'PM trying to appease the unappeasable with anthem change'
What is the Prime Minister thinking in trying to appease the unappeasable activist class by unilaterally changing the national anthem?
There's something Malcolm Turnbull-esque about Scott Morrison's decision to alter the words to Advance Australia Fair, replacing 'young and free' with 'one and free', something a small number of activists have been campaigning for in recent years.
It's a move that will no doubt be celebrated by the media who amplify any criticism of the anthem, the flag and Australia Day but I doubt it'll be backed by too many constituents who cast their votes for centre-right parties, who have won seven of the last nine federal elections.
"While Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, our country's story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect," Morrison said.
"One and free is and must be the story of every Australian and it's the way we truly Advance Australia Fair."
It's ironic that the Prime Minister's announcement comes as states again close their borders making it clear that we are very far from being 'one' or 'free'.
Indeed we've learnt during this pandemic that both our freedoms and federation are vulnerable.
You'd think the manner in which the state premiers, both Labor and Liberal, are opening and shutting their borders would be a greater focus for the Prime Minister than changing the words to the anthem to appease those who choose to be offended by it.
Australia is a young nation with an ancient story. One fact does not cancel out the other.
Singing about being a young country does not deny our Indigenous history.
Morrison won the 'unwinnable election' by not pandering to the loud minority of grievance mongers who are determined to find offence where none exists.
He spoke to the mainstream while Bill Shorten pushed a radical agenda that pleased the hard left wing of Labor and the Greens but disenfranchised too many other voters.
The Prime Minister is losing his keen political instincts or listening to poor advice from within his inner circle if he thinks fiddling with the national anthem will please Coalition voters.
Perhaps it's the fact that he is riding high in the polls on the back of the COVID-19 crisis that has warped Morrison's instincts.
The Prime Minister, along with premiers across the country, is enjoying record approval ratings but he must remember hubris comes before the fall.
Originally published as PM trying to appease the unappeasable with anthem change