Tag: Australia

Whale meat again …

“More than 120 pregnant whales were slaughtered in the latest Japanese whale hunt in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, reigniting calls for Australia to step up efforts to stop the annual killing spree. A further 114 immature whales were killed as part of Japan’s so-called “scientific” whaling program. Japan’s summer hunt stretches into Australian whale sanctuaries.” – News reports.

Here’s a column I wrote eight years ago.

JAPAN, Norway and Iceland have killed more than 30 000 great whales since 1986. And if you think that’s good news, wait until you hear this.

A new deal being negotiated behind closed doors could see a lot more whale meat on our plates come dinner time. To be honest, I haven’t sunk my teeth into a decent southern right steak since I was a child. As a special treat my mother would buy us whale meat. I remember it clearly. It came in a yellow box with a caricature of a blue whale on the front. The whale was spouting and grinning. It might even have been winking. It was the happiest whale I had ever seen. It was the only whale I had ever seen.

At some point I discovered that this tasty cetacean snack was meant as pet food. Thanks, mom.

I had no idea where the whale in my sarmies came from. I tried asking my mother the other day but she recently adopted a position of denying everything and it was hard enough getting her to acknowledge that she had a son at all. I never thought to enquire about the origins of my lunch at the time. I was just happy to have something to eat, even if it was cat food.

Then, one day, whale was no longer served in my house. I can’t remember what replaced it. Tortoise, probably. It was the end of an era. I lost 180kgs and girls stopped asking to see my blowhole.

The whaling station on the Bluff shut down in 1975 – 70 years after Jacob Egeland, the Norwegian consul in Durban, and his sidekick Johan Bryde, formed the South African Whaling Company. If you think the beachfront smells bad today, you don’t want to know what it was like when the Scandinavians were up to their elbows in sperm whale.

In their first year they harpooned 106 of the brutes. Always eager to please, a pod of whales got together off Umhlanga and voted to name themselves after Bryde, who they had grown particularly fond of as a result of his remarkably good aim. A clean head shot, every time. Whales appreciate this sort of attention to detail.

Meanwhile, a group of jersey-wearing jellyfish on the International Whaling Commission is at this very moment conniving with powerful interests who are just as comfortable with flensing knives as they are with numbered bank accounts.

For the first time since 1986, commercial whaling is poised to make a comeback and every budding Cap’n Ahab out there is dusting off his old harpoon and getting ready to sail for the Southern Ocean.

The carnage should be spectacular.

Speaking of large mammals, did you know that 50% of South African girls aged 15 to 19 are overweight and 30% obese? Boys waddle in at 29 and nine percent respectively.

Parents need to get their kids onto some kind of programme. I can recommend a good weight-loss tape. It’s called duct tape. You stick it over their big fat mouths.

28 March 2010

 

And here’s a letter I wrote to the Japanese ambassador seventeen years ago.

Dear Ambassador,

I see that one of your government officials has described Minke whales as the “cockroaches of the sea”. I could not agree more. Dirty great things cluttering up the ocean. They ought to be ashamed of themselves. Unlike land-based cockroaches, they at least don’t fly at your head when you least expect it. Getting struck in the face by an airborne Minke could ruin a good day’s fishing.

The Minke are vermin. Scum of the seas. They are forever lying there half-submerged waiting for unsuspecting yachts to come along. Many a sailor has cursed the smirking Minke while watching his boat sink. They are also far too big. Any fish that weights fifteen tons is a freak of nature. They upset the feng shui of the ocean and deserve to die.

I cannot understand why the members of the International Whaling Commission refuse to lift the ban on commercial hunting. We don’t even need them. They scoff all the shrimp and wallow about idly belching from their blowholes. And the whales are no better.

It was pure genius on the part of your government to tell the world that you are only catching Minke whales for “scientific research”. There is, after all, so much to learn from a dead whale. Made any exciting new discoveries lately.

By research, you presumably mean men in white coats inspect the meat as it is chopped into 1kg blocks and sold to fish and chip shops around Japan. Given the fact that 2500 tons of blubber are consumed in your country every year, I find it remarkable that there are so few fat Japanese. Do you feed it all to your sumo wrestlers?

