THE “OCKER” CULT: HERITAGE OR HERESY?
WITH
MAX HARRIS: Author and social critic
JOHN SINGLETON: Head of a leading Sydney advertising agency
ROBERT MOORE, ABC: Executive Producer and Programme Anchorman
AND AN AUDIENCE

This edition of Monday Conference was recorded at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, 7th July, for transmission to all States on Monday, 12th July, 1976. In NSW and VIC the programme was shown at 9.20pm; in WA, SA, TAS and QLD at 9.25pm; in Darwin at 8.55pm.

ROBERT MOORE: Good evening. Welcome to Monday Conference … and that’s a genuine invitation otherwise we wouldn’t be saying it!

For a word whose parentage is in some doubt, whose public lifetime has been fairly short and whose meaning is less than totally clear, “ocker” is remarkably ubiquitous as a term, either of endearment or of disparagement, depending on your point of view. Well we think the two basic points of view about “ockers” and “ockerism” are represented here tonight by John Singleton and Max Harris.

Max Harris is appalled by “ockers”. He’s written a slim volume about it, subtitled, Essays on the Bad Old New Australia. As that title suggests, Mr. Harris sees nothing romantic in the New Ockerism … and nothing particularly new, for that matter. For him, “ockerism” is a slipping back of our cultural and social values; a reversion to the bad old days, a surrendering of worthwhile values.

Max Harris is of course one of our most celebrated booksellers. He’s an author, journalist and social critic.

John Singleton is our best-known public defender — and perhaps promoter — of “ockerism”; mainly through his commercials on television. He’s the head of a leading Sydney advertising agency. Mr. Singleton says “ockers” are the real us; the fair dinkum Australians; the ones without pretence. “Ockerism” is self-recognition and confident self-acceptance.

Well what lies behind the debate over “ockers”; what can we learn about Australia’s values and aspirations? To help us find out tonight we have in our audience a large number of writers, actors, directors, psychologists, sociologists and, no doubt, both friend and foe of Ocker himself.

Max Harris, what is your fundamental objection, that there are in fact “ockers”, but they shouldn’t be heard from because they’re enemies of civilised values, or that there aren’t, in real life, “ockers”, they’re simply a confection made up by the media.

MAX HARRIS: Oh no, they’re an affectation, a behaviour affectation adopted by the middle classes, coincident with the advent of the Whitlam era but not necessarily causally connected, and it was a retrogression from a civilising process where a decade ago Mr. Peter Coleman was able to publish a book called, Australian Civilisation. Now it’d be totally derisory, no publisher in Australia or anywhere in the world would contemplate publishing a book under that title, yet a decade ago you could have such a book and I’m much more concerned to talk about the rise and fall of the Australian Roman civilisation, as it were, than to talk about “ockers” per se because we’ve got to really be interested in, I think, the social processes out which the Depression, post-Depression years, the working classes and lower middle class Australian decided they didn’t want to breed pie-eating and beer-swilling children. Actually from some innocence of impulse, out of the Depression trauma, they wanted to produce educated Australians and they did; if you talk to Mr. Clyde Cameron who probably was only educated to about Grade 7, you’re talking to an educated Australian with an educated voice. This was nothing shameful and there was nothing middle-class about it and nothing snobbish, it was a natural aspiration of the total society; it realised itself, I think, in a kind of of culture flowering which people like Lord Snow and Pamela Hansford-Johnson said Australia was at one point, a great national culture.

MOORE: Okay, well now, just so I’m clear, you’re saying, then, there are, as it were, no real life authentic ockers, there are simply people affecting ockerdom.

HARRIS: No one objects to the grass roots Australian, no one wants to see the Australian outback tradition disappear, the natural voice of the natural man in his environment, but one does find rather grotesquely absurd the concept of the educated Australian now stripping his every … media … it’s incumbent on all people in the electronic media to abolish the letter “t” from the language, there’s no media person who is not a geriatric who says anything else but “foo’ie”. The total abolition of the letter “t”, that means you’re a geriatric. No one over the age of 40 uses the letter “t” in language at all. These retrogressions are affectations which are artificial proletarianisations — we’re back to the beer-swilling thing. It’s not the working man who’s always swilled his beer in the same way, it’s the middle-class aura which it’s come to be associated with.

MOORE: So … I’ll come to you in a moment, John, but are you saying then that the people, say, in John Singleton’s commercials, far from being real people, people communicating to people like themselves as I imagine he would argue, are in fact phony?

HARRIS: Oh yes, he’s got a marvellous sense of social diagnosis. He can sniff out in the atmosphere that the stupid middle-classes are pretending to be virile Australians instead of being effete and all the rest of it, and this affectation in the post-Whitlam era of being a new type, a new nationalism, and of course naturally as a social diagnostician he’s exploiting it to the full, and good luck to him, I mean that’s a very smart diagnosis. When the wheel turns back again, which is what I’m gambling on, then I’ll take my fortune.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

JOHN SINGLETON: I’ll give you 20 to 1. (Laughing) (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: John Singleton, I suppose to pick up that point, are your people real, or are they phony?

JOHN SINGLETON: No, they are real. I think the whole so-called ocker cult is really a realisation that we Australians have been born into a country, or chosen to live in a country, the like of which mankind’s never known before and I think the … (Interjection: inaudible) … and I think the important thing is not that we have some fun when we’re selling cheap booze or doing some ads that are quite amusing and treating Australians as real Australians, I think that’s only symptomatic of the fact that more and more we’re starting to realise that we here in Australia, we’re not some pale copy of England or America or Russia or China or whichever way your fancies tend to lie, we are in fact a unique nation with a unique, individual potential and I think anything that can draw attention to the fact that we Australians have a unique opportunity and that we’re doing nothing whatsoever to capitalise on that opportunity, must be to the good. If that means we have to have a discussion about the relevance of barbecues and swilling beer — which I happen to find quite amusing — well then so be it, but I think it’s more relevant that we look at the fact that … we look at the great literary and artistic capitals of the world, London and Rome, and we don’t see them doing so good … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … and I think that out here in Australia we have a unique opportunity and I think that we should look at when the so-called ocker thing, which I believe is the Australian thing, is discussed, is that we should realise only one thing and that is that we do have, we have been given, or chosen to have, a unique opportunity, and the sad thing is that we Australians, in such a unique opportunity, are frittering that opportunity away.

