to reach there. Also what are they going to do when they get there. Most of Aust coastline is uninhabited apart from the south. If you have ever been to Aus you'll know that you get dragged over the coals at immigration about any food or wood and other stuff you have brought into the country. They have a hard job containing anything that may damage their agriculture etc. so I agree that they need a processing centre but I am not entirely happy about the conditions that they hold people in. However it is their country and the Australians have their own problems with immigration etc. and are free to deal with it as they see fit. Also, many of these refugees by pass many other 1st world countries and countries where they could make a good life but they know that they would not be welcome there. If you are from Afghanistan (and I believe many of the refugees travelling to Aus are) then you have to pass by many rich countries to get to Australia. Before you get on their back, we should be encouraging these other countries to do more and not just sit back and let the western countries pick up the slack.

FYI I am not Australian but have spent a lot of time there and know many. They are the most generous, friendly people. I'm sick and tired of people shouting RACIST every time someone dares to be politically incorrect.

Einsty Fri 17-May-13 03:56:47

Am Australian, in Australia.

The thread in an absolute bunfight but two things are fact: we are frittering away peace and prosperity being fuckers. Whenever anyone points this out, we get hysterically defensive.

We should be ashamed of both. We are capable of better.

Morloth Fri 17-May-13 04:08:37

I personally wouldn't use the word 'Wog' because I don't feel that my cultural heritage makes that OK (I am pretty free with 'Skip' and 'Pommy' though). However I do have greek friends (yes really) who do use wog all the time, it is a term of affection and does not have the same connotations as in the UK.

There is zero chance they will stop using because it upsets middle class British people and I can only imagine what they would call them if they were asked.

As FanjoPaterson says the word is Bogan (or Westie or Feral).

'Redneck' is a rude word for poor Americans.

If you are going to throw around derogatory terms, at least get the continent right.

I am defensive, because I am personally offended at being called a Racist Redneck.

MrRected Fri 17-May-13 04:08:59

Another Australian in Australia. Actually I was British (born in the UK and held a passport) until I became a citizen of Australia this year.

Sweeping generalisations are shit. Fact.
I am not a supporter of the current government or most of it's policies, nor are the majority of people I know in Australia. Fact.
Unless you've lived somewhere, don't believe everything you read on the internet and don't make assumptions about the general population of a country.

Yes this policy is unspeakably shit. Australians will deal with it in a democratic manner, we'll get rid of the current government and elect one which will deal with these vulnerable groups in a humane and Australian way.

Much is spoken of racist Australia. To be fair, I can see why. I can also temper my opinion with personal experience. The Australians I know would give you the shirt off their back - regardless of your race, ethnic background, sex. I have experienced the best that mankind has to offer in this country which I am proud to call home.

David Cameron and his stooges are far from perfect, this does not leave me inclined to brand the UK universally useless.

CrystalDeCanter Fri 17-May-13 04:09:29

Not really the point of the OP, but as with every discussion around Australia and Racism it descends into a row.

But here is a map showing the worlds most and least racially tolerant countries. Which you may find interesting.

MrRected Fri 17-May-13 04:20:25

MidniteScribblerFri 17-May-13 00:50:40

By the way, this legislation was passed by a Prime Minister who is a 'ten pound pom'. If you'd like her back, there are many, many voters who would be happy to chip in the cost to put her on a leaky boat and shove her in your general direction.


Morloth Fri 17-May-13 04:33:23

Yes, she is Welsh by descent isn't she? But speaks like a Bogan so it is all good.

I am not saying Australia does not have issues with racism of course we do, as does every other country. I am saying it is deeply offensive to write off an entire nation based on one new law.

The 'boat people' problem is a conundrum. Because if we open the doors many more people will die. The 'offshore processing' is supposed to put people off attempting the incredibly dangerous journey run by complete bastards. How many boats do we just not hear about? How many just sink and no-one knows?

Personally, I think we should take more refugees, but I do not think encouraging people to get on a leaky boat, run by a pirate in Indonesia and attempt to cross very rough seas to get to the edge of a desert is a very good plan. There are plenty of people languishing in crappy camps around the world. We should be pulling people out of there. We need fresh blood, we need clever people who are survivors.

We don't need to line the pockets of Indonesian gangs.

