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CANBERRA (Reuters) - A comparison of Australian Prime Minister John Howard's nationalism to that of Nazism prompted outrage on Thursday, with one top minister calling the former leader who said it an "unguided missile."
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating, who led the country from 1991 until defeated by Howard in 1996, used a speech on Wednesday to accuse Howard of being a Nazi-like nationalist rather than a patriot for disparaging multiculturalism and so-called "elites."
"Nationalism is, I believe, a dangerous and divisive tendency: its stock in trade is jingoism, populism and exclusion of the most calculating kind," Keating said, as quoted in The Australian.
"A cornerstone of nationalism is the propensity to call into question the motives or to attack the attitudes of other members of the national family.
"Indeed, Adolf Hitler, perhaps the exemplar populist, wrote explicitly on the subject in his Mein Kampf: 'I was a nationalist but not a patriot'.
I say this not to suggest or to align in any way Margaret Thatcher or John Howard with Adolf Hitler," he said.
"To do so would be as unreasonable as it would be absurd.
"I use Hitler's words in this narrative only to make the distinction between nationalism and patriotism which he himself made.
"The nationalism surrounding the First World War and Gallipoli in particular has fuelled the Australian conservative story for nine decades — the same nationalism which prevented the conservative parties from similarly celebrating Australian heroism in Papua New Guinea and Southeast Asia.
Originally posted by Melbourne_Militia
Why cant we have a strong Australian leader who is a patriot and upholds the virtues of democracy, a true statesmen who can project this positive influence upon others and lead by example. (only in my dreams I guess)