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Nine news political editor, Chris Uhlmann has launched an MSM broadside into the self-sabotaged, and slowly sinking, Victorian government.

Uhlmann took aim at the Victorian Premier, labelling the Andrews’ government’s oppressive COVID-19 response as ‘panic-stricken.’

In the piece published by the Sydney Morning Herald, Uhlmann accused Daniel Andrews of ‘destroying the village in order to save it,’ writing

‘nowhere in [Australia’s] often-opaque democracy has a less transparent court system, bureaucracy, police force or government than Victoria.’

Adding,

‘The people there have been badly served, even as some revelled in the servitude. Its systems of power have combined to deliver the wanton destruction of its vibrant society. Its government has condemned its people to a poorer future, to higher unemployment, more poverty and less opportunity.’

He reasoned that since most deaths have occurred in nursing homes, nursing homes should be better protected: ‘If you are going to throw a ring of steel around anything it should be around aged care homes, not Melbourne.’

Uhlmann also predicted a ‘global reckoning of governments,’ arguing that COVID-19 countermeasures were ‘doing more damage than the disease.’

He explained that ‘economic destruction imposed by governments will deliver millions into poverty, driving internal and external conflicts.’

Subsequently, poverty-stricken states ‘turning inward’ will push the world towards ‘more division, anger and polarization.’

Also worthy of note was Uhlmann’s damning, critical assessment of modern Australians,

While the ‘disease has revealed the character of our leaders’, it has ‘hammered home some uncomfortable truths about us as a people. As a nation we seem comfortable with authoritarianism and too many relish the role of prefect.’

Caldron Pool’s editor-in-chief, Ben Davis, applauded Uhlmann, stating,

“The whole situation highlights, not only just how dangerously deaf we can be if the narrative frightens us enough, but how willing we are to part with our freedoms and rights in exchange for the promise of safety, whatever devastating impacts may follow.”

Davis added,

“While it’s great that people are slowly beginning to ask the same questions Caldron Pool’s writers were asking six months ago, the real questions at this point are, how much damage has been inflicted and to what extent can we actually recover? Questions we might not have had to ask if the MSM had the foresight of our writers, and our warnings had been taken seriously.”

Uhlmann’s Sydney Morning Herald piece is a criticism of the bureaucratic caste’s COVID-19 disregard for civil liberties.

It vindicates the concerns of discerning citizens who, from the start of the lockdown craze, raised awareness about the lack of assurances from politicians concerning the preservation of civil liberties.

Caldron Pool have been asking these same questions, and positing the same warnings about the consequences of dubious anti-CV-19 authoritarian measures since March. We were behind the eight-ball from day one, while “fact-checkers,” and Leftists dismissed us as right-wing conspiracy theorists spreading misinformation.

As we’ve said from the beginning, there’s two sides to the coronavirus. The actual crisis, and the crisis manufactured by bureaucrats for the cameras.

Andrews’ COVID-19 response emulates Sisyphus.

The Victorian Premier is determined to keep going in one direction, applying the same damaging, flawed methods over and over again, despite (as Uhlmann pointed out) there being other options, and more information about the virus available than there was in March.

There is also a thin line between governments waging a war against the crisis, and governments waging a war against people caught up in that crisis.

Uhlmann is right. Andrews and other ‘will-to-power premiers’ have crossed that line, and the majority of Australians let them do it.

#Democracydiesindarkness


First published on Caldron Pool, 16th September, 2020.

Image: ABC Australia.

Background image: Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

Eric Abetz (LNP) is proving to be no mediocre politician. His speech from July last year remains relevant, making his message one of the best ever entered into the Australian senate’s Hansard.[i]

This year the Senator for Tasmania provided us with a sequel. Speaking about ‘Political Discourse’ Abetz went head to head with cancel culture and the Left’s double standards.

The speech highlighted Queensland University Law professor, James Allen’s piece for The Australian on the June, 16th.

He gave a long list of examples where people were being bullied into submission, and their livelihoods cancelled because of a small, boisterous percentage of people online, and within corporations, looking for oppression, prejudice, malice and racism in everything.

Under Cancel Culture, it no longer matters whether or not a perceived offense was intentional or unintentional (or accidental). These are often labeled micro-aggressions. All that matters is the perceived outcome.

