Is Australia a Racist Country?

Tom of Melbourne writes this timely commentary….

Given the basing of Indian students in Melbourne and the subsequent commentary in the Indian press, the Cronulla riots and the comments of Sol Trujillo, there is plenty to suggest that Australians have a latent racist streak.

We’re not even aware of the offence we cause, and we blame the victim – those that point this out, or the recipients of the violence.

Mainstream Australia is inward looking; we look down on most foreign cultures, and even our own indigenous culture.

We’re hardly worldly, most people have their “once in a lifetime trip” and leave it at that. Eating at the local Indian/Vietnamese/Greek etc restaurant seems to be regarded as evidence of our tolerance.

We are introverted, insecure about our own culture and mistrustful of others.

We have a barely concealed racist tendency, this breeds and tolerates the behaviour of overt the racists.

Sol’s Parting Shot

Less than two weeks since ex Telstra boss Sol Trujillo departed Australia with some $30 million, he has delivered a parting shot to Australians and Australia by saying that racism is a “real problem” in the country.

Paraphrasing Australia’s own beloved international export Kylie (Minogue), Sol reckons that being in Australia is like “stepping back in time.”

Apparantly he was particularly miffed when Kevin Rudd quipped “Adios” when Kev was asked to comment about Sol’s departure from Telstra and the country.

Australia, a pack of racists? Surely not.

Frankly, I reckon Pedro should just piss off back to Mexico where he belongs.

What do you think…?

Monday by the Magazine Rack



Good afternoon and welcome to Monday by the Magazine Rack. Our beginning of the week open chat thread.

Today I brought my own lunch to work. What’s so odd about that I hear you say.

Well it’s probably the first time I’ve made my own lunch and taken it to work in about ten years.

Usually I would just trot ‘round the corner and get my usual pide roll and occasionally, if I’m feeling indulgent, add one of those decadent large size chocolate covered Florentines to the order.

So why is today any different? To be honest I don’t really know. However I suspect that it’s something to do with an increasingly pervasive sentiment that in today’s current environment – “it’s good to be frugal”.

And it’s not just me. Matt Preston, the “Oscar Wilde” type food critic that appears in the Masterchef show I discussed last week, wrote in the Weekend Age, that it’s good to eat-in rather than go out to eat. Which is out of character for one who is usually recommending nice places for people to spend their money eating out.

It seems that while shoppers are still prepared to spend money, they demand more value and more heavily discounted prices than a couple of years ago.

Last week, by way of another example, we purchased a new fridge for the home from a leading national retailer. No not Hardly Normal, I wouldn’t shop there if you held a gun to my head. Well maybe I would, if you did, and it came to that, but you get the idea.

Anyway, after comparing a few prices, the retailer we finally bought it from sold it to us at the cost price – just to get the cashflow. Some $700 below the RRP.

Is it just me, or are any other Blogocrats starting to watch the dollars and cents more closely, than say, in comparison to this time last year?

It’s weird, because our household financial circumstances haven’t changed. If anything we’re better off because we can afford to pay more into our mortgage with the lower interest rates.

It seems that retailers are having sales for the sake of having a sale as they compete for the consumer dollar, and consumers, accordingly, realise that they are in a superior bargaining power.

Take a look at the sale of new vehicles for example. They’ve taken a severe nose dive. Even in the small town of Hobart about 4 or 5 dealers have shut up shop..

It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out..

Anyway over to youse..

Human Rights Act – Part I

Last week the boyf and I attended a public forum on the Human Right Consultation process that is being undertaken by the federal government.  The purpose of the process is to gain input from all Australians, not just the usual suspects (politicians, lawyers, etc.), by making submissions via the website above, via mail or via a community roundtable discussion.

Here is a short clip I made at the forum. Continue reading

Top Five – Australians

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Happy Australia Day to all. Continue reading

By the Walrus Watercooler..


Welcome to the beginning of another week.

This is our open thread for general discussion, gossip et cetera….

Top Aussie Destinations

Guess where?

Our intrepid travelling blogocrat Kevin Rennie has been providing us with some fascinating insights into some of Australia’s least known (at least to me anyway) but stunning locations. 

Another regular blogocrat, has suggested that we have a go at nominating our own favourite little slice of Australia, and why you like it.

It could be off the beaten track, it might not.  It could be a well-known holiday destination or it might be in the middle of nowhere…

With the holiday season rapidly approaching it might be a good idea to reminisce about your favourite Aussie spot or to discuss with others where you have been in the recent past that you’ve really enjoyed.

Anyway, over to youse….