As you know, whale season here in the Western Cape is around the corner. In fact, a few Southern Rights have already been spotted in False Bay. An old hand-held harpoon has been in my family for generations and I’ve been thinking of giving it a whirl. If I manage to bag a medium-sized aquatic cockroach, I can have it transported to the embassy in no time at all. What do you say to a thousand rand a ton? Translate that into yen and you’ve got a damn fine deal.

In the meantime, here’s R10 in “development aid”. Use it wisely.

Let’s stamp out the whales!

Yours truly,

Ben Trovato

 

A few days later, the First Secretary of the Embassy replied.

He basically said they’d love to chat about the subject but that “it would be somewhat difficult to do so if one’s opinion is based on inaccurate information”. I assumed he was talking about me. This was followed by a pack of lies about their “scientific research”.

And my R10 was returned. “We are, unfortunately, not in a a position to accept the attached donation as the Government of Japan does not allow any of its bodies to accept any form of donation as worthy as it may be.”

whaleben

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Send the exorcists to Canberra

Oi! Yeah, you. Australia. I’m talking to you. What’s your problem, mate? A travel advisory? Is this because we caught your cricket blokes cheating? Seems a bit harsh.

Our gummint reckons your advisory deters Australians from visiting South Africa and tarnishes our image. If anyone’s going to tarnish our image, mate, it’ll be us. You won’t beat us at that game. We’ve been working at it for years.

The advisory warns visitors to South Africa to “exercise a high degree of caution”. That’s a mistake right there. We don’t want anyone coming over here with a view to exercising. We’re laid-back and lazy and proud of it. You don’t believe me, check our GDP. You want to exercise, go to Germany.

According to Aussie rules, “This level means that there are more or bigger risks in this location than what you would typically find in a large Australian city.” Don’t make me laugh, mate. The biggest risk in any Australian city is that the pubs will shut before you can get rat-arsed.

You warn of robberies and say that “visitors to shopping malls should remain vigilant at all times”. I fear only two things when I go to the mall. Not being able to find parking is one. The fear of being jostled is another. We have a big emerging middle class and they tend to emerge all at once on a Saturday morning. You won’t get murdered or robbed, but you might get jostled.

You also said the advisory was issued because “there is a threat of terrorism in South Africa”. Ah, come on, mate. Play fair. The last terror attack we had was when Steve Hofmeyr released a new music video. Your National Security website, on the other hand, says, “Credible intelligence, assessed by our security agencies, indicates that individuals or groups continue to possess the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia.”

Chuck in box jellyfish, wolf spiders, cone snails, tiger snakes, saltwater crocodiles and Russell Crowe and I’m starting to think we’re the ones who should be issuing a travel advisory. Perhaps we already do – if you don’t like it here, boet, we advise that you emigrate to Australia right away.

Moving on. Last week I was caught with my pants down in the first harbinger of Cape Town’s savage winter. I had expected to be back in Durban by now but something keeps coming up. Besides, I can’t find my pants. This happens more than you might think to men who live alone. This is because they are either recovering from a break-up or heading for a breakdown and tend to have a lot on their minds.

So I lit a fire with bits of milkwood I found lying around. Most of the bits were attached to the milkwood trees around my shack. Milkwoods love a good pruning and, by the look of them, these ones hadn’t been touched since Simon van der Stel stopped off in Kommetjie for a spot of raping and pillaging.

Anyway. Whatever other qualities it has, milkwood sucks as firewood. Or maybe my chimney’s blocked. Within moments of setting the wood on fire, the shack filled with dense smoke causing me to flee sans culottes, pantaloons or any other item protecting my delicate gentleman parts from hypothermia.

To the casual observer, not that there are any around here, the scene resembled one of Hieronymus Bosch’s depictions of hell. All the elements were there. Smoke, flames, naked tormented white man in a heightened state of agitation unable to reach the fridge for fear of asphyxiation. Everything but the giant blue bird sitting in an armchair swallowing a naked woman while swallows fly out of her bottom.

That this was happening on deadline made it all so much worse. I wrestled with the urge to set fire to my house and the barking dog’s house, buy a kilo of amphetamines and drive for fifty straight hours in any direction, then stop and live right there.

