You may have heard about our Pauline Hanson. For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Hanson
We heard today of her plans to leave oz and take up residence in the UK (via NZ).Is Pauline really ready for today's multicultural Britain?
We're not sure whether Britain is quite ready for Pauline Hanson…but then, we're not entirely sure whether Ms Hanson is quite ready for today's Britain, either.
Consider her first day as an immigrant, out for a spot of shopping in London. She ventures from her pied a terre to discover, Great Gods! She is the only pale face in the street.
“Where am I?” we can hear her wail. “Qantas has played a dirty trick on me!”
It is possible – likely indeed - these days to discover yourself on a London street that bears no relationship at all to the old city depicted as so…ummm…British in movies set only a few decades ago. Since then, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the sub-continent have moved in. Old Britain's colonies have turned the tables and colonised England's big cities.
Should Ms Hanson panic and flee, say, to the pleasant streets of Bloomsbury, she will find white faces, sure enough – but they'll probably be conversing in Russian.
And when poor frantic Pauline actually comes across a native born Anglo, she'd best keep her whimpering to a low shriek lest she be dubbed instantly “one of them whingeing Orstrayians”. Or worse, her red hair sets her out as Irish.
It's perfectly delicious to learn that Ms Hanson, who made her political bones with a speech quivering with indignation over her belief that Australia was in danger of being overrun by Asian immigrants, is about to become an immigrant herself.
Yes, she's selling up, bound for the Mother Country. “It's pretty much goodbye forever,” she says. Do we hear an echo of that video she once made, which began with the immortal words “If you are watching this it means I'm dead”?
“Sadly,” she opines, “The land of opportunity is no longer applicable.” Australia, of course, has been a considerable land of opportunity for Ms Hanson, whose recent attempts to return to parliament have been distinctly half-hearted affairs delivering her a handy several hundred thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds for failure.
Perhaps, though, she'll find herself in sympathy with a plan by Britain's Immigration Minister to insert a new section into the citizenship test that immigrants to Britain must pass. It involves the protocol for the great British pastime of queuing for everything from fish and chips to buses. The Immigration Minister, Phil Woolas, is concerned that new arrivals can be a bit pushy, don't understand the level of patience required in queues and can frighten long-time residents who are content, by long experience, to stand in line.
Ms Hanson may be a bit pushy, but she was always down on queue jumpers.
Tony Wright, The Age's national affairs editor, is The Goannahttp://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politi ... -o0t6.html