n Without Prejudice - The view from down under
"Good on Ya, Biggles!" : lifestyle

Volume 13, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1681-178X



Many readers may be unfamiliar with Biggles who first made his entry in the first issue of magazine in the UK in 1932. The author, WE Johns, wrote nearly a hundred Biggles books up to the time of his death in 1968.

Biggles begins as a fighter pilot in World War 1. He enjoyed an unusually lengthy career and it was estimated that he and his closest companions, Algy, Ginger and Bertie, aged one year for every four in real life. The books were written originally to entertain adolescent boys like me and, clearly, David Rees.
This article or rather, short story, underlines two features. The first is the extraordinary nature of Australia's love affair with regulations and bureaucracy. The second is the deep sense of dislike and, in many cases, hatred, for all things British. This has its origins in the UK's policy in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries of transporting criminals to far off lands to relieve the burden on its own greatly expanded prison population. Convict transportation ended in 1850 yet the visceral dislike by Australians of the Poms remains as present and vocal as ever, more than 160 years later.

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