The New Australian

Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

The New Australian - Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

The ultimate sacrifice

Must surely be a tattoo in Comic Sans font.

Brenton (yes, that’s a first name in Australia, apparently) Lawrence reveals the significance of his tattoo.

Is it significant because;

A. Before his career in rugby league he served in the armed forces? Or,

B. He comes from a family with a proud history of military service or there was an important relative who served in an important conflict? Or,

C. A close friend was killed or injured in the armed forces?

Nah. the “significance” of the tattoo is that he quite liked tattoos and nearly joined the air force as ground crew.

Well, if you put it like that then.

(reaches for phone, dials a secret number beginning with country code “44″) “Get me the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall. Victoria Cross to be delivered to Brookvale Oval in time for kick off, please. STAT”.

Scan 11

(apologies, I honestly thought there wouldn’t be another ANZAC bollocks post but the paper was on the doorstep when I got back from surfing the dawn service I attended)

Lest we forget to blame the Poms

Last post, honest.

We’ve had some fun over the last few weeks poking a stick at the inappropriate, over-exuberant and excessively opportunistic commercialisation of a day of remembrance.

All of the examples documented here are vulgar in their own special way but perhaps the most despicable form of hijacking of what most other mature countries would consider a day of quiet contemplation is when the sacrifice of the fallen is used for shameless political point-scoring.

There are sadly many rent-a-soundbite candidates in Australian public life who are more than willing to step across the line of credibility, shame and good taste to put forward their own personal agenda. Surprisingly, Senator Hanson-Young (of the Hanson-Youngs of Surrey) hasn’t done so yet, but the day is still young.

No, our old favourite, Peter Fitzsimons, has selflessly volunteered to make the ultimate sacrifice while on an all expenses paid free holiday to Turkey for the Sydney Morning Herald Property Advertiser.

Don’t follow this link and read the article unless you particularly want to annoy yourself today.

Let the headline do the talking;

Bollocks

What the article goes on to explain is, while digging through correspondence from the British Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, he found a line in a letter to his mistress that suggested that he’d share the plan for Gallipoli and seek “approval” to commence the campaign from his mistress.

Ergo, Fitzsimons concludes, the final decision to commit the troops, ships and resources to the invasion force was made by a 27 year old floosie, not the War Council. Furthermore, this illustrates quite how disposable the Australian and New Zealand troops were in the eyes of the arrogant and incompetent British (who sent exponentially more of their own to Gallipoli). Therefore, we are self-righteously lectured, Australia’s leadership can never cede control to the leadership of other nations.

Like they did in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, presumably?

A bow as long as this hasn’t been drawn since Agincourt.

There is little purpose served by bothering to point out the lunacy of Fitzsimons’ statements of “facts” and today really isn’t the day to do so.

And that’s the point.

Choosing the morning of the 100th anniversary of the invasion of Gallipoli to remind everyone that he believes Australia should be a fully-independent republic with her own flag and having a snipe at long-dead English to do so is the epitome of vulgar and uncouth at the end of a long month of vulgarity and uncouthness.

But who gives a fuck; we’ve all been drinking since 7am.

It’s what they would have wanted.

Operation ‘Invade The Dardanelles’ (in church hall if wet)

Remember Camp Freddy Gallipoli?

It’s a once in a lifetime chance to be at one, in spirit at least, with the brave, fallen heroes of 100 years ago and camp out under the stars with a fully-licensed bar and hot food.

Well, it’s bad news, I’m afraid. It’s been called off because there’s a chance of a shower this weekend.

Frontier Nation

 

Here’s the forecast.

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Ooh, looks a bit rough eh? Temperatures could get as low as 12 degrees, or “summer” as we call it in England.

Australian ANZAC bollocks has officially jumped the shark.

(h/t AussiePride)

UPDATE: Obviously there’s no bloody health and safety issue with temperatures of 12 degrees and a predicted rainfall of just 1mm. They’ve had to claim HSE issues to be able to claim on the insurance after they decided that they didn’t want people’s boots to cut the wet turf up.

It’s called “a market”, Bill

….and you’ve just increased supply.

The GPS Alumni Sheltered Workshop held a press conference yesterday. Their big announcement was that they were amending the restrictions on players’ eligibility to play for the Wallabies (or the “Qantas Wallabies” as everybody in the meejia seems happy to parrot).

This is a brilliant example of that wonderful natural lesson that more usually catches politicians out; The Law of Unintended Consequences.

