REAL AUSTRALIA

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reminds us why Australia is great

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by our Head of Audience, Gayle Tomlinson.

Boris Johnson in Melbourne

Boris Johnson in Melbourne

To be honest, I'd rather not talk about Boris, but there is no escaping the buffoon in the room this week.

I'm a Brit of the Scottish type. I moved to Australia two years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. I'm a Brexit refugee.

On the morning of the Brexit result I cried as my son, then in Year 1, sang in his school assembly. It wasn't because his singing was so angelic. I was crying for the future he would no longer have and for the short-sightedness of a generation who already had it all and who didn't understand the opportunity they'd just removed for their grandchildren. I knew then that we would have to move. I didn't know it would be to the other side of the world.

The Canberra Times' editorial cartoonist David Pope's take on Boris Johnson and Brexit.

The Canberra Times' editorial cartoonist David Pope's take on Boris Johnson and Brexit.

So, here I am in Wollongong, watching another farce unfold in the UK as Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister. This article from The Canberra Times about how Boris once spent the night on a Canberra roundabout probably explains everything I have to say on the subject.

I have the luxury of watching the chaos unfold from several thousand miles away and with a sense of detachment, a bit like an out of body experience, caused by knowing that what Boris does next won't directly affect my little family here in Australia, but I do fear for what's to come for family and friends back home.

You see moving to Australia has helped me see what a life outside of austerity looks like. In the UK it is normal for local parks and playgrounds to have broken, unusable equipment. It's unlikely ever to be fixed and if you're lucky it'll be replaced by a block of apartments. (You're lucky because affordable quality housing is scarce).

Here if a park so happens to have a scratch on it the council swoops in and upgrades. For example this park in Helensburgh is getting a revamp and the parents were even consulted - yes, you read that right - on what it should look like.

A perfectly functional playground in the eyes of this Brit that is set for a $200k makeover.

A perfectly functional playground in the eyes of this Brit that is set for a $200k makeover.

Hospitals and schools in Britain are overloaded. Last month the Manchester Evening News reported people queuing outside the doctor's surgery hours before opening time to secure an appointment. The worst of the story is anyone who has used the UK's National Health Service isn't surprised.

In Australia in places like Canberra, Maitland, Shellharbour and many other sites, we're building hospitals like there is no tomorrow. Of course construction doesn't always go smoothly and to the agreed timeline, but at least the thought is there.

And then there is the weather, the people, the food and the wildlife. What's not to love about a skinned crocodile or yellow-bellied sea snakes?

But Australia hasn't got it all figured out. If you hunt around Australia Community Media's local websites you'll come across plenty of stories about crime, drugs, homelessness, and even human trafficking - all the crap that modern day society has to deal with.

But know this. At least we don't have Boris.

Gayle Tomlinson is Head of Audience for Australian Community Media.

Sign up below to receive the Voice of Real Australia newsletter direct to your inbox each weekday.

MORE STUFF HAPPENING AROUND AUSTRALIA