Wednesday, February 19, 2003


Although they are on opposite sides of the world, the PERSONAL ties between Australians and the English are enormous. At least 5% of the people living in Australia were actually born in England and there are huge numbers of Australians who keep in touch with relatives in England. And it is almost a rite of passage for young Australians to spend some time living in London. Young English people also commonly come to Australia for a working holiday before settling into their careers.
Even the Prince of Wales did part of his education in Australia.

One thing that often attracts young Englishmen is the idea of going to work on one of Australia's huge cattle stations (ranches) as "Jackaroos" (cowboys) and, when they do, the Australian jackaroos often give them a bit of a hard time to knock what they see as the English softness out of them. On one such occasions the jackaroos threw a dog up in the air and shot it just to see how the young English arrival would react. He coped -- but what bastards they were! I think visitors to Australia should be warned that there are a lot of morons in our more isolated areas. Fortunately, like most modern nations, Australia has only about 5% of its population engaged in rural employment and country people everywhere are in general very kindly people.



Bureaucracy! Soldiers in the British Army and Royal Marines also like to supplement their issued kit with other gear such as hiking boots. In the Falklands, British military boots could not cope with the wet, marshy ground. And in the Gulf, they fell apart in the desert heat. There are some Laws of bureaucracy here.

It appears that some U.S. bureaucrats think that being proud of being Irish is now racially offensive! My grandmother Kelly would turn in her grave!

Samizdata says that the French have national ID cards but rarely use them but the Brits ask for ID all the time. Score one for the French. British bureaucaracy really is a pain -- and nearly as irrational as U.S. airport security screening.

The space station exemplifies NASA in general -- it costs a fortune yet just travels around in circles going nowhere. More here.


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