So much happens around 'race' here in Melbourne. It's not just because people know I'm keeping this diary - or because I'm on holidays and other nation's faults, hypocricies and bigotry are always more obvious than our own. I don't even think my family and friends are more obsessed than anyone else.

There is a climate here where race and racism are paramount issues. It might be one of the by-products of the Howard (conservative) government where refugees are locked up in hot and dusty detention centres in the middle of the desert, illegally sent away to their (potential) deaths on the high seas, where the reconciliation process between europeans and aborigianl communities have been ignored or retracted. People talk about these things. They are part of the climate.

I have had conversations with old friends and family about them.

F talked about feeling invaded by the Asians (here that means Oriental: Chinese, Japanese, South eAst Asia). She talked about feeling swamped and realising how much latent racism she felt. Of course that is the point of this diary so I was keen to hear her talk about it.

There was an oriental woman sitting at the next table with some white friends. F talked at top voice. I'm sure the woman, the whole table, could her her every opinion. Not a problem in itself... but F's attitude was unreflective (a word???).

Not that I believe we should feel guilty. I guess I believe we should face the fact that we are capable of racist thoughts and actions. But this is about taking responsibility for those those thoughts - not defending them.

that's right wing, racist, fascist, Nazi, whatever you want to call it...

Saw some comedy last night - Chris Addison - an english guy talking about english travel - expats, tourists, backpackers, etc. He also talked about Australia and the disappointment that he felt that Australia, this Eden, had voted in a fascistic government. I understood what he was saying. I was also deeply disappointed that Oz could behave so disgustingly.

The audience bristled under his observation - or should I say criticism. I guess I understood ithat as well. English people have long imagined, have projected onto Australia ideals and ideologies. Australia is not been allowed to just be... for good or ill. A country with their own history and sense of themselves..

We don't want to be, nor are we, just some Eden for English people. Of course we're proud but it's no worse for Aussies to vote in Howard than it was for Britain to vote in Thatcher.Fuck it if it's a disappointment to non-Australians - what's it to do with them anyway? Ruin their idea of Paradise?

Besides, it's like the U.S. You can't blame every American for George W. At least half the voting population didn't want him anyway.

This entry,like all the diary entries, is subjective. Others may record these events differently.

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