To all our pals Down Under, we hope you're having a terrific Australia Day weekend. As is now traditional, the occasion is marked by orgies of societal self-loathing. The big contretemps this year was the keynote address at the Australian Open "Inspirational Series" - and, if you're thinking, "Hang on, the Australian Open? Isn't that a tennis championship?" No, apparently, it's just the same-old-same-old dreary virtue-signaling dronefest as everything else (with a couple of sets of tennis on the side). This year's keynote speaker was Vogue honcho Dame Anna Wintour (seriously - for services to bangs, presumably), who savaged Prime Minister Scott Morrison for being insufficiently gung ho for gays, and demanded the Margaret Court Arena be renamed because Mrs Court, while quite good at thwacking the ball over the net, is unsound on LGBTQWERTY issues, which is the vital criterion for getting a sporting venue named after you.
Anyway, after all the jollity, I'll be joining Chris Kenny on his new Monday show at Sky Australia. If you can't contain your excitement till then, you can watch me with Natasha Stott Despoja, Amanda Vanstone et al on the ABC's "Q&A" a few years back. My appearance was well received:
Over the sauv. blanc after the ABC's Q&A, former senator Amanda Vanstone mentioned that a friend of hers had just emailed to say I was 'eminently shaggable', but that she'd hate herself in the morning.
Be that as it may, it remains my ambition to assist Australia in getting rid of Section 18C, as we succeeded in doing in Canada with Section 13 - a small victory for the cause of free speech. So here I am, in a special video for my friends at Australia's IPA, speaking on behalf of the outrageously treated Andrew Bolt some years ago:
Finally, if you missed it last Australia Day, click above for an hour of great music from the Lucky Country, including my conversations with the late Greg Ham of Men At Work about their massive hit "Down Under", and with the man who's been called the most technically accomplished classical guitarist in the world, Melbourne's John Williams. Retro pop, prog rock, reggae-meets-rock plus the inevitable Aussie opener (with a difference) – but not a showtune in sight. To listen to this special Australia Day edition of On the Town, simply click above.
I was very touched by the Aussie turnout of Mark Steyn Club members on last year's inaugural (and sold-out) Mark Steyn Cruise, and hope to see even more of you on this year's cruise, or failing that Down Under very soon. For more on The Mark Steyn Club, see here.