Did you contain your excitement upon learning the latest Australian of the Year? It is David Morrison, a former soldier, in case you haven’t followed the drum-banging, medicine-show enthusiasm of the ABC, which for weeks had been promoting the upcoming announcement with breathless gusto, as if an honour formerly bestowed upon big sook Adam Goodes and richly remunerated fantasist Tim Flannery had not been diminished by its former stewards. Morrison, the very model of a modern military man, immediately confirmed his worth and fitness by endorsing the need for Australia to become a republic. That’s the way to embody the national spirit, by advocating a change to the Constitution that deeply divided the country in 1999 and, if he and the latest PM have their way, will soon do so again!
Morrison has other virtues, true. On his way to the top award, he endured “a conversation” with Anne Summers (above) during which he was not observed, not even once, to roll his eyes, wear a blue tie or glance at his watch. All his answers were polite, and he studiously avoided what feminists have taken to calling “mansplaining”. If you’re not familiar with the concept, this means providing simple concepts to simple minds with deferential pauses and all the requisite concessions to opinionated ignorance modern equality demands. Ms Summers would have been grossly offended had Morrison stated that the first business of soldiers, sailors and airpersons is to stand ready for killing the nation’s enemies and, generally, blowing things up. Like those who decide which of 25 million Australians is most fit to float for the next 12 months at the apogee of the national ideal, she grasps that the military exists primarily to combat sexism, and apparently Morrison does too.
Cate McGregor, another finalist and military veteran, might have done an even better job, but somehow missed out, which is quite astonishing. Morrison merely articulates feminist concerns and talking points, whereas McGregor has undergone various procedures, absorbed doses of this hormone or that, in order to insist that others recognise a woman of the martial stamp. Apparently it works, as McGregor has lamented how, ever since the transition, she has been oppressed in various subtle and insidious ways. As The Guardian explained,
Men are opening doors for her and letting her step out of elevators first, making her acutely aware of the ‘unstated element of power’ in those seemingly courteous acts of kindness.
There are only two entrants in the pick-your-gender stakes and it seems McGregor has found something to complain about with both. Expect to hear more of this, a lot more, as McGregor is now moving on to a new career as a full-time publicist for transgenderism.
The surprise in this year’s nominations is that the list of candidates included a pair of no-hopers that, one assumes, were added for no better reason than to make up the numbers.
Seriously, how could nurse Anne Carey and burns surgeon John Greenwood ever have hoped to install the AOTY trophy on either of their mantelpieces? Carey did nothing more than risk her life treating ebola patients in Africa, while Greenwood has devoted his intellect and professional skills to the trivial matter of rescuing those with horrendous injuries from lifetimes of pain and disfigurement. In the judges’ estimation neither could hold a candle to those pressing for the re-labelling of his and hers toilet doors.
Next year, should either Carey or Greenwood be nominated once more, they will know to express the approved opinions about a republic and, of course, the scourge of sexism. If they wish to be feted, it is vital to get a grip on what is genuinely important.
Anne Summers’ endorsement of Morrison can be absorbed via the link below.
— roger franklin