In my experience the first month of a new year provides a lunatic backdrop for the remainder of the year – this year is certainly no exception.
Setting aside the ongoing tragedy, politics and mismanagement of the pandemic – about which enough has been written – the international community has been witness to some extraordinary events in the United States and some very ‘ordinary’ events in Australia. I offer comment on a select cross-section of these stories which I consider to be outstanding examples of lunacy and/or great sadness.
A Quadrennial of Democratic Debasement
Topping the list is of course the demise of Trump and the spiralling descent of American politics.
Consequent to Donald Trump’s defeat at the polls the United States imploded into a paroxysm of hysterical hypocrisy unmatched in recent memory. Wholehearted stupidities were screamed and enacted by all and sundry. The hyperbole was certainly matched by the spectacle!
In this moment of quiet reflection however I suggest that there is little doubt that the polls were fraught with irregularity – nowhere perhaps to the extent claimed by Trump and his apologists but certainly sufficient I would have thought to attract the interest of any red-blooded reporter or investigative journalist. Sadly for the health of the American polity the mainstream media were disgracefully silent on the matter.
Trump’s wilful refusal to accept defeat sealed his ignominy. This media, who had long abandoned any pretence of objectivity, turned themselves inside out like a pack of dogs attacking the carcass of Trump’s personal and political legacy. The celebrated riot outside the Capitol in Washington provided wonderful images of chaos and mayhem. The Democrats and their media allies promptly branded this a formal Trump inspired ‘insurrection’ conveniently forgetting last year’s numerous riots and civic savagery directly sanctioned and abetted by senior Democrat politicians and public figures. Consequently, these same figures, not satisfied with winning the election, and in vindictive and self-indulgent rage, bayed for Trump’s impeachment, hastily ramrodding the articles thereto through the House of Representatives – as though there were no more pressing matters to occupy their fevered minds.
Trump will now be centre-stage in yet another Grand American Show Trial with national hysteria at levels unseen since the ‘good old days’ of the McCarthyism of the 1950s. Americans quite obviously do love to witness a good kicking when the man is down.
The obvious and manifest hypocrisy surrounding the Trump years hardly needs reciting but, for the record, state it I will. The Trump presidency was marked from the day of his election by the outright and activist denial of a significant sector of the nation. This sector embarked upon a concerted and radical campaign to de-legitimise their president. This sector could not accept Hillary Clinton’s defeat by Trump and effectively undertook the immature position of: ‘we woz robbed’.
Trump’s presidency was truncated by several politically motivated inquiries that revealed nothing particularly untoward; he suffered constant excoriation by the media, academics and commentators; his policies upon which he had been elected met with a constant barrage of legal obstructionism levelled by Democrat judges and the tenure of his presidency was punctuated by violent and continued demonstrations and riots. Even his Inauguration Day was marked by a partial shutdown of Washington due to massive demonstrations aimed specifically ‘against Trump’.
The Democrats, the progressive left and even large numbers of the Republican political elite failed to grasp or accept that he had won the election. Like him or loath him, he was as he was, the elected president of the United States, elected by a clearly identifiable cohort of American politics – a cohort openly disliked and denied by the elites, the intelligentsia and the Democrats. It is hardly surprising that at the end Trump finally went feral.
In my mind the Trump presidency may be described as being a Quadrennial of Democratic Debasement. It was a period that laid bare the poverty of American democracy inasmuch the anti-Trump forces – which I term the progressive populists – refused to accept the verdict of the umpire and squarely derailed the presidency. This was effectively an insurrection by other means.
That such an occurrence could happen in the country that once claimed to be the leader of the free world and bastion of democracy speaks volumes about the quality of its institutions and its political culture.
The incoming Biden administration, aided by a sycophantic, and dare I say, fawning media, working on the assumption that if Trump did it, it must be bad, has within a week already undone much of Trump’s work by President Biden’s executive action. The hypocrisy of Biden’s inauguration call for ‘unity’ cannot be overstated – let alone the moral question of wilful and arbitrary de-Trumpism by executive diktat.
Again all in the name of unity, President Trump – remember that in the United States former Presidents retain the honorific ‘President’ – will be publically excoriated before the Senate and the eyes of the world. Whatever the ‘trumped’ up charges, it will be ugly and unpleasant to watch as Americans drive yet another humiliating nail into the coffin of their democracy. Vindictiveness has no equal to progressive rage.
Joseph Stalin – enjoy.
