Leading article Australia

Culture defeat

28 January 2016

3:00 PM

28 January 2016

3:00 PM

Could somebody please disband the miserable committees whose ‘job’ it is to select the so-called ‘Australian of the Year’? No doubt these worthy individuals (presumably paid a fat cheque each year by the ever-struggling Aussie taxpayer) have a fervent belief in their task, and indeed in their choices, but their skills leave much to be desired.

Year in, year out, the humble Aussie citizen has inflicted upon them as a national role model a swag of trendy, leftist, politically correct ‘progressives’ who presume to use this unique honour to flaunt their own political beliefs. This flies directly in the face of what the Australian of the Year – by definition – should represent: a unifying figure worthy of all Australians’ respect regardless of political preferences.

It was bad enough that, two years ago, indigenous footballer Adam Goodes marked his elevation to the role by declaring his ‘shame’ at being an Australian, before going on to use his high media profile to spruik, of all things, a miserable John Pilger film.

But this year saw a new low, with David Morrison – a former army chief famous for delivering a speech somebody else wrote – abusing this extraordinary platform to roll out his own political wheelie bins of leftist garbage without bothering with the onerous tasks of standing for pre-selection and getting elected to parliament. In keeping with the Goodes tradition, Mr Morrison pointedly used Australia Day to denigrate and castigate, rather than to inspire, his fellow citizens: ‘Imagine how much better we would be if everybody… wasn’t held back through the most questionable of criteria: their gender, their racial heritage, their sexual orientation or the god they believe in’ droned the 59 year old, serving up a take-away menu of popular leftist causes.

To which the cynic might reply, ‘Imagine how much better our Defence Forces would be if their leaders focused on the main game of being prepared to defend our shores and defeat our enemies rather than endless naval-gazing about the politically-correct issues du jour.’ Highlighting just how politically active he intends to be, Mr Morrison went on to pompously proclaim that he will agitate for an Australian republic. This was enough for a newly-bandanaless Peter FitzSimons to immediately nominate Mr Morrison as a future President, thereby exposing the entire sham of the republican push – an undemocratic vehicle for the progressive Left to pursue their fetishes uninhibited by the Australian voter. (Commendably, Malcolm Turnbull has no desire to revisit the republican issue.)

The poison of political correctness has clearly leeched into the Mount Ainslie water supply, with the Department of Defence tying itself in knots over ‘offensive and divisive’ views towards homosexuality and Christianity; culminating indirectly in the taxpayer coughing up twenty-five grand due to a bizarre legal spat over ‘trans-gender’ issues, including whether the army can force someone to call another person ‘he’ or ‘she’. Clearly a major priority in the defence of our realm! On top of which, we’ve also been treated to the disturbing case of Captain Mona Shindy, the proud hijab-wearing senior naval officer and Islamic ‘advisor’ who also used her taxpayer-funded position and twitter account to push her overtly pro-Islamic, anti-Abbott political views (memo to useless Australian of the Year Selection Committees – no, this does not automatically qualify Ms Shindy for next year’s AotY).

There are innumerable extremely worthy everyday Aussies who work tirelessly in the service of others, who devote their unpaid time and passion to helping the needy or simply improving the quality of life of their fellow citizens. These are the people who deserve to be honoured by being selected as Australian of the Year. Not members of the chattering Left undemocratically pushing their own political agendas.

Bill gets it right

Imagine our astonishment upon reading this week’s insightful article by respected Speccie columnist James Allan, who argues that – possibly as a first in the history of Australian politics – opposition leader Bill Shorten has finally come up with a good idea.

Or rather, Mr Shorten has for once decided to oppose a bad idea – which almost amounts to the same thing.

We refer of course to the GST, and Bill’s determination to oppose any increase in it. In this he is in good company. Peter Costello is correct to argue that before Treasurer Scott Morrison dare tinker with our taxes, he must first prove he has the economy under control by reducing government spending and returning the budget to surplus.

Cutting some taxes by raising others is not tax reform; it’s a lazy con-job.

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