MOORE: So you are really saying, then, just so that we’re clear on this, that ockers are what we really are, most of us, if not all …

SINGLETON: Yes, I think given more freedom, given more incentive to succeed, we Australians can do more than any other country ever in the history of mankind to show a way to the future, that I think otherwise the world has to be in grave jeopardy about. I think Australia does have that potential, I think most of us realise it and I believe the so-called ocker is the guy who gets out there and has a go, who does a good day’s work for a good day’s pay, he’s prepared to take a risk … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) and I agree with the bemusement that that is unfortunately very much the minority.

MOORE: Name three ockers.

SINGLETON: Well you see I don’t use the word ocker because I feel it’s a word used to denigrate those things that are naturally Australian. The things that we enjoy naturally in Australia are football, beer, barbecues, surfing, it suits our way of life, it suits our natural heritage and I believe therefore that three good Australians are people who enjoy and have utilised the opportunity given to them. If I had to choose the three leading Australians, in my opinion I would choose Ted Noffs from the Wayside Chapel, Lang Hancock and third would have to be in some doubt, I would probably then have to have … give it far more thought … two, there’s only two that come to mind.

MOORE: Well what do you think of the two that he named? Would you call them ockers, are they …

HARRIS: Well I’d prefer to give examples because I want to be a little bit more sophisticated than attacking the guy who drinks a beer or the chap who’s studiously developed a sub-literacy … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) I’d like to cite examples of middle-class ockerism so we get it clear. We’ll take a periodical called, Nation Review. Now you have an articulate gentleman perhaps running an advertising agency who’s quite well educated, expresses himself terribly well. Now in order to be trendy and with the kind of sub-literacy which is the affectation of the middle-class characters who want to be the off-beat characters, in fact the mavericks, incumbent on say an advertising man writing for this particular magazine is that he has to wear the brown, stormtrooper linguistic uniform. I did a word count of the magazine itself and references to the faeces of the rat occurred, I think, on a word count, about 182 times in the article by this advertising gentleman. The word “wanking” occurred 26 times, which I believe has got something to do with onanism, and I suddenly realised throughout the magazine and in the affectation of a particular advertising gentleman, was a retrogression to his Aussie post-pubescent school days because that was when those subjects were greatly discussed and it was terribly bold to say “ratshit” … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) to include it in an article with that word count or body count, seemed to me to indicate that in some way there is an insecurity in the middle classes in Australia which requires them to affect this supposedly aggressive rugged male chauvinist piggery type behaviour and if we go back to that, sublatent in the situation of a civilised advertising agent on a mass media turning into a post-pubscent when he writes for the written word amongst his fellow trendies, we then have in that language potential for, what’s the worst aspect of the Australian situation at the moment, is that that male chauvinist backward movement towards the Calwell era aggression, is latent in this Australian character that he wants realised is violence, and in some curious way the Australian has always had, with his convict and colonial heritage, an impulse towards violence in certain ways and forms and our social structure may well be fragmented by non-opposition to this downgrading of the educated working class and middle class Australian to be ashamed of being educated and to be ashamed of being civilised and that’s an incipient danger in the whole situation.

MOORE: Do you want to add anything to that?

SINGLETON: I’m glad that Max enjoys my column because I’ve had a lot of difficulty understanding his. (APPLAUSE AND LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) You see I don’t think there’s anything … I think communication is very simple, the message given has to be the same as the message received and I think that communication is simply a matter of speaking to people in the way that you normally speak. I believe that the way that I happen to write is the way that people speak and it’s the way that I certainly speak naturally and normally.

HARRIS: In one hour you haven’t said “ratshit” once in my presence.

MOORE: (Laughing) Give him time.

SINGLETON: (Laughing) My mother’s watching. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MAN: I’d like to dispute Mr. Harris’s point that Australians in general are kind of impulsive towards violence. I have been to  110 different countries, practically, and I haven’t seen an easier person than the Australian to get along with. At all costs, just, you know, a can of beer and you are a friend with an Australian, and if you are a friend you are a friend …

HARRIS: And 10 cans of beer and you have a punch-up. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MAN: … but if you go to the United States or any other Western countries you can never make a friend, it takes 10 years to make a friend, but here is takes me 2 days and I have hundreds of friends.

MOORE: You’re a very friendly bloke, perhaps. Yes?

WOMAN: I’d like to ask Mr. Singleton if he’d consider himself to the Left or Right of Norman Gunston? (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: Well I certainly think he’s well in front of me.

MOORE: Well with Norman you can be both simultaneously. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) Yes? A bit more enthusiasm with the hands up, please, we’re slow …

BETTY BENNETT: Mr. Moore, I propose that ockerism is very much like Mortein, not only because when you’re on a good thing do you stick to it, but also because the effects of the product ockerism and its exploitive commercialism are socially deadly. Does Mr. Harris consider that it is reasonable, practical or necessary to set up some countervailing controls over the media and advertising, and if so which would these be?

MOORE: Don’t ask for that to be repeated, please. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) You either heard it or you didn’t.

