Who the Bloody Hell Are We?


Oh Lara Bingle: bikini model of a few choice words, yet so quintessentially Australian.

How appropriate it was when the blonde, blue-eyed, potty-mouthed, beach babe become the latest Australian tourist tramp, I mean, trap to lure more boorish British backpackers and arrogant Americans to piss in our beaches and defecate on our shores and buy more Australian souvenirs (made in China).

And if Lara represents all things Australian, what does it say about us and by what coincidence is it that she comes from that other quintessential Australian image of our times: Cronulla?

Thanks to Daniel Ilic from Down Wind Media


Obviously, advertising creatives reckon that all you need to do to get some attention these days is slap on a few random curse words, add some tits and ass and a hefty taxpayer-funded budget.

Maybe the ACTU and the Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Department can learn a few lessons from Federal Tourism. Instead of having a struggling single mother of three sobbing that she’ll lose her job if she can’t find somewhere to dump the kids or conversely, rather than catching some oblivious factory workers off guard as they’re being told that they are posing for a workplace safety campaign why not have a couple of half-naked models cussing, prancing around, staring suggestively and operating power tools? Hey, if Sophie Monk using a jackhammer can sell an otherwise shithouse romantic comedy, this kind of stuff should be able to sell industrial relations reforms or its opposite! Easy.


At least the ACTU’s latest ‘Your Rights at Work’ campaign, on the surface, has had some success with its fluoro orange paraphernalia and Barnsey belting out his hits in front of a massive demonstration of 279,500 activists on November 30. The consistent slogan has worked wonders for most of the year and it wont be long now before we see the unions’ efforts bring the ALP under Kevin Rudd to it’s long awaited victory.

This is Australia land of delusion second only to the United States. Everybody loves us Aussies like everyone loves Americans, right? They can’t get enough of us! Racism problem? Wot? Me? Worry?

Well with hotties like Lara Bingle diverting everyone’s attention away from lesser issues like workplace reform, global warming and racism how can social movers and changers compete?

The distraction smoothes over the unfortunate reality that is our culture. In Australia it’s a lot easier to organise a crowd of 5000 crackers to ‘reclaim the beach’ and chant ‘No more Lebs!’ than it is to organise 600 students to ‘reclaim the streets’ and give a toss about student services and welfare.

FACT: On the day of the Cronulla Riots, 12 people were arrested for beating the felafel out of anyone who looked even remotely ‘Mediterranean.’ On the day of the ‘Your Rights at Uni Rally’ in Sydney earlier this year, 25 people were arrested for sitting down at Railway Square.

I can feel the scourge of the Left-wing/liberal bias in the media now. At such moments, one can turn to Hollywood for otherwise elusive answers. For example, take the opening lines of the Oscar-winning movie Crash: ‘We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.’ Aren’t you glad we’ve decide to ‘stay the course’ with these guys?

That Cronulla distraction (the riots not Bingle) has now dissipated, and we have turned our focus back to the real problem Islam and Australians have returned to that comfortable place where we are all reassured that it’s ‘ethnics’ who are the real problem.

The results of a survey conducted early this year by Dr Kevin Dunn, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales, revealed that the most common stereotypes of Islam are that it’s a fundamentalist religion, and an intolerant and threatening one.

I don’t know what Dr Dunn was talking about when he said that a ‘high level of ignorance is problematic as any stereotype can take root in the absence of a more accurate understanding of Islam and its people.’ Dr Dunn must have been living under a rock since when have Australians ever needed ‘accurate’ information to know that someone’s a threat?

Wake up Dunn! Haven’t you ever heard of children overboard, the terrorists lurking on the Tampa, or those cannibals stalking Wah Wah?

And then there’s Iraq WMDs were irrelevant. Australians are clearly more than happy to assist with any invasion where the natives wear turbans and have funny, squiggly writing. Iran here we come!


Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.