I just caught 5 minutes of the ABC Radio National program Counterpoint, something I rarely bother with given it’s intended to be the ABC’s attempt at providing for the minority right-wing view. Former Liberal Senator Amanda Vanstone hosts it, so that alone should tell you what the program’s content is like.
The brief piece of discussion I caught had to do with some academic or other – name unknown at this stage, consult the website once it updates later today – putting forward the view that we really need to better vet immigrants we allow into Australia. The inevitable direction of the chat pointed directly at the Muslim community. This person, academic…..hell, probably representative from the IPA for all I know, postulated that we should be better vetting immigrants based on Australian Values. I found myself asking out loud, “what ARE Australian values?” He further postulated that from a religious perspective, Islam, the religion, most likely had far more in common with these ethereal Australian Values than Islamism, the political, ideological concept.
I probably ought to have listened longer, but sitting in the car with a freshly purchased cold six-pack steadily getting warm, just so I could garner more context on what some right-wing froot bat considered to be Australian Values just didn’t seem worth the effort. But the brief piece I did hear has spurred me to write here and ask – just what are the so-called Australian Values this individual believes we should be assessing potential immigrants against? I did hear him mention ‘freedom’; ‘western liberal values’; ‘equality between genders’ but that’s where I baled.
So tell me, dear reader, what is it, from your perspective, that constitutes Australian Values? I’d really like to know.