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For a man who says he wants a united Australia, Morrison has a funny way of showing it

In response to calls to change the date of Australia Day, the man who purports to want to bring us all together has suggested we should instead have a different “special day” set aside to recognise indigenous people.

He further added that those who recognise the pain caused for many by using January 26th are engaging in “indulgent self-loathing.”

According to Scott, we must celebrate on January 26th because that is the day we “moved into the most recent, modern form of our history.”

Others would argue that the birth of modern Australia was on New Year’s Day 1901, when the British colonies of Australia formed a federation.

The PM stripped Byron Shire Council of its authority to conduct citizenship ceremonies earlier this week after the northern NSW council announced plans to shift the date to January 25.

In response, the mayor said “I thought we were actually celebrating Australia Day, not ‘modern’ Australia Day.”

“Is it true mateship to willingly, wilfully and continually celebrate what rightfully is great to be an Australian on a day that some Australians are pained by?”

One would think this is some great tradition under attack when, in actual fact, prior to 1994, the public holiday was always on a Monday regardless of the actual date. Granted, it was the Monday closest to January 26th, but it’s not like we cared about that actual date – we just wanted a long weekend. And I am fairly certain if you phrased the question that way – would you rather a long weekend or just some random day of the week off – most Aussies would be happier to have Monday (or Friday) off.

Australia Day should not be a day for drunken white yobbos with Southern Cross tattoos and flag capes to terrorise anyone who doesn’t look like them, as happened in Scott’s own electorate in 2005.

Why should we celebrate a foreign state invading and claiming this country to use as a penal colony? I am fairly certain my ancestors who were transported here as convicts would not have been celebrating either.

Let’s get real here. The date is nothing to celebrate. Being Australian is. Surely, as a civilised society, we can consider others’ feelings and avoid deliberate hurt.

Can we cast off the shackles of a colonial past and move forward together in respect and understanding? Or are we to bow to the Anglophiles and sink into the hatred and division fostered by the ugly Hansonites?


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  1. Shaun Newman

    Divide an conquer has been the tory motto for as long as I can remember, They say the opposite of what they mean then the apathy of the general public takes over and they blame themselves for not understanding what the tory leaders actually means. It’s a vicious circle, it is most definitely the time for Shorten to dispute the anti-people, pro-corporation policies that Morrison is announcing.

    It is also high time that Shorten announced a new taxation regime to force all multinational corporations (most are yank) to contribute a “fair share” of taxation to the country that they derive their billion dollar incomes from, in my humble opinion.

  2. Ill fares the land

    I watch Rake. I was interested to see that the latest disgrace of a TV-PM wearing a – what’s that? It’s, it’s …… a badge of an Australian flag. So that’s where Morrison drew his inspiration for the jingoistic, puerile and pretentious idea of all in the LNP wearing an Australian flag – from the reviled ABC! This is another act of a person who lives in “management seminar-speak” world. Many of us have been there. I worked with a professional firm for many years and every year all staff went off on an expensive “retreat”, where we would talk about strategy and “growing the business” – and what I saw consistently was that those strategy days achieved absolutely nothing. Same with twice annual staff surveys – great gnashing of teeth about how to improve the “score” and nothing ever changed – the score was always around the same mark (which was a prerennial frustration for me, because they really needed lower scores to drive home how bad the leadership group was – they saw the staff as the problem, not the ownership group). The owner-group would go off twice a year to a retreat to discuss more strategy. All to no avail. This is the world that Morrison lived in and still lives in – management-speak and weasel words still inform his every statement and action. I might add, yet again, that his most recent foray into incompetent management ended in disgrace and him essentially being fired because he was despised and was neither an effecitve leader not an effective manager.

    He perhaps gains more support than Turnbull, because I suspect Turnbull was never seen as “one of us”. But that he is more popular than Shorten tells me only that the hatchet job that Abbott started on Shorten and the media continues has been effective. Granted, it is a worry to me that Shorten is not more dynamic and that makes it difficult for him to sell a “state of mind”, but Morrison a better proposition as PM – seriously? His decision about Catholic school fundng already shows him to be in the grip of lobby groups. The figures I have seen indicate that the Catholic-school sector has done a massive con-job – it has gained funding it doesn’t demonstratively need and won’t, in all likelihood, direct towards funding places for students of less well-off families. In short – another lie. And I note that back in May 2018 (a long time in politics I guess), Birmingham lambasted and attacked Labor for daring to offer a paltry $250 million in short-term extra funding to Catholic education (with more to come over the following 10 years). This was, apparently, heinous pork-barrelling and vote grabbing, whereas now, it is great policy. Not saying I support Labor’s policy either, but is this what the Morrison-led government stands for? Are these guys for real?