HARRIS: Well I certainly heard it and I certainly wouldn’t want any controls over the media and I certainly don’t want any controls over Mr. Singleton. We have to deal with issues … we know, for instance, that in the primary school level of the smokers 7 out of 10 children smoke the cigarette promulgated by Mr. Paul Hogan, which means that he’s grabbed the primary school market and … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … the competition for that is going to become intense as Mr. Singleton enters the field. Now we have to oppose both Mr. Singleton and Mr. Hogan by other means and other devices and this is probably through a social backlash which I think is occurring. I think, for instance, the new illiteracy is producing a backlash effect in which … since the teachers can’t teach any longer, they’re sub-literate, and we have English reports from Senior English which says, “Wayne done real good in his English this term”, we have for instance a market phenomenon which in due course, in 12 months time Mr. Singleton may well exploit, and that is parents are moving … the removing of education from the schools into the home, in other words if you want to make a quick quid in bookselling these days, get in thousands of sets of school text books and sell them to parents in their home, and you find there’s a mass market of people teaching English, teaching speech, teaching elementary arithmetic in the domestic context. The extended family is coming back again because it’s the only way the kids are going to get an education, so there is a backlash effect and I think if we cultivate that, we want no control on, you know, Workers Party on this control bit, so I won’t have Singleton in on that for a second.

PAUL EASTAWAY: Good evening. Coming back to the point of Australians being natural ockers, I believe they are. I am involved in some commercials as some people may know. If I was asked to play a part in Shakespeare there’d be no possible chance of me playing it. I was invited, however, to do some beer-swilling commercials. I had no trouble immediately playing that party. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) There was no propping, you know, we were just there and away we went and we said, hello, come, gidday, how are all my beer drinking mates, and away we went.

MOORE: You’d be a great Sir Toby Belch … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … I mean you really should be, don’t give up Shakespeare, don’t give up Hamlet.

EASTAWAY: … (inaudible) … the commercials as I am, but I do believe that, I go along with Mr. Harris that there’s quite a few boys that like a drink and a fight, I do think that is possibly part of the assertion of Australia’s ocker, but he is there, he is a true person. Thank you.

MOORE: Yes, the lady behind, yes.

WOMAN: I’d like to ask John Singleton a question and it’s to do with the ocker Mum, Mrs. Ocker …

MOORE: Ockerina. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

WOMAN: … I think that she is horribly put down by the media. She’s presented as a lovable amiable blithering idiot, and I think you’ve only got to listen to a few ads, one on breakfast food which tells you in a deep Australian male ocker voice that he’s as healthy and virile and male as he is because his mother have him the right breakfast food and if only his little woman will give his children the same treatment then she will have reached her goal in life, and I feel for this woman because I consider that she — I’m concerned, as a social worker — there’s a serious part to this, she’s trapped within four walls of her home and she’s got the washing and the ironing and the housework and every other blinkin’ thing to do and at night her male ocker comes home, a little drunk from the pub, from his beer and so on, slumps in front of the TV and demands his dinner. Now this is her thing in life and all she’s got to resort to is the legalised drugs, the alcohol, the aspiring, the Mogadon and the Mandies.

Now I just want to ask you, and perhaps even Max Harris, is this all, this Western style suburban society’s got to offer and can we in some way assist a woman caught up in these circumstances? (APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: I have to agree with you that if you watch TV for very long you think the average Australian housewife’s pretty kinky about lemons … (LAUGHTER FROM THE AUDIENCE) … but I disagree with you that the role of a housewife is as poor as you put it. I would believe that, and I know to be true, that most housewives raising a family believe they are doing the proudest thing that can be done in life, that is creating and rearing new life which is of course what … (BOOS, HISSES FROM AUDIENCE) … and the fact that I now lose the total Women’s Electoral Lobby … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … and all the other ladies who couldn’t make it anyway, doesn’t really perturb me, but I don’t agree with those who seek careers, those who seek to be concerned and try to better the role of those people who are very happy, and indeed far happier in most cases, I believe, than those who would take them out of their role, which is the proudest one I believe ever created, and put them into some other phony role out there in society because they happen to believe it’s a better role. (SOME APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

HARRIS: I think it’s a very interesting question. I would have thought that the main female role, if she’s enforced into the desert and wilderness and soul-destroying suburbia of Australia is possibly to undertake civilising of the chauvinist male Australian pig because the total situation of the resolution of sex relationships really isn’t so much in work liberation for the female so much as getting stuck into the ockerdom of the Australian male because perchance if you have bred your kid and it turns out to talk like and behave like its father, why have it? (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: Can women be ockers? I mean when you think of an ocker I think you normally think of a man — to follow up your, what I think was implicit in your question.

SINGLETON: But again you’re coming back all the time, Robert, to an ocker being a term that denigrates those things that are naturally Australian …

MOORE: No, I’m not denigrating anything at all.

SINGLETON: … and therefore saying can we have a female ocker, can we have a woman whose proud of the fortune she’s been given, or the fortunate position she’s been given in being an Australian and happening to share the future of this country. Now surely most women in Australia are proud of the fact of their heritage and I fail to believe there’s such a thing as a male or female ocker, there’s male and female Australians and there are those of us who would prefer to live in another culture in another nation and the planes are leaving hourly. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: Yes?

KERRY BARLOW: Kerry Barlow from Berowra WEL. How can you say that there is such a thing as a typical Australian when a majority, or a great proportion of Australians are made up of, well the Aboriginal community, and a lot of …

SINGLETON: A great proportion.

BARLOW: … our people come from, have come, from the past 20 years, from migration, mainly from Europe, so how can you say that there is such a thing as a typical Australian man when a great proportion of the population comes from such sources?