Mimishimi Fri 17-May-13 04:34:45

You should also remember that the majority of Australian families have borne the brunt of crappy government policies in the past, both here and in former European countries, and not a few were practically refugees from former UK countries/Europe themselves. There are still a lot of hurt feelings from those experiences .... If anything, these policies are coming from people who view themselves as more culturally British (and superior) to the average Aussie. They are the ones nervous about immigration - because they know that we don't really like them, not the immigrants they brought in for various reasons - cheap labour, to fund universities etc, to make up for dramatic birthrate declines.

kungfu I guess what I meant to say that is not right to compare this refugee situation to Israel and the aboriginal situation is a bit closer to that of the Palestinians than that of a refugee. Not exactly the same of course and no one disputes a continuous Jewish presence in Israel.

hermitcrab Fri 17-May-13 04:45:25

The Refugee Council in Australia has suggested that their government agree a new category of refugee status for people fleeing the effects of climate change. They are predicting a mass influx of people fleeing from lowlying islands. Looks like the government have taken on board the information, but not used it in a good way.

Sunshineandwaves Fri 17-May-13 05:17:20

Fri 17-May-13 04:08:59

"David Cameron and his stooges are far from perfect, this does not leave me inclined to brand the UK universally useless."


rootypig Fri 17-May-13 08:19:47

Claudia you don't think the appropriation of a racist term by a miniority group is an indication of their ongoing status? in much the same way that there are deep problems with the treatment and perception of black people in America?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 08:30:15

What is annoying me here is the attitude of those who insist that I am insulting ALL Australians. I'm not insulting anyone...I am just pointing out what the government are doing.

Spaghettio Fri 17-May-13 08:37:55

Ok - your government are punishing disabled people by charging them for spare bedrooms. Clearly as they are your government and therefore democratically elected by you, you are disabling and generally not a nice person.

Is that better?

Spaghettio Fri 17-May-13 08:38:36


Spaghettio Fri 17-May-13 08:40:16

Oh and BTW - you did insult all Australians by calling us rednecks. Have you shown your DH this thread. How would he like it that you're attacking his country? (and then moaning when people get defensive! FFS,)

ComposHat Fri 17-May-13 08:42:16

They aren't being racist, they are being (allegedly) xenophobic

Lazyjaney Fri 17-May-13 08:43:20

Judging by UKIPs recent poll successes, many British people also think Australia is on the right track.

I'm also not Briitish, and do get tired of the British middle class trying to take the splinters out of others' eyes while ignoring the beams in their own.

Spaghettio Fri 17-May-13 08:59:58

squoosh when criticising other countries and their comedians, please could you take a look at yours first?

Are you proud of what Russell Brand and Joanathan Ross said the Andrew Sachs' granddaughter? No? That was a Pre-recorded show that was aired on BBC radio! No a minstrel show would not make it onto British TV (and it shouldn't have been on Australian TV either) but can we stop pretending like the UK is totally and wholly innocent here?

echt Fri 17-May-13 09:12:31

Pissing myself at the suggestion by MrRected that Australians will have the opportunity to elect a humane government. grin

That would be the gormless, right-wing Catholic twat Tony Abbott. A man who's such liability to his own party, they won't let the swivel-eyed chimp speak. Oh, except when he agrees with Julia Gillard.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 09:28:59

Spaghettio, a couple of "blacked up" comedians (who both happen to be very popular in the UK) DID make it onto British TV as I linked (or attempted to link) upthread. These offensive acts should, of course, not be on TV anywhere but some like to state it only ever happens in Australia.

mrssprout Fri 17-May-13 09:34:40

I won't even begin to get into the political stuff....too scary. All I will say is my Italian husband is quite happy to identify as a wog (we are in Australia)
squoosh I seem to remember a British comedy "love thy neighbour" that wasn't particularly complimentary in the way they spoke about either of the races portrayed.
I will now back out of this thread quickly before someone attacks.

CelticPixie Fri 17-May-13 09:41:42

Australia is about 40 years behind the UK in terms of racism and bigotry. I know people who have been and said that casual racism is rife over there. Even the most xenophobic Brit wouldn't come out with with the racist bile that some Aussie's spout.

Sydney is liberal like most big internist on cities, but everywhere is backward and insular.

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 09:45:22

You 'know people who have been' Celtic? So you know the country is racist? I lived in Australia for a few years, and it was one of the most liberal, tolerant, relaxed, welcoming places I have ever been. I am not from the UK (in fact, am a migrant) and I can say hand on heart I have experienced more casual racism here than I ever did in Australia.

FWIW I lived in Melbourne, Sydney and a small country town about 4 hours outside of Melbourne.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 09:49:31

Spaghettie you are attacking and attacking me. I retracted my rednecks comment...I don't care if you accept that or not...I only care about the people being held in terrible conditions. It is an embarrassment to the people of Australia and if they would stop being so defensive, they might begin to see.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 09:50:31

Slim it IS forward thinking in many ways...I love the place and the people in general but there are some attitudes which reek. I am glad you never saw the rotten side of the place but many of us here have.