  3. Babyjewels

    Well said, Kaye Lee (as always.)

  4. Adrianne Haddow

    Too true Shaun.
    I’m sick of the ‘ man of the people’ act put on by these politicians. Their actions give the lie to their posturing.

    But don’t hold your breath waiting for Shorten doing something contrary to the Lib/Nats, except for the latest appeal for the women’s vote.
    Labour are considering passing the TPP, they don’t like some clauses but will hold a review if they win the next election.

    It won’t matter about a new tax regime when the corporations are made our ‘real’ government, with future governments being held to account for anything that might disrupt their ability to help themselves to Australian resources, or for “loss of future profits”.

    Wage stagnation will only worsen with the clause that allows the importation of ‘skilled’ and ‘unskilled’ workers without adequate market testing to prove the lack of those desired skills in the Australian work force.

    GetUp are urging members and the general public to email their Labour senators or local member to reject Labor’s passing of the TPP.

  5. Kaye Lee

    newmatilda has an article which asks What On Earth Is The Point Of The Australian Labor Party?

    “For too long there hasn’t been much of a choice for Labor voters. They could vote for the party whose leader promised to stop the boats, advocated boat turnbacks, killed the momentum of #LetThemStay, hobnobbed at exclusive, expensive fundraisers for business leaders, accepted political donations from fossil fuel companies, supported new coal mines and backed rafts of legislation transforming Australia into a police state, or they could vote for the Liberals.

    In the last fortnight alone the great party of Australian workers not only backflipped on their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) but also voted down a motion for stronger lobbying laws. Signing up to the TPP will drive down already stagnant wages and increase the power of multinationals, while opposing the lobbying laws will make sure people like Cameron Milner (former chief-of-staff for Bill Shorten and main lobbyist for Adani) and Martin Ferguson, Labor’s former resources and energy minister and lobbyist for the resources and energy sector, can continue sabotaging Labor, workers, and the planet.

    We’re more than five years into this obnoxiously wretched government and Labor still hasn’t gone more than five straight minutes without betraying its base.”

    What On Earth Is The Point Of The Australian Labor Party?

    Perhaps Labor could think about moving Australia Day to the first Monday in February? Perhaps they could make it a rule that Ministers publish their diaries? Perhaps they could listen to Robert Manne et al and free the victims of our inhumanity from Manus and Nauru? Perhaps they could question the ridiculous amount we are wasting on weapons of war? But I ain’t holding my breath.

  6. New England Cocky

    Proposed election slogan: “Enough for Everyone {labor flag} Labor”

    With the Liarbral Notional$ misgovernment selling off Australian natural resources to anybody willing to pay a pittance for them, it is time for politicians to raise that OUR national wealth is for Australian voters and their families NOT foreign owned multinational corporations buying raw materials and selling back manufactured products.

    The Liarbal Notional misgovernment has a hidden agenda of destroying Australian manufacturing for the benefit of overseas corporations is limiting opportunities to military, thus preventing Australian citizens from benefitting from government contracts. Then there is the long pursued closure of R&D by both major parties. No R&D, No Future Wealth.

  7. Josephus

    Morrison is trying to have it both ways. There is already NAIDOC week, which has many ways of celebrating the original Australians. To keep Australia Day on the 26th is insulting. Imagine the Japanese having invaded all of Australia. We all speak Japanese, study Japanese, follow Japanese laws. How would we feel?

  8. Rhonda

    I so agree. But be careful Kaye, you know that any criticism of the ALP, no matter how valid, is likely to release the kracken 😉

  9. paul walter

    Adrianne Haddow, how did I not wake up to you earlier? Now I know how Cook felt when he discovered Australia.

    Kaye Lee, the NM article is a pungent, tetchy thing that I identified with. I loved the Venn diagram at the top.

    Sometimes worth a look, NM, when you also get Razer, Pilger and one or two other good articles coming at much the same time and their comments sections are accessible. There are a handful of good progressive blog sites left from the good old days of a decade ago and I count myself fortunate that it is just the case, when lunatics like Abetz, Abbott, Fifield, Morrison, Cash and a stack of other people representing vested interests would rather shut down even the humble online Australian publishing landscape.

    As for the government, having just had lunch I have no desire to upset my digestive system. I do NOT want to think about them, beyond adding that one of the reasons Michelle Guthrie got sacked was because of government whinging about broadsheet coverage of their stuff ups.

