It’s Australia, so speak English.

You’ve heard this phrase before. You might even agree with it. But before you admonish someone in Australia for speaking a language other than English, consider this – English is not the official language of Australia.

That’s right. Australia has no official language, despite the fact that English has been the language of government, education and communication in the country since colonisation about 250 years ago.

This might surprise a lot of people – including Australians. It might also disappoint a lot of Australians, especially the bigots. Intolerant Australians love to remind migrants, international students, tourists and anyone else speaking a language other than English that everyone must speak English – or leave.

These people launch into verbal, or even physical, attacks on public transport when they overhear someone speaking a language other than English. They flood social media and internet forums with posts demanding the use of English to the exclusion of any other language. They even get elected to parliament. They forget, however, that they themselves have failed to master the Queen’s English.

We could remind them that English is only the lingua franca – but lingua franca is a ‘foreign’ phrase. We could remind them that English is the de facto language, but de facto is also a ‘foreign’ phrase.

Please explain…

We could explain why English is not the official language. In most part because one of the 200 or so indigenous languages would also have to be installed as an official language, and that is far too many to choose from. Aussie racists wouldn’t stand for an Aboriginal language being an official language, because their racism is directed most vehemently at Aboriginal people.

Ironically, English is also not the official language of the United Kingdom, which includes England. Thus, English is not the official language in the land of its birth. It does not hold this status because Welsh is the official language of Wales, which is part of the UK. How would Brits feel about Welsh being installed as the official language of the UK?

Furthermore, English is not the official language of the United States. If one country does bigotry well, it’s the US of A. They elected a serial racist to the White House because he promised to build a wall to keep out Spanish speakers and to ban Muslims from entering the country. How would they react if they knew that English is not their official language? How would they grapple with terms like lingua franca and de facto?

Staunch nationalists from Australia, as well as their counterparts in the USA and the UK, might also frown at the news that English itself is a mongrel language, which blends Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Germanic, Latin, Gaelic and Scandinavian influences into one lingua franca.

Image: http://www.worldatlas.com

Australian government bans the teaching of Ethics.

The Australian government has outlawed the teaching of Ethics in all Australian schools for fear that it will encourage students to expect ethical behaviour from adults.

The ban will be implemented immediately and will include all government and private schools across all levels of education. All ethics activities will be replaced by studies of Christianity.

“Ethics has no place in Australian schools,” announced Minister for Education Dan Tehan.

“Just as ethics has no place in Australian society.”

Tehan explained that when ethics is taught, students expect ethical behaviour from adults such as politicians and business leaders, and that this was an entirely unrealistic expectation.

Ethics was previously offered as a stand-alone subject (or a module in other subjects) throughout the country in primary and secondary schools, and many students at government schools chose the subject instead of scripture classes.

The subject examined ethical and unethical behaviour in all spheres of life and aimed to create young people who would adopt lifelong ethical practices. Ethics will no longer be offered, and teachers of the subject will be forced into seminaries along with school counsellors.

“The only place students will see Ethics on the curriculum is in History, where it will be presented as a quaint relic of the past,” stated Tehan.

The minister then cited politicians as a prime example of unethical role models in contemporary society.

“Every day we see reports of grossly unethical behaviour from politicians (except me) who not only keep their jobs, but are voted back in at elections, proving that many Australian adults care little for ethics. Similar behaviour is repeated by leaders in the corporate world, and the shareholders who profit from their actions.”

“If we continue to teach ethics to the youth of today, they will develop an unrealistic expectation of ethical behaviour in the current national leaders, and are likely to engage in reasoning, critical thinking and the application of evidence when they become adults and take leadership of society.”

“For this reason, Ethics has been replaced with Christianity, which is much more effective in creating compliant citizens.”

Image: http://www.abc.net.au

Australians care more about their dogs than their prime minister.

Sorry Scotty, but it seems Australians care more about their dogs than they do about you.

Feedback on recent articles centred on Scott Morrison and dog owners demonstrates a much greater passion for people’s four legged friends than for their prime minister.

The articles in question are numerous satirical texts published in a monthly magazine called The Beast, which is distributed in Bondi and the eastern beaches of Sydney.

The first article concerning the prime minister was titled:

“Scott Morrison Imprisoned for UnAustralian Activities”

It suggested that the current elected leader of the democratic nation of Australia should spend the rest of his life in bars – effective immediately. It listed many real shortcomings of the prime minister and his colleagues, and focussed on one particular action which is UnAustralian (you’ll have to read the article to find out).

