Well as all pundits get on with their self appointed task of telling everyone how great Australia is, it is a good time for reflection on all the other bits. I have never believed in Nationalism. I guess it is like Religion. It as an opiate of the masses, but more than that it is the opiate of the government, to be dolled out is large quantities to calm the masses and get them to do things they might not otherwise be willing to do by providing a larger cause. I am not against national governments. I just think that they are a stepping stone along the way in the evolution of the governance of the planet and we need to move on. A few years back I spent Australia day with the Pom who had just turned ozzie on the Central Coast. I did not believe how many Australian flags I saw flying. You don’t get that in the city.
So what of Australia Day itself? I saw that an unexpected politician pointed out that it is Invasion Day. I think that the Aborigines are right to call it this. It was the day that marked the beginning of the end for their civilisation and way of life. A civilisation that was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, surviving one on the planet. Point 1: Holding Australia Day on the day that the English invaded the continent based on a series of legal lies and with the use of brute force is highly inflammatory. The date should be changed but a holiday should be retained to mark the invasion of the continent. A good time to hold Australia Day is on the day that Australia became a country or as this is already a holiday, the date the vote to become Australia was taken.
I know little of the Torres Straight Islanders, though strangely the only piece of clothing I possess that has a flag has the Torres Straight islander flag. I did go up to the top of Cape York in the early 1990’s and I went to Thursday Island. I saw the poverty that the people of the cape live in. Point 2: The Invasion Day Holiday should be a time of reflection of those in our society who are under privileged and badly off. It should be a time of soul searching for the rulers to ponder what has gone right and work on what needs to be done to fix it. Invasion Day awards should go to those who made it through despite of governmental or other official intransigence to make the country a better place.
I think that the Australian Flag also is a very sad, tragic thing. It is a symbol of the oppressor, both at the Australian Level and of the UK in Australia’s development. I think that the flag should be changed. Look at Canada, where they replaced their flag, which was like ours, with the totally sexy leaf that they have now. Most people do not even know that Canada had a flag like ours. While I do not think that it is the perfect choice, I personally like the Eureka Flag. Point 3: Change the Flag.
Overall I think that Australia Day should be for all Australians regardless of background or origin. When it has a parade that is about that, with the Aborigines and Torres Straight Islanders up the front willingly holding a place of honour that and when that represents the significant point of view, this is when reconciliation will have been successful. Point 4: Australia Day is for all Australians.
Nice prompter for discussion. Here in Darwin people equate Australia Day with driving V8 utes and there’s some kind of sad link between being Australian and Car ownership and Car Pride… What the hell is that all about. It’s like to be Australian you have to be complicit in a national oil addicted suicide pact!
Today we saw people lining the streets waiting for the ute parade to roll past their houses! More flags than I’ve seen in my life here also!
Beam me up Scotty!
.-= David F´s last blog ..Gardening (for food) in the town =-.