This is what Jonathon Haidt called ‘outcome over intent’ [ii]. Haidt explains that micro-aggression theory is the life blood of cancel culture. If the outcome is perceived to be offensive, intention doesn’t matter.

Appearance and accusation, follows emotional reasoning. Feelings are then placed as lord and master over evidence based reasoning. If something feels offensive, than that something, or someone, is no longer deemed worthy of life or livelihood.

Not only is this culture unstable, it’s unsustainable, and as Abetz argues, ultimately destructive.

Make no mistake about it. Cancel culture is a “life unworthy of life” prescription that echoes the same kind of ideology which allowed Stalin’s Gulags, and purges, along with Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz, Dachau, Ravensbruck and Buchenwald (among others).

This should send a chill up and down the proverbial spine of Western society. The same callous boney fingers which gripped Europe in the 20th Century, is wrapping its hands round the necks of Western society.

It gives us a strong reason to step back, assess and rethink any agreement with, or participation in such a culture and its ideology.

For these reasons alone, I don’t think it a stretch to say here that, yet again, Abetz is spot on in both his warning, and rebuttal of Cancel Culture’s, “life unworthy of life” prescription for cultural suicide.

Full Transcript of Eric’s five minute speech:

“If an individual were to engage in self-loathing, relentlessly finding the fault with self, and ridiculing and denigrating all their past endeavors, we would rightly conclude the individual had issues. Counseling might be in order.

So to with a society; if a society is willing to engage and embrace those who relentlessly spread negativity, and wallow in fault-finding it will have an extremely bleak future. A mature reflection of self or of society recognizes the good, with the not so good.

We should learn from past mistakes, not to tear down and destroy, but to build an even better future. This is how our society has progressed, and why we are where we are today as a nation – the envy of the world.

Let’s be clear. One of the great freedoms we have in Australia is the liberty to leave if we don’t like it. I don’t see any of the professionally and perpetually outraged leaving Australia for North Korea, Cuba or China.

For its alleged and real faults, Australia is the favored destination of the peoples of the world seeking freedom and opportunity.

As professor [James] Allen so eloquently wrote, “you know you’re living in George Orwell’s world, when speech is considered violence, and violence is considered speech.”

And that is exactly what we are witnessing today. Ugly double standards courtesy of the Anarchist Left; when conservatives speak they are accused of violence if they take a view contrary to the “woke” Left, but if the same language is used by the Left, it as indication of empathy, and “wokeness” – always excused.

Bettina Arndt’s award earlier this year was vehemently attacked by Labor senate leadership team. That same team of two women remain as silent as a rock, over the more recent award to that purveyor of ugly, sexist violence to women and anti-Semitic tweets, Mike Carlton.

Reason? He’s from the tribe. He’s from the Left. Similarly the treatment of Cardinal George Pell, and Paul Bonjornio, both in a seminary with that horrific pedophile, Ridgedale.

Pell should have been fully alert and known all that went on. Bonjornio on the other hand, fully excused, “of course, he couldn’t have known.”

The difference of treatment? Pell is of a conservative disposition; Bonjornio from the Left. We see the “woke” Left attacking statues of former Coalition leaders and Captain Cook, possibly the world’s greatest ever navigator; for allegedly being racist.

But a Labor leader [Arthur Calwell] who supported the ‘White Australia Policy’, and famously (or infamously) said, “two wongs, don’t make a white” sits in the pantheon of Labor leaders. As does another Labor leader [Gough Whitlam] who referred to Vietnamese refugees “[expletive deleted], Vietnamese Balts.”

No their names are not to be vilified or desecrated. Instead they are hallowed. Why? Because they are from the Left, whereas the Coalition leader [Tony Abbott] who voluntarily dedicated a week per year assisting Indigenous communities without media fan fare, needs to be vilified for his alleged racism.

Go figure!

Refusal to acknowledge any good in others, and any possible failings in the tribe has become the mantra and justification to remove people from employment, films and books from the public; for sports people to kneel for a cause and close businesses.

So much for the celebration of diversity – everything is judged in terms of claimable victimhood, division and partisanship.

The tribe excuses each other and accuses everyone else – the recipe for disharmony, anarchy and societal collapse. Facts, evidence, objective truths are junked in favor of bullying, sloganeering, and emoting.

