Well it's that time again. The Australian cricket team is visiting our green and pleasant land with the intention of teaching us how to play cricket a game we invented. So what is it about those invincible men from Down Under that

irritates us Brits? Our columnists RUPERT SMYTHE and RACHEL BRADMAN

discuss the plucky nation we love to hate.

I don't give a XXXX for Oz

FOR some reason my local pub has recently become popular with Australians. Swarms of the fellows, having spent the week serving pints in pubs around the capital, congregate there on Friday and Saturday night, drink themselves stupid on weak lager, and then fall over.

And I can guarantee at one point in the evening one tanned long-haired poser will stumble up to me drunkenly, spilling his Fosters, and, with spittle flying, assail me with the classic line: "You're always whingeing, you poms."

Pleased with this opening, they confidently follow it up with other pearls of wisdom like: "You think you're country's so fantastic, you're useless at sport," etc.

And with their cricketer's over here for the Ashes and our rugby players over there for the Lions' tour, the Pom baiting has intensified.

I would be easy for me to respond with clichd comments about them being a nation of inbred chicken thieves.

But as I sip my pint, I feel no anger, only sympathy. Because frankly, us Poms could not care less. The truth is we do not feel animosity towards the Aussies. I mean, how could anyone be threatened by them? They are just so harmless.

But they are cursed with a chip on their shoulder that comes from being inherently inferior. I could use phrases such as culturally redundant, but I fear they would look at me blankly. Instead I ask them to leave me alone, as I have better things to do than talk to peroxided bores who throw their toys out of the pram when you point out the obvious failings of their nation.

But to be fair, they do make me laugh sometimes. For example that man on television who enjoys picking up poisonous snakes. One day he is going to get bitten.


Good on yer, you beauty

AUSTRALIANS are fun-loving and happy-go-lucky and the British are simply jealous of them.

Just because they won the Rugby World Cup and it is likely they are going to win the Lions series and the Ashes, we start to get resentful and enjoy putting them down.

They are undeservedly labelled with "bronzed posers" and "escaped convicts".

Rather than appreciate their good-humoured natures, we enjoy calling them ignorant and uncouth.

We are so narrow-minded we think they are all like Crocodile Dundee and live in the bush and eat kangaroo.

And we hate the fact they can eat outdoors and enjoy great weather all year round.

Worse, we despise them for being so optimistic and calling us "whingeing Poms".

But the British are so negative about everything it is in our make-up.

Take an example, the Brits love nothing better then moaning about their neighbours.

It might be Mrs Jones next door hasn't cut her privet hedge or it might be neighbours are making too much noise and actually having a good time.

The Brits are always suspicious of their neighbour and on the look-out for trouble.

The Australians, on the other hand, are friendly to theirs and if they having a barbie will invite them to join in.

If their neighbour does something to annoy them, they are far too laid-back to let it get to them and will try and find a solution.

So I think we should be a bit more like the Aussies, a bit more chilled-out and carefree.

The Brits have lots of good qualities and we are good at sport, so let's concentrate on that and stop putting other countries down when it looks like they are going to win.


June 28, 2001 10:37