According to the ARU strugglers and and incompetents, they’ve made a radical change to policy by saying that they will consider allowing Australians based overseas to play for the national side. In fact, they spun this volte-face like Malcolm Tucker on the Magic Roundabout; apparently this is an outright attack on those nasty Johnny Foreigner clubs who try to poach our true blue players.

With World Rugby’s regulation nine, we clearly have the capability to do that [call players into the national side] and maybe they will think twice about recruiting some of these players.

We all know that Bill and his fellow ARU board members aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, so we’ll spell it out for them here in words with as few syllables as possible.

You. Have. Just. Told. These. Players. They. Can. Leave.

Will Genia

James Horwill

Wycliff Palu

Quade Cooper

Sekope Kepu

Tatafu Polota-Nau

Kurtley Beale

Rob Simmons

In fact, if they can go overseas after the world cup and stack their pensions away from the grabbing hands of Australian looting politicians who want to tax income that has already been taxed once before, they’d be clinically-insane not to.

Maybe they’ll think twice, Bill? The only thinking they’ll need to do is whether having to pick up a bit of French to play in the beautiful south of France is worth the effort or should they just go to an English club instead.

1st world problems, boys, 1st world problems.

Of course, lifting the restriction of players having to be based in Australia to play for their country is the right thing to do in a world market where the Australian version of the sport can’t pay the salaries a top quality player can demand. Billy is being more than a smidgen disingenuous by passing this off as a decision the ARU have made out of choice; their hand has been forced.

Indeed, why bother removing the blanket ban and then making further rules at all (60+ caps, 7 years at an Australian Super franchise)? You’re just setting up the next public disagreement between a player and the ARU. What happens if, after the world cup, Kurtley Beale is still 1 cap short of the required 60 but Toulon make him an offer he can’t refuse?

The trouble with drawing a line in the sand, Bill, is that someone is going to have to cross it. Chances are, in a seller’s market, that person will be you.

Have a great ANZAC Day!

No remembrance service to commemorate the pointless death or injury of a generation of young men a century ago is complete without a cheerful fridge magnet wishing you “a great ANZAC Day!

Have a great ANZAC Day

(thanks to Nicklo for sending this through)

It’s helpful that the other side of the advert is a space to write “Mom” (51st state of the USA, much?), Dad and Gran’s telephone numbers. Presumably you haven’t added these to your mobile phone directory because they are infrequently dialed?.

As Nicklo points out, this is redolent to the Bill Hicks speech about Christians;

A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fucking cross? It’s like going up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant.

Richmond, Far North Queen’sland

A smorgasbord from the Top End courtesy of our erstwhile correspondent, Tracey.

I suspect this first couple (58 points) aren’t really an item at all but are, in fact, the Asian Pacific branch of the Bader-Meinhof Gang. Fertiliser for the garden? A likely story.

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The second entry in today’s competition (62 points) look most likely to be an aging 1970s glam rock star, replete with sparkly earring, and a little something he picked up in between spells in a Thai prison for nonces.

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The last entry (68 points) is my favourite, however. Just what is going through her mind to produce that wonderfully-wistful expression?

I’d like to think it’s something along the lines of, “Fuck me, you’d think he’d have had the fucking coronary by now and left me to get on with my life. How many more sweaty shags do I have to put up with until pay day? WITH HIM ON TOP!!!!”.

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A seaside town where you can’t go into the sea Cairns seems very fertile ground for The Richmond Game, almost rivaling Darling Harbour.

Thanks Tracey, keep hunting!

Historic Battlefields

Unless you are a modern day Australian Hellen Keller with broken fingers, you will have spotted that next weekend is the 100th anniversary of the landings at the Dardanelles. ANZAC Day, in the vernacular.

The build up has been phenomenal (read the previous posts in the ANZAC categories on the right). It’s been almost on the scale of Christmas or Easter, with a discomfortingly similar level of commercialisation. All that’s missing is the greeting cards, something along the lines of, “Sorry for the loss or injury of your distant relative whom you never knew. Happy ANZAC Day!” would do the trick.

As a newcomer to the country, this confuses and bemuses me. I’m struggling to get my head around the personal significance all these years later. I get the historical significance; I spent part of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on a pub crawl in Pinner which included a stop at the grave of Nelson’s illegitimate daughter, Lady Horatia Nelson. The deeply moving personal aspect of this Australian anniversary passes me by however.

I’m not sure whether I’m in the minority in this regard; as with the death of Princess Diana, there are some occasions where many people feel unable to fully express their counter opinions to those being offered in public. Is this one of those events? I’m not sure.

