ADVANCE AUSTRALIA WHERE?
Paul Zanetti is a Walkley award winning syndicated cartoonist with over 30 years in the media. He blogs at www.zanettisview.com
SADLY the Australian Of The Year award has lost all meaning to millions of Australians.
It’s become a disconnected politically correct tool existing only for one purpose - to advance progressive grand standers and social causes, instead of reflecting the best in quiet achievers, the real heroes of our country.
The Australian Of The Year award has become a caricature, a parody, an exercise in hypocrisy, diminishing its own worth. It used to mean something.
Instead of rewarding the best of us, the Aussie gong is now a means for promotion of social engineers and fringe attention seekers who don’t practice what they preach.
Politicians will jump on board to be seen to be hip, but someone should tell them hipsters are a laughing stock to most of us. People without self identity, who leap onto the latest cause - or fad - to be accepted by, or popular to, other empty shells.
While real Australians go about their lives, serving their community, getting kids to school, heading to work, producing, creating, serving, fixing, building, manufacturing, inventing, caring, life saving, fire fighting, volunteering, transporting, loading, packing, mowing, cleaning, selling, buying, cooking, painting, welding, trimming, lifting, accounting, measuring, grading, driving, drilling, hammering, joining, engineering, drafting, in short, living in a real Australian society with meaning and purpose…we have an empty underclass fixated with themselves.
The rest of us actually have to be productive to make a quid. We create, we make, we fix, we serve, we do.
The underclass believes its purpose is to be ‘progressive’, to fiddle with ’social’ issues, Their purpose in life is to ‘seem’ to be advancing.
As they produce nothing they make stuff up trying to make it look like they’re actually doing something. We have whole government departments and agencies funded by your taxes devoted to inventing lots of nothing. It might even be excusable if we were swimming in surplus but we’re not.
The latest charade is the Australia Day Council’s most recent example - the 2016 Australian Of The Year recipient, David Morrison, the former Chief of the Army (June 2011 until retirement in May 2015).
I’m sure David Morrison means well, trying his best to be all things to all people - well most people.
During his time, Morrison admitted, the army became notorious for its systematic culture of sexual abuse and misconduct.
Instead of dealing with it properly from within, using the proper criminal and military resources at Defence’s disposal, Morrison decided to read a speech written by someone else, record it and upload it online.
Morrison judged that the inner conflicts and disciplinary measures required to deal with misconduct within the army was everyone else’s business.
It was an orchestrated PR assault launched with military precision to get him and the army off the hook, after another public report of soldiers sharing offensive and private material online. Morrison, the man at the top was under pressure to be seen to do something. More seeming.
Morrison’s video, demanded that anyone who wanted to treat women unequally should get out of the army. The video, which went viral, made Morrison a hero.
The person who wrote the speech is a man who dresses and identifies as a woman, complete with lippy and makeup. He admits he is still a man, used to be called Malcolm McGregor but now prefers to be called ‘Catherine’.
In an interview in The Women’s Weekly, Malcolm/Catherine told the magazine he isn’t a woman, but lives as one. He admits he is still attracted to women.
The Army has a reputed 15 transgenders - men who identify as women - all of whom are entitled to gender reassignment surgery funded by the Army, or more precisely, by you and me.
In 2010 the Australian Defence Force announced it will pay for sex change operations for soldiers costing $30k and up per operation. One can only wonder how this assists fighting the likes of ISIS. Let’s hope none of them end up on the front line and get themselves nabbed by jihadists near a tall building.
The army’s generosity doesn’t just extend to sex change operations, it also allows men like Malcolm/Catherine who admit they’re attracted to women to have free access to the ladies’ showers even before they’ve had any reassignment surgery.
Is it just me, or does that come across to you, too, as creepy? Or sleazy?
In the proper world, the politically incorrect one, men who still have the hardware and attracted to women would get arrested if they were reported loitering outside or inside the ladies’ showers or toilets.
But not in the Army.
‘Onya David Morrison. Here’s a gong.
