Thursday, September 24, 2015

Being Un-Australian

Captain Australian
Newly self-appointed Australian Prime Minister today declared it un-Australian to be disrespectful to women. This may be the first time the saying has been used to help build up and strength community as opposed to breaking it down by belittling people who dare to have a difference of opinion.

Previously it has been used to besmirch people who question whether the Gallipoli campaign that forged the spirit of the Anzac was one of the nation’s greatest military defeats instead of being one of our greatest achievements (even though the Anzacs were un-successful in their attempt to take the peninsula.

Driving slowly in the right-hand lane is also considered by many to be un-Australian.

Adam Goodes was labelled un-Australian by Brisbane Roar (soccer/football) goalkeeper Griffin McMaster because Goodes dared to be proud of his Aboriginal heritage. McMaster also called for Goodes to be deported. Deportation is the act of returning people to their land of origin. In Goodes’ case this would be the traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha and Narungga people in South Australia. A heritage the pre-dates European settlement in Australia by thousands of years. McMaster clearly missed the irony his call for deportation, as his name suggests his own heritage would see he resettling in the peat rolling hills of Scotland.

It is un-Australian to serve light and mid-strength beer at a game of footy or cricket.

Former Prime Minister, John Howard declared it un-Australian for workers to strike for their rights, or to protest against war or globalisation or anything the government was doing or proposing.

The lamb industry regularly informs us that it is un-Australian to not eat lamb, particularly on Australia Day and at Christmas, Talking of Australia Day, according to some media outlets it now appears to be un-Australian to not be dressed head to toe in clothes fashioned out of the Australian flag whist drink what is clearly full strength beer.

It has been described as un-Australian for bosses to block internet access to footy tipping websites, just as much as it is un-Australian for men to like cats, or to simply drive past a pub without stopping for a drink.

For the record the term was first used by  W. Howitt in 1855 to describe a landscape as having “an appearance perfectly un-Australian”. It is difficult to deduce if he was using this as a positive or a derogatory manner.  Though it is hard to imagine the Australian landscape of sweeping plains, stunning beaches, rainforests, red dirt desserts and unique (and deadly) wildlife being describe in a manner other than of spectacular beauty.

Whilst I wholeheartedly support Mr Turnball’s use of the to encourage a safe and respectful life for all people living in and visiting Australia regardless of gender I am concerned that the term un-Australian is in itself un-Australian  as it is often used to diminish the very truths we all hold dear those of honest, friendship and a fair go for everyone.

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