Lazyjaney Fri 17-May-13 09:50:32

"Australia is about 40 years behind the UK in terms of racism and bigotry. I know people who have been...."


NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 09:52:42

Hermit is that right? So they want to call anyone who has been flooded out a "refugee" too? Oh that makes sense...then they can turn entire families away...displaced and homeless will all end up on those detention islands too. Nice.

Orwellian Fri 17-May-13 09:53:51

All countries have some degree of racism. This recent study shows that actually countries like Australia and the UK are the least racist. The most racist countries according to the study were India, Jordan, Hong Kong and Bangladesh. The human rights abuses of Australia pale in comparison to these 4 countries and many others that never get discussed on forums such as Mumsnet. I wonder how the 4 countries listed treat their asylum seekers?

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 09:55:56

I saw some ugly sides of course, but that is true anywhere. Damn right it is true here too. I was also there when the entire country stopped, literally stopped for the long long overdue apologies to the Aboriginals. I stood in the town square of this small country town with what appeared to be the whole town coming out, with big screens up, with people standing still in silence shoulder to shoulder and weeping while the Australian government apologised for the sins committed. That was a very special moment.

It is the blanket statement that some on this thread have made that Australians are racist which is so utterly offensive. SOME Australians are racist. Some people in this country are racist too. Some people from my own country are racist. (In fact, famously so). But some is not all.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 09:56:21

The thing is Orwellian, Australia is meant to be an educated and forward thinking country...part of the Western world so to speak. They are not behaving in a manner which befits that status and by "they" I mean those in power.

Lazyjaney Fri 17-May-13 09:59:48

"It is an embarrassment to the people of Australia and if they would stop being so defensive, they might begin to see."

OP you are in serious danger of fitting the Whingeing Pom stereotype to a "T".

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 10:01:39

FFS CelticPixie, you know a few people who've been to Australia, and that makes you an expert on the whole country, does it?

I've lived here my entire life. I've lived in several states, and a mix of capital cities and regional, and I have NEVER encountered any form of racism among the people I have met. Not once in my entire life. And if I did, then they would be well and truly given a bollocksing from me. I just don't see it. Every single country in the world has good and bad elements. Unfortunately, the old adage about a few bad apples that's means that the few issues that are reported are rarely positive. This goes for all countries. We hear news reports about riots in the UK and people protesting at a funeral and we shake our heads, but don't necessarily assume that everyone in your country fits that stereotype.

The "boat people" or refugee issue is one that is far more complex and involved than the average person, particularly if they only see the occasional news media report about it, can truly grasp. I consider myself a fairly educated, open minded person, but can't get my head around a solution that would suit all parties. I'm sure if you think you have all the answers, then the Australian government would love to get a call from you.

MoreBeta Fri 17-May-13 10:02:45

Australia has a massive immigration problem from Indonesia. It has been forced to take this step to protect its borders.

What happens is that Muslims travel from the Middle East (see recent news article here) and North Africa to Indonesia which allows them to travel freely and then get on a boat to Australia. The entire point of travelling to Indonesia is to claim asylum in Autralia.

This is not asylum seking in the 'normal' sense. It is economic migration pure and simple and Australia is having to take this step to stop uncontrolled immigration of increasingly poor, uneducated and unskilled migrants who will overwhelm the economy and small population of Australia.

It is the same issue as the UK is facing with migrants from outside the EU. They travel through the EU to the UK. They do not stop in the first country they enter. These people are travelling long distances with a specific destination in mind. They are not like people fleeing across a border from a war zone.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 17-May-13 10:03:44

not good yet so many here support Australia's immigration policies

it is strange that in australia the bigger cities are so multicultral yet the country often seems so behind with the rest if the western world on these issues

of course not every australian is racist but i was shocked at the openess of many there it felt like stepping back in time to the 80's. maybe it is more hidden here with the rise of support for ukip i have questioned how open minded we really are here in the uk

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 10:06:35

Mrssprout interesting that you mention Love Thy Neighbour, what offensive racist 1970s tripe that was. So racist in fact that it's not even repeated on television these days.

LayMizzRarb Fri 17-May-13 10:09:53

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 16-May-13 17:58:23
I know LongDistance...they seem to be a country of rednecks.

Completely rascist talk. Would you be so vile and hostile to Australians face to face? Or are you only nasty when you can hide behind a computer screen?

MoreBeta Fri 17-May-13 10:13:41

One more thing.

Just because someone comes from an 'unpleasant' country with a low standard of living, poor human rights and little or no democratic representation does not make them an asylum seeker.

