Matt Canavan has to go. He’s a foreign national in the parliament. Via the AFR:
Matt Canavan “automatically” became an Italian citizen because of his blood ties, says a specialist migration lawyer.
Melbourne lawyer Joseph Italiano, a former member of the Immigration Review Tribunal, said under Italian law a person has a blood right known as jus sanguinis to Italian citizenship.
In the eyes of Italian law, this effectively means citizenship is passed on from one generation to the next until it is formally renounced, even when Italian authorities may not have records of a person’s birth.
“To me it’s indisputable that Mr Canavan is an Italian citizen and he has taken no steps to renounce it,” Mr Italiano said.
“Mr Canavan is a citizen by blood. He doesn’t have to make an application for anything. If it is not severed it goes on continuously to successive generations.
“Whether you want it or not is immaterial.”
This principle has never been more vital. As Australia’s people links to foreign powers expand, the risk of a dual national that does not have Australia’s best interests at heart (versus some other country) making decisions in the parliament grows.
Many foreign powers – some of which with whom Australia has highly-charged relationships – officially claim their diasporas based upon ethnicity alone. Nationality is at least one half-decent screen to ensure the right loyalties are in place in the leadership.
Canavan has to go.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg today. The press reaction to this has suddenly spilled over into the wider immigration debate. From immigration extremist Peter Martin:
Australia is overwhelmingly foreign. Half of us were either born overseas or have an overseas-born parent. Many, many more (like the Coalition’s unfortunate Matt Canavan) have at least one overseas-born grandparent.
A section of the Constitution that prevents an Australian being elected to the Australian Parliament because they happen to also be a “citizen of a foreign power” makes no sense given the number of forgotten foreign passports lying unused in sock drawers.
It ought to be enough that you’ve been declared Australian, made to pay Australian taxes and forced to vote.
…Yet, by quite a huge margin, we dislike immigration…Central to these concerns are crowded cities, and jobs.
Inside Story’s Tim Colebatch finds that between 2008 and 2016 Australia’s labour market created an extra 474,000 full-time jobs. But only 74,000 went to people born in Australia. The bulk (400,000) went to migrants. Around 364,000 went to migrants who had arrived here since 2001.
You’d be forgiven for thinking these migrants had elbowed longer-term locals to get the extra jobs, and you would be right. But that’s only part of the story; the part we can see. The part we can’t see is where those extra jobs came from.
Most came from migration.
Calculations unveiled by Professor Peter McDonald at last week’s Melbourne Institute economic outlook conference suggest that, without migration, total employment would have grown by just 126,000 between 2011 and 2016. With migration, it grew 739,000.
Migrants create jobs because they spend (often spending more than they earn at first if they brought money with them) and borrow to buy houses.
Professor Peter MacDonald is one very confused puppy. Arguing precisely the opposite a few years earlier, as we know, which only goes to show that you can pretty much argue anything using a garbage model to meet fashion trends.
Anyway, Peter Martin himself puts his finger on the problem. It’s not just about jobs, it’s about what kinds of jobs and for whom. Do we need to boost an economic model that increases consumer spending and demand for houses? No, we do not.
That way lies a forever war on existing Australian youth and working classes (migrants included!) delivering lower wages for entry level and lower paid jobs, lower amenity in public goods (especially in over-crowded areas earmarked for sardine-stuffing where the plebs live) and higher assets prices. It’s a recipe for rabid class war on Australia’s most vulnerable classes.
Rather, what we need is greater investment in the productive economy to boost income growth and policies aimed at improving competitiveness to ensure it keeps coming. This is not even remotely controversial. It is economics 101. Especially so in a post-mining boom economy that is priced-out on tradables up the wazoo.
Yet we live the failure to confront this reality every day. House prices torture youth. Wages fall. Cities choke. We are running out of ambulances, roads, rail, planes, schools, hospital beds, houses, water etc. We won’t meet Paris climate targets. Environmental groups howl at natural habitat destruction. It has paralysed monetary and fiscal policy, generated corruption scandal after corruption scandal in the parliament, and turned us into a joke of a strategic ally, hopelessly strung up between economic and strategic well-being, as well as between democracy and communism represented in the great powers of our time.
In this economic model, where is the point of being an Australian if you are not super wealthy and live in your virtual gated city in Sydney’s east where none of this transpires. If you believe Australia is intrinsically about the fair go, the corollary is that there is no point of “Australia” at all. No matter where you are from!!!
Let me offer one final insight into the post-modern crazies that are now running this debate. Yesterday, LVO politely took Tom Westlakeland to the woodshed for penning in The Guardian the usual allegations of racism for anyone that suggests immigration should be cut. Westlakeland is some unknown fellow with extreme views on nationhood and immigration, in his own words:
It is a matter of moral preference whether you think that Australia’s stocks of clean air and clean water (and its stock of high-quality infrastructure, for that matter, much of it built and paid for by people who are now dead)—like our stocks of iron ore and coking coal—are the property of existing citizens by right or whether you think that the unequal division of resources among the peoples of the world is largely arbitrary and often the result of historical patterns of state violence and conquest. If you believe the latter, as I do, then barring immigrants from enjoying these stocks of natural and infrastructural wealth, even at the cost of their partial degradation, is hard to justify morally.
Good luck to The Guardian for publishing fringe views. Yet when I contacted the paper to a suggest that LVO deserves the right of reply in the paper there was nothing but complete silence, despite his pedigree as a free-thinking former Australian and Victorian Treasury economist. Such one-sided thinking is a complete violation of the “liberal ” values of the Scott Trust (which I admire greatly) that underpins The Guardian. Moreover, it undermines what Australia is supposed to be about: a country, a democracy, an entity that looks after those that live here within a global community, most especially its youth.
There is only one set of fruit loops in the Australian immigration debate and it ain’t those calling for a halving of the intake to historical norms to protect living standards.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.