Other articles were titled:

“The Shire Sends ScoMo Back to Where He Came From”

“Waverley’s Nightwatchman Scores a Century”

The articles provoked no response. No letters were sent directly to the author. No letters to the editor were published in the following issues, despite the fact that Morrison grew up in the eastern suburbs, went to school in the area and still has family and friends in the area. The region is also a safe seat for the Liberal Party, Morrison’s party.

Not one reader leapt to his defence.

Why?

The nickname “Scotty” may explain their reluctance. Educated and informed Australians call Morrison ‘Scotty from Marketing’ because they know he is nothing more than a Liberal National Party re-branding exercise. The previous leader, Malcolm Turnbull was seen as aloof and unapproachable. Thus, Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart and Liberal powerbrokers removed Turnbull and installed Morrison, and sent him forth to drink beer, watch football and spout meaningless slogans.

‘Liar from the Shire’ is another popular nickname. The Shire is the region of southern Sydney which Morrison represents, and Morrison is famous for lying about many of his own policy failures. It is also commonly known that Morrison only won preselection for the safe Liberal seat after moving out of the eastern suburbs and running a dirty tricks campaign against the other Liberal candidate.

Australians also know that Morrison is merely a puppet of Rupert Murdoch and the fossil fuel industry. Perhaps readers of The Beast did not rush to defend the prime minister because they are starting to see through the spin.

Maybe the satirical articles have no impact.

Perhaps, but the reponse to the dog articles would suggest otherwise.

Recent articles about dog owners in the eastern suburbs have carried the following titles:

“Safe Injecting Space Planned for Mackenzies Bay”

“Free Literacy Classes for Eastern Suburbs Dog Parents”

“Dog Owners Kicked off Clovelly Dog Park”

All of these articles criticise eastern suburbs dog owners, primarily because they walk their dogs in off-leash areas and ignore the local rules.

Every single article about dogs and dog owners provokes a flood of responses. Readers launch into an attack on the author and the content of the articles. Feedback is impassioned, emotional, personal and usually filled with profanity.

Mistake-ridden responses include phrases such as

“Fuck you and your shit article…”

“Up you’res kieran im gonna take 10 Dogs n do drugzzzz”

Other responses are not suitable for public viewing.

Dog owners react strongly to every single article written about the topic of dogs and the actions of their owners, but ignore articles about the person who runs their country, who was born and bred in the eastern suburbs.

Australians clearly care more about their dogs than their prime minister.

Images: Gabriel Crismariu, Craig Greenhill

Australians to be denied lifesaving surgery.

The Australian government has angered the nation after announcing a new policy that will prohibit lifesaving surgery for seriously ill patients.

Australians will be forced to tolerate any illness or disease which threatens their future health or even their lives, and will be prohibited from receiving treatment for illnesses such as cancer.

“There is a prevailing belief that a disease, illness or affliction which harms or kills the host body must be removed or eliminated,” announced federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt.

“This leads to doctors and surgeons removing or eliminating illnesses such as cancer from people’s bodies, so that the patient can survive. It is also the reason for the global effort to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.”

Hunt argued that if this principle was applied to other contexts in day to day life, it would create major implications for the nation. To prove his argument, Hunt cited Rupert Murdoch and NewsCorp which are regarded as a cancer on democracy in The US, The UK and Australia.

“Does that mean we have to remove Rupert and NewsCorp from Australia, before it kills the country?”

“That would require actions such as a royal commission into media ownership or some form of regulation of the content produced by NewsCorp on a daily basis,” Hunt explained.

“Without Rupert’s propaganda, there is no way my party will win the next election.”

Hunt then referred to Brumbies in the Australian bush.

“Feral horses, known affectionately as ‘Brumbies’, destroy the ecology of our wilderness, including in our national parks. Some people seem to think that if something is so obviously destructive, it should be eliminated.”

“But these invasive animals are ‘heritage horses’. Aussies hold them up as symbols of our great nation, and people are forgetting that misguided, inaccurate and outdated notions of Australian identity are a cornerstone of our culture.”

Hunt then explained that the flawed thinking of removing that which threatens its host would necessitate much greater regulations on cats, because they are the single most destructive introduced species in Australia, as well as a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

“Finally, we would also have to remove from Australia elements such as Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer. They do so much damage to our national institutions, but they proved enormously useful to the Liberal National Coalition in recent years.”

