How public concerns about high immigration are suppressed

By Leith van Onselen

Dr Katharine Betts from The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) has published a new report entitled “Immigration and public opinion in Australia: how public concerns about high migration are suppressed”, which explains why policies supporting mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’ persist against the wishes of Australian voters.

Below is the Executive Summary, along with the key graphics from this report:

Australia’s remarkable population growth over the last decade is mainly being driven by high levels of immigration. The survey taken by the Australian Population Research Institute (Tapri) in August 2017 found that 54 per cent of voters wanted these levels reduced. But there is some division here. Sixty-one per cent of voters who are not university graduates wanted a reduction but only 41 per cent of graduates agreed.

Data from the 2016 Australian Election Study (AES) collected after the July 2016 federal election show that 72 per cent of people working in arts and media actually wanted a further increase in immigration, as did 49 per cent of teachers and academics. In contrast, those business managers who are not graduates were the keenest on a reduction.

The AES data also reveals an even more striking finding. Sixty per cent of the candidates standing for election in 2016 wanted an increase in migration and only four per cent wanted a decrease.

This position was especially marked for Labor and Greens candidates.

At that time 67 per cent of Labor candidates wanted an increase compared to only 31 per cent of Labor voters. Labor candidates were much closer to Greens candidates and to Greens voters than they were to their own supporters.

On the immigration question politicians live in an attitudinal world remote from the average voter.

Over a year later in 2017 Tapri found that 74 per cent of voters thought Australia did not need more people and that 54 per cent wanted a reduction in immigration. But adverse public opinion has had little impact on policy. There are two reasons for this: political pressures on policy makers applied by the growth lobby, Treasury and the Reserve Bank, and social pressures generated by cultural progressives (most of them university graduates). It is they who promote, and monitor, the doctrine that opposition to high migration is racist.

The Tapri survey documents this, finding that nearly two thirds of voters think that people who question high migration are sometimes thought of as racists. Thirty-one per cent of this group say that this is because such sceptics usually are racists (an opinion endorsed by 41 per cent of graduates). Sixty-nine per cent of this sub-group say that the accusation is unfair ‘because very few of them are racists’, a proportion rising to 75 per cent among non-graduates.

These results are used to construct a free-speech-on-immigration variable. This consists of four categories: the ‘guardians against racism’ (those who said sceptics usually were racist); the ‘threatened’ (those who said the accusation was unfair); the ‘fearless’ (those who said sceptics were not ‘sometimes thought of as racist’); and the ‘confused’ (those who said ‘don’t know’).

Graduates predominate among the guardians. Twenty-six per cent of graduates took the strong moral position that questioning high migration was usually a manifestation of racism. Not surprisingly, graduates who are guardians against racism are much more likely to want an increase in migration than are the threatened or indeed the sample as a whole.

A further question found that people who were threatened by possible accusations of racism were less likely to speak out about immigration, especially if they were graduates. As for the confused, 45 per cent said they didn’t know enough about immigration to discuss it.

Many voters are either silenced by the threat posed by the guardians or too confused to take an active part in public debate. If the two categories of threatened (45 per cent) and confused (10 per cent) are added, 55 per cent of voters may be deterred from entering into any debate on immigration.

The guardians are right to take a strong stand against racism but wrong to see it where none exists. The problem lies in the moral reflex that equates discontent about high migration with racism. The silence this promotes does more than inhibit democratic reform, it gives comfort to the growth lobby. This profits from immigration while leaving the silenced majority to pay the costs.

Recent opinion polls from the Australian Population Research Institute (54% want lower immigration), Newspoll (56% want lower immigration), and Essential (54% believe Australia’s population is growing too fast and 64% believe immigration is too high) all show that Australian voters support lowering immigration.

This disconnect between public opinion and policy highlights why Australia desperately needs to have a plebiscite on Australia’s future population.

We need to take decision making out of the elitist’s and politicians’ hands and give the Australian people the opportunity to choose Australia’s future population size (and by extension immigration levels) via a democratic vote.

Australia just had a plebiscite on same sex marriage, so why can’t we also have one on this issue? It is just as contentious but, unlike same sex marriage, also has direct impacts on current and future Australians’ living standards.

