Forgetting your past is sometimes necessary but not when it turns you into a hypocrite who refuses to acknowledge where they came from and how they got to where they are

 

Over 100 years ago Albert Einstein declared that ‘Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind’. Over 100 years later, this venomous virus of nationalism still plagues the everyday make-up of Western culture—and one can’t help think that if this was the literal truth, half of Europe would be bedbound whining of a high fever, skin rash and bemoaning the world domination of the venerable and poverty-stricken.

Einstein’s words however, never seemed so appropriate as after the ones made by Tony Abbott last week. The ex-Australian Prime Minister spoke at the second annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture at London’s Guildhall, in which he kindly bestowed advice upon the European nations on how to triumph in the current migrant crisis, which funnily enough, should be modelled on the success of Australia’s tumultuous, and downright evil approach to immigration.

Abbott declared that, ‘The Australian experience proves that the only way to dissuade people seeking to come from afar is not to let them in’. Some truly iconic words that I think we can all agree will go down in history for as long as it took him to openly attribute blame for the downing of flight MH17 on Putin (one of his self-proclaimed successes during his prime ministerial career, in case you were unaware).

The former trainee priest didn’t stop there though. Drawing on the very principles of Christianity that once defined his potential vocation, he spoke of how, ‘Implicitly or explicitly, the imperative to love your neighbour as you love yourself is at the heart of every Western policy … but right now this wholesome instinct is leading much of Europe into catastrophic error’. If only he actually found the light, maybe then Australia, Europe and possibly the world could have been saved from such an idiotic, painfully irrelevant string of words that make about as much sense as his election to office in the first place.

As the recent handling of the migrant crisis proves, ‘Love thy neighbour’ is about as alive in today’s Western policy as material modesty was in 1920s America. Last time I checked, waiting for a two-year-old toddler to wash up drowned on the beach before the majority took any action isn’t exactly what Jesus was talking about.

In stark contrast to Abbott’s words, the truth is that along with the rest of the world, Europe has morphed into a continent largely composed of a poisonous border bureaucracy; where people are quicker to defend the colourful contours of their national flag, before they do the safety of a ten-year-old child fleeing relentless shelling, gruelling poverty and the ruthless machetes of religious extremism.

Yet, the entitlement to attack Abbott’s ideas derives not just from the nonsensical impotency of his comments that barely warrant a response, but more profoundly, their irony. From a country built on the principle and practice of immigration, it seems that Abbott (and any fool that agrees with him) has forgotten exactly what allowed Australia, and so many other leading Western countries like it, to become what it is today. For over 200 years Australia has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the practice of immigration, which beginning with the first British fleet in 1787, subsisted well on into the 1960s, and still to this day boasts a popular choice amongst young Europeans looking for an adventurous settlement far from home. But Abbott of course chose to ignore this rather gratifying practice of the country’s past, presiding over a moment of conceited high esteem for the iron fists of the present—an attitude that fails to have progressed much from those held by the founding forefathers and the ‘White Australia Policy’.

This leaves Abbott’s comments—and the reactions from the majority of Europe, Britain included, during the peak of the current crisis—to inexcusably become an issue of race. They are not concerned by the process of immigration that constitutes the ‘white flight’ of twentieth-century Australia, eighteenth-century America, nor that of the Costa del Sol that has been redefined by an influx of British sunseekers—the people, not the boats (although the sense of white entitlement that fuels their migration is as grotesque and morally disturbing as the 10,000ft yacht that sits in the harbour.) It is purely a process of elite racial and cultural purification, where to be white is to be accepted, and everything else, is an ‘immigrant’, or according to Abbott, ‘a tide of humanity surging through Europe and quite possibly changing it forever’.

On the scale of immigrant to ex-pat (and a whole load of bulls**t in between), the world is drunk on the idea of nationalism. It is clouded in a hazy memory where many forget exactly why they possess the very passport, surname and, well, nationality that they do. Mr Tony Abbott—you are a prime example of this.

Seeing as the current world figures of today are so painfully uninspiring, it leaves me little choice but to once again look to those of the past. H.G Wells once wrote that ‘Our true nationality is mankind’ … I wonder how that one would sit with Theresa May.