ballot as “the Australian hallot,” whichrnAustralians lia’e never done.rnGB: Yes, the did in America.rnRJS: You’ve mentioned in print therncomplete turnaround that the AustralianrnI jabor Party has made on such matters asrntariffs, privatization, and—perhapsrnabove all—immigration. How permanentrnor impermanent do von think thesernchanges in the ALP mentality are?rnGB: It’s astonishing, the move awayrnfrom protectionism and from governmentrninteryention in e’erv facet of Australianrnlife: because that was one of therncharacteristics of Australian social attitudes.rnBut I don’t see it as permanent.rnWell, nothing, of course, is! I believernthat there will be a time vhen the forcesrnin favor of regulation will be muchrnstronger in Australia than thev are atrnpresent.rnRJS: Do you think that a neo-Chiflernwould emerge from the ranks of thernALP? [Ben Ghiflcy, as Prime Ministerrnfrom 1945-49, severely rationed postwarrngasoline use and unsuccessfulh’ aimed tornnationalize all banks.)rnGB: I don’t see that as impossible.rnRJS: hi America, there seems to be a risernin America First sentiment: what withrnPat Buchanan, Perot getting a fifth of thernpresidential vote in 1992, and California’srnpresent governor. How likely dornvou think a similar trend is here withinrnthe next five years or so?rnGB: America, of course, has got a morernacute immigration problem than Australia.rnI now expect tliat the reversal willrncome in America before it comes in Australia.rnI don’t know what we would do,rnthough, if there were serious politicalrnbreakdowns in parts of the Indonesianrnempire. Let’s sa, for argument’s sake,rnthat East Timorese came here in theirrnhundreds of thousands. My instinct isrnthat we haven’t got the will to do anything.rnIt was precisch’ because Blaine’ commandsrnthe global outlook of the true patriotrn(in contrast to his foes, who managernto combine endless denunciations of nationalismrnyyith a fixed belief in [erm Australiarnas the cynosure of all human history)rnthat his 1984 Wirrnambool remarksrnbrewed so destriictie a storm. As herndryl observed in All For Australia, thernl(jng pamphlet which he produced laterrnthat ear:rnOccup ing a carefully selectedrnpatch of ground in the middle, Irnwas in fact being more provocativernthan if I had sat at either end. If Irnhad .simph’ .said, ‘Let us bring backrnWhite Australia,’ m- remarksrnwould have been mereh a weeklongrnsensation. If I had l)een atrnthe other extreme, and supportedrneven more Asian immigration, Irnwould not have stood out amongstrnthe variety of bureaucrats, politicians,rnand intellectuals who w ish orrnsa that such is the desirablernpolicy.rnFor Blaine-—as, indeed, for anyonernelse who has approached the issue with arnhistorian’s detachment, rather than arnpropagandist’s ad hominem spite—it isrnmeaningless to prate about multiculturalismrnin Australia unless one shows ecjualrndetermination to examine multiculturalismrnin our neighbors’ contexts. This is allrnthe more evident if Paul Keating’s sloganrn”Australia is a part of Asia” has an’ intellectualrnplausibilits. From how much taxpaver-rnfunded multicultural jabbering dornthe Ghincse benefit in Malaysia; thernVietnamese, in China; the Sikhs, in India;rnthe Tamils, in Sri Lanka; the Karens,rnin Burma; or the Ainu, in Japan? Mightrnnot a genuinch’ self-Asianizing policy onrnAustralian federal and state governments’rnpart ensure an increase, ratherrnthan a diminution, in the amount ofrnstrong-arm stuff that Joe Sixpack may legitimatelyrnmete out to the wrong kind ofrnimported personage’ These inquiries,rnduring the aftermath of 1984’s anti-rnBlainey hysteria, had no sooner dawnedrnin Australians’ minds than they werernsuppressed therefrom. The stentorianrncant exuded b such Perielcan orators asrnStewart West (Bob Hawke’s first ImmigrationrnMinister) and Cliff Dolan (thenrnhead of the Australian Council of TradernUnions) within weeks of Blainev’s initialrnspeech is best forgotten, as bv happyrnchance West and Dolan have themselvesrnbeen over the interyening cars. Extendedrnquotation from their verbiage in thesernpages would accord its original sources arnrespectabilit- which the- did nothing, atrnthe time or at subsequent periods, to deserve.rnWhat should never be forgotten,rnhowever, is the zeal of ostensibly seriousrnnewspapers to ginger up a story that in itsrnoriginal form appeared far too flavorlessrnfor comfort. Blainey himself lamentedrnin retrospect:rnI luman error tended to distort therneontrovers’. The report of mrnspeech in the Age contained thernstrange statement that Asian immigrantsrnshould be given $ 1,000 torngo elsewhere. As I did not makernsuch a statement—it contradictedrnone of inv main arguments—Irnwrote letters of denial to the press.rnFalse news and rumors are neverrncompletely overtaken bv the subsequentrndenials, which set out inrnpursuit. The $1,000 statement hasrnlong since ceased to circulate, butrnit caused concern and pain tornmany Asian immigrants. Unfortunatelyrnit also gained wide circulationrnoverseas. In Southeast Asia itrnwas never overtaken bv tlie refutal.rnIn these circumstances, and given the totalrnfailure of those responsible for thernoriginal misinformation to experience eitherrnpunishment or remorse, the namesrnof those who did defend Blainev’s warningsrn(or, more generally, his right to bernheard in a culture that brags withoutrnsurcease of its outward democraticrnforms) also warrant recollection. JohnrnStone—erstwhile Secretary’ of tlie FederalrnTreasury, and afterward a Queenslandrnsenator—was one. Another wasrnBlainev’s fellow Melbourne historian,rnGlaudio Veliz, who considered some ofrnBlainev’s predictions overpessimistic,rnbut who spiritedlv trounced Blainev’srnmore foolish intradisciplinary antagonists.rnAs a Chilean, Veliz possesses arnsomewhat better-calibrated responsernmechanism to governmental browbeatingrnthan can necessarily be expectedrnfrom the native tenured product. Thernpity remains that so few in professionalrnand political circles manifested sufficientrnmoxie to follow Stone’s or Veliz’s lead.rnAmong the original anti-Blainev fervor’srnless predictable consequences was arnserious division (quickly papered over,rnbut still noticeable at even the gentlestrnpoking around) within environmentalists’rnranks. Since there, if anywhere, thernbelief that every prospect pleases and on-rnIv man is ile could flourish without constraint,rnlogic indicates that the fewerrnmen there are in Australia, the morernpleasant Australia’s own prospects willrnstrike environmentalists as being. Butrn34/CHRONICLESrnrnrn