Then, in a moment of divine clarity, I realised this was a malignant spirit talking. Knowing that I had, through a weird set of circumstances involving fire, smoke and no pants, become possessed by the devil, or more likely one of his minor henchdemons, made it easier for me to rationalise the situation and thereby reject arson and a life on the run.

What I needed almost as much as a beer was an exorcism. I looked for a local exorcist on google but where I live, there is no salvation. We are damned. There are no priests in my village but there is a bottle store that doesn’t sell alcohol because the owner can’t afford stock. And there is no deliverance.

I wouldn’t have this problem if I lived in Rome. There are restaurants in the Campo dei Fiori that have been delivering pizzas since the Lions beat the Christians in the Colosseum Cup. As for the other thing, there are more than 400 trained exorcists in Italy alone. They do over half a million exorcisms a year.

If you suffer from demons, Ernest Simoni is the man you want on speed-dial. The 89-year-old cardinal was a big hit at the 13th annual exorcists convention in Rome this week. Seriously. It’s a thing. More than 250 exorcists from 51 countries came together to share ideas on how best to drive the devil from people whom he has possessed, or even just moved in temporarily while looking for something more permanent.

Simoni says he has come face to face with Satan hundreds of times. This says a lot for a man who has never been married. Because he lives in Albania, which is so far away that nobody even knows where it is, he can’t always make house calls. What he does do, though, is four or five exorcisms a day by phone. I imagine it’s like the reverse of telesales calls, where the person tries to plunge you into debit order hell.

Some priests criticised the cardinal’s dial-a-demon method because “the possessed person often writhes and levitates during the extraction of the devil from his or her soul”. I imagine the priest should be there to pin them down in a half-nelson and get them to submit. Given the number of exorcisms being performed, you’d think there would be more levitations on YouTube than just the one performed by Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Simoni also performs frequent exorcisms on Albanian Muslims who want spiritual liberation from the devil because “the possessed aren’t just Catholics”. I like him, this Ernest Simoni. He doesn’t discriminate. I always thought of the devil as being a bit of a Christian, what with them believing so implicitly in his existence and all.

I wonder what the cardinal would do if he got a call from a member of the Church of Satan saying, yes, I did invite him in and I do have a pentagram tattooed on my forehead, but I’ve just become a father and need to get on with stuff that doesn’t involve sacrificing chickens on a Sunday night.

Simoni told the conference, “There was a very tall woman. It took six people to hold her down in a chair. After hours and hours of struggle, I was able to banish the evil. I cast out the demons.” I don’t know. I’ve been married twice to women who weren’t very tall at all, and I know for sure that six people would not have been able to hold them down when they were angry. They wouldn’t even have tried. They would’ve given me my money back and left. Were they full of demons? Of course they were. It’s one of the reasons I married them.

The cardinal also said that millions of people were possessed by Satan but that “when Satan hears the word of God, he is terrified”. What he seems to be saying is that Satan is a bit gay. That he doesn’t like confrontation and would rather be doing his satany stuff without anyone shouting and making a scene. I find this a bit implausible, to be honest. Ever since Satan was invented, he has been portrayed as a crimson-hued, cloven-hoofed, trident-wielding beast with horns, uglier than Donald Trump but less narcissistic. I imagine that Satan, like Patricia de Lille, is not easily terrified.

The Rome convention included seminars with titles like, “Angels and Demons in Sacred Scripture and the Teachings of the Church” and “People Who Buy Dan Brown’s Books –Mad or Possessed?”

There were also panels on African witchcraft “such as the JuJu curse”. I am not making this up. Their idea of the JuJu curse is probably different to ours, though.

Participants also heard from criminologists, medical doctors and psychologists “to help exorcists discern between genuine devil possession and mental illness or even creative criminals who claim the devil made them do it”. Ah, Hansie. You’re not alone.

Speaking of evil, the convention cost R4 400 to attend and another R3 700 if you wanted simultaneous translation from Italian.

Exorcizo deo immundissimus spiritus, indeed.

witchdoctor

Advance Australia Unfair

peterdutton_potato_0

G’day Peter Dutton, Australian Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration & Whatever Else Takes Your Fancy.

