Sunday, June 10, 2012

Penberthy too far gone

David Penberthy has a column in today's Melbourne Herald Sun with the provocative title "What a sad lot the Brits have become".

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.


  1. Lame preening from an overpaid sellout.

  2. I think Penberthy has some Indian ancestry. It's predictable that a mixed-race person will conform when they are a minority but, at heart, they hate being a minority and will loudly jump on the diversity bandwagon when they feel it's safe to do so. Just like Charlie Teo, they can't wait to tear down the majority. The immigrants are out of the closet, pushing ever more diversity because, like every human, they are ethnocentric. They like to dress up their racism in some "progressive" drivel but it's a race preference - pure and simple. Meet the new boss... same as the old boss. At the end of the day it's just our ethnocentrism versus theirs, so it's no surprise we're each going to choose our own side. So Penberthy can take his anti-Anglo sentiment and shove it.

  3. He looks like he could have some Indian ancestry.

  4. I have to strongly object to the photo's nationality labels. Those two kids labeled as "Czech" are not Czech at all. They are outright gipsies. Labeling them as Czech is an insult (all Eastern Europeans know what I mean).
    I would suppose the same problem for "Swiss French".

  5. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen a few months ago revealed the campaign that would salute what he called "the genius of Australian multiculturalism"

    Bowen goes on..."Just like previous groups of migrants, the vast majority of the present group of migrants to Australia come here not to change our values, but because of them.""It is presently fashionable to declare multiculturalism dead or to blame it for crime and terrorism. Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, recently declared multiculturalism in her country had ''utterly failed''. Fashionable?... No Mr. Bowen, what is fashionable is the leftist cult of diversity!

    What Bowen and his ilk can't understand is that there are two types of migrants who come to Australia. There are those from countries such as Japan, India and Shri Lanka for instance, and others in Europe who wish to assimilate, adopt our values and obey our laws and who actually benefit our country. And then there are those from the third world who will never assimilate, but instead will prey and plot upon the citizens of their host country.

    Labor immigration minister Bowen calls it "The genius of Australian multiculturalism". ..Well let's see what this "Labor's Genius" has done for our country?

    Australia was once one of the safest and most social cohesive countries on the planet before the Labor Party in it's shameless quest for the migrant vote introduced multiculturism.The crime rates were very low, and people even in the Western Suburbs did not lock their doors. It was safe to walk the streets and ride public transport. There were no ethnic gangs battling on our city streets or in the malls with knives, machetes and guns. and the only gangs we had were the Surfies and the milquetoast, criminally dressed and coiffured Bodgies and Widgies. Unfortunately now the idiotic concept of multiculture has filled our cities with the most viscous criminals from the third world. The violent crime and drugs as are seen today were almost unknown, but today third world criminals are responsible for almost all the most violent crimes. They also run the vast majority of the drug trade, prostitution, kidnappings, car theft and re-berthing, home invasions, ram raids, stand over crimes, muggings, stabbings, shootings, murder, welfare fraud and the list goes on. In fact top police officers have stated that organised crime, drugs, gangs, extortion, tax evasion, fraud, these have now reached a level where they are damaging the national economy and if anyone speaks up about it they are shouted down as "racist". And the crimes of these third world criminals, their trials, incarceration, and welfare not only put a huge additional strain on our ambulances, hospital emergency rooms, but they cost every Australian staggering amounts of money in state and federal taxes, plus adding to the spiraling rate costs on medical, hospital, home and auto insurance.

    Additionally thirty-eight Middle Eastern men have been prosecuted on terrorism-related charges in Australia - How long before they succeed, and will you or yours be a victim?
    $10 million counter-terrorism offensive will be launched across Sydney in a bid to rescue young people involved in violent extremist groups and potential home-grown terrorism. The Federal Government will today announce it will pay community groups to identify young people involved in fanatical groups who pose potential terrorism threats.In an admission that the possibility of attack from inside our borders was now the most significant emerging threat, the Government will announce it has adopted major recommendations from its counter-terrorism White Paper."...Daily Telegraph.

    In his book "Disuniting of America" Liberal historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. speaks out against radical multiculturalism. 'The rising cult of ethnicity, he argues, threatens a common American identity, imperiling the civic ideals that traditionally have bonded immigrants into a nation."

  6. I don't think that raising the retirement age is anything but a good idea. The idea of community funded retirement means, by default, a class of people become dependents. This just so happens to be at the right hand of chronology lifespan. It is unworkable if you do not recalibrate the age of eligibility taking into account life expectancy. This is a central tenant of conservatism.

  7. We'll see how Penberthy's multicultural Australia goes in another 5 to 10 maybe 15 years, pending on the mass immigration rates. It's around that time when we will hit the ludicrous point of no return, just like the UK, France and the USA.

    These people who support, enact these immigration and multicultural policies are treasonous to the core. Clearly ignorance is not the problem being we see the results overseas.

    If the trend continues there is only 2 ways this will end.

    1. The federal government will become more centralised, authoritarian and tyrannical. Being the UK and the USA is on this route, no doubt this may be Australia's fate.

    2. The federal government will collapse and possibly the states out side the cities. This would be the option I would prefer, as It gives the chance for responsible National and patriotic individuals to rise.

    Of course there's the 0.0001% chance that Labor or the LNP may change their tune, or a True Australian party will be elected but I doubt it. To many comfortable, greedy, brain washed people for that to happen...

  8. Mark Richardson,

    They are unrelated. I know the of the logical fallacy of bringing in more migrants to 'fund baby boomers' retirement is just kicking the can down the road.

    Then you have the poor outcome of the UK where large segments o the migrants intake are poor, or non-contributors anyway.

    But that is not what I mean. The idea of a universal aged pension was a Bismarck era scheme from Germany. When introduced in Australia, the average life expectency for a male was 59, for a female it was 62. The pension was 12% AWOTE and there was 27 workers for every retiree. That's when the age for qualification was 60. It didn't take long to lift it to 65.

    Now we have lifeepxectency of 79 for men and 86 for women. The payment is now 27% AWOTE and there is 4 workers for every retiree.

    I would gather that a 64 year old today is healthier, and more capable of work in 2012 that a 59 year old was in 1906 when it was introduced.

    It is about calibration, and how many people who do not contribute are going to be supported y those that do contribute.

    Lower the retirement age to 35, and see how many can qualify and have to be supported.

    Migratory intake is the easy way out for politicians who don't want to stare baby boomers in the eye and say 'keep on working you lazy pricks'. The stupid thing is that these migrants, as well as the prevailing population will one day reach 65 years if age too.

  9. Rusty Penny,

    I disagree. Western governments want to keep expanding the role of the state. But they have hit a point at which the money is not there to keep expanding.

    One response is to say "let's tax people more, keep people working longer, and have all mums in the workforce" - and then we can keep funding our pet projects.

    The other response is to say "we've reached the limits of what the state is legitimately for - we'll no longer keep expanding".

    We trads ought to be strongly in favour of the second response. I don't want some 70-year-old to be roped into an extra year of work in order to fund some liberal wish list of state funded projects.

  10. Just an observation: the boy with the 'Polish' label appears to be half-black. Let me guess, black (African?) father, Polish (single?) mother?