A social contact flew out to Turkey yesterday. He’s staying on one of three cruise ships anchored off Gallipoli and will be taking part in some endurance event the day prior to the dawn service. I didn’t have the courage to ask him whether a family member was in the campaign in 1915 or if any of his immediate family even served in the armed forces.

The view in the comments section of this organ is that between them, Keating and Howard supercharged what was previously an atrophying national day of mourning. Keating for his republican purposes, Howard for national patriotism reasons.

The biggest question that comes to mind when I witness the footage of the dawn services, flag waving, the green and gold rugby shirt-wearing congregation, the adverts for games of Two Up and discounted jugs of beer at the pubs and the subsequent late afternoon public drunkeness on the day is, how much longer will this national memory stay strong?

Ponder this for a moment; the Charge of the Light Brigade was only 60 years earlier than Gallipoli but people all over Britain don’t take October 25th off to go to a religious service at the local war memorial.

The Indian Mutiny predates the original ANZAC Day by only 57 years. Back home, it was perceived as a disaster and the national shock was felt years later in Britain.

Rorke’s Drift is only 36 years older than the Dardenelles campaign and, again, it doesn’t get a mention in the diary.

I don’t mean to belittle the events ANZAC Day is commemorating, the scale and national impact can’t honestly be compared to those primarily British events. There’s something to be said for the distance created by time and relativity, though.

The 1st Australian Imperial Force was an all volunteer army. One assumes that there weren’t many fathers of young families who came home after the declaration of war and told their wife and kids that they’d signed up to leave for the conflict in Europe. Is it therefore likely that many of those Australians killed in Turkey didn’t leave descendents. After a hundred years, there won’t be much of a direct generational link in the way that, say, there would be to those conscripts killed in the Sicilian, Anzio or Normandy landings.

My Great Grandfather was gassed in The Battle of The Somme. This knowledge is passed on in our family. I have no idea what happened to his (several) brothers though, or the brothers of my other three Great Grandfathers. Statistically, one of them was also highly likely to have been injured or even killed in the First World War.

Perhaps this is why I’m struggling to comprehend what is going on in Australia this month.

I’ll keep my gob shut about it in public though, and if someone can point me to something similar happening in other countries; say, France having a day of national remembrance and members of the public making pilgrimages to Agincourt on St. Crispin’s Day, I’ll apologise for these rantings here.

In the meantime, I’ll be doing the “Lest we forget” thing back to people who say it to me over the course of the week. One colleague even changed his email signature to that last year. Twat.

It’s all Thatcher’s fault

Remember those daft Victorians who voted a muppet with an art degree in as Premier on a pledge that he would expensively renege on a legally-binding contract?

The bill has arrived. $339 million or about $75 for every adult in Victoria (we’re using the term “adult” loosely here; retards can still pay tax).

Nice work, Victorians. Maybe you’ll consider writing “none of the above” or drawing a cock on the ballot paper next time.

Anyway, this payment to a consortium of contractors for effectively not doing what they were originally asked to do is apparently not the fault of the Eloi voters, the corrupt political class or the incompetent civil service lawyers but, wait for it; Tony Abbott.

That’s right, the 800 years of case law, remarkable consistency and predictability of the application of tort and property rights are as nothing compared to our Tone’s “meddling”.

Poor old Premier Daniels, he would have got away with it if it wasn’t for……

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I bet the good burghers of Victoria can’t wait to see what the remainder of his term has in store for their wallets.

Thumbs up, eh!

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100% true blue Aussie, maaaaate

They grow a fair few pineapples in Australia. In fact,  despite wanting to be called “The Smart State“, one state is unofficially The Pineapple State.

100 Aussie….

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Don’t look at the back!

Don’t look at the back!

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If there’s anyone from an agricultural or food import background reading this who can explain the economics of it, I’m all ears.

Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you!

He’s a drover drifting over Western plains,
He’s a city lad, a clark down Flinder’s Lane,
They’re in the trenches at Lone Pine,
And on the Flander’s firing line,
A willing band of ordinary men.

(Chorus)
He’s all of them,
He’s one of us,
Born beneath,
The Southern Cross,
Side by side,
We say with pride,
He is all of them,
He is one of us.

He’s a pilot on a midnight bombing raid,
He’s an Able Seaman on the Armidale
She’s a nurse in Vietnam,
They’re on patrol in Uruzgan,
Sons and daughters rising to the call.

(Chorus)
She’s all of them,
She’s one of us,
Born beneath,
The Southern Cross,
Side by side,
We say with pride,
She is all of them,
She is one of us.