Not My ABC
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s [ABC] News and Current Affairs Department, that long-standing ‘enemy of the people’ and constant critic of all and everything Australian, distinguished itself this week by formally describing Australia’s national day as ‘Invasion Day’. It did so in sympathy with the 28% minority bubble of progressive populist Australians who share their cultural cringe.
It was an ill-conceived, out of touch and totally arrogant decision. Granted the corporation quickly backtracked, grudgingly and incompletely in the face of overwhelming public wrath, but the damage was done. That the ABC chose to support that 28% of cultural cringers amply demonstrates its cultural and political leanings.
Of late this benighted broadcaster has loudly proclaimed its lack of bias in its services. Utter balderdash. Blind Freddy and his dyslexic monkey would see through this nonsense. The corporation needs a root and branch shake out. Its news and current affairs department, a deeply-embedded and discredited crèche for politically pre-pubescent progressive piss-wits, should be summarily closed down. Why? Because, by any yardstick one cares to apply, this egregious bunch cannot be trusted with the truth.
The pejorative term ‘Invasion Day’ was coined during Australia’s Bicentennial Celebrations in 1988 by a group of aboriginal protestors in Sydney. Since then it has garnered currency amongst the usual crowd of cultural cringers who choose to denigrate any Australian tradition that emanates from the ‘evils’ wrought by British settlement. The irrationality and predictability of the mind-set of this heterogeneous mob would be amusing if it were not so serious.
There is no denying that British settlement caused enormous dislocation to the 500 or so hunter gatherer tribes that inhabited the continent. I have previously written on this subject in some detail wherein I commenced by observing: The story of the then world’s most technologically advanced culture interacting with the world’s most primitive was never going to be easy; …
The reality of the aboriginal situation today is tragically straightforward. So equally is the solution:
This country needs to abandon its quasi-apartheid policy of tokenism and paternalism and accept its Aborigines as true citizens with the full rights and obligations afforded to every other citizen. The Aboriginal community writ large should be fully apprised of the fact that money does not grow on trees and that, like everyone else, they have to earn it. More importantly, Aborigines ought to be taught elementary civics – the difference between right and wrong, that obligations come with rights and, ultimately, that they have to take responsibility for their actions.
A straightforward solution – unnecessarily complicated by lack of political will. Indeed, it would take a brave politician to enunciate such a policy. Notwithstanding, the facts of the matter clearly indicate this direction. Certainly, should such a policy be instituted, it would come as an enormous culture shock - and of course, a high degree of discretionary compassion would need to be exercised. But, for the sake of the simple humanity of our Aboriginal citizens, firmness and fairness, opportunity and equity need to be the order of the day.
Whilst aboriginal history should be taught at schools and aboriginal cultural icons should be appreciated and even embraced by the rest of us as being uniquely Australian, there is no place in the future for continuing feelings of ‘white guilt’, ‘black entitlement’, paternalism and feel good tokenism. Aborigines comprise some 3.3% of the population – by all means provide this minority cohort with every opportunity to progress in the world – but it is racist, insulting and cruel to confine them in the pampered enclaves and geographic ghettoes that are the consequence of land rights, mining royalties and other paternalistic policies. These readily bring to mind images of demented and self-interested anthropologists running around in circles exclaiming: don’t touch them – they’re mine, they’re all mine!
As an extension to the foregoing I received an e.mail this week from a highly reputable organisation that I support. I was so moved with disapprobation that I penned the following, slighted redacted reply – I have for the sake of propriety removed all reference to the identity of this organisation:
I am in receipt of a copy of your e.mail of 23 January inst. Concerning your First Nations Policy Announcement.
In reading same I presume you announced your Board’s endorsement of its ‘First Nations’ Policy last …. at a ceremony held in the forecourt of …….. I note that the occasion included a ‘Smoking Ceremony’.
With the greatest respect, given your explicit statement that: we’ve never excluded supporting indigenous ….. and that your Policy now explicitly states: our commitment to ensuring that we provide care and support to all eligible families in a culturally appropriate manner[.] invites the obvious question - how did you support them previously? Your new policy infers that previously you didn’t treat them in a ‘culturally appropriate manner’. Perhaps you treated them equally in the same manner as you would any other family? Is your new policy now positing a multi-tiered support system with special treatment for aborigines and perhaps select other groups?
Following on from this incongruity, I am disappointed indeed at your organisation’s craven capitulation to the forces of arrogance and political correctness concerning the well-being of our aborigines. Although I am sure your ceremony and policy was well-meant, it was clearly an extension of the patronising national political and cultural trend of insulting anthropological arrogance towards our native peoples, which include inter alia as describing Australian aborigines as ‘First Nations’ and then paying them to perform humiliating stunts, specifically welcome to country and the smoking ceremonies.
