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DECEMBER 2022

Terms of Condescension: The Language of Australia’s “Pacific Family”

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Terms of Condescension: The Language of Australia’s “Pacific Family”

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Written by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

When will this nonsense on familial connection between Australia and the Pacific end?  In 2018, Australia’s then Pentecostal Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, drew upon a term that his predecessors had not.  On November 8 that year, he announced that Australia’s engagement with the region would be taken to another level, launching a “new chapter in relations with our Pacific family.”

In an address to Asialink prior to attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Osaka, Morrison was again found talking about the Indo-Pacific, which “embraces our Pacific family with whom we have special relationships and duties, our close neighbours, our major trading partners, our alliance partners and the world’s fastest growing economies.”

Such language had all the resonances of white European paternalism, ever watchful over the savage dark races who would only ever advance with the aid, and management, of civilised powers.  It was a sentiment reflected in the views of British explorer and anthropologist William Winwood Reade, who opined in his 1872 work The Martyrdom of Man that, “Children are ruled and schooled by force, and it is not an empty metaphor to say that savages are children.”  While he accepted slavery as “happily extinct”, he thought it wise for a European government “to introduce compulsory labour among the barbarous races that acknowledge its sovereignty and occupy its land.”

The language of the family imputes the existence of stern, guiding parents and wayward, mischievous children who might dare show some disobedience.  The parents, in the “Pacific family”, are never assumed to be any of the Pacific Island states, who are seen as merely squabbling siblings in need of control.

Morrison’s coining of the expression had the benefit of unmasking a Freudian truth.  Pacific Island states had long been considered charity cases and laggards in development, useful only as a labour source for Australian markets or security outposts.  Concerns about climate change had barely been acknowledged.  When needed, Australian police and military forces had also intervened to arrest any supposed sliding into instability.

The term became even more problematic in the wake of independent security decisions made by Pacific Island states with China.  A central premise of the charity-child relationship between Canberra and its smaller neighbours has been of one compliant behaviour.  We give you money and largesse from the aid budget; you stay loyal and consistent to Australian interests.  Of particular concern, even terror, was the Solomon Islands-China security pact which had, on the face of it, the potential to facilitate the establishment of a Chinese military base.

In his April visit to Honiara, Senator Zed Seselja, Australia’s Minister for International Development, proved unsparing in reiterating the familial script.  He told the Solomons Island Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare that, “the Pacific family” would “always meet the security needs of our region.”  He would be wise to “consult the Pacific family in the spirit of regional openness and transparency, consistent with our region’s security frameworks.”

The concern from Australian security wonks at Honiara’s willingness to go so far with Beijing caused an outburst of neo-imperial candour.  The parent should take full control of the situation and initiate an abusive, punitive invasion, ostensibly in the name of protecting the sovereignty of another state.  A rattled Solomon Islands Prime Minister rebuked such views in parliament, claiming that “we are treated as kindergarten students walking around with Colt .45s in our hands, and therefore need to be supervised.”

Australia’s then opposition Labor Party, vying for government in the May elections, quickly fell in with the language, extending it and bending it to suit.  In fact, it went so far as to scold the Coalition government for sending a junior minister to the Solomon Islands to argue against Honiara’s signing of a security pact with Beijing.  Instead of sending Seselja, Labor campaign spokesman Jason Clare argued, Foreign Minister Marise Payne should have been on that plane.  “What happened instead, the foreign minister went to a business function and some bloke called Zed got sent there.”  Then savages were simply not wooed.

Building on the theme of coaxing and pressuring Pacific neighbours to do the right thing by Australia’s security interests, Clare insisted on a more aggressive pose.  “You can’t sit back on the deck chair in the Pacific and just assume that everything’s going to be okay.”  The dark children, in other words, might play up.

The new Labor government of Anthony Albanese revelled in the same language of paternal condescension, letting Pacific Island states know that Canberra was keeping watch on any errant behaviour while still claiming to respect them.  Just prior to visiting Samoa and Tonga in early June, Foreign Minister Penny Wong boasted of embarking on her second visit to the Pacific since assuming her cabinet post.  “We want to make a uniquely Australian contribution to help build a stronger Pacific family – through social and economic opportunities including pandemic recovery, health development and infrastructure support, as well as through our Pacific labour programs and permanent migration.”

Pacific states were also assured that parent Australia had heard their concerns about climate change in a way that the previous parent had not.  “We will stand shoulder to shoulder with our Pacific family in addressing the existential threat of climate change.”

The persistent use of the term “Pacific family” has not gone unnoticed among some Australian critics.  Julie Hunt is unimpressed.  “If someone tries to inveigle themselves into our family, or continually tell us that we are part of their family, how would we feel?  Isn’t it a bit presumptuous?”  The utterance of such familial terminology brought with it a range of unpleasant neo-colonial connotations.  For Hunt, the term would remain meaningless till “we show by our actions that we understand their perspectives and respect them.  Dare I suggest that we wait until they return the feelings, and wait until they call us family?”  And a long wait that may prove to be.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He currently lectures at RMIT University.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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Fake

Mr. Magoo has spoken for the 25 million Australian cuckolds that tremble in fear and shut down society over the common cold. I’m sure the 1.3 billion Chinese tremble in fear at this fat faced retard.

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N.K.

australia is just an western outpost to harass asians/pacific islanders. australia is hard core racists/white supremacists. they even didn’t admit asians to its stolen land up until 1980s. these people killed million aborigines and even castrated them to reduce aborigine population. don’t know how you can describe these people other than devil.

Last edited 5 months ago by N.K.
ALBANESE GOT AIDS FROM BANDERA POOF!

You got a problem with peoplethats your problem,sure this century ozi politics are pathedic and completely unrelated to the otherwised more mundane better civilised of western societys,then again you don’t live in oz to see for yourself,though run by fascists still compared to usa/uk/eu shitholes is like night of days difference,and for the record ozis work bloody harder than you seldom hasbara problem childs,whom combined achieved fuck all in comparison,so if you want to know about the real ozi (not paid soros poof) heres the truth,FREE ASSANGE ALBO YOU WEAK GOYGAY FUK!

Last edited 5 months ago by ALBANESE GOT AIDS FROM BANDERA POOF!
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Justin

The Chinese killed hundreds of millions of its own people! Not indigenous blacks, i mean the exact same genetic people as them. Down vote this message! Because you just knocked the F out!

CrniBlack

Sorry but only 24,999,999 of them, I’m just fine. 😉

ALBANESE GOT AIDS FROM BANDERA POOF!

Sorry dud 85% hate nato and nearly as much voted out liberals,fukmedrunk which rock have you been hiding in these days and i’m a helluva lot more rigid in defending myself than you low iq simps!

ALBANESE GOT AIDS FROM BANDERA POOF!

No he has not spoken for anyone drama queen,the fact 85% ozis don’t want nato let speaks in volume, which is why,we voted the nazi turdgrot out by a massive amount,and china has 1.6 billion people,so get your facts right before sprouting other wisehhow you wished you live in oz,but your too soros like dumb!

Justin

Actually it wasnt him who was the dictator it was the state Premiers. This guy was a good Prime Minister. Under Morrison we ousted the Chinese 5G networks, the silk road initiative, AUKUS became a big deal, the Quad became a big deal and Australia makes regular transits across the South China sea straights with total disregard to Chinese claims! The fact he said that their needs to be an investigation into the Wuhan Virus origins was a tough thing to say. He said the same about the WHO too! It meant F you China. And China tried to play hard ball and LOST the trade war. What happened to China? They begged to buy our coal back when they had Power outages. Australia is tough in terms of resources and trade. As for military, we sit under the US umbrella (and the 30 to 50 other nations we have treaties with). Russia is great! China is a Fcked! If you truly understand what is happening in this world, you will understand China is going down. They will be decapitated! Sudden and swift end. Put it this way, they will have no ships, no airbases and no ICBM’s all within a space of 10 minutes! Thats what i am talking about!

Donnchadh

Its all about China now that China is offering help to the Islands treated badly by Australia .Like the UK it thinks its a “big force ” when both countries are minor servants to the USA .Australia cuts off its nose to spite its face by putting trade barriers and harassing Chinese residents and tourists . I used to be in communication with two Australians -only one now who say the Australian police are “owned ” by Israel one is constantly harassed by police and the other had run ins with them because he ran an anti-Zionist website that attracted great attention worldwide-one still emails me.

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Justin

Those islands love Australia. Thats a fact! I have asked them. In fact i know them! You are wrong and I am right!

Warrior Nation

Morisson has done a lot of bad things SF but this is not one of them.

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NATO's PROXYTUTE

This wanker could not believe he was dumped by the Aussies since he’d dedicated his leadership to uplift democracy and protect national interest… Who the hell is he fooling?

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ALBANESE GOT AIDS FROM BANDERA POOF!

Good question,but there were several cross dressers in his ministry,which drew the line close,once affirmed support to nazis,the peoples turned on him thus got the sack at breakneck speed,whilst albo may be no better or worse,atleast there is a chance to remedy relations with china though the lgbtq factor does not foresee positive outlook in the future,see too many nocando keweers not enough anzac

CrniBlack

Australia an US lapdog and spokesman for US and UK imperial interests in south Pacific. I’m sure ex colonies of former European colonial powers learned a few hints about meaning behind “family” when offered by the west. If the west now is offering an olive branch to their ex colonies from Africa, South America, Asia and Pacific is just a solid proof that times of western dominance over the world is melting away and new alliances are trying to be formed without much success. Globalisation, the western mantra by the end of last century has achieved the western world dream of producing high profit while employing the cheapest possible labour and resources to produce it… and it worked for a few decades but then the sources of cheap labour build themselves to “threatening” proportions of being the world’s leading economical powers… how that has happened? Nobody planned that! Well … there was a bit of miscalculation in the plan where “pions” are not capable of becoming educated while doing the job… Welcome to NWO and multi-polar world where the west is not the place where sun of democracy raises but where it sets.

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ALBANESE GOT AIDS FROM BANDERA POOF!

No big deal also resist hanging out in kweer cbd hornets nest,nothing to gain there anyway (period) Conversely my rules,my wealth,my life,my body,my soul no one can take it,they tried,but they all failed I have a fist and weapon too,both equally effective,yet did not cheat death to give into nwo lgbtq vaccine! (FREE ASSANGE,ALBO YE WEAK LIEING MAGGOT)

ALBANESE GOT AIDS FROM BANDERA POOF!

Morrison and his nazi gay wannabe goons were sacked because the ozi dollar got raped by team USA!

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Yuri

racist convict island—send these lemmings to Kan sas

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Jim

I hope China nukes Australia. Australia is a faggot infected puppet of Zionist America.

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Justin

They cant Nuke Australia. they only have a few ICBM’s that can reach it. You have no idea on what they have. Have u seen how much weight China can lift into orbit? Their rocket engine tech is really bad. 15 tonnes! Thats it! They are trying really hard to improve things. Their aircraft cant even do super cruise! They have to use Russian SU-35 engines for that. They have the worst submarines in the world too. China doesn’t even have a blue water navy. most of their ships are coastal ships. Japan and South Korea combined have a larger and more powerful navy than China.

USA#1!

USA has your back Australia…don’t worry about chinese apes…

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Israel Shahak

More like their “back door”. Australia is nothing but a police state under the WEF. Better get informed idiot.

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