About 75% of the world's population lives in a country an less developed or developing country with a poor human rights record and no established democracy.

Is every Western developed nation bound to accept every person without question from every 'unpleasant' place in the world?

Spaghettio Fri 17-May-13 10:19:46

I'm sorry OP - I didn't realise that I wasn't allowed to attack you, but you can attack a whole country. My apologies.

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 10:21:28

I also found that a little ironic, LayMizz. The Op would probably be horrified if someone called her a racist, yet by dismissing an entire country, and projecting character traits to an entire country is ... um.... a bit racist.

zoobaby Fri 17-May-13 10:22:42

Good grief. This thread changed somewhat overnight (UK). It started out relatively reasonable but decended to quite a few lows.

So Neo, since you're currently there in Australia and you love the place but think some attitudes reek... please tell all and sundry exactly what you are going to do about it. Are you going to whinge and bleat on Mumsnet, a tiny itsy bitsy insignificant little corner of the www, or are you going to take proactive action?

Are you putting your shock, anger and disgust to good use? Is it fuelling your desire to oppose the government that so obviously has disappointed you?

Will you take that wrath and turn it into something productive?

When will your letter writing campaign and street protests commence?

Have you joined the campaigns by the International Detention Coalition, End Child Detention, Save the Children, Amnesty, Red Cross?

How are you educating your half-Aussie children to be different?

Will we see you sitting on top of Parliament House with a big banner saying "youse fellas are really unfair innit"?

Or are you just spoiling for a fight on an internet forum trading barbs with people who will disagree and who have no ability to influence change?

lisianthus Fri 17-May-13 10:22:42

I agree with Morloth. We should be taking more refugees. But encouraging people smugglers to put more vulnerable people on boats where every woman is (on average) raped four times before reaching Australia and they are all robbed of what little they have left is not the way to go about it. Tbh, I can't think of a good way to do this. If the OP is able to do so, we'd all love to hear it.

Orwellian Fri 17-May-13 10:22:43

Why would anyone travel across a huge ocean to get to Australia to claim asylum? Surely if they were genuine asylum seekers they would claim in their nearest country. And if they are not claiming in their nearest country perhaps that says a lot about the human rights abuses of their nearest country? Presumably people want to claim asylum in Australia because it has a fairly healthy, moral ideology?

I think one of the problems is that a lot of Western countries that are very tolerant do get abused by people who turn up and claim asylum having traveled through numerous countries to get there. Many of these people are not genuine asylum seekers but economic migrants. The fact that the UK itself grants very few people who claim asylum genuine asylum seekers status is proof of that. There is only so much Western countries can do, only so much room to accommodate those arriving and only so much money to spend on those arriving.

Australians democratically elected their government to look after it's own people and that is it's first priority.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:23:49

LazyMizz I apologised for that comment and it's become a bore now...people keep bringing it up to dispell all of my comments...whatever...I do think the Australian government is comprised of a number of redneck types. I do not think all Aussies are rednecks.

Spahettio....your arguments are lacking in sense.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:27:53

And thinking about it....the term Redneck is not offensive if it does not apply to you....if you are no racist then you have no worries do you?

It's a very specific term....not a nice one but it is a good description for a certain type of person isn't it?..a type of person who has no care for others who are not of the same race. And I don't believe racists deserve the respect of me worrying about their don't give shit abuot them really...I care about humanity and don't want them or anyone hurt...but as far as the feelings of racists go? Nah....don't give a shite really..

If I mentioned redneck and it seemed like I was tarring the whole country with the name I apologise...I was not. But there are some factions of the Australian government who ARE Rednecks and you know what that means.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:29:07
MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 10:29:28

Why don't you go and ask your Australian husband about the appropriateness of using the term "rednecks" on citizens of Australia?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:31:04

and here too

It's a term which evokes strong reactions...but is it racist? No. It's a way of describing a racist.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 10:31:44

You want to use an article about Craig Thompson as evidence for your case? Seriously???

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:31:49

Midnite I don't need to ask DH thank you. I know his feelings already. He grew up in a small and very racist town...he saw the effects of racism first hand.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:32:34

Midnite I linked to two....I used the articles as a way of showing that the term Redneck is not so disgusting that I can't say it if I want to. Not as a way of showing support for any politician.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:33:16


MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 10:35:27

they seem to be a country of rednecks.

Is exactly what you posted.

I think I need to bow out of this thread. You know what they say about arguing with idiots.

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 10:36:25

to be fair though OP, your arguments are a little all over the place.

