Is nothing sacred? Not that I like beer. It’s the principle.
Belatedly catching up with the news, I have just heard that possibly Australia’s best -known brand of beer -Fosters, has just been sold to South African brewing giant SABMiller and even worse, that Tasmania’s very own Cascades Brewery which I was raving about last week, has quietly been owned by Fosters since about 1983 and will likely fall into their hands as well. So much for our national icons. Our famous chocolate factory is owned by Cadbury- Schweppes and even Vegemite is no longer Australian, being owned by Kraft, although it is still made here, unlike most of our other manufacturing which went offshore years ago.
We don’t own much of our farmland any more, nor many of our mines. Not too much of our infrastructure belongs to us either – not the airports, not the ports, nor the toll roads and probably not too many of our malls and resorts. It looks like the Chinese will be building the high speed rail network, so what does that leave that we could call truly Australian? How long before we see the Coca – Cola Amatil Opera House or Parliament House sponsored by McDonald's? Or Australia itself sponsored as a joint venture between the Peaceful Dragon Small Arms, Firework and Biscuit Company and Walmart?
Here's a little jingle in memory of Vegemite and all those other wonderful Aussie brands that we no longer own. Not that I could ever stand the taste. (I thought it was Nutella and never got over the shock of finding it salty) but for the sake of nostalgia;
Or there is always the Amanda Palmer version of this perennial favourite, recorded appropriately, at the Sydney Opera House: