Senate Report into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy Acknowledges BAC’s Submission

On the 30th of October 2019 the BAC made a submission to the senate inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy on behalf of the interests of our community and what we believe to be the interests of all British Australians.

We were happy to hear that our submission was accepted and that we could release our submission publicly so that the whole community can follow along and be aware of our ongoing dedication to our community objectives. You can view our submission here; https://britishaustraliancommunity.com.au/the-senate-inquiry-into-nationhood-national-identity-and-democracy/

The report was delayed multiple times because of the COVID-19 pandemic but is now publicly available on the Parliament of Australia website.

The very lengthy 264 page senate report has finally been released with the contribution the BAC’s submission having some influence on the result. To save you the effort of poring over the entire document we will summarise key points of interest relevant to our submission and leave a final remark in conclusion to their entire inquiry.

Six members of parliament conducted the rather open ended inquiry of which appears to be triggered by concern about cohesiveness, citizenship, decline in public engagement/trust and to properly define very vague but dominating terms like ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘diversity’. The questions posited by the inquiry are very important and quite profound because any adequate conclusion of the themes in question would require finally addressing what these things actually mean and weighing up the value of them to the Australian people, however, report it’self begins to make statements that assume presupposed conclusions and reads more like a partisan NGO public advocacy statement or a tabloid magazine hoping to attract readers with exaggerated headlines loaded with emotional appeals. For example; the very structure of the inquiry as stated in the introduction, had moved away from the compelling initial questions asked in the discussion paper and devolved into irrelevant statements and often loaded questions, like;

1.18 Chapter 2. Nationhood and democracy: International trends.
Discusses the international context for the inquiry; looks at evidence around
populism, right-wing nationalism, democratic decline and increasing
authoritarianism, and considers how COVID-19 has impacted upon global
democracy. The chapter also considers the results of recent international
elections, and other global events, and asks the question: Where does Australia
fit into this world?

Already the inquiry has created a specter of authoritarianism and shown contempt for their own democratic values by denigrating normal voting citizens -engaging in democracy- as “populists”. To frame the discussion in this way is imposes an implicit moral imperative that Australia must somehow counteract “right-wing” international trends by becoming more liberal and as well to, ironically, arbitrarily impose a different kind of authoritarianism by reducing or perhaps removing the choice to vote in ways that de-privilege multiculturalism. It is not even clear that they had considered that the reason why people a voting for conservative parties is because multiculturalism is being thrust upon them and that citizens naturally value the ethnicity of their people, or that the people who are concerned about this are even right-wing.
This is just a single example of the disingenuous approach the inquiry took but it is clear to see the it’s problematic nature.

The BAC was mentioned in only two sections of the report;

Chapter 3: The Australian nation: Our history, our identities, our future
Chapter 4: The Australian people: Citizenship, culture and religion, social cohesion

The first mention in Chapter 3;

3.114 The British Australian Community expressed the view that Australian schools
are failing to teach students ‘about British Isles culture and history or about the
characteristics and values of Australia’s pioneers’ and ‘tend to emphasise
Aboriginal [and] Asian history and environmental issues’ instead. This view
could be seen as controversial. Complex constructions of First Nations’ history
have only recently begun to be taught in schools, and are still not taught
consistently across all schools, with reports suggesting the level of detail and
coverage are dependent on teacher interest and capacity. A study of the
New South Wales syllabus, reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, found:
Most students will leave history lessons knowing about the Stolen
Generations and campaigns for Indigenous rights, such as the freedom
rides and 1967 referendum. Their understanding of frontier wars, forced
labour or blackbirding, however, might be less robust…The NSW
curriculum gives teachers scope to cover different aspects of 50,000 to
60,000 years of Indigenous history. But insufficient teacher training and
discomfort about confronting content, as well as limited teaching hours,
can mean students graduate with gaps in their knowledge.

This important concern was immediately dismissed in the next paragraph;

A number of submitters did not share this view and instead argued that
stronger emphasis needs to be placed on teaching First Nations history at all
levels of schooling.

It appears that the inquiry was not interested in inquiring into this issue and simply wanted to pursue a different agenda.

The second mention in chapter 4;

4.86 The British Australian Community submitted that the ‘rise in ethnic diversity
has produced a decline in social cohesion in Australia’.80 This issue was
discussed at the roundtable on 7 February in Canberra. Professor Reynolds
said that the limited evidence available on Australian communities does not
indicate this is the case:
When we look at the Australian data, which we have…we can’t see that
relationship in the Australian context. Furthermore, with increasing
diversity in local communities there is also, it seems, more opportunity for
positive contact, which is leading to benefits to social cohesion.81

Again, with “little evidence” and disregarding people’s lived experience, the concerns of the BAC were dismissed.

