In possibly the most provocative maiden speech to hit Parliament since Pauline Hanson 22 years ago Queensland senator Fraser Anning has called for a return to a “European Christian” immigration system and a ban on Muslims migrating to Australia.
“We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European-Christian composition of Australian society,” he told the senate in Canberra.
He said migrants should embrace the English language and Australian values, saying cultural diversity undermined social cohesion.
He also pointed out that for most of Australian history up until the election of Gough Whitlam in 1972 the social and cultural cohesion aspects of immigration policy had been a bipartisan affair, reminding the parliament that:
“Great Labor statesmen – Ben Chifley, John Curtin and Arthur Calwell – all strongly supported an immigration program that actively discriminated in favour of Europeans.”
But he said this was dismantled when “Whitlam and his hard-left cronies adopted Soviet-inspired United Nations treaties on discrimination and banned preferential selection of migrants based on their ethnicity”.
“Ethnocultural diversity … has been allowed to rise to dangerous levels in many suburbs,” he said.
“In direct response, self-segregation, including white flight from poorer inner-urban areas, has become the norm.”
The Queenslander called for migration numbers to be slashed, and a ban on Muslim people migrating to Australia.
He said the Muslim community had “consistently shown itself to be the least able to assimilate and integrate”.
The comments were immediately condemned by journalists and politicians from both the Labor and Liberal camps.
In particular critics leapt on the senator’s use of the term “final solution” to describe his recommendation of a plebiscite to settle the matter of immigration in this country once and for all. The term was of course used in a different and far more sinister context by the Nazi regime in Germany eight decades ago.
Senator Anning has refused to apologise for this or for any of his other statements, correctly pointing out that the left would have attacked him regardless of how he phrased his proposal.
Hanson’s maiden speech two decades ago set off a firestorm of leftist hatred, mob violence and ultimately a dodgy jail term with consequences that have resonated down to today. Only time will tell if this speech will be as monumental.