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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Australian Culture

Updated: May 2, 2021

Today it seems appropriate to present a report on our Prime minister’s powerful speech on matters cultural, but also some more worrying developments covered today by The Australian’s front page and indeed throughout the newspaper.

The PM begins: ‘I want to talk about a topic tonight that is dear to your hearts — community. Community of individuals, a nation of individuals.’ …

‘At the heart of our Judeo-Christian heritage are two words. Human dignity. Everything else flows from this.

‘Seeing the inherent dignity of all human beings is the foundation of morality. It makes us more capable of love and compassion, of selflessness and forgiveness.

‘Because if you see the dignity and worth of another person, another human being, the beating heart in front of you, you’re less likely to disrespect them, insult or show contempt or hatred for them, or seek to cancel them, as is becoming the fashion these days.

‘You’re less likely to be indifferent to their lives, and callous towards their feelings.’ …

Read the full speech by opening the link immediately below.

Mr Morrison’s full speech.

Greg Sheridan comments: ‘Scott Morrison has answered Kevin Rudd’s challenge and told us exactly what the most important consequence of his religious faith are for his politics: it is the belief that every human being is possessed of an innate human dignity that transcends all other considerations.’

Now I wish to examine some further comments, most of which refer to aspects of Australia’s culture that are far less inspiring. I do not mean to criticise the authors of these contributions but rather point out matters that I find alarming.

Also on the front page of the Oz, Rebecca Urban says: ‘Australia’s Christian heritage has been erased from a proposed new national school curriculum that promotes Indigenous history, culture and perspectives and teaches children that British colonisation was “an invasion”.’

Henry Ergas, also starting on page 1, says: ‘Swarms of nameless individuals form electronic lynch mobs that surge, search and destroy, challenging not only our laws but our culture.’

Glenda Korporaal and Will Glascow on page 2 say: ‘Tourism next in Beijing’s Crosshairs’.

Another article points out that China has almost completely banished Aussie wines from their dining tables. Here we have the CCP attempting to destroy our trading culture. It is great to see our failure to submit, and even to be brave enough to stop China’s ‘Belt and Road’ loans for the mighty state of Victoria.

Another sign of degenerative culture is the widespread objection of the comment by a senior public official to his view about ‘the drums of war’. Seems to me like an important message for us all and a hurry up to improve our defence capacity.

Before commenting on current economic policy, I would like to mention another cultural case known to Mrs Thornton. At her university there are powerful cultural currents, some of which are well known and discussed (pass all who pay the toll) but others of which are interestingly amusing. Two lady academics from the greater Asian continent find the meekness of many Australian males ludicrous. ‘Tell your sons to stand up to their wives’, say the Asian ladies. ‘Make sure you bring up your sons not to be weak.” As members of other cultural traditions these ladies are free to say what the rest of us may believe but dare not voice.

The economy

Like the USA, Australia under the stewardship of Josh Frydenberg is embarking on a great Keynesian experiment. ‘Forget austerity’ Josh says, ‘We have to rescue the Australian economy. Wages will not rise until the rate of unemployment has a 4 in front of it’.

So far the economy has outperformed the experts, including the Reserve Bank and Treasury. This is at least in part due to massive economic stimulus. The problem is how will the massive stimulus work. Current stimulus is simply unsustainable, meaning it has to be reversed at some stage.

Josh is a brave Treasurer who has implemented great stimulus. His is a massive, well-meant message that goes with extraordinary government spending, near-zero cash interest rates and generous ‘modern monetary policy’ implemented by enormous printing of money. This may succeed and make Josh (and Janet Yelland in the USA) the new Keyneses. But imagine the panic when cash interest rates begin to rise, new money begins to be withdrawn and taxes are imposed (especially on supposedly ‘wealthy’ pensioners). This may go with greatly increased ordinary inflation combined with continued asset inflation.

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