We have heard much over the past fortnight, thanks to a new citizenship test and the Anzac commemorations, about Australian values. This is despite the fact that there appears to be some confusion about what those values actually are. Unfortunately, when pinned down by a battalion of journalists, the lawyer in Malcolm Turnbull overrode the visionary (if such a Turnbull exists), and the Prime Minister struggled to articulate many values at all, preferring that ‘the public’ draw up the appropriate list themselves (ie. leave it to a handful of pizza-guzzling, beer-swilling, taxpayer-funded focus groups to tell us what we value).
Ex-Chief-of-Staff to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, did a much better job of it in her Sunday Telegraph column two days before Anzac Day, when she questioned what the generation who laid down their lives for our freedoms would make of today’s so-called ‘snowflake generation’: students and young people, no older than the diggers who braved Shrapnel Gully, whose concept of coming under fire is being exposed to ‘trigger warning’ ideas, or who need to duck into ‘safe spaces’ to shelter from concepts they find ‘offensive’.
Ms Credlin’s words are worth repeating, for the simple reason that she managed to link the myriad flashpoints that dominate so much of our political debate directly to values that appear to have dwindled over the last few decades: ‘We shouldn’t need anti-bullying programs in schools because it should be second nature to teachers and fellow classmates that everyone has to be treated with respect; we shouldn’t need anti-domestic violence campaigns because it should be as plain as the nose on your face that real men don’t hit women; and shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone — including new citizens — that you have to be committed to Australia without the need to take a test?’ she wrote.
Ms Credlin was uncovering a scary, yet unavoidable, truth. It’s not that we don’t know what Australian values are. We know precisely. The problem is, we’ve lost sight of who is responsible for enforcing them. Parents? Teachers? Peers? Churches? Mosques? Governments?
The harsh reality is that courtesy of their relentless destruction of, or capturing of, so many of our national institutions, from the Churches to the schools to the universities, the Left has achieved its goal of tearing up the social contract that existed in years gone past, and replacing it with a hodge podge of hypocritical and self-contradictory leftist moral fantasies.
Teachers today lecture their poorly-educated students about the ‘human rights’ of same sex marriage, deliberately placing gay couples on some kind of peculiar platform whereby their mental health will deteriorate to the point of self-harm or suicide if any religious person dares question the wisdom of changing the wording of the Marriage Act. Meanwhile, the process of generating energy at the lowest cost – the cornerstone of all civilisation – has been transformed into some quasi-satanic ritual whereby coal is as ‘evil’as anything druids or witches ever dreamed up. Measures designed to ensure safe and secure borders – again, a pillar of successful and harmonious societies – are demonised in impressionable minds. And even the fundamental of human and animal existence – the binary nature of the sexes – is under attack.
In such a world, it is hard for traditional values – loyalty, integrity, tolerance, sacrifice, thrift, hard work, patience, charity, restraint, modesty, self-reliance, lending a hand etc. – to gain much attention, let alone hold much appeal. Whereas once the Australian ‘fair go’ meant equality of opportunity, a ‘fair go’ now means nobody misses out on any free handouts, nobody has more or less than somebody else, and everybody’s individual grievances are worthy of legal compensation or state intervention.
Perhaps, as Ms Credlin suggests, the world war generations really were made of something special that we have since lost. Or maybe we all just have to fight that little bit harder to regain it.
The problem with Yassmin Abdel-Magied is not that she made an offensive tweet riffing off ‘Lest We Forget’. The problem is not that she tried to link a grab bag of leftist grievances to Anzac Day. The problem is not that her apology referred to her ‘last post’ (an unintentional but clever word play). The problem is a very simple one: via the ABC and the Turnbull/Bishop government, we hard-working Australian taxpayers have lavished travel, respectability, fame, publicity and income on a woman who apparently despises what we believe in. Any chance of a refund?