‘What British jokes about Australians really mean’ | G. Rundle- The Guardian

‘What British jokes about Australians really mean’ | G. Rundle- The Guardian

It’s possible to over-react to it – still feeling the colonial relationship a bit too keenly – and, though it can be wearying, it is difficult to take exception to much of it. This is, after all, a country with great swaths of very ugly racism running through it – and many of the people pointing it out to the Brits are Australians themselves, such as John Pilger and Germaine Greer. Faced with the British assertion that Australia is a sexist place, you could point to things like our vastly better childcare system or the boys’ club of the British establishment – but it all wilts before the spectacle of a country assailing its prime minister with the grossest misogyny, a process well out of control. And many of the young Aussies who hit the UK for a two-year work visa tour of duty are a bit rambunctious – perhaps more so than they are at home – and Australian brands such as Foster’s play up to the image to sell product. Even the brigade of Aussies who seem to run the UK’s legal firms and arts organisations can on occasion be seen Jager-bombing and mooning antipodean-curious Finns and Spaniards at the SheBu Walkie (the Shepherd’s Bush Walkabout pub). It’s no worse, indeed a lot better, than Newcastle upon Tyne on a Saturday night, but what to do? The attitude could hardly be called racism itself, though wounded types will sometimes try that on. That is simply an over-reaction inviting a fresh round of derision. Brits know that, and they enjoy watching the dilemma.


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