Images: http://www.worldatlas.com, http://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au

Scott Morrison stars in The Perfect Puppet.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, will perform the lead role in a rollicking new stage show called The Perfect Puppet, set to hit theatres this summer. The hilarious pantomime follows the jovial and bumbling lead puppet Scotty through an endless series of mishaps and misadventures with his band of hapless friends.

The stage show will be performed under the direction of revered puppet masters Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart, and is sure to fill theatres during the Christmas holidays, especially since the show has been given special permission to ignore any and all social distancing restrictions.

The PM delivers an outstanding performance as the likable and bumbling protagonist Scotty who leads the audience through unforgettable scenes such as:

Jenny and The Girls

Holidays in Hawaii

Malfeasant Malcolm

Slogans for Bogans

I Dug A Hole

I Stopped the Boats, and…

I Fracked My Pants at Engadine Maccas.

Throughout the show, Scotty’s friends drag him into all manner of problems which look certain to destroy the popular puppet forever. But Scotty’s puppet masters and his deity save him from every situations and he escapes with merely a scratch.

“We had no hesitation in casting Morrison for this role,” stated Murdoch and Rinehart.

“He is the perfect puppet in every way.”

“His range is phenomenal. Throughout the show he transforms into characters as diverse as Daggy Dad, Captain Corruption, Captain Coal, Liar from The Shire, Scotty from Marketing, Sham Sharkie, the Misogynist, the Crazy Christian, The Denier and The Job Faker, all with his trademark smirk.

“The entire time, the audience is captivated by his on-stage persona and come to love him more and more.”

Morrison is said to have thrown himself into the role with his famed dedication and selflessness.

“His commitment to the role has been astounding,” continued Murdoch. “He even constructed his own puppet stage in the backyard to practice for the role – and got Jenny and the girls to rehearse with him.”

Morrison is expected to headline The Perfect Puppet well into 2021, or until Rupert and Gina find a more suitable lead puppet. Tickets for the live show are on sale now and can be obtained through any NewsCorp publication.

Images: Twitter, Craig Greenhill

Dog ownership linked to poor literacy.

Mounting scientific evidence has established a direct link between dog ownership and poor literacy among a large proportion of the Australian population.

In a worrying trend for the nation, experts have traced an increase in dog ownership and a decline in literacy standards among the populace, and they fear the problem will only get worse.

The inability to read even the most basic texts is being blamed for the behaviour of many Aussie dog owners. Countless dogs are taken to off limit areas such as beaches, rock pools, parks, children’s playgrounds, barbecue areas and sports grounds throughout the country. The only explanation for such flagrant disobedience is the inability of dog owners to read the multitude of signs informing people of the rules.

Standards of writing have also declined, as the following examples illustrate. In response to an article about dog owners breaking the rules at Sydney’s Mackenzies Bay *, Michael wrote,

“Up you’res kieran im gonna take 10 dogs n do drugzzzz”

This was sent directly to this very website. It is not a text message. Let’s unpack the utterance.

  • It starts with a capital letter, well done Michael.
  • ‘you’res’ is not a word. Michael was trying to say ‘up yours’ which is a crude insult in colloquial English. This dog owner can’t even swear properly.
  • kieran is a proper noun, so the k should be capital.
  • ‘im’ should be written with a capital I and an apostrophe.
  • ‘n’ should be ‘and’ – again, this is not a text message.
  • ‘drugzzzz’ should be spelt ‘drugs’. Michael must have already taken some before he wrote this message.

The second example of the death of the written word in Australia comes from Adam Smith, in response to the same article.

“Hi Kieran. Fuck you and your shit article in the beast. I will make sure and take my Dog to Mackenzies Bay more frequently from now on…”

Adam can swear properly, which is refreshing.

  • the beast is the name of the magazine (which is well worth reading) so it should be written The Beast.
  • “I will make sure and…” should be written ‘I will make sure to…’ so the reader knows exactly what Adam is making sure to do.
  • Dog does not need a capital d, unless Adam is a Christian and thinks his dog is God.

Authorities and educational experts have tracked declining literacy in the country for many years. The national literacy and numeracy test, called NAPLAN, has demonstrated a steady decline among students as they progress from primary school to high school.

