Prime Minister John Howard has called the move stupid and offensive, while Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd says it is “political correctness gone mad”.
Naturally, the leaders of the two major political parties would say that. Rudd after Howard especially. Howard most particularly because he so desperately wants, nay, needs to be seen by the electorate as the quintessential patriotic Aussie. Kevin Rudd is being led along by his political nose. What he really believes is not known because of his party’s need to be seen to be either strenuously opposed to Howard’s ideals in a strong public position, or with him in a perceived public position.
Bannerman applauds Andrew Bartlett and the democrats for stating the bleeding obvious. The symbol of nationalism – which is all a flag is, apart from a collection of stitched coloured cloth, is being used by those who see it to their benefit to do so. Such was the ethos of National Socialism in Germany, circa 1932. At every turn, the swastika showed the German peoples allegiance to an ideal. Just what ‘ideal’ are Australian’s being aligned with in this politically promoted allegiance to a flag which remembers a nations colonial heritage and nothing else?
The Democrats are quite right in supporting the stand of the Big Day Out’s organisers. Whatever our nation’s flag may be, whatever it may represent, it must not be permitted to be used as a rallying point for martyrs and jingoists, nor must it be permitted to be denigrated by those whose focus is other than a peaceful, united and rational Australian community.