The strictly Canadian term ‘First Nations’ is totally inappropriate to describe the pre-European contact Australian aborigines. The upward of 500 disparate hunter and gatherer tribes of the continent can in no legal or anthropological manner be described as a nation[s]. A tribe upward of ten souls is a tribe, a family, a collective a clan and so forth. I remind you that as at the Census of 30 June 2016 there were 798,400 indigenous people in Australia, comprising some 3.3% of the total Australian population. Albeit politically correct to call this miniscule cohort thus, it is not a nation. So let that nonsense be removed from your future public vocabulary.
I might add for your serious consideration that continuing recognition of these tribal peoples as ‘First Nations’ will ineluctably raise insurmountable questions of sovereignty and constitutional legitimacy. Sadly these subtleties of history and consequential law are far beyond the intellectual grasp of our politicians.
I now refer to the smoking ceremony. As you are doubtless aware the origins of the smoking ceremony are lost in the sands of time. Traditionally the smoking ceremony is an ancient aboriginal custom involving smouldering native plants to produce smoke. This pungent smoke is believed to have cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits. I beg you to do your own research on the matter, but in brief, the modern ‘Welcome to Country’ and ‘Smoking Ceremonies’ bear little or no relation to ancient intent and usage and were only introduced into our culture firstly, in 1973, by the Australian Union of Students at the Aquarius Festival held at Nimbin; secondly by Ernie Dingo and Richard Whalley of the Middar Aboriginal Theatre who claimed to have ‘invented’ the ‘Welcome to Country’ in 1976. Thirdly, the distinction for having ‘invented’ this ceremony is claimed by the aborigine Rhoda Thomas, then head of indigenous programming at the Sydney Opera House, who claims the ceremonies were developed during the 1980s by her and members of the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust which she co-founded.
These ceremonies are not without controversy and critics. I draw your attention to the respected former NT politician and aboriginal activist, Bess Price, who in January 2018, famously described such ceremonies: 'All the "Welcome to Country", all the "Smoking Ceremonies" and all the made up bulls*** rituals about "pay our respects to elders past and present" is just one big lie. 'Shame shame shame.'
I might add that Ms Price’s comments were made in the sadly continuing context of the serious abuse of women and children in aboriginal communities by the men and the very elders we are supposedly venerating.
You should have been advised that these ceremonies have little basis in traditional aboriginal lore – whatever that may be – and that just because our parliament in Canberra chooses to thus debase itself in the name of political correctness there is no reason why a perfectly sane organisation such as yours should follow suit. I also note the timing of your ceremony, the day before Australia Day. Whether your choice of date was unfortunate or deliberate it was certainly ill-timed and adds further hubris to the debate about the 26th of January.
This political correctness concerning our aboriginal community stems from selected ‘white guilt’ about the past; from political mischief and malice and from extremely deep agendas. However, allow me to assure you that, as an immigrant myself, I am proud of my country, of my military service to my country and of my citizenship; I suffer no feelings of guilt about the past – history is as it is; I consider aborigines to be equal citizens to be treated equally and I respect their venerable culture as far as we can discern it. To this end, I resile with great sadness from the insulting, patronising revisionism and Eurocentric tokenism that further debases this culture.
It is my sincere hope that yours, an organisation that has done so much good for the community, is not stumbling down the degenerative path of political correctness, social faddism, revisionism and cultural re-imaging.
…And how’s the Cricket?
A significant irritant of the month pertains to the once innocent and noble game of cricket.
The first recorded cricket match in Australia was held in Sydney in December 1803 and a later report in the Sydney Gazette in January 1804 that suggest the game was well established in the young colony. Thereafter the game became closely linked to Australian culture. In 2003 the venerable and respected Australian Cricket Board changed its moniker to Cricket Australia to flag its fashionable credentials and intent.
Of course the new entity comes with all the politically correct bells and whistles. Its website highlights programmes of inclusion and diversity and specifically parades its ‘Reconciliation Action Plan’. The latter includes the usual guff about acknowledging the ‘First Nations’ and Traditional Custodians, their spiritual connections to the land and so forth. It also includes the sentence: We respectfully acknowledge all Elders past, present and emerging as we continue to cherish shared wisdom and grow with their guidance as we walk together toward a connected Country.
Presumably these are the same elders that are a national disgrace in having caused so much misery amongst the women and children of aboriginal settlements – past and present.
