All right, I have no idea whether Dutton has shares in Coles. Actually, he may have shares in Woolworths for all I know but whatever the truth, you can make a lot out of something that hasn’t happened… Still it would be embarrassing if – after calling for the Woolworth boycott – if it were discovered that he did have shares in their biggest rival.
The whole boycott Woolies thing is rather strange. Perhaps the strangest was a headline which told us that Tony Jones was upset about the lack of Australian flag paraphernalia being sold where he suggested that Woolworths should stick to selling food and not get involved in issues… I found this strange because he was upset because they weren’t selling something that wasn’t food.
There’s quite a bit to unpack with this whole “anybody who has a different view about Australia Day is being divisive and should thank their lucky stars that they live in a free country and shut up and never express an opinion that we disagree with”!
I’ve frequently suggested that rather than celebrate January 26th as the day when a whole lot of boats turned up carrying cutthroats, thieves and bullies, as well as a large number of convicts, we could celebrate the Rum Rebellion which also occurred on this date and where Governor Bligh was sent packing back to England. After all, who could object to the day when some of us said that we should decide our own head of state and we could just get rid of the one that was foisted on us by Britain? Ok, lots of people but I do think that they’re only being divisive…
Another idea I had was that we should treat it like ANZAC Day where we remember the fallen. We could have a moment’s silence where we remember all those First Nations’ warriors who perished trying to protect this country from invasion from a foreign power, just like those diggers at Gallipoli who were invading Turkey to keep us safe. We could demand a moment’s silence and get someone to play the last post on the didgeridoo… When I suggested this to someone they said that it was the most offensive thing that they’d even heard… I’m yet to work it if it was because of my total ignorance of First Nations’ culture or my total ignorance of ANZAC traditions. Whatever, I’m suggesting it because I think it’s something that could unite a whole lot of people in that almost everyone would condemn the idea and tell me that I’m making light of some deadly serious stuff!
To which I could respond by telling them all that it’s because of them that I feel that Australia is a divided nation and if only we could all agree about everything, then it would all be great but as long as I’m around, I’m liable to say at least one thing that someone objects to and thereby uniting the nation…
Anyway, back to boycotting Woolworths…
I’d have to say that, as far as good ideas go, they never go far enough to reach Peter Dutton.
There are a number of problems with Dutton suggesting this boycott apart from his condemnation of previous boycotts that were suggested by the left, and apart from the idea that a politician should be telling a company to do something that they don’t believe is in their commercial interests, and apart from the fact that people can get their flag undies and capes from sources other than Woolworths, and apart from the slim possibility that it could lead to job losses, and apart from the fact that if Woolies were to give in to him it would make him look like the sort of dictator that we don’t want running the country, and apart from Coalition rhetoric about governments not interfering in the free market because it’s better left to its own devices and … anyway, you get the idea.
No, the basic problem is the politics.
As I see it, there is a minority of people who whole-heartedly support Australia Day celebrations, just as there is a minority of people who are upset that we celebrate it on the anniversary of the landing of the First Fleet, but the majority don’t actually have a strong opinion either way. If they’re asked if they’d like it shifted, they’re more likely to think that it’s a convenient time for a day off and say no, in much the same way that if you asked them if we should shift Christmas Day because we’ve found out that Jesus wasn’t actually a Capricorn and his birth was actually in October, then they’d find probably say that they like it where it is and so what if Jesus is a Libran, Christmas isn’t about astrology anyway…
Whatever, it’s not a hot button issue for most voters and when you jump up and down and call for boycotts over something that most people don’t care about, then you tend to lose them. It’s worth remembering that one of the narratives that the Coalition are trying to push is that Albanese was obsessed with the Voice and he was ignoring the cost-of-living problems facing everyday Australians. Now, notwithstanding the idea that it may well be possible for a government to handle two things in a given year, it doesn’t do your case much good if you call for a boycott on a supermarket chain for reasons other than their prices being too high.
I mean it’s a bit like Tony Abbott suggesting that he doesn’t see why there shouldn’t be Prime Ministerial visits to Taiwan: It tends to make a mockery of the “Airbus Albo” stuff. “We think he shouldn’t be travelling overseas as much as he has but why doesn’t he go to Taiwan? Is he sucking up to China to help our exports?”
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