Tonk a Pom

Forgot to mention in the previous post that Ford are also offering Australians the chance to “tonk a Pom“, in case they wish to relive their glory days last season. Of course, no self-respecting Aussie would lower himself to such heinous activity, right?

Pommy bashing gets the green light

The political correctness sheep haven’t yet grazed cricket’s many pastures of weird idioms and phrases. Not yet. And before I go on – is that the most bizarre metaphor I’ve ever written? Yup.

In English, what I meant to say was Cricket Australia have given the term “pom” (and its derivatives) the all clear, in the wake of yesterday’s clamping down on racism by the thumb-twiddlers in Dubai. It’s terrific news allround. I personally don’t give a hoot if an Aussie calls me a pom; quite the contrary. I’m sure every England cricketer is proud to be a “pommy bastard” and a “dirty little pommy scumbag” or whatever else the Australians will bleat at them this winter. In this age where even the trusty manhole cover is cowering in fear from the political correctness giant (New Labour: new words), it is terrific that cricket is just about escaping his all encompassing snare.

On similar lines, my Mum’s old boss – a terrific person, the lead in her field (rheumatology) and a remarkably resilient character – reminded me of society’s pathetic pandering to equality. I got to know her really well, and ended up working with her at the NHS for a while; although a senior consultant, revered by everyone and frightening medical students due to her authority, we got on like a house on fire. But even she, when I cheerily asked “So then Miss Chairman, how was the meeting?”, retorted furiously with “It’s ChairPERSON, Will”. I put my hands up (without coming to the party) – a fair point, and I respected her too much to disagree. But nevertheless, how pathetic it is that these words and phrases are taken so bloody seriously these days. I’m seeing it from a bloke’s angle, and I’m sure most girls don’t squirm when they drive over a manhole cover, not a womanhole cover or personhole cover.

Anyway, back to the poms. The term pom is permissible but only if it’s not preceded or followed by something which would be considered obscene. In short, pommy bastard could yet be made extinct – not to mention the more colourful variations (remember Katich?).

But for now, let’s just enjoy the insults.

Pommy bastards

This has just a tenuous link to cricket (the mentioning of ‘pommy’); it’s the headline of the week:

Truth about Pommy bastards: most births will soon be out of wedlock

HALF of all babies in Britain will be born to unmarried mothers by 2012 if present trends continue, new research says.

Brilliant.

Silencing the pom-bashers

I suspect the rivarly between Indian and Pakistani cricket sides is far fiercer than that of English and Australian ones, but that’s not to underestimate the Ashes battle. This series has demonstrated just how much that little urn – it really is tiny – means to Britons and Australians.

Aussies, especially their cricket teams, have historically always hated this country, despite them coming in their droves to live and work here (who can blame them?! Friendly banter there, don’t you be taking any offence now). So I was intrigued to see a headline at The Age of: Put Pom-bashing aside and give England credit. [link]

I was then put into instant shock when I saw the author, none other than Michael Vaughan. Alas, it is not he-who-looks-like-an-accountant-but-actually-captains-England-with-great-imagination fame. For so long now, 18 years, Britons and English cricket fans have suffered at the hands of the fervent Australian cricket fan. Simon Jones, famously, was called a “weak pommy bastard” after ripping/tearing/snapping his knee on the last winter Ashes tour on those shores. And he still talks about it, as well he might; not only has he transformed himself into a superb exponent of reverse-swing, but his side are now able to silence these pommy-bashers who for so long revelled in England’s limp Ashes efforts. There’s nowt limp or weak about this English side, as Michael Vaughan (the author of this article) concedes:

The Australians have beaten all-comers over a long time, but this time they have been comprehensively outplayed, despite the close finishes, and it’s about time we put aside our penchant for Pommy-bashing and delivered credit where it’s due.

As much as it pains me to say it, England is the new Australia. Matthew Hayden is a good example of the out-of-form/outplayed conundrum.

To those Australians who question why I’m making such a deal of gaining the respect of Australia as a people, you have to understand what Britons have been through. It isn’t so much the losing that we hated, nor being outplayed. Every. Series. It was the total lack of respect Australia showed us. “England didn’t deserve it!” you cry. Maybe, but lack of respect arguably hurts the most, and it is perhaps this reason alone which makes this summer taste all the sweeter. Glenn McGrath’s comments of a 5-0 whitewash. Hayden’s uber-confidence which, remarkably, has continued unabated even at this late stage of the series. Mark Waugh writing England off (“seen it all before.”). Peter Roebuck saying, well…you can well imagine.

As I’ve said all along, whatever the end result may be, let us just earn the respect of Australia. And we’ve done it. That’s what’s made my summer.

As an Australian, Indian, Icelander, Englishman, West Indian or any other nationality, what about this series has made it for you?