It's 90% delusional. Penberthy wants us to believe that Britain has declined because it retains an Anglo identity whilst Australia has forged ahead because it dropped its Anglo identity in favour of a multicultural one.
Generally speaking we are proud of and recognise the contribution successive waves of migration have made to Australia.
The concerns which Pauline Hanson voiced only 16 years ago in her maiden speech - "I believe we are being swamped by Asians" - seem kind of hilarious given that through the good fortune of our geography we have an Asian enterprise culture at home, huge export markets and a rapidly growing middle class right on our doorstep.
As Britain continues to define itself desperately and defiantly through its Anglo monoculture, Australia has spent the past three decades becoming prouder of its diversity and more comfortable with its place in the world.
We are in the engine room of the world economy, with China and India to the north, Brazil and Chile to the east. Great Britain is stuck in once-great Europe, where bloated, incompetent governments threaten the world economic order.
Where to begin? First, Penberthy is clearly pushing here one of the liberal versions of national identity. He is claiming that Australia is superior in its national identity because it has embraced diversity and multiculturalism, unlike other Western nations. But that version of national identity is based on a falsehood. The truth is that all Western nations are doing the multicultural thing. So none can claim to have a unique identity on this basis.
To take the UK as an example, here is a photo of a class of students in the English city of Birmingham:
As you can see, there are no pupils whose background is entirely English - the closest is one girl who has a mixed English/Irish ethnicity. Just how much more diverse is this classroom supposed to get to satisfy David Penberthy?
Penberthy then talks about the London riots as further evidence of British decline. He suggests that the British welfare system is at fault for allowing the creation of an underclass of people who pretend to be incapacitated whilst living off the state.
But there are two problems with this attitude. First, although the riots did draw in some of the ethnically English underclass, it was sparked within an immigrant underclass. In Nottingham 9% of the local population is black, but 62% of those arrested in the riots were black. In Birmingham, the figures are 9% and 46%. So if Penberthy believes that embracing multiculturalism is going to prevent rioting he is wrong (the riots in Paris are further evidence of this).
Second, Australia is catching up to the U.K. when it comes to welfare issues. Here is a chart showing the steady rise in the number of Australians on the Disability Support Pension:
There are now 800,000 people on the DSP. About 1 in 20 working age people are on it now, compared to 1 in 40 in the 1980s.
Penberthy is right, of course, that a poorly designed welfare system can destroy the incentive to work. But so can other things. If people don't feel that they have a national tradition of their own to uphold, then they are less likely to embark on family and work responsibilities. It's possible that multicultural societies are living on the social capital built up in the past, when the motivation to work for a larger communal entity was stronger. It's reasonable to assume that the loss of motivation will hit the less skilled classes first, as they are less likely to have the incentive to work for reasons of status or money.
Here's another reason for Australians not to be too cocky when it comes to the economy. Up to the 1970s the male wage grew steadily, whilst leisure time increased. That is now reversing, just as it is in the UK and the US. In Australia, for instance, the retirement age is increasing from 65 to 67 and there are already calls for it to be raised further to age 70.
Another problem with Penberthy's triumphalism is that Australia's economy is doing well not because of an entrepreneurial culture unleashed by a new multicultural identity, but because we're in a mining resources boom. In short, our economy is more than ever reliant on selling minerals, particularly to China. Manufacturing in Australia has fallen from 27% to 9% of GDP.
So multiculturalism isn't the economic and social boon that Penberthy is making it out to be. Before multiculturalism Australia had a strong manufacturing sector; rising male wages; and rising leisure hours. Now we are reliant on the mining sector and men are working longer hours for stagnant wages. More Australians than ever are welfare dependent.
But more than all of this, Penberthy is wrong because his view of what makes for national success is wrong. A country is not just its economy. It is a people who recognise a commonality based on a shared tradition, with that tradition involving some combination of shared ancestry, culture, language, religion, history, manners and mores.
Perhaps that's what set Penberthy off in the first place. Perhaps on watching the Jubilee celebrations he discerned something of the older and deeper kind of national belonging, something that challenges his commitment to the more open-ended "nation as a multicultural workplace". So he decided to sink the boot into the Brits.
Anyway, we're not going to get anywhere with the likes of Penberthy - he is way too far gone.