Saturday, June 23, 2001
“Like all Prime Ministers, Chifley had a dedicated phone on his desk known only to his wife and senior colleagues and advisers.
It was of course a silent number but apparently it was only one digit removed from the number for the butcher shop in the nearby suburb of Manuka and every now and then the phone would ring and when the Prime Minister of Australia answered he would find some housewife calling wanting to leave her meat order for the weekend.
And what would Chifley do?
Of course he’d simply take down the order for the chops, the leg of lamb whatever, say nothing to the caller except “yes Madame”, then, when she’d rung off, he’d phone the butcher himself and say “it’s happened again” and he’d repeat the order and the butcher would duly have the meat delivered and the original caller would never be the wiser.
It’s a wonderful story and could only of happened probably in the Australia of half a century ago and only with a Prime Minister like Chifley I suspect.”
-Allan Ramsey in today’s Sydney Morning Herald on the train driver who became Prime Minister.
The average age in Australia is 35.
The Sydney to Melbourne air route is the third busiest in the world.
The second most widely spoken language in New South Wales homes, after English of course, is Arabic.
“My expectation of a good Australian is when white people would be proud to speak an Aboriginal language, when they realize that Aboriginal culture and all that goes with it – philosophy, art, language, morality, kinship – is all part of their heritage and that’s the most unbelievable thing, that it’s all there waiting for us all – white people can inherit forty thousand or sixty thousand years of culture and all they have to do is reach out and ask for it”
“Charles Perkins: An Autobiography”
Germaine Greer expressed similar feelings when she told a BBC World Service radio program about Australian identity that all the navel gazing going on about Australian identity these days (European vs. Asian) was unnecessary – Australians already have an identity, culture and history and it is Aboriginal.
The national Australian rugby union team, the Wallabies, are currently hosting the visiting British national team, the British Lions, in a series of three games.
Some of the “action” from the stands includes British fans shouting (to the Australians) “get your stars off our flags” and Australians fans rejoining with “what’s the matter mate, couldn’t you afford the whole flag?”
PLUS CA CHANGE
Immigration, particularly boat people, is a controversial issue in Australia at the moment (when hasn’t it been?).
A cartoon by Tandberg in the Sydney Morning Herald depicts two Aboriginals standing on the shore looking out at a tall ship, presumably a First Fleet ship, in the bay and one saying to the other “you can’t trust these boat people”.
ADVERTISING – APPLY LIBERALLY
Since coming into power in 1996 the Liberal federal government has spent a record 1.5 billion dollars on advertising, marketing, consultancy etc.Dressing up mutton to look like lamb.