No one cares about ‘Straya Day


Captain Phillips somewhere on the other side of the country

On TV this year, cricket legend Adam Gilchrist encouraged everyone to celebrate Australia Day in their own way. And so he might. After all, it’s never been clear to anyone what the 26th January is actually for.

Sure we all know it represents the founding of New South Wales. But what are we, on the other side of the country, meant to do in response to that?

Some young ladies like to put on small and cheap patriotic bikinis from Red Dot [no objections here from the Dodgy Perth offices], some young men like to drape themselves in the flag, get pissed, and shout “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi!” [many objections]. Most people have a BBQ and listen to JJJ.

What we learn from the past is that they had no idea how to celebrate it either. For starters, they couldn’t even agree on a name. Some states called it Australia Day, others used the term Foundation Day or Anniversary Day. It was only in 1936 the Commonwealth Government ordered everyone to use the words Australia Day. But even this didn’t make it any clearer.

In the 1910s it was a day for kids and the place to be was South Beach. There were pony rides, fruit, swings, toys, swimming and running races, and a greasy pole in the pool. But by the 1930s no one was organising anything except a rowing regatta on the Swan. Which didn’t seem very patriotic to anyone, really.

Enter the Australian Natives Association (ANA). While they might sound as if they had something to do with Aboriginal rights, they couldn’t be further away. The ANA were the leading jingoistic mob, always demanding more be done to keep Australia white and British. There is still an ANA rowing club at Bayswater, but we imagine they’ve dropped their appalling racism by now.

It was pressure from the ANA and a bucket-load of nationalistic speeches from them about celebrating White Australia that forced the government’s hand in 1936 to make the day ‘Australia Day’ for everyone.

But no one cared. Each year the Perth newspapers tried really hard to educate the public about the arrival of Captain Phillip on Sydney Cove and why they should be celebrating this historic event. But no one cared. Even during World War II, when patriotic sentiment was at its height, the City of Perth forgot to put out the national flags on 26th January until the ANA shouted at them.

Australia Day has long been a holiday for Western Australians. And that’s all its ever been. Our only tradition has been to take the day off and enjoy it. We’re not particularly interested in Captain Phillip, just JJJ. And there are no objections here from the Dodgy Perth offices.

On grammar and radicalisation

No, it's Romani ite domum

No, it’s Romani ite domum

Some snotty-nosed brat in Sydney imagined he could stir up his teachers by writing ISIS R COMING ISIS on his school wall. How important he must feel, now that his infantile prank has hit national headlines.

We at Dodgy Perth naturally deplore his horrendous action. Like the words ‘government’, ‘committee’ and ‘team’, ISIS is a collective and therefore takes the third-person singular form of a verb. The correct graffiti is, therefore, ISIS IS COMING ISIS. Now write that out 100 times before dawn.

Which vaguely reminds us of this for some reason:

Anyway, Dodgy Perth would like to take this opportunity to expose the evil radicalisation that went on in our Perth schools. We refer, of course, to the Scouting movement.

Scouts. Seems all very innocent, doesn’t it? Sitting around a camp fire with a marshmallow on a stick and singing Ging Gang Gooley. But it wasn’t like that a hundred years ago.

In 1915, the Scout movement boasted it was bringing up a generation of boys who were well-drilled, healthy through rigorous training, and “well-disciplined and taught to obey”.

The Western Australian Governor repeated this to the young scouts themselves, reminding them that they should cultivate their intelligence, train their bodies, and to learn the value of “discipline and obedience to command”.

Founder of the Scouts, Baden Powell, recommended that every Australian boy aged between 11 and 14 needed to be prepared for a life to be spent fighting the Chinese and the Japanese invasion. His movement was the ideal place to place to instil self-restraint (read: no playing with your genitals), military training and sense of duty.

The problem, said Baden Powell, was that Australian youth were spirited and self-reliant, so action was needed now otherwise there was a risk of bringing up a nation of boys able to think for themselves. And these kids would not make obedient soldiers come the inevitable Asian invasion.

Dodgy Perth would also like to remind readers that during the Nuremburg Trials, the creator of the Hitler Youth, Baldur von Schirach, boasted that all of his ideas came straight from the Scouting movement. And it’s not hard to see this was true.

So before we get too excited about radicalisation, let’s remember that someone has always tried to mould kids into their image. And kids, being kids, have always ignored them.