• The Australian Labor parties dark past never acknowledged

  • By: taser12 Added: 25-11-17
  • It's quite often at social gatherings or on social media platforms like FaceBook and Twitter that a debate on politics and in general immigration and refugees turns into a heated argument that it's "always a right leaning Liberal supporter/voter that would be against immigration and refugees coming to Australia, especially a white male, you on the right side of the politics are nothing but racists". Now normally if I'm not there to debunk this utterly fallacious tale on other peoples behalf most people at this point shy away from the argument because the "racist card" has been pulled and they don't want to be labelled as such. The problem with the argument that "the right leaning Liberals have always been racists and are against immigration and refugees making their way to Australia" is that it is entirely an argument from ignorance, the very fact that it is usually left leaning Labor supporters sprouting this nonsense staggers me even more. Usually the line goes "Yeh but Gough Whitlam dismantled the White Australia policy and he was in the Labor Party, don't you know that, the Labor party is inherently good" and while this argument is partially true, it was in fact previous decades of Liberal party policy that removed 95% of the White Australia policy, the policy in fact was originally initiated by a Labor Party backed politician by the name of Edmond Barton, who was actually Australia's first Prime Minister at the birth of Federation. Almost all of the White Australia policies had been dismantled years before Gough Whitlam almost entirely by right leaning Liberal Party governments, as you will read further on, it was actually the Labor party & its associates that not only implemented the White Australia policy but also hindered the removal of such policy. Because the Whitlam government reduced the overall immigration intake the reformation steps that it had taken had very little impact on the number of migrants from non-European countries. An increase in the number and percentage of migrants from non-European countries did not take place until after the Liberal Fraser government came into office in 1975.

    The White Australia policy was introduced by the first Prime Minister of Australia Edmund Barton, he got into power purely through the Labor party who wanted to introduce the White Australia policy, the condition of Edmund Barton forming government with Labor party support was that he introduce the White Australia policy which was one of the Labor Parties key social reforms, it was one of Edmund Barton's first pieces of legislation, Edmund Barton was quoted as saying "The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of the Englishman and the Chinaman"
    He was hardly a hardcore conservative right winger with many conservatives of the time disliking him.
    During WW2, the Labor Prime Minister John Curtin vehemently defended the White Australia policy saying "This country shall remain forever the home of the descendants of those people who came here in peace in order to establish in the South Seas an outpost of the British race."
    Leader of the Labor Party from 1960-1967 Arthur Calwell supported the White European Australia policy. Arthur Calwell also deported many non-white refugees who had entered Australia during World War 2, many whom had married Australians.

    Let's do a break-down of the dismantling of the White Australia Policy:
    - The 1949 Liberal Immigration Minister Harold Holt permitted 800 non-European refugees to stay, and Japanese war brides were also to be admitted into Australia.
    - In 1950 Liberal External Affairs Minister Percy Spender permitted students from Asian countries to be admitted to study at Australian universities.
    - In 1957 the Liberal Menzies government gave Non-Europeans that had 15 years residence in Australia the option to become citizens.
    - The 1958 Liberal Menzies government revised the Migration Act, 1958 and abolished the dictation test and introduced a simpler system for entry. Immigration Minister, Sir Alexander Downer, announced that 'distinguished and highly qualified Asians' might immigrate.
    - 1959 a Liberal Menzies government allowed Australians to sponsor Asian spouses for citizenship.
    - The 1964 Liberal Menzies government made allowance for conditions of entry for people of non-European heritage to be relaxed. Immigration Minister Hubert Opperman decided people who are of temporary resident status of non-European decent, who were not required to leave Australia, could become permanent residents and citizens after five years.
    - It was the Liberal party under Harold Holt that really turned the tide on the White Australia policy with the 1966 Migration Act. In an interesting side note it was also the Liberal party again under Harold Holt that called the referendum to give voting rights to Aboriginal Australians (the referendum also attracted a huge 90% yes vote).
    - It was not until the Fraser Liberal government's review of immigration law in 1978 that all selection of prospective migrants based on country of origin was entirely removed from official policy. The 1978 Liberal Fraser government commissioned a review of immigration in Australia. A three year program to replace the annual immigration targets of the past, a renewed commitment to apply immigration policy without racial discrimination, a more consistent and structured approach to migrant selection and an emphasis on attracting people who would represent a positive gain to Australia.

    Now all this enlightening information really makes no difference, it truly doesn't, its in the past and I'm all for the future, both sides of politics have had their dark sides, but if Labor party supporters are going to try and take the moral high ground and lecture us all on the virtues of the wonderful Labor party movement they need to at least acknowledge the parties past, because none of the current Labor party MP's certainly don't.

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