Let me return to that speech by Rupert Murdoch the other day to pull two other bits from it. First this:
But at the end of the day, the values that define Australia depend on more than good government and strong allies. They depend on sound and vigorous institutions especially private institutions.
You can’t have the rule of law if the courts aren’t free and independent – or if you have lawyers running amok as they do in the American system. We cannot allow the rule of law to become the rule of lawyers!
You can’t have a free democracy if you don’t have a free media that can provide vital and independent information to the people.
If the ALP is wondering why the Murdoch Press was a tad hostile to its re-election, they might wish to dwell on this. And this is not just Rupert Murdoch but a pretty sizeable proportion of the country who believe exactly the same. Who were people the likes of Rudd and Gillard to threaten these long-established traditions of freedom and the media? On that alone they needed to go not to mention the rest.
We are not yet overwhelmed by governments but have been moving rapidly in that direction. Our election may have saved us from even more. All governments want to spend so it will be hard to stop even our present incumbants from supporting their vision with our money. But at least there is the possibility that they will see it as their role to build the civic culture that Murdoch was discussing.
And then, from that same speech, there was this:
But for all this progress, there is still a strand among some parts of Australian society who seem to value every culture except our own. These people are gravely confused about what real multiculturalism is. Multiculturalism is not relativism, and tolerance is not indifference.
Australia has clear values and strong institutions. One key value is an openness to all comers – provided they are willing to abide by our way of life.
Australia is what it is because of who we already are. I have always been struck that we made a Jew our Governor-General in 1930. This is a country open to the talents. But it is not a country into which we can bring strings of takers who do not contribute or who do not wish to embrace the values of an open and tolerant society that have developed on this continent over the past 200 years. Never perfect, but it has always been the ideal.