Whose ‘Aussie values’

“John Howard’s government is using the idea of protecting ‘Aussie values’ – such as ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ – to justify both its brutal foreign policies, such as its participation in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its attempts to criminalise political dissent. The Coalition, aided by some state Labor governments and the media, has been whipping up Islamophobia and racism, trying to convince us that this is consistent with ‘Australian values’. …

“The resurgence of racism and nationalism is not unique to Australia; it is happening in nearly every advanced capitalist country. First World governments are using racism and Islamophobia to win public support for – or at least passive acceptance of – their big attacks on working conditions and civil liberties….

“Recognising that, in fact, we are all under the same whip is the essential basis for moving forward, towards a just world in which everyone stands for values that are universal, that reflect and safeguard the needs and interests of the great majority of people in all nations.”

Green Left Weekly, 20 January 2007