Monday, 25 January 2016

To have a strategic direction we have to be a nation

Sounds obvious, but we are in a muddled state here.

In recent years I have become uneasy about chauvinistic displays of the Australian flag by more and more around Australia Day, tomorrow, 26 January. Glad to see all the chauvinalia stacked in the front of local supermarket at half price yesterday. Long may they decline in significance.

I have also been uncomfortable with the rising enthusiasm for war-remembering and marching, with less questioning of commitments we take to go to war and more snarling at suggestions we should lift into the Australian calendar those dreadful wars in Australia, the only wars in Australia, against indigenous Australians, by white invaders.

I am pleased that there exists a radical Australian news-on-line source with whole-Australia including Aboriginal focus and that I am a supporter of it, albeit a very modest supporter. Please read and become a contributor to New Matilda.

I am pleased that people have begun to say they will not sing the Australian National Anthem because it spits on the full history of Australia, with its dirty dark side. because it claims that Australia is "young and free" when in fact it is an old continent with the oldest people and it is far from free in many senses, in my view least free in its entrapment by fantasies about itself and the world. I'm pleased that we've begun to think about all this and I hope we can move forward collectively without great ructure. But there will be quite a lot of ructure and we need energy and determination for it. Though I am 72 and disabled, I will do what I can.

Former Prime Minister John Howard said we should put the origins of the Iraq war behind us, as also he and a conservative phalanx want us to put behind us the real history of Australia with its dirtiness and brutality towards indigenous people.

We cannot. We must not. Though we hit a muddy rock bottom of racism during 2015.

There is a chance that the tide may turn.

A speech last week, embedded below, on how racism is destroying the Australian dream, by experienced journalist Stan Grant, these days indigenous affairs editor of The Guardian,  has reportedly now gone viral.

When we begin to deal with the dark history of Australia:—
... then may we be able to go on and deal with our culpability for the shit we have created variously in the middle east and in the rise of terrorism by going into a stupid war in Iraq...
... and then maybe we might be able become a sensible ally of the USA, a thoughtful one, with opinions and wisdoms, if we must be an ally, if the USA remains worthy of our alliance (another subject).

Sending a fool as ambassador to Washington and having press fawn over him is not a good start.

May we go forward from here to find an identity without which sensible strategy not possible. State Premiers, all but one of them, today called for an Australian Head of State, but we have to gouge much deeper into systems and psyches

Think upon this: Stan Grant's speech. Let us hope banners are raised and battles won, towards a new kind of Australia, not just the nice multicultural society we used to have but something more robustly, thoughtfully decent, inclusive, respecting and empowered. That's my Australia Day wish.

No comments:

Post a Comment