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 10:37:18

and also, TBH, I think the OP is just seriously winding up for kicks. I'm with you, Midnite

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 17-May-13 10:37:39

Its unfair to say all Australianst are racist, but there are pockets of bigotry, just as there is in the UK. I was shocked 10k years ago, chatting to a seemingly pleasant Australian old lady when she started trashing Aborigines, saying they were basically all drunks, all criminals and so disease ridden it was unsafe to shake hands. But there were also Aussiest very vocal about their opposition to the then immigration laws amd embarassed by their countrys stance.

Btw UKip made huge gains in local electionst here, the recent casual acceptance of racism in the UK scares me.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 17-May-13 10:39:01

I am not winding anyone up Slim. Yes my arguments have meandered because I am not an expert nor a great debator....but I care about people who are being treated badly and this is close to home.

I am going to leave this thread alone now but I want to leave a recent quote from the Dalai Lama too.

"If we make consistent effort, based on proper education, we can change the world. We are selfish, that’s natural, but we need to be wisely selfish, not foolishly selfish. We have to concern ourselves more with others’ well-being, that’s the way to be wisely selfish. We have the ability to take the long-term benefit into account. I think it is possible to make real change in this century."

CoteDAzur Fri 17-May-13 10:39:53

"the term Redneck is not offensive if it does not apply to you..."

Oh brilliant, why didn't we think about that before? hmm

So someone here can call you a moron, but don't worry about it because it wouldn't be offensive if it doesn't apply to you.

Spaghettio Fri 17-May-13 10:43:56

"Spahettio....your arguments are lacking in sense."

And you are making perfect sense OP.

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 10:46:51

I can think of a few other terms used to describe people that do not apply to me that are offensive. OP, seriously, it is great that you care deeply about a vital issue.... and use that anger productively. But to dismiss an entire nation, and the people of an entire nation in such an offensive, inaccurate, intellectually lazy way is not really consistent with this apparent self regard you have for yourself and you ethics and humanity.

Lazyjaney Fri 17-May-13 10:50:29

"the term Redneck is not offensive if it does not apply to you..."

Ah, I see. And therefore Nigger is not offensive, because it does not apply to me.

You seem to have a very self selecting view of what is racist, OP.

Spaghettio Fri 17-May-13 10:56:17

You wanted to bring an important issue to our attention. You've done that in the worst possible way. You've tarred a whole country with your ideas and images, and when you've been called on it your retracted and then tried to justify what you said in the first place.

Are you sorry and you retract it? Or is it iustified because it does it not apply? Which one OP?

And if you'd like to talk about being defensive maybe you'd like to examine your post where you shouted that you are not racist. I believe you - but you seem awfully defensive. Is that because you're being attacked?

Pot. Kettle?

DIYapprentice Fri 17-May-13 11:05:50

Here’s a few statistics to address some of the name calling and mud slinging.

Between 2007 and 2011 UK had 138,350 asylum seekers. Australia had 90,320.

Population of UK 63,182,000, population of Australia is 23,023,000.
Australia offers around 14,000 migration places a year under the Humanitarian Program.
Australia resettles the third largest number of refugees of any country and more refugees, per capita, than any other nation in the world.
Does that REALLY sound like a country not doing it’s part?????!!!!!!!

Just over a decade ago, when I had personal experience of this – the statistics were quite shocking.

Australia has controlled migration. If every refugee who had been given a temporary visa in that particular year gained the right to a permanent visa they would then have automatically had the right to have every member of their family join them. The numbers would have meant they would have filled the migration quota (not just the migration places under the Humanitarian Program, but EVERY single migrant number) for the next five years. That was ONE YEAR’S worth of asylum seekers.

THAT is why so many teens are sent over as boat people. The places on these boats cost a LOT of money. The families save up, buy a place for someone young and strong enough to survive, and send them. They go through LOTS of countries where they could claim refugee status. But they don’t. Their goal is to reach Australia, not to reach safety.

angelsonhigh Fri 17-May-13 11:15:12

Thank you DIY.

Lalamoon Fri 17-May-13 11:19:55

I can't believe you guys have the nerve at the moment to judge any other country when our own country is in uproar because in a few months we will be forced to allow a few Romanian and Bulgarians into our oh so accepting and perfect country.

Go over to Essential baby, Australia's version of MN, and see if any of them have ever complained about travelers or roma or any other race stealing their school places and dirtying their villages openly and have the majority of posters agree, because you won't find it. That alone has me convinced who the real racists are and it's not the Australian's. Glass houses and stones come to mind.

Stick around Aussies, in December your chance to ride in on your high horses are coming, because as they say Winter is coming, and I wouldn't miss December/January on MN for anything this year.

