Monday, December 11, 2006

Getting Testie

The Herald Sun reports that prospective migrants are to face a quiz to determine their proficiency at speakin' de English and their awareness of and commitment to Australian laws and values. According to the report, the quiz will be delivered online, with successful applicants receiving not only Australian citizenship, but also the html code for a special blog badge to show off their newly-confirmed Aussieness.

Your level of Aussieness is: John Farnham! You are already 99.9% assimilated, possess excellent English language skills, and are only 0.9% likely to be interned in the event of a war with your former country. Welcome to Australia, mate!

Now, rather than simply serve up my opinion of these tests, I thought I'd introduce you to some new friends of mine: the Herald Sun readership. As a demographic, readers of the Hun cop a lot of flak, but the simple fact is that Hun readers are a breed apart, purer of heart than the rest of us, almost child-like in their innocence and simplicity. If you want to get to know the real Australia - and by god you'd better, because there's going to be a test on that, too - look no further than the reader's comments at the Hun's spiffy website.

Your level of Aussieness is: John So! You still look and sound different and therefore can expect to face daily ridicule, but as long as you project benign self-deprecation you should be able to inspire a certain grudging respect in all but the most bigoted of your new compatriots. Welcome to Australia, cobber!

Naturally, the news that migrants will have to take a citizenship test has warmed the cockles of many a western heart. Embarrassed Aussie of Melbourne writes: "For too long too many migrants have come to the shores of Australia purely to find a better place to live. No thought of assimilating or enbracing our way of life. " And if migrants won't "enbrace" our way of life, what then? Riots, that's what! "The Cronulla riots started because the different cultures represented in this country are not assimilated, we as a country are not one." Embarrassed also has a suggestion for those taking shots at the PM over Iraq: "mature up". I agree. All that debate and holding elected officials to account is kid's stuff - it's time to mature up, Australia, before it's too late!

Your level of Aussieness is: Richard Wilkins! Although superficially "one of us", you are destined to remain an outsider. In times of crisis you may be used as a scapegoat, especially if you get around wearing an eye patch. Welcome to Australia, champ.

Others, however, see a flaw at the heart of the test. George writes: "my main problem is how do you prove that these migrants will abide and respect Australian values. They will just tick the Yes box knowing to say No would mean they would not be accepted. " Yes, they are a wily lot those immigrants, and that's just the kind of shifty ruse they might employ to gain access to this, the brownest of brown lands where they might wreak who knows what kind of chaos. green and gold of Melbourne seconds that emotion: "How hard is it to impersonate somone on the Internet, most of these people who don't assimilate buy driver's licence and anything else they need from their community supplier - what a joke!" Well, I for one am not laughing. Obviously prospective migrants need to prove their allegiance by undergoing torture on the rack - it's the only way we'll know for sure.

Your level of Aussieness is: David Hicks! Sorry, you have failed in your bid to become an Australian citizen. You are the wrong size/shape/religion/etc, and just look at you with that bazooka! Even if you were an Australian citizen we wouldn't want you. Please piss off quietly.

mary of melbourne sums the debate up nicely: "I'm Bloody Pround to be an Born and Bred Aussie. If your not Happy here, then move". Damn right. If you're not "pround" of being an Aussie before you become one, we won't let you be one, so you'll never find out just how pround you might have been. Mate.


audrey said...

Of all the arguments against immigration, my favourite has to be the incongruous "if you don't like it, move" one. I just love how people consistently connect criticising one's government with being a rabid, freedom hating, socialist pinko terrorist.

Perhaps that should be the one to replace the failing "Where the bloody hell are you?" tourism slogan:

"Australia: We're A Bloody Pround Nation and if you don't like it, you can piss off."

MrLefty said...

Yes, if Herald Sun readers per se weren't scary enough, the ones who go online to share their views with like-minded nutters... terrifying.

MrLefty said...

Oh, regarding citizenship tests - Clarke and Dawe's take

Paul Martin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Martin said...

With Pauline Hanson announcing her return to politics, Howard is just being proactive and trying to steal the initiative, taking the wind out of her sails. Who can out-redneck the other?

You'll see a whole raft of similarly ridiculous announcements over the coming weeks and months, such as the recent one about carrying liquids on planes, which doesn't come into effect until March. If this were truly a threat, it would have been introduced months ago. It's just the lead up to the election, to keep the masses thinking about security and migration issues, and to stick with the nice and cuddly Johnny Howard.

TimT said...

I like the Herald Sun!

Maybe I should start up an internet group - the HOIR, "the Hun's Oppressed Intellectual Readership." Then again, if I'm going to start up one of those victim groups, maybe I should stick my head up my arse while I'm at it.

I'll keep buying the paper, though!

Tim said...

I read it too. It's when you start submitting comments to the web site that you've got problems.

Anonymous said...

Mr lefty is correct.

I too am truly frightened, terrified even, by the prospect of Herald Sun leaving their "views" all over the intermaweb.

When will someone do something to alay our fears?

Anonymous said...

I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of 50/50 until RRR people wrecked that simple pleasure.

It's the local papers for me now. Soon I'll be reduced to the Neighborhood Watch newsletter.

Galaxy said...

'...we as a country are not one'.

Heh. If we're not a country then what are we? A city? A little bit more rock 'n' roll?

I would like to propose that online commenters to the Herald Sun take a citizen/literacy test too. Perhaps their citizenship could be revoked on the grounds of their illiteracy, if not their intolerance.

Mark Lawrence said...

Tim, do you think this is what they had in mind for the html badge?

I'm glad you're keeping your sense of humor on this one – I'm just about ropable on it; I've only been able to play around with Photoshop on this. And thanks for the inspiration.

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