The full TAPRI report can be downloaded here.

Leith van Onselen


  1. mild colonial

    41% of graduates agreeing on anything is pretty bloody good.
    So we have a new hero.

  2. Super Phoenix

    As I wrote in the other thread (, this is a part of the state-sponsored pyramid scheme that has worked remarkably well for so long.

    Since this scheme has been going on for so long, the dumb electorate has well and truly gotten accustomed to irresponsible pollies who claim that it is possible to pay less and get more.

    The sense of entitlement is rife. It will be quite a scene to behold when it finally dawns on the public that if something sounded too good to be true it probably was. Will that day ever come?. It probably will but you never know in Straya!!!

    The sobering up phase will be similar to the rehabilitation process of long-term drug addicts – long, hard and excruciating.

    • There is a historical precedent for an extremely embarrassing similar episode of folly being whitewashed out of the collective consciousness.

      Quadrant Magazine, April 2013

      Peter Ryan, on “The Land Boomers” by Michael Cannon
      Melbourne. University Press, 2013; revised, print-on-demand edition, 409 pages, $34.99

      It was my privilege, over almost half a century, to have followed in intimate detail the triumphant “best-seller” course of one of the most remarkable Australian books of all time: The Land Boomers, by Michael Cannon. No full understanding of the concluding decades of the Colony of Victoria, nor the subtler character even to this day of its jewelled city Melbourne, is possible without some apprehension of the land boom era, and of its appalling “bust”.

      For reasons which escape my understanding, the publisher over recent years has ceased to put copies into the bookshops – “Out of print”. More reprehensibly, the author himself seems to have been left in the dark about the intended future fate of his great work. No matter. The publication last month of a fresh edition, liberally illustrated and with a new Author’s Introduction makes us look ahead rather than backward, not so much a happy ending to The Land Boomers as its resurgent continuation.

      Michael Cannon tells his absorbing, often scandalous story with verve and clarity. We see the respectable middle classes hurling their money away as madly as any drunken sailor, frantic to “get rich quick” through wildly inflating land prices and “development”. We see supposedly upright and conservative bankers and other business leaders throwing caution overboard out of similar breathless greed. Some of these were themselves dupes of the delusion. All too many others were mere brigands in shiny silk top hats consciously setting forth to swindle humbler citizens of their lifetime nest eggs. The Melbourne mood was all wild optimism: “We’re all going to be millionaires! Every blessed one of us!”

      Came the bust. Proudly independent “comfortable” families dismissed their troops of long-serving retainers, and then themselves became dependent on the dreaded “paying guest” to meet their own grocers bills; ordinary workers were simply sacked in their thousands, starving with their families as they tried to beg bread on the streets, or scavenge among the scraps in Melbourne’s garbage cans. Lacking any system of organised state relief, churches, charities and citizens of good will tried to sustain them. For example, it was recorded that “200 souls were Maintained at Werribee Sewage Farm at an average cost of Sevenpence ha’penny a week”. (One forbears to inquire what they were eating.)

      The land boomers themselves seem to have included a remarkably high proportion of what poet Rabble Burns would have called the “uncommon good”: stern teetotallers, wowsers, sabbatarians, churchgoers, vestrymen, pew-renters, puritans of every Stripe. Their mortification when their bubble burst was extreme, and their efforts to suppress the story strenuous and largely successful. Victoria’s bankruptcy laws were shamelessly rigged so that outrageous defaulters could escape in secret. Honest judges were threatened with removal. Eighty years later I knew two Melbourne scholars of high achievement and blameless academic reputation who would almost blush if the land boom were mentioned; their well-known grandfathers had played an equivocal role in that boom so long ago.

      When Cannon sought help with his researches at the Public Library in 1963 that vast repository could point to no more than a single chapter in H.G. Turner’s conservative History of the Colony of Victoria published in 1904. Only that trace remained about a trauma which had rocked the colony to its foundations!

      The arrival at the State Archives of a series of wooden crates from the Crown Law Office transformed Cannon’s resources. The crates contained dust-coated original records of the Bankruptcy jurisdiction, court transcripts of evidence, old company files and indeed most of the bare facts needed to piece together the tales of horrid fascination which The Land Boomers tells.

