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Sep 07

Election ’07

[There was a post here which has been censored by request (at least until the election is over). Update: Post now unredacted.]

People are reckoning that the election date will be called after APEC. This is from a friend hitting the campaign trails in Bennelong:

Today we went to test the waters in Carlingford, which is North-West of Eastwood. This was our first time to Carlingford, so we weren’t sure what to expect. I’m glad to say that it was quite succesful.

Carlingford Village (‘CV’) is a small shopping centre. Inside is a mini Chinatown. As soon as you enter you are hit with the smells of Asian food. Some of the shops had food so exotic they are not on the menus in Chinatown itself. We set up our signs and balloons outside an Asian supermarket, whose owner is backing Labor. The owner also owns 3 other supermarkets, including the supermarket directly opposite Howard’s office in Eastwood.

I went to set up at the back entrance and then ran into trouble. A bored Indian security guard saw me and straight away demanded to know whether I had permission. I told him we had permission from the owner of the supermarket. He said it wasn’t good enough, we needed permission from the owner of CV. Seeing that his name badge said “Ravi”, I tried to sweet talk him by talking about Ravi Shastri and cricket, but he said all politicians are crooks and soon was on his phone to the owner.

Luckily the owner of CV allowed us to stay. And this is the beautiful thing – he came to CV and said “I don’t like Howard, I support Labor.” This was someone we had never met before. By the end of our visit we had been able to convince him to put Maxine posters around CV and also organise Moon Cake festival events in the centre complete with a Maxine meet and greet.

The beauty of CV is that it’s in effect a captive audience. Macquarie Bank would call it monopoly infrastructure. The owner won’t allow the Libs to put up posters, or campaign inside.

In other things, last week I was at the check-out at Woolworths in Eastgardens. All the check-out chicks are either Asian or brown – Eastgardens is a pretty multicultural suburb.

The white girl in front of me sees my 2 boxes of Weet-bix and asks me, “Do you eat that for breakfast in your country?”
Me: “Yes, everyday.”
“Really? What country are you from?”
“No, which country are you really from? Do they eat Weet-bix there?”

Then she proceeded to ask me if I ate vegemite and peanut butter. Maybe this should be added to the new citizenship test.

Still, the best incident was when I was on a bus in Kensington talking to a friend, who was also of Asian ethnicity. A woman came up to us and said, “Thank you for speaking English.”

As Lachie’s best mate, Alan Ramsey, would say: John Howard’s fucking Australia.

This post has 3 comments

1.  Hazz


I am not a Sydneysider… Just wondering in those suburbs are they populated by “Aussie Asians” or International students? With over 70,000 international students in Sydney (mostly from Asia), do they live in certain areas?

2.  Hazz

Continuing on from my above post:

I guess looking back at the post, I can understand why allot of Asians can be “hurt” when white Australians ask them that question “where are you from?”. As a “white” Australian who is exposed to a very large number of Asian International students at University, I think most white aussies my age just think that Asian students = International students. I think that is where the comment on the bus in Kensington came from, as my understanding there would be ALLOT of international students in that area, so the local would problery think those Asians are international students, and not aussie..

3.  Kev


I think the issue is whether it really matters if people are speaking a foreign language.

Why does it matter if people are not speaking English in Australia? And why feel the need to complement people for speaking English? And why assume that because someone doesn’t look white that they were not born in Australia?

To me, this smacks of insecurity and a level of small-mindedness.

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