TODAY IS AUSTRALIA DAY and who better to go to for an informed New Zealand perspective than the man who thinks climate change is a load of hot air, Mike Hosking.
Having just dismissed Waitangi Day as 'just another day off', our hero is fulsome in his praise of Australia Day . According to Hosking, Australians everywhere will gather together to celebrate what makes Australia great. There'll be flags on every street corner, barbecues in every back garden and Kylie Minogue on every sound system. Fair dinkum, mate - every Australian can aspire to owning a Ferrari, just like Mike Hosking.
This is in stark contrast to our own Waitangi Day which, explains Hosking, is just an excuse for whining malcontents to wave placards about as they try to embarrass our Great Leader.
But Hosking's privileged view of Australia ignores the plight of Aboriginal Australians. In one two minute rant on the radio, he deletes an entire people.
The stark statistics are appalling:
- From birth, Indigenous Australians have a lower life expectancy than non-Indigenous Australians.
-In 2008-2012, the infant mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children was almost double that for non-Indigenous children (6.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with 3.7 per 1,000 live births).
|Children in the Northern Territory|
-The unemployment rate for Indigenous Australians was around five times the rate for non-Indigenous Australians in 2012.
-Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians make up only 2.3 percent of the adult Australian population, they accounted for over a quarter (27.4 per cent) of the adult prison population in 2013
None of this appears to have entered Hosking's consciousness. He, like Rupert Murdoch'S newspapers in Australia, would have us believe that Australia Day is 'a day for families', a day for a blast of swaggering nationalism.
Hosking would no doubt firmly agree with singer Tina Arena, a recipent of an Australia Day gong, that her country 'is so capable of embracing everyone'.
Today , Indigenous Australians and their supporters are marching from The Block in Redfern, Sydney, to the Sydney Town Hall. But they are obviously more of Mike Hosking's social malcontents, who don't know how lucky they are.