  10. diannaart

    According to Scott, we must celebrate on January 26th because that is the day we “moved into the most recent, modern form of our history.”

    ProMo, that was the day Captain Arthur Phillip brought the first fleet of Brits into Sydney Cove to establish a penal colony.

    Without so much as a “by your leave” to the local inhabitants, nor with any planning much more futuristic than lopping down trees for suitable housing for the officers.

    You call that “the most recent modern form of our history”?

    IMHO it was the invention of the boomerang.

  11. Terence Mills

    I have an abiding respect for the achievements of Captain Arthur Phillip in guiding eleven small sailing vessels on an eight month odyssey with minimal loss of life due to Phillip’s care and planning prior to their departure from Portsmouth, England.

    By comparison the voyage of the Mayflower to the new world with 102 pilgrims in 1620 was a harbour cruise.

    Whether you call the day Australia Day or First Fleet Day, we should not be ashamed of the achievements of Arthur Phillip in 1788.

  12. Karl Young

    Most Obstinate Rednecks don’t see the problem do they.

  13. Phil

    By denigrating the sentiments of those who for very good reason oppose Australia Day being held on 26 January, as an exercise in “indulgent self-loathing” Morrison will “bow to the Anglophiles” – just another sleight like Howard’s ‘black armband’ sleight.

    Morrison is an Anglophile. He’s a ‘born again’ christian – he cannot and will not touch 26 January – to him it is a sacred date – sacrosanct – inviolable.

    His offer of an alternative public holiday date to celebrate indigenous Australia shows a total ignorance of the issues facing indigenous Australians – an insult born of the arrogance of unreconciled anglo-colonialist occupation.

    His minders ought to have known better – does he even consult with his arm waving, flag wearing acolytes or do they merely shut up and fall in line?

  14. Kaye Lee


    There have been many amazing journeys by intrepid people throughout history. I would suggest that the migration of our First People was a far more epic journey than travelling for a few months in well-provisioned ships with navigation aids (though probably not for those held as prisoners below decks – survival itself was amazing).

    If we are celebrating the voyage of the First Fleet, why January 26th? Supply reached Botany Bay on 18 January 1788; the three fastest transports in the advance group arrived on 19 January; slower ships, including Sirius, arrived on 20 January.

    But that’s beside the point. Australia Day should be about celebrating our great nation and all those who abide here regardless of from whence they came. I am not ashamed of Arthur Phillip’s seamanship. I am ashamed of our insensitivity in pretending that is what Aussies are thinking about as we man the barbecue on a welcome day off. As if it matters. I can, with absolute certainty, say that if you asked Australians if they would like to make the first weekend in February a 4 day weekend or would you rather have January 26th off, Arthur Phillip wouldn’t get a look in.

    If we can change the date of the Queen’s birthday and Jesus’ resurrection every year to suit ourselves, surely we can be a little flexible about the date of a celebration that has only been going on for 24 years.

  15. Kaye Lee

    It might be more appropriate to call January 26th Commemoration Day and maybe have some official ceremonies rather than a public holiday, but choose another date for all of us to have a day off to celebrate being Australian.

  16. Matters Not


    IMHO it was the invention of the boomerang

    While many Australians think of the boomerang as being ‘ours’, (I did) it’s simply not the case. Went to a museum in Colombo (Sri Lanka) last year and with the guidance of a young ‘expert’ I had my eyes opened. Here’s Wiki:

    Although traditionally thought of as Australian, boomerangs have been found also in ancient Europe, Egypt, and North America. Hunting sticks discovered in Europe seem to have formed part of the Stone Age arsenal of weapons. One boomerang that was discovered in Obłazowa Cave in the Carpathian Mountains in Poland was made of mammoth’s tusk and is believed, based on AMS dating of objects found with it, to be about 30,000 years old. In the Netherlands, boomerangs have been found in Vlaardingen and Velsen from the first century BC. King Tutankhamun, the famous Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, who died over 3,300 years ago, owned a collection of boomerangs of both the straight flying (hunting) and returning variety.

    No one knows for sure how the returning boomerang was invented, but some modern boomerang makers speculate that it developed from the flattened throwing stick,

    For me, it was just another myth busted. (Thrown properly, it just came back.)

  17. Terence Mills


    There have been many amazing journeys by intrepid people throughout history. That’s probably my broader point, that humankind have made many voyages of exploration and settlement since leaving Africa, the first fleet is but one of those as where the epic voyages of the Polynesians in settling the Pacific Islands – including New Zealand.

