If were going to engage in so much violence, then why not
celebrate it, ask Gideon Polya and Richard Hil.
Whats all this talk about peace? Why should Australia celebrate
peace when we appear to be such a violence-prone nation? Someone
recently suggested that instead of staging peace rallies, Australia
should hold a National Violence Day, such is this nations dalliance
with this most aberrant of practices. No doubt, such views will
upset the Pollyannas amongst us, but can Australia, in light of its
past and current predilections, claim to be a peace-loving
Take a look around violence is endemic: on the telly, in the
movies, in the language we use, and often in our homes and
institutions. And, lest we forget, we have a very violent past:
consider our First Nations people, South Sea Islanders, Chinese
gold prospectors, convicts, trade unionists, women.
We remain violent towards Indigenous people, locking them up in
ever greater numbers, ignoring recommendations in Royal Commission
reports (as far back as 1991), denying many the basics of life, and
taking away their children at alarming rates (under the
justification of welfare and protection).
But its not only Indigenous kids whove been torn away from their
families over recent decades (and currently at a record rate).
Consider the removal of the Forgotten Australians half a million of
them or the thousands of unaccompanied migrant children from
Britain treated so appallingly; or the many infants snatched from
their impoverished mums the so-called forced adoptees.
Many of our past and present political and economic leaders have
wallowed in violence, more often than not for the most spurious and
self-interested of reasons. Take todays current crop of political
chiefs. So committed are they to exporting the instruments of death
and destruction, that the Coalition government has committed over
$3 billion to help businesses increase arms sales around the
Australias arms exports are, were told, a paltry $1.5 billion
per annum. We can do a lot better than that, they insist. And
theyre not all that bothered about where we send these weapons.
Weve supplied arms and equipment to some less-than-peaceful
countries like Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Israel, Sri Lanka and Turkey,
Indonesia, the Philippines, and more recently, Saudi Arabia a