back to article Oz uni in right royal 'indigenous' lingo rumpus

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has provoked a bit of a rumpus Down Under with its handy Indigenous Terminology guide, which "clarifies appropriate language use for the history, society, naming, culture and classifications of Indigenous Australian and Torres Strait Islander people". Those wishing to express themselves …

  1. Locky

    You say tomato

    To be fair, we do have a bit of form on the invasion front;

    http://bit.ly/2319RoQ

    There's a few low hanging fruit to be knocked off here. I'm sure we can get El Reg to have a go at Andorra if we increase PARIS's payloads a bit

    1. tony72

      Re: You say tomato

      Allow me to make your link an actual link. So people can actually click on it. It takes like five extra seconds, you know;

      Only 22 countries have never been invaded by Britain.

      Good stuff though, I would not have guessed we had invaded so many.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You say tomato

        Only 22 to go for the full set- come on Cameron, you can do it

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You say tomato

          Can we go for Luxembourg first? Those tax pirates...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You say tomato

            No flag no country, those are the rules we just made up.

            1. chivo243 Silver badge

              Re: You say tomato

              Or ripped from Pointless, you know, a sovereign country recognized by the UN....

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. DougS Silver badge

        Better get on it, the US is going to catch up!

        Anyone know our score so far?

    2. Shaha Alam

      Re: You say tomato

      when we get them all can we charge double rent and build hotels?

      1. moiety Silver badge

        Re: You say tomato

        We should at least finish off Europe. That's just untidy.

        1. Lapun Mankimasta Bronze badge
          Joke

          Re: You say tomato

          Lichtenstein - a full-on naval invasion, obviously. Ditto Bolivia and Mongolia. And Chad. And the Central African Republic.

          Just because we'd have to disassemble the ships to get them there, and they might not have any large bodies of water when we get there, shouldn't stop us. We love a challenge, just as the world likes a laugh.

          Anyone know of any large-enough trucking companies ready and willing to shift the disassembled Royal Navy overland to Lichtenstein? And navvies willing (and dumb) enough to disassemble and re-assemble the ships (and potentially the crew - cheaper that way)? The royalties for such a reality TV invasion would be in the billions!!!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: You say tomato

            "Anyone know of any large-enough trucking companies ready and willing to shift the disassembled Royal Navy overland to Lichtenstein?"

            Joe Bloggs' "Man With A Van" could probably manage it in two trips with the current Royal Navy!

            1. x 7

              Re: You say tomato

              Britain managed to get a couple of gunboats to Lake Titicaca in the late 1800's, carrying them in kit form on muleback so theres certainly a precedent

              I believe something similar was achieved at Lake Victoria

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: You say tomato

                Britain managed to get a couple of gunboats to Lake Titicaca in the late 1800's

                Sadly, Michael Palin's attempts to cross the Andes by frog were not so successful. The Git must shamefacedly admit to sharing in the "collective guilt" regarding the fate of those poor frogs.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Only 22 countries have never been invaded by Britain."

    Only because the Germans got their beach towels down first...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a fair cop

    Military force moves ashore, locals overwhelmed (if not bewildered).

    After some genocide and being pushed off their tribal lands, they are slowly removed from history.

    Sounds pretty invasion-ey to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a fair cop

      "Military force moves ashore, locals overwhelmed (if not bewildered)"

      Substitute "Media" for military, and you have Rupert Murdoch, who started with Australia, then went to UK and finally the US, driving out primitive good quality journalism everywhere he went.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        "Substitute "Media" for military,"

        But who else is going to provide us with our daily 2-minutes hate?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a fair cop

      Not to mention carelessly irradiating the local people during the disastrous British atomic tests at Emu Field and Maralinga.

    3. eesiginfo

      Re: It's a fair cop

      Yes, but it's a complex subject.

      For sure, we have learned that the Vikings invaded Britain, and then settled; however 'discovery' and mapping are two different concepts, even if they went hand in hand.

      I was in Kampala once and discussion turned to the discovery of the source of the Nile.

      One local Ugandan said "hmpf.... all the local people knew it was there" another responded "yes, but they didn't know it's significance (as the source of the Nile)".

      Further..... do you discover an island, when it is not inhabited, and map an island when it is inhabited?

      It looks to me like they haven't fully thought it through.... most likely because the thinking will have been primarily driven by 'political correctness', rather than a need to improve terminology.

      1. Shaha Alam

        Re: It's a fair cop

        well, yes, as a tool political correctness is a crude sledgehammer.

        but that's what you need to break down walls. most of which are the walls of institution and high office.

      2. Lapun Mankimasta Bronze badge

        Political correctness Re: It's a fair cop

        You should try raising the subject in some quarters. "Political correctness" is nothing compared to the willful ignorant blindness and crude and malicious contempt displayed by those shouting down "political correctness".

        I've been living in New Zealand for a fair few years, and I can say from first-hand experience, that if settling Maori grievances handn't been made a bipartisan matter for all parties to deal with, it would not have been such a relatively smooth path. Sure there are still issues, but because the issues have been openly discussed for the last twenty odd years and resolved in most cases, even the outstanding issues aren't a threat any more, except to a set of right-wing (alt ring-worm) white supremecists.

    4. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: It's a fair cop

      It is invasion-ey. If we had accepted that and argued that the indigenous Australian's were a defeated people and moved on from there then the UNSW would not be causing such a rumpus now. The problem is that the European's have always tried to have a bet both ways. The Mabo decision demonstrated that Terra Nullius was a convenient fiction that should not be examined too closely by polite society. While no other outcome but European colonisation was possible it would help if we were a little more honest about it and worked out where we go from here. Perhaps dropping the beneficent paternalism and beginning to work in good faith. The problems that the indigenous people have had are not a million miles from what many European descendants are now facing with broken families, substance abuse, homelessness and an unrepresentative government whose primary purpose is social control to protect the *elite*. Writing some past wrongs may lead the way for the depressed soulless society that Australia has become to find its own purpose.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was a settlement, the tragic loss of life due to disease and the blight that was and still is alcohol was the cause of aboriginal decline, though I do also note the land grab was part of this but in a country the size of Australia it's hardly a big issue.

    To state it was an invasion is just pure fantasy.

    Also, If they class a nomadic spiritualistic society as complex and diverse then they clearly don't understand the definitions of such words.

    1. Adair

      To the victors, the spoils.

      Including the leisure to write the 'history' to suit themselves.

      Overall, when it comes to treatment of the 'indigenous people' there is little glory in the European settlement of Australia, and plenty of selfish greed and thuggery. In fact there's no shortage of behaviour by European settlers towards those people who were already in residence that is simply disgusting.