      The feat of analysis and reconstruction of all this material would have been a challenge to any mature and hardened research scholar; it was brilliantly performed by a young man who lacked a single hour of research experience or university training.

      The outstanding quality of this “amateur” manuscript was testified by two impeccable authorities: Sir Hugh Brain, after nearly a lifetime experience in the Collins House Group of companies, a familiar with the powerful magnate William Lawrence Baillieu and the Baillieu family interests. Brain said that Michael had got the business side right, and furthermore helped him with additional rare documentation. Then Australia’s pre-eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey pronounced it to be sound and important history.

      With such distinguished support, the manuscript was swiftly adopted for publication by the Board of Management of Melbourne University Press: this despite the unease of the Vice- Chancellor, and murmurs of the risk of the Baillieu family withdrawing its support for the university library and the nascent archives department.

      The book was published in 1966 to sensational acclaim, and a fresh printing was required within days — and then promptly another one — to satisfy exuberant demand. It almost seemed as if the sedulous cover-up of the Edwardian years had bottled up latent curiosity under pressure.

      Hundreds of copies were sold to lawyers summoned to advise upper-crust families on whether they might sue for defamation, or otherwise put Cannon’s “vile book” out of circulation. Over the teacups at Darren Baillieu’s Toorak mansion, council of war was held by the family over how “The Land Boomers” might be silenced or smothered.

      Not one writ was ever issued by anyone, and for about the next forty-six years, through at least ten different impressions and various editions, The Land Boomers has continued to share with its readers its rich freight of wisdom and warning, and the entertainment of a lively, racy yarn.

      The author’s new introduction to the fresh edition enables him to do not only the usual minor corrections and tidying up, but also to deal with one new matter of substance. A Melbourne academic (encouraged by the Baillieu family) last year published a scholarly volume entitled William Lawrence Baillieu, Founder of Australia’s Greatest Business Empire. Says Cannon, the book “seems to me to worsen the case against W.L.’s boom-time activities, making his financial recovery after the crash even more astonishing”. Clearly The Land Boomers still surges with active life. To help modern minds grasp the immensity of the disaster of the 1890’s, Cannon cites the example of Benjamin Fink: when that super-boomer went bung for 1,800,000 pounds, his debts would have been worth some $300,000,000 today…

      • But this time…it’s different…

        ordinary workers were simply sacked in their thousands, starving with their families as they tried to beg bread on the streets, or scavenge among the scraps in Melbourne’s garbage cans. Lacking any system of organised state relief, churches, charities and citizens of good will tried to sustain them….. “200 souls were Maintained at Werribee Sewage Farm at an average cost of Sevenpence ha’penny a week”. (One forbears to inquire what they were eating.)

      • fitzroyMEMBER

        When creditors assail ya,
        Do not try to leave Australia,
        Imitate the house of Bailieu
        And stage a great financial failure.
        (Specifically excluding those currently alive)

        The change comes as sure as the seasons,
        He loses his coin in a mine,
        Or booming in land,
        Or for reasons,
        Connected with women and wine,,,

      • Excellent work PHIL. One of the lessons from this fantastic book, which chronicles very similar times to the present, is how the elite get off Scott free. Amazing.

      • that is the starting point of Power Without Glory, everybody sitting around miserable and unemployed, and that’s when John West (Wren) starts his tote.

    • Super Phoenix

      They can’t – they have no idea as to what the root cause is, let alone the solution.

      • You have that right – but how could they know? You have academia preaching the globalist BS story. So the media are full of ‘intelligent’ graduates who all live in Sydney Melbourne Brisbane. They ALL tell each other how clever they are night after night after night and we are lucky to have such intelligent people so closely gathered together. The big con is they make the average bloke/sheila think they are part of the in-crowd with their ‘sympathetic’ demeanour and fake outrage. So how can any poor bloke/sheila in the street understand?
        Take a look at MB!!! It’s just a political rag really. Serious questions of economics get about 5 commenters. Some green/climate change/political issue will get 150 comments. Nobody WANTS to know.
        Last week Deep T wrote what is a critical article about the nation. From there all the MB posts basically go on as if there is no such blokes as Deep T nor of Credit Code Red by Peter Brain and Ian Manning. The critical concerns they raise mean diddly squat.
        That said the equine that took advantage of the unlatched stable door has now bolted so far down the road even the Man from Snowy River, supposing we could get him out of the pub with his IPhone betting on every race on the card, would have an ice cubes chance in hell of getting said equine back.
        The answers lie back in time.