Orwellian Fri 17-May-13 11:31:05

Neo - let me guess, you're not racist, some of your best friends are black*,Jewish*, Indian* etc etc.

*delete as appropriate.

MidniteScribbler Fri 17-May-13 11:42:51

I'm ROFL about the idea of this thread on EB (essential baby).

::Considers posting a link and sitting back with popcorn::

MrRected Fri 17-May-13 12:18:08

Piss youself laughing all you like. Tony Abbott is a total twit - he will never be elected. This does not preclude a decent candidate popping up. Would you not hold out the same hope in th uk?

CadleCrap Fri 17-May-13 12:44:40

kept against their will when they've come from a war torn country already

OP going back to the point - I think that most of the boat people are NOT from war torn countries but have been spun a line from conmen saying "give us $XX and we promise you a better life." These are NOT refugees, these are potentially illegal immigrants. They did this voluntarily.

Some one getting on a boat in the hope of a better life is not a refugee.

If they were "real" refugees or asylum seekers , then the correct channels can be used and will be honoured.

I think they are trying to say they are not a soft touch.

Oi, midnite scribbler , who're you on EB? I'm BadgerBasher <blithely outs self>

Also, if Tony Abbott is elected...well.
I will lose respect for Australia in a big, big way. Misogynistic twazzock that he is.

Fluer Fri 17-May-13 13:52:08

Im an Aussie, born and bred. Neo, next time you want to start an argument over how bad another country is, get your facts straight and do some research. Not everything is always how it first appears. It would seem that you loved and relished putting Australia down and putting a fair few posters on here down for various reasons and now you have admitted to not knowing all there is to know. So, don't start threads like this then. You come across as nothing more than a whinging pom!

lljkk Fri 17-May-13 14:55:25

Oh well, it makes a change from the usual American bashing.

YoniMontanasLittleFriend Fri 17-May-13 15:13:12

Using a government you claim to be a bit racist to defend words u used as not racist is a bit hypocritical dont you think?

ifyouletmefinish Fri 17-May-13 15:17:56

Thank you DIY well said.

themaltesecat Fri 17-May-13 15:42:44

Young able-bodied men aren't refugees.


overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:06:54

Thanks people, this thread has kept me somewhat amused for the last 10 minutes. A bunch of racists labeling Australians as intrinsically racist and completely missing the irony.

Any some of the 'facts' quoted are hysterical. The one about aborigines being legally classified as non-human has to be the winner though.

AmberLeaf Fri 17-May-13 16:22:14

And Amber of course there are schools that are not allowed to have Christmas celebrations of the Christian kind but have to just have holiday celebrations instead. To deny this and tell someone that they are talking shit just shows how ignorant you are

Which schools? 'not allowed' by who? I thought it was widely know that that 'christmas is banned' guff was untrue?

To claim this as fact is talking shit, if me pointing that out makes me ignorant then so be it.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 16:28:27

Oh the old 'Christmas is banned' chestnut.

Dearie me. Do try a bit harder.

overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:31:26

I thought it was widely know that that 'christmas is banned' guff was untrue?

Lol, why resort to evidence when you have the 'widely known' card to play. The UK media learned this a long time ago.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 16:36:17

But where is the evidence that Christmas is banned??

Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas in the 17th century as it offended his puritan beliefs, but somehow I don't think that's the ban that's being referred to.

overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:46:51

I don't care enough to find any references however I recall that there have been a few instances of over-zealous public sector workers putting restrictions on Christmas celebrations and causing small-scale localised discontent.

Certainly the 'christmas is banned' crew are a bit daft but no less so than the 'nobody has ever said a bad word about xmas' crew.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 16:48:05

'I don't care enough to find any references'

Well that says it all really!

Do try harder next time.

overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:51:58

Damn you beat me down for sure there. I'll go have a cry.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 16:54:00

Well you do sound slightly overwrought. Maybe you just need some rest.

gordyslovesheep Fri 17-May-13 16:56:33

Christmas is a religious ceremony - if you are a Christian you celebrate CHRISTmas by singing nice hymns and going to church ...I haven't read anything about either being banned EVER

overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:59:04

squoosh we have the same calendar, May 17th word of the day - "overwrought".

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 17:00:30

Sadly I haven't had a paper calendar since 1997.

AmberLeaf Fri 17-May-13 17:02:05

Lol, why resort to evidence when you have the 'widely known' card to play

Ive asked for evidence that christmas etc are 'not allowed', am I expected to give evidence for a negative?

Only the gullible or racists still spout that crap as fact.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 21:19:33

This thread has taken a strange turn. I don't know what Christmas has to do with anything.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 21:28:00

"Sadly I haven't had a paper calendar since 1997".