University lecturers and tutors complain of undergraduate students who are unable to construct basic sentences or understand basic course material – and they are the best and brightest of the country’s youth. Conversely, Australia continues to fall behind many other countries in international literacy and numeracy standards according to results of standardised exams.

In a country with an undeniable literacy and numeracy crisis, more than one in every three households owns at least one dog, or about 40% of the population.

The irrefutable link between dog ownership and poor literacy is a problem that looks set to plague Australia for many years to come.

*The article referred to is “Safe Injecting Space Planned for Mackenzies Bay” which appears under the category Satire on this website, and at http://www.thebeast.com.au

Controversy surrounds the selection of the Prime Minister’s XI.

Australians have reacted with shock and horror to the selection of the latest Prime Minister’s XI on the eve of another season of cricket Down Under.

Prime Minster Scott Morrison has put forward his XI, and none of them play cricket. Instead, Morrison has selected 11 of the most corrupt and scandal-prone members of his Liberal National Party coalition to represent the country on the world stage and protect Australia’s international reputation.

The prime minster traditionally selects a national team to play invitational matches against visiting nations, usually as a warm up for games against Australia’s top team. The players are normally young and have not yet worn the famous baggy green cap which signifies selection in the national team.

The controversial list contains no opening batsman, no wicket keeper, no pace bowler or spinner, and no recognised all rounder. None of the XI have played at state level in the five day or limited overs format, not even T20. None of the PM’s team members have worn the baggy green, and none of them will ever deserve to wear it.

The 2020 Prime Minister’s XI:

Coach – Scott Morrison

  1. Angus Taylor – Forged information about Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. Grassgate.

2. Bridget McKenzie – Sports rorts.

3. Barnaby Joyce – Watergate. Adultery.

4. Peter Dutton – Au-Pair scandal. Joked about rising sea levels. Comments about African gang violence. Insulted female journalist. Offshore detention. Racism. Ignored official apology to Stolen Generations. Paladin.

5. Sussan Ley– Luxury apartment scandal. Overseeing the destruction of Australia’s environment as Minister for the Environment.

6. Christian Porter– Adultery. Covered up Alan Tudge’s adultery. Publicly defended Robodebt. Appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

7. Alan Tudge – Adultery, covered up Christian Porter’s adultery.

8. Stuart Robert – Robodebt

9. George Christensen – Asian strip clubs. Ban the burqa. Stop same-sex marriage. Deny climate change. Cut immigration.

10. Paul Fletcher – $30m purchase of land for new Sydney airport. Australia Post scandal.

11. Mathias Cormann – Helloworld Travel scandal

Reserves:

Michaelia Cash, David Littleproud, Matt Canavan, Richard Colbeck, Michael McCormack, Greg Hunt, Craig Kelly, Gladys Liu, Michael Sukkar, Josh Frydenberg, Jason Falinski, Andrew Hastie.

Critics have slammed the selection arguing that members lack the necessary competence or skill to be elevated to such a lofty position, and are incapable of playing the game in the right spirit. They also worry about Australia’s international reputation, which is still recovering from cricket’s ball-tampering scandal.

In response, Morrison argued that every member deserved to be selected in the team.

“The hardest part as selector was leaving people out,” he said.

“We could have formed another XI with LNP members who have all done more than enough to earn selection. I dare say that in the near future, they will put a lot of pressure on those already selected.

Image: Alessandro Bogliari

What is Australian football?

What is Australian football?

It depends who you ask.

First of all, Australians call it ‘Footy’. But footy can mean Australian Rules Football, Football/Soccer, Rugby League or Rugby Union.

Footy = Aussie Rules

Australian Rules Football – Aussie Rules – AFL

Australian Rules Football holds the most legitimate claim the to the title of Australian football. ‘Aussie Rules’ is unique to Australia.

Australian Rules Football is apparently a combination of Marngrook and Gaelic Football. Marngrook is a sport played by Indigenous Australians involving a ball, two teams and goal posts, and Gaelic football was brought to Australia by Irish migrants in the early days of the colony. The two were combined and adapted to create Australian Rules Football.

AFL is Australian Football League which is the national first-grade competition with teams in most states and territories, and the entire sport is often called ‘AFL’. The heartland of the game is Victoria, especially Melbourne, and most of the AFL teams still represent suburbs in Melbourne.

AFL is also the most popular spectator sport in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and is the number 1 sport in the Northern Territory, especially among Indigenous Australians. No matter how remote the Indigenous community, they know all about the AFL.

