The ABC reported today:
Mr Fraser — Australia's 22nd prime minister — was born into a wealthy pastoral family in 1930 and first entered Parliament in 1955 as its youngest MP. He spent nearly 20 years as a backbencher and in the ministry. He became opposition leader in 1975, facing off against Gough Whitlam and becoming prime minister in the wake of Mr Whitlam's dismissal.
From his first days in politics, Mr Fraser was an advocate of immigration as a means of boosting the population.
As a minister in the Gorton government, he became the first federal politician to use the word "multiculturalism" — an historic break from the Anglocentric past of his own party. Mr Fraser's multicultural conviction found shape in immigration policy in the post-Vietnam war push to bring refugees from mainland South East Asia to Australia.
"I believe we had a moral and ethical obligation," Mr Fraser later said. "If we had taken polls ... I think people would have voted 80, 90 per cent against us but we explained the reasons for it.
"We were also working to get people to understand that the idea and the reality of a multicultural Australia could be an enormous strength to this country, not a weakness."
"There is strength in this kind of diversity so long as we understand what it's about."
Nothing wrong with any of these sentiments. After declaring war on Vietnam, a humanitarian refugee intake was logical and ethical.
Note also Fraser's intimated "Populate or Perish" attitude to population growth. Fraser was supporting humane refugee intake from Vietnam on an ethical basis and mass migration to achieve population growth - based on his opinion that population growth was "a good idea".
The ABC loves pumping this kind of confusing muddle of refugee / immigration / population growth rhetoric to support its propaganda campaign for pro population growth extremism.
Since when are refugee intake, mass migration of the relatively wealthy, and population growth management the same issue? Even an ABC journalist should be able to understand that these are three separate issues. If you look at what Malcolm Fraser actually did it is as follows:
- "Believed in" Australian population growth in the early 70s, when the Club of Rome's "Limits to Growth" and Paul Erlich's "The Population Bomb" had just been published (in the late 60s). The concept of environmental limits was a fringe opinion at the time and Fraser's opinion was "conventional wisdom" that is now recognised as outdated. The constraints on population growth are physical (environmental) and economic constraints that have nothing to do with xenophobia or racism.
- Abhorred racism. This was always right and has nothing to do with population growth management. Physical and economic constraints are now far better understood than they were in the days of "no Limits to Growth".
But the ABC doesn't want to confront this contemporary reality because it is suffocated by confused, outdated and illegitimate phobias.