Monday, July 5, 2010

Great BiCentenary Event : Poor Promotion

Note: Images from the Freedom of the City March are below my commentary - 


July 3rd 2010 was marked in my calendar with great expectation.

I am a man with a passion for Liverpool, its 200 year history, its local stories, its people and our joy and hope as a city. So it is easily understood that I have a real interest in our City's Bicentenary year and its events.

200 years ago the town of Liverpool was established, with the site described by our renowned founder, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, as "fit for the purpose". It is now a City, and I anticipated hundreds of people, if not thousands, to be lining the streets of the Central Business District to witness this key Bicentenary event.

I arrived around 9.15 am, 45 minutes prior to its commencement, at one of my favourite coffee spots in Liverpool. The Police had sectioned off Macquarie, Moore and Bigge Streets - all prominent names from our colonial history.

The shop owners in Macquarie Street thought there must have been a police operation under way. This a consequence of the disgraceful lack of promotion and advice by Liverpool City Council to the local citizens and stakeholders.

I informed George, my local barista, and his neighbouring shop owners, that soon 200 of our finest military soldiers from the Royal Australian Engineer Corp, with "swords drawn, drums beating and colours flying", will march down Macquarie Street to exercise their "Freedom of the City" honour. A ceremony of honour that dates back to the laws of Ancient Rome and still practised in countries with English military tradition.

And who was there to witness and acknowledge this fine tradition in our City?

George, me and a few dozen incidental passers by along the whole length of the march to Bigge Park. I struck up conversations with a few of our newest citizens, people, more likely refugees, from Zimbabwe and the Sudan and their children. They enjoyed the spectacle and were most interested in the tradition of it. And yet they must have been curious of the lack of civic pride on display in Liverpool by its citizens. They are yet to know the barrenness and ineptness of our local politics at State and Local levels.

The Parade in Bigge Park put on display the cause of our poor civic engagement. The Military component was magnificent with its tradition and parade precision. Again with only a few dozen people, at most 50, across the whole of Bigge Park witnessing the ceremony. The most prominent civilian was of course the City of Liverpool's Mayor, Clr Waller, who participated with a perfunctory inspection of the troops. She then delivered a deadpan address and the troops marched off, probably wondering why they showed up at all.

This sad spectacle, by virtue only of the lack of people witnessing and affirming it, is the result of so called progressive politics where all white Anglo / Celtic tradition is regarded as superfluous and irrelevant, whist every cause of past and present transgression under the sun is elevated to be a statement of claim against our past. One of this secular religion's archdeacons is the Member for Liverpool Paul Lynch MP and his merry band of activists to which our Mayor belongs.

Normally you would expect the Council Officer responsible, at the Director / Management level, to be sacked for such a public display of promotional ineptness. But it would be unfair given the dispirited civic leadership of our City, as a claim could be made they were simply following orders!

The people of Liverpool deserve better, and to achieve better they must work for it.

Images from the March :

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