      Not that the current generations should be taking responsibility for the behaviour of their ancestors, they've got enough on their plates trying to manage their own relationships with each other (indigenous and otherwise), and with the land they share and call 'home'.

      And for the record, I write as one from the other side of the Tasman where, despite some good efforts from the beginning, there's also plenty to regret.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: To the victors, the spoils.

        Overall, when it comes to treatment of the 'indigenous people' there is little glory in the European settlement of Australia, and plenty of selfish greed and thuggery. In fact there's no shortage of behaviour by European settlers towards those people who were already in residence that is simply disgusting.

        I agree, but then there's plenty of examples of the opposite. Some of it misguided for sure, but it's there in documents written at the time.

        OTOH there doesn't appear to be much enthusiasm for noting the "selfish greed and thuggery" of the Australian aborigines when they wiped out their predecessors on the continent.

        One of these spanners is Mungo Man, who was discovered in 1974 in the dry lake bed of Lake Mungo in west NSW. Mungo Man was a hominin who was estimated to have died 62,000 years ago and was ritually buried with his hands covering his penis. Anatomically, Mungo Man's bones were distinct from other human skeletons being unearthed in Australia. Unlike the younger skeletons that had big-brows and thick-skulls, Mungo Man's skeleton was finer, and more like modern humans.

        The ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research found that Mungo Man's skeleton's contained a small section of mitochondrial DNA. After analysing the DNA, the school found that Mungo Man's DNA bore no similarity to the other ancient skeletons, modern Aborigines and modern Europeans. Furthermore, his mitochondrial DNA had become extinct.

        Then there's the Kow Swamp People.

        Following on from Mungo Man, the fossil record shows that between 10,000 and 50,000 BCE, Australia was populated by humans with thick robust skeletons that were unlike Aboriginal people today. Skeletons dated at 10,000 years ago found at Kow Swamp were almost like Homo erectus (a species of hominin that existed in Asia until 30,000 years ago). From about 10,000 years ago, the fossil record is dominated by the gracile skeletons that were like Mungo Man's of 62,000 years ago and Aborigines today.

        The aborigines weren't just wiping out races, they were wiping out whole species of humans! But PC says this can only be discussed in hushed tones behind closed doors in academe.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To the victors, the spoils.

          "The aborigines weren't just wiping out races, they were wiping out whole species of humans!"

          They didn't claim to be members of a superior civilisation which had been given the truth about life, the universe and everything in the form of a book, and were therefore entitled to run things their way.

          This is about a university trying to counter a history of lies and hypocrisy, which is the job of a university.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: To the victors, the spoils.

            This is about a university trying to counter a history of lies and hypocrisy, which is the job of a university.

            No it's not. It's about inventing a new and entirely imaginary history. To quote Keith Windschuttle:

            Lyndall Ryan claims that in July 1827 a party pursuing the Aboriginal killers of a stockman at the Western Marshes left 60 blacks dead or wounded. She has taken this report, without acknowledging it, from Shayne Breen's 2001 book on northern Tasmania, which cited a newspaper story. But if you trace the story back to its source in the archives it refers to an event where a party led by Corporal Shiners of the 40th Regiment and four stockmen pursued the Aborigines. At nightfall they got to within forty yards of the Aboriginal camp before the dogs detected them. They got off three shots and only wounded one man. In other words, the press report was a wildly exaggerated rumour.

            It's clear from this that far from respecting Aborigines, Ryan is claiming that the Aborigines were so stupid, that instead of fleeing into the night, fully 60 of them sat around a camp fire while five men with muzzle-loading rifles shot them all. The dogs must have been pretty useless too as one might have expected they would have harassed the shooters.

            Henry Gee's In Search of Deep Time concludes:

            When white settlers arrived in Tasmania they regarded the Stone Age inhabitants as animals and hunted them down to extinction.

            Jim Everett wrote:

            Aboriginal identity has been a problem area for Tasmanian Aborigines and non-Aboriginal Tasmanians since the death of Truganini in 1876. The official decree was that after Truganini, Tasmanian Aborigines were extinct. The recorded remnants of Tasmanian Aborigines, mainly nine women, survived on the islands of the Furneaux Group off north-east Tasmanian. These survivors increased to a sizeable population on the islands, and soon established a community on Cape Barren Island. The Cape Barren Island community was eventually placed under control when the Tasmanian Government introduced the Cape Barren Island Reserve Act 1912. There were, however, other Aboriginal survivors on mainland Tasmania, who integrated into white society to hide their Aboriginality. These mainland Tasmania Aborigines have publicly announced their identity over the past thirty or more years. The majority of recent problems over Tasmanian Aboriginal identity have surfaced because this group is seeking to be recognized as Aborigines after the islander Aborigines paved the way for Aboriginality to be accepted by mainstream Tasmanian society.

            It's an odd feeling reading the writing of someone who is "extinct", not to mention communicating with him at UTas and elsewhere! Scary shit!

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: To the victors, the spoils. @Pompous Git

              "they regarded the Stone Age inhabitants as animals and hunted them"

              I try to be reasonably open-minded about these things, but I can't for the life of me see why anyone would think that they weren't animals. Living a hunter-gatherer existence is little better than cattle or dog-packs, and certainly not significantly different from species of ape that we don't class as human. I'm probably a bad person, but I don't see the big deal about taking land from primitives, regardless of what continent it is. It is the way of the world.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: To the victors, the spoils. @Pompous Git

                I try to be reasonably open-minded about these things, but...

                Congratulations; your arrogance and ignorance are truly astonishing!

                First up, hunter-gatherers were not "little better than cattle or dog-packs", rather the reverse. From the accounts left us by absconders and sailors abandoned far from settlement we know that the Aborigines made their living with far less labour than Europeans. That is, they had far more leisure time than those like yourself who casually assume you are superior. This appears to be true of hunter-gatherers everywhere. It should also be noted that where the Aborigines make their living from the bush today was not where they were living when they became displaced by white settlement.

                Second, and this is where The Git will attract the slur of racist [sigh], the Australian Aborigines have very much superior eyesight than any other group of humans on the planet. They can descry detail that is entirely invisible to the rest of us.

                There is an invisible line north of New Guinea called the Wallace Line. The stretch of deep water dates back to the breakup of the supercontinent, Pangea. On the southern side, animal types long extinct to the north survived: namely marsupials and monotremes. The Australian Aborigines crossed that stretch of water and have thus been called the world's first sailors. The Vikings were latecomers indeed, beaten by 60,000 years. I suspect that the Aborigines were upset by the Lake Mungo discovery because that put them second. And the discovery of the Kow Swamp people puts them third if, as likely, they turn out to be another separate human species.

