The Ashes

It’s on a cheery note that we commence our first news review (which will continue regularly in 2022), with the Australian cricket side comprehensively defeating England in the first test of the Ashes, and looking strong early in the second test. No doubt this has proven a welcome distraction from the recent travails of the (now former) Australian captain. The Ashes is one of the most significant and enduring institutions of Anglo-Australian friendship, where a fierce rivalry stands as evidence of deep shared cultural bonds.

In this context, the BAC’s President, Frank Salter, was contacted by YahooSport for comment on the phenomenon of branding the British (primarily the English) as ‘Poms’. His comments were presented fairly, showcasing the BAC’s ability to shape the media narrative surrounding important issues for Anglo-Australians. As the article noted:

“For the most part, we believe the terms “Pom” and “Pommy” are often used with some affection by traditional Australians, who are often of Anglo heritage themselves.

“Mostly, therefore, any rivalry denoted by their use is friendly and good-humoured banter.

“However, there are some informal rules that keep the terms positive. They should be accompanied by friendly verbal and non-verbal signals.

“Pom is offensive if spoken in the context of a critical or abusive message or demeanour.”

Birth rates and mass immigration

Cratering birth rates have been a much-covered topic. Elon Musk kicked off the topic a couple of weeks ago by declaring that the world needed more children if civilisation was to survive. For Australians this was followed by the news that our own national total fertility rate (TFR) had dropped in 2020 to a new all-time low of 1.58, down from 2.02 in 2008, and where 2.10 is generally considered the required level to maintain the population from shrinking.

Data is difficult to come by on birth rates for different ethnicities within Australia, as the Federal Government does not collect data on ethnicity, only nationality, place of birth and, as part of the Census, self-identified ancestry. Given the available data shows elevated birth rates in areas with a high concentration of foreign nationals, immigrants from non-traditional sources and the indigenous, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the TFR for Anglo-Australians is even lower than the headline figure of 1.58. This implies that Anglo-Australians, apart from any effect of immigration, are shrinking as a proportion of the population.

While there was a tepid call from Peter Costello to find ways to help boost the birth rate, based upon an appeal to economistic thinking [paywall], the Liberal Party naturally saw this as an opportunity to return to one of its favourite subjects, restarting mass immigration (or have they?), with the added imperative of boosting immigration above the already record-high levels that were in place pre-COVID in order to “catch up”.

Encouragingly, the Labor Party seems to have wobbled somewhat on the bipartisan consensus against speaking against mass immigration with Anthony Albanese refusing to say [paywall] that he would match the Federal Government’s planned restart of mass immigration. As the Australian Population Research Institute had voluminously documented through their research, mass immigration is incredibly unpopular. No doubt with a potentially very close Federal election approaching, the prospect of winning is making some within the major parties look at what may be an easy way to win more votes [paywall].

We may be approaching what the Lowy Institute’s Sam Roggeveen called “our very own Brexit” [paywall]: the rapid breakdown of the bipartisan consensus in favour of mass immigration that would have a massive, cascading effect on our political-economic makeup.

Australia Day and Diversity

The editor of The Australian spoke in support of Australia Day [paywall]. The endorsement was lukewarm, as is often the case with how the major “conservative” broadsheet speaks in favour of anything that might be construed as pro-Anglo.

“But it is possible to reflect, in sorrow if not anger, that a community more concerned with what divides it and fractured along race, religion or identity lines becomes poorer as a result. There may be good reason to question the appropriateness of celebrating a national day that coincides with the arrival of the British. Noel Pearson has argued that January 26 is a defining date but celebration of nationhood also should reflect the period more than 50,000 years ago when the First Australians crossed the Torres Strait land bridge to this continent, and the abolition of the White Australia policy between 1973 and 1975. Mr Pearson’s argument is that these dates speak to the three parts of Australia: our Indigenous heritage, the fact of our British colonisation and the removal of discrimination against migrants.”

For some of us, British colonisation is more than a mere “fact”, something that we may have assumed would be the case for the key editors at The Australian, who all appear to be Australians of Anglo-Celtic descent.

At least they didn’t stoop to the levels of our national broadcaster, which saw fit to print a comment referring to a novel by an indigenous author (given an Indigenous-only award funded by the Queensland taxpayer) that it was “an antidote to Anglo-Australian literature”. Despite how unsurprising the implicit metaphor of Anglo-Australian literature as some kind of illness needing an “antidote” is, it is still an attack on the founding Nation’s heritage, one that the ABC should be ashamed to give voice to.

Our illustrious past

There is a renewed effort to remove a large statue of Captain Cook in Cairns. The statue is, admittedly, not the world’s most aesthetically pleasing landmark, but that is not the reason being given for the campaign to remove. As the reader can probably guess, the reason given is the offense the statue causes for the local indigenous population.

The Institute of Public Affairs has revealed one of their latest projects: the launch of an Australian Canon, recognising Australia’s most significant literature, film, music and art. Greg Sheridan of the Australian has cast off his usual cultural cringe to raise some small but valid criticisms [paywall], but like him, we must applaud the general idea.

Our ‘fully consulted’ future

The Federal Government has revealed its plans for the so-called Indigenous Voice to Parliament, a consultative body to provide comment on policies that directly affect indigenous people. Without going into detail, the plan envisions multiple layers of ‘grassroots’ indigenous bodies that will provide input to Federal Government policy-making processes.

It appears that it is unlikely any legislation related to the ‘Voice’ will be presented in this term of Parliament, and there is ongoing debate as to whether the proposed model should be enshrined in the Constitution via a referendum.

What it seems most mainstream commentators don’t want to touch is where this leaves other ethnic communities in relation to Parliament, particularly Anglo-Australians: the state-forming people of Australia and arguably the First Nation, without whom Australia as we know it, including its Parliament, would not exist. The potential for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament to create a local, racialised version of the West Lothian Question is either unnoticed or deliberately unexamined. Perhaps the Anglo-Australian community should be advocating for its own deliberative bodies to provide the “Anglo view” on upcoming legislation? We suggest you not hold your breath on that one.

We at the BAC wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!