Monday, September 29, 2008


North or south of the line, beggar's east or golden west, mumma's boy or beer-tap dancer, third man or fly slip, I have always been true to my kind. Spoilt, white, male, bullet-dodger, all the echoes that would see me chased from any self-respecting chamber. Studio 54, Hacienda, the Macquarie Street public gallergy, open mic night at the old Sandringham Hotel...

But as summer comes, I am suddenly reminded of all the scratches I lay pellets for in the chill season. Small, hapless creatures disposing of my waste and keeping Buster (pictured)busy. Rats, as though the busy need names.

By the way, don't stare, he bites.

If there will ever be days of a truly republican, Cato-esque, Cicero-free, democratic Australia, they are probably brewing a little further west than the Mamre Road exit. No Jacobite massacres, just the usual grumbles in the usual 40-ton tread. Kiwis, probably, drawing our western riches from the ground. Scots and Maori A-sharp churl lending the customary Aussie D-minor drone that little bit of piquance. A bookish bunch, the Kiwis, and we have already taken over their air defence. Perhaps in time they will teach us how to take a position and hold it.Otherwise, just the usual rattle of chains.....

This nation (I mean the third assumption of those we know), was brought into being by a motion of hands some doubtless bristling day in the great breezy Georgian complex of Westminster just as the last great Queen's grieving head was finally coming to rest. And so white nations are settled.

That was one hundred seven scratchy years ago.

The usual strangers suckling our young, enticing their wolves to our throaty syllables.

...and still this profound place, this envy of the slack-jawed and the square-jawed and the millions in between....thriving despite a surfeit of roses and a talent for cricket.

But why did they pick could they ever mistake you?

(Bob Dylan, 1967)

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