- Howard reiterates his skepticism about multiculturalism
- He says he was never convinced
- Appearing at a Conservative ARC event
- READ MORE: The “doubts” of multiculturalism
Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard has once again expressed his skepticism about multiculturalism, saying he had always “struggled” with the concept.
The 84-year-old, who was prime minister from 1996 to 2007, made the comments at a conference in London for political conservatives after previously telling the broadcaster “he had doubts about multiculturalism.” right-wing GB News.
Speaking at an Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) forum, Mr Howard said multiculturalism “establishes difference” and risks separating people along racial or ethnic lines.
“Multiculturalism is a concept that I have always struggled with. I think if people want to emigrate to a country, then they adopt the values and practices of that country,” Mr Howard said.
“And in return, they have the right to have the host citizens respect their culture without trying to create some kind of federation of tribes and culture – that gets you into terrible trouble.”
Former Coalition Prime Minister John Howard continues to voice his doubts about multiculturalism.
Mr Howard said when he spoke to people at local events “especially in the bush”, he was often told “we came to this wonderful country because you were free, you were kind, you were generous “.
“And – isn’t that great?” he thought.
“Do you really need to redefine this relationship? »
“I think one of the problems with multiculturalism is that we try too hard to institutionalize differences, rather than celebrating what we have in (common).”
Mr Howard added his comments when speaking to GB News.
“We do not want separation based on race or origin. We want natural acceptance,” he said.
“And that’s a problem that Americans are facing.”
“I remember reading a book…that said that for years after the Civil War, the ‘melting pot’ philosophy was respected.
“But more recently, they’ve started talking a lot more about the different tribes.
“And it was a mistake in America and it was a mistake here.”
Mr Howard said multiculturalism emphasizes difference rather than what people have in common.
On Tuesday, GB News host Camilla Tominey asked Mr Howard whether he agreed with UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s assertion that multiculturalism had “failed” in The Western world.
“I have my doubts about multiculturalism,” Mr. Howard said.
“I believe that when you migrate to another country, you should, within reason, be expected to absorb the dominant culture of that country.”
“Of course, save your affection for Greece or Italy or wherever you come from.”
Mr Howard then explained how Australia was “very successful” when it came to immigration.
He remembers meeting people who had immigrated from European countries in the past and, more recently, from countries like China and India.
“A lot of it (immigration to Australia) works well, I think, because people are attracted to the fundamental (and) dominant culture of Australia, which is open and tolerant, but also proud of that. what our country has accomplished,” he said.
“I think if we were more focused on what our nation has achieved, what the Western world has achieved, and less inclined to apologize and say, ‘We’re all guilty,’ the better off we’d be.”
Mr Howard warned about dividing people into different tribes, along racial and ethnic lines.
Tominey brought up the topic of multiculturalism after discussing pro-Palestinian protests in the United Kingdom and Australia.
She asked Mr Howard about the protest outside the Sydney Opera House earlier this month, during which some participants chanted “gas the Jews” and other anti-Semitic slurs.
Mr Howard described the protest as “shameful”.