Australia Day has traditionally been the day of Australian cricket. Australia Day cricket is a fixture on the sporting calendar – until this year. In its politically correct wisdom the Grand Panjandrums of this sport came out in support of the aborigines – remember, some 3.3% of the population and, in accordance with the principles of the reconciliation action plan dropped the name Australia Day in all of its marketing material, choosing rather to describe the day as ‘26th of January Cricket’!
Australian sport is becoming totally obsessed by politics. This is an excellent reason for me to ignore the lot. It is also an excellent reason for the federal government to formally disassociate itself with the sports industry – period. Cut off all taxpayer monies supporting and subsidising all sporting activities; close the many and various institutes of sport; cease building sporting stadiums and so forth and to cease providing taxation breaks to sports. This would release considerable taxpayer monies which could be redirected to towards hospitals, scientific and engineering research and sound education.
As to the future of Australian cricket – a gaggle bunch of oafs in coloured pyjamas playing with their balls - I really couldn’t give a toss.
A Hospital Reflection
I spent a few days recently in our local hospital. Not taking well to confinement I took whatever opportunity I could to mount my crutches and hobble out to the very small but quite delightful roof-covered garden reserved for patients. It was never well patronised save for one old broomstick of a man who used it as his private smoking area, despite its prominent no smoking sign.
Early one twilit evening I was leaning on my crutches inspecting a particular tropical plant, the steady wet season rain pattering on the roof and spilling out of its gutters onto the glistening-black roadway – when the door opened and out stepped a late teenage aboriginal youth, complete with baseball cap, peak pulled down over his eyes.
I welcomed him warmly, sympathetic for an indigenous young man desperate to escape his aseptic confines and get in touch with nature and, in part, his cultural roots. He acknowledged my greeting with a grunt, thereafter studiously avoiding my presence, and stood at the railing near the road. From one pocket he pulled out a packet of cigarettes and a lighter and proceeded to smoke. From his other pocket he extracted a new smart phone and spent the next ten minutes staring at its screen pressing buttons. On completion of his cigarette he stubbed it out on the concrete with his left thong and without a word walked back inside – leaving me in a deep brown study.
It struck me that this young lad, in some respect, served as a metaphor for a rapidly increasing cohort of modern aborigines. He showed zilch interest in his surroundings – it may as well have been snowing in the desert for all he knew or probably cared. His interests were totally absorbed by his cigarette and playing with his phone. Doubtless he would return to his bed and continue to play with his phone. His actions were those of any other late teenager.
However, what price the nobility of his connection with the land, his innate affinity with his surroundings and with nature? I would humbly suggest that I possess a deeper, more sincere affinity for the Australian bush-scape than that young chap.
In this age of identity politics, should I therefore identify as being aboriginal – why not? I might pick up a new car and a fancy phone on the gravy-train!
The Last Word - For the Record
Given the paucity of positive comment about Trump I provide one last word about this enigmatic character. Although it is unfashionable to say so, but President Trump can count several worthwhile achievements that should serve to benefit both America and the world, being:
- He overcame the United States’ most intractable foreign policy problem by opening dialogue with North Korea
- He succeeded in driving forward the peace process in the Middle East as evidenced by the recent raft of treaties Israel has signed with its neighbours
- He revived the American economy; encouraged factories to return to America and generated widespread job creation
- He openly confronted the China question bringing the nature of Chinese trade, foreign and imperial-military policy centre-stage of international relations
- He exposed the insular, mean-minded and selfish stupidity that is NATO
- He restored pride and self-belief, for at least four years, in a cohort of Americans who had thitherto been long ignored by the American political elites
- He shook America’s corrupt and self-sustaining political establishment to the core thereby exposing the lie that is contemporary American democracy
Thank you and Goodbye Mr Trump.
Yes I am angry. I am extremely angry at the forthcoming war crime show trials of some Australian troops that served in Afghanistan. This essay is not a considered legal or even moral discourse – those are complicated subjects and the details are not yet at hand. This essay is rather an expression of my disgust at the failure of the chain of command centring at the top.
Why am I angry? For one, that the Chief of Defence Staff, dressed in all the beribboned finery appropriate for a Canberra warrior, should stand in front of the national press and apologise for the actions of the army under his control all the while passing the buck.
I understand that the 465-page Brereton Report details an allegedly toxic culture in Australia’s Special Forces and lists a series of ‘credible’ war crimes committed by same.
My primary questions are: Who was responsible for allowing this culture into the Australian Army? Who were the senior officers, the commanders and the instructors that inculcated this culture in the first place? What were the senior ranking officers, the chiefs of staff doing whilst this culture was spreading?
