This week’s news provided another example of Australian insularity. I imagine that the Mumbai bombings were covered in depth in the UK, regardless of the number of British nationals that were affected by them. Here, the bombings were only mentioned in connection with the Australians that were either killed or injured, and even then, they were given a short mention before the news moved on to much more important things like who won the cricket.
The quality of life here is good (for anyone descended from the Commonwealth anyway) but it is incredibly superficial and incredibly Australian-centric. I feel sometimes like I’m living in a parallel universe. I know there are a whole stack of global issues out there, but I have to go actively searching for reminders of them, and if I didn’t have live connections with the UK, I’m not sure I would really have a clue about anything beyond local sports and self-congratulatory jingoistic Aussie crap. And that’s not to mention the blinkers that most Australians seem to have about the indigenous population.
I find myself censoring my comments to Aussies about all of this because I realise how much I sound like a stereotypical snooty Brit! And it’s not fair to generalise about all Aussies – I’ve met a lot of individuals who are just as scathing about their own culture – but it is definitely a different culture to the UK, and I have to be honest, not one that appeals to me as a long-term home.