One day we’ll all be equal: Bernardi

September 27, 2018

An opinion piece by Conservative Party leader, Senator Cory Bernardi features in today's The Australian:

"Newly minted Prime Minister Scott Morrison has strongly defended Australia Day in the face of more leftist councils withdrawing their support.

“Australia Day is our national day,” Morrison said. “That is the day that Australia’s history changed. And it should be a day to recognise all Australians, from our first to our most recent. I don’t think engaging in this sort of indulgent self-loathing actually makes our country stronger.”

However, in words designed to appease the indulgent self-loathers, he said he was “very open to the idea of having a national day where we can particularly focus on the achievements and success of our indigenous people in a very positive way”.

That’s just what the country needs: another forum to celebrate identity politics that ultimately will serve as another rallying call to say how bad white settlement is.

Let’s remember white settlement gave us our way of life, our institutions. It gave us a vote, a system of parliament, a system of governance. It gave us welfare, it gave us businesses and jobs, and it gives us hope for the future because Western civilisation is amazing.

The Prime Minister wants to add a day when we’ve already got so many days and customs celebrating indigenous heritage.

The opening of an envelope now involves a “welcome to country”, which columnist Piers Akerman revealed was “made up in Perth by entertainers Ernie Dingo and Richard Walley in 1976” to please visiting Pacific Islander dancers.

We also have NAIDOC Week, which is held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Add that to Sorry Day, Reconciliation Day, Mabo Day and the various other virtue-signalling days, and there’s scarcely enough time to host a footy final — unless it can fall within the indigenous round.

But now the Prime Minister says we need another day, which somehow will make the disasters in so many Aboriginal communities better.

After tens of billions of dollars have been pumped into not improving the education, health and welfare of Aboriginal people, we need to abandon the symbolic nonsense and make a few tough calls.

No amount of cultural indulgence will redress the shocking health outcomes among so many regional and remote communities. Symbolism won’t provide the jobs that are vital to self-esteem and community growth. It won’t redress the substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse endemic in so many Aboriginal communities. It won’t help a single disadvantaged person but it may make a few city activists feel better about themselves.

Incredibly, some of the people in parliament who make the most noise about their Aboriginality are ignorant of even recent history. During an interview with one documentary host a few years ago, I made reference to the “dreamtime”. She corrected me to say it is “the dreaming” in Aboriginal culture.

It was then left to me to explain that when I was a lad (we are about the same age), the Aboriginal spiritual age was indeed referred to as “the dreamtime”. It morphed into “the dreaming” in recent times.

Perhaps the real dream should be when all Australians are considered equal regardless of the colour of their skin or their ethnicity.

We could even have a day for it. I propose we call it Australia Day."

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