The spirit of the ANZACs,
Proud and strong,
Spirit of the ANZACs,
Will live on and on and on.

(Chorus)
He’s all of them,
He’s one of us,
Born beneath,
The Southern Cross,
Side by side,
We say with pride,
He is all of them,
She is all of them.
They are one of us.

They are one of us.

Give us yer fookin’ money!

I bet we won’t

I found myself in the unusual position of reading an actual newspaper this morning. You remember those things; they were made out of paper and were out of date several hours before they reached you.

It’s been at least a decade since I last picked one up. Isn’t it funny to recall how we used to get our news before Twitter?

 

What happened is that I took a flight this morning (to ShagYerDadAlaide) and forgot to pack the book I’m currently reading so picked up a complimentary copy of The Australian. If you’re a journalist reading this, here’s a clue; when they give away the product of your labour, you probably don’t work in a particularly important or sustainable job.

 

Anyway, I’d not previously read The Australian much before as I don’t pay for content (see what I mean, journos?) and they have a reasonably competent paywall unlike the Sydney Morning Property Advertiser Herald. So upon opening it I was surprised to learn that the majority of editorial opinion in the rag was almost Guardian-like in its statism.

From the whining of the Commies on Their ABC and the comments section of the aforementioned Property Advertiser, I’d been led to believe that The Australian was the last bastion of right wing free market capitalism in the country.

Turns out people had confused corporatism with capitalism. Easy enough mistake to make, judging by most conversations I ever have on the subject, especially in Australia.

 

The article I’ve shamelessly scanned and copied below about GST (VAT in UK-speak) leapt out at me. Apparently, if only we knew the facts we’d welcome an increase in the cost of our basic goods and services.

Stop laughing at the back and listen.

 

It turns out that Australia doesn’t have a government debt problem as we’re in a much better position than our peers. Personally, I’m not so sure I’m prepared to be so hubristic about making financial commitments on behalf of my kids and grandkids but let’s allow that to pass for the moment.

 

Also, household debt isn’t a problem either, as long as interest rates don’t rise. The author seems to have forgotten the other source of household stress with regards to debt; losing your job. He probably didn’t think it worth mentioning as there’s not much risk of that happening in any significant way here. Cough

 

But what really made me chuckle was the solution to the deficit problem. Let’s remind ourselves what a “deficit” is; let’s go with, “the excess of debts and liabilities over income“. If debt is the mileage, deficit is the speed.

So, the ONLY way we can reduce Australia’s deficit is to increase income, i.e. increase the GST.

Culling daft white elephants like the National Pornband, the massive subsidies for middle class benefits or every State parliament wouldn’t help at all, according to the genius that is Phil Ruthven.

Not when there’s twenty three million wallets he can dip into.

Well, I gave reading a newspaper a try for old time’s sake but it didn’t work out. Maybe I’ll try again in another ten year’s time.

Oh, hang on.

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I’m not racist but

Everything before ‘but” is bullshit.

I’d like to buy a beer for whoever it was who came up with that gem of a quote. It’s helped me sift through the mendacity on many occasions.

Today’s blog post is about one of the only two topics of conversations discussed around the dinner party tables of Sydney’s chattering classes. Doubtless the comments thread will be awash with the first (house prices) so we’ll stick with the other one; schools.

We’ve killed the lie that private education is in any way worth the price unless your child is either a bit of a retard or your ambition is for them to never leave the sheltered workshop of the Sydney business network.

So, having made the decision that the hordes of New Australian progeny will be attending a public school, we set about selecting the best one based on likely academic outcomes. We’ve found the answer to the question, “which is the best school in the area?” and moved into the catchment area.

The only fly in the ointment is that people still wish to offer comment on our decision. That’s generally fine, we can agree to disagree on whether or not dropping thirty grand a year on a Cunt College education is good value or not. What does interest me, though, is the trend we’ve noticed of people passing judgement on the ethnic demographic of the school we’ve selected.

What do I mean?

Statements such as this;

I’m not racist but there’s a lot of Asians at that school“.

They mean kids from Chinese families.

This confused me at first; it’s not like the kids from Chinese immigrants have a particularly negative stereotype along the lines of, say, Somalian kids in East London, Pakistani boys in Rotherham or Jamaican kids in Brixton. So what’s the perceived problem?

You have to tease it out but eventually someone articulated it for me this week; “But that school focuses purely on the academic; they’re rubbish at sport“.

