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Friday, September 18, 2009

Absent thing not removed

A great deal has been made in the Australian media about the former PM John Howard's introduction of a citizenship test which included a question about the late, great cricketer, Don Bradman.

The media loved the story because it implied that Australia's downtrodden new immigrants were being forced to learn stuff that only old white cultural imperialists would know or care about. The Labor Party even claimed that John Howard wrote the question himself. It aligned with everything the Left wanted to believe about John Howard. It was the White Australia Policy writ small.

However, leading up to the election campaign, keen not to lose the old, white imperialist fuddy-duddy vote, Kevin Rudd promised to keep the question.

Naturally Kevin faced an uphill battle with this promise, because there never was a question about Don Bradman in the test. Bradman, it's true, was mentioned in sample material. But, as The Oz reports:

Sir Don was never in the original test, and Senator Evans said he didn't have a problem with him not being in the new version.

"I understand there are more words about Don in this one than there were in the old one but he's not in the test,'' Senator Evans said.
So let's get this straight:

* There was never a question in the citizenship test about Don Bradman, but there was some mention of him in background notes.

* When the media reported that Labor would dump the non-existent question, Kevin Rudd promised to retain it.

* A new citizenship test has now been written. More information about Don Bradman is included in the background information, however, the question about Bradman that was never included has not been included, nor removed - presumably because that would be impossible.

* Bear with us here - if it was at all possible that a non-existent question really could be removed, removing it, would then amount to a broken election promise - something that the media should have pounced upon.

* Completely unfazed by the available facts, the media are still reporting that the Don Bradman question has been dumped from the new citizenship test.

Why is this so? The ShadowLands ventures that, like most of Australia's poorly written history, the media refuse to disbelieve the existence of the Don Bradman question because it forms part of a narrative they wish to be true.


blogstrop said...

... the media refuse to disbelieve the existence of the Don Bradman question because it forms part of a narrative they wish to be true.
99.94% of them are certain of it.

kae said...

That's true, blogstrop.

Minicapt said...

I presume no media organisation in Australia has ever seen a copy of the test, or that a number of certified Australian journalist have disappeared while searching for this esoteric exam?