We need to sit down, have a beer & start being mates again

By Patriotrealm

It seems to be so easy for families to fall out of favour with one another. We’ve been best mates for over 100 years but the bromance seems to waning. Have we grown up or simply grown apart?

We fought together as ANZACs, died together as ANZACs, wept and laughed together in the trenches during the horror of war.

We patted each other on the back for being Antipodeans and couldn’t really understand what all the fuss was about for those living in the Northern Hemisphere. For us, we were proud to be “far from the madding crowds.”
Our two countries were the same but different. We happily took the mickey out of each other, our accents and our unique turns of phrase. Our people travelled for decades quite freely across the ditch, not even needing a passport. We made jokes at each other’s expense, teased each other like brothers but, by God, if anyone started to get down and dirty with our sibling, we were the first to stand and fight alongside each other. Because that is what families do.

The only time we took the gloves off was the Bledisloe Cup. Then it was all on. Oh, and the cricket? in other words, where sport was concerned, there were no illusions. It was brother against brother, country against country. After the match, the beers would get poured and the bullshit meter started ticking and we dissected each player, each action and each tiny bit of the game until we woke up the next morning with heavy heads and vowed never to do it again. Until the next time.

Even our sense of humour and spelling were shared. You see, we were born of the same stock, the same lineage, the same Pioneer Spirit. Of course, some were convicts from England and some were ‘refugees’ from Scotland. Our forebears were all escaping the fundamental flaws in the Northern Hemisphere: not enough food, no freedom of speech, no freedom to have a job to support the family unit and no chance to ever break the cycle of poverty and helplessness.

Much like those brave folk who got on the Mayflower and headed off to America, we all found ourselves descended from those that were fortunate enough to bail out of the Northern Hemisphere and start new lives.
From the goldfields of Victoria to the goldfields of Otago, our forebears carved out lives, married, made babies and created new nations. Think about it: NEW NATIONS. What an incredible opportunity and what an incredible responsibility.

By 1893 New Zealand became the first self governing country in the world to give women the vote. Australia quickly followed and by 1895 they had done the same. And our women think that we are not about equality or have a history of equality?

We may sit at the bottom of the world, but we proved early on that we were above the pack when it came to equality – but that is another story.

World War One we fought side by side, brother by brother, cousin by cousin and Kiwi by Aussie. Our boys continued in the Second World War. One only has to visit the farming communities in either country to see the War Memorials and the names of the young men who died to defend the freedom that they enjoyed “down under. “

In the 1950s and 1960s, we saw migrants arriving to work in both our lucky countries. From Hungary, Italy, Germany, Greece and other parts of Europe and from China. We saw the “Ten Pound Poms” joining the stampede to join us on our quest for utopia. They all mucked in, worked hard, played hard, learned our language and became part of us.

But something happened. The friendly banter has become less friendly. Our matesmanship seems somehow tainted. We are wary of each other. We no longer laugh at each other’s jokes. We don’t seem to like each other very much. Why?

It brings to mind a guest post I received from a contributor, where she says: quote

How often do you hear, “Oh, we have not spoken for years”. Having different political views is one of the most common. Trump fans against the Democrats is a prime example […] family breakdowns over family issues.
[…] In most cases can’t even remember what caused the upset in the first place […] The people who suffer most in these circumstances are the extended members of the original family members who started the argument or disagreement, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. So sad, all because someone was so opinionated that they thought that their opinion was law!

Betty Boop end of quote

That is what is wrong today. Everyone thinks that they are right and no one thinks about the consequences of their actions: which brings me to our current situation. Jacinda Ardern is not really being a friendly family member with Scott Morrison and vice versa. Neither country seems well chuffed to play ball and cut some slack, to be the grown-ups in the room.

Maybe we should just have a damned good game of Rugby and see who wins? Because, right now, it makes more sense than the prospect of letting our politicians decide our fates. If Bill Shorten gets elected Prime Minister in May, then Jacinda will be happy to have a like-minded head of the family to work with.

If our leaders started behaving like leaders instead of tantrum-throwing children, maybe, just maybe, we could restore our relationship, sit down, have a beer and start being mates again.