Monday, October 01, 2007

They all look the same to him

Today at crikey.com.au, Mungo MacCallum summarises a recent monstrous bingle in the Coalition's Clayton's campaigning:

'Even [Howard's] shameless attempt to duchess the Chinese community went wrong: his staff produced a glossy invitation lauding the achievements of Chinese Australians, but through either blind racism or pig ignorance sent it not only to the Chinese, but to their sworn enemies, the Koreans and Vietnamese as well – after all, they all look the same and they all have funny names.'

Three questions:

1) What does he mean, either blind racism or pig ignorance?

2) Was there really no minion anywhere in the process of formulating and disseminating this message who heard alarm bells? If the answer is yes, then the Rodent has one or more, erm, rats in the ranks.

3) Does anyone plan to point out to Howard that if only he knew a little more about the postmodernism and/or the multiculturalism against which he so tirelessly rails and legislates (or even just about the history he never tires of talking up as though the rest of us didn't know any), he and/or his People would never have made this grotesquely insulting and, one hopes, fatal mistake in the first place?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sworn enemies? In Australia, 2007? WTF? I'm Korean-Australian, and it's news to me...

Ann O'Dyne said...

I was laughing at the thought of The Rodent having a Rat In His Ranks, as I clicked on Post a comment' ... and then I saw 'anonymous'.
what a thrill that Korean-Aussies are so highly evolved.

The Greeks and Macedonians are another matter altogether. Never mix them at parties, or anywhere really (no offence meant, to either nationality by the way).

jamesm said...

I saw a story in the paper re. this on the weekend describing how they'd gone through the electoral roll picking out "chinese" names, and commented to my partner that such a process was likely to lead to exactly this sort of mistake.

The cruel truth is what this exposes - that the Liberals have absolutely no contact with the local community. If this were Labor they'd just pull out the Rolodex and dial the local Chinese community groups and put something together in a couple of hours. That's because Labor works to establish and maintain deep local contacts.

I wonder if Mr Howard can say "out of touch"?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Ann O'D, my thoughts exactly. Old national emnities die hard.

On the subject of Korea-China relations, Google is our friend. Australia in 2007 is one thing but there is a long history of tension and hostility; the two countries only established diplomatic relations as late as 1992, which to me and even more to Mungo MacCallum is not a very long time in a country's history, so I guess how one perceives this depends on how old one is. Perhaps, Anonymous, you are also too young to remember Howard giving away his true opinion about Asian immigration to Australia back in the 1980s.

That story about the phone book is incredibly creepy, James, for all the reasons that you give.

fifi said...

Thank God I'm not in the phone book, is all I can say.
With my un-australian name I might end up with The Tony Abbott on my doorstep being "multicultural".

meggie said...

I don't know that our surname is clearly defined as to it's origins. It is rather scary to think we might be judged on something so innocent.
But anything Howard does or okays, is suss.
And isn't he looking increasingly Rodent-like!

melaleuca said...

The "sworn enemies" claim by Mungo regarding Vietnamese-Chinese relations is over the top. Most Vietnamese celebrate Chinese New Year and many have an interest in feng-shui etc and plenty also have Chinese friends or partners. Frictions do exist but Mungo is himself being "pig ignorant" by effectively caricaturing the relationship.

By the way, Ratty's party did exactly the same thing in the last Vic state election.