Distrust of the Other

A member of the Australian House of Representatives has come out to argue that drivers from overseas should be subjected to driving tests before being allowed to drive on Australian roads.

The statement is remarkable for any number of reasons, but at the heart of the statement is an attempt to engender distrust of the Other, those foreigners among us, as being the cause of the woes of our country – or, in this case, the driving population of our country. I don’t believe the said member of the House has fully considered the implications and consequences of her statement.

It is the height of arrogance – something that Australians tend to exhibit all too well when it comes to non-Australians here in Australia or Australians in non-Australian destinations – to suggest that the Other must be held to account for a situation that, realistically, is not entirely their fault. It is the kind of arrogance one has come to expect from certain elements of Australian public society, but the reality is that is simply ridiculous.

At the very least, if such a move was introduced, Australians can expect to be subjected to the same kind of treatment when we venture overseas…and be forced to sit a driving test before being able to hire a motor vehicle for our travels.