Aussie Rules does have devoted fans in New South Wales and Queensland, but it is definitely not the most popular code in these states.

Footy = Soccer

Soccer – Football

Aussie Rules may be Australia’s national sport, but the most popular participation sport in the country is soccer.

Australians have long called the sport Soccer, but the rest of the world calls it football, so Aussies recently started calling it Football until we realised that footy refers to three other codes in the land Down Under. So, what name do they use? It depends who you ask.

Soccer is played in every state and territory from junior to senior level, and is producing strong national teams. AFC Asian Cup victories went to the men’s Socceroos in 2015, and the women’s Matildas in 2010. Soccer will also enjoy a rise in popularity after Australia and New Zealand won the rights to co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

The success of the national teams and the sport itself is due largely to the country’s migrant population. The British colonisers brought the sport to the country, but migrants built it. Club teams from the Italian, Greek and other European communities drove the early national league and The World Game is the most truly multi-cultural code in the country. The A-League and the W-League are the current national competitions for men and women and feature teams from throughout Australia.

Rugby is Australia’s national sport.

No.

Many foreigners think rugby is Australian football, but this is not true. AFL and Soccer are more popular, and ‘rugby’ actually refers to two separate codes.

Footy = Rugby Union

Rugby Union – Rugby – Union

Rugby Union is footy for students at expensive private schools in New South Wales and Queensland. The Game They Play in Heaven was the domain of the wealthy from school, to club to representative level, and this kept it contained to a very select demographic.

Rugby Sevens has broadened its appeal and another factor has attracted a different demographic to the sport – Pacific Islanders. Every club, school or representative team now actively recruits players of Pacific Islander origin. They are built to play rugby. They are big, strong, fast, agile, skilful and very hard to tackle.

Club teams fill their rosters with Pasifika players and private schools offer scholarships to talented young Pasifika boys. Representative teams at Super Rugby and national level rely very heavily on players from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand and almost half of the players in the men’s national team, the Wallabies, have pacific island heritage. Rugby Union also competes for Pasifika talent with Rugby League, as the players are just as dominant in this sport.

The arrival of many South African migrants in Western Australia has increased the appeal of the code in this state, especially in Perth.

A threat to the dominance of Rugby Union in Australian private schools is Aussie Rules. The sport pursues a very pro-active and effective junior development program and is now being played at private schools, and Aussie Rules posts have replaced rugby posts on many school ovals.

Another threat to the future of the sport is the risk of injury. Many Australian parents are concerned for the safety of their children after seeing the injuries suffered at junior and senior level among players in rugby (and league). Both of these sports have gone to great lengths to protect players, especially from head injuries, but injuries, some of which are very serious, are hard to avoid in such brutally physical sports.

The concern over serious injury has led many parents to sign their children up for soccer.

Footy = Rugby League

If you say footy in NSW and Queensland, most people will think of Rugby League. League is the most popular sport in these states. It was played only in these two states until recently. Ironically, though, the most dominant team in the National Rugby League competition in recent years, and the 2020 premiers, is the Storm – from Melbourne.

League is the working man’s game and this distinguishes it from Union, and explains its broad appeal.

So, what is Australian football? That’s a complex question. Geography and social class determine how most people answer, and even the time of year. League, Union and Aussie rules are all winter sports, but the A-League (Soccer) is played during summer. The ambiguity causes debate among some Australians, while most just enjoy the chance to watch so many sports at a high level in one country.

Images: http://www.gettyimages.com.au, http://www.sherrin.com.au

Wogs vs. Aussies.

“Righto boys, it’s a bit wet outside, so do you wanna play basketball or indoor soccer?”

“Basketball, soccer, basketball…” the sporting options were parried back and forth until Cameron, the captain of the A-grade Rugby team and thus favourite for future school captain, muttered his decree.

“Soccer”

“Ok boys, Grella and Kalac, can you get the goals?” directed Mr Brosnan, as he went to collect the ball.

“Oi, it’s Wogs vs Aussies boys,” declared Cameron, and the students dutifully arranged themselves into a team of Caucasian students and a team of ‘ethnic’ students, as they had done so many times before. Mr Brosnan pursed his lips around the whistle before deciding that Yr.10 boys could referee themselves, and as long as no one broke any bones he could enjoy a coffee on the side line.

“Blakey, go up front,”

“Yeah, you’re our White Wog,” joked Woods, “at least someone on our team knows how to play soccer.”