SINGLETON: No, I’ve not said that there’s a typical Australian, what I’ve said is that because of our natural environment, our climate, our way of life we have evolved a way of life in Australia which is different from that of any other country, be it for better or for worse, that’s what I’ve said.

MOORE: Yes Bob.

BOB ELLIS: Mr. Harris, I suspect your Professor Henry Higgins attitude to how the bourgeoisie ought to pronounce their vowels and behave in company. I don’t know, but I suspect that you wouldn’t apply the same Bloomsbury standards to the Welsh or the Scots or the West Indians or the Balinese. I don’t fully understand why you want to obliterate the only culture we’ve got just like the … in the same way as the multinational interests that replaced “Mo McCackie” with “I Love Lucy”.

HARRIS: I’d certainly be quite happy to obliterate the typical Australia if it’s going to take the caricature of an Australian from a primitive era and encapsulate that stereotype as a living presence. I don’t think the English have got any objections to have Alf Garnett, but they don’t all want to become like Alf Garnetts. The trouble with this country is that we differentiate in the sense that we’re trying to model our kids, or the kids are trying to model themselves on the Hogans whereas the Hogan is a theatrical myth, he’s a creation. I think there’s no reason on earth why Australians should have any typical types, in other words there’s an international community, as the lady previously has remarked, we’re an ethnic mixture, what comes out of this may well be just part of a Western democratic developed culture with certain degrees of civilised values which we share. Australian society needn’t be essentially differentiated from Scandinavian or Swiss or British by having characters or types. They merge organically from the soil and are there, but to actually deliberately cultivate a stereotype just for the sheer heck of it, and make a backward stereotype of it, is as stupid as if the English middle classes all become Alf Garnetts just because Alf Garnett was in and trendy.

SINGLETON: You see don’t you think again Max, we’re slipping into the great Australian inferiority complex, like as someone once said, Macbeth wasn’t ashamed of being Scottish and I can’t see how in Australia there’s anything … any retrograde step in us realising that we are Australians, we do have a unique culture and that we have to accept the way that we are and therefore naturally the most successful literature, films and plays will be that which reflects our culture as it is today, as it was in the past, as Shakespeare did …

HARRIS: But we are most essentially Australian, this is the point you miss all the time …

SINGLETON: You know Max here he has a private business of his own and the slogan for it is, “don’t be took when you buy a book”. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: (laughing) Change his writer. Go ahead.

HARRIS: No I think you’ve missed the … the essential point there was, there was a typical Australian, he existed about a decade ago, and this typical Australian was reasonably educated, came from a background of working class and lower middle class families, he produced an efflorescence of painting, music — actors like Keith Mitchell. We produced writers, most of whom came, like Sydney Nowland was a tram driver’s son and so on, you found that practically the entire culture that come from that period stemmed from an educated Australian thing and we were most Australian when we were least Australian, this is the thing you’re talking about, a sort of base Australian, but what is Australian changes all the time, it can go up, down, forwards or backwards. If you can name now a major international writer in Australia under the age of 40, I think you’d be hard put — a poet, a painter whose got an international reputation. We’re living off the fat of the one and only flowering of Australian culture we had, but if you can name all these major figures that have achieved an international reputation under 40 …

SINGLETON: You see you’re determining again that it’s very important that we have great painters, artists and poets and so forth, I would suggest to you that we in Australia have a very small, obviously a very small population and it would seem to me that if one aspired to the stage or to writing poetry or to films, this is a funny place to be. It would seem to me that Australia has other potentials that have nothing to do with those cultures … (SOME EXCLAMATIONS OF DISAGREEMENT FROM AUDIENCE) … and it seems to me that the only thing we should not be proud of being, of saying Australia has done thing, Australia has developed an artist, Sydney Nolan developed Sydney Nolan, Dobell developed Dobell, he wasn’t invented by Australia or by an educational system or by our culture, he developed his own ability because there was some incentive for him to do so. I can’t see how in Australia we can’t look around and be proud of many individuals in other walks of life. Why does it always have to be culture? Why can’t we be equally proud of those who’ve been successful in other areas?

MAN: I would like to suggest that in fact the flagrant ockerism, if I can use that expression, is part of a particular facet of the current economic circumstances, that we have in hard times …

SINGLETON: That’s absolute nonsense because …

MAN: Let me finish, because in hard times …

SINGLETON: We’ve only got an hour.

MAN: … you need to have hard rubs and soft sell and at the moment we are trying to break down the guilt feeling about the liquor industry and it’s in … about 10 years ago you had the “spoil yourself” as being the technique for selling iced vovos, but “get it into you” is the way to sell beer and I think this is a purely commercial development and I would contrast it with those two films. I’d like Max Harris’s comments after yours, Mr. Singleton.

SINGLETON: Well I can’t compare iced vovos and beer for you as I haven’t had any iced vovos for a long time, but I would suggest that any thought that the use of Australians, real Australians in the genuine circumstances is anything to do with economic circumstances, is ludicrous. Of course it’s true that the rush of retail advertising and price offers in the last 12 months has been because of economic circumstances, but I don’t want to bore you but remind you that from the time of Australian media or any communications was involved, the most successful theatre from Mo McCackie, George Wallace, Queenie Paul, to radio with Jack Davey etc., etc., Greenbottle and so forth has always been Australian and I, as I’ve said so many times, I just believe that advertising has been the last industry to wake up to the fact for the very simple reason that it’s full of people with academic and cultural pretences — how Max Harris never got involved in advertising for example is beyond me — it’s full of people who would use their craft to change a culture rather than to present to the culture what the culture requires.