If there were ever an over reach in politically correct madness you’d be hard pressed to find a more extreme institutional practitioner than the Australian Defence Force.
Unsurprisingly, the Army has become the preferred employer of choice for men who want to be ladies. The ladies showers bonus would be a real deal sealer.
But back to Malcolm/Catherine who’s still more Malcolm than Catherine, if hardware is your gauge.
Malcolm still hasn’t had the nip and tuck, telling the Women’s Weekly, “I’m pretty sure that I will (have the operation). Let’s say I’m 80-20 leaning towards it…I would like to feel whole.”
But it’s not only sex change costs where Malcolm/Catherine is exposing the taxpayer to fists full of dollars for his/her personal indulgences.
See, Malcolm/Catherine doesn’t mind a bit of biffo at our expense.
Once involved in ALP politics Malcolm/Catherine described a NSW labor faction as, “….like the rest of the NSW Right, they’re all hard men in the way that a teenage gang kicking a wino are hard men. And I said there’s not one of ’em I wouldn’t mind going down a dark alley way with – unless Tom Domican was in tow with them.”
Being opinionated and outspoken, and not without a bit of extra bravado with his/her new found media fame, Malcolm/Catherine has engaged in a bit of online character sledging, resulting in the Army making a $25,000 settlement offer to a senior soldier who served for 40 years in east Timor and Afghanistan after Malcolm/Catherine publicly abused the person, without any provocation.
Malcolm/Catherine accused the person of having “defective DNA” apparently unaware how ironic that sounds coming from someone born a man, but wanting to be a woman.
What ads to the irony is that David Morrison’s award as Australian Of The Year was for a speech on unacceptable abuse, written by a person whose own online abuse has led to the army itself making a $25,000 settlement offer to the victim.
And that’s why this year’s gong is a farce. Malcolm/Catherine was Morrison's personal adviser and speech writer which could go a long way to explaining the cultural dysfunction at the top.
But that’s not all.
Unbelievably, Malcolm/Catherine was also a finalist for Australian Of The Year 2016, pipped at the post by his/her boss.
Why was he/she nominated?
Officially, it was for being a ‘Diversity Champion’.
In other words, for expressing his desire to live as woman, and making sure everyone knows about it. That seems to be the qualification.
Yet, there are plenty of men who want to be women, and women who want to be men who fund their own sex reassignment, who don’t draw the limelight to themselves and who aren’t media tarts.
They’re dong it wrong.
The noisiest wheel gets the money, the gong, and the fame.
Once it was: Join The Army. Learn A Trade. See The World.
Now it’s: Join The Army. Get A Sex Change. Charge The Taxpayer. Tell The World. Get In Line For A Gong.
I’ve no issue with transsexuals, transgenders or gays - I have friends and acquaintances in all sexual orientation categories. They’re no different to you and me. They love, they hate, they hurt, they feel. They want to be accepted in society, and so they must.
My issue is that the farcical Australian Of The Year gong rewards grandstanding and hypocrisy.
This year’s recipient David Morrison received the award for ‘commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion.’
Since retiring from the army last year, Morrison has been appointed Diversity Council of Australia chairman.
There’s another one of those government agencies I mentioned off the top invented for no reason other than to cost you and me lots of money we can’t afford to pay people to produce nothing but spend their time imagining ways to seem to be doing something.
But is David Morrison really the great 'diversity and inclusion' warrior we’re lead to believe. Not on face value.
On June 30, 2014 the Australian Defence Force sacked a Major Bernard Gaynor for his views based on his conservative Catholic faith and pro-family stance. Gaynor had served three tours of duty in Iraq while serving in Army intelligence.
Gaynor, a reserve soldier, did not voice his views while on duty, but in his capacity as an off duty civilian on his private blog.
Among other issues and problems Gaynor believes the Army should not be marching in the gay Mardi Gras. and believes crippling political correctness about Islam has cost Australian lives in the armed forces. As an on ground intelligence officer, he’s someone you’d pay attention to.