First off, congratulations on being called the Donald Trump of Australia. That’s quite an accolade, cobber. Between the two of you, the South will definitely rise again. But let me get to the point.

I need to be on the list of white oppressed farmers with regard to your noble offer of special treatment in the visa department. I am not a farmer but that can be easily remedied. Tomorrow morning I shall dig up my modest garden and plant carrots, brinjals and chickens. I am familiar with livestock since I own a dog roughly the size of a goat, but less intelligent. And I sat on a tractor once. Will this be enough?

tractorbling

I should mention that I also feel very oppressed because on Tuesdays, when Beauty comes, I have to leave the house for the entire day because I can no longer stand the sound of vacuuming and breaking crockery. Sometimes she puts the radio on. Although I cannot understand what the presenter is saying, he is almost certainly urging her to rise up and stab me as I watch the telly.

Thing is, Beauty hasn’t assaulted me. Yet. If you think it would strengthen my case, I could put up a notice at the local Spar asking for a volunteer to knock me about a bit. How bad does the injury have to be? I don’t mind a small flesh wound. Just enough to get me in to, say, Darwin. But if it means losing an arm or leg, then I would have to insist on an apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour. Preferably in an area where the bars don’t close at 11pm.

You are spot-on with your assessment that our white farmers live in “horrific circumstances”. The tiny corrugated iron shacks they call home, the lack of proper sanitation, unreliable transport, robbers around every unlit corner … oh, wait. I’m getting the forty thousand whites who live in farmhouses confused with the 30 million blacks who live in poverty.

Your highly credible Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers have reported with fitting levels of outrage that fifty white farmers are murdered every year. Snowflake liberals, or, as you call them, crazy lefties, will be quick to point out that fifty black South Africans are murdered every day. What is this, a competition? I don’t know the going rate on the Caucasoid/Negroid Index, but you know as well as I do, Mr Dutton, that white lives are worth considerably more. Especially, in your case, near election time.

Truth is, our darkies simply don’t know how to behave. If they’re not slaughtering farmers willy-nilly, they’re out there on the cricket pitch attacking the captain of the Australian team. It starts with a shoulder bump and the next thing you know, second slip is holding you down while the wicket keeper goes at your neck with a blunt chainsaw. Quite frankly, it’s not on. Then again, at least it’s not cheating.

Now that our farmers know they can skip the English fluency test – the only thing that has stopped them from emigrating – you can expect a sharp increase in applications. You can put me at the top of the list because I are already fluent.

When you said our farmers needed help from a “civilised” country like yours, hope surged through my bosom. Not that I have an actual bosom. That would ruin my chances of getting one of your special visas. Where we come from, men are men and women are women and never the twain shall meet. Well, they can meet for sex, obviously. You don’t have to worry about me in that district, mate. I love the sheilas. Sure, they don’t always feel the same about the likes of me and you, but who cares?

We were a civilised country, once. You could ride on buses, go to the movies, walk on the beach, visit a park or go to a restaurant and it would be white people as far as the eye could see. White people only. Or, in the parlance of the good old days, slegs blankes.

It’s our own fault, really. We took our eye off the ball. One minute we were letting Nelson Mandela out of prison and before we knew it parliament was swarming in darkies demanding free education and jobs for all.

How did this not happen in your great country? Oh, right. Britain cunningly sent shiploads of convicts to colonise the place. The Abos didn’t stand a chance against that bunch of brigands. You did allow a blackfella to become a member of parliament in 1971, though, which was awfully decent of you.

Someone must’ve thought 1971 was a bit premature for that kind of thing because it wasn’t until 2015 that an indidgeridoo – my word for an indigenous Australian – was given a ministerial position. Assistant Minister for Health, wasn’t it? Smart move. Can’t do much damage there. Medicare does it all.

The Abos had already been hanging about for 60 000 years when your mob came ashore in 1788, distributing pants and cholera to the needy. In 230 years they went from being 100% of the population to three percent. Anyway. They can’t complain. It was a good run.

Sorry, mate. You don’t need me telling you about your own past. It’s all written down in history books like your Grade Five set work, “How We Bushwhacked The Boomerang-Chuckers.”

