Australia Day 2024

Notes on Another Depressing Australia Day

30 January 2024

3.2 MINS

The West is devolving into tribalism. And we all know how that ends.

Balaclava-clad neo-Nazis marching through Sydney at the weekend was depressingly predictable.

Thankfully, the group of 60 men was intercepted before they got to the city where they had planned to confront an Invasion Day rally.

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns told the media:

“There is no place for this kind of fascism, neo-Nazism or far-right extremism on this great day Australia Day and the vast, vast majority of people that live in this State will completely reject any notion or idea that this group of far-right extremists and neo-Nazis are needed on our national day.”

Minns is right. But our political elites might want to take a look in the mirror when wondering how we got to this point.

Double Standards

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

“Well, I was horrified by those images. They have no role in Australia.”

Indeed. May I add, many of us wonder why he is horrified by “images” of a few dozen blokes who didn’t actually do anything, while being silent about thousands of protestors in capital cities chanting “abolish Australia”.

The ugly backlash against the constant demonisation of European settlement cannot come as a surprise.

Whilst most Australians sigh wearily at the culture wars, there are some who will react with a brutal logic that, frankly, we cannot afford.

They will conclude that ‘if you won’t respect our past, why should we respect yours? If you won’t honour our culture, why should we honour yours? And if you hate our society so much, why should I agree to you having a place in it? ‘

Along this path lies a huge amount of pain and probably violence.


Tragically, there are many who seem intent on pushing us to that point.

The racists in balaclavas whom the PM deplores and the so-called anti-racists declaring January 26 “Invasion Day”, whom the PM ignores, have a great deal in common.

Each group reduces the other to abstract colour identities, thus legitimising the other and continually raising the stakes.

Caught in the middle are the majority of us who are desperately searching for some common ground. And yet we get eaten up twice — first by the anti-racists, and then by the racists.

The left and the far right make race, sex and gender essential rather than incidental to identity, and so doom us to unending and increasing conflict.


The answer, as usual, is found in our Christian roots.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

“In Christ there is neither male, nor female; Jew nor Gentile; slave nor free.”

This simple sentence demolishes identity politics.

It argues that while ethnicity, gender and status are real, they are entirely incidental.

It argues that there is an identity which supersedes all inherited characteristics.

If the West cannot agree upon something more essential than race, gender and sexuality, then we are doomed to devolve further and further into tribalism.

And history gives us a bloody guide as to how tribal societies end.

We rejected the church because we wanted to enjoy our Sundays free from moral lectures.

So now we get a moral lecture from Woolies every time we buy milk.

The Left calls this progress.

Word for the day: Oikophobia

It means a fear of your own culture or country.

Oikophobia is spreading like a virus around the Western world right now. Our educational facilities have taught a generation to fear their own civilisation as racist, hateful and bigoted.

My Sky News colleague Steve Price said on Friday that the fight to retain January 26 as Australia Day is now lost.

Pointing to huge crowds marching in Sydney and Melbourne to protest the day, he said it was time to “concede” that the argument was over.

“Today and this week convinced me that no matter what we do and say, the political activists … will just keep shouting, marching, waving incendiary banners and trashing the country that gives them the best standard of living in the world.

“January 26 in 2024 has finally broken me … as you know, I’m no quitter, but I ask you, what’s the point?”

I get his frustration.

But I would ask this — does anyone really believe that January 26 is the last thing we would be bullied into conceding?

It has never crossed my mind to stick an Aussie flag on my car for Australia Day… until this week.

So, on Thursday, I wandered over to our local shopping centre in search of the national flag.

Can you believe that The Reject Shop was the only retailer selling the Australian flag?

How apt. Because that’s exactly what motivated me to get one.

The Left has turned the celebration of Australia Day into a counter-culture move.

Whereas once waving the Aussie flag around was a bit daggy, it is now the ultimate act of rebellion.

Perhaps that explains why my 18-year-old sons wanted flags for their cars too.

Postscript: We couldn’t get flags. The Reject Shop had entirely sold out!


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

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  1. Stephen Brinton 30 January 2024 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Hi James
    Thank you for another provocative article. I entirely agree and as my own act of ‘rebellion’ I also went to the Reject Shop (as the only store selling Aussie flags – shame on the supermarkets) but they had sold out. It’s pretty sad when our country and flag are so despised. Keep reminding people of our heritage and of our demise as a country if we neglect it.

  2. Neil Harvey 30 January 2024 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    I was able to buy TWO Australian flags (car size) at Coles – the second time I bought the only one left. They are both now happily attached to the tail of the little windmill we have in our front yard.

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