“There are certain things I’d like to see [the government do] ... I mean, I’d like, every so often, to see a strong attack on cultural wokeism.” – John Howard
Some people assert the “culture wars” are contrived, a figment of the imagination of people like me.
Former Prime Minister John Howard has never believed that.
Every time I’ve heard him speak in public in recent years, including earlier this year pre-lockdown, he references his late political mentor Senator John Carrick.
“Politics is not a public relations contest, it is a battle for ideas,” Howard always says, quoting Carrick.
If only more parliamentarians, particularly those on the conservative side, took this on board.
Silence for the truth in public is deafening. There’s a lack of will and courage to take on the ideas of the cultural left.
It was refreshing then to see Mr Howard take a swipe at modern woke culture last week in a major interview with the Australian Financial Review.
“There are certain things I’d like to see [the government do] ... I mean, I’d like, every so often, to see a strong attack on cultural wokeism,” he said.
I’ve been perplexed and disappointed that more politicians and even Christian leaders don’t speak up more boldly for common sense.
Gender fluid ideology has been allowed to permeate society from pre-schools to universities and now the Wiggles have taken it on.
It’s been almost four years since Mr Howard said of the gender fluid “Safe Schools” program: “What’s disappointed me is an issue like Safe Schools. When that emerged it should have been hit on the head by centre-right governments at federal and state level. It should have been a simple and vigorous response. We need to understand that on cultural issues, symbols and attitudes are important.”
Still to this day, re-badged versions of “safe schools” exist in all Australians schools, including here in NSW under a conservative government.
Nine men identifying as women, competed against women at the recent Tokyo Olympics.
Schools are being pressured to let boys identifying as girls compete with girls in sport and share their private spaces.
We hear almost nothing from politicians and nothing from premiers and prime ministers.
On arguably the greatest injustice of our time, unborn children are almost friendless when it comes to voices sustaining an argument in the public square for their human rights.
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are under pressure like never before.
There’s more I could say, you get the picture. There is a culture war.
Canadian writer Mark Steyn wrote of America words which equally apply to Australia’s political discourse:
“Much of American ‘conservatism’ meets the civilizational vandals halfway - no, two-thirds of the way - so that the conversation is never anywhere near where it ought to be.”
Yes, there is a culture war and statesmen like John Howard know it.
It is up to the rest of us to now join the battle for ideas.
And it is up to our political leaders to heed Mr Howard and hit wokeism, which is the enemy of truth, on the head.
Lyle Shelton is Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Christian Democratic Party. The Reverend Honourable Fred Nile MLC has asked Lyle to succeed him in the NSW Parliament when he retires in November. To keep in touch with Lyle and the CDP, sign up here.