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What would Santa give a Bogan child for Christmas?

By David Young - posted Wednesday, 14 December 2011

I know this article is supposed to be about 'what would Santa give Australia for Christmas if it were a child?' But what sort of child is Australia? To me Australia is definitely a Bogan.

Being a Bogan is not an economic grouping. Coming from the land of the cashed up Bogan (WA) has taught me that Bogans come with all sizes of bank balances. Nor are Bogans confined to any social grouping.

Being Bogan has nothing to do with education or lack of it. It has nothing to do with intelligence. It is more a lifestyle choice and a state of mind.


Boganism is about the choice to invent simplistic answers to every problem with no regard to facts, available information or evidence. This is coupled with a particular line of all-inclusive abuse that is based around the virtue of being under educated. Boganism makes choices made on facts and available information a crime to be loudly condemned.

A high profile exponent and ambassador for Bogan ideals is Alan Jones with his daily Bogan radio show. Firstly, Jones tells his devoted followers how he never got a university education and he is proud of it. Then he lumps everyone who does have an education and cares about anything as "lefty intellectual tree hugging muddle headed greenie ratbags," who should be put into a sack and dumped out to sea. And that is on a charitable day.

Alan Jones' line of abuse is interesting. It makes it a crime to be educated, to think about issues and consider facts and the evidence. At the same time, it reinforces that he doesn't have an education and doesn't need one. I am reminded of Einstein whenever I hear Alan Jones: "Every problem has a simple solution, and it is nearly always wrong."

A recent example of Bogan thinking were the comments by Barnaby Joyce on ABC's Q and A that the answer to global warming was to wear less clothing.

This attitude that it is a virtue to be under educated is spreading through our society at an alarming rate, aided and abetted by our modern day journalists. In a perverse way I agree with Carl Sandilands when he said, "you's have no journolistical ability."

Modern journalism has been reduced to the level of the gossip columnist. Who said what about whoever, who wants who's job, and the endless reporting of simplistic slogans with no basis in fact. Do modern journalists bother to do any basic background research these days? There are some who do report in a balanced way, but they are a dying breed.


Recently, a group of scientists went to Canberra to give a briefing to politicians on the effects of climate change. The scientists gave a media conference on the steps of Parliament House. The thrust of the argument centred on an explanation pursuant to scientific method and peer revue. Proper reporting would have done much to counter the Bogan propaganda that there is no 'proof' that global warming is real.

Near the end of the news conference the spokeswoman for the scientists said the she, and other scientist in the group, had received death threats because of their research. Of course, the only part of the news conference televised concerned the death threats received by the scientists. There was no reporting on the basis of the research conducted into climate change. There was nothing to counter the Bogan attitudes of Tony Jones, only the sensationalized reporting of death threats.

What kind of press do we have that embraces the Bogan concepts of ignoring the facts and evidence, in favour of spin based on ignorance? What kind of press do we have that gives all its coverage to the five per cent of the scientists who are doubtful about climate change and ignore the 95 per cent of scientists who say that they believe climate change is real and that human activity is at least a contributing factor?

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About the Author

David Young has been a writer for 20 years. At other times he has been an architect and a flying instructor. Details of his books and writings can be found at his website

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