From John Ray's shorter notes
1 Feb 2023
Who killed Australia Day?
Terry Barnes, below, claims that "Australians" killed Australia day. That is mindlessly inclusive. It was only a small Leftist minority that did it. Australia day became the latest victim of the never-ending Leftist search for things to hate. We should not bow down to them.
Most Australians this year did not. There were maybe some thousands who "protested" but millions just had family BBQs and the like.
I celebrated by replacing the Gadsden flag I usually have up outside my house with the Australian flag. And I took my girlfriend out for lunch, after which we had a very nice snooze together
And respect for the day can probably be found in surprising places. During the day, one of my tenants spoke to me and said: "Long live the Empire". He was referring to the British Empire and noting that Australia Day marks the successful completion of a great Imperial project. His own heritage is Greek but he is a great student of history
But it is sad that some Australians seem to have drunk the Leftist Koo-Aid about the matter. There were once many cars on the street on the day with Austalian flags flying from them. I saw few of those this year. Let us not be bullied out of a very well-justified and enjoyable celebration by the eternal malcontents of the Left
Australia Day was once a big deal Down Under, but in recent years the annual celebration has been somewhat muted. Take the Australian Open, currently running in Melbourne. The organisers have dedicated days throughout the tournament for a range of causes: there has been a Pride day and a day celebrating indigenous art and culture. But although the semi-finals are being played today, on Australia Day itself, there will be no recognition of the country’s national day. ‘We are mindful there are differing views, and at the Australian Open we are inclusive and respectful of all,’ Tennis Australia said in a statement.
Tennis fans aren’t the only ones missing out: Victoria’s state government has quietly axed Melbourne’s Australia Day parade. ‘We recognise Australia Day represents a day of mourning and reflection for some Victorians and is a challenging time for First Peoples,’ a government spokesperson said.
The recently-elected federal Labor party government is also doing its bit to water down the festivities: civil servants and parliamentary staff are being allowed to work through Australia Day, and take a day off in lieu when it suits them.
Protest-by-working is sweeping corporate Australia. Vicki Brady, the chief executive of Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra, announced ostentatiously that she would work through the holiday’
‘I’ll be choosing to work and will take a different day of leave with my family, because that feels right for me. For many First Nations peoples, Australia Day… marks a turning point that saw lives lost, culture devalued and connections between people and places destroyed,’ she wrote on LinkedIn, stating the protest case in a nutshell.
Only three decades ago, Australia Day was a day of national unity and pride
Brady’s look-at-me declaration reflects a fault line that’s tearing through Australian society. The row over Australia Day is more than a culture war between left and right. The controversy exposes a nation which doubts itself; its angst about its past reveals a collective lack of confidence about our country’s future. We Australians are no longer the laconic, easy-going, ‘she’ll be right’ people of national mythology. Rather, we’re the world’s teenagers, questioning our identity and parentage and rebelling against the western values and heritage – including British culture, institutions and the rule of law – that for so long made Australia the envy of the world. Anti-colonial, anti-British culture warriors and grievance merchants are now setting the national agenda. But we, as an uncertain nation, are allowing them to.
Australia’s treatment of its original inhabitants after the First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove in 1788 was far from perfect. But this shouldn’t detract from celebrating the outstanding success of the country’s national story, or accepting 26 January 1788 as the day that marks the intersection of our continent’s ancient past with its future.
Aborigines, who make up just 3 per cent of Australia’s population, very much share in the country’s progress and prosperity; their culture and heritage enriches Australia. Australia Day, however, is doomed. Many Aussie millennials accept the anti-colonial, anti-western narrative as received wisdom. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the downgrading of the holiday has unfolded quickly.
Thirty-five years ago today, Australia celebrated the arrival of Britain’s First Fleet – with its motley cargo of 1,400 seamen, soldiers and convicts – with a year-long ‘celebration of a nation’, as it was officially billed. On the 200th anniversary itself, huge crowds lined the shores of Sydney Harbour under a brilliant blue sky while thousands of pleasure boats were on the water to greet a second First Fleet. This was a commercially-sponsored flotilla of sailing vessels that sailed from Portsmouth to Sydney, recreating the original journey.
Foremost among the crowd was the then Prince and Princes of Wales and Australia’s then prime minister, Labor’s Bob Hawke. Most Australians recognised that the 1988 anniversary was not universally embraced by descendants of the Aborigines who saw the tall ships come in 1788. But it did not overshadow the day, nor the year’s programme of bicentenary events that highlighted the diversity of Australians old and new and celebrated how we, as a country, were proud of who we are and the nation we had become.
Australia Day 1988 was a fabulous day, never to be forgotten – and destined never to be repeated.
Only three decades ago, Australia Day was a day of national unity and pride. It reflected a view that European settlement, blended with indigenous heritage, was overwhelmingly a good thing. Now, however, a significant and growing number of influential Australians are demanding it be moved to another date, because for some it is painful and shameful – and for many it is contentious.
A national day that divides rather than unites is pointless: it may be a vocal minority that brings it down, but unlike that wonderful Australia Day in 1988, a national day that is an official orphan in its own country is no national day at all. Better, like Britain, to not have one.
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