With that, I took up my customary position at centre forward and hoped that my fellow Aussies would this time secure enough possession and open space to provide me with a realistic chance of slotting that ball past Kalac in the goals.

We’d never beaten the wogs in soccer, indoor or outdoor, and even though I was pleased with my exalted status among the cool white kids and rugby heroes of the school, I still felt the pressure to earn this status by scoring goals.

The fact that a lot of my friends were on the ‘other’ team didn’t really occur to me – in Sydney in the early 1990s this kind of casual racial division was just a bit of fun – or a quicker way of picking teams. To be honest, I never questioned it. The casual racism was buried underneath the testosterone fuelled atmosphere of a PE lesson at a school whose reputation was built firmly on sporting prowess.

Just then, I caught a glimpse of Eldridge and for the first time ever, I felt a morsel of his inner conflict. The product of a white father and Thai mother, he seemed to hesitate in assigning himself to the Wogs or the Aussies, as he had never done before. I was forced to consider whether his increasing maturity and self-awareness, which descends upon every teenager, had prompted him to examine his own identity more deeply. I mulled this over in my mind until Maxwell screamed,

“Ello, go to fullback, hurry up” and Eldridge’s search for identity was put on hold.

At that, Mr Brosnan glanced up from his coffee cup and blew the whistle, we were off.

Bresciano fed the ball to Postecolglou who nutmegged Johnson before skirting around the burly prop and flicking the ball across to Vidmar. The little magician weaved his way past Woods, Maxwell and O’Sullivan before stepping over the ball and completely bamboozling Stevens in goal.

1-0

“Orale pues joven, que golazo!!!!!,” exclaimed Ortega, as Vidmar thrust his shirt over his head and celebrated his goal with arms outstretched.

Ortega himself had dabbled in Rugby, which apparently made him less of a wog, but he still had an ‘ethnic’ surname and spoke in tongues when feeling excited or cheeky. He hadn’t quite reached the status of Aussie – a wog who was so Australianised they cease to be a wog.

Perhaps it was his father’s single silent protest which set back Ortega’s entry into the mainstream. At an official school function, Ortega Senior refused to stand for the toast to the Queen, because the memories of the Falklands War were still far too real. We didn’t realise this of course, and only learned once young Ortega gave us a short history lesson.

I remember thinking, at least he has a reason for remaining seated. I only stood up because the teachers told me to, and I know my classmates didn’t truly know or care why we toasted the British royal family. We also didn’t know or care why we called wogs wogs.

“Come on boys, what’s goin’ on?”, admonished Johnson, “let’s smash ‘em, they’re not that good.”

Bresciano this time fed the ball to Popovic who directed a lovely through ball past two awestruck Aussies and towards Santos. Santos plodded toward the ball and took a massive air swing before falling on his back side. The debating champion attempted to shrug off the failure with self-deprecating laughter, before Fallon asked,

“How are you so bad at soccer Santos, you’re a wog?” and the Aussies enjoyed a chuckle.

Should I laugh? Is Santos truly shrugging this off as friendly banter?  Did these ‘harmless jokes’ seep beneath the skin when the boys got home? When Wogs vs. Aussies was transferred to the Rugby field, my incompetence, and that of Cleary and Stevens, was not linked to our skin colour or racial background.

Cleary was teased that he was hopeless despite being built like a prop, and everyone accepted that Stevens was allowed to ‘suck at Rugby’ because he was an academic genius and computer whiz. That’s also why he was always forced to play keeper.

Me, I was just ‘too skinny for Rugby’. So skinny in fact that my Aussie teammates told me how they wished I could be a wog for a day because they’d love to tackle me and drive me into the turf.

“He is a wog, he’s good at soccer,” they’d say, but their jokes didn’t cut through me like they did the real wogs. Even if I was a wog for a day, it was only a day. I could still return to the White Side and survive the school playground in relative anonymity.

In the meantime, the little master had stepped and swerved his way past the Aussie defenders for another easy goal.

2-0

Mr Brosnan sipped his coffee contentedly while the teenage boys battled for football supremacy. My blustering teammates took advantage of the game’s self-regulation and ‘tackled’ some of the wogs so fiercely that they took possession and managed to feed me the ball. I dodged Rossi and swivelled past Zelic before placing it into the back of the net.