      • Super Phoenix

        “but how could they know?”

        No, they cannot, nor are they meant to, find out.

        “Take a look at MB!!! It’s just a political rag really. Serious questions of economics get about 5 commenters. Some green/climate change/political issue will get 150 comments. Nobody WANTS to know.”

        Yes, I think you are right about nobody WANTS to know. Truth hurts.

        I have been scratching my head for some time after I first pointed out that the introduction of negative gearing would increase government revenue (and abolishing it would slash it) several years ago. The first to understand what I meant back then were aj., PhilBest and – are you ready for this? – reusa.

      • Reusa had a better grip on ‘what is going to happen’ than just about all MB – along with a few who called it when the RBA l;et loose with lower rates.

  3. When my grandfather was close to death at age 89, he said he was glad he was on his way out because it wasn’t his country anymore. To me it’s sad that old people who were born here, fought for this country, and lived their whole lives here die in a country they don’t feel they belong to anymore.
    I remember the line ‘the past is a different country’ from somewhere but the problem is that today the present is also a different country.

    You have to ask, why?

    • fitzroyMEMBER

      The gobetween by LP Hartley. I had reason to see a Paul Lyneham 4 Corners report on Utah mining from the 1970s. There was extensive footage of people from government, opposition, business, unions, and academia. I couldn’t get over how superior they were to people today occupying the same positions. The show is online. I suspect the education quality was superior then, notwithstanding the proliferation of universities.

      • Which side of politics has come to dominate the institutions of education since it was last any good? It is blindingly obvious what the problem is. Progressive relativism, deconstruction, identity politics, historical revisionism, Marxist narratives replacing facts, political correctness, etc etc.

        If the old conservative establishment really was all that nasty, Marcuse, Foucault, Derrida, et al would have been jailed instead of getting influential tenures – and we’d be a lot better off for it today.

      • Quadrant Magazine June 2007, “The Decline and Fall of the West” by Mike Alder.

        “…The kind of thinking which produced the world we now inhabit in the West is not being maintained in our schools. Our traditions are being lost. The technology which depends on science which was new and fresh a century ago will keep on going for a while, but the whole machine is slowly grinding down. We are still the beneficiaries of technological advances at a great rate, but the underlying process which led to the technology is being destroyed.

        One can easily discern the mechanics of the process. An emphasis on logic and reason is most distressing to the stupid. Given a modest kindness, it is not hard to see why the wind should be tempered for the shorn lamb, and a teacher who wishes to see happy, cheerful children will be disinclined to favour an environment in which the crass inegalitarianism of God is demonstrated repeatedly and vividly every day. So drop the logic and replace it with finger painting. Or train them all to press the right buttons on the calculator. Something which conceals rather than exhibits the embarrassing fact that some people are very much cleverer than others is much to be preferred. And above all abandon logic. For logic reveals muddled and confused thought, which is painful for those who cannot produce any other…

        “…Is there anything that can be done to halt or reverse the process? Not in this world. The younger teachers have undergone just such a miseducation themselves and are in no position to implement changes; nor will there be any attempt to require it of them. The amount of central direction by the state is hugely greater than at any time in the history of the West; look at the fraction of GDP attached by the government. And there is little benefit to the government in having an educated population, and never was…

        “…It takes some time for a civilisation to collapse completely. Out on the periphery, honourable people still attempt to maintain standards long abandoned at the centre. Meanwhile the stupid are busily sawing off the branch of the tree we are all sitting on, and we are powerless to stop them….

        “…We can, however, predict the results of sending out into the workforce people who have no capacity to reason. We can expect disasters at power stations and chemical plants as people with only an ability to press buttons are required to think in emergencies. We can expect to have to pay others for the technology because we will be unable to produce it and we will also have to hire engineers to maintain it because except in very simple cases we will be unable to do so…”

      • fitzroyMEMBER

        Spot on. I was lucky to be born when I was and am thankful to my teachers.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Which side of politics has come to dominate the institutions of education since it was last any good? It is blindingly obvious what the problem is. Progressive relativism, deconstruction, identity politics, historical revisionism, Marxist narratives replacing facts, political correctness, etc etc.

