Wanting Australia Day moved doesn’t mean you hate Australia

One of the enduring tropes from those on the right is that any criticism of events such as Australia Day means the rest of us “hate Australia’’. They then throw in something about “wokes’’ and “elites’’ and that is basically their entire argument.

A good rule of thumb is that if someone uses the word ‘woke’, it’s because they don’t actually have any semblance of a logical argument. It’s a word to invoke when you have nothing of interest to say.

Elites is much the same. It’s impossible not to laugh when outfits such as the Institute of Public Affairs put out their endless press releases which rail against wokes and elites at every opportunity. Although, I do enjoy receiving IPA press releases. They verge so close to self-parody that they inevitably raise a smile, if not a loud laugh.

This is a mob which is based in the very upmarket Collins St in Melbourne, is funded by billionaires and has the cheek to lecture the rest of us about being ‘elites’.

Of course, Woolworths decision last week to pull Australia Day merchandise had them in full fulminating mode. It coincided with one of their “surveys’’ which claimed to show most Australians supported January 26 as our national day.

Maybe that’s true. Maybe not. You certainly wouldn’t be relying on an IPA survey to enlighten you however.

But it did admit that support for Australia Day was declining in younger people. And for that it blamed the education system.

“You can hardly blame young Australians for having a negative view of their country given they are continually told it is not worth celebrating or fighting for,’’ the IPA lamented.

Of course, that is nonsense. In the IPA’s world view any change, even for the better, is negative. Essentially, they are terrified of change. In centuries gone it was people such as the IPA who railed against allowing women to vote and ending child labour.

I know quite a few kids. Have two of my own, various nieces and nephews. All their assorted friends. None of them hate Australia. None of them even have a negative view of Australia.

Do they want a better Australia? A fairer Australia? Of course they do. They want to build on the Australia they are inheriting. As generations before them have done.

Will this include having Australia Day on January 26. Eventually, probably not. Australia is the only colonial power that celebrates its national day on the actual day of colonisation. At the very least, that’s a bit odd.

The conclusion that there could be other, better, more appropriate days to celebrate being Australian is not a difficult one to arrive at.

This doesn’t mean anyone who supports moving from January 26 hates Australia. Perhaps it means we love Australia. That we believe in the potential of this country and want to see it fulfilled.

This is not a New Year’s resolution but I’m going to attempt to be a more regular poster on this site in 2024. And apart from ranting as in the style above, I am also going to use this space to keep a track on what I am reading this year.

This will include physical hold-in-my-hands books as well as audio books. My audio book habits include listening on CDs in the car as well as on the excellent Libby app and now on Spotify as well. So, I usually have a few on the go.

This week, the hard copies include just finishing Peter Temple’s Truth and embarking on Dennis Lehane’s Darkness Take My Hand. I have read both before, but not for many years, and one of the advantages of a bad memory is that I tend to forget key details. But I also reread both again just to enjoy the style and the writing ability of both.

Keeping up the Temple theme, I have Broken Shore in the CD player. I just returned Val McDermid’s Still Life to Libby. Not sure what will be next from that source.

Anyway, feel free to contact me through the website or even [email protected].