Even if we Canadians are their cousins in the glorious Commonwealth of Nations, some things about Aussie society and culture appear to be a wee bit unlike our ways here in the northern hemisphere kin. Like this sort of plea to political populism:
With the Gillard government struggling in the polls, ALP supporters in the United Kingdom have suggested beer drinking could bolster the party's fortunes. ALP Abroad, based in London, is hosting a pilgrimage to Oxford University to visit the site where Labor's longest-serving prime minister, Bob Hawke, famously downed a yard of ale in world-record time 60 years ago. President Paul Smith believes the 1953 record played a significant part in Hawke subsequently winning four elections from 1983. And he thinks the present Labor government needs to adopt a similar approach if it wants to win the September poll. "That record helped Hawke connect with people as being a regular Aussie working guy," Mr Smith told AAP.
The time? Apparently under 25 seconds... although the story goes on to explain how a few locations in Oxford appear to claim to be the location of the event. As we've discussed, no Canadian politician fails to appreciate the need to make a show of homage to beer whether they are left wingers or right wingers. Heck, even our conservatives embrace good beer and want to free it... maybe. They promise that from time to time but never quite get it done when they get into power. But at least they are talking about beer at the retail level, whether the shop or the pub. What I don't get about the myth down in Oz is that it was a yard of ale in an English pub being downed by a Rhodes scholar. The stuff of labour?
Well, maybe as he did seem to replicate the stunt at least once again as illustrated above in what appears to be a well staged recreation of the event. But, let's be honest, Hawke trumps anything we have to claim, as the story says, not because of any yards of ale he downed but because the man pulled off something of a repeat performance at the age of 82. Quality. Catch one of ours doing that. Not sure I have even seen a Canadian politician downing one at all now that I think of it. Just handing it out at an election event or talking up freeing up retail rules. Shouldn't we at least apply the Hawke rule - that if you are going to talk beery populism the least you can do is actually drain the beer?