Aficionados of The Spectator will know that entries in the 2017 Thawley Competition have opened, with a tasty $5000 prize for the best essay on the topic: “The great Australian speech that never was”.
Shut your laptops and put down your pens, because I’ve got it won.
I’m going to submit the speech President Donald Trump gave overnight in Poland.
It was a speech that unapologetically sang the virtues of freedom, of courage and national strength.
In plain language, traversing the great threats, internal and external, to Western nations, he said, “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive”.
But the bit that truly seems radical to a citizen of today’s Australia was this section:
Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger — one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people. The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.
The speech is a hymn to a civilisation built not by the prim hand of bureaucracy, but by the unrestrained efforts of individuals, grounded in family and faith, building a better world by making a better life for themselves and their children.
The fight for the West – and Australia has a dog in this fight – means defending our values, remembering our history and honouring our culture.
It is a speech worth reading in full, and if you really want to savour it, read the transcript (with complimentary schadenfreude) on the CNN website.
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