I can answer this last question myself - they were preoccupied with their own programmes of social engineering to create a politically correct, ideal, case-normative, culturally diverse, egalitarian, homosexual friendly and non-gender specific military – a military well marinated in the sauce of peace, love and happiness. Yet, whilst they so fiddled, at the sharp-end of the organisation they were being paid to administer – remember we’re talking about soldiering - there existed a cohort of supposedly unreconstructed barbarians running amok. Who was in charge?
Why am I angry? Because I have served in the Australian army, in combat and I have witnessed and been subject to some of the vicissitudes consequent to decisions made. I am proud of having once been called ‘Digger’. I am angry because the limp-wristed management of today’s General Staff has effectively tarnished this tradition. I am angry for my younger colleagues that have served, proudly and without blemish, in Afghanistan.
To this end, it is my firm view that the present chief of staff should resign. He should resign for two reasons: Firstly and foremostly, because he is the Chief of Staff and the buck stops with him. Secondly and significantly, he should resign because of his failure to sort this mess out before it entered the public arena.
Further to this, I consider his predecessors should be sanctioned and their medals should be taken away. Following on from this an investigation should be commissioned into the promotion processes and placement of all senior staff officers.
I am angry at a system that has allowed this mud to be thrown around for so long. This matter should have been resolved immediately. It should have been addressed at the first sniff of impropriety. From experience I can testify to the fact that handwritten reports are prepared by the lowest non-commissioned- officer after every operation. These are handed in and passed up the chain of command. They are thoroughly vetted by intelligence and so forth and so on. Today’s reports are enhanced by modern technology, real time reporting through cameras and personal speaker phones. Only a few short years ago the world was treated to real time footage and audio of the killing of Bin Laden.
In this current context it is inconceivable that there was no indication of impropriety at the outset. The officer in charge should have called this out. His superior should have made the inquiries ‘who why when’ at the time, right down the chain. The officer most directly in charge of those particular troops should have been sacked, forthwith. His commander should have been reprimanded and the troops involved should have been advised to pack their bongos, go home never to be heard from or seen again. This is how the matter should have been dealt with.
Instead, because of the sheer stupidity of Australian military and political leaders this country will be international stage centre for a whole new media extravaganza show-trial. This will be ably scripted and supported by the self-loathing national broadcaster and its tribes of sycophantic progressives who pursued the matter in the first place. These show-trails will well and truly overshadow the Breaker Morant controversy – although they cover the same issue.
What is a war crime? This is Pandora’s Box of legal and moral nightmares. Although international law has grappled with the matter for over a century and it has made many determinations on the subject, it remains a highly subjective question. It is not my intent to drive down this road. I shall however make a few pointed observations.
The war in Afghanistan was a war that nobody wanted and nobody really understood. This is hardly surprising given its senseless nature. The Prime Minister and Cabinet who committed this country to that war need severe sanction. There were many that argued against it - I was one of them.
Like every war it had its active ‘secret war’. In this instance the prominent players of the war were those that played the game of secret war. Any investigation into any previous ‘secret wars’ will find equally abhorrent acts from all protagonists - that is the nature of such war. One tries to keep a level of humanity in the conduct of war generally, to keep to some balance, certainty and rules and regulations – the Geneva Conventions are testament to that. But sometimes, humans being as they are, these conventions are overlooked. Regrettably we have to live with those consequences.
To conduct irregular warfare we employ Special Forces – they are called Special Forces for a reason - they do the work that other people are unable, untrained or simply don’t want to do. It is a thankless job, living and operating in the silent, netherworld. To large extent their identity remains secret, they can’t tell anyone what they do, they get very few public kudos and generally they are disavowed by their superiors – especially so when something goes wrong! They get paid well – they are held in high esteem by their fellow servicemen and many get their jollies by getting drunk, being violent and, regrettably, on occasions by being excessive in their zeal. We create such a force - who are we then to blame them?
Let me discuss briefly one aspect of the war-crime debate: the notion of command culpability. The Brereton report largely absolves senior military officers and officials. It found ‘no evidence’ that high ranking officers had knowledge of the alleged ‘unlawful killings’. The blame is squarely placed on the lower level patrol commanders.
What sheer rot! Yet again the Top Brass hides in its comfortable chateaus well behind the trenches and gets away un-besmirched with hands oh-so lily pink. My question: If they didn’t know why didn’t they know?