MOORE: Do you want to accept the invitation to …

HARRIS: Well I just want to make a brief addendum to the remark that was made about the Australian film industry being one of the vital things reflecting both the sociology of Australia and perhaps some of our more aesthetic aspirations but I’d point out that this is all being done in South Australia where we don’t have ockers. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: I’d better point out to Max that down there where they have a Premier who wears ballet shoes … (LAUGHTER, BOOS, HISSES AND APPLAUSE) … but if you want to sell something in Lidcombe, I suggest you don’t knock on the door with ballet shoes on. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: Max, in the book that I’ve mentioned, you’ve really got it in for Barry McKenzie. Why? We were talking about films a moment ago and let’s pick up why you are so hostile towards Barry McKenzie movies.

HARRIS: Oh, it’s only the export thing that’s involved in this, you know, because it’s … one of our products was I think we could have afforded not to have exported because if you go overseas you find Australian xenophobia even worse than Australians’ own hostility towards all foreigners — we’ve earned the reciprocation of it in Kangaroo Valley, to get accepted so that you can actually walk in London without being screamed at or tripped over or being served in a pub, is to me to escape in some way the Bazza McKenzie Carlton beer image and …

SINGLETON: You keep overlooking, Max, the state that England’s in. Who’d want to be accepted in a stinking industrial slum like England? At the same time the Barry McKenzie film has done more than anything else to make Fosters the No. 3 brand of beer on the American market.

HARRIS: Is that racialism? (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: Now that is certainly far more productive.

MOORE: Right at the back, standing up, yes.

MAN: The question is addressed to Mr. Singleton. When is he and his colleagues going to stop insulting the intelligence of the average Australian with his ocker ads? (APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: You see when you leave high school or university and attempt to make a living in the real world, you’ll find that if you ever insult anyone you lose a friend. If those advertisements were really as you would have us believe, insulting people, they’d repay me and my clients in the most effective way possible — by rejecting buying those goods. In fact that is not the case. In fact the great majority of people, including myself, thoroughly enjoy the advertising and get the message and buy the products. When you really offend someone, and you do something grossly offensive to people, and insult their intelligence, I can assure you that you will go broke and the advertisement will not sell.

MOORE: Yes, John.

JOHN RAPER: John Raper’s my name, I’m the fella that wears the bowler hat on television, if you don’t know me. I’m also a professional football coach and the only thing I worried about with the opening of the show tonight, that football, meat pies should have been Jack’s tyres and other things, like you know. No I think that when I first met Mr. Singleton that he gave me the opportunity. We talk about the film industry etc. etc. — when I first started to do the ads I was very embarrassed, as you might say so, but I still had confidence in Mr. Singleton about how the product would sell. I went back to my football club, as you all know it quite well, and that gentleman up there at the back there, talks about insulting people, believe me, old mate, may I say so, that when I started to do the ads and read through the ads and I said, “John, believe me I said, how are we going to sell the product?” He said, “You leave it up to me,” and we sold the product and the product’s going very well. I went back to my football club with the players themselves and Mr. Harris, we talk about the film industry and so forth, we’ve got to start bringing out in Australians what’s inside of them, and he has given us the opportunity to bring out what’s inside of them, to give them confidence … (Interjection: inaudible) … just a moment please, we are bringing something out in them, and I went back to my football team there and I’ve got fellas in that football team who wouldn’t come out in themselves generally talking about football etc., and they are starting to do ads themselves now … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) (Interjection: inaudible) I beg your pardon, we are start …

MOORE: Now please …

RAPER: Well actually that’s beautiful, but the opportunities have been given to me and the opportunity has been given to everyone else that John Singleton is starting to bring out something in the Australian that the Australian didn’t know and no matter what you say about the Australian, if I may say so, that they are backwards in all respects of life but when a man gives something and brings it out and let us forward, go forward, not backwards, let’s go forward in this world, and believe me that’s what he’s done for me and done to a lot of Australians. (APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: That was an advertisement but I didn’t pay for it. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: Right at the back, yes. That’s right.

MAN: I’d like to ask the panellists why we’re so ashamed of it anyway, does it really matter?

MOORE: Ashamed of what?

MAN: The ocker image, you know.

SINGLETON: When, when Johnny was speaking before, I think we tend in Australia to be bemused and look with awe at those who succeed in, like Joan Sutherland in opera and ballet and all those other funny things … (SOME LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … we don’t realise it takes the same … we should have exactly the same pride as we would of any friend or any colleague, anyone who shared our nation with us, who achieves world excellence in any area and I just wonder, those who are in the audience those who gave John Raper, one of the all-time great world footballers ever, a bit of a hard time, whether or not that would have occurred if Joan Sutherland had stood and said whatever she had to say and you know the answer’s not so, because in Australia …

MOORE: She’s probably in the Opera House, actually.

SINGLETON: … we look down upon those things that we’re good at and we’re good at and we aspire always to do those things we’re not good at and I agree with you the question of whether ocker or not’s absolutely irrelevant. The question should be, what we as Australians are doing with Australia except sit down on it like ducks and that’s what we’re doing. (APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

WOMAN: So far this evening I’ve been very interested to listen to Mr. Singleton’s handling of the English language. I was wondering if in his advertising agency he would be willing to employ and use someone who didn’t understand his burbs or his phrases, and said, “How you goin’ mate, I’d like a job withya, you know, how about it?” Would he be interested in employing …

SINGLETON: (Laughing) How much do you want luv? (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: In the blue back there, yes.

