The sliding scale of Australian boganhood

There has been some high-brow analysis of Australian boganhood recently. The 2022 compilation of essays, Class in Australia, where writers ‘take class as their analytic focus, bringing empirical and conceptual light to the ways in which class offers a relational and structural understanding of inequality, social and cultural relations, and affective modalities’, includes the essay, ‘Bogan Talk: What It Says (and Can’t Say) about Class in Australia’. Then, the November issue of the Australian Book Review has an article, ‘On boganism: Reflections on class and Australian English’. This article, written by the Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre with an accompanying podcast, discusses the need for an expanded entry for ‘bogan’ in the Dictionary’s next update.

Continued on The Spectator Australiahere.

An alternative South Australian perspective

An edited version of this article was published on Flat Whitehere.

The Flat White article, ‘A South Australian perspective’, written by Ross Eastcoast, will win him plenty of admirers in Sydney and Melbourne. Of all of the articles written by journalists who seek popularity by slipping a boot into Adelaide or South Australia, I have never seen one that squeezes so many insults into a single two-minute read. Written in serious tones from start to finish, the article is a study in word economy in the Sydney-Melbourne practice of bagging South Australia.

Continue reading “An alternative South Australian perspective”

The new self-fu*king help books

A G-rated version of this little article was published in The Spectator Australia – here. The original version, as submitted to The Spectator Australia, is below.

In a bookshop at Adelaide airport last Christmas I saw a well-dressed woman, seemingly in her mid-sixties, looking studiously at the front and back covers of a book entitled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: a counter-intuitive approach to living a good life. I was intrigued. What had piqued her interest in this book? She did not strike me as someone in need of self-help. Maybe she was thinking of buying it for a niece or nephew who was having a rough trot. Or maybe, I thought, she was turning over the same kind of conflicted thoughts that I have about books like this ‒ unimpressed by the profanity in the title whilst wondering why they bothered with the asterisk.

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MH370 – the lead that vanished

Now that the “shocking” new evidence in the Sky News documentary MH370: The Untold Story has been revealed, I write to report a disappearance. Of the various theories and leads that have been advanced since the tragedy on 8 March 2014, there is one that has gone missing, never sighted by any investigating team including, now, Sky News. I refer to an early lead offered by an Australian scientific exploration company which was presented in good faith but which, irrespective of its merits, fell prey to cancel culture.

Continued on The Spectator Australia here.


Sic note

We all make mistakes. To quote the Augustan satirist Alexander Pope, “to err is humanistic”. But we also like to point out other people’s mistakes and in the written form we do this with ‘sic’, the term inserted into a sentence (in parentheses) to make it clear that the mistake is not ours. It is a word with Latin roots although its origins in the English language, as recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary, are mistaken. According to the OED the first known appearance of it was in an Anglo-Saxon Reader of 1887, but I have found an instance of it in the 1876 edition of the same book. The OED, therefore, needs to correct its “1887 (sic)” citation for ‘sic’.

To read further go to The Spectator Australia.


At the time of writing, December 2020, the #newedition movement can be considered a true global phenomenon. As it sets about the work of re-writing world history in the manner it should always have been written, it represents the most significant mountain that our noble progressive movement has yet climbed. But the one thing that I hope is always remembered is that this movement owes its origins to a small group of people, including my son and myself, in Melbourne. Yes, it is a phenomenon we can proudly call Victorian. It all began in 2018 at the High School that my son attends.

To read further go to The Spectator Australia.