What on earth does that mean?

AmberLeaf Fri 17-May-13 21:29:55

Go back and have a read of fluers posts, then it will become clear.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 21:38:36

It seems a strange thing to go back, search for, and bring up again since this thread is about people seeking entry to Australia and the conditions they find themselves in.

There have been some very well thought out and interesting points made since.

I still don't know how a paper calendar would be relevant.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 21:39:59

It's a response to the preceding post. Thought that was obvious.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 21:41:32

overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:59:04
squoosh we have the same calendar, May 17th word of the day -"overwrought".

Add message | Report | Message poster squoosh Fri 17-May-13 17:00:30
Sadly I haven't had a paper calendar since 1997.

Threads derail. It happens.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 21:45:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 21:50:45

Are you being deliberately obtuse? Strange.

The poster said we had the same calendar, as in they displayed the same Word of the Day. I replied by saying I do not have a paper calendar.

Nothing cryptic there.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 22:21:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 22:25:53

Jesus Christ.

Are you drunk?

CoteDAzur Fri 17-May-13 22:34:07

What are you on about, Cartoose? None of that is hard to understand.

If you are done derailing the thread, can we go back to talking about Australia now?

It's OK if you don't get it all.

Cartoose Fri 17-May-13 22:34:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CoteDAzur Fri 17-May-13 22:36:23

Do you usually have a problem with English comprehension?

If not, is it possible that you might be having a stroke? (serious question)

squoosh Fri 17-May-13 22:37:11

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

AmberLeaf Fri 17-May-13 23:19:03

Good lord, have some salt and vinegar on that chip cartoose.

MidniteScribbler Sat 18-May-13 00:39:34

Oi, midnite scribbler , who're you on EB? I'm BadgerBasher <blithely outs self>

Ex member. I used to be on there, but the moderation got a bit silly. I still go along every so often to read as a guest, but I don't contribute anymore. Nothing ever seems to change over there smile

MortifiedAdams Sat 18-May-13 00:45:37

You are supposed to seek refuge in the first safe place you come to. Australia isNOT the first safe place anyone would.come to.

Morloth Sat 18-May-13 00:59:36

I think Australia should take in the pacific peoples who are being displaced because of rising sea levels. There are not that many of them, they are already our neighbours and it would be easy and not that expensive.

Thinking about it, I don't mind being called a redneck, I have met people who identify as rednecks. They gave me deep fried steak and were very kind to me and my family despite us not being 'white' (well we sort of are but like most Australians I know we are a mix).

OP what are you personally doing about the problem of people drowning off Indonesia on leaky boats run by gangs?

Children should not be in detention centres, of this I am sure. However, I do not know what the answer is, we can't separate them from their parents (don't need another stolen generation), we can't welcome the entire family with open arms for fear of encouraging others to make the dangerous journey.

What do you actually expect Australia to do? What is your plan?

Cartoose Sat 18-May-13 01:28:42

I apologise for my paranoid and crazy posts unthread especially to Squoosh.

Mixxy Sat 18-May-13 01:38:33

In the Tampa incident, Australia kept refugees (mostly from Afghanistan) off shore while just a few weeks later, joining the Coalition of the Willing, in invading Afghanistan, thus creating tens of thousands, if not more, refugees and displaced peoples.

If they weren't ashamed of themselves then, I fail to see how this is going to cause uproar.

differentnameforthis Sat 18-May-13 02:27:33


And this is on the thread YOU started, to complain about racism? Nice op, nice!

MidniteScribbler Sat 18-May-13 02:57:50

Before going off half cocked, it might be worth actually doing a bit of research in to the legislation that was passed. The change was passed to say that asylum seekers who arrive directly to the Australian mainland through non official channels (aka the 'boat people' ::cringes:smile will be treated as any other asylum seeker or refugee. Which means you may be processed off shore. Now whilst I don't agree with the current processing of refugees and off shore centres, I can see somewhat what they are trying to do with this legislation. They're saying that you won't be any better off by squeezing yourself in to a leaky boat where you may or may not survive the journey just to land on the rocky shores of Australia, then try and trek through the desert. There is no benefit to attempting to enter the country this way, better to spend the money with Qantas and come in through official channels.

We need to stop the people smugglers who are charging a fortune, are just as likely to dump you in the ocean halfway there than they are to deliver you to your promised destination, and that's if you're not raped or killed through disease or starvation or exposure on the way. We need to stop these people. It's not those genuinely desperate for a better life that we want to stop from coming, we want to stop the people taking advantage of these desperate people in the first place.

