Friday, December 16, 2005

White Goose, Black Gander

When I titled the inter-ethnic violence in Sydney turning into a religious war, with churches being attacked, I used the term ‘metamorphosis’ to indicate the change or conversion. I even numbered it as (1) as I have another article of change in mind.

See Metamorphosis (1) - Race War into Religious War

Then I saw this news article on John Howard and his changing public pronouncements over a number of years, and wonder whether this posting on that article deserves the title ‘Metamorphosis (2)’. But I reckon no, as Howard's change is more chameleon-like rather than a real change.

I leave it to you to read the article and judge for yourself its criticism of Howard.

However, there is one item from it that I want to raise – namely that of his unhappy disagreement with former Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’s ban of refuelling for an aircraft carrying the South African rugby team, the Springbok, to New Zealand in 1981. At that time, South Africa had a white supremacist regime practicing the heinous racist Apartheid policy. Malcolm Fraser was morally right to disassociate Australia from such an evil regime.

Additionally, Fraser's decision was in complete commitment to the Commonwealth's Gleneagles Agreement, which Commonwealth members signed to form a united stand against racism, by not having sporting contacts with evil regimes like Apartheid South Africa. Unfortunately Howard then didn’t share his commitment, and even objected to economic sanctions against the Nazi-like Afrikaan government.

Yet recently, the most strident objectors to New Zealand and Aussie cricket teams playing in Zimbabwe have been the governments of New Zealand, Australia and Britain. President Mugabe of Zimbabwe has adopted the policies of his predecessor, Ian Smith, in practising the evil discriminations that blacks had previously suffered from.

Of the 3, New Zealand had been the one most obdurate in maintaining sporting links with white supremacist South Africa and Ian Smith’s Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe). In Australia there were many personalities too, like John Howard, who supported the continuation of sporting and other links with those two international pariahs.

The hypocrisy and double standards have been breathtaking, though in New Zealand’s case, one could argue that the current Labour government of Helen Clarke is certainly not that of Robert Muldoon’s conservative National Party.

Now, we know why there is the English homily of “What’s good for the goose ought to be good for the gander”, which existence ironically proves that it’s seldom applied.

It's Not Cricket, Old Boy, It's too Black & White!


  1. Oh KTomec. This time your wide ranging article is a little ambitious to deliver a clear message.

    All I can say is that if I were Black I'd rather live in Howard's Australia than Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

  2. I am not talking about which country is preferable, or which leader is more civilised. I am talking about double standards and hypocrisy of leaders.

    When one moralises, one must ensure one's standards is near impeccable, if not impeccable. Malcolm Fraser demonstrated that.

    Mugabe may be a shitbag racist, just like the white South Afrikaan regime, but he doesn't go around telling national cricket team to boycott country A but not country B.

  3. Fraser did his damage when he was PM on many issues - eg tuition fees for all students. Even moderate students, like me, recognised him by the misspelling "Frazer".

    He's been canonised long after his time as PM by people who are too young to remember that he, like other politicians, was merely mortal and a politician first.

    He was born extremely rich and he recognises he has a lot to live down.

  4. Well, mate, the thread is about 'double standards' and to a lesser extent on morality, as a liberal bloke like me would want to comment ;-)

    It's not about the overall performance of a particular PM or country. I'll blog on double standards soon.

    Yes, I know it's not an ideal world but we do get irritated when we hear hypocritical moralising from the very people who practise double standards.