Respectful Insolence

Even though it’s Christmas Eve and I hadn’t been planning on posting anything except what I hope to be humorous holiday greetings, I couldn’t resist mentioning this example of political correctness run amok:

A Croatian rock star accused of anti-Semitism will be forced to undergo tolerance counselling as a condition of entry to Australia.

A Jewish rights group on Friday expressed anger over the federal government’s decision to allow Marko Perkovic into Australia.

Mr Perkovic, singer and songwriter with the Croatian rock band Thompson, has been criticised for making strongly anti-Semitic remarks and for supporting the Ustashe regime, the fascist Croatian movement accused of the slaughter of Jews and other ethnic minorities during World War II.

Thompson is scheduled to play several shows across Australia during the Christmas-new year period.

[...]

The immigration department said Mr Perkovic would be required to have tolerance counselling as a condition of his entry to Australia.

“The department can confirm that Marko Perkovic has been granted a visa,” a spokesman told AAP.

“Mr Perkovic will be counselled regarding the multicultural nature of Australian society and the need to avoid vilification or incitement of discord in the community.”

This is just silly. Either let the anti-Semitic twit into Australia to tour with his band or don’t. The whole business about “counseling” as a precondition for his being issued a visa is just ridiculous. Do they really think “tolerance counseling” will do one whit to change Perkovic’s views? All it will do is to give the appearance of “doing” something before letting him in.

Comments

  1. #1 RogerPf
    December 24, 2007

    The point (if there is one) is that it tells the fellow exactly what is and is not acceptable. So later he can’t complain and say “I did not know, I always say that”.

    It’s like giving him his one and only warning before he does anything wrong. Of couse is realy is officaldom covering their collective backsides but that’s another story.

  2. #2 revere
    December 24, 2007

    orac: I’m with you on this one.

  3. #3 sailor
    December 25, 2007

    No, I think it is good to let people know their crap ideas are unacceptable.

  4. #4 Ilya Zlatkovsky
    December 25, 2007

    Do we still listen to celebrities for advice? Oh…yea… can’t wait until we stop doing that.

  5. #5 potentilla
    December 25, 2007

    Or it’s just a piss-take. They looked at the facts, and the evidence, and the visa rules, and decided it would be hard to refuse his visa. Then they said “but let’s be as annoying as possible to the bastard because we don’t like him”. There are people queuing up to invent really good irritating training.

    This is probably just a fantasy, but it would be a very Australian solution.

  6. #6 ubuwalker31
    December 25, 2007

    If he doesn’t successfully complete the tolerance training, or if he expresses racist and anti-semitic views, will his visa be revoked and will he be arrested?

    By the way, I think the reason why they are requiring the tolerance counseling is not just because he is a racist, but because he is an ultra-nationalistic fascist.

  7. #7 Patience
    December 26, 2007

    I’m pretty sure potentilla has it. I’m currently working towards being the equivalent government shill as the Australian ones issuing the visa in this story, and that’s how I read it: there is no good legal reason to refuse the visa, so they’re coming up with everything they can.

    Also, earlier this year, Australia refused a visa to a prominent black American rapper (can’t remember which) for the content of his performance. There was a very large backlash here (I’m currently in Melbourne) against the government for refusing someone based on their beliefs (nevermind the country was in a witch-hunt at the time over terrorists). Given this backlight, the decision makes a lot more sense. There has been a change in government since then, and the new Labour government wishes to be seen as more tolerant and open than the old Liberal government. So when they encounter a big music star coming to play a tour, and they really dislike his message, they’re going to force him to undergo the humiliation of, essentially, sensitivity training FIRST, rather than flat-out refuse him. It’s a wise political move.

  8. #8 anna krmpotic
    January 2, 2008

    What is this world coming to we speak of democracy but yet views cannot be sung about…. leave thompson alone there are far worse people in this world than him if it is wrong to sing about god then maybe we should all become satanic worshipers maybe that would be accepted more than catholicism rubbish people with those thoughts are doomed to hell.. listen to the songs properly than make judments idiots..

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