An English relative started our conversation together with a joke: Where do Australians belong?
I don't know.
He pointed at the ground beneath his feet. I guess a visual for 'down under', but it struck as violent as well, like 6 feet under. He then pointed to the sky, or there, depending on your point of view - which still I understood as violent, like in heaven...
He was talking to me about Australians and wondering why I would ever consider living there ever again. Saying how obnoxious they are, etc... I said that Australians are different 'at home'. He said, yeah but they're all racist, citing Pauline Hansen (a v racist, media-hungry (ex-?)politician). He then told me that as a foreigner you can't buy property in Australia. How racist is that? he asked.

To me, though I had never heard of the law, it seems like a good policy. The Australian Dollar is very weak against many other currencies: US Dollar, Pound, Euro, Yen. But it is also a lovely place to live and have holidays so you can see there might be a desire by foreigners to buy up properties in Australia when you earn in particular currencies. When rich peole buy up property but don't live in that location, it causes problems locally. In England and Wales there are beautiful rural areas where only rich city people can afford to live, or more precisely, buy second homes and holiday houses, and local people are being pushed out because of the ensuing inflated land prices. This is seems wrong to me and I applaud the Australian government's attempt to protect for its own citizens. But my English relative doesn't see it. He sees it as 'racist'.

I asked whether he has ever been to Australia. He said no, he doesn't have to.

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