Saturday, February 27, 2010

And Another One ...

(an occasional series on the phenomenon of urban hipsters, right-on rebels or PC exemplars who for whatever reason need to get away from the vibrant multicultural melting pot of the city to a leafy, white and conservative area).

It may not be so leafy or conservative (in fact Fremantle is a leftie's dream city - Green MP and all), but I forgot this one - once never-off-the-box Ben Elton has 'done a Darcy' and gone to Australia.

Can't work it out - he donated all that cash to the Labour Party, yet this son of Catford seems not to like the end result.

I was under the illusion that Australia was a lot more diverse (in the UK sense) than it actually is. All the Sydney strife about Cronulla and 'uncovered meat' might create the impression of a UK situation. In fact the Aussies' insistence that immigrants bring with them from the old country useful things like degrees and in-demand skills means that 'Asians' in Oz are 'predominantly Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino and Indian'. Only 19,000 of the population, for example, were born in Pakistan.

I don't get the impression, either, that there's a huge disconnection between the birthrates of 'native' Aussies and those of incomers - though I haven't seen the figures.

Elton's choice of Fremantle is more diverse (in an Australian sense) than most :

"For a city of small size, Fremantle is very diverse. Only 64% of the population was born in Australia. The largest overseas-born population groups come from the United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland and Germany. There are also sizeable Portuguese(Madeiran) and Croatian communities."