INTERNECINE BRAWLING over an elitist, increasingly divisive award is not only unedifying, but a symptom of the entitlement complex of the Left and an object demonstration of why the bauble must be abolished. The 2016 Australian of the Year is a poor, undeserving choice. Recent predecessors and pretenders are no better. Far from recognising excellence, it has become a prized trinket of social engineers. Australia will be better off without it.
To some extent, I have been beaten to the punch by one of my favourite conservative columnists — the Daily Telegraph‘s Miranda Devine — but whilst Miranda has covered some of the ground I wanted to address (and you can read her excellent piece on the farcical 2016 Australian of the Year award recipient here) the subject is still worthy of discussion.
But before we start — and I have to be careful how I relate this — I have a story to share.
Many years ago, I knew an individual who was (and it’s the only way to put this) an attention addict; everything was a drama, or an acting-out of fantasies, or — most usually — she was the victim in some conspiracy of the universe against her; unable to accept or respect authority (unless it pandered to her), unable to hold down a job without abusing her employers and/or starting highly visible relationships with male colleagues, this girl is probably the most self-destructive individual I have ever met, although I should add that her wanton behaviour was carefully and deliberately contrived to achieve the maximum attention and sympathy possible, as widely as possible, and from as many people as possible.
Fail to gasp in sympathy and wring your hands in a suitably obtrusive fashion, and you were booted. She wasn’t looking for friends, she was looking for a cheer squad, the members of which were invariably referred to as “the beautiful people.”
This person was fond of male company — not that there’s any harm in that — and was “quick off the mark,” so to speak, with first dates almost invariably ending up in bed (and those around her regaled with lurid accounts of her adventures at every turn). Whilst it does not become us to judge, the reason I note the very high number of partners is because it was accompanied by a very high number of accusations — rapes, stalking, other predatory behaviour, assaults — that never led to criminal charges despite the fact Police were kept busy attending to her complaints.
Eventually, one of these men evolved into enemy #1.
Fast forward about ten years (omitting, deliberately, much of the information that could identify her), this individual made something of a career out of her tale as a domestic violence victim; confronted on at least one occasion that I know of over the decision of Police not to pursue charges in relation to any of her allegations, or on account of the total lack of any medical proof of her story, she made attack her defence — and became abusive. The Police had been wrong. Her medical records were destroyed in a flood. And of course, the individual who had confronted her was screamed at and called…well, all kinds of things. The bottom line: she said what she said, and therefore every detail of her story was true.
(And no, it wasn’t me who confronted her. I just heard about it afterwards).
Never mind that a cursory following of it in the press, over a period of years, was sufficient to identify a progressive development of that story, and ongoing embellishment of key details in it.
Remember, there is no judgement here. But this is an individual with a known history over decades of exaggeration, dramatisation and fabrication of life events, so it came as no surprise that when disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson was outed a year ago as a fraud, this person panicked, announcing to her inner coterie that all of her domestic violence work would have to stop as she “had had enough of it,” and reportedly destroying the manuscript for an autobiography that (unbelievably) was set to be published by some ultra-feminist wimmins’ network that had clearly decided it could cash in.
An attempt to blow the whistle on her, in the wake of Gibson’s humiliation, fell flat: the man she had made a fortune and cultivated a cult following from maligning (but never naming) refused to speak to one of the journalists who exposed Gibson as the fraud she was.
The reason I start with this ostensibly inane anecdote is because last year — when domestic violence survivor Rosie Batty was announced as the Australian of the Year — it was reported to me that the mother of all tantrums was thrown by the individual I have just told you about within her closed circle of confidantes. She should have been Australian of the Year. Her work on domestic violence was “better” than Batty’s. Her story was “more compelling” (seriously) than Batty’s. And it seemed, standing on the outside and observing from well beyond arms’ length, that she realised her opportunity to be a national “hero” had been usurped by Batty’s appointment: for the past few years, the Australian of the Year award has been a march through the ranks of minorities, the oppressed, the marginalised, the hard done by. But the odds of a second domestic violence identity receiving the award in rapid succession to Batty would seem remote. All that hard work at profile building and greasing up to influence shapers, on the part of the individual in question, had been for nothing.
Seriously, folks, if you’re determined to be “a star” and prepared to be a victim, a convincing story and a fair amount of worn shoe leather is all it takes to get this close to being declared a national celebrity on Australia Day.
And it seems that comparably bitchy recriminations have erupted this year, with transgender military identity Cate McGregor apparently similarly miffed at not being named Australian of the Year herself; the Fairfax press is carrying a story that notes that despite subsequently apologising (who could fail to be convinced of the sincerity of that?), McGregor lashed out at the appointment of her former boss and former Head of Army David Morrison as a “weak and conventional choice” and — in an interview with (apparently prominent) gay and lesbian magazine Star Observer — declared that the National Australia Day Council Board “did not have the courage to go with an LGBTI person.”
In other words, with her.
“I think I’ll die without seeing a trans Australian of the Year and I think that’s terribly sad,” Fairfax quoted her as saying. You can read the rest of the article here.
I’m sorry, but having a sex change does not entitle you to be named Australian of the Year. I don’t care who you think you are. But lest anyone think this is just another isolated anecdote, we’ll go further.
In 2014, Adam Goodes couldn’t understand why his “stand” against a 13-year-old girl at a football match elicited universal condemnation from much of the football public, and the wider Australian community; last year, the Chardonnay drunks and finger shakers tried to move heaven and Earth to have Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs lined up for the 2016 award, blissfully oblivious to the servile partisan bias of this known hardcore socialist in writing a report that highlighted the child detention debacle that occurred under the Gillard government, but sought to apportion full blame for it to the ongoing Coalition administration that had overseen the release of 90% of the kids by the time it was released.