In a speech around early 2014 Gaynor warned, ''It is my unpleasant duty to inform you that the Australian Defence Force has a fundamentally broken approach to religion, an approach shaped partly by the triumph of bureaucratic administration over battlefield considerations but mostly by plain old political correctness.
''Political correctness has cost lives on the battlefield and resulted in completely flawed campaign strategies. The ADF has spent the last decade at war with people who fight for their religious beliefs. And part of the problem that comes with fighting people who are motivated by religious belief is that you need to have soldiers equally motivated to oppose them.
''As a Catholic, I understand why people are motivated to do things based on religious belief, rather than what would seem to be rational on a purely secular level. As an intelligence officer, it is a valuable insight to have, but the ADF has a fundamentally flawed understanding of Islam.
''Just look at Iraq. I was one of the last Australians to serve there. All the politicians and military hierarchy were saying the withdrawal of Western military force was based on success. And yet al-Qaeda today controls more of Iraq than it ever did while Western forces were in the country, or while Saddam Hussein was in power.
''The Iraq war was a failure because no one can say why we were there, who the enemy was or what the mission was. This has cost lives and wasted a decade and a half of war. In a strategic sense, Iraq and Afghanistan are no better for the blood shed by Australian soldiers.
''In Afghanistan, the government has a constitution based on Islamic law and teaching, just as the Taliban's regime was. So the efforts of the last decade to remove the threat in Afghanistan from Islamic groups has directly led to the creation of an Islamic state.''
That was in early 2014 - before the rise of ISIS in Iraq.
Instead of heeding the informed words of an intelligence officer, the Army chose to try to shut him up.
But what really got up their nose is his firm view the army should not be engaging in political and social campaigns, frolics or causes. The army is there to fight and defend.
Not to pay for sex changes.
Not to become a beacon or magnet for social and gender engineering.
Not to march for political or social causes, as worthy as they may seem to the activists.
For his diverse beliefs, also held by many Australians, Gaynor had his commission terminated.
So much for inclusion and diversity.
Gaynor told Paul Sheehan of the Sydney Morning Herald in 2014, ''Defence issued a policy that if any uniformed personnel participated in an event that vilified Islam they would be severely dealt with. We now have the absurd situation where the ADF protects the religious beliefs of Islam, while tolerating the vilification of Christianity, the religion that most soldiers identify with.''
40% of Australian soldiers are Christian.
Gaynor says, “There were 88 Muslims in uniform in mid-2013. That means that, while there is one Australian in uniform in every 400, there is only one Muslim in uniform for about every 6000 Muslims in this country.”
Gaynor has appealed his Army Reserve termination and won last December. The Federal Court ruled that the termination decision was unlawful because it violated the implied constitutional right to express private political opinions.
It was an important win for freedom and diversity of faith and opinion in Australia, something The Australian Defence Force still continues to have a problem with, despite all the PR rubbish with David Morrison’s speech and Oz Day gong.
Just before Christmas 2015 the Chief of Defence Force launched an appeal against this decision, further undermining any claim of diversity and inclusion in the Australian Defence Force.
The clear message being sent to all Australians is, the Australian Defence Force will only tolerate your view as long as you agree with it. Catholic views not welcome.
Now, I’m an atheist and I don’t always agree with Bernard Gaynor. But I do believe in his right to express his opinion as a conservative Catholic, whose moral and family values have been shaped by his faith. If diversity, tolerance and inclusion is extended to Muslims in the Army, why are Catholics being discriminated against?
The Australian Defence Force cannot win this appeal. And it knows it can’t. It’s another waste of our had earned dollars for the ego and pride of the Defence Force Chiefs.
I for one would prefer the Defence Force bosses practice what they preach. Exercise real diversity instead of throwing money at trying to shut it down.
Perhaps Bernard Gaynor could appeal to our new Australian Of The Year recipient, David Morrison, chairman of the Diversity Council of Australia.
Or maybe this diversity is just about the show.
Just like the Australian of The Year Award.