Leading article Australia

Team Australia, in Rio

11 August 2016

1:00 PM

11 August 2016

1:00 PM

It has all the makings of a classic feel-good movie. A selection of young Aussie girls from a variety of unexceptional backgrounds – one’s a mechanic, another a basketballer, another a surfing teacher – find themselves thrown together to form our first ever Olympic women’s rugby sevens team. And then they go to Rio and win Gold.

It’s a story of perseverance, great coaching, grit and determination, set against the delightful backdrop of Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches, where the team is brought together to realise a crazy dream.

But the story is much more than just an Aussie Bend it like Beckham meets Chariots of Fire. It serves as an inspiration to our entire nation about how we need to re-focus our skills and energy, and pull together as a team. One team. Of equal Australians.

Identity politics are crippling our country, draining us of our goodwill, our famed neighbourliness, our confidence, and, ironically, draining us of our Aussie identity.

Every time one group or another – normally at the behest of the ‘progressive’ elites of the Left – complain loudly of their latest grievance and about how hard done by they are, or offended they are, by the rest of us, they tear away another strip from the bonds that have traditionally held us together.

We pride ourselves on the success of our multiracial, multicultural society. Rightly so. Yet we are currently engaged in a destructive process that threatens to rip asunder all that we have achieved so far. And we do this because we deliberately ignore the lessons of the past.

What makes Australia so special is that a woman whose parents were killed in the Holocaust can happily crack open a beer with a half Serbian neighbour and her indigenous boyfriend, whilst a couple of half Asian, half Italian kids from next door frolic nearby. The key to the success of our nation is that, up until very recently, we all sought the same egalitarian opportunities. We accepted there were those better off, and those worse off. But we truly believed we could aspire to be as successful as the most fortunate whilst happily paying our taxes or contributing to charity to assist the least fortunate. Above all, we shared in the same ethos: a love of the open air, of the beach, of barbeques, of a healthy, sporting lifestyle, and of a sunny optimism envied across the globe.

No longer. Now, every time some pampered celebrity or politician, supposedly representative of this or that minority, takes to Twitter or the airwaves to pompously lecture everyday Australians about how racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, Islamophobic or simply morally inferior we are, they chip away at the very foundations of the success of this nation. By claiming special status, courtesy of their genetic make-up, sexual peccadillos, or religious affiliation, they put another brick in the wall that will forever separate us one from the other.

In this issue, Kerryn Pholi, Brendan O’Neill and Chris Ashton in different ways look at the hysterical and sinister over-reaction from the ABC, SBS, and social media to Bill Leak’s perceptive cartoon concerning indigenous parental responsibility. (Or the lack of it).

As Brendan points out, it is the duty of all us to stand up against the vile abuse being heaped upon Mr Leak. When cartoonists are vilified for telling the truth – a truth proclaimed by many respected indigenous Australians, not that that fact should make any difference – then we are in dangerous territory. As the Mick Gooda affair shows, Mr Turnbull also plays the identity card when it ssuits him.

Sadly, ‘progressive’ Australia deliberately, and relentlessly, engages in the dangerous act of dividing us into privileged tribes: tribes based on exaggerated or imagined or historical grievances. And it is the ‘mainstream’ who are ‘guilty’. Yes, we have many problems in this country, and we need to overcome them. That is self-evident.

But the only way to do so successfully is by pooling our energies, experience, skills, and goodwill in order to work as one team. Team Australia, as a great man once said, where minority identity is irrelevant. Like in Rio.

Strong flat white

It’s the only way to start the morning, and you quickly get a taste for it. As it goes from strength to strength, you find yourself needing at least a couple of shots a day, or sneaking one in just before bed. (Although be careful – you don’t want it to keep you tossing and turning all night.) You’ll find it at www.spectator.com.au, and it’s our new (free!) blog Flat White, where you can read additional great articles not in the magazine. You may even get addicted!

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