MAN: Mr. Harris, in your attack on ockerdom you … (inaudible) … of middle class habits, but you condemn the middle classes if they dare to adopt working class attitudes. To me this shows a bias against the Australian working classes? Is this correct, and if not, why not? (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

HARRIS: I think our concepts of the Australian working classes differ. I find the Australian working class as experienced in the process of growing up and you find in books sort of like Donald Horne’s Education of Young Donald that the Australian working class is not, basically, the beer-swilling, pie-eating, wife-bashing type now encapsulated in the Hoganism and the media image of the working class Australian. The working class Australian as encapsulated in the ocker is a lie and it is untrue to the history of the evolution of the Australian working class. There is no reason on earth why the accent, voice and articulation, the manners, morals and behaviour of the working class and middle class Australians should be differentiated at all. In the 40s and 50s it was impossible to tell in any hotel who was the blue collar, who was white collar. Now we have to affect a pseudo-proletarian image which is not real to the Australian ambition.

SINGLETON: It was pretty hard in the 40s and 50s because we had to get out at 6 o’clock, so there were so many people in the pubs you couldn’t tell. I do think that what we need most in Australia is a working class. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: On the aisle. No, right at the back on the aisle, second row from the back. Yes.

TEX MORTON: Yes I’d like to know first and foremost whatever happened to the Morton-Singleton School of Voice Culture.

SINGLETON: That’s the boy who does, “Where Do You Get It?”

MORTON: Yes, I happened to drop along here tonight just by coincidence to listen to the pros and cons, purely by coincidence, having an interest in this, and I didn’t intend to open my mouth until I saw the other chaps get up, but my name’s Tex Morton and I’m the chap who does, “Where Do You Get It” for Mr Singleton. (HISSES THEN LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MAN: Ocker go home.

SINGLETON: We’re putting out an LP pretty soon.

MORTON: Do you mind, young man, you’ve had a fair go all evening … (To interjector) … now I hope my talking does not interfere with your interjecting. Shut up. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE) The showman who bangs the drum and rings the bell, the name who has the gaudiest signs and posters outsides his tent is the fellow that’s going to get the money.

Also the housewife — I’ve spoken to many of them since I started doing these squeaky, “Where Do You Get It?”s, I know people laugh at them, I was a little embarrassed, like one of my friends mentioned there, but then I found that people said, yes, it’s one of the ads that I can associate immediately, I can be out in the backyard and I can say to myself if I’m sweeping the yard or whatever, feeding the chickens, and I can say there goes, to myself, there goes that awful voice again, that ad, oh golly, I wonder what he’s flogging this week, and they run inside to see what’s going on …

MOORE: Well, could we leave it there?

MORTON: Yes certainly.

MOORE: Thanks very much, but that’s, I think, enough.

SINGLETON: You don’t want to know this week’s specials. (Laughing)

MOORE: (Laughing) Yes. Right at the back.

MAN: Well I actually tend to back Max Harris in this debate, but I’d like to know what he thinks about the fact that most Australian writers and artists have to go overseas for recognition. Does that mean that culture is in fact an imposition in this country?

HARRIS: I don’t think they need to go overseas — writers particularly don’t need to go overseas. The internationalisation of culture, which is what I’m on about anyway, is such that if you are a writer or a painter thematically, you can get anything anywhere. If he’s got something worthwhile to say it now will reach — communications, the tyranny of distance has just about come to an end and I think this is a bit old hat this bit about you can’t get your novel published unless it’s done overseas because there’s no outlets in Australia, we have built up commercial sub-structures for writers, paining, and even music and ballet so I can’t quite see that that old anti-Philistine approach of art and craft is any longer valid — all the guys from Nation Review have got to dash overseas to escape from the withering atmosphere, well that’s just not on anymore, it just simply means they can’t make it.

MOORE: Yes?

MAN: I just wanted to say that I’m sorry, I’m probably against ockerism; I recognise the fact that they exist, I know that … you know, I live in Redfern and they’re all around me and … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … and you know, I’m very aware of what ocker is, but ocker to me is an unfortunate term and I’d like to sort of help these people to realise … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) …

SINGLETON: Might I suggest you don’t go back to Redfern tonight. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) Or if you do, take Johnny with you. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MAN: No I’d just like to … to them, because I believe they’re not getting as much out of life as I am. (EXCLAMATIONS OF DISAGREEMENT FROM AUDIENCE) I don’t think they’re making as much … you know, I’ve done everything they’ve done but I’ll bet they haven’t done half what I’ve done. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: (Laughing) What have you done? (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: Well, I’d really love to discuss that, I would, I’d love to see how … because this is what I strike most often when the discussion’s really on ockerism per se and that is, people say, but don’t you really feel sorry for people who live like that, and I find this is a bit hard to answer ‘cos I live like that … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … and I go home on a weekend and I’m lighting the barbecue and I’m having a few beers and I’m drinking out of a can and I’m thinking, Jeese I must be having a crook time … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … because the symphony music’s not playing, people aren’t offering me sherries, I’m talking about the football, who won yesterday, who won today, I’m trying to have a bet on the races, it’s blaring out, I’m having a top time and I realise that I’m missing something … (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE) … and I want to know, I would really dig to ask you, what it is that I’m missing because I’ll try and fit it in, you know. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) But I’m not going to mix sherry with beer, I’ve tried that one — and how can you have a sherry and prawn night? It’s just not on. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: Go on Max, yes.

HARRIS: I think one of the great pleasures that John Singleton is missing is the sheer excitement of not being complacent and this is an experience he doesn’t seem to have and this … (APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE) … uncertainty of people … you see, being as he is a natural indigenous Australian his natural behaviour pattern is to go through a door in front of a female and slam it in her face and just see if her nose gets bunged in, because the idea of .. in the natural pattern of which he’s accepting, promoting, good manners, for instance, they belong to the people from Geelong Grammar, all the snobs, so therefore good manners for instance in experiencing …

SINGLETON: Oh gee Max, I’ll tell you what mate, I’ve logged around Redfern a fair bit and I’ve logged around the cocktail party scene in some of the more salubrious suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne and I’ll tell you what, the manners I strike in the suburbs that you decry in Australia far exceed those of the cocktail party set. The manners there I find to be a surface imitation of politeness that’s bitter, it’s … almost every one of those parties you go to, it’s like a re-run of Virginia Woolf … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

HARRIS: But what have you got against us Australians?