The time has come to stand firm, push back and advocate the cause of our wonderful heritage bequeathed to us by our forebears; an heritage of civility, a system of democratic government, the rule of law, personal freedoms, and the standard of living, all of which makes Australians the envy of the world.

I for one will continue to be thankful and defend and promote that heritage, because for all its faults I know no better country.

I know no better people.”

References:

[i] Abetz, E. Freedom of Speech, 2nd July 2019.

[ii] Haidt, J. & Lukianoff. G. 2018. The Coddling of the American Mind Penguin Books Ltd.

[iii] Allen, J. Cowardly Elites appease bullies of Cancel Culture The Australian, 16th June, 2020

First published on Caldron Pool, 25th June 2020.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020

Sitting state Labor members defending the Communist Chinese Party, while simultaneously attacking their federal government colleagues is not a good look for Australian Labor. The attacks against Andrew Hastie, George Christensen, and Scott Morrison, reveal a party divided by arrogant far-left factions advancing Australia further into a social, cultural, moral, political and economic abyss.

The reason why Labor governments in both Western Australia and Victoria warm to any “kiss and make up” approach between the Australian and Communist Chinese governments, is because Labor has political capital invested in the relationship.

Tapping into China’s flawed totalitarian powerhouse, gives them the illusion of gaining power, and the hope of maintaining it. As long as it furthers their self-interest, their ideology, and assuages the egos of Communist Chinese sycophants on their payroll, to hell with the constitution and our national interest.

Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, when questioned on whether Victorian Labor will use the newly signed ‘belt and road initiative’ deal with the Chinese Communist party to fund white elephant projects sinking deeper into the red, danced around it.

Despite Chinese officials denying that new 80% tariffs on barley exports were related to Australia’s push for a COVID-19 inquiry, Victorian treasurer, Tim Pallas gaslighted the Morrison government, saying the China’s new tariff war ‘was a consequence of the way that the federal government had conducted themselves.’ Sky news also reported that Pallas accused the LNP of ‘vilifying’ China.

Labor’s Western Australian “Asian Engagement Minister”, M.P, Peter Tinley hit out at Andrew Hastie in a long-winded rebuke of one of the few Australian politicians taking a principled stand in the ‘defense of Australian sovereignty, prosperity and security.’

Calling criticism of China “harmful”, Tinley aligned with the Victorian government, former LNP foreign minister, Julie Bishop, and former W.A. LNP premier Colin Barnett, advocating for ‘quiet diplomacy’. Which means surrender because it seeks to subdue, subvert and silence open criticism of the Chinese Communist regime within Australia.

The good news for Labor is that not all within the party share the same views on China. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Victorian Labor Premier, Daniel Andrews isn’t getting absolute support from his federal Labor colleagues.

“Some Labor MPs said the Victorian Labor Treasurer’s intervention was another concerning example of the Andrews government interfering in Australian foreign policy, after Victoria refused to cancel its Belt and Road agreements with the Chinese government.”

Contrary to Andrews, Premier Mark McGowan said “he had not spoken to the China’s consul-general in WA over the trade war, arguing he did not want to be accused of meddling in foreign affairs, which is a responsibility of the Commonwealth.”

Even somewhat Labor statesmen, Graham Richardson refrained from shooting blame in direction of the Prime Minister. Richardson hit the pause button talking about China’s guilt, and stated that ‘the biggest bully on the block can’t run, and can’t hide.’ So China should just own up to mistakes made in relation to COVID-19.

Richardson aligned with the sentiment in LNP’s trade minister, Simon Birmingham’s push-back against China’s ‘cheap politicking’, calling the Chinese ambassador’s glib remark about Australia ‘being a joke’, ‘a silly, childish pique’. [i]

The bad news for Labor is that this indicates a party in disarray, fundamentally fractured by divided loyalties. The Labor party appears divided between those loyal to Australia and those loyal to the Chinese Communist party; a division emboldened by a thirst for totalitarianism inherent in the utopian leftist ideological paradigm they serve.

Serving and protecting their own political, and ideological self-interests, appear more important than serving, and protecting Australia’s national interest.

This was made apparent when states went against federal advice, and buoyed by the teacher’s union, ran COVID-19 fear campaigns in order to keep schools shut.

