Melbourne and the English Speaking Peoples

December 31, 2006 — 4 Comments

Back at the grindstone again after 2 weeks in Melbourne, during of which Melbourne, some would argue not surprisingly, experienced it’s coldest ever Christmas Day, some 15 degrees (celcius) and snow in the high country down to 900m (I’d note when I say 15 the wind chill factor was significantly colder again). Indeed for most of my time there (well at least it feels that way) it was cold. Silly me of course, leaving mid 30 degree days (it’s 36 outside as I write this at home) and no rain, I didn’t pack for it, so Christmas Eve consisted of a trip to Chadstone to purchase a jumper. There are of course many positives in Melbourne, if you are able to look past the weather. Shopping naturally is brilliant, although dare I say as someone who lives in Western Australia that anywhere outside of this state could be classed as brilliant, but it is indeed, public transport, world class food and entertainment, even if seating at Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl at the remarkable sum of $100 per seat still caused me to be rained upon, and a brilliant road system. Certainly it’s not New York, although Chadstone on Boxing Day did remind me of the worlds greatest city.

Which takes me to an interesting observation, none the least inspired by my nearly half read holiday reading of Andrew Roberts’ A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900. So far I’ve enjoyed every minute of the book as Roberts’, unlike many contemporary and since departed historians of the past 100 years does not subscribe to the defeatist, negative view of the rise of the English Speaking Peoples that is so often found amongst school teachers and academics, a view that often poisons generation after generation of student in relation to our past. But I digress, because I intend to provide a thorough review upon finishing the book. The observation made, in visiting Melbourne, New York, Sydney, The Gold Coast, Augusta, Perth or any of the other places I have visited in the last twelve months, is haven’t we really, really done well. Cast aside the prejudices of academia or the negatives that exist, and cast ones eyes over the great English speaking nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom. Although often facing adversity, we are amongst the fortunate few, who have never seen dictatorship, mass murder, the loss of the rule of law. We have adopted and thrived, as many of the great empires, and their collective wills and ways have failed. I’ve often thought myself fortunate to be born in Australia, but I know that the same basis of laws, democracy and freedom comes from a common thread, one for which the English speaking world shares together. It’s not uncommon in Australia to here anti-Americanism, as no doubt that it is common in Canada, New Zealand and the UK, but alas we have far more in common than the do have in difference. Indeed, as history shows, it will only be in our division will our time and current strength on this planet wane and/or fade. Say what you will, but we have done well.

Food for thought.