Each year that the 26th of January rolls around, the same tired stories of colonial grievance and oppression rear their heads from the press and more recently, the social media 'feeds' of the squalid rabble. 'Feed' is an apt word to describe the dross of anti-Australian and anti-white vitriol that is directed at the day that commemorates the British settlement that established the Australian nation.
In a last-minute pre-election stab at populism, Scott Morrison has announced that councils will be required to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia day, as a reaction to the attempts of several councils to boycott the day. Both are lame attempts at crowd pleasing different crowds. Whether Pradeep and Zhang Wei receive their citizenship paperwork on the 26th of January or any other day is of no significance to most Australians and nor is it to us.
The reflexive patriotism of plastic flags (made in China, of course), singlets and VB stubbies serve as a rebuke to the false indignation and umbridge taken by self-appointed arbiters of social morality of the ABC, Packer press (formally known as Fairfax) and your garden-variety 'progressive'. It should be noted however, that this day is about more than commercial and vulgar displays of patriotic festivity, for all of the fun that they are. Today marks the day that our ancestors, in the first fleet, had successfully made the voyage to the furthest-flung corner of the world, with a view to create a new settlement in a new land.
Do not bother attempting to engage with the historical revisionism that casts Australia's history as a dark and shameful episode. This is merely an exercise opportunistic political gain, and to be dragged down into it is to have already lost. Just as Indo-European warrior bands rode into the European continent on chariots over 6,000 years ago, taking and claiming new lands of their own, the British arrived and built a new society where there were only scattered and primitive tribes. That is the course of history and of nature itself. Strength requires no explanation, nor any apology to those who would be its supposed victims.
Take pause to consider the hardships your ancestors faced, at sea, and in a harsh and unforgiving new climate. Of the devastation of endless heat, the scorch of bushfires, the livestock that dropped dead like flies and the seeds that would not take. Of the supply shipments that never arrived and rain that would not come. They sacrificed so that our lives would be fine and easy. I would challenge anyone who is reading this to truly say he could hold a candle to what was endured by his forebears to build this nation.
Today is a day of triumph but also of gratitude. Today we take stock of all that was sacrificed so that we could call this place home. What makes Australia great is not its 'diversity' of immigrants or range of restaurants. It is not its natural beauty, although it is certainly beautiful. It is the people who made Australia what it is that makes Australia great. We all carry the burden of living up to the ideal of sacrifice, so fully embodied and executed by our predecessors, that made our prosperity and existence possible.
Enjoy this day, remember what it represents, and take courage in the knowledge that we have little to lose, and everything to gain, by calmly and surely staking out our birthright, as did those who came before you.
Happy Australia Day