SINGLETON: At least when you go to Redfern, if someone says, now would you like some salt, they’re genuinely caring about whether you want some salt when you’re in Vaucluse you know it’s because you forgot to put it on when you should have, you know. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE) I really think that to label suburbs with manners does a great injustice to the great majority of Australians.

HARRIS: I don’t think I mentioned suburbs, did I? That leaves, of course, these people, like myself, in the middle, the Vaucluse types have phony manners and are so totally spurious, the ockers, by definition, abnegate manners as a possible concept of behaviour pattern …

SINGLETON: Only by your definition.

HARRIS: Well it’s only by the definition of your advertisements, that’s fair enough, so us people in the middle who say, for instance, that civilised attributes of good manners are still quite important, they well could be taught in school, old-fashioned types who imagine even that the female ocker is quite easily identifiable, she has stilt shoes that high, she’s round-shouldered and she stomps along like something out of Dr. Who … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: (Laughing) Flatterer. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: You shouldn’t hate Australia so much. It’s not so bad.

HARRIS: Now it’s anti-ocker to instruct young females to stand upright and push out their bosoms because they look nice when they walk along. This is part of the anti-ocker kind of educational thing — you’re against all these things, you are missing things in life, because the female who walks upright is nicer than the ocker bird with the round shoulders.

SINGLETON: How one could be accused of because one’s pro an Australian culture therefore being anti good manners is just … evades me entirely. How good manners is a prerequisite of getting along with anyone anywhere and I don’t, you know, I’m happy to start off all our ads with, “Excuse Me, Where Do You Get It?” if that’ll make you any happier. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) I really do think that we don’t really need a cultural revolution to have manners in this country, I’ve not struck that as a problem.

MOORE: At the back with the little red book, or whatever it is. (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) That dates you.

WOMAN: Question for Mr. Singleton. You seem to be basing your defence of your promotions of ockerism on the principle that it’s Australia culture, that’s the term you just used, that this is the inner Australian, the real Australian. I’m surprised that this viewpoint hasn’t been questioned before. I put it to you that the ockerism male chauvinism attitude is an import from the East End of London and is portrayed brilliantly by Alf Garnett and that perhaps is why Australians liked that show because they identified with it — there was an ocker, the original ocker, 19th century Victorian English cockneyism.

SINGLETON: Well you see none of us has been in Australia very long, and it’s obvious that our culture has its greatest roots in England and it’s obvious that we didn’t get the pick of the Poms in the old days … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … and naturally they’re more likely to come from the East End than from wherever else, but now I think the culture’s evolving with far more European influence and it is changing, and I don’t think that we should look at Alf Garnett and say, boy there’s something we should be, that’s a reflection of the Australian attitude. Here again we’re saying that by definition anyone who’s basically Australian and enjoys those things that are Australian is by nature bad mannered, will not pass the salt, eats the ice-cream with his fork and will not open the door for a lady. I’ve found with most real Australian men — and the real Australians don’t miss out with the ladies, and in fact they do a hell of a lot better in various ways if you do open the door and pass the salt and so forth and I think the old law of supply and demand means that manners does integrate right through the Australian society.

MAN: Can I direct a question to Mr. Harris, and we seem to have two people on the platform tonight who are saying, in differing ways, what the real Australian is and we’ve had … Mr. Harris has said that it lives in a decade ago, that it was beginning to flourish and it’s been squashed, I’d like to ask Mr. Harris, Sir, where does you real Australian come from, is it just as much a fabrication as the ocker one, or are neither of them fabrications?

HARRIS: Well I think the point I was making was that there is no such thing as this stereotype which we’ve invented currently. The real Australian changes just as cultures change, Rome wasn’t the same all through its five centuries or whatever. The characteristic change, the social structure change, as as changes occur, so the character and type of the individual changes within the social fabric. It is not necessary to say that the Australian bushwacker now is the same as the Australian bushwacker of 1900, otherwise you’re engaging the theory of petrification. It so happened, I think, that the working class of Australia of the post-Depression period produced an Australian type in the 1940s-60s which, on the basis of the sort of recognition accorded the Australian type of that period by the external world, and in terms of measuring the quality of life through its creators, the art and literature of that period, of the period from Nolan to the death of Drysdale … the death of Dobell, was a particular flowering of the Australian type at its best and that was, I’m afraid, not a proletarian type but an educated proletarian type.

MAN: But Sir aren’t you assuming a giveness about what you’re wanting us to be like, aren’t you assuming some sort of absolute nature …

HARRIS: Well I’m just assuming a set of historical events has taken place and I’m assessing the …

SINGLETON: But this is the … (inaudible) … of the whole argument, you know, this theory of petrification which Max states which has I’m sure fascinated us all for many years … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … and I’d dig to know what it’s all about. Surely each of us is Australian and there is no such thing as an average person, each of us is Australian and Australia is what we are, what we make of ourselves, and there is no point in … when we look at advertising obviously what you reflect is a general attitude, but what Australia is is what we are and what we become and surely it’s pointless to sit here discussing the 40s and 50s as some sort of nostalgic breakthrough, you know these old records come out about that all the time, you know flashbacks to the 50s and so forth. I think we should be looking at the 70s and 80s and 90s — I’d prefer to do that. I think we’ll only make the 70s and 80s and 90s if we can forget the 40s or 50s for a kicker.

MOORE: Yes?

