Friday, June 23, 2006

Why I love Australia...

...well, actually, it's why Charles Krauthammer loves Australia. Click HERE to read his brilliant Washington Post article. I've only been there once - in 1991 - and absolutely loved it. For some reason I didn't expect to. I was on a business trip advising the Australian Liberal Party on ports reform so didn't have much time for sight-seeing, but I saw enough to make me want to go back. And one day I will. For the first time last night I even cheered them on in a sporting contest. They deserved to beat Croatia but it has to be said their victory was overshadowed by one of the worst refereeing performances I have ever seen. I suspect it will haunt Graham Poll for the rest of his life. And he's one of our better referees! Well, was.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everybody I've ever met who's been there loves Australia. It's basically paradise as the English working class could create it, given a blank slate (the natives being easily brushed aside). The weather is usually really good, the people are friendly and there's loads to see.

It's not perfect, though - there are some parts of horrible deprivation. Last November I drove through an Aboriginal village where they have 14 police officers for 1000 people, where the houses looked like jails and the liquor store looked like Fort Knox.

Still, Australia and California are the only places I could live long-term.

Richard said...

An error by Guus Hiddink as well, not having Mark Schwarzer in goal. Otherwise, Australia would probably have won 2-1.

Can Hiddink get Australia to the semi-finals, as he did with Holland and South Korea?

El Tom said...

Iian; you are writing in Tribune, and doing podcasts with Tony Benn. May I reccomend that you join th Labour party?

tyke said...

It's a wonderful country. Most of my paternal family live there and some of my maternal side, too.
Many of the Aussies are descended from the English and I have played host to many I've met over the internet, who were seeking ancestors in my area of England.
If you ask them why they love visiting England, they always say its because England is so green and beautiful. What? With those beaches, I'd swap any day.
Still, christmas in England is something special and you can try any dish in any part of the world, but nothing beats a Sunday lunch with yorkshire pud and roast potatoes.

tyke said...

I just spotted the invite to join the labour party.
DON'T DO IT!!!
You of all people know what they are doing to England - tell them what democracy means, but don't sell out your principles for those scoundrels, who sell us out for a few crumbs from the McDowning Street table.

my favourite minister said...

Tis a good article. However, I wonder if this Oz-Love has anything to do with Krauthammer's regular appearances as a contributor to Murdoch's Fox News.

Iain Dale said...

El Tom, I'm just playing my part in helping Mr Cameron build the big tent!

Ed said...

The credit in his piece is misguided, Julia Gillard was quoting Tony Abbott, the Leader of the House. If you've ever endured the shrill whinging that bursts out of her mouth you'll understand how deeply misleading it his to say she has starch.

Kerron said...

Can I just point out that I raised my concerns about Graham Poll, and his ability to show 2 yellow cards, a long while ago.

http://kerroncross.blogspot.com/2005/12/dr-daves-derby-day-drinks-disaster.html

If he could confirm whether or not he voted for me at the last election, I could then tell you whether his mix up yesterday was "unfortunate" or "incompetant". ;-)

Anonymous said...

The standard of refereeing generally has been pretty low at this World Cup (but not as bad as it was in 2002 where South Korea advanced at the expense of Portugal, Spain and Italy because of monstrous officiating).

For the first two rounds of the group phase there was a discernible reluctance to award penalties but then, as if prompted by 1,000's of 'disgusteds' from Tunbridge Wells (or should that be 'mentals' from Dagenham?)at the first scent of broken wind in the box the refs point to the spot (Ghana's and Ukraine's awards were simply shocking).

The sooner that technology takes over and everything moves to a remote control room the better.

Alexander Drake said...

FYI for British readers - if you have seen the Australian show "Kath and Kim" on the BBC, Julia Gillard talks EXACTLY like Kath.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

As usual, Krauthammer tells only half the truth and leaves out the fascist part. As already noted, the week before Julia Gillard used the phrase "snivelling grub," Health Minister Tony Abbott, a vocally anti-abortion Catholic, had used the same term against a Labor MP. Labor objected to this language, but nothing happened. To prove a point, Gillard threw the same invective against Abbot. SHE was ejected from the floor of Parliament for a day. Double-standard there!

The Liberals (Australia's conservative party) are making this into a one-party state. They now have control of the Commonwealth Senate, which used to act as a check against the powers of the House and the PM. They've eliminated the Opposition's right to committee chairmanships. Other fascistic policies against labour (the workers) as well as Labor (the political party) are coming into force.

Little by little, Australia is becoming a fascist government just like the U.S. That's why the aptly-named Krauthammer so loves the Land of Oz. Whenever I think of him, it brings to mind the penultimate scene in "Dr. Strangelove" with the wheelchair-bound mad scientist finally standing and screeching "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"

BTW, I'm an American who's pushing 50. But my wife and I emigrated to Australia last year because we could no longer stomach being part of President Cheney's evil empire. (I'm a registered nurse, so I could get a work visa here.) You would be amazed at how much America is feared and despised in what used to be one of its closest allies. I didn't realise how right-wing it was going, but I have faith that Aussies, with their anti-authoritarian streak, can turn it around at the elections in 2007.

Bob Piper said...

Oh Graham Poll... as the song goes...
http://www.mancpunkscene.co.uk/forum/index.php?s=eb60dc752d4fa5f31df7ee559844a1db&showtopic=4642&pid=94066&mode=threaded&show=&st=&

Anonymous said...

Australia is indeed a fantastic place to visit, though the cities are relentlessly suburban, and that is where 95% of Aussies live. Crossing the country you can see why: it is mostly a waste of space.
Perth is for survivalists. Brisbane is a big version of Milton Keynes, Sydney in contrast is marvellous.
Pity we cannot encourage their government to defect.