Our state leaders and their opposition counterparts must have gone to the
same ‘Straya Day BBQ. All of a sudden, the
Labor Premiers and their wannabe Liberal opposite numbers have been scrambling
over each other to be the most vocal patriotic pollie on the block.

It
started with Iemma after the Cronulla riots. Then
every tin-pot pollie followed with their visions of the National Anthem, and how
we should all be forced – er, that is, it should be compulsory – to sing it,
hand on heart, while pledging allegiance to Australia’s core civics values and
saluting the flag.

Bracks
and Doyle agreed there should be more flag flying everywhere, and Bracks defended our anthem.
Both sides of the Tasmanian Parliament
seem to think flag-flying anthem-singing shenanigans are in order and the SA
Liberals reckon if they win the election (ha!) they’re going to make flag flying compulsory.

As yet
no word from Queensland or the Territories, but our very model of a modern
Governor General weighed in and said everyone should at least learn the words.

Meanwhile, the SMH thinks our flag is racist and
the Green Left Weekly (surprise, surprise) thinks our anthem is, too.

The only
note of
sanity
comes from Western Australian Premier Alan “call me Carps” Carpenter,
who wryly observed “every morning, we sang God Save the Queen and recited the
Lord’s prayer and now, you know, 49 years of age, I’m an avowed republican and
I’m an atheist.” Sage advice, but then a cheap headline in the name of faux patriotism is so
much more satisfying for a shameless pollie, isn’t it?

Peter Fray

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