                The Australian Aborigines invented the boomerang, beating their European counterparts to the invention of the aerofoil by several thousands of years.

                There's far more than this that could be said and I can do no better than to recommend (again) Geoffrey Blainey's superb Triumph of the Nomand. You, sir, are a fool and given the choice of being in a room with you or putting my head into a bucket of shit, I would have no hesitation choosing the bucket of shit.

          2. Sirius Lee

            Re: To the victors, the spoils.

            How do you know? Did you somehow have a learned conversation with one? Dig up and decipher some writing to that effect? For all anyone knows they may very well have believed themselves to be a superior civilization. After all, they came from overseas in boats with all the technology that implies just like the ones a couple of hundred years ago.

            It seems to me that making convenient assertions about the motivations and behaviour of long dead people says more about you that any contribution it might make to any debate on the topic.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: To the victors, the spoils.

              "It seems to me that making convenient assertions about the motivations and behaviour of long dead people says more about you that any contribution it might make to any debate on the topic."

              Spot on! Also, some commentards also need to remember that superimposing todays mores onto the people of the past is always fraught with danger.

              As for "Invasion", maybe everybody ought to "go home". Rift Valley is going to be a bit crowded but the green earthers will be happy that the rest of the planet is no longer being polluted,

              How long do you have to live somewhere to become a "native"?

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: To the victors, the spoils.

                How long do you have to live somewhere to become a "native"?

                Truthfully, here in rural Tasmania, it has been said by more than one newcomer: a lifetime. OTOH, around 25 years ago, one of The Git's neighbours came by with half a dozen stubbies of beer that he put on the kitchen table.

                He said: "Fuckin' arseholes come from the city and tell us how to do this and how to do that. Not you ya cunt! Anybody'd think you were fuckin' born 'ere!"

                One of the proudest moments in my life so far. We went on to discuss how my neighbours observed that many of my strange (organic) methods worked better than what they were doing and so they adopted them. Of course I also frequently asked their advice and when appropriate accepted it. When in Rome do mostly what the Romans do, but never tell them what to do.

              2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: To the victors, the spoils.

                As for "Invasion", maybe everybody ought to "go home". Rift Valley is going to be a bit crowded but the green earthers will be happy that the rest of the planet is no longer being polluted,

                Oddly enough, the discovery of the Lake Mungo human remains calls into question the Out of Africa hypothesis. As I noted earlier, the mtDNA is not that of mitochondrial Eve that all living humans appear to possess. It's far from the realms of possibility that they were the creators of the Bradshaw rock art that is found at ~100,000 sites spread over 50,000 km^2 of northern Australia. This rock art is attributed by the local Aboriginal people to unknown predecessors and they confess to having no understanding of what the art's meaning is. This is hardly surprising. It frequently depicts people, and boats with keels and rudders rather than animals.

                Dating the art has been problematic; the pigments have become as one with the rock. One such work is covered by a fossilised wasp's nest dated to ~17,000 years before the present. That's considerably older than the pyramids at Gizeh and intriguingly earlier than the supposed invention of keels and rudders. The rudder is supposedly an invention of the first century AD by the Chinese.

                While unanswered questions intrigue those of us of a Gittish Nature, the Black Armbanders have thus far successfully managed to stifle any meaningful investigation of such things. So it goes...

            2. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: To the victors, the spoils.

              How do you know? Did you somehow have a learned conversation with one? Dig up and decipher some writing to that effect? For all anyone knows they may very well have believed themselves to be a superior civilization.

              How do we know? We have accounts from shipwrecked and abandoned sailors, and absconding convicts. Some left extensive accounts of their life while living with Australian Aborigines. There is scant evidence that the Australian Aborigines lived their lives any differently in the dim and distant than they were living when the Europeans arrived. These accounts all tell us that the Aborigines experienced little if any hardship as nomads travelling constantly from one food source to the next. They also tell us that they were treated with great kindness and respect.

              The only evidence of civilisation comes from stone housing on High Cliffy Island off the Kimberley coast and in one district of Victoria. These consist of stone circles ~2 metres across and 1.5 metres high. Presumably branches and bark were placed over these to form a roof. The reason for this is immediately obvious. As perennial nomads, the Aborigines were completely incapable of carrying these stone circles with them. But this lack of civilisation poses an interesting question: Why didn't the Aborigines develop settled living and agriculture as happened in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas?

              The most cogent of various reasons put forth is that they never felt the need. Ever so much of Australia is sufficiently mild in climate that sleeping next to a campfire on colder nights was entirely sufficient. Another is that unlike the other continents, there were no plants suitable for cultivation as a bulk food source. There was no equivalent to maize, wheat, barley, oats, rice, or potatoes. Make no mistake that the Aborigines were ignorant of gardening. There is abundant evidence that there was trade between mainland Australia and islands to the north.

              Another reason for not developing any form of agriculture is the general unsuitability of Australian ecosystems for farming. The first colonists went very close to starving to death, though this was not merely the drought they encountered, but also a complete lack of farming expertise of any kind.

              These words are not "convenient assertions" alone, but also the result of careful reading of documents written in colonial times, long and rewarding conversations with my Aboriginal brothers and sisters, not always over a bottle of Laphroaig it must be said. And then finally, there is logic; codified long ago by Aristotle, but sadly lacking in our modern civilisation. SiriousLee, you might want to learn some; it's difficult I know and requires no small effort, but the rewards are great :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To the victors, the spoils.

        History is written by the victors, I just don't see it as an invasion unless the history books are extremely skewed, which is possible. I mean did they really have to write up a fake history about disease, there is no purpose or gain to that because lets face it a lot of other invasions haven't been polished over by the history books.

        You also say current generations shouldn't be taking responsibility, I disagree on this as only in the 60's were the Australian government taking the kids (Rabbit proof fence) and even now most indigenous races on the planet get a shit deal, that's not liberal pc thinking, just how it is.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: To the victors, the spoils.

          You also say current generations shouldn't be taking responsibility, I disagree on this as only in the 60's were the Australian government taking the kids (Rabbit proof fence) and even now most indigenous races on the planet get a shit deal, that's not liberal pc thinking, just how it is.