    Yes, I checked the dates of the progressive arrival of the first fleet and their initial anchorage at Botany Bay – where they encountered La Perouse who was also seeking opportunities for Pacific colonisation.

    I have noted that the fleet was then moved to a more suitable mooring with good access to fresh water – perhaps one of the best natural harbours in the world – on or about 26 January.

    Is this conversation about dates or about European settlement of the Pacific and in particular terra australis ?

  18. Kaye Lee

    For me, the conversation is about showing respect. What is Australia Day for? If it is a day when we are to celebrate our country and its very diverse people, then the date is immaterial really and, as some justifiably remember that day with sorrow, why must we so stubbornly rub their noses in it? It certainly wasn’t the beginning of modern day Australia – that happened with Federation. Why celebrate the dumping of people in a penal colony anyway? Sure, the voyage was amazing, but they only did it because they could no longer dump them in America. Hopefully, when we become a republic, we will be able to change the date, the flag and the anthem and stop celebrating being British subjects.

  19. Diannaart


    I have noted that the fleet was then moved to a more suitable mooring with good access to fresh water – perhaps one of the best natural harbours in the world – on or about 26 January.

    A harbour inhabited by other people.

    As Kaye Lee has pointed out, there are other days which would be inclusive of all Australians, not just the imperialists.

    @Matters Not

    First Nation Australian’s history goes back beyond 60,000 years, is it not possible the boomerang spread from Australia? No one can know for certain.

  20. Michael Taylor

    I can’t begin to describe how incensed I was over Morrison’s tweet. 😡

    Just use your imagination. 😉

  21. Kaye Lee

    ProMo’s tweets are going over like a lead balloon.

    His stupid hands up rap, his tweet about gender pay gap, his tweet about “indulgent self-loathing”, his tweets about gender-whispering, school values and religious freedom….

    He really should stop.

  22. Michael Taylor

    Abbott’s initial foray into Twitter didn’t last long (though he’s now back into it).

    He gave up after someone asked him if he’d “rather be attacked by 20 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck.”

    Years later I’m still chuckling.

  23. Kaye Lee

    It seems tony’s first trip as special envoy didn’t go so well.

    The Northern Territory’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister says he is “offended and disgusted” that former prime minister Tony Abbott failed to meet with him on his first trip to the NT as the Indigenous affairs envoy, labelling the visit an excuse to “get around kissing some black kids”.


  24. stephengb

    Kaye Lee, thank you.

    I saw the need to write the following in response to someone who thought segregation was a good idea!
    That white Australian settlement was the best thing to celebrate!

    I angrily responded
    1788 was not the start of settlement, it was the building of a penitentiary., and no it was not an invasion. It was the building of a penitentiary.

    Now if we are going to celebrate the beginnings of a nation that day should be the day that that nation was true born, see the Australian Constitution where it says; “An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia

    [9th July 1900]

    The date should more properly be as follows:

    Covering Clause 3—The Proclamation under covering clause 3 was made on 17 September 1900 and published in Gazette 1901.

    Clearly the Australian Constitution is birth of the nation, the act was passed by the British on the 9th July 1900, but clause 3 creates a year within which the nation shall commence which in accord with Note 2, was 17th September 1900.

    Therefore I believe this date is a strong contender as a proper day of celebration.

    I say contender because we must recall that the Aboriginal was excluded as a citizen of Australia untill much later, in fact the referendum 1967 which came into effect on the 10 August 1967.
    So in fact this date could be a contender to celebrate Australia as an all inclusive nation.

    I have not included the numerous Federal Acts that separate Australia from Britain except the final Federal Act, that saw the very last link to British influance by The simultaneous Acts in Britain and Australia in 1986, as follows:
    Complete legislative independence was finally established by the Australia Act 1986, this Act did not come into effect untill the 3rd March 1986.
    So is this the correct date to celebrate as the day we truely became an idependent nation.

    I do not understand this need for modern Australia to cling on to a date that is recorded as the day that a bunch of soldiers stepped on the shores of Australia to establish a penitentiary for those poor unfortunates who died in their thousands flogged, hung, abused, and enslaved by a bunch of self serving hypocrits.
    Indeed the only explanation is the attitude of superiority that so many Australians appear to feel is acceptable over the original inhabitants of this Great Southern Land, as it was known then, and that is pure and simple racist.

  25. Kaye Lee

    I think the date that our First People were finally recognised as citizens in their own country would be far more appropriate stephengb.

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