Friday, March 19, 2010

And Another One ...

Lefty (but no party line-toer he) blogger and toilet-mouthed iconoclast John Band, like Ben Elton, has 'done a Darcy' and moved to Oz.

"Mineral wealth, newly-elected centre-left government, and no bloody ice. And about as far as you can get from George bloody Osborne… "

And, as I noted in the Elton post, a place that's a lot less diverse than the UK, especially his old stamping ground of London.

Mr B, whatever else he may be, is an intelligent, competent chap. I wonder who we'll import to replace him ?

I used to chaff him somewhat for not having children, on the grounds that only parents should be able to vote on matters affecting children (i.e. most things). The poor chap's now running on one cylinder after a series of unfortunate events, but he mustn't think that centre-left Aussie Premier Kevin Rudd is going to let him off sprogging :

I was at a function where Kevin Rudd was giving the keynote address. He talked about the ''crisis'' of Australia's ageing population and the various economic challenges we will face as a result.

Arguments were made about superannuation and the strain on healthcare. But there was a deeper message: young people (women in particular) are failing in their civic duty to reproduce. Apparently, gen Y is to blame for the inverted population pyramid.

There were hundreds of people in the room but only a handful under 30. As one of the under 30-crowd, I shuffled nervously, hoping no one would recognise me - and my empty womb - as the deeply unpatriotic and traitorous felons that we are.

After Rudd came off stage, he spoke to me and the few other under-30s (we had congregated for strength in numbers). He extended his points about the problems with the ageing population and the financial problems gen Y will incur when the baby boomers become pensioners.

At that point one of my friends introduced me, dropping in that I am completing a PhD. At this, Rudd rolled his eyes and in a terse voice lacking any sense of irony remarked that is the "excuse" that "all" young women are using nowadays to avoid starting families. Since then I've come up with numerous one-line retorts, but in the moment I just froze in shock.

Hah ! Kevin Rudd seems more switched on to the demographic implications of failure to reproduce than any UK Labour MP. Mr Band's duty stands plainly before him.


JuliaM said...

"Mr Band's duty stands plainly before him."

Here's hoping he'll rise to the occasion, and populate the Aussie outback with many little Bands, then.

Or, like any good socialist, outsource that job too.. ;)

Rob said...

Reading this, I remember the passage from Robert Grave's "I, Claudius" where Augustus reprimands in person the young gentlemen of the Roman nobility for not marrying and not siring children.

Rob said...

That will be Robert Graves' "I Claudius"...

Laban said...

I dig Graves.

And stay out said...

Fleeing the crime scene. Funny, you would think 13 years of Labour would have created heaven on Earth for potty mouthed lefties. Go one then, run away and leave us the clean up the mess.,=

Anonymous said...

"I dig Graves."


Laban wont thank me for pointing out Elton's ethnic/religious roots.

People of a similar background were prominent in South Africa in the campaign against apartheid. I believe a large number of them no longer live in SA. Now, remind me, what's been happening in SA?

Homophobic Horse said...

"I shuffled nervously, hoping no one would recognise me - and my empty womb - as the deeply unpatriotic and traitorous felons that we are."

This is an over reaction. Rudd did not actually characterise the relative shortage of fertile couples to wicked selfish women.

Homophobic Horse said...

Apartheid was never viable to begin with. Blaming the nasty seditious Jews is a red herring at best.

john b said...

Wow, a post of my own! My current position on the sprogging front is that I'm up for it in the event that the right girl turns up, which is doubtless excellent news for the future of Australian demography.

I'm not convinced Oz is any less "diverse" than the UK in any real sense though - the Wiki article suggests a non-white population of about 10%, which is the same as the figure for the UK.

Laban said...

John - as Lenin would say, "Who ? Whom ?"

Wiki - About 90% of Australia's population is of European descent. Over 8% of the population is of Asian descent (predominantly Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino and Indian).

I somehow think a heavily Chinese area won't have the same frisson or vibrancy as, say, Thornton Heath.

Laban said...

Pleased to hear you stand ready to do your duty by your adopted country, though.