          Very much is made of the "stolen generations"* and perhaps it was cruel to remove those children from their traditional environment. OTOH, the "stolen" children were educated and became equipped for survival in modern Australian society. Were the children who weren't "stolen" better off for not becoming so equipped? Even now, traditional Aborigine communities have trouble with school attendance. Is it better that these children learn that there's no prospect of employment in the future, just the dole, petrol-sniffing and alcohol abuse for all and physical and sexual abuse for the women? There was a TV news item this very year of Aborigines complaining about their kids being taught English in primary school. And one also on the surgery a plastic surgeon, horrified by what he saw an Aboriginal man had done to his wife's face, had to perform to restore functionality.

          * I have read accounts of where Aborigine mothers gave their children to be fostered and educated because they thought their children deserved better than growing up to become uneducated alcoholics.

          1. julian.smith

            Re: To the victors, the spoils.

            The "Stolen Generation" were mostly used as slaves.

            Imprisoned, no wages ++++

            You might find some research on the Qld Native Police helpful in broadening you mind on the attempted genocide.

            South Australia has a shameful history of murdering Indigenous males .... smells like genocide to me.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: To the victors, the spoils.

              The "Stolen Generation" were mostly used as slaves.

              It should come as no surprise to anyone with more than a single brain cell that julian.smith's assertions are completely false and without merit. I am not here denying that atrocities took place, but it takes but a few moments to fact-check his assertions.

              University historian Peter Read was the first to advance the concept of the "Stolen Generations". He claimed that during the 20thC, 50,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their mothers.

              He asserted, without evidence, that state governments removed children as young as possible and reared them in institutions deliberately isolated from any possible contamination from Aboriginal culture. "Welfare officers, removing children solely because they were Aboriginal intended and arranged that they should lose their Aboriginality, and that they never return home."

              Keith Windschuttle* analysed NSW case records for the period 1907 to 1932. They

              reveal that 66 per cent of the 800 children then removed were teenagers aged 13 to 19 years. Some 23 per cent were aged six to 12, and only 10 per cent were babies to five-year-olds.

              Most of them came from Aboriginal welfare stations and reserves. Two-thirds of the teenagers went not to institutions but into the workforce as apprentices.

              As it happens, the standard destination for white children in welfare institutions was apprenticeship also, not just blacks. In the early decades of the 20thC, apprenticeship meant leaving home for four years and living with an employer. Apprenticeships for boys usually meant agriculture and domestic service for girls.

              AB Facey has given us a truly horrifying account of what his life as an apprentice was like in his memoir A Fortunate Life. There are few who can read this book without weeping. It is on a par with Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Unfortunately for the likes of julian.smith, AB Facey was a whitefella, not a blackfella. They myth that Aborigines were being singled out, is... just that, a myth.

              The laws in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory during the first half of the 20th century strictly forbade the removal of full-blood Aborigine children. The so-called "Stolen Generation" were either half-caste, or white.

              In the 1980s, The Git was an ALP branch secretary and he invited Mike Mansell to address the branch on the land rights issue. Things were pretty well done and dusted with private land-owners mostly happy to play their part in reconciliation. The general membership, too, were largely in favour. Government OTOH, despite their wailing, gnashing of teeth, sackcloth and ashes, were not and stalled as long is it was possible to keep the Crown land then in question from the Aborigines.

              It should go without saying that making stuff up does absolutely nothing for reconciliation; rather the opposite is the case. God how I detest and loath hypocrisy.

              * Keith is widely regarded by the Black Armbanders as extreme right wing. When Keith and I were attending our respective universities in the 1960s, he was a card-carrying communist. As one of Blainey's students once remarked, when you're politically to the left of Pol Pot, just about everyone's an extreme right winger.

  5. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Lord Vetinari insists

    we call Captain Cook a "trespasser", in the best traditions of Ankh-Morpork's Trespassers' Society

  6. Unep Eurobats
    Trollface

    They could always

    change their flag.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They could always

      I think they're just sore that New Zealand voted not to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They could always

        Maybe New Zealanders could vote on a new flag for Australia.

        Maybe something in canary yellow. With a kangaroo...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Trollface

          Re: They could always

          If NZ voted for a new Australian flag I think it would be a trollface saying "Durr, I iz so stoopid"

          Just a feeling I got while over there, you understand?

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: They could always

            If NZ voted for a new Australian flag I think it would be a trollface saying "Durr, I iz so stoopid"

            Just a feeling I got while over there, you understand?

            Sounds like you never heard the one about New Zealanders emigrating to Australia lowering the IQ of both countries :-)

            In compensation for the bad joke, I must say the feeling I had while in New Zealand recently to visit my part-Maori daughter and grandchildren was, if I had to live anywhere other than Tasmania, it would be New Zealand. I was treated with enormous kindness and respect, particularly by the medical staff at Palmerston North hospital. So different to the treatment I have usually received at Hobart's RHH.

            And for any bacon lover visiting Palmy, the dry-cured bacon at the little café opposite the library is to die for. At least as good as that I have made for myself.

            1. kiwimuso
              Joke

              Re: They could always

              "Sounds like you never heard the one about New Zealanders emigrating to Australia lowering the IQ of both countries "

              Ha. Ha.

              Maybe you never heard of Prime Minister Muldoon making the comment back in the '70s that all the immigrants to Oz, FROM NZ was actually RAISING the IQ of both countries.

              It's a bit late to start twisting the truth!!!!

              And I don't really think that this is a joke!!! I am just being polite to our Western Island friends.

              1. x 7

                Re: They could always

                "Maybe you never heard of Prime Minister Muldoon making the comment back in the '70s that all the immigrants to Oz, FROM NZ was actually RAISING the IQ of both countries."

                well, the same could be said of all the criminals we transported overseas. Their absence enhanced the IQ of the UK, and hopfully enhanced the IQ of the receiving countries - though I suspect the Maori and Abos may feel otherwise

  7. A. Coatsworth
    Facepalm

    So, the word "aborigines" should not be used, and to make it clear they immediately use it in the description of Uluru's English name...

    Nope, no problem there at all

  8. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    If Cook would have been delayed by just a couple of days, Australia would have been a colony of - drumroll - France.

    Discuss...

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      TV programmes on bush tucker would be very different

      "lightly sauté the grubs with some garlick...."

      I doubt the seafood could be improved by the French, however. The seafood I had down-under was every bit as good as anything I have had in France, Italy, or Greece.

      Doffs hat (the roo-leather Barmah most appropriately today) to Aussie cuisine

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: TV programmes on bush tucker would be very different

        But would there still be the prize winning 'Cuiver Reserve Chateau Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga', with its bouquet like an aborigine's armpit?