And this year, of course, we’ve been lumbered with Morrison for twelve months, gifted — as the award seems to confer — a full year in the public spotlight on a free soapbox of media exposure to advance whatever social causes he cares to champion, despite not being elected to any political office and without any tangible base of support (or goodwill) among the wider populace. The Australian Republican Movement probably couldn’t believe its luck when Morrison’s first act was to call for the monarchy to be abolished.
Everywhere you look these days lies some left-wing idiot — revered by the chatterati and elevated to celebrity by a fawning media pack — just waiting to shake their fingers and “set” the national agenda; for the most part these people have no public accountability, are unelected, and are free of any restraints of accountability, circumspection, or context.
Unfortunately, a parallel class has also emerged, comprising glory seekers, professional victims, or those who simply feel entitled to the acclaim they believe the world “owes” them: Gibson was one such creature; the regrettable individual I alluded to earlier is another; and the slew of unmasked “wellness” gurus in Gibson’s wake illustrated that they were and are far from isolated cases.
Some years ago, I knew of a gentleman who attempted to engineer appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia for himself to bolster his case for Liberal Party preselection, and someone whom he thought supportive of the scheme tipped off the Office of the Governor-General (which administers the awards) to the plot. Needless to say, there was no award. But where there is one, there are usually others just slithering around in the woodwork undiscovered.
In past times, the Australian of the Year — even if you disagreed the choice — was someone who had genuinely achieved something in the previous year.
There were entertainers, like John Farnham and Dame Joan Sutherland; sportspeople like Lionel Rose and Robert de Castella; eminent scientists and physicians like Ian Frazer and Macfarlane Burnet, the latter also a Nobel prize winner for Medicine; entrepreneurs, artists, Aboriginal leaders and judges — and many others — cumulatively constituted a representative, if evolving, cross-section of the very best in Australian achievement, endeavour and excellence.
Now it seems the award has been hijacked by the finger shakers and the Chardonnay swillers and those determined to talk Australia into the ground — with an insidious code of purportedly superior socialist doctrines to roll out over the top of it at the ready.
Now, it seems, becoming Australian of the Year isn’t just recognition for something you’ve done, but a licence to be “an ambassador” — and to advance whatever socially trendy views you please, knowing every word you utter will be dutifully be reported and broadcasted across the length and breadth of the country until the rest of us are fed to the teeth hearing about it.
The award is only open, mind you, to fully owned subsidiaries of the socio-political Left: nobody connected with common-sense conservatism is suitable. Heaven forbid that a sporting identity should get the nod. Or an entertainer? These days, the chattering elites would frown upon anything less than some scion of the fine arts that wouldn’t exist without ridiculous taxpayer subsidies to prop them up.
As for the frauds, award chasers, glory seekers, professional victims and everyone else drawn to this arbitrary bauble like flies to a turd, they can be dismissed with the contempt they deserve (and Cate McGregor, that includes you).
To be sure, I’m vehement in my condemnation of domestic violence; I have no particular problem with LGBTI people per se (unless individual ones are just not nice people); I don’t condone racism; and I have the utmost respect for Australia’s armed services.
But with the exception of Batty, there is no compelling argument to justify any of Goodes, Morrison, McGregor or Triggs even warranting consideration as Australian of the Year, let alone being given the award.
The point is that by virtue of the flawed selection process (which Miranda spelt out in her article) the Australian of the Year award is yet another fine Australian tradition that has been hijacked by the Bollinger set and open only to the kind of people who say what the Bollinger set thinks they should say.
I don’t know about the rest of my readers, but I’m just about fed up with being told what to say, or do, or think — and I don’t need cookie-cutter mouthpieces being designated as the best example of Australian citizenry to add some perverse aura of authority to the bullshit they peddle.
There’s another issue here, too: at what point is the silent majority — pushed aside for the preferential treatment of minorities under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, and (if anything) even less central to the national agenda now — going to simply snap, and make it brutally clear they have had enough? It mightn’t be a pretty sight.
Balance in all things. But ordinary white, Anglo-Saxon people are the most discriminated against group in Australian society. By governments, so-called “thought” leaders, and through insidious mechanisms like the Australian of the Year award, those who don’t fit one minority or another are being sent the clearest signals imaginable that their values and aspirations actually count for nothing.
This isn’t a problem that can be resolved at a stroke.
But in the context of the discussion at hand, I think the Australian of the Year award has become a bastardised and jaundiced concept that invites ridicule, not respect; it attracts pretenders who seek to game the process — just like the Order of Australia awards do — and to now be told that a mediocrity from the defence forces whose instinct is to advocate for a republic rather than for the betterment of the lives of returned service personnel and their families, or who thinks parroting about gender equity from a socialist song sheet will somehow impress rather than insult the millions of decent people in this country who aren’t sexist or racist bigots, is officially the best citizen of Australia this year is just one fait accompli too many from the sneering, snickering Left.
The rest of the country’s social ills might be an impossible conundrum, but this one isn’t.
Just abolish the Australian of the Year award. Shut it down. It no longer serves its intended purpose. The only people who will miss it are those who have manoeuvred themselves into a position from which dictating its appointees — and their agenda — has become virtually unassailable.
Frankly, we’d be better off with no award than having the likes of Morrison, McGregor, Triggs, Goodes et al running around the place lecturing to us.
And really, given the degenerate state and the farce it has been reduced to, would anyone really miss this award when it is gone? I think not.