You'll remember that TV classic, 'Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo'- the touching story of a good-hearted marsupial with a penchant for problem solving.
Also celebrated for the bizarre-but-true fact that Mark 'Taggart' McManus, was one of Skippy's fellow thespians, the show primarily brings to mind lanky blokes in khaki shorts and long socks, the odd sympathetic sheila and struth, strike a light - what's that Skip? - a friendly neighbourhood kangaroo.
I've got a few roos around my neighbourhood at the moment and I can tell you, a kangaroo is far from friendly, it's a self-interested bugger who wouldn't give you a nod in the desert. Matter of fact, they're actually quite vicious. A couple of weeks ago I was bailed up by one - big b*****d he was - who actually came at me for a square go with the fists up and a blank, mean look in his eye, like some crazed ned who'd spent Giro day gargling Lanliq.
(I thought, I'm in trouble, here. Then he backed off. Big soft s****e).
Frankly, there's about as much chance of a kangaroo bouncing off into the bush to rescue some kid who's fallen down a mineshaft or got stuck halfway up a crevice as there is a half-starved lioness getting a live-in gig as a children's nanny. A kangaroo, being a feral animal, quite simply couldn't give a monkeys.
I do however, unreservedly endorse and respect the right of kangaroos to exist in Australia. They have, I think most people would agree, as an indigenous species, an inalienable right to be here.
Unlike, for example, rabbits - a plague is the collective noun evidently - much, much more invasive, ecologically speaking, in terms of damage to land and acute destruction of crops.
The rabbit of course, was introduced to Australia by the Brits, though no one can quite remember why. In all likelihood, fair, logical reasoning didn't actually come into the decision since it happened around about the same time the interlopers also decreed that the Aboriginals, the indigenous people - the locals - were altogether too primitive to be considered suitable custodians of their own land.
Given this history of - well, theft - you'd think Aussies would be well disposed to go-getting settlers coming here intent on making a better life for themselves.
If so, you'd be wrong since this weekend's election result has proven that for the majority of Aussies, immigration, colonization, legal or more specifically not quite so legal settlement, has become - ironically in a land where creative swearing is something of an art form - a dirty word.
Tony Abbott, call me prejudiced, but a mean-spirited little bloke if ever there was one, has triumphed and will duly form a Government pledged to turn back the boats containing desperate refugees seeking Aussie sanctuary.
Their extreme desperation is somewhat evidenced by the highly risky decision to consider escaping a life of persecution by investing their life savings in a uncomfortable 10 day trip in a leaky boat with only a slim chance of eventual success, assuming the overcrowded, poorly maintained vessel doesn't capsize in the process.
Tony Rabbit - I mean Abbott - being born in London, is himself an invasive species of course, but then most Aussies are intruders; it's a country of immigrants after all - a fact which - you'd think, though apparently you'd be wrong - would make them a wee bit more compassionate and understanding.
The Federal election which ended 6 years of blithering, blundering Labor rule - under Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard then Rudd again - was always a bit of a foregone conclusion since, on the basis of a change is as good as a rest, Aussies decided that it made some sort of sense to exchange a pompous, reactionary career politician from Queensland (Rudd) for a pompous, slightly more reactionary career politician from New South Wales (Tony Abbott.)
Strangely enough what didn't ever make the mainstream media headlines was the statistical fact that many more immigrants arrive in Oz - not by the boatload - but by the planeload on tourist visas. Then, after breezing through immigration control, they disappear into the casual employment ether, emerging somewhere as Big Tam the Barman in Cheeky Monkey's Nightclub, Byron Bay, getting paid cash in hand and pure lapping it up, by the way, big man.
Thousands of such ratbags from many nations enter Oz by this very method - far more than endure the tortuous boat trip and they generally get away with it because no one's really looking for them.
Suddenly you find a job that pays cash with no questions asked - fruit picking, bar work, security, the possibilities are wide-ranging - I know this for a fact, since when I first came to Oz, I did it myself.
Maybe the problem is really which immigrants?
Obviously we don't want any narrow-minded religious fanatics. So that'd rule out any Born Again Christians or Rangers supporters.
Plus, we don't want any crooks or criminals. I mean what chance would a country populated by ex-crims have?
And lastly, we don't really require anybody who can't speak the native tongue. I mean, we already have 20 odd million of them, the native language being any one of thousands of Aboriginal dialects, most of which have tragically been allowed to die out.
In many ways Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was a work of creative televisual genius, given that its initial premise of a benevolent, perceptive kangaroo capable of complex communication was clearly inspired by copious hallucinogenic self- medication. I mean how else would you be able to think up such an unlikely, bizarre notion?
About as likely really as Australia - of all the nations in the world, given its history, availability of land and relatively small population being intrinsically - violently - opposed to increased immigration.
You want to stop smoking that stuff, son. It's messing with your head and making you lose the plot.
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