Sunday, August 26, 2007

Citizenship Questions Mostly Written By John Howard And Kevin Andrews

More Po-Faced Government Lecturing On What It Means To Be A Rool Orstrahyun

The Herald Sun reveals that the new National Citizenship Test is composed of questions and blurb mostly written and/or authorised by prime minister John Howard and Immigration minister Kevin Andrews. So you know it's a quality product :
Migrants will face a 20-question test drawn at random from a list of 200. They must correctly answer 60 per cent of the questions, including three on the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.
As part of the citizenship test, all immigrants must learn what are termed the "10 essential Australian values every citizen must embrace."

Here's a few of them :
...tolerance and mutual respect and compassion for those in need, dignity and freedom of the individual and the freedom of speech. They also include freedom of religion and secular government, freedom of association, support for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, equality under the law, equality of men and women, equality of opportunity and peacefulness.
Fair enough. Though most of these could easily be called "international values" instead of just Australian. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality under the law, fairness and mateship are not uniquely Australian values by any stretch. You'll find similar values shared by the majority of people in any nation in the world where the government doesn't suppress such beliefs and freedoms.

Here's more from the "Aussie values" pamphlet :

"Australia has a strong tradition of mateship in which people help and receive help from others voluntarily, especially in times of adversity. A mate can be a spouse, partner, brother, sister, daughter, son or friend.

A mate can be a stranger."

But only if they pass the citizenship test first.

The pamphlet also takes aim at religious extremism: "Religious intolerance is considered unacceptable in Australian society. Religious laws have no legal status in Australia."

Unless you're a member of the Howard-approved religious extremists The Exclusive Brethren. You can say what you want about them, they're not allowed to use computers, read newspapers, watch television, wear shorts, read novels or engage in the democratic act of voting in elections. But somehow they seem to have no problem with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars helping the Howard government to get re-elected.

We decided to give the Citizenship Questions, published at the Herald Sun, a bit of a crack.

We can't guarantee that our answers to some of the citizenship questions written and/or okayed by Howard and Andrews are correct, but in the spirit of being a true-blue Aussie, we're ready to have a go.

Q. What event in the mid-19th-century, attracted an average of 50 000 free settlers to Australia?

The open market in selling opium, moonshine and over-priced mining supplies to gold prospectors and miners.

Q. What is Australia's national language?


Q. How many states and mainland territories does Australia have?

Too bloody many. That's why John Howard wants to get rid of all the states and territories and merge the whole country into one big united nation : Howardistan.

Q. What is Australia's Capital Territory?

The ACT.

Q. Where does the name 'Canberra' originate from?

Aboriginal word for "too many freaking roundabouts and porno shops."

Q. Does Australia have an official or state religion?

Yes, the worship of sweaty male sports.

Q. When is Australia's national day celebrated, and why?

Every Saturday arvo, while the footy's on, around the barbecue, BYO.

Q. What is depicted on the Australian Coat of Arms?

A tasty kangaroo and emu lunch.

Q. What are our National colours?

Gang colours are banned in Australia.

Q. What is Anzac Day?

A day to forget that the original Anzac Day was held to begin the fight for fair compensation and medical care for the tens of thousands of physically and emotionally wounded Australians who fought in World War 1 and were then abandoned by their government when they returned home.

Q. What is our nation's biggest sporting event?

Smashing the shit out of 'wogs' at Cronulla Beach, or people who kind of look like 'wogs'. Or the AFL grand final.

Q. Which famous horse won many races during the Depression?

Don Bradman.

Q. Who is Australia's Head of State?

Shane Warne. Until he becomes a German.

Q. Name three of Australia's strongest industries?

Stripping away workers rights, fighting America's wars, Howard government advertising spending sprees.

Q. What are Australia's biggest exports?


A real opportunity's been missed in this Citizenship Test exercise. Why not a few open-ended questions to get some real information and opinion from our newest citizens? Questions like the following :

What did you dislike about the country you left, and how we can avoid such problems in Australia?

What did you hear about Australia that made you want to start your life over again on these shores?

What do you think it means to be an Australian?

Who did you like more : Crocodile Dundee or the Crocodile Hunter?

If a dictatorship became a reality in Australia, what would you do to help overthrow it?

It's probably a good thing we're already Australian citizens. Don't think we would have got 60% of the questions right. But then again, shouldn't the mere act of being willing to have a go be good enough?

It used to be.

But that was before 'What It Means To Be An Australian' was officially defined and decreed by the Howard government.