G’day all you Bruces and Sheilas! Happy Australia Day!
I like Australians. They are allegedly Irish people with a criminal record or Irish people with a suntan.
Not easy to pick an Australian Flag. I should have gone with the Aboriginal Flag or a Geeen/Gold “Southern Cross”. But I have gone with the Eureka Battle Flag from the 1850s…arguably the first Flag of Australia.
Eureka was a gold mining centre and the scene of a pitched battle between Australian Colonial Militia and miners…mostly Irish but with a surprisingly high number of other nationalities including a Scottish Jew and at least one ex-American slave from Maryland.
Eureka Stockade was a significant milestone in Australian History. Six Government militia or police were killed and an unknown number of rebels (lets say fifty) were killed during the fighting and subsequent massacre. The leading rebels were actually acquitted and some including Peter Lalor went on to have successful careers…although Lalor’s legacy is mixed.
For nearly a century, Aboriginals have been persecuted by Australian authprities and “official” Australia is a struggle between British loyalists with affection for the “Mother Country” and those of the “Wild Colonial Boy”/Ned Kelly faction.
Even in the 1960s, the repulsive Anglophile Robert Menzies was Australian Prime Minister. His sycophantic misty-eyed admiration for the young Mrs Elizabeth Windsor is embarrassing. More sinister was Australia’s policy of “white only” migration.
Rather like “white” South Africa was unable to deal with the fact that it was actually on the African continent, “white” Australia seemed incapable of dealing with the fact that it is in Oceania or more recently it seems to have positioned itself in South East Asia.
Australia has changed and is changing. It is assessible and there is migration from Greece, Croatia, Italy…Eastern Europe…Vietnam, Malaysia and Asia.
The Demographic has changed. But does that bring the dream of a Republic of Australia any closer? Modern Australia apologises for the treatment of Aboriginals, has annual competitions to find a new flag, recognises the historic links with England and finds its own version of multiculturalism with a nod to its stereotypical national identity…the Ocker culture of Les Patterson, Crocodile Dundee and good natured, vulgar sexism. (Can Sexism ever be good natured?). And swigging tinnies of Fosters endears Australians to many.Political correctness means it is no longer acceptable to “throw another Pom (Englishman) on the barbeque” but successive Australian sports teams manage a superiority over all things English.
Throw in “Advance Australia Fair”, its confident national anthem and carefully structured respect for Dominion history (ANZAC culture), allies with USA and Britain enduring beyond WW2 to Afghanistan in the 21st Century and the gerrymandered Referendums on Republicanism….and it all underscores change in Australia.
It is effectively Australian LetsGetAlongerism.
In Norn Iron, LetsGetAlongerism has a default unionist position.
In Australia, LetsGetAlongerism has a default monarchist position.
Of course the present “monarch” Mrs Windsor is personally popular.
As she is now in her mid 80s, Australian realists recognise it would be almost insulting to her to back Republicanism. How they would feel about “King Charles” and his lovely consort Camilla is of course a different question.
So…Advance Australia Fair…to a Republic…eventually.