Paul Hogan a lost tourist of life


Paul Hogan recently returned to the news with all whips blazing and his sights set on the taxman and tourist promotions.

He’s just started filming his new movie in western Victoria after having a crack at the tax office for chasing him.

But the Aussie comedy icon also revealed the tone of the new Baz Luhrmann advertising for our tourism industry “doesn’t set me on fire”.

Almost 30 years ago Hoges actually did set the world on fire by starring in the awesome Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbie ad concept to sell Australia to overseas tourists.

Putting it frankly, nothing in the meantime has come anywhere near matching it – certainly not the foolish and childish “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?” nonsense, which Hogan calls “embarrassing”.

Tourism, he says, is about hospitality. In other words, friendliness. That’s something the verbally dangerous husband of the Queen of Australia – Prince Philip – has never understood.

Recently, the father of Prince Charles, the next king of Australia – who turns 60 tomorrow – again displayed his ignorance.

He told an academic audience that “tourism promotion is akin to promoting national prostitution”. He spoke in Slovenia, on a state visit with the Queen.

And he was addressing his remarks to Dr Maja Uran, the associate professor of tourism at the University of Primorska.

Philip said: “We don’t need any more tourists. They ruin cities.”

The professor admitted he couldn’t quite believe what he’d heard, claiming those present “all collapsed with embarrassment”.

At 87, the Queen’s husband forgets that his exalted position doesn’t give him carte blanche to indulge in his racist and extreme beliefs. He asked an Aborigine whether tribes still throw spears at each other.

Little wonder Prince Charles is still a tourist of life, still trying to find his way.

He is the oldest ever Prince of Wales and at 60, when most people are thinking of retiring, his job – whatever that may be – continues.

Charles gets little or no encouragement from either parent, though the Queen is having 75 members of Europe’s royal families to a birthday dinner.

Charles would already guess he faces two possible scenarios. On every birthday from now on there could be a push for him to skip his place in favour of his eldest son, William.

Or, worse, he could predecease the Queen.

Whatever the outcome, the smart money is on the end of the Australian branch of the monarchy and the birth of a republic.

Philip and Charles are living and breathing examples of the need for a nation where Australians, not foreigners, are our top icons.

Their continued constitutional connection to this country has become an international embarrassment.