Monday, January 30, 2006

Nostalgia Down Under

It seems as though fond rememberances for a childhood that never was are as prevelant in Australia as they are in the United States.

Tim Blair points out the inconsistancies in leftist nostalgia for a never-never past:
Christopher Bantick gets all nostalgic in The Age:
Children these days are growing up in a very different, less open, society than when I grew up in the 1950s. Curiously, even with high postwar levels of Mediterranean migration, there was less need to ostentatiously show what being an Australian meant. Those simple days were measured out with Vegemite on crusts at the school tuckshop and singing the national anthem on Monday mornings.

Not even John Howard wants to return to that sort of monoculture. Bantick’s nostalgia is perverse.

Back then, there were no wire fences in the desert keeping new arrivals from the rest of Australian society.
“New arrivals”? He’s talking about illegal arrivals, who tend to turn up without passports or any other supporting documents. By the way, Australia’s enlightened post-war Labor government tried to ship refugees home. Here’s what went on in 1949: “The Chifley Government passes the War-time Refugees Removal Act in July, with a view to forcibly repatriating approximately 900 non-Europeans who had been admitted temporarily during the war. They had declined to be repatriated, wishing to settle in Australia.”
I loved my childhood, even with the Duck and Cover drills in elementary schools, but that doesn't mean that I can't see that lots of stuff has gotten better in the last 50 years.

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