July 16, 2003


This will provide fuel for the next 700 Phillip Adams columns:

Australia has been urged to seriously consider becoming the 51st state of the US.

American-born historian Dr David Mosler told a Brisbane audience yesterday there was a 20 per cent chance of Australia becoming an American state in the next 50 years.

Australians, he said, had no flag of their own;

Donít tell these guys.

A weak sense of nationhood;

Thatís why none of us care about issues like border protection.

No prime minister in the Lodge, with John Howard living in Sydney;

People weep in the streets about this.

No national bushfire or water plans, even with the worst drought in history;

Every real nation has a national bushfire plan.

And no "broad knowledge of nation in public discourse or popular culture".

Moslerís been teaching here since 1993. Heís obviously not doing a very good job.

He said Australian governments, attuned to the British, Americans, Japanese and global capital markets, had "sold off the farm" - electricity, water, ports, airports, resources - while Australians weren't offended by such "treasonous behaviour".

If public ownership of utilities is the key to nationhood, the US should have become Australiaís seventh state about 20 years ago. Letís deport the Mosler fellow.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 16, 2003 01:25 PM

"He listed the advantages of American statehood for Australia as:" blah-blah-blah

...and the advantages for america...australian women! woo-hoo!

also, we 'merkuns can mostly actually understand australians when they speak; i don't think more than 10% max of the population understood a word of the dialogue in "the commitments"...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 16, 2003 at 01:37 PM

I for one am all in favor of it for exactly Mr. Bingley's reason. I've read this story and always wondered if it was true about Australian women.

Posted by: Ken Summers at July 16, 2003 at 01:54 PM

Does that mean that America would adopt cricket and a couple of real codes of football as national sports?

I can hear the chucking allegations already!!!

However I think the article was just the usual anti-US anti-Howard drivel disguised as "serious" academic opinion *yawn*.

Posted by: Rob at July 16, 2003 at 02:17 PM

Ahh but Australian naming conventions are too incompatible with American ones. That's a deal breaker right there. Oh well.

Plus, the U.S. is still nominally allied with Norway.

Posted by: John at July 16, 2003 at 02:19 PM

"no broad knowledge of nation in public discourse or popular culture"

He's in Adelaide for chrissakes. What's he expect??

Posted by: The at July 16, 2003 at 02:51 PM

Are all academics required to take something that causes them to inhabit another dimension? I wonder because academics seem to speak about things that have no connection to my reality.

Of course, perhaps it's me living in another dimension and out of touch with reality?

From what I can see, Australians are proud of their country and proud to be Australians (as they should be). Australians seem to be as independent as Americans are. Why in the world would anyone think Australia wants to be another US state?

This academic made me, an American, cringe when I read it. I can just imagine the fuel his statements have given to the fire of the US being Imperialists!!

God save us all from academics. They need to get out in the 'real world' more often.

Posted by: Chris at July 16, 2003 at 02:54 PM

Thanks for taking in the cast offs from the States. Would you like some more? We have a wide selection.

Posted by: Cracker Barrel Philosopher at July 16, 2003 at 02:55 PM

Oh how I've longed for the Canberra Cannons to get a start in the NBA. Maybe Phil Smythe could make a comeback.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at July 16, 2003 at 02:59 PM

My brother visited Australia recently and got into a barroom discussion with who he called "an Australian redneck."

Mr. Redneck told my bro' he was concerned that the US would try to annex Australia.

My brother said "We're not going to annex Australia."

The response: "You're goddamn RIGHT you're not!"


Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 16, 2003 at 03:18 PM

Have you seen Mr Mosler's picture? He looks like his father was his grandfather.

Posted by: Toryhere at July 16, 2003 at 03:42 PM

Y'all are welcome to be our 51st state! Nobody finer than the Aussies, far as I'm concerned... though it'd be a heck of a commute for your Congresscritters to get to work.

And the two Aussie lasses I've had the pleasure of deep friendship with (ahem) were absolutly wonderful. Makes me wonder if it's something in the water down there.

Nah. Better that you stay not part of the USA. Anheuiser-Busch stock'd go thru the floor.

Posted by: Wonderduck (formerly just Eric) at July 16, 2003 at 03:49 PM

But we'd get better beer!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 16, 2003 at 03:52 PM

If you ever have a listen to any spokes-idiot from any yahoo organisation, whether it be consumer advocacy, save the trees from HIV, helmets for children in prams or any number of other examples of addled thinking- a large percentage have American accents; why has the US offloaded a large chunk of their surplus hippies onto us? It's bad enough allowing Kiwis to travel freely across the Tasman without subjecting them to compulsory insecticidal dipping and an English test, let alone allowing untrammeled migration by hordes of would-be Ralph Naders.
(Maybe in return we should export Margo Kingston).