While this may reflect the life-force of our vibrant, robust federalism, it wouldn’t be unfair to ask, if this is a sign that our federation is stuffed. How long will it be until Daniel Andrews declares Victoria’s succession, and rebirth as a province of the Communist Chinese regime?

The states turning against the Federal government isn’t new. States turning against the Australian constitution is. Daniel Andrews’ foray into foreign affairs gives him a newfound power, and he will yield it. With China’s ‘belt and road initiative’ Daniel Andrews doesn’t just have Chinese Communist party backing; he has the backing of its military. And vice versa, the Chinese Communist Party has the Andrews government’s backing, and now a beachhead on Australian shores.

Zero transparency equals zero accountability.

This smoke and mirrors deal, rightly condemned by commentators as an unconstitutional overreach into foreign affairs by Victorian Labor, binds Victorians to the Communist Chinese Party.

Furthermore, Victorian Labor has undermined Australia’s relationship reset with the Chinese Communist Party.  If Daniel Andrews won’t respect the Australian constitution, there’s no way he’ll be able to hold the Chinese Communist Party back from bypassing or even overthrowing the Australian constitution. Contempt for it is already sown. The proverbial cat is out of the bag. Good luck trying to put it back in.

The rise of the Victorian “Vichy” government under marshal Daniel Andrews, and their Communist Chinese puppet masters, has tightened the noose already being quietly wrapped around the neck of all Australians.

Though some may cheer, “all hail the Victorian “Vichy” Government and her Chinese Communist puppet masters.”

Let the rest of us say, “We will not go quietly into that cold night. We will never surrender. We will rage, rage against the dying of the light.” [ii]

May God have mercy on us all.


References:

[i] Richardson, G. Biggest Bully on the block can’t run and can’t hide, The Australian, paper edition, sourced 20th May 2020.

[ii] Dylan Thomas paraphrased

First published on Caldron Pool, 24th May 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020

In a speech for the National Press Club on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, delivered the equivalent of a State of the Union address. From its content to his delivery, it was obvious that the Prime Minister was addressing the nation, not just the top end town.

His address didn’t present a government in damage control, but a government that is in control. Morrison was right to not use the opportunity to give ground to noisy dishonest critics on social media. Many of whom come across as detached from everyday Australia, and seem to exist only as a deliberate distraction anyway.

Morrison kept his cool during the peak of that crisis. Neither being dismayed nor swayed by the selfish, loud-mouthed distractions which have sent many a leader running to the hills in fear of social media disapproval.

By not following the crazed rabbit down its self-absorbed rabbit hole, Morrison communicated that he is unlike his haters, who seem to be feverously ranting on social media 18 hours a day. Unlike his dishonest critics, Morrison talked to, not at the Australian people. What a nation of hard workers heard was that like them, Morrison has his sleeves rolled up. He is hard at work with and for them, actively looking to implement practical solutions to genuine national concerns. Not chase speculation, or stroke over-inflated Twitterarti egos and emotion, by constantly apologising to them, or making decisions based on a false need to appease their abuse.

Former Sky News political commentator, David Speers partly shares this view, calling the speech a ‘double-down, rather than a ‘reset’, showing a leader ‘who knows his own weaknesses – is on the defensive, unwilling to cede ground to his critics’.

Morrison isn’t a saint, and he knows it. This ability to use what Speers calls “knowledge of his own weaknesses” is a strength. Rather than weakening his leadership, Morrison inadvertently triggers those who’ve deemed him to be the enemy, simply by being a Prime Minister in the truest send of the word – first servant; a servant leader. What’s left exposed isn’t a death wound to the Morrison government, but the existence of a bigoted minority; flapping their hands in a furious attempt to keep control of their false narratives, quickly trying to shred the evidence that reveals their true nature, manipulative strategies, and dubious ideological agendas.

The strategy of resolve and resilience is working for the LNP. This is proven by the steady hand of the Prime Minister’s leadership, which includes his response to targeted and co-ordinated attacks during the Bushfire crisis. Look at how these full frontal assaults appeared to have the direct involvement of Twitter. When tweets from Leftist commentators, motivated by opportunism, all saturated with hate, showed up in the newsfeeds of unrelated accounts, it looked suspiciously like a Twitter backed Leftist attack on the Prime Minister.