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: TV programmes on bush tucker would be very different

          But would there still be the prize winning 'Cuiver Reserve Chateau Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga', with its bouquet like an aborigine's armpit?

          You're just jealous because we Antipodeans pay a lot less for first-class wines than you poor, benighted Northern Hemispherians ;-)

          1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

            Re: TV programmes on bush tucker would be very different

            We do pretty well for wine in California!

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: TV programmes on bush tucker would be very different

              We do pretty well for wine in California!

              Agreed. Quoting Robin Williams:

              What's the house wine? . . . Thunderbird? Ah, but it's a good week though!

    2. Oengus Silver badge

      Historical correction...

      "If Cook would have been delayed by just a couple of days, "

      Incorrect. Cook preceded the settlement of Australia by roughly 18 years. The "First Fleet" was lead by Commodore (later Governor) Arthur Phillip. It was the "First Fleet" that encountered La Perouse.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Historical correction...

        Cook preceded the settlement of Australia by roughly 18 years

        True, but the first Englishman to "discover" Australia was not Capt. Cook, but one Capt. John Brooke on Mayday 1622. His ship, the Tryall ran aground some weeks later* and of the 103 crew, ten survived and made their way to Batavia in a longboat. But don't tell anyone because everybody knows it was Captain Cook who was the First Englishman to sight the the Australian continent on 20 April 1770.

        * It is not recorded whether the word "mayday" was uttered by any of the crew, but it seems unlikely given the general attitude of the English and French towards each other.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: Historical correction...

          Wikipedia says the Dutch arrived in 1606 and the continent was called "New Holland" - by them - until the British barged in. But as far as exploitation goes, it seems that they mostly couldn't be bothered going all that way to make people miserable.

  9. x 7

    Dampier got there first.

    From his descriptions, Swift coined the name "Yahoos" for the existing population. Much more expressive and realistic than "Aborigine". But does it mean that Marissa Meyer is the chief Abo?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Angel

      Marissa Meyer

      No harassing her (while anyone's watching)

  10. Kurt Meyer

    Universities in Australia

    There is, of course, only one with a claim to scholarship worthy of notice.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Universities in Australia

      I notice your name isn't Bruce... well that's bound to cause some confusion...

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Universities in Australia

        I notice your name isn't Bruce... well that's bound to cause some confusion...

        No, it's you who are confused. Straliuns pronounce k-u-r-t as bruce (or broos). A lot depends on how much amber fluid has been consumed.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
          Pint

          Re: Universities in Australia

          Ahh, that explains everything!

  11. Christoph Silver badge

    "indigenous Australian people/s"

    How do you pronounce IAPs? Something like 'yaps'?

    Because it will inevitably be shortened - only extreme pedants will refer to 'indigenous Australian people' every time they reference them.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "indigenous Australian people/s"

      'styrlians also like to add an "ee" sound at the end, so Yappies is the more likely the outcome of this PC campaign which sound even worse.

  12. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Two things

    Firstly, I'm astonished that anyone could seriously claim it wasn't an invasion. They were there first. They didn't arrive in boats afterwards.

    Secondly, outside of the specific context of Australian peoples, "aboriginal" just means "They were there first". It's more or less a synonym of indigenous and therefore hardly worth the argument. My guess is that in another few decades, there will be people insisting that the phrase "indigenous peoples" is patronising and must be replaced with ... who knows. (Perhaps something in one of their own languages?)

    Still, I'm not one of the indigenous people myself so I'll let them choose their own name. To insist otherwise would simply be impolite and that's terribly un-British.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Two things

      Firstly, I'm astonished that anyone could seriously claim it wasn't an invasion. They were there first. They didn't arrive in boats afterwards.

      "They" (Aborigines) were most definitely not here first. As I pointed out in the post above, there were at least two preceding human species here before the modern Aborigines arrived. They were invaded as they were here before Europeans, but that does not mean they were here first.

      The truly sad thing here is the extent to which Aboriginal activists and the Black Armband historians will go to stifle scholarship. They were royally pissed off when ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research found that Mungo Man's DNA bore no resemblance to other ancient skeletons, modern Aborigines and modern Europeans. They have successfully prevented DNA analysis of the Kow swamp people.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Two things

      "Still, I'm not one of the indigenous people myself so I'll let them choose their own name. "

      You'll probably find they already have. Each grouping in it's own language. You'll often find that a native peoples name for itself translates in English to "the people" or similar and the name for other peoples not of their group often translate to "others", "outsiders", "strangers" or similar, sometimes with overtones of inferiority since they are not "The People".

  13. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So, history is coming back to bite one in the arse, it seems. The next step will be to vilify all the current population for the sins of their forefathers. We're going through this here in the States where polarization is occurring because of the actions of one's great-great-grandparents. But, it's all being done in the name of Political Correctness and that makes it alright. Or does it?

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      You don't get to choose your ancestors, and whatever happened in the past happened, good and bad.

      I kinda like Churchill's take on this. Apparently he worried not so much that those who forget the past are condemned to relive it, but that the loss of the past would mean “the most thoughtless of ages. Every day headlines and short views.” (House of Commons, 16 November 1948)

  14. earl grey Silver badge
    Linux

    I blame the penguins

    If they had ONLY stayed in Antarctica... But noooooooooooooo, they had to invade other continents.

  15. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I have no problem with the use of the term "invasion"

    As applied in either Australasia or the Americas. Think of it this way--a shipload of strangers shows up off your coast today, comes ashore, sets up a town and starts taking political control of your area, at the point of a gun if their trade goods didn't convince you to knuckle under. I think a reasonable person could be forgiven for considering that an invasion. Add to that the nasty Eurasian diseases that destroyed native societies before most white settlers even came into contact with them, or the fact that your new light-skinned neighbors often conscripted you into slavery or hard labor.

    However, I think it was probably the best thing for humanity as a whole. Certainly in the Americas the land that was taken over provided a home for hundreds of millions of immigrants from around the world. What would have happened to those people and their homelands if the reaction during the Age of Discovery would have been "Oh wait. That place already has a native society. We had better be civilized and declare the Western Hemisphere off-limits." Certainly, things in the Eastern Hemisphere would be far, far worse than they are.

    However, I am aware that native societies in Australasia and the Americas picked up one hell of a tab to make that possible.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: I have no problem with the use of the term "invasion"

      "Think of it this way--a shipload of strangers shows up off your coast today, comes ashore, sets up a town and starts taking political control of your area"

      Maybe they should have been called refugees...

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: I have no problem with the use of the term "invasion"

        Maybe they should have been called refugees...

