If Australia Day isn’t contentious enough every year, the Order of Australia awards seem to be generating even more cringeworthy headlines.
Each year, activists become more emboldened to disrupt a day which celebrates the date Aussies were no longer British subjects – 26th January, 1949. We have already pointed out that January 20th, 1788 was the official date that the British First Fleet “invaded” Australia. We presume that if the British hadn’t colonised Australia, some other nation would have eventually discovered the land mass – perhaps Yuri Gagarin or Alan Shepard as they orbited earth.
Who is on the chopping block this time? None other than tennis legend Margaret Court AO, who has been promoted to AC, the highest level, in this year’s awards.
Unfortunately, the committee that decides on who receives the Order of Australia clearly hasn’t consulted the left on who is worthy to receive them. Sorry, if one does not conform to their whim, they are not entitled to be congratulated for service to country. Simple as that, no matter what one’s personal achievements may have been.
It was only last year that the left went out of its way to try and cancel Bettina Arndt’s award on the grounds she wasn’t ideologically appropriate given her “dangerous” views which included recognising men as victims of domestic violence too. We wrote a piece on that very topic here.
This year, former ABC journalist, Kerry O’Brien, has declined his award in protest, claiming that honouring Court is “deeply insenstive” and “divisive” presumably due to her strong religious beliefs which include being against same sex marriage.
This follows transgender Dr Clara Tuck Meng Soo who handed back her OAM in protest on hearing the news. If Soo was consistent, she should have declined her 2016 OAM on the basis that Court had already been awarded her AO back in 2007. Why now?
If we get back to reality, given that same-sex-couples can legally wed in Australia, Court’s views have become utterly irrelevant. However, under the constitution, she has a right to express her opinions. We don’t agree with her stance but we certainly don’t believe in dictating to those we have conflicting views with.
Furthermore, to all the same sex couples who detest Margaret Court with a passion, they can legally throw democracy in her face as they make their vows and there is absolutely nothing she can do about it. “Take that, bigot!” They get the last laugh. One imagines a bulk of the LGBT community hasn’t lost any sleep over the views of the tennis great.
By the same token, we have often vehemently disagreed with O’Brien’s points of view but have always respected his right to express them and believe his award was justly granted on the basis of his long-term success as a journalist at the ABC, as much as Court was honoured for her services to tennis for which she still retains the record – 24 Grand Slams. That is to say the committee hands out awards based on the same standards.
Maybe next year’s Order of Australia nominations should be conducted via Twitter and chaired by Sleeping Giants, Mad F*cking Witches and Get Up.
While we are at it, the NSW Transport ferries that bear the names of the First Fleet must be as “deeply insensitive” and “divisive” to our nation’s First People as Margaret Court’s AC is to the LGBT community. Time to get the faux outrage mob to protest at Circular Quay and demand the vessels be scuttled even though they have been in service since the mid-1980s.
For a change, instead of this penchant for cancelling those some deplore, why not use superior intellect and debate to challenge those we disagree with. Let free and open debate convince people. Silencing voices only hardens those positions. Sunlight is always the best disinfectant.
In closing, the one thing we continue to fail to see is any compelling evidence. If Court was stripped of her AC can we quantify how the lives of those groups who activists claim to represent will be improved? Same for changing Australia Day to Invasion Day. Who benefits? We are all for being inclusive, but causes are much better served when supported by facts.