Morrison’s first major speech of the year reasserted the strength’s of his government, dot pointing the LNP’s achievements since the May, 2019 election. Packaged into the address was an outline of goals and initiatives.

Summarising one of the Prime Minister’s major points, Speers rightfully identified how the speech sought to indict the states in culpability for the Bushfire crisis. Instead of leaving responsibility at the feet of the states, the Prime Minister proposes to ensure that the Federal Government has more of an ability to remedy, rescue from and respond to natural disasters, navigating constitutional concerns, and cutting through bureaucratic red tape.

As Morrison stated:

‘To date, the role of the Commonwealth has been limited in responding to natural disasters has been limited to responding to requests for assistance from state governments. They judge the time and form of support needed in making that request.
But I must say, the scale of the bushfires this season – not least their simultaneous reach across many borders – has demonstrated to me the limits of these arrangements…
…As I’ve said before, I have been very conscious of testing the limits of constitutionally defined roles and responsibilities during this bushfire season.
But I believe there is now a clear community expectation that the Commonwealth should have the ability to respond in times of national emergency and disasters, particularly through deployment of our defence forces in circumstances where the life and property of Australians has been assessed to be under threat at that scale.’

Ex-Tony Abbott staffer, Peta Credlin gave the Prime Minister ‘full marks’, calling this is one of two things Scott Morrison ‘did very well’ during the speech. First, ‘He wrapped up the government’s response to the Bushfire crisis declaring that the national government was no longer going to take the back seat in national disasters.’ Second, the Prime Minister outlined clear, decisive, pre-emptive actions that they hope will protect Australia (and subsequently the Government) from the Coronavirus crisis currently impacting China. The Sky news host acknowledged how problematic these initiatives might be, and voiced support for the idea of a referendum, which would seek to give the federal government constitutional powers to act during a national crisis.

The ideas and initiatives laid out by the Prime Minister are pragmatic. Morrison’s address to the nation is a win for the LNP and it should resonate well with the Australian people. Especially those who are fed up with being shouted at by anti-Morrison fanatics on social media platforms.

I still am tempted to view Scott Morrison as a compromise between what Australians need, and what some loud mouthed Leftist Australians want. For all of his resilience and resolve, Morrison is still silent on abortion. The religious freedom bill aside, he appears elusive and unsupportive of Christians unjustly targeted by LGBT activists, and he still seems to be unsure about how to respond to the largely Marxist, apocalyptic climate change cults.

Still, along with the current LNP line-up, Scott Morrison has shown his government to be a political force to be reckoned with. If Morrison can continue to follow this path, and not kneel in fear before the vanity metrics of social media, and the hateful hashtag trends on Twitter, the LNP will be more than well on their way to being the government Australians voted for. May it be so.


References:

FULL Transcript of Scott Morrison’s speech, sourced 30th January, 2020

First published on Caldron Pool, 31st January, 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

Nicholas Best recounts a little known story about two Lancaster bombers. One crewed by Canadians, the other by Australians*.

Early on April 29th, 1945 the two Lancasters took off from East Anglia. They flew along a previously agreed upon ‘corridor’. The route was ‘prescribed by the occupying German forces in Holland, who being cut off from Germany due to the Allied advance’, had uncharacteristically turned to the Allies for aid.

They did so, on behalf of the Dutch who were suffering through a famine triggered by the Nazis. Similar to German occupation of Belgium in World War One, the German starvation of the Dutch was a means of punishment for assisting the Allies, by way of a rail strike, which had ‘prevented German reinforcements going up against the Allied assault in Arnhem during 1944.’

Best writes that the situation was dire, Holland, ‘after months of disruption as the fighting came closer, had finally run out of food.’ The situation was so bad, that ‘many Dutch had eaten their pets, and were now living on grass, sugar beet, and tulip bulbs.’

Despite ‘not having the authority to agree to a ceasefire’ [i], level-headed German officials who had sought out the Allies, reached an accord of truce. Thus, allowing the Allies to send much needed humanitarian aid.

Not completely trusting of the German truce accord, the Allies flew a test mission along the agreed upon corridor.