        In a very important sense they were refugees. The convicts were leaving a land where they were living in abject poverty for one where ever so many went on to become prosperous land and business-owners. Documents in the archives record that many deliberately committed crimes in order to be transported. Even in 1965 when The Git and his family left England's "green unpleasant land" for Australia, The Git's mother referred to us as "rats leaving a sinking ship".

  16. Blipvert
    Thumb Up

    Finally, well done!

    so will the white infestation kindly leave now?

  17. DougS Silver badge

    Can we not agree

    That when a population with greatly superior numbers or technology moves into a new area, things almost always go poorly for the population that was already present in that area? This isn't a European thing, this is a human nature thing. While we have written records of what European settlers did in Australia, Africa and North America, we don't have records of what the populations they displaced in those areas may have done thousands of years ago when they first arrived if there were already humans or hominids present, but we can easily guess.

    The idea of the 'noble savage' versus the 'immoral European' is just wrong. Human nature is the same whether you are are clothed in animal skins and carrying spears, or clothed in cotton and carrying firearms.

    I don't think we need to rewrite every history of western 'invasion' to suit, but merely to point out that in all such cases, bad things were done by those with more power. Had Cook encountered an Aboriginal civilization with WWI technology like powered flight and machine guns, no doubt the Europeans would have been on the receiving end of a massacre if they tried to move in without permission.

  18. JamesMcP

    So the British refer to the 1940s Germans as "settlers" rather than "invaders"?

    And the Irish considered the English to be settlers and not "invaders"?

    And the Celts considered the Romans to be settlers and not "invader"?

    And the Cherokee considered the europeans to be settlers and not "invaders"?

    Human history is chock full of invasions. Let's call a spade a spade. The invaders like to call themselves "settlers" and the invadees refer to the invaders with invectives.

    White-washing* history is comparable to polical correctness, except white washing is seeking to actively reframe the situation in a fashion that makes the historical victors morally and ethically pure. Political correctness, while irritating, generally seeks to avoid using emotionally charged language.

    *it's a kind of paint not a skintone-based perjorative.

  19. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    @DougS

    We actually do have some written records of how native societies treated eachother. One of the reasons the Lewis & Clark expedition from Missouri to the Pacific coast and back went so well was because they were helped along the way by a few smaller Indian tribes who were being preyed on by the aggressive Sioux nation. These smaller tribes viewed the arrival of white men on the Great Plains as a counterweight to Sioux dominance. The Sioux themselves tried to stop or exact a tribute from the expedition on a couple occasions. Finally, as the expedition was rafting back down the Missouri River on their return, they yelled to a bunch of Sioux warriors sent to challenge them that the Sioux were no friend of the United States and the expedition would be sure to tell that to Washington DC.

    And of course every other movie now (Dances With Wolves being a great example), portrays the Sioux as noble savages.

    And of course the major Central American Indian societies were famously bloodthirsty.

    The expedition documented everything, including what they saw and heard of the Sioux.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: @DougS

      We actually do have some written records of how native societies treated eachother.

      We also have written records of how the Australian Aborigines treated each other. Geoffrey Blainey points out in his excellent book Triumph of the Nomads that the Aborigine tribes were constantly at war with each other. The death rate was higher than that of the general population of Europe in WW1.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Doctor Evil

    WTF is wrong with ...

    "Torres Strait Islanders"? (the phrase, not the indigenous persons)

    This is PC gone absolutely bonkers. Your "invasion/colonization/occupation" is my "discovery". How about just using "contact" and leaving it at that?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Invasion of Europe

    So will the future history writers be forced to refer to the current refugee "crisis" as the Syrian Invasion of Europe?

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Invasion of Europe

      So will the future history writers be forced to refer to the current refugee "crisis" as the Syrian Invasion of Europe?

      History writers are never "forced" to write anything. They must however interpret if they are true historians as distinct from historiographers. Each generation carries its own cultural baggage and thus will understand/interpret historical facts differently. To illustrate, I will use what seems a simple enough concept: recycling.

      I was recently taken to task by a youngster because for using the same bottles for my home brewed beer for over thirty years and calling that recycling. Recycling to him means taking the bottles to the municipal tip, smashing them in a 200 litre drum put there for that purpose so the broken glass can be sent to Indonesia to be melted down and made into beer bottles of arguably considerably lower quality. He is "saving the planet"; The Git is "killing the environment". I suspect that future historians will reverse that judgement.

      There are people alive today who would have been given arsenic as a medicine in their youth. It was still the favourite cure-all of the medical profession well into the 20th C. If they suffered from arsenic poisoning, a common enough occurrence, they were given more arsenic as a cure. In hindsight, that was beyond stupid.

    2. bep

      Re: Invasion of Europe

      Well if you compare the two events you can easily see why the refugee influx is not an invasion but what the British did in 1788 was. Fully armed and ready to use said weapons? Check! Alienating land and resources without adequate compensation? Check! As for Captain (actually Lieutenant) Cook, well everyone knows he didn't 'discover' Australia, the whole reason he was sent at all was because other Europeans had been here first.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Invasion of Europe

        Alienating land and resources without adequate compensation? Check!

        You Black Armbanders really fucking piss me off! The Aborigines had a completely different concept of land and resources to the European settlers. The above quote would have been utterly meaningless to them. They did understand trade of course, which is why they so readily sold their women to (mainly) American sailors in return for flour and sugar.

        Relations between Aborigines and white settlers in Tasmania were mostly cordial. There were however occasional and sporadic violent incidents, mainly the killing of isolated shepherds. Two exceptions to this were the notorious Aborigine bushrangers, Musquito and Black Tom. The former was not a Tasmanian and the latter had been raised by Thomas Birch, a white Hobart merchant. The predations of the two criminals have been elevated by Manne, Ryan, Reynolds and their ilk to a the status of a patriotic Black War. Indeed, Reynolds once claimed it was "the greatest internal threat that Australia ever faced". It's hard to reconcile this with the killing of exactly one soldier by an Aborigine. I quote Windschuttle again:

        Let me finish by talking about reconciliation, which Manne claims my book tries to undermine. I cannot see how a story about violence and warfare between blacks and whites, if it is untrue, can help reconciliation at all. What good does it do Aboriginal people to tell them the whites wanted to exterminate them, when they never did? What good does it do Aboriginal people to tell them they were a conquered people, when they never were?