        Complete rot.

        The halls of actual power (as opposed to “institutions of education”) – government, industry, religion – are overwhelmingly dominated by centrist and right-wing neoliberals and conservatives.

        If the real world looked anything like hysterical conservatives with persecution syndrome claim it does, it wouldn’t have taken a decade (or more) for same-sex marriage to be made legal, school children wouldn’t be being taught creationism as science, nobody would entertain the idea that abstinence is an effective form of contraception, taxes wouldn’t be on a persistent downward trend for decades, workers rights wouldn’t have been gutted, public assets wouldn’t have been fire-saled, public services wouldn’t have been gutted, an obnoxious man-child who boasts about sexual assault wouldn’t have been elected President of America and we wouldn’t still be having an argument about whether the greatest existential threat (PROTIP: it’s not political correctness) facing our species is real or not.

        The political right has been running the western world – and particularly the Anglosphere – for the better part of two generations. Time to start owning it.

      • DominicMEMBER

        “…workers rights wouldn’t have been gutted …”

        Not sure what planet you’re living on, smithy, but in the world that I inhabit workers’ rights have never been more entrenched. Paid vacation, paid sick leave, H&S burdens to protect workers from every angle, impossible to sack without jumping through 25 designated hoops. No wonder you get all these cases of ‘worker exploitation’ (outlined endlessly on this blog) — yes, there are bad employers, bad people out there but there are also people who are just trying to make a buck and survive.

        The original union leaders couldn’t even begin to comprehend where worker’s rights stand today. They’d be blushing in embarrassment.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I think Phil was talking about education smithy.

        I’m pretty sure the post quoting “the decline of the West” was casting the net just a tad wider, not to mention the context set by the original post.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Not sure what planet you’re living on, smithy, but in the world that I inhabit workers’ rights have never been more entrenched.

        Indeed. Certainly, employees have never enjoyed a more commanding position. You can tell by their low levels of stress around job security and strong wages growth.

    • i got friends in their 30’s and 40’s fleeing or wanting to flee Sydney as they say they don’t know the place anymore

      • I am 50 and feel it is not my country anymore. Fortunately I am a triple citizen, I will be leaving Australia later this year to try life somewhere else

      • for me, leaving would not be very hard to do anymore

        as a kid when I’d go on overseas holidays with my parents, my dad would always say on the flight home, when he could see the plane over the map of Australia he would relax thinking if it goes down he’ll die in Australia….

        for me now if it goes down I hope it hits parliament house

    • Change comes whether we want it to or not. Our grandparents lived very different lives to their grandparents. If we’re so lucky to die in our grey years our world will be different too. Hell, even just a few decades is enough to see wild social change, as evidenced by all the hand wringing over 90s sitcoms and movies that are now ‘cringe’.

      • Its not change, its the pace of change. Our grandparents never saw this pace of change with the cities they grew up in rapidly demolished around them and the change in population at such a rapid rate. The figures are plain to see, our population growth is by far the highest in our history. In a generation, the price of a necessity, housing has made some people fabulously wealthy and others asset poor. And the price of entry into the market, a mortgage the size of which previous generations never had to face with all the stress that causes. This used to be an egalitarian society, now its an Americanised society of haves and have nots. Once again the pace of change has been rapid and devastating for social cohesion. 28 per cent obese compared 10 per cent in 1980 and that’s not counting overweight people. Hordes on anti depressants. This used to be a she’ll be right, no worries country. British PM Edward Heath wrote of a visit to Sydney in 1969 when he was Opposition Leader. His driver in Sydney told him that whatever day it was, tomorrow was going to be better than yesterday. That was the Australia I grew up in and it inspired Heath when he became PM in 1970 to try and bring that sense of optimism to Britain. Well look at us now, dosed up on anti depressants as the stress of just surviving is too much for many people. And very little or no optimism at all. You should not compare what our grandparents experienced to what is being experienced now because it is not a valid comparison.