That thing you did with the Abo kids, though? Brilliant. From 1905 to 1970 tens of thousands of the little blighters were rounded up and given to decent white families to raise. Some people call them the Stolen Generation, but that’s not right. If anything, they were the Borrowed Generation. You did give them back once they’d been taught to respect the Queen and love Jesus, right? No matter. I wouldn’t have minded if my brat had been taken away and raised by someone else, I can tell you. Would’ve saved me a bloody fortune on psychiatric fees.

I should probably tell you something about our white farmers since they’re going to be arriving soon. They’ll be coming by plane, I trust. I know what you guys do to immigrants who come by boat. You shunt them off to refugee centres to be molested by rabid dingoes before being shipped off to some or other godforsaken island in the South Pacific or Papua New Guinea where they are eventually hunted down and eaten by cannibals.

Our farmers won’t stand for that kind of treatment, mate. The ones who do livestock are prolific breeders when it comes to sheep, cows and women. And the crop farmers will grow everything except marijuana. To a man they love rugby and animals, the rawer the better. And they are fighters and drinkers. No problems with assimilation there, cobber. If it weren’t for the harsh guttural accent you’d think they were true blue Ozzies.

Which, I have to say, doesn’t mean they deserve to be murdered. That’s the thing with our home invaders. You might expect a light slapping but then the kitchenware comes out and it’s not long before you’re getting your face ironed. Not nice. Not even if you have one of those very creased faces.

But thank you for saying such good things about them, even though you’ve never met any. “The people we’re talking about want to work hard, they want to contribute to a country like Australia. We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare.” Unlike those bloody Rohingya bludgers who think they can just take a nice sea cruise to Melbourne, develop a meth habit, go down the pub and say things like “Wouldn’t mind going walkabout down the billabong and throwing some shrimp on the barbie, Bruce!” and reckon that gives them the right to go on the dole and taunt homos for a laugh.

I should probably warn you. This abiding by your laws business? I wouldn’t expect too much from the farmers. Or any South Africans, really. We don’t bother much with laws. Can’t blame us, really. We’ve had Jacob Zuma for the last nine years. The man is a proper wombat. He eats, roots and leaves, if you catch my drift. Imagine having 22 children.

Obeying the law can get you killed in South Africa. We all drive at a constant 160km/h and don’t stop for anything unless we want to wake up in the mortuary. Enormous semi-naked black men with machetes and leopards on leashes roam the streets and office buildings with impunity. The carnage around the water coolers on a Friday afternoon is too horrific for words.

I suppose what I’m saying is that you should be giving these humanitarian visas to every white South African, not just the farmers. We are all under terrible pressure and fear for our sanity and our lives every minute of every day. Sure, farmers can grow stuff like cabbages and lambs and know how to dig a hole, but a lot of us non-farmers are just as good with our hands. I, for instance, know a fair bit about origami. You never know when a couple of hundred paper swans might come in handy.

Also, we white South Africans have very little apart from money, homes and jobs. It’s the darkies who have everything these days. Okay, there are some who have nothing. But even then they have plenty of it.

You seem to have upset my government. They want a retraction. Not going to happen, right? Australians aren’t the apologising sort. Your prime minister refused to condemn or defend your comments. That Malcolm Talkbull is my kind of politician. Get up on the rabbit-proof fence and stay there.

While you’re doling out visas, mate, you might want to chuck some cash at a bunch of local patriots called the Suidlanders. They’re trying to raise a million rand for things that’ll come in handy when the genocide starts for real. Stuff like medicine, radios and “especially diesel fuel because of its numerous versatile applications in conditions of war”. They drink it, you know, with cane spirits. It’s called spook and diesel. Three in a row gives you brain damage. For example, one of them wrote this on their website, “We shall be the last people in the history of the world that shall stand – as a homogeneous nation undiluted – to die for Christ against the wave of humanism that has been injected by aliens into the veins of the European peoples of the world today.”

Anyway, possum. Best of luck with our farmers. There’s a good chance they will help you to get the old White Australia policy back on the table. Then again, there’s an equally good chance they will tell you to fuck off. That’s South Africans for you.

white australia

Still want to emigrate to Oz?

