Too one to be young

Call us Glass Housers old pedants if you must – but it would be a kind start to 2021 if you didn’t – but why was the ABC’s News Breakfast crew banging on constantly yesterday about “changes” to the national anthem if it appears it’s only one word? Other media outlets did it too.

The word “young” as in “young and free” in Advance Australia Fair has been officially changed at the stroke of a governor-general’s pen to “one” as in “one and free”, a very fair and reasonable one considering our First Nations people have been here for some 60,000 years.

Our other quibble is that the News Breakfast talking heads suggested the change also paid homage to the very multicultural nature of Australian society.

What nod to some form of misguided politically correctness made our cohosts feel the need to mention the amazing melting pot that Oz has become – maybe one melting pot even? Our first peoples weren’t important enough to be the one reason for the one change?

Or was it meant to alert us to the fact that there are now a lot of really old, very crinkly Australians who came across the seas from Greece, Italy, Vietnam, China etc, etc, bloody, etc etc a long time ago which means – through no fault of their own, mind – that they are really quite old and our anthem should acknowledge that?


The one-word change to Advance Australia Fair also gives us a solid example of the ongoing advantage the right wing of Australian politics is given in a right-wing dominated mainstream media, especially but not exclusively Newscorp.

Regardless of what role Prime Minister Scott Morrison played in the word change – he certainly wasn’t proactive among those first pushing for the change quite some time ago – some of Rupe’s rags felt it entirely necessary to kick off the new year – one they keep reminding us will be an early election year – with a pix of Smoko on their front pages. A lot of hung-over Australians could have done without that.

And we don’t know what role chairman Peter Costello plays over at Nine Entertainment but it seems at the moment every second Sydney Morning Herald feels the need to splash Gladys Berejiklian’s head shot on the cover as well. Nice on-going exposure for a gal in real trouble.

The weekend SMH of December 19/20 is a typical recent example: nice shot of residents waiting for a COVID-19 Test and the sub naturally thinks: all this needs is a headshot of Gladys at a news conference looking Premierly.