by tobybee

Tony Abbott has announced his new cabinet today, and it includes a new title for the handling of the immigration portfolio. That position is now to be known as the “Minister for Immigration and Border Protection”. Under Howard, from 2001, the position was known as the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Or as I called it then, the Minister for Racial Others.

This seems to me to be a shift in emphasis in the Liberal party approach: from incorporation (which is accompanied by both assimilation and multiculturalism, or different forms of attempted erasure) to exclusion (a refusal to allow entry in the first place, and a rejection of people).

The position changed names under the ALP as well: it is given changed names to signify different things and these names are clearly produced by the historical moments in which they are exist. Naming the portfolio and department in this way is useful: it makes clear the terms of engagement.