Here’s an excerpt from a piece written this week by Matt Barrie, the CEO of Freelancer.com. You can read the full rant here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/would-last-person-sydney-please-turn-lights-out-matt-barrie

 

“The total and utter destruction of Sydney’s nightlife is almost complete.

A succession of incompetent governments has systematically dismantled the entire night time economy through a constant barrage of rules, regulation and social tinkering.

And oh, how ridiculous these rules have become in Sydney. A special little person has decided that there is a certain time at night when we are all allowed to go out, and there is a certain time that we are allowed into an establishment and a certain time that we are all supposed to be tucked into bed. There is a certain time we are allowed to buy some drinks, and over the course of the night the amount of drinks we are allowed to buy will change. The drinks we buy must be in a special cup made of a special material, and that special material will change over the course of the night at certain times. The cup has to be a certain size. It cannot be too big, because someone might die. Over the course of the night, this special little person will tell you what you can and cannot put into your cup because someone might die.

It is now illegal to buy a bottle of wine after 10pm in the City of Sydney because not a single one of us is to be trusted with any level of personal responsibility. Apparently there is an epidemic of people being bashed to death over dinner with a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that we have all been blissfully unaware of.

Likewise it is now illegal to have a scotch on the rocks after midnight in the City of Sydney because someone might die. You can drink it if you put some Coca-cola in it, but you can’t drink it if the Coca-cola has been mixed previously with it and it’s been put in a can. Because that is an “alcopop” whatever the hell that means. The only person more confused than me is the bartender. The poor sod is only trying to scrape a few nickels to make it through university; not only are they struggling with their hours being drastically cut back with venues shutting, but the government is now threatening them personally with fines if they break any of the rules.

Most damaging of all a 1:30am curfew where you cannot enter a licensed premises, which deliberately aims to kill the trade of any business that operates at night. Everybody knows that the point of going out is usually to bar hop or visit several venues over the course of the night and that for decades Sydneysiders would be busy at work, dinner or someone’s house and wouldn’t even think to go out until after 11pm. The Sydneysider’s predilection to going out late is backed up by the City of Sydney’s own report from 2010 showed that foot traffic in Kings Cross continued to grow until 11pm. This brutal rule pointedly kills market liquidity in an industry that relies upon bar hopping from venue to venue.”

Advance Australia Unfair

After flying halfway around the world I arrived in Joburg hung over, hysterical with sleep deprivation and barely able to walk upright on my mangled economy class legs. It was freezing cold and I was still dressed for Bali. Everyone else was dressed as if they were going to business meetings. Poor bastards.

Changing planes for Durban, we waited half an hour before the pilot decided to say something. “Guys,” he said, “you’re not going to believe this.” What? There’s no beer on the plane? Jacob Zuma has agreed to pay back the money? God is a woman?

“Our battery isn’t charging.” I summoned a stewardess and offered to round up a dozen guys to give it a push-start. She said it wouldn’t work. I looked around. She was right. There were only four or five darkies on the flight. They’d never be able to do it.

Someone must have come along with jumper cables because an hour later we were landing in Durban where I blended in with everyone else yawning and scratching and slouching about in baggies, T-shirts and slops.

I got home and did what most people do when they’ve been away for some time – read the papers. Catch up on the news. Sigh heavily. Start drinking. Plan to emigrate.

I hadn’t unpacked. I could call a taxi and be back at the airport in an hour. Get the last plane out. It doesn’t matter where. Just away. Away from the tyranny of democracy.

Whoops. That was the jetlag talking. I have since discovered half a bottle of Jose Cuervo beneath the sink and feel much better, thank you. I suspect comrade domestic worker has been using it as a household cleaner, which would explain why my place always smells faintly of tequila. I thought it was me.

Skipping past the stories about politics and crime – it’s increasingly difficult to separate the two – I finally found something to read without risking an aneurysm. The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit has released its latest list of the world’s most liveable cities.

My bags are still packed. There they are. Right next to the front door. My passport is in my pocket. I have a taxi on speed dial. It’s not too late. No, wait. That’s the tequila talking.

