3 Dec 2010, Comments (12)

Hurrah for Commonsense!

Author: Helen

It’s not often that you see an office worker pin up a newspaper article in her office in close proximity to the door, so that no-one walking in could fail to see it.

Hurrah for Ted!

DON’T let political correctness ruin Christmas, Ted Baillieu has warned schools and other community groups.
The Premier said Victorians should embrace the festive season.
He said schools should not back down from running Christmas pageants, concerts and nativity scenes for fear of offending minority groups.
“A Baillieu government expects school principals to take a reasonable and commonsense approach so all Victorian children have the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of Christmas,” he said.
The warning comes after some schools and community groups imposed Christmas bans in recent years.

Ah, “some schools and community groups”. Could some journo – I suppose it’s too much to hope for a Hun journo, but could someone with journalistic credentials please do an in-depth investigation to find out just how many schools and community groups are actively forbidding expressions of Christmas cheer? I suspect the answer might be “very few”, or “hardly any” or “really could not find any examples of Christmas festivities being forbidden as such, just an overwhelming meh-ness about the whole rampant sentimentality and consumerism thing”, but that might crimp the annual Festival of “Let’s Whine about Political Correctness”, or Boltmastide. In short, we have no way of knowing how much of this urban myth is true and how much is invented out of whole cloth, but Baillieu is getting unlimited traction by fixing this non-problem. So important, we’re told, is the Attack on Christmas that the editorial was written about it. “Premier’s Xmas gift to children!” “…Nativity scenes and children singing carols and exchanging cards could once again be part of Christmas celebrations at Victorian schools.” Funny, that, because carols and cards and all that malarkey have never ceased at this end of town.

Anyway, I am guessing our cube jockey, like the Hun commenters, swallowed this annual Boltmas legend whole and had the article displayed so that the exceedingly diverse collection of people who had to visit her office would have their unchristian noses jolly well rubbed in this happy news.

Can we please examine this earth-shattering rescue of Australian culture for a moment, because like most sweeping statements made by Liberals, it contains a pretty illiberal undercurrent. If the new Premier now says that organisations will no longer be allowed to ban tinsel and Santas and Bethlehem dioramas, does it follow – as it surely must – that such displays are now compulsory? Will legislation brought in, and how does that reconcile with the separation of Church and State (if the Federal government’s obsession with funding chaplains and Religious Ed and faith-based private schools hasn’t destroyed it already?) Or will dissenters simply be subtly monstered, like the one example they did find – some Public service wretch who has now been “counselled”?

I have, really, as a person whose mother was a staunch Anglican for many decades, tried my best to think how I might feel if I was a practicing Christian faced with the cancellation of my kid’s school’s nativity play in favour of some other kind of end of year celebration. As church and community groups regularly put on Carols by Candlelight and other celebrations, I hardly think I could claim that had destroyed my ability to celebrate my religious holiday in the way I see fit; just not in that particular place. I might even feel that religious belief and religious festivals are part of the private sphere. Sure, I could imagine I might be a bit pissed off if I was really keen on the whole thing, but I don’t think they would be nearly as pissed off as I am at having my taxes spent on chaplains, RE, and faith-based private schools. You gunna do something about that, Ted? Thought not.

Comments (12) »

  • antikva says:

    We’ve had it happen to our youngest at pre-school & primary school. They were not allowed anything remotely Christmassy, so not even poor old rudolph got a look in. It was stopped though each time it happened, but I’m pretty sure that was the parents efforts not a politicians.

  • Helen says:

    What was the “it” which was stopped each time?

  • Sarah says:

    It’s amazing to me how many journalists ignore their training and bandy the phrases “some,” “many,” and their ilk around, totally unsupported. Argh!

  • Helen says:

    Sarah, don’t forget “small but growing“!

  • bluerose says:

    I always found Oz to be that country where any desire or behaviour or idea was either illegal or compulsory.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ve been a bit busy to blog about this, but our school was on the front page of the local paper for “banning Christmas”. What actually happened was that a teacher asked her class what song they should do for the end of year connect. Perhaps something inclusive, she said. “does that mean we shouldn’t mention God?” enquired one child. Teacher said they should make everyone happy. They picked Mamma mia. Corny but inoffensive.

    Probably the same child went home, told his/her parents, who immediately told the local paper. The school started getting nasty anonymous calls accusing them of being Moslem lovers. Great way to attract good teachers to the public school system!

  • I wish that all reference to Christ (J.) Mas Day, was totally religious.
    I wish that the HolyDay off work was only allowed to people who actually practised Christian ethics.
    I wish it was not an orgy of expectation, shopping and drinking.
    I suspect that Big Ted is merely distracting us from something else he is up to. Bread and circuses, sops to the masses.
    OFFICES should not be used as soapboxes, and I hope that cube-jockey is not expecting a parcel from you at the knees-up.

  • lauredhel says:

    ” The school started getting nasty anonymous calls accusing them of being Moslem lovers.”

    I wonder who or what the callers worship? Clearly not a G/god of love.

  • Helen says:

    ABBA: Totally Muslim!!

  • Kath Lockett says:

    Helen you put your well-reasoned arguments together so well that all I can do is add a comment of ‘hear hear’ so that you know that there’s another person who agrees. Not the most eloquent approach but ‘Hear Hear!’

    Sapphire’s school calls it what really *is* for 99% of us – an end of year party. No religion, just a party. Easy.

  • Bernice says:

    Kinda not surprising from the bloke who’s gunna allow cattle grazing in the snow field national parks. That’s right Ted, don’t let FACTS get in the way. Those High Country Cattle Men aren’t doing any harm, they’re Icons. Just like tinsel and carols and and anyone else who can distract the punters as a new mob gather round the trough.

  • Helen says:

    Kath – I’m one of those people who take compliments ungraciously ‘cos I’m just overwhelmed *shuffles feet* *cough* thank you! I am all unworthy! Bernice – I’m gutted about the alps. Just gutted.

    (I’m also one of those bloggers who aren’t polite enough to respond individually to all their commenters. Soz!)

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