  4. Maaate! I think we agree that, as well, Liberal Candidates and Elected Members are a major problem.
    The parliaments, at all levels now, are just too full of careerists who don’t actually give a RA about economic or social welfare of the nation and its people.

    • Agree 100% flawse.

      The problem is one of ‘perception’; such as voting for Labor has always been a vote for the ‘working class’ or as JW Howard said, a vote for the battler, I think. The fact that the gullible voted for the elite Howard just demonstrates how stupid/greedy the electorate really is and as you said, not interested in the big picture, just “what’s in it for me”. But I don’t blame them as they only have a choice between bad, more bad or worse.

      I remember the “Keep the Bastards Honest” slogan from the democrats who did a reasonable job until Meg Lees cuddled up to that snake JWH. Then Abbott and Howard did a number on P Hanson. Ted Mack a true leader never had the public support that he deserved because he was a statesman not a snake oil, spin doctor and neither LIB or LAB gave him any cudos.

      There were no protest marches, no outrage, nothing but Smashed Avo for breakfast with a Latte, Artisan/Craft beer for lunch with smoked salmon and wishful thinking on my part, “Humble Pie” for supper.

      Must stop rambling and finish my lovely “Rioja” red and head to the beach.

  5. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    From Phil above,
    “If the old conservative establishment really was all that nasty, Marcuse, Foucault, Derrida, et al would have been jailed instead of getting influential tenures – and we’d be a lot better off for it today.”

    The Working class certainly would be better off,…but the “Establishment” wouldn’t be.
    All this Postmodernist identity politics has been a tool of the establishment, weilded to make ineffective, the politically organized working class.
    As Noam Chomsky says here, the support of a
    of the local inteligencia, is crucial for the success of any popular struggle to be able to succeed.

    That the Conservative, Big business side of politics the Liberal Tory party here, are supportive of the wages destroying Mass immigration population ponzi scheme should be of no supprise to anyone, they are serving their main constituency by doing so.
    But it is the betrayal of the “Left” that has left us all at the mercy of Global Plutocracy and the “Professional class” that is rewarded for serving it.
    There is no real Left anymore.
    It can only be brought back, and balance be regained, if common People start to stand the fk up and demand it.
    The solution to all our illls lay in radical reform of the “Left”.
    The right is doing exactly, what it has always, consistently done Serving and advocating for the already wealthy.
    The professional class, careeist “Leadership” of the Left need to be overthrown, if you want to see any kind of real change in our democracy.

    • fitzroyMEMBER

      Great link EP. Does Chomsky remind you of anyone on MB with a doctorate?

  6. But… but… but ScoMo says that the immigration program benefits the budget at a rate of $80,000 per immigrant per annum…

  7. Ronin8317MEMBER

    It’s because most candidates now in winnable seats are ‘professional politicians’, so they have no personal opinion, and they will believe what their politician faction dictates. To them, it is just a job.

  8. sydboy007MEMBER

    in my experience there’s is an inverse relationship between a person’s desire for higher levels of immigration, and the number of immigrants living in their community.

    A lot of greens members live in relatively mono cultural suburbs.

  9. kiwikarynMEMBER

    We’ve raised a generation to care more about being “kind” than “competitive”. We have rewarded participation rather than winning. So this generation see the migrants as victims, and that its their duty to help improve their lot in life. Thinking that they are “helping people” makes them feel good about themselves, and the Leftist politicians play into that by making everyone feel like victims who the Govt “can help”. They see themselves as global citizens thanks to their cultural holidays to Vietnam and Cambodia where they volunteer at orphanages and bike tour through paddy fields while supping at poor local villagers’ houses. The generation voting for more immigration are not in the market for career jobs or housing for their families, so they don’t perceive the direct threat that immigration poses. For them its all exciting new ethnic restaurants, Unicef donations, and Facebook posts to “save the refugees and bring them all here”. I’ve heard them say that they are willing to sacrifice some of their standards of living in order to bring in immigrants so they can have a better life – but these are kids still living at home, having been given everything they ever wanted by overly ingratiating parents who just wanted to be their kid’s friends, whose adult expenses are still being paid for by Mum and Dad, who don’t have a clue what real life is like, and what a struggle it is. Will they wake up one day? Who knows. Probably when its too late.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      “Australian kids are voting for a horrible future for themselves.”NO their elders have done that.
      Just who exactly would you have them vote for, for a less horrible future?
      C’mmon you have derided every political party in the parliament, have you got any ideas , or are you just a knocker?
      A flapping mouth with nothing constructive to offer.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      We’ve raised a generation to care more about being “kind” than “competitive”.