Contrast the foregoing with one General Tomoyuki Yamashita – the WWII commander of the Japanese Imperial Troops in the South East Asia and Pacific arena. He deservedly earned the sobriquet ‘The Tiger of Malaya’ for his brilliant campaign culminating in the British disgrace that was the Fall of Singapore. In 1945, after the Japanese surrender, Yamashita was arraigned for alleged war crimes committed by his troops in their defence of the Philippines. Although it was accepted that Japanese communications and effective military control had broken down at that late stage of the war, the War Crimes Tribunal nonetheless held him to be accountable. On the 23rd of February 1946 he was hanged.
The Yamashita Standard has now formally entered the lexicon on the international law of war. It is my hope, in the context of the current debate, that this standard is applied to the cringing dogs that call themselves the Australian Chiefs of Staff.
I am angry: I am angry at a report that absolves our High Command of any wrongdoing. Unlike Yamashita who had hundreds of thousands of troops spread across South East Asia and Pacific under his command, these politically correct tools had a miniscule force and a piddly guerrilla war in Afghanistan to run - with modern communications in real time. Yamashita was not only a general that could wipe his arse with these tools, unlike them he was an honourable man. And look was happened to him in February '46.
I look forward to seeing these pathetic, politically correct creatures squirm when the broader ramifications of this matter become fully evident to the public. They chose to throw soldiers under the bus – good – go follow them.
I am also angry at two modern aspects of Australian culture that are directly germane to this debate.
Firstly I refer to Australia’s modern ‘cultural cringe’. The national self-loathing propagated by academic institutions; schools; the national broadcaster; the arts and farts and so on is simply astounding. Australians go berserk about their football teams but will sit by complacently whilst their history, heritage and culture – their very identity - is daily ridiculed, contorted and redesigned before their very eyes.
I have subtitled this essay ‘Show Trial’. It is a show trial in accordance with our cringe inasmuch Australians want all the world to like us and to let the world know that we good moral, empathetic people – to show our politically correct uprightness. Never mind that the rest of world doesn’t discuss the operations of its special forces, we are different. We are stupid Australians. If you consider me to be intemperate, I beg you to follow certain sections of our media that are going to be in joyous rapture over the prospect of Australians being subject to war crime trials. This will provide yet further opportunity to tear down another Australian icon– the Anzac Tradition.
Secondly and related to this I refer to the utterly disgraceful trend amongst our leaders of not accepting the consequences of their actions and decisions. I am angry at these leaders – across the full gamut of society - who refuse to resign because they didn’t recognise the point of principle they just tripped over: they think it perfectly acceptable to just hang in there, tough it out and pass the buck.
If he was that sorry – General Angus Campbell would resign. Given the same circumstances General Yamashita might have disembowelled himself. But unlike Campbell, Yamashita was an honourable man.
On 3 November 2020, the Republican candidate Mr David Andahl was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives with some 36 percent pf the vote: ironical really, given that Mr Andahl died of complications from Covie-19 the previous month. This embarrassment was blamed on early voting which, beginning weeks before his death resulted in his posthumous election.
I consider this Gothic story as symbolising the sometime vagaries and shortcomings of any electoral system. Every electoral system has its inadequacies. Libraries are stacked with books about the efficacy of varying models of democratic process. What works in one society often appears unusual or inadequate to another. However, in any democracy - by definition - the political process works through discussion, compromise and resolution.
For the United States this has been a robust election. It has been an election perhaps not all about Trump or Biden but about competing views of what America should be. That was a discussion that the United States had to have. Trump’s lasting legacy might well be that he forced the question. Love him or loath him, he shook the country out of its political torpor. He demonstrated that the profession of politics does not belong to the cosy political class and middle class liberal elites. He provided the working classes – the world ‘class’ is used deliberately in this context - with a voice and with hope. He demonstrated to the elites that huge numbers of ordinary American citizens were not happy with the way their country had been run.
Over the past summer months the eruption of the maleficent cancel culture, the thuggery of Antifa and the highly organised and centrally controlled ‘disorganised mayhem’ of the Black Lives Matter group have amply testified to another under-estimated constituency of discontent.
My great concern is that the brouhaha of the election temporarily extinguished the detail of many election promises – explicit or implicit. I am concerned that many of those that voted specifically ‘against’ Trump overlooked the fact that they voted instead for the entire baggage and expectations of the Democrat left. I am also concerned that for many on the left these expectations are not going to be met – as Obama’s election failed to provide a chicken in every oven and a shiny new automobile outside. Thus the cycle of radical complaint will continue.
However, the judges, being the people, have handed down their judgement. It might have been a strained, indeed an unexpected and complex judgement, but judgement it is. Unlike my political opponents of the left four years ago, I respect that judgement. Should he confirmed, I wish Joe Biden and his Vice President well. I wish America well. I shall continue to respect the office of the President of the United States and I shall continue to respect and hold in esteem the great people of that generous country – to whom the world owes so much.
