[PW] ?Australian quote

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 02:12:44 PDT 2018

Following the lead of Charles Early, here is a 2001 citation.

Website: CounterPunch
Date on website: December 8, 2001 (Wayback Machine snapshot Sep 28, 2012)
Title: High-Tech Puritanism
Author: John Chuckman


[Begin excerpt]
During the insane episode of keeping a little boy away from his father
and his country on the basis of ideology, a perceptive Australian
wrote in a Sydney paper that he was grateful Australia got the
convicts instead of the Puritans.
[End excerpt]


On Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 11:41 AM, Charles Early <charles.early at gmail.com> wrote:
> I remember encountering this quote (in the form "Thank God we got the
> convicts instead of the Puritans!") during the Clinton impeachment of
> 1998.  It's possible it was invented by an envious American at that time.
> On Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 11:33 PM, peter macinnis <
> petermacinnis at ozemail.com.au> wrote:
>> On 22/03/2018 08:41, d-lien University of Minnesota wrote:
>>> I posted a query on another of my groups, which has a number of
>>> Australians contributing.  Only got one response, from an Australian
>>> woman now living in the U.S. who says she's familiar with the quote
>>> and uses it herself, but has no idea of its origins or its canonical
>>> exact wording.
>>> For what it's worth. . .
>>> Dennis Lien /d-lien at umn.edu
>> I am Australian. I have never come across it. I have no doubt that
>> somebody will attribute it to Mark Twain. Before I start, a declaration of
>> interest: I have no known convict ancestors, unlike my wife, of whom I am
>> profoundly jealous: we Australians see the convicts now as having equal
>> standing with the DAR.
>> There's a close hit here: <http://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/337200>
>> A spot-on hit here: <https://boards.straightdope.c
>> om/sdmb/showthread.php?t=665409>
>> Sir Les Patterson (Barry Humphries) said it in 2008: <
>> https://www.spectator.co.uk/2008/10/diplomatic-notebook/>
>> That, on  a cursory look, is the earliest. A lot of our most colourful
>> expressions (like 'Technicolor Yawn') came from Humphries' invention, Bazza
>> McKenzie, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was the source.
>> The sort of stupid "slinging off" about convicts that merits a slap-down
>> comes usually from a particular class of young males with the charisma of
>> John Major on a wet day and the personal hygiene of Albert Steptoe. They
>> feel injured when we don't dance around, admiring them.
>> That is when they start making convict comments. My retort in that case is
>> to explain how my grandmother feared going to England "because that was
>> where the convicts came from", and I think that one might actually trace
>> back to Miles Franklin.
>> For a more even-handed look at the early convicts, see <
>> https://oldblockwriter.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/about-those-convicts.html>
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