Leading article Australia

Happy Easter, bunnies

3 April 2021

9:00 AM

3 April 2021

9:00 AM

Easter is a time of rebirth and renewal in both Christian celebrations as well as the pagan festivities that the commemoration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ supplanted throughout Europe. In essence, Easter allows us to celebrate the natural wonder of the birthing process and of femininity (Easter eggs, cavorting bunnies, etc.), the stunning beauty of the northern hemisphere springtime and of course the spiritual values of conquering mankind’s darker impulses and rising above them. You don’t have to believe in the literal interpretation of Jesus rising from the grave (although obviously many people do) to recognise the appeal of the fundamental message of hope triumphing over adversity, of love conquering hate and of good defeating evil that sits at the heart of the combined Good Friday and Easter Sunday rites and rituals.

If the innocence of Christmas has been corrupted and over-commercialised over the last few decades to the point where the basic concept of a humble birth leading to moral virtue and compassionate leadership has been completely lost, at least the commercialisation of Easter has on the whole resulted in not much more than an excess of chocolate and sticky buns. The optimism of Easter is still there to be enjoyed, and whereas in the northern hemisphere it is a welcome relief to see the end of winter, here in Australia Easter is traditionally the last enjoyable flush of an Aussie summer.

This year, that optimism has coincided with the easing of Covid restrictions in most of Australia, except – whoops! – just as we were all getting ready to enjoy the long weekend Queensland Labor’s despotic knee-jerk reaction to a handful of ‘cases’ leads to yet another pointless, futile and hugely damaging lockdown. Whatever measures are required to control the latest ‘outbreak’ of this ‘new strain’, the evidence now from around the globe (and even more so in New South Wales) is that top-notch contact tracing and perhaps a very limited and localised lockdown is sufficient to stop the spread of any ‘cluster’. The Victorian, Queensland and West Australian jackhammer-to-crack-a-peanut approach has been a disaster for Australia’s economy, as Judith Sloan points out in this week’s Easter special, and will see our children carrying this crippling economic cross upon their bleeding shoulders for decades to come.

This Easter has also coincided with possibly the silliest and most cringe-worthy gimmick by a Coalition prime minister since Billy McMahon encouraged Sonya to pop on her split dress. Now, apparently, we have a customised ‘Prime Minister for Women’ (surely ‘wymyn’? – ed.) What next? A Prime Minister for the Vertically Challenged? A Prime Minister for Ice Addicts? A Prime Minister for Crashing Bores?

During the (actual) PM’s press conference announcing this gender-based nonsense, it was hard not to feel the foundations of our Westminster system trembling as the cracks began running up and down its once impregnable marble colonnades.

As Rebecca Weisser points out, ‘Unsurprisingly, the solution of appeasing the Left by adopting its policies – promoting women because they are women – has only provoked their ire… Senator Amanda Stoker was immediately derided as a “handmaiden of misogyny”, “a foot soldier of the patriarchy” and “a woman who’s really a male dinosaur in disguise”.’

Will this coming Easter weekend see the highly anticipated rebirth of the Coalition and resurrection of the PM’s messiah-like popularity? Or will the sugar hit and shiny wrapping of four fragrant new feminine faces on the front bench leave voters feeling a little like they’ve over-indulged in way too many sickly caramel Easter bunnies and almond and sea-salt chocolate glazed truffle Easter eggs?

ALP loses the Palestinian plot

The Australian Labor Party has now adopted former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘unconditional recognition’ of Palestine as well as his ‘Stalinist methods’ according to former federal MP Michael Danby. Mr Danby was speaking after the ALP passed a motion this week to ‘recognise the state of Palestine’ in the event of the party forming government. Much of the support for the motion came from Labor Senator Penny Wong who also opposed moves by Mr Danby and others to label China’s treatment of the Uyghurs as ‘genocide’. Like it or not, the simple reality is that support for Palestinian statehood without guarantees to protect Israel are either stupendously naive at best or camouflaged anti-Semitism at worst. It will be up to Australian Jewry and those interested in genuine Middle East peace to decide which of those describes the ALP under Mr Corbyn’s selfie-buddy Anthony Albanese.

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