For those of you that haven’t yet grasped the fact that our society is in serious decay – and I mean serious decay - allow me to lead you through a story I have been following since it first broke early last week. It sickened me as I followed its development.
I first heard about it on NCA NewsWire at 1635 hrs on Monday 3 August when Court Reporter, Heath Parkes-Hupton, described:
‘A man lay unconscious while a private schoolboy allegedly “carved up” his face with a knife, leaving him with permanent injuries so severe he lost an eye, a court has heard.
‘The teenager, who police allege was wearing a mask and gloves as he slashed at the man‘s face in a “sadistic” torture in inner-city Sydney on Friday night, was refused bail at a children’s court after being on the run for two days.
‘He faces a maximum 25 years in jail if found guilty of a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.’
The Australian picked up the story the following day [Tuesday 4th] Man loses eye after teen allegedly ‘carved up’ his face in Pyrmont stabbing.
‘Five teenagers have now been arrested over the incident after the alleged stabber and a 16-year-old boy were arrested at a house in the Ryde area on Sunday.
‘Magistrate Michael Love described police facts tendered to court on Monday as “quite disturbing”, saying much of the incident had been caught on mobile phone footage.
‘The court was told up to 10 young people were staying in an Airbnb in Pyrmont when about seven of them ran outside, allegedly set upon the man and beat him unconscious.
‘Witnesses reported seeing one of the youths with a “silver object” in his left hand before he allegedly started slashing and “slowly carved up” the man’s face, the court was told.
‘A co-accused had identified the boy, who attends “prestigious” Sydney private school Barker College in Hornsby, as the one wielding the knife in mobile phone footage, the court was told.
The ABC weighed in the following day [5th]:
‘Nine schoolboys charged over "a vile, horrific" attack of a man in inner Sydney last week allegedly "gloated" about the crime in a WhatsApp group chat, a court has heard.
The court heard the victim's eye will likely need to be removed; Police prosecutor Kai Jiang said the "complainant will be traumatised for life". It's alleged the group also discussed plans to avoid arrest on WhatsApp
‘Magistrate Jeffrey Hogg said the alleged stabbing in Pyrmont on Friday had left the 36-year-old victim, Brett Halcro, with "injuries that are extraordinarily severe and life-changing".
The story continued the following day [6th] with Aneeka Simonis, of the Herald Sun, writing:
‘The family of a Melbourne dad left blinded and in a coma after he was allegedly stabbed by a gang of boastful private school boys say he was “completely innocent”.
‘Brett Halcro, 36, was in Sydney helping renovate his father’s home when he was stabbed in the eye and had his face slashed open at least seven times in Pyrmont on Friday night.
‘Nine teenagers from some of Sydney’s most elite private schools have been arrested over what police believe was a “planned and targeted attack”.
Now this by any measure is a vicious, maniacal attack. I want to make the point that this was not committed by low life trash, it was not committed by immigrants, it was not committed by a single crazed over the top prime-nutter. This was committed by a gang of relatively affluent private school boys who for whatever reasons decided to get their jollies by carving up an innocent passer-by.
Do you still remain unconvinced that our society is becoming increasingly dysfunctional? So do you really think it is going to get any better of its own accord? Do you, in your advancing years, consider yourself to be totally safe in public, or come to that, at home?
Well, what are you going to do about it? Buy yourself another set of Laura Ashley curtains so you can’t see what’s going on outside! Yeah – that’ll fix it!
You, Me, We – all of us - have a civic duty to stand up and say NO!
We have a civic duty to stand up and say: We’ve had a Curly Gutful of this Bloody Nonsense. We have to stand up to our damn politicians, tell them – remember they’re dumb lazy bastards, that we want action on drugs, we want schools to provide a safe environment wherein children are taught properly; that we want safety in our streets and we want consistency in our laws and sentencing. Oh! The idea of Justice would be nice too!
Above all, we need to let the police know that we support them.
Now, here’s the rub - if You, Me, We don’t do this – then we are the problem. We are as guilty as the knife-wielding nutter because we kept our silence….!
I have, at the best of times, a jaundiced view of boof-headed footballers, egotistical tennis players and other assorted strokers who get paid to hop-skip and jump for entertainment. I consider such in the same context as I would any other public performer. I might or I might not pay to see them perform their tricks: period. What I do not do is to consider them to be great intellectual, literary or moral luminaries. Moreover, I most certainly do not consider them as role models.