WOMAN: My goodness, I don’t know, I’ve been sitting here — and I’ve worked through the 40s and 50s, and I’m an Australian woman, and we’re talking about the majority of Australians, well the majority of Australians happen to be women, and please Mr. Moore … (APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE) … may I direct a question to you, Mr. Moore, would you please get two women up there one day and ask them what they think of the Australian ocker? (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: We will accept name suggestions, as of now. Yes, in the front.

WOMAN: I would like to ask Mr. Harris whether you would forbid a son of yours to go beer-swilling, drop his ts, or drive a Holden car?

MOORE: Drop his what?

WOMAN: Drop his ts … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: Oh yes.

WOMAN: … or drive a Holden car? Would you forbid him from participating in the ocker image?

HARRIS: Oh by all means I’d let him be exposed to it but before he got to it I’d have him drinking watered down claret at the age of 6 so that by the age of 10 he’d know a bit about Australian wines and find it hilariously funny to go to university and see all those sort of pimply youths coming up to their first onslaught of alcohol, and generally I think I could build in resistance so that he could be totally exposed to anything Mr. John Singleton could put up to him.

SINGLETON: Imagine him after a hard game of football back in the dressing sheds sipping the 45 Grange Hermitage. (LAUGHTER)

MOORE: Max, do you still think that Perth is the last frontier of the civilised Australian?

HARRIS: Really, that was only out of a kind of narcissism and a sort of modesty which I was affecting at the time. Assuredly South Australia is the least Australian bastion of the community that’s going to be where we’ve got our laws and our structure and our sociology and our cultural life and our football life and so on. The eastern States mediaevalism may go rolling on backwards forever into the Australian Middle Ages, and you can all come and be refugees, we’ll set up camps at the Victorian border … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) and we’ll give you ocker tests at the border … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … and if you pronounce your ts you’ll get in and …

SINGLETON: And bring your ballet shoes with you. (Laughing)

HARRIS: And if you say “footy” and “beauty” you can go back with Sir Henry Bolte who after all is a prime ocker, and live in his territory for the rest of your lives. I think that would resolve the whole situation, and we could tow Victoria out to sea and attach it to the Antarctic, that would be a good idea too.

MAN: … (question inaudible)

MOORE: No, no, you’ve had not only one turn, three turns, and three turns is enough. Yes?

MAN: I’d like to ask Mr. Singleton, he’s associated ockerism with Australia as a whole. Now I think it brings together a lot of typical ockers as you have on television but doesn’t this have the same effect as segregating other Australians who haven’t got a typical ocker accent or other ocker characteristics? (APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

SINGLETON: Well I think … you see what we’re doing is when you see an advertisement with a guy who’s obviously Australian not trying to affect any other kind of accent, I find it hard to believe that any bar the 2% of academic critics could possibly find anything to argue about someone speaking in their normal voice. I really find that hard to believe and I can’t imagine the society would split against saying, “I’m sitting home in the lounge room and I really feel offended, I feel violent, I’m going to go out and demonstrate ‘cos I can’t talk as bas as that.” I really don’t see that happening and I think it really is something … if we can’t laugh at ourselves — although Max would disagree — then I don’t think until we’ve learned to laugh at ourselves we can get serious about ourselves and I think we’re only just now starting to learn to enjoy weaknesses and our strengths, our mannerisms and I think having learned to enjoy it then maybe we can take ourselves more seriously in the future.

MOORE: Yes?

WOMAN (Scottish): You’re talking as an adult. Do you not think that teenagers are under a lot of pressure from their peer group to adopt ockerisms or ocker attitudes, that they don’t really basically feel a lot of the time, they pretend …

SINGLETON: I know I walked into a university the other day and I didn’t really feel that there was a lot on my side.

WOMAN: Well we’ve been in the country three months and my children adopted a strong Australian accent. I don’t object to that per se, but there are some of the attitudes I’d rather they didn’t adopt along with the accent.

SINGLETON: Well you see I don’t mind that you speak like that, you know … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE)

WOMAN: Thank you.

SINGLETON: … and I’ve been here for longer than three months. You’re welcome, you’re very welcome, but naturally kids, any group of people, will try and relate, one with the other and the younger kids the more anxious they are to gain acceptance, that’s obvious. If they walk into a school, and obviously if they speak like you do, and so they’re going to have a bit of trouble, you know … (LAUGHTER FROM AUDIENCE) … particularly if it’s at Redfern unless he happens to be a teacher at Redfern, a lot of troubles, and naturally they’re going to affect the behaviour of their fellow kids and surely there’s nothing wrong with that.

WOMAN: But as a dedicated ocker would you try and instill ockerism in the younger generation even if it wasn’t their basic temperament, would you not permit …

SINGLETON: I’ve made no attempt at all whatsoever to instill what … again, I’ve never used the word “ocker” because I believe it denigrates those things that are naturally Australian and it’s used as a word to humiliate those things, to embarrass those things ….

WOMAN: You personally might not, but other people do.

SINGLETON: Yeah but I don’t think that, I think that kids, they’ll work it out themselves. Australia will evolve …

WOMAN: But it might take a long time and it might hurt and they might miss a lot of chances.

SINGLETON: … it’s not going to evolve according to the cultural timetable of Max Harris, yourself or anyone else, it will evolve only naturally, and kids hold the future of Australia in their hands. If I had any say over any kid’s future it would not be that they should behave as I behave or my mates behave but it should be that they think more and more about the opportunities they’ve been given and make more of their own decisions and be given greater freedoms that we’ve ever been given and I certainly wouldn’t say, look mate, here’s a pie, can of beer, see you later and good luck in the world. I don’t think that’s quite enough.

MOORE: Yes?

WOMAN: Mr. Singleton claims that he uses the language in his commercials himself and I would like to ask him if he has ever called any of his superiors — of which I’m sure