Here’s a scene from our officially multicultural future, but played out just the other day at a funeral at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery,.
Check the note the Russian-born florist added to one of the bouquets, ordered over the phone by a grieving niece.
“Rast in peas, unty Josie.”
Speaking and writing basic English is, after all, a key to good citizenship, neighbourliness and effective integration.
But here is the next thing that is new.
What I just said may soon be declared racist or in some other way discriminatory, even illegal, if the Australian Human Rights Commission’s latest campaign against “racism” succeeds.
The commission introduces its new push by declaring “ cultural, religious and linguistic diversity are fundamental to our national identity” and “this is something to be celebrated”.
Note, we must celebrate our “linguistic diversity” as something “fundamental to our national identity”.
Once, and not very long ago, a defining characteristic of our national identity was that we shared a common language, English. Now we are told that our defining characteristic is that we don’t.
"Rast in peas", freedom of speech in Australia.
"Rast in peas", Australian English as our common national language.
"Rast in peas", Australian national identity.