7- 1

My teammates went wild and hurled insults at the wogs with such passion that you’d think they’d won the World Cup. Guys, it’s only one goal. But apparently a goal for the Aussies was worth more than a goal for a wog.

A few more stern challenges and violent toe pokes succeeded in advancing the ball towards Kalac in goal, and a blind thundering kick from Taylor smashed into the hands of Kalac and out the other end.

7 – 2

“Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole,” sang my teammates and I joined them heartily. We were mounting the greatest comeback in the history of world sport and it deserved extravagant celebration. Then the tone of the chanting changed. The universal football chant was distorted with derision and mockery and was peppered with random ‘foreign’ words the Aussies had learned from their multi-cultural classmates. It was as if my teammates had appropriated this ‘ethnic’ chant and were ridiculing it to put the wogs back in their place despite the scoreboard.

Maybe this silently enraged the wogs, and they responded with an all-out assault on our goal. Poor old Stevens was sent diving and gaping for thin air as Vidmar, Bresciano, Arzani et al scored goal after goal.

“Righto boys,” called Mr Brosnan, “time to get changed.”

The massacre had ended.

12 – 2

Yet again, the wogs won, on the field at least.

Image: Pascal Swier

Political Scandal Mix and Match.

Political Scandal Mix and Match is an exciting new card game the whole family can enjoy, and it’s out just in time for Christmas. Match the Australian politician to the scandal they committed and impress family friends with your knowledge of Australia’s crumbling democracy.

Do you know who was responsible for Sports Rorts?

Can you remember who committed adultery with their own staffer?

How did Angus Taylor corrupt his office, and how did Sam Dastyari make headlines for all the wrong reasons?

These questions and more will challenge you in this fun and easy to follow matching game.

Play individually or in teams, with just two sets of cards. One set of cards contains the names of corrupt politicians. The other set contains the specific scandal the politician committed. All you have to do is match the politician to the correct scandal.

It’s That Easy!

Actually, there are a few curve balls thrown in. We can’t make it too easy. Remember that some politicians have committed more than one scandal, so you’ll have to match them with more than one card. What’s more, individual scandals often involved more than one politician, so pay attention.

Political scandals don’t just involve corruption, and this is where the game gets really interesting. Australia’s leaders have abused their office with acts of immoral and unethical behaviour, deceit, neglect and gross incompetence, and this game lets you relive the greatest moments in Australia’s recent political history.

Clear a space on the dining table because there are many cards in this game, detailing the politicians and scandals listed below:

 PoliticianParty
1Scott MorrisonLiberal
2Bridget McKenzieNational
3Angus TaylorLiberal
4Peter DuttonLiberal
5Barnaby JoyceNational
6Michaelia CashLiberal
7Sam DastyariLabour
8Stuart RobertLiberal
9Pauline HansonPHON
10John BarilaroNational
11George ChristensenNational
12Matt CanavanNational
13Andrew RobbLiberal
14Mathias CormannLiberal
15Richard ColbeckLiberal
16Malcolm RobertsPHON
17Andrew BroadNational
18David LittleproudNational
19Alexander DownerLiberal
20Josh FrydenbergLiberal
21Alan TudgeLiberal
22Paul FletcherLiberal
23Christian PorterLiberal
24Sussan LeyLiberal
25Eddie ObeidLabor
26Steve DicksonPHON
27Gladys BerejiklianLiberal
28Daryl MaguireLiberal
 Scandal
1Said Melburnians were afraid to go to restaurants because of African gang violence.
2Made a joke about rising sea levels threatening low-lying Pacific Island nations.
3Sent a text message calling a female journalist a “mad fucking witch”
4Claimed allowing Lebanese Muslims into Australia was a “mistake” and was to blame for higher crime rates in Western Sydney.
5Called refugees “illiterate and innumerate”.
6Proposed a special visa be made available to white South African farmers.
7Labelled Australian Doctor an “online leftist publication that really carries no weight”
8Refused to attend Kevin Rudd’s official apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008, and threatened to resign his portfolio over the issue.
9Overruled the advice of immigration authorities to grant a French woman a visa after being lobbied by AFL boss Gil McLachlan. The Au Pair scandal.
10Sports Rorts
11Unable to cite figures related to deaths in nursing homes, despite being minster responsible for aged care.
12Walked out of the senate while being questioned by the opposition about the aged care sector.
13Helloworld travel scandal
14Claimed that “many instances” of domestic violence allegations are made up by parents to gain custody of their children.
15Called climate change a UN conspiracy
16The sugar baby scandal. Dated and sexted with “Sweet Sophia Rose” during work trip to HK, partially paid for by taxpayers. Story published in New Idea
17had an affair with his staffer, who became pregnant, the subject of a sexual harassment allegation
18Compared gay men to rams having sex in paddocks.
19Said that the role of a father is to take their teenage daughter on a date
20Has direct family links to the $20 million Murray-Darling Basin fraud
21Murray-Darling Basin Watergate scandal
22Bought water through buyback at inflated prices and the funnelled the money to an overseas company based in the Cayman Islands
23Accepted bribes from Woodside Energy while Foreign Affairs Minister. Joined Woodside Energy after retiring from politics
24Bugged offices of Timor Leste government to assist Woodside Energy to gain rights for resource projects in Timor Sea
25Accepted bribes from Chinese officials to finalise a trade deal
26Grassgate
27Accused of criminal behaviour after keeping a man in immigration detention for five days after the man was granted a temporary protection visa.
28Robodebt
29His department released the private welfare details of a Centrelink customer.
30Accused of interfering in a police investigation after phoning the NSW police commissioner
31Witnessed the Prime Minister call NSW police commissioner during an ongoing police investigation.
32Campaign bus scandal
33Accused of falsifying information to attack Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore’s record on climate change
34Her staff alerted the media that police would raid the Melbourne offices of the Australian Workers Union in 2017
35She threatened to name female political staffers “over which… rumours abound”.
36Responsible for ‘unethical’ purchase of land for new Sydney airport. Paid $30 million, land worth $3 million
37Resigned from the front bench due to expenses scandal
38Used taxpayers’ money to attend two New Year’s Eve events hosted by a prominent Queensland businesswoman and donor
39Purchased a $795,000 luxury apartment on the Gold Coast while on a taxpayer funded trip. Claimed it was an impulse purchase.
40tried to claim almost $38,000 for his home internet bill
41Helped a friend and Liberal donor sign a deal in China while holding shares in the company at the centre of the scandal.
42Resigned amid increasing concern over his relationship with China and businessman Huang Xiangmo
43Allowed Sydney-based Top Education Institute to pay a $1,670.82 travel bill after he spent his Parliamentary travel budget.
44Acted in a corrupt manner in relation to cafe leases at Circular Quay
45Misused his position as a Member of Parliament to benefit his family’s financial interests in Direct Health Solutions
46Misused his position as a Member of Parliament to benefit his family’s financial interests in water licences over the family farm
47Sentenced to five years in jail with a non-parole period of three years
48Representations to NSW Minister for Roads on behalf of Mid-Western Regional Council for funding to seal a 1.5 km stretch of roadway near his family property near Mudgee
49Launched Dr. David van Gend’s anti-same sex marriage book
50Called for a ban on Muslim immigration from “radicalised” countries
51Appeared at anti-Islam rallies organised by Geert Wilders and the Reclaim Australia movement
52Compared Safe Schools anti-bullying program to “grooming” by paedophiles
53Tried to ban the burqa
54“why can’t we argue a conspiracy by the UN and most of the world’s scientists?”
55Subject of Australian Federal Police (AFP) enquiries about regular travel and cash transfers to the Philippines for 12 months.
56Reported to be a regular visitor to and big spender at Ponytails strip club in the Philippines
57Paid back more than $2,100 for taxpayer-funded flights and cars linked to trips to the Philippines.
58Undercover footage emerged of him making derogatory comments and touching a dancer at a strip club in Washington DC
59Solicited political donations from the NRA as the US gun lobby encouraged PHON to weaken Australia’s strict gun ownership laws
60Said Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Asians”
61Wore a burqa during Senate question time as part of her push to ban the garment.
62Claimed the 1996 Port Arthur massacre was a government conspiracy
63Failed to declare his family home
64Did not declare his membership of the North Queensland Cowboys when it received a loan from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility
65Documents she signed to give her approval of millions of dollars in grants to local councils were later shredded
66Was in a secret relationship with Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire
67He took part in a “cash-for-visa” scheme in which he received tens of thousands of dollars in commissions.
68Caught speeding in a ministerial car, along with other driving infringements
69Tore up agreements to change logging rules in New South Wales to better protect animals that survived recent bushfires
70Sparked an internal war in the NSW Government over koala habitats

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Image: http://www.abc.net.au