Thursday, 26 January 2012

Ashamed

I know Canada has one too, but most self-respecting countries don't have a day on which they celebrate being them. We do though, and it's today - we call it, unsurprisingly, 'Australia Day' and it makes me uncomfortable.

The thing is, I love this country but we are already revoltingly smug, (with undertones of anxiety that we're not actually quite as great as we think we are). Rather than self-congratulation, self-criticism - not self-hatred, but a proper sense that, while we have achieved a lot and created a very nice place to live, there are still plenty of things we could improve, (as there always are, everywhere) - seems to me to be the healthy option. Instead, we have our immigration minister today stating, if the Sydney Morning Herald is to be believed:

"We say without a shred of arrogance or parochialism that Australia's the best country in the world."

This government inspired 'celebration of a nation', (actually I think that phrase was for the bicentennial, to be completely fair), has, as do most government inspired nation building exercises, a faintly North Korean tinge about it, in my view, (although - and perhaps this is one of the areas we could reflect on as we indulge in the self-criticism I recommend - we're not self-disciplined enough to do the synchronised displays they are so fond of.)

(If there are no more blog posts here in the next few days, it will mean I have been kicked to death by a crowd of green-and-gold, (dreadful colour combination), wearing Aussie-Aussie-Aussie-Oy-Oy-Oy zealots.)

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