The test flight, as Stephen Dando-Collins wrote, ‘had all the hallmarks of a suicide mission.’ These bomber crews were ‘guinea pigs’ testing out the German agreement to not fire on the Lancaster’s flying low to deliver humanitarian aid to the starving Dutch. [ii]

The ominous mission was a success, and it kick-started Operation Manna – an unprecedented humanitarian air drop, which involved 200 bombers, flying at low levels, dropping much needed supplies into Nazi occupied Holland.

The first bomber, ‘Bad Penny’, flown by Canadian, Bob Upcott led the way. He described the event in detail, testifying that,

“when we passed the Dutch coast we saw anti-aircraft guns that pointed their muzzles in our direction. We even saw tanks that tried to keep their gun barrels on us. We were looking right down a number of barrels. All the guns were still manned…The Australian pilot was on my port side [left], flying echelon port. I dropped first when we were over the race track, while the Australian dropped almost the same moment.” [iii]**

The second Lancaster was flown by F/O. Peter G.L Collett, from Sydney. He was 21 at the time, and already a veteran. Along with the Canadian crew of the first Lancaster, Collett and his Australian crew* effectively spearheaded the humanitarian mission.

Collett passed away in 2012. Although his heroics are mentioned in passing chapters about Operation Manna/Chowhound, no Australian books have been written about him or his crew. Collett’s bravery isn’t taught in schools. His efforts and heroism currently only exist as a footnote.

While Upcott and his crew are celebrated, the same cannot be said for Collett.  Unlike Collett, Upcott and crew remained on as an integral part of the Manna Operation, drawing a bigger spotlight on the original flight into the unknown than was given to Collett.

Collett’s absence from the spotlight appears to have been due to him being reassigned to Operation Exodus. Collett’s service record reflects as much. From the dates 1st February, 1945, to 19th May, 1945, under 101st Squadron, right next “Bomber”, below the word “Bombing”, and above the word “Exodus”, sits the word “Supplies”, where the word Manna test flight should perhaps also be written.

Exodus ran from the 3rd April to the 31st May, 1945. It involved the repatriation of liberated Allied POWs from Nazi camps in Europe. Exodus itself was an enormous undertaking, ‘1,000 people per day were brought into British receiving camps; totaling 354,000 ex-prisoners of war by the end of May.’

At 21, Collett piloted a Lancaster bomber full of humanitarian supplies, at low level, with a full crew, on a mission of mercy into occupied Nazi territory. All based on the assurance of Nazi officials who had said that the ‘mercy drop’ would be allowed to proceed without harassment from the well-armed occupying German forces.

Collett is a national hero. Yet, his heroism and the heroism of his crew, isn’t mainstream knowledge in Australia. Even the Australian War Memorial’s official page for Operation Manna, called ‘Food from Heaven’, is silent about the test flight.

For an Australian/s to have played such a significant role in the relief operation, and for there to be little to no recognition of their daring and bravery, shows a real blind spot in how Australians are taught history, and how Australians embrace the importance of knowing what History teaches.

This is something to lament. This is something, we as a society, need to correct. If not for the men and women whose bold shoulders we now stand upon, at least for the generations they saved, in order to pass on the freedoms and responsibilities that allowed their own generation to stand against tyranny, in all its devouring and grotesque forms.

Lest we forget.


References:

[i] Best, N. 2012. Five Days That Shocked The World, Osprey Publishing, (pp.83-85)

[ii] Dando-Collins, S. 2015. Operation Chowdown, St. Martin’s Press (p.119)

*Confusion over Collett’s crew reinforces my point about the lack of historical interest in the Australian contribution to Operation Manna, from Australians. There are contradictory reports from various sources about whether his crew was an all Australian crew, British or mixed British and Australian.

** ‘NX579, No. 101 Sqn. Piloted by F/S Bob Upcott of Windsor, Ontario. Up at 1207, returned at 1444. 274 bags of food dropped. Second aircraft was PB350, No. 101 Sqn. Piloted by P/O Peter Collett of Sydney, Australia. Up at 1215, returned at 1442, 284 bags of food dropped.’ (RAFCommands)

First published on Caldron Pool, 15th December, 2019.

Windmill pic credit:  Vishwas Katti on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2019

It’s a peculiar thing to see Australians, who naturally have a caustic view of Americans, along with contempt and suspicion of any kind of pageantry and ceremony, embrace American cultural traditions which involve pageantry, and ceremony.