Conclusion

As can bee seen the over-all inquiry lacked the depth needed to fully address the complicated issues raised by the discussion paper and only addressed the major concerns at their surface without penetrating underneath to the reveal why it is really necessary that Australia must encourage and impose continued globalisation and the privileging of immigrants over British Australians who built this nation. The result is disappointing because it is difficult to see a constructive way forwards if the government can’t create space for discussion and investigation that can lead to better understanding and where peoples concerns are properly acknowledged and addressed. The BAC will continue to generate discussion about all things that relate to our constitutional objectives and advocate for British Australians, if you appreciate our hard work please donate here, enjoy the friendship of our community and/or get involved by becoming a member, we can always use the extra help.

An Extra Note…

All of this being said, what this whole process reveals is that perhaps the issues that the BAC have offered an opinion on were never really the purpose of the inquiry. The report issues ‘recommendations’ (oddly placed before the process of inquiry, not after) that have been drawn from the inquiry and are justified by the enframing nature of the inquiry itself (highlighted by the example given in the beginning of this article). With the use of some kind of perceived oppression, authority, illiberality, etc. the inquiry managed to posit a list of curious ‘recommendations’ like;

Recommendation 1
3.137 The committee recommends that the teaching of history and active
citizenship should be made compulsory in years 9 and 10 and conducted by
appropriately trained teachers. The Australian government should:
– increase the time dedicated to civics and citizenship education to at least
30 hours per year;
– review the current civics and citizenship module of the Australian
National Curriculum with a view to redesigning it to make it more
engaging for students; and
– commit to a review of the new civics and citizenship module five years
after its implementation to assess its effectiveness in increasing
knowledge and engagement of young people in relation to civics and
democracy.
The new civics and citizenship module should:
– be based on international best-practice, evidence-based pedagogical
approaches;
– include content about First Nations history, and issues of civics and
citizenship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians;
– include resources developed by First Nations people; and
– focus on issues of interest to young people.

This shows that cultural deconstruction and mass immigration requires an enforcing of democracy in the minds of the young and is not at all an organic process.

Recommendation 6
4.59 The committee recommends that the Australian government engages in
dialogue with Australian citizens–including prospective citizens–about their
rights and responsibilities, and our shared values, history and national
identity.
To support this dialogue, the committee recommends the government:
– develop and support educational and school programs that improve
co-operation, communication and participation, as well as increasing
critical ability, reducing prejudice and building tolerance, understanding,
empathy, and an openness to diversity;
– enable people and local communities to get involved in their democratic
process across all levels – from small country towns to our suburban cities
and nationwide activity; and
– provide prospective citizens with an engaging and informative history of
Australian democracy and our system of government as part of their
citizenship preparation process.

More evidence that society has been shaken by the past few decades of governance and democracy needs to be implanted instead of naturally occur.

Recommendation 7
4.61 The committee recommends that the Australian government investigates
options to allow dual citizens to run for, and sit in, the federal parliament.

A strange recommendation that seeks to internationalise the government and further deconstruct national intrest.

Recommendation 10
5.89 The committee recommends that the Australian government communicates
its support for amendments to the United States Communications Decency
Act to ensure that hate speech, violent and extremist content, and dangerous
and malicious misinformation, are not permitted to flourish on the internet.

Censorship that could prevent proper discussion about sensitive issues.

Recommendation 11
5.169 The committee recommends that the Australian government consults with
the National Youth Commission and Youth Commissioner to develop
options to:
– ensure greater youth input into political processes of the federal
parliament; and
– promote democracy among Australia’s youth.

Instilling the idea that the privilege of democracy is a free ticket for everyone regardless of age etc. and not something that belongs to the core Australian people of an age and kind that have become responsible guardians.

Recommendation 14
6.60 The committee recommends that the Australian government establishes a
Parliamentary Office of Science, modelled on the United Kingdom
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, to provide independent,
impartial scientific advice, evidence and data to the parliament, and all
Members and Senators.

Using third party research, paid by the government, to reach conclusions for the government.

These recommendations show that the issues in question are not to do with left or right politics but to do with the centralisation of power towards global capital. That the desire for people to belong to their kin requires re-education, the evidence of the distrust in the foundations of democracy requires the effort of the government to prop-up, that the government is active in the deconstruction of conventional norms regarding, race, gender, ethnicity and at the same time active in the internationalising of the nation. All for international capital to broaden it’s reach into ever facet of life, nations in it’s way are an obstacle.

 

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