2017. A year in which satire is dead—literally, RIP SBS Comedy—and Tony Abbott still thinks he's going to make it as Prime Minister and Barnaby Joyce is apparently more than willing to follow Donald Trump into nuclear war with North Korea and Malcolm Turnbull is awarded a fancy British prize for his non-discriminatory policy of discrimination. A shitty year to be concerned citizen of this depressing excuse for a democracy but a great year to be an internet content writer, if I'm honest.
Reportedly, your Prime Minister and mine Malcolm Turnbull will next week receive the Disraeli Prize, awarded annually by London-based centre-right think tank Policy Exchange. Since 2014, the award has honoured Britain's first prime minister from a minority background, Benjamin Disraeli. Turnbull is being honoured specifically for "maintaining a strong non-discriminatory immigration program helping to make Australia a land of opportunity for peoples from all around the world," according to an invitation to the ceremony which was obtained by The Monthly earlier this week.
Turnbull is currently in Europe for the G20 summit, and will receive the award in Westminster on Monday from British Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Prestigious!
Another choice quote from the invite reads thus:
"[Turnbull] has also emphasised the importance of immigrants in Australia integrating successfully into the country's mainstream—by acknowledging and respecting the predominant values of Australian life and society."
Some cool Australian immigration initiatives that the invitation neglects to mention include Turnbull's announcement in April that all 457 visas would be abolished to create "more jobs for Australians", an idea that Australia's most anti-immigration politician Pauline Hanson absolutely loved and in fact accused Turnbull of stealing from her.
It also glosses over the existence of Australia's two offshore detention centres, where we indefinitely intern hundreds of people who have literally fled their home countries for their lives, with the hope that a large and prosperous first world country would offer them asylum.
Congratulations, Malcolm. And a note to readers in London—tickets to the ceremony are apparently free, and available here.
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