If the irony fits, wear it. None of what I’ve just said is untrue.

Remember the hate and mockery thrown at Tony Abbott when his government reinstated knights and dame honors for Australians? Only to have Malcolm Turnbull ditch it, after he lead the take down of Abbott’s reign as Prime Minister, and was himself enthroned as Prime Minister in a bloodless coup.

Should Australians completely surrender and adopt the American tradition of Halloween, (one that reflects pagan ritual more than the All Saints Day it is founded upon), why stop there?

If we’re going to go “all the way with LBJ”, let’s also adopt great freedom loving American traditions such as being able to freely wear the Christian faith on our sleeves, without the fear of being dismissed, and ridiculed, as bigoted, religious nut jobs. If we’re to follow Uncle Sam’s sometimes misguided children and accommodate Halloween, why not also accommodate the mighty North American Thanksgiving holiday – albeit with a unique Australian flavor?

It’s not too far of a stretch. Australia already has an unofficial National Day of Thanks. The day became a reality in 2003, is mainly practiced by Australian Christian community groups and happens on the last Saturday of May each year. More to the point, Norfolk Island residents already celebrate Thanksgiving, following the ‘legacy of American whaling ships that would make frequent stops to the island during the late 1800’s.’ So why not go the extra mile?

After all, it’s the cohesion brought about by a deep gratitude for family, faith, and freedom, all packed in with a sense of responsibility, respect for history and a binding community, that makes those national days work in Canada and the United States.

These are embedded attributes of a cohesive community that Australian’s have lost, and in some respects may never have had in the first place; largely due to our worship of self. Our inherited, arrogant enlightenment, hyper-individualism, the i/it in “me culture”. The me, myself & I, over against the i/thou.

Aussies who fail to understand this reality will ultimately fail in adequately adopting American traditions. They’ll find themselves stumbling in the dark in fruitless attempts to celebrate them.

Such an embrace of tradition, ignorant of that tradition’s meaning and history, is a dangerous, foolish participation in an empty ritual. It goes from one innocent flirtation to an embarrassing gullible embrace of anything and everything.

In the case of Halloween, it unnecessarily places vulnerable children, and a society wrestling with its insecure agnostism, weakened identity, and anxiety ridden lack of self-understanding, in harm’s way.

As put by Saiko Woods, a Pastor on Facebook who simplified the content of Paul’s words to the Romans:

“Yes men” and gullible women are the lifeblood of EVERY cult!” (Romans 16:17-18, ESV)

The simple, blunt truth is that Americans know how to do community far better than Australians. For all its benefits, enlightenment individualism has created a cavernous hole in Australian society. This chasm isn’t hard to see. “Me culture” has meant that families become strangers, rarely meeting more than once a year. Neighbors no longer know each other’s names, let alone neighbors knowing anything about each other. This makes seeing groups of children dress up, and troll the street asking for lollies seem clumsy, and hollow, even desperate.

It’s also not unreasonable to suggest that Australians adopting Halloween is a sign that the religion of secular humanism is found wanting.  The embrace of Halloween is a symptom of longing for the transcendent, that which exists outside of ourselves; a longing for God, faith, family and community.

Australians adopting Halloween could been seen as a longing for familial dysfunction to end; a longing for the gaping hole produced by enlightenment individualism – endemic to Australian society – to be filled. If so, the tragic irony is that God, family, faith, and responsibility, the very things which can fill this chasm, are often the very same things written off as anachronistic, too awkward, worthless, or inconvenient.

This is ultimately why adopting American traditions may fail or even become destructive. The only antidote to this is for Australians to also adopt, and accommodate, the fundamental foundations so closely associated with those who celebrate these traditions. We cannot have one without the other.

These foundations are built on faith, which both justly binds and compassionately set frees. These foundations built in freedom, under grace in Christ, ground healthy families and bring community together.

If Australians are to embrace Halloween, let this be a cautious, informed embrace, with room allowed for it to be rejected. If Australians are to follow North America, let it include Thanksgiving, and a strong sense of freedom, responsibility, community, faith and family. All of which, despite its forced dysfunctional decline over the years, is still very much part of what made and makes America great.


First published on Caldron Pool, 1st November, 2019

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2019

Light. Shine. Bright.

#Jesusisvictor ✊🏻