Now, I absolutely detest the concept of detention camps, and I find so much of the whole argument completely distasteful, but I don't think this particular piece of legislation warrants the disgusting racist comments that have been posted here.

differentnameforthis Sat 18-May-13 02:58:21

but as I am the OP on the thread

WTF does THAT mean? That you are untouchable? Or that you can hold any opinion you like? Or that you can insult an entire countries worth of people?

Are you proud that you called your dh, dds & their paternal family, rednecks? What does your dh think about that?


Ahhh fair enough. I'm on PA ATM after losing my rag <sigh>
You're right though- nothing ever changes on EB!

differentnameforthis Sat 18-May-13 03:50:06


Wondered how long it would be before wog came into it. I have lived here 7 years now & have only ever heard the term wog to describe an illness. My friends & MIL all say "I have a wog" as in, "I have a cold"

Wonder when you will all start complaining that we have a cheese called Coon!

saffronwblue Sat 18-May-13 03:50:15

Just joining in with a sigh to say that I am Australian, I am not a redneck, I oppose what our government has done and like many people I know, I support the asylum seekers
I am not so ignorant that I would call another whole country "racist".

differentnameforthis Sat 18-May-13 05:13:34

here you will see that even Aussie politicians are not shy of the word Redneck

So because the politicians say it, it is OK to say that we are all rednecks then? By your explanation, people who believe they are not "rednecks" should not be offended by the term then? Is that is what your garbled message of 10:27 means And thinking about it....the term Redneck is not offensive if it does not apply to you....if you are no racist then you have no worries do you?

You have retracted it [the redneck comment] before now, but here you are, still casting that net. Which tells me, that you are not sorry that you said it at all. You are just doing [badly, may I add] damage limitation & trying to dig yourself out of the hole you are digging even deeper.

You pleb (which won't offend you at all, unless you really are a pleb, in which case meh!)

differentnameforthis Sat 18-May-13 05:17:12

but is it racist? No. It's a way of describing a racist.

Actually it is not that at all.

Redneck is a derogatory slang term used in reference to poor, uneducated [white farmers, especially from the southern United States]

So no, it isn't a way of describing a racist at all. Stop digging, op. Seriously!

Mixxy Sat 18-May-13 06:45:51

Calling all Australians Red Necks is racist. Calling a government policy xenophobic or inhumane is fine. Pointing out governmental (sometimes supported by large parts of the population) policy that is at odds with it foreign affair war matters is also fine.

While we are at it, lets play a game of identifing a global political hot spot or war zone that wasn't originally occupied by the British Army. I'll start it off: Israel-Palestine, India/Pakistan, Iraq, Ireland. Pile on, people of Oz if you feel like it. The OP demands the truth.

Moominsarehippos Sat 18-May-13 08:36:19

Yes so the 'British' army caused the whole world's problems?

Maybe we need a history book that goes back a little further, or looks at the miliatary/political history of ex Soviet Union territories, China, Japan, Turkey, Persia, the Romans.... What about France, Belgium, Spain... Oh we are forgetting religion! The Catholic church! Or ask a Persian what they think of the Islamic conquest of their culture and native religions too whilst you're at it. Its been a long time since I picked up a history book but I seem to remember that most of the world has shat upon other territories in some was in the past and left a mess.

Redneck is just a horrible expression - short hand for an uneducated, racist, drunken yeehaw. It. Can't see it being used in a compementary way.

AngsanaTree Sun 19-May-13 01:59:42

At least the Aussies just have racism to be embarrassed about. If you actually travelled the world a bit more you'd see that English people are not only racist, but also extremely, extremely prejudice against others (usually other English people) based on their accent, schooling and upbringing. As one of the English mums in my class said "there are so many mums in my class from up north. I don't know what to say to them, we have nothing in common".

So classist and racist - congrats!

Mixxy Sun 19-May-13 03:09:14

Moom, it hasn't been that long since I finished my degree in History, so while I don't blame the British for the worlds problems, it is hard to deny the lasting legacy of British Colonialism. There are so many current examples it should be easy to see it in any newspaper.

Moominsarehippos Sun 19-May-13 08:50:45

I suppose I see racism from other countries/religions too and its just as crappy. Two sprimg to mind: 'marrying a pakistani? We don't see them as human' from an educated man from a ME country, of 'oh shit muslims have moved into the street!' From a African/Indian. Both serious.

I'm not english but live here and my son is - so no picking on the English please! I've never had a problem with my accent, upbringing, neither has DH. You can't just say a whole nation is X Y or Z. I've travelled enough and see that abroad people act differently than at home.

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