There you have it. Those pernicious and devious orientals have clearly corrupted the entire academic system for their own wicked goals. How dare they send their kids to a school and expect a high level of academic achievement. Shockingly poor form being demonstrated by those modern Fu Manchus.

It’s almost as if trying too hard to get a good education is in some way cheating. The complete opposite, in fact, to the Australian attitude towards performance in sport where the preparation and planning is serious, detailed and thorough, much to the chagrin of their opposition.

The irony is that a similar attitude used to prevail in sport during the early amateur era towards teams such as the All Blacks who were perceived as being unsporting because they trained and planned game strategies. Meanwhile, the first time the English national team would meet would be the night before a big match and would discuss their plans for the game over a large dinner, lubricated well with a dozen pints of ale each.

This “preparation is cheating” ethos flows through to the business environment. It struck me very early on in my Sydney career that I didn’t need to do very much to drive the desired outcomes, just be one week ahead of all my interlocutors in my thinking. Maybe three weeks if I’m about to take a holiday.

It’s as easy as that.

Want to check this theory for yourself? Next week, count how many people attend an important meeting without a notepad or, if they bring one, without taking any notes. Count also, how many meetings seem to result in an early finish as the attendees realise that there’s some further research required to solve the problem at hand, research that could have reasonably been predicted as necessary if a small degree of forethought had been applied. Lastly, check how many outstanding actions have been carried over from previous commitments.

Once you start looking, you’ll be amazed at how slackness is not punished. Don’t be disheartened though, we can easily make a bloody good living from outperforming these plucky amateurs.

But they are very good at sport.

Craig’s lists. That’s just insane!

Hi there,

The (cough) honourable ex-member for Dobell here. As you know, I love a good list, me.

Today’s list is a collection of my favourite role models. They’ve all got something in common, can you guess what it is?

1. David, slayer of Goliath
2. Odysseus
3. Lucius Junius Brutus, the founder of the Roman Republic
4. Hamlet
5. Randle McMurphy

One flew over the cuckoo’s nest hopefully.

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Song sung blue

Go on then, have another ANZAC 100 “celebration” themed moan.

This one is great. No really, it is.

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The sacrifice, the tragedy, the heroism, the bloody slaughter, the history, the nation-defining losses, the herioc song-singing, the irresistible opportunity for a South African brewery to make dollar or two.

The beer formerly known as VB Victoria Bitter would like you to raise a glass because “that’s what they would have wanted”, well, apart from not dying, obviously.

Anzac Day 100; turning senseless slaughter into tasteless and cloying sentimentalism for commercial gain.

At the going down of the sun

…..We’ll watch war movies.

Because that’s what you do, isn’t it, when you’re somberly remembering the fallen and the wounded?

Apocalypse Now? Really? Really?

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Is it just me or does anyone else feel that this is inappropriate?

Oh, it’s just me then. Let’s have a moment’s silence for the sincerity of remembrance that results in such a noble sacrifice of not playing video games involving shooting during ANZAC Day.

They shall not grow old as we do, they shall not play Super Mario as we do.

Did I miss the memo?

Apparently, today was “Dress Like Your Dad Did In 1974″ Day in Sydney.

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Brown striped boot-cut trousers, a beige and brown striped shirt and tan shoes (brown in town). Disappointingly, he didn’t have massive lamb chop sideburns and a bushy moustache like the bloke in the pictures in the original Joy of Sex books.

 

Already concerned that I’d gone to work in the wrong attire, I then realised that there had been an embarrassing clash for the “Dress Like…” day schedulers, with today also being “Dress Like A Cunt Clown Day”.

 

 

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The shot is a bit shaky, so let me step you through the chap in front of me;

 

  • Brown winkle-picker shoes? Check.
  • Green socks? Check.
  • Skinny black jeans not quite reaching the shoes? Check.
  • Black belt not matching the shoes? Check.
  • Red tie? Check.
  • Blue floral shirt? Check.
  • Purple-themed plaid jacket? Check.
  • Bald on top but sporting a Crimean War era bushy beard giving the illusion that his head was upside down? Check.

 

He was also only about 5 feet 2 inches tall, which although not his fault, might go some way towards explaining why he was trying so hard in every other regard.

One assumes that he woke up this morning, dressed, reviewed the ensemble in the antique full-length mirror at his front door (with a penny farthing leaning against it, presumably) and thought a combination of the following, “this should give me the additional office gravitas that my diminutive stature lacks” and, “Grrrrrrowl! You’re a tiger!“.
 

 

Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?

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