Saturday, October 03, 2009

Saturday Morning Musings - Australia ranks first in national pride

To cheer me up after A fit of depression, Ramana pointed me to a a story in the ImageEconomist.

Apparently Australia ranked first our of 33 countries in a survey on national pride.

Now without commenting on the validity of the survey, I thought that you might be interested in reader comments on Australia in response.

The comments that follow are from oldest to newest.

-Jared, September 29, 2009 16:02

It is mildly amusing that the picture used as a background is of Australians dressed like Elvis (a American icon) drinking Heineken (a Dutch beer).

wack-intelligence, September 29, 2009 17:08

Interesting observation, an ugly Elvis that would make Elvis fans fainted. And aren't they supposed to drink Foster for pride? Canadians certainly would not drink Budweiser (snip).

craigie, September 29, 2009 20:07

Does this mean another year of that awfull Okker refrain "Ozzy Ozzy Ozzy, Oi Oi Oi"

tirralirra , September 29, 2009 21:05

Australians have a lot to be proud of... just now we are the only OECD country to have avoided recession, we have the lowest govt debt (proportional to GDP). Australia is a very egalitarian society, with the highest immigration rate in the world (as a % of population). And the weather is pretty good. Yes, we get a bit loud about sport, but then, it's only sport, isn't it?

RDF KEMR, September 29, 2009 22:15

ahh positive feedback loops... upon seeing Australia at the top of the ladder, I have become even fonder of the great southern land :)


Toby_C,September 30, 2009 0:42

It's a myth that Australians actually drink Fosters. We just export it. Where's North Korea? Surely 99.99% admire their country.

Australian Girl, September 30, 2009 7:03

All I can say is...


adrasteia, September 30, 2009 7:10

Speaking as an Australian, is it impossible for a foreign journalist to take a picture of an Australian without a beer can in their hand?

I for one know I've gone whole mornings without being drunk, it can't possibly be that hard.

Chris Bell, September 30, 2009 9:23

I know that Aussies love Aussie. They're all over here in England telling us how great the place is.

Still, without them there would be no-one to serve us any drinks, so Go Aussie!

intorox, September 30, 2009 9:41

I love Canada though I live in Australia. The high rating Canada gets is surprising given the generally subdued nature of Canadians and the French sovereignist movement in Quebec which represents about 30% of the nations population. I would have expected US and Australia to be battling for first place in the battle for self-admiration.

Strasbourgeois , September 30, 2009 13:11

What happened to the Fosters or VB - they're drinking Heineken!

sicakes, September 30, 2009 13:14

the reason most Australians love there country is that reported 60% live outside of the country! so hey we all love the place we dont really live in!

as for India well most Indians are proud of their achievements but they are also realistic about the problems they face politically (Hindutva,extremist islam, Dalits nagaland) and socially (caste, over populated, population density etc)

but my choices are my home Britian and my familes homes of Australia and India!

adrasteia, September 30, 2009 13:25

Strasbourgeois, Fosters is an export beer

rs79, September 30, 2009 17:03

Note also that the top two also have the two most stable economies in the world.

TikMustang, September 30, 2009 23:36

Australia at the top of the list? Most likely they all think that it's better than the old country their forefathers were shipped from.

Thucydides, October 1, 2009 0:05

What about places like Egypt, Cuba, Israel, Zimbabwe, Norway and Afghanistan?

Each in their own way is as chauvinistic as Canada and Australia. There's something wrong with the survey.

Bernoulli, October 1, 2009 1:13

There is a lot here in Australia to be proud about. The huge amount of income the government receives from natural resource export allows this country to live above it's income tax/VAT means.

This has helped successive governments ignore health care, lack of water, pollution, aging population, mass transit, etc. Infrastructure is decades behind population needs. Governments here have learned nothing from their past failures.

As an U.S. citizen living here, I am appalled at the Big Brother attitude state and national governments have here. No freedom is too small for government entities to think that they should limit it.

Ozdog, October 1, 2009 10:14


You are correct! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi,. Come to the land down under, we have beaten the global financial crisis and have one of the most picturesque countries in the world.

Nicholas Folkes, October 1, 2009 10:53

Ozdog, we do not need more foreigners in Australia. Australia accepts over 140,000 permanent residents plus another 100,000 per year on study and temporary visas and it is creating chaos. I have noticed the quality of life in Sydney deteriorate over the past 20 years due to excessive immigration. Australians are generally happy people but I can say we are not as happy as we were 20 years ago. We work the longest working week in the developed world, have high taxes, poor infrastructure, bloated weflare state, crime perpetrated by foreigners is very high, high property costs, high rents and deflating wages.

Bernoulli is right when he states,"This has helped successive governments ignore health care, lack of water, pollution, aging population, mass transit, etc. Infrastructure is decades behind population needs. Governments here have learned nothing from their past failures" true. Australia is very fortunate to be resource rich but it has dowsides as Bernolli has mentioned.

tempescribe, October 1, 2009 11:29

I guess it's predictable that a survey like this would unleash such a lot of chest thumping and derogatory comments about other people's countries, but as an Australian I have to take issue with Nicholas Folkes' sadly xenophobic observations - I presume he's amongst the 15% of those who lack national pride. His comments about infrastructure and the working week are fair enough, but as a resident of Sydney of over 20 years I can only say I have seen the quality of life improve with the city's growing diversity and the availability of a largely highly skilled immigrant workforce - without which we would have been struggling to fill critical jobs in health, IT and other important service sectors.

The data on crime 'perpetrated by foreigners' is limited, but what there is shows that there are both higher and lower rates of crimes per 1000 people among people born overseas than among the Australian-born. More tellingly, there are very high and increasing rates of crimes perpetrated against foreigners, and especially hate crimes against Australians of Arabic or Muslim background, undoubtedly fuelled by opportunistic politicians (former premier Bob Carr rarely missed an opportunity to scapegoat the Arabic community for any number of social ills). Their words clearly resonate with the likes of Mr Folkes, helping to distract us all from the truly critical issues of water and land management and a creaky infrastructure. Unless perhaps Mr Folkes is suggesting that all those foreigners coming over here, filling up their backyard swimming pools, sending their kids to lavishly subsidised private schools, taking advantage of the Howard government's generous middle class welfare schemes, swanning about in fuel guzzling 4WDs and building unsustainable water draining agrcultural projects such as cotton and rice growing industries along the Murray-Darling watershed is the source of all our woes?

happyfish18, October 1, 2009 12:19

Self respect means that you have to respect the rights of the other countries. The Ozzies on the top of the list tend to behave like blatant bully in the Indonesian archipelago and ride roughshod over the Pacific island midgets.

Wommy, October 1, 2009 14:20

1:0 for temperscribe! Mr Folkes disqualifies himself with his racist rantings. Of course, there is some tension in Australia between various racial and cultural communities. Of course, some of the crime is committed by recent arrivals (not even sure if this distinction really works for Australia - in one way or another nearly everyone living Down Under is an immigrant). But that is the case in all rich countries (I have lived in Switzerland, Australia and the UK and in all these countries people tend to blame crime on foreigners and are suspicious of other cultures). Crime is strongly related to socioeconomics rather than with race/religion.

As long as rich countries are dependent on poor immigrants to look after their sick/frail and to do the dirty jobs - and aging populations will increase this dependency - they shouldn't try to stem the flow of immigrants too hard but need to improve integration and work harder to ensure that population segments are not left behind.

michaelbwalker, October 1, 2009 23:07

As someone who works in the Third Sector in Australia, this has left me wondering why I need to get up in the morning. Great.

No Time Like the Future, October 2, 2009 0:26

Australians, for good reason, tend to trust their government and the system (especially since the last change of government here).

This well-earned trust is possibly the greatest asset of the nation and it leaves us free to 'get on with living'.

With a free media, good education and health system and great weather, things are pretty good down here.

About these house prices though.

Guy Shaw. October 2, 2009 3:01

@Wommy, Nicholas Folkes is making some good points.

I was under the opinion that some Australians are racists, but what I learned is that majority of the Australians hate diluting their cultural identity by importing foreigners. You could argue that they arrived only about half a century back, but that does not mean they can't control who gets in.

Their Govt. is inducting a massive immigration from other countries, and the numbers from Asian countries are high, which is causing a lot of problems there.

It is true that immigrants are the ones started the crime there. Most of the recent violence towards Indian students were perpetrated by the Labanese youths, who were the immigrants.

There is racism in Australia, that I don't deny. There is racism everywhere, but it is possible that Australians are more racist than their first world counter parts.

The fact is, if you want to be happy in Australia, you should be from one of the cultures they are welcoming. You got to be a British or Europeans.

To learn more about real Australia, go here ->

Over commited, October 2, 2009 3:25

Pride in place and product! Just look at the uprising caused by recent tampering with the Lovemark Australian brand, Vegemite. Wonderful display of patriotism.

onthepulse, October 2, 2009 3:32

I'm a first generation Australian and can tell you Guy Shaw, that Australian's, though once not wildly accepting of other groups due to their geographic isolation, now embrace many cultural groups (>136 groups in Sydney). Our immigration intake is huge, but in my view having lived in other countries like the US and UK, don't believe we are more racist than those countries. In Sydney, Europeans/British are in the minority. There's a huge Chinese population followed by other Asian groups. The country's face is changing - and obviously a small group of loud patriotic racists are worried. But unfortunately, for any crime afflicted towards Asians, namely Indians like to point the finger at whites as being the problem. But hey - in Sydney at least, there's less and less people of Anglo or European background around. I have plenty of wonderful Asian friends. Few Europeans/Poms though....As for that survey... big deal.

Go Go, October 2, 2009 17:38

Never been to Australia or met an Australian in person for a significant amount of time but I guess the results of this poll shouldn't be too surprising given that a bunch of Australians got together and had the gumption to make a movie called Australia and expected other people to be enthused enough about it to watch it and, given the publicity during award season, acclaim it.

What do you think?


niar said...

good posting Jim,
now I am instropecting the nationality of my country. I think Australia citizen have a big nationality regarding to the some factors, especially perhaps their history.
Indonesia sometimes because really multiculturalism where ethnic and customs are many and grouping is lack of nationalism, instead they are tend to love their own place or custom.
But, recently after the incident of boundaries area, culture( bathik and manykind heritage) that has been claimed by Malay, Indonesia has a little bit awareness that their country has a special things and want to promote it.
I fully respect to your country...

Jim Belshaw said...

Thank you, Niar. I found the batik saga quite fascinating. Indonesia is both a younger and more diverse society than Australia, and building something new always takes time.

I think the progress that Indonesia has made has been really quite remarkable. Touch wood, we all need a bit of luck, I think that Indonesia will continue to evolve in a fascinating and positive way.