27 April 2009

this is a great country (*)

See this letter to the Ed of the SMH today:

In Australian politics, rarely does a leader of Malcolm Turnbull's stature appear. This man began his leadership as a standout and has been reduced to a sniper by his party. The ideology of Abbott and Costello has betrayed his leadership style to his detriment and the detriment of this great country. There is simply no one else on the conservative side of politics - local, state or federal - who can hold a candle to Turnbull. In a desert of nomads he was the one bright light that could have attracted a following. Now that has been extinguished. Liberal and National Party factions are tearing the federal Coalition apart on a daily basis. Their trump card has been eliminated from within and it is a sad old commentary on a sad old party.
Shaun Newman Townsville (Qld)

It's pretty silly but it's not the panegyric (?) to Turnbull that gets me (hey, we all have our weaknesses) but the phrase "this great country."

Why does anyone seeking to make some obscure point have to remind their reader/s that Australia is "great?" You wouldn't say "so-so" or appalling because love of country is pretty much self-evident, otherwise you get on a boat or plane, depending on your circumstances (such as, do you have a sound business relationship with someone who is the "scum of the earth" or do you actually prefer an Indon fishing vessel to Qantas)?

Adding "great" doesn't add to your argument. Pollies are always guilty of this inane, reflexive usage. Mrs VVB and I, like many (probably most) Aussies who have lived overseas, understand very deeply what a wonderful and special place we have here. But we don't feel obliged to shout it all the time (or fly the flag from the front lawn or car, for that matter).

Nationalism, leave it alone.

This foregoing, quite inconsequential point has in fact only been a lead-in to my advising you that VVB will be on a few days' break while its owner is away on business.

Talk amongst yourselves, smoke if you wish.

(*) So I googled for a suitable song title or band name for the post. And blow me down, look what I found. After I'd finished retching, I realised I'd just proven my point. Go ahead, you know you want to.


Sam the "Great" Dog said...

I think "this great country" is used to imply that we need someone of similar stature to lead it. Viz., the current mob aren't good enough and "this great country" needs a "great leader" like Talcolm.

As for a song title, how did Icehouse's "Great Southern Land" get by you?

phil said...

I used it on 27 March. Could have used it again but I was so appalled by what I found, I thought it really needed to be shared.

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