      Over here in reality, we’re living in probably the most unkind, selfish, individualistic, what’s-in-it-for-me Australian society in a couple of generations.

  10. There’s a reason why in ‘polite’ society we’re conditioned to not talk about religion or politics………. or Immigration.

    And aren’t they working overtime to keep it so……. I don’t know how you keep punching MB, But I’m glad you do!

  11. Last night in Sydney I went to see Charlie Duke (Apollo 16 astronaut and one of the few “moonwalkers” still alive).

    George St Sydney on a Monday evening. There were countless groups of young Chinese (mostly in their 20’s I guess) everywhere – in restaurants, fast food places, arcades….. Most of these places had large Chinese signs in the windows. There appeared to be zero integration between the chinese and caucasians – perhaps because there were effectively zero caucasians in these places. Walking past it was easy to believe you were in Hong Kong or some other large Chinese city.

    The cinema was packed – plenty of middle aged and elderly rekindling memories, but plenty of young adults and kids who were born well after the Apollo program. However almost zero Chinese. The demographic inside was like Sydney used to be 20 years ago, and was in stark contrast to the street.

    It seemed strange. Many of these Chinese would have been “students.” Presumably some are studying science or maths or physics or whatever. You would have thought there would have been some interest in one of sciences greatest ever achievements. Soon enough there will be no one alive who has walked on the moon. Nope.

    I didn’t know what to make of it. But inside the cinema and the outside world seemed to be two very different worlds.

    It struck me that the chinese were happy just to sit among their fellow countrymen, and zero interest in anything else.

  12. I get that same feeling about Indian migrants. On public transport, they are always on their phones (calling India or another Indian speaker), at work they don’t engage with non-Indians, in their lunch break, again they are on their phones. They also stay in their own areas, for the most part. They don’t offer help to their colleagues and are out the door as soon as it hits knock off time, and straight on their phones. On the streets, they will look straight through you – no eye contact (and again, on their phones speaking Hindi / Punjabi et al).

    Very inward looking people, only interested in their own kind. No interest in the locals. It sounds sappy, but no sense of ‘mateship’ – which isn’t just a Anglo thing, I feel the Vietnamese and other groups get it more. Indians, zip, nada, zilch!

    It feels very alienating, and I’m the local.

    Surely their caste-system means they look down on everyone else, even when they come here.

    • Don’t fall into the racist trap of thinking this is a culture/race specific thing. It is a human thing.

      Imagine for a second that for whatever reason Australia blows up (metaphorically) and you are forced to move to another country where you don’t speak the language and who’s culture is very foreign to you. Think of two scenarios 1. You are in a tiny minority of Australians in say Indonesia because Australians left to many different countries or 2. ALL Australians have gone to Indonesia and settled in (for the sake of argument) Bali.

      Does this impact how you interact with the locals? I would argue that in scenario 1 you may want to maintain contact with your fellow Aussies but you will learn the language and more or less integrate. This is your new home and you will be working and living with the locals for the rest of your life. In scenario 2 there are tonnes of aussies around, some open shops selling Vegemite, tim tams and VB. Some open English speaking schools. Tell me you wouldn’t find it easier to go down the path of sticking with the Aussies. Maybe you could even argue that YOU are an individual that values local culture and fairness etc and YOU would definitely try to make friends with the locals and integrate. Even granted that, I would argue that for the majority of people the path of least resistance is to stick to what you know.

      The problem isn’t that we have Chinese or Indian immigrants (or any race/culture) it is that we have too many at once. The local culture can not keep up with the influx and you end up with segregation like you have described.

  13. I remember speaking to an American colleague who has lived quite a few years in Australia.

    He made the observation that migrants in the USA have always wanted to be American, while migrants in Australia increasingly want NOT to be Australian. A generalisation sure, but I think there is probably something in what he says.