Remember when you were six and your Mum used to make you those yummy lunches that you’d take along to school? If you grew up in the Southern Hemisphere you probably remember chips and Vegemite (crisps for those in the northern hemisphere) and Milo sandwiches.
OOOOOOOh remember Milo sandwiches!?
Your Mum would smear the white bread with butter and then add in a thick shake of Milo powder and by lunchtime the thick humidity of an Auckland summer’s day will have done its job and turned it into a gooey chocolatey spread.
But I digress. I got carried away with Milo sandwiches…(and fairy bread).
So you’d take your delicious lunch to school and then some great big hairy oik would come along and nick it. Because? Because their Mum wouldn’t win any medals in the lunch-making Olympics. Because their Mum just didn’t have what it takes – whether that was because of the lack of public funding, or training sessions, or maybe they weren’t brought up chewing on gold medals for breakfast and eating steel for dinner, whatever the reason, their Mum just didn’t bring home the mother lode.
So that big hairy oik nicked your lunch, and then paraded it around and claimed it as his own.
Like Australia, with the medals.
I woke this morning to an amusing article on Stuff NZ’s online news website which said that the Sydney based Daily Telegraph has given up agonising over the poor performance of the Australian athletes in the Olympics. It’s decided to undo the last century of sibling rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, and claim the New Zealand cache as their own.
They’ve started ranking on the medal charts as: AUS ZEALAND.
Day 10′s Medal Tally was reported as AUS ZEALAND being in ninth place (er that would actually be Australia with one gold medal and NZ with four, and an overall medal position of NZ 14th and Australia languishing in 27th place).
Of course this wouldn’t be the first time the school yard bully has stolen our lunch. Australia has taken credit for a plethora of New Zealand talent including: Crowded House, Phar Lap (racehorse), Russell Crowe (hang on, they can have him!) and numerous others.
And now, Australia is at it again, nicking the credit for New Zealand’s sporting success. Well, I don’t think that can go on without a little bit of powhiri and a chat.
Here’s the deal, Australia. You can join with us against the rest of the world as New Stralia, or Aus Zealand or Australasia (as you did in the 1912 Olympics) IF we can join with you economically. Not nationally, of course. I’m not suggesting that we ditch our own sense of nationalism and cultural identity, no I’m talking about a stronger version of CER(Closer Economic Relations).
We already ship our bright young things across to Aussie to make their fortune in the larger workplace, and we send our talented artsie fartsie folk (musicians, actors, TV stars – oh you can have the cast of Shortland Street, no worries mate!) to strut their stuff upon the Aussie stage, so what’s the big deal? Why don’t we have a shared currency? Why don’t we have free access between countries? (We pretty much do already). Why don’t we share defence forces?
We could bring back to life the fearsome ANZACs once more!
I reckon that’s the only way forward for our lands Down Under. Union. And I don’t just mean the rugby kind – though wouldn’t that be awesome! Would there be any more terrifying force on the rugby field than a combined Aussie/All Blacks force?
Can you hear, can you hear the thunder? I come from a land Down Under…
What do you think – should Australia and New Zealand get together, starting with a combined effort in the Olympics?