Top of the list is Damascus, the capital of Syria. That can’t be right. Ah, wrong list. Damascus is the least liveable city. Africa puts in a good showing, though, with Lagos and Tripoli romping home in fourth and fifth place, sadly nudged out of the medals by Dhaka and Port Moresby. Oh, well. There’s always next year. Looking at the cities, it might be more accurate to describe this as a list of the least liveable cities for white people.

Top of the list of the most liveable countries is bloody Melbourne, mate. And if you think that’s outrageous, let me tell you that Australia takes another three spots in the top ten with Adelaide, Sydney and Perth, leaving Helsinki, Auckland, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Vienna squabbling over the scraps. It won’t have escaped your notice that this is also a list of the most liveable cities for white people. Who mostly speak English.

Cape Town, incidentally, our only reasonable facsimile of a well-behaved city, never even made it into the top 50 most liveable. Thanks, Cape Flats. Thanks a lot.

So. Europe and Canada are out of the question. Too many people, too cold, too alien. That leaves Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Sydney. Tough choice. I have family in Perth, so I can’t go there. Just kidding, uncle. Uncles. And cousins. That’s my father’s mob. My great-granny on my mother’s side was a true blue Aussie and is almost certainly the reason I am genetically predisposed to petty crime.

A lot of mainly white South Africans choose to emigrate to Australia because there is plenty of sunshine and alcohol. And also because … well, as Queensland author Stephen Hagan puts it, “Australians are the most racist people in the developed world for their treatment of the First Australians and I make this claim comfortable in the knowledge that I am sufficiently supported by incontestable statistical data.”

I imagine being among worse racists than oneself can only be good for one’s self esteem.

Australia is also an option if, like Adolf Hitler, you prefer dogs. The government announced last month that it would destroy two million feral cats by 2020 in an effort to protect indigenous wildlife. They will use poison traps and attack dogs to kill the kitties. You can’t get more humane than that, Bruce.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of South Africans emigrate to Australia every month. I doubt I will be among them any time soon. I’m not smart or mad enough to understand the visa process, which appears to have been formulated by a statistician incarcerated in an institute for the criminally insane.

If you go over on a 189 visa but don’t have your OTSR because your job is on the CSOL list and you’re still on a 186 but haven’t submitted your EOI for a 489 you’ll need a 457 sponsor and the DIPB will want the IELTS.

Australia is infested with migration specialists dedicated to helping South Africans reach the promised land. Well, they call themselves migration specialists. They’re really just human traffickers in polyester suits and pencil skirts.

I thought I’d get in touch with one of them for an assessment of whether or not I stood a hope in hell. I knew the answer before I even filled in her questionnaire. Age, skills, academic qualifications and financial means are apparently important to the Australians, and unless there’s a critical shortage of borderline indigent middle-aged columnists who make a living out of shaming and ridiculing the rich and powerful, then I’m probably staying right here.

My “migration agent” said she had taken the liberty of stalking me on the Internet. “It is quite evident you have a very successful career,” she wrote. It’s not quite how I would describe it, but it seemed a promising start. Then it went downhill, fast. My occupation – her word, not mine – is on some kind of red list and, because I’m not a teenage virgin, I would need to be sponsored by a state or an employer and work for them for four years at an annual salary of at least R1.2-million. If my current remuneration is anything to go by, I am not worthy of sweeping Sydney’s streets.

Perhaps sensing that my special skills would do little to enhance Australia’s reputation in the eyes of the world, she offered me another option. Something called the 457 visa stream allows an offshore company to become a sponsor, which can then sponsor the employee to work in Australia. In a suggestion that smelled strongly of loophole, she said, “If we can get your current business to qualify as a sponsor, we may be able to get you the 457 visa.” With a masterful use of understatement, she described this as “a long shot”. She clearly sensed that my current business operated largely on cold beer, loud music and long absences from the “office”.

If my personal human trafficker were to handle the visa application, she would require the modest sum of R30 000. The loophole option would cost me another R40 000. And the Department of Immigration would want R18 000 for both. So, that’s almost R100k in return for an email from the Australian government three weeks later saying, “We regret to inform you …”

I’m going to unpack, open the gin and have a little lie-down.

BenRoo1