He’s not shy when it comes to voicing opinions that matter to him and other Australians and on Sunday morning, political commentator and former politician Mark Latham vowed to save the national anthem in Aussie schools.
Taking to his official Mark Latham’s Outsiders Facebook page, the 57-year-old expressed his concern that the anthem was being banished from schools across the country, noting that several parents from a Canberra school contacted him with their concerns. He claimed that the parents were told the anthem wasn’t being sung at school any more because it was deemed offensive.
“Recently, several parents at Alfred Deakin High School in the ACT contacted Mark Latham’s Outsiders to say the Australian national anthem was no longer being sung at the school because of ‘the offence it caused Indigenous people’,” he wrote. “Another parent has said his son came home from Hughes Primary School in ACT and said, ‘our national anthem is racist’.”
Latham explained that schools should be less focused on topics like gender fluidity and be teaching children about Australian pride.
“It should be the job of schools to teach pride in Australia,” he said. “Part of that is to learn the words of Advance Australia Fair and sing it with pride. Clearly this is not happening in the Australian Capital Territory.”
Latham claimed that he contacted the ACT Education Directorate about the issue and they informed him that it was up to individual schools to come up with rules that are unique to their school.
“ACT public school principals have the autonomy to make decisions about the way things are done within their school,” he said he was told. “Every school’s story and community is unique and, as such, cultural observance will look different in each school.”
Outraged, Latham said he couldn’t understand why an Australian school would deem the national anthem as inappropriate.
“There is nothing racist about Advance Australia Fair. It should be a point of national unity and respect,” he said. “But this is not happening for the Lefties running schools and education policy in the ACT. The proper ‘cultural observance’ is to respect Australia and its anthem.”
He said that prime minister Malcolm Turnbull often boasted of the extra “Gonski funding” he is putting into schools, but questioned why the PM was continuing to fund schools that refuse to sing and celebrate the national anthem.
“Turnbull should make the anthem compulsory in all Australian schools. Love of country is a good thing,” he added.
It’s not the first time Latham has been passionate about the Australian way of life. Earlier this year, the opinionated politician encouraged people to save Australia Day as we know it, after several councils in Victoria said they would change the day out of respect to indigenous people.
Latham warned that there was “so much to lose” if the date was changed and encouraged people to celebrate the things that make Australia great. He has also been vocal about his desire for non-English speaking residents to be banned from receiving welfare payments.