To this end, I am increasingly tired at being hectored at by sports associations and their performing seals by blatant on-field agitprop [political propaganda] acts of patronising virtue signalling. The only signal these send to me is that the poor dumb swine are being fed something decidedly mind-numbing in their collective swill.
I was therefore delighted to receive by e.mail the other morning an open letter to the National Football League in America purportedly sent by one Therese M LeMay. To date I have been unsuccessful in my searches to authenticate it. Not that it particularly matters because it is the content and the principles contained in the letter that are important. These principles are equally important to Australians and Britons – indeed, to all peoples who inject unrealistic expectations of their sports ‘stars’.
We would do well to remember that most of our sportsmen and women have been sucking on the teat of public largesse most of their lives and most do very well indeed out of their careers.
Having said thus, competence on field or track does not qualify them as credible social commentators. Do not let them presume to lecture us on matters of politics or moral rectitude. The vast majority are unqualified, untrained and just too damn stupid to do so.
As for ‘Taking the Knee’ – what utter and complete bollocks! It’s up those that pay to watch this nonsense to speak up and say so.
On that note I append the ‘Open Letter’:
Open Letter to NFL Players. The Boycott is coming
You graduated high school in 2011. Your teenage years were a struggle.
You grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Your mother was the leader of the family and worked tirelessly to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate.
Academics were a struggle for you and your grades were mediocre at best. The only thing that made you stand out is you weighed 225 lbs and could run 40 yards in 4.2 seconds while carrying a football. Your best friend was just like you, except he didn’t play football. Instead of going to football practice after school, he went to work at McDonalds for minimum wage.
You were recruited by all the big colleges and spent every weekend of your senior year making visits to universities where coaches and boosters tried to convince you their school was best. They laid out the red carpet for you. Your best friend worked double shifts at Mickey Ds. College was not an option for him.
On the day you signed with Big State University, your best friend signed paperwork with his Army recruiter. You went to summer workouts.
He went to basic training.
You spent the next four years living in the athletic dorm, eating at the training table. You spent your Saturdays on the football field, cheered on by adoring fans. Tutors attended to your every academic need.
You attended class when you felt like it. Sure, you worked hard. You lifted weights, ran sprints, studied plays, and soon became one of the top football players in the country.
Your best friend was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. While you were in college, he deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice. He became a Sergeant and led a squad of 19 year-old soldiers who grew up just like he did. He shed his blood in Afghanistan and watched young American's give their lives, limbs, and innocence for the US.
You went to the NFL combine and scored off the charts. You hired an agent and waited for draft day. You were drafted in the first round and your agent immediately went to work, ensuring that you received the most money possible. You signed for $16 million although you had never played a single down of professional football.
Your best friend re-enlisted in the Army for four more years. As a combat tested sergeant, he will be paid $32,000 per year.
You will drive a Ferrari on the streets of South Beach. He will ride in the back of a Blackhawk helicopter with 10 other combat loaded soldiers.
You will sleep at the Ritz. He will dig a hole in the ground and try to sleep. You will “make it rain” in the club. He will pray for rain as the temperature reaches 120 degrees.
On Sunday, you will run into a stadium as tens of thousands of fans cheer and yell your name.
For your best friend, there is little difference between Sunday and any other day of the week. There are no adoring fans. There are only people trying to kill him and his soldiers. Every now and then, he and his soldiers leave the front lines and “go to the rear” to rest. He might be lucky enough to catch an NFL game on TV.
When the National Anthem plays and you take a knee, he will jump to his feet and salute the television. While you protest the unfairness of life in the United States, he will give thanks to God that he has the honor of defending his great country.
To the players of the NFL: We are the people who buy your tickets, watch you on TV, and wear your jerseys. We anxiously wait for Sundays so we can cheer for you and marvel at your athleticism. Although we love to watch you play, we care little about your opinions until you offend us.
You have the absolute right to express yourselves, but we have the absolute right to boycott you.
We have tolerated your drug use and DUIs, your domestic violence, and your vulgar displays of wealth. We should be ashamed for putting our admiration of your physical skills before what is morally right.
But now you have gone too far. You have insulted our flag, our country, our soldiers, our police officers, and our veterans. You are living the American dream, yet you disparage our great country. I encourage all like minded Americans to boycott the NFL.
National boycott of the NFL for Sunday November 11, 2020 “Veterans Day“ Weekend. Boycott all football telecast, all fans, all ticket holders, stay away from attending any games, let them play to empty stadiums.
Pass this post along to all your friends and family. Honor our military, some of whom come home with the American Flag draped over their coffin.
Therese M LeMay