        There are many Aboriginal people today who actually support my case, especially in Tasmania. I have been invited to attend a ceremony on September 12 which the Liah Pootah people will conduct jointly with other residents of Hobart to commemorate the bicentenary of the first British settlement in Tasmania at Risdon Cove in 1803. These descendants of the Aborigines are commemorating the British arrival because, like all Tasmanian Aboriginal people, they are also descendants of the British settlers. They are celebrating both sides of their heritage. Compare this with the contribution towards reconciliation made by the Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan version of Australia history. The message Aboriginal people have taken from their books is that the British arrival was comparable to an invasion by the Nazis. The Reynolds and Ryan story, which Robert Manne's book tries to perpetuate, does not foster reconciliation, it only fans racial hostility and hatred. It is not only historically untrue. It is also racially divisive and politically inept.

        Each of us is responsible for what we believe. By and large, we don't just believe anything merely for the sake of believing in something. We can be said to exercise intellectual responsibility by believing what is true and refusing to acknowledge what is false. The Git believes that to do otherwise shows profound contempt for the rights and liberties of others.

        [Aside]

        Before anyone takes The Git to task for plagiarism, he freely admits this. By the wildest of coincidences, never noticed by those making that accusation, the person he is plagiarising is also called The Pompous Git. The Git also freely admits to having stolen the handle he uses with considerable pride, though rarely if ever with decorum, from Stuart Littlemore when he became Stuart Littleless following one of the seemingly endless series of budget cuts at the ABC.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Invasion of Europe

        the refugee influx is not an invasion but what the British did in 1788 was. Fully armed and ready to use said weapons?

        Because of course no Muslim refugee has ever been known to bear arms, shoot people, or blow them up? Sounds like some version of reality I've not heard about. Do tell us more...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their list is not entirely accurate

    They only have one word to describe the indigenous people of Central Australia - Anangu. But this is only one of half a dozen groups, all of which speak similar but different languages, e.g. Aranta and Pitjantjatjara.

    I would respect these good academics more if they had vocally supported a Northern Territory government minister, Beth Price, in her attempt to be permitted to speak her native language, Walpiri, in the assembly. But since she is a member of a conservative government, that would be too much to ask.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Their list is not entirely accurate

      I would respect these good academics more if they had vocally supported a Northern Territory government minister, Beth Price, in her attempt to be permitted to speak her native language, Walpiri, in the assembly. But since she is a member of a conservative government, that would be too much to ask.

      While this is the first I have heard of this, it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility that it's because apart from herself nobody else in the assembly would have a fucking clue what she was saying? You do know that the purpose of speech is something called communication. Understand though, there's this deep need in me to communicate in English, rather than bore people shitless by writing in Old, Classical, Vulgar, Mediaeval, Renaissance, or God forbid, Modern Latin. Perhaps I'm missing something...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Their list is not entirely accurate

        Steady on Pompous Ignoramus!!

        Ça va sans dire, that the good minister's speech would be translated into English. Most of our indigenous brothers and sisters in the Northern Territory are polyglots, speaking their own languages, several other indigenous languages and English. So other indigenous members would understand and some of the less ignorant non-indigenous Australians would also understand.

        Not all of us are not monolingual English speakers who need to resort to vulgarities to express ourselves.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Their list is not entirely accurate

          Steady on Pompous Ignoramus!!

          Ça va sans dire, that the good minister's speech would be translated into English. Most of our indigenous brothers and sisters in the Northern Territory are polyglots, speaking their own languages, several other indigenous languages and English. So other indigenous members would understand and some of the less ignorant non-indigenous Australians would also understand.

          Not all of us are not monolingual English speakers who need to resort to vulgarities to express ourselves.

          The Git is rather proud of his ignorance as it happens. There are ever so many things I do not know and am happy to be enlightened. However, you have failed utterly to explain why the good minster wishes to speak in a language in all likelihood unknown to her listeners. They too are presumably ignoramuses who for one reason or another failed to learn a language almost certainly spoken and understood by a handful of people. As I said, I would not be so presumptuous.

          I'm having trouble parsing your final sentence. Some people express negatives by using double-negatives while those of us trained in mathematics and/or logic are trained to parse double-negatives as positives.

          The gist I take it is mainly an objection to The Git's use of vulgarities (word use characterised by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste). As it happens, this is in the Nature of being The Pompous Git. It is also the case that such word usage was common when The Git began posting here and when in Rome, do as the Romans do as us common muck are wont to say. If your effeteness finds this offensive, please feel free to complain to the site owners and if they tell me to fuck off, I will certainly do so.

  24. MrDamage
    Thumb Down

    invasion, colonisation, occupation

    Funny how white fella gets tagged with being invaders, but the invaders of darker skin tones who pushed the first wave of indigenous Australians down into Tasmania (who then became known as Tasmanian Aboriginals), get let off the hook.

    I'm all for being referred to as an invader, conqueror, colonialist etc, as long as those throwing those words at me are prepared to be called the same thing.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: invasion, colonisation, occupation

      Funny how white fella gets tagged with being invaders, but the invaders of darker skin tones who pushed the first wave of indigenous Australians down into Tasmania (who then became known as Tasmanian Aboriginals), get let off the hook.

      The difficulty here of course is who is a whitefella and who is a blackfella? A good friend came by with a bottle of Laphroaig* some years ago and during the ensuing conversation posed the following question: How come Jim Everett's 90% white and a blackfella, and I'm 10% black and I'm a whitefella?

      * No, the reason we are friends is not because of the Laphroaig, but a consequence of our friendship.

      Story here about Dallas Scott, a man obviously Aboriginal, but not accepted as one by the Aboriginal Community:

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/no-so-black-and-white/story-e6frg8h6-1226305047298

      I've never had a Certificate of Aboriginality - never needed one," he says, "but when I moved from Brisbane back to Victoria last year, they said I would need one if I wanted to get Aboriginal housing." He filled out the paperwork for the Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative, which hands out certificates in certain Victorian regions, and he went to the trouble of meeting some of the elders who sit on the board. He waited a few weeks and when he didn't hear anything, he called to find out what was going on. "That's when they told me - my claim to Aboriginality had been rejected.

  25. Pompous Git Silver badge

    Some further thoughts on "squeaking in obscure languages"

    Passed this by an Aborigine friend. (At least we hope he is. Like Dallas Scott he had never heard of the necessity to own a Certificate of Aboriginality before). He recalled with some mirth when a sociologist visited Cape Barren Island these many years past. The sociologist dutifully recorded everything the Aborigines told him and no doubt met some acclaim for his scholarship. Unfortunately for the sociologist, the Islanders had told him nothing more than a pack of fanciful lies. Not out of any malice, I hasten to add; just for the fun of gulling someone credulous enough to believe whatever these oh so "noble savages" told him.

    But back to Beth Price and her proposed speech to the Northern Territory. My friend suggested that the members opposed may very well have heard about the Cape Barren incident, or something similar. In that case they might also have justifiably feared sitting and listening to a speech taking the piss while being fed a translation bearing no resemblance whatsoever to what she was actually saying in her native tongue.

    C'est amusant, n'est-ce pas?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We never invaded anywhere, we civilised

    Admittedly we failed with Australia

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: We never invaded anywhere, we civilised

      Admittedly we failed with Australia

      And thank whichever deity is responsible for that!

      PREAMBLE FOR NEW AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION

      We, the people of the broad brown land of Oz, wish to be recognised as a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional boong. We come from many lands (although a few too many of us come from New Zealand) and, although we live in the best country in the world, we reserve the right to bitch and moan about it whenever we bloody like.

      We are One Nation but we're divided into many States.

      First, there's Victoria, named after a queen who didn't believe in lesbians. Victoria is the realm of Mossimo turtlenecks, cafe latte, grand final day and big horse races. Its capital is Melbourne, whose chief marketing pitch is that it's "liveable". At least that's what they think. The rest of us think it is too bloody cold and wet.

      Next, there's NSW, the realm of pastel shorts, macchiato with sugar, thin books read quickly and millions of dancing queens. Its capital Sydney has more queens than any other city in the world, and is proud of it. Its mascots are Bondi lifesavers who pull their Speedos up their cracks to keep the left and right sides of their brains separate.

      Down south we have Tasmania, a State based on the notion that the family that bonks together stays together. In Tassie, everyone gets an extra chromosome at conception. Maps of the State bring smiles to the sternest faces. It holds the world record for a single mass shooting, which the Yanks can't seem to beat no matter how often they try.

      South Australia is the province of half-decent reds, a festival of foreigners and bizarre axe murders. SA is the state of innovation, where else can you so effectively reuse country bank vaults and barrels as in

      Snowtown, just out of Adelaide (also named after a queen). They had the Grand Prix, but lost it when the views of Adelaide sent the Formula One drivers to sleep at the wheel.

      Western Australia is too far from anywhere to be relevant in this document. It's main claim to fame is that it doesn't have daylight saving because if it did all the men would get erections on the bus on the way to work. WA was the last state to stop importing convicts, and many of them still work there in the government and business.

      The Northern Territory is the red heart of our land. Outback plains, sheep stations the size of Europe, kangaroos, jackaroos, emus, Ulurus and dusty kids with big smiles. It also has the highest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet, and its creek beds have the highest aluminium content of anywhere too. Although the Territory is the centrepiece of our national culture, few of us live there and the rest prefer to fly over it on our way to Bali.

      And there's Queensland. While any mention of God seems silly in a document defining a nation of half-arsed agnostics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a mystery.

      Oh yes, and there's Canberra. The least said the better.

      We, the citizens of Oz, are united by the Pacific Highway, whose treacherous twists and turns kill more of us each year than die by murder.

      We are united in our lust for international recognition, so desperate for praise we leap in joy when a ragtag gaggle of corrupt IOC officials tells us Sydney is better than Beijing.

      We are united by a democracy so flawed that a political party, albeit a redneck gun-toting one, can get a million votes and still not win one seat in Federal Parliament while bloody Brian Harradine can get 24,000 votes and run the whole country.

      Not that we're whingeing, we leave that to our Pommy immigrants. We want to make "no worries mate" our national phrase, "she'll be right mate" our national attitude, and "Waltzing Matilda" our national anthem (So what if it's about a sheep-stealing crim who commits suicide).

      We love sport so much our newsreaders can read the death toll from a sailing race and still tell us who's winning in the same breath. And we're the best in the world at all the sports that count, like cricket, netball, rugby, AFL, roo-shooting, two-up and horse racing.

      We also have the biggest rock, the tastiest pies, the blackest aborigines and the worst-dressed Olympians in the known universe.

      We shoot, we root, we vote. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime. And even though we might seem a racist, closed-minded, sports-obsessed little people, at least we're better than the Kiwis.

      Amen. Oh, and awomen, too.

      1. Lapun Mankimasta Bronze badge

        Re: We never invaded anywhere, we civilised

        You're working down the quarry as a powder-monkey's mate

        With your jelly and your fuses and it's time to detonate

        But you find you've left your crimping pliers down beside the gate -

        Don't worry mate, she'll be right

        She'll be right, mate, she'll be right

        Don't worry mate, she'll be right

        Shove the det. in underneath, you can crimp it with your teeth,

        Don't worry, mate, she'll be ....

  27. Pompous Git Silver badge

    The "Stolen Generations" part deux

    Back in the 1960s when The Git and the tribe to which he belonged arrived in the Land known to the constabulary as Under, child slavery was in full swing. They were mainly housed in orphanages managed by "charitable" organisations such as the Roman Catholic and Methodist churches, though by no means restricted to those two institutions. The stories the Git has been told are almost as horrifying as the one related by AB Facey. Boys were forced to carry bricks up ladders and beaten if they dared to let any drop. Their bare legs were burnt by the quicklime used make mortar. For good measure, they were frequently sodomised by those supposedly in charge of their welfare. The scars inflicted on those children were both physical and psychological.

    "Poor little Abos" I can hear many of you thinking. While The Git is certain that some of them may have been, he does not believe that many Aborigines came from Birmingham (Brum when The Git lived in Nuneaton), Liverpool, London, Manchester and various other cities, towns and villages in UKLand. Then, as now, fucking was a very popular recreation. Unlike today, contraception was much more difficult to obtain so ever so many young women gave birth to unwanted children. These children were gathered together by British philanthropic organisations and transported to Australia where they were promised anything but severe physical and sexual abuse. And I bet you thought transportation ended on 10 August 1853.

    FWIW The Git thinks we'd be better served saving each other rather than saving the fucking planet. The current Royal Commission Into Sexual Abuse of Children would appear to be a step in the right direction.

  28. Spamfast Bronze badge
    Pirate

    ... to be taken into consideration

    Oh what fun. Revisionism, "political correctness gone mad" (to be read as "I'm not bigoted but ..."), re-revisionism, rumour, urban myth, actual gratuitous political correctness and much, much more.

    Let me add something only tangentially relevant simply because I like it. There's a sign in my local boozerama:-

    Britain has history. Australia has previous.

    I think the general consensus is heaven help the locals - whoever and wherever they are. (As can be seen at any Mediterranean holiday resort popular with British or German tourists. Been there, am one!)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020