Posted by: Paul Bickford at July 16, 2003 at 03:59 PM

Dave the Seppo seems to have missed the six-year punch-up to finally put Telstra on the open market; the only way you could get more whinging from the great unwashed would be to try cutting welfare eligibility.

Posted by: Paul Bickford at July 16, 2003 at 04:03 PM

Paul wrote:

"...why has the US offloaded a large chunk of their surplus hippies onto us?"

That's kind of like asking:

"Why does a dog lick his own balls?"


Posted by: David Crawford at July 16, 2003 at 04:13 PM

Mosler must be a flea the ball lickin' dog scratched off.

Posted by: d at July 16, 2003 at 04:29 PM

Australia becoming the 51-56th states would solve the problem my friends and i have been having in importing an Australian friend of ours. it still leaves the problem of distance. how will we from the first 50 states going to enjoy the company of all the Australian born women? will there be compulsory migration? will we have to go down under ourselves and pick our own? before we go any further with this idea, this important issue must be resolved. i, for one, am not willing to chance that you will come up with a workable solution later. after all, any country that doesn't have a workable national brushfire plan should not be left to develop a migration scheme without a firm deadline.

Posted by: Sean Sorrentino at July 16, 2003 at 04:47 PM

Look, I think very highly of Australia --- but with the exception of James Squire, Cascade, and that Tasmania Beer -- James Hoag? The one with the marsupial lion on it --- there are dozens of beers in California alone which put to shame much of that Australian stuff.

VB is reasonable, but I'll take an Anchor Steam, a Red Tail Ale or a Sierra Nevada Porter ten times out of eleven.

Posted by: Andrew at July 16, 2003 at 05:15 PM

"Fielding teams in the US national basketball, baseball and gridiron competitions."

Alright, the first requirement for American statehood is dropping the name gridiron and calling football by its proper name. Al Davis may promise to move the Raiders to Sydney and try to con you into building a new stadium for him but, trust me, you don't want anything to do with him.

Posted by: Randy R. at July 16, 2003 at 05:20 PM

Re the lack of a national flag, he should really take that issue up with the RSM of the Army, given that the Army is the official custodian of the flag.

I think that would be a fun, but short, debate to watch.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at July 16, 2003 at 05:31 PM

Yes, Andrew, but let's compare mass-brewed crap from here with mass-brewed crap from there. Budweiser and Miller are what you should be comparing VB with. All three are dogpiss, but I'll take the Aussie dogpiss, thanks, if dogpiss is all there is to drink. At least the Aussie stuff has alcohol in it.

PPS -- Fosters, VB and Melbourne Bitter are all made in the same tank. They just add different amounts of caramel (ie burnt sugar) to them to make them taste different.

PPS -- Foster brothers were Yanks anyway.

Posted by: Mark at July 16, 2003 at 05:35 PM

Andrew: ouch! James Squire, despite the poncey name, is one of our best (India Pale Ale my fave). But it's a Kiwi who designed it. Hmmm... I grew up on Coopers - but you wouldn't want to see the results. I remember in my youth returning from a 360 degree trip, saying Bud wasn't bad and some Pommy Piss ('specially the Yorkshire Ales) wasn't bad at all. Had to leave town (that was Adelaide; no great loss).

Paul Bickford: I understand your distress, but I have two words that may explain this act of vengence by the US: Helen Caldicott.

Posted by: The at July 16, 2003 at 06:23 PM

Devious parochial move -- I live in Adelaide. Previous addresses are Sydney, Melbourne, Concarneau and Paris. As I sit here in a house that hasn't had to be mortgaged to the third generation to be purchased, I look over the half-acre back garden that leads down to the park and hear the distant bells of the train line which takes me down to town in 30 minutes. No aeroplane noise to speak of, traffic a muffled rumble, yard full of rosellas and wrens. Koalas pass through regular-like.

Oh, it's boring, is it? Frankly, I make my own fun. And I don't mean wanking.

Posted by: Mark at July 16, 2003 at 07:07 PM

As far as the every day piss is concerned, Tassie beer is probably the best Australia has to offer, I am shocked that Andrew does not rate them. At the next level up is James Squire and Coopers, lovely beers. Americans knocking Coopers is the end of the coalition of the willing as far as I am concerned.

If we are talking boutique beers then all bets are off, each to his own but my guess is that there are more of them in California that have been going longer.

Visited Anderson Vally Brewery in Boonville once, loved it but that was as much to do about a friendly redneck leaning against the bar as anything else. He saw we were tourists and took it upon himself to help us choose. He came up with one othe funniest lines I ever heard
"Ah know 'bout two things, hogs & beer. Apart from that, I know sheeit."

Posted by: James Hamilton at July 16, 2003 at 08:10 PM

Coopers fits well into the middle - its relatively mass produced by Aussie standards, while still wiping the floor with the dogs piss like VB and XXXX. Plus, theres Coopers vintage ale, which rewards the patient drinker with an alcohol % of about 8.5 if you let it age for a year or two.

Although Emu bitter is a delightful little drop when it comes to sucking down a cold refreshing glass of turnip juice.

Posted by: Tom at July 16, 2003 at 08:36 PM

If we were the 51st state would they still invoice us for the bombs we dropped on Iraq.

Posted by: adaly at July 16, 2003 at 08:57 PM

no, adaly, but we would make you all honorary puerto ricans ;)

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 16, 2003 at 10:12 PM

If Australia wants to be the 51st state, or 51st-56th, welcome to you!

However, Australia better hurry up before Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory take those slots.

Posted by: Brian J. at July 16, 2003 at 10:19 PM

hmmm, brian, any pointed omissions from that list?????

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 16, 2003 at 10:21 PM

Dear Tim Blair,

As a person from the future who has read the next 700 Phillip Adams columns, I find your remarks deeply insulting. Many of my friends are from the future and only a few of them are cannibals.

Yours sincerely,
Brig. Gen. Brian O'Connell (Mrs)

P.S. And don't call me baby.

Posted by: Brian O'Connell at July 16, 2003 at 10:59 PM

A confession- I stole your link to the Aussie flag boys and posted it on an Aussie military website .

Cheers, salutes, and a challenge to dickhead to come and discuss the issue with some of the Vietnam and later veterans in a calm and reasoned manner.

Posted by: Pete at July 17, 2003 at 12:36 AM

Mark -

No doubt that mass produced Aussie beer is better than the mass produced American beer, but there are so many damned good beers made in the US of A these days that I felt honor bound to defend them.

(And Coopers is tasty --- and readily available here in California)

Posted by: Andrew at July 17, 2003 at 01:08 AM

I don't know why, but this reminds me of the frantic cries back in the 80's that "the Japanese are buying America!"

There was a whole big stink over some Japanese corp buying the majority share of the facilities in Yosemite Nat. Park, etc. etc.

My reaction at the time was "sell it to them! What are they going to do, take it home with 'em?"

Posted by: mojo at July 17, 2003 at 02:20 AM

As a good American I would love to vote you in as a state but you have to ship that stupid bastard to the kiwis first, otherwise, no deal.

Posted by: Charlie Greene at July 17, 2003 at 03:44 AM

We could skip the whole thing and start the Empire of the A's (would we have to let Austria in to?)

Posted by: Charlie Greene at July 17, 2003 at 03:47 AM

resistance is futile!


Can we trade California for Australia?

Posted by: Tim in PA at July 17, 2003 at 04:33 AM

ooh, i like that, tim-in-pennsyltucky! we get better wine and prettier girls, and we get rid of barbara streisand! brilliant!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 17, 2003 at 05:57 AM

In the 80s they sold Australia's Gold Coast to the Japanese. Then bought it back 10 years later for a fifth of the price.

Posted by: The at July 17, 2003 at 08:11 AM

Mr. Squire did much of his brewing apprenticeship in the U.S. He makes a great drop so you lot over their must have some bloody good brewers about.

And Tuttle, that is an admirable suggestion. Why not make it happen. Someone should invite him as follows:

`Mosler be my guest at my club tonight' ( don't mention RSL);` pick you up early for drinks at 6.30'( omit the continuation,` and a lively punch-up, followed by a quick trip to the hospital and then dinner.').

Posted by: d at July 17, 2003 at 10:51 AM

I think it's a better idea to get a LOT of tugboats and haul Australia and New Zealand up closer to North America. Park them between Hawaii and the contenent.
I'd love to visit Australia - but it's too far away now.

Posted by: Ralph M at July 17, 2003 at 03:51 PM

As I said HERE, A constitution bringing a republic and a Bill of Rights? Hellloooooo! We voted AGAINST a republic! Hellloooooooo!

Posted by: prw at July 17, 2003 at 08:09 PM

Hellooooo... prw, I am not sure I can figure out what you are talking about. I think you disagree with the good prof's statements... as do we all. (PS: don't worry, no one is seriously considering making Australia the 51st state. We'll make Puerto Rico the 51st state before we do that. We were indulging here in a bit of what is called "banter." Just in case you weren't sure.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 18, 2003 at 12:16 AM

Look the script says,there 50 staes, then we sahll skip some and declare 671 and a fraction - or decimal point to enlighten the froggies, state.
Between that last no. and the 50th so many things happened it is neater to say, they disappeared up someone's crack the somenone being in France.

It is ruled, however, their shall be no number greater than 671 and a fraction, for he who cheateth profiteth not but any number higher than 20000 is regular and therefore profitable.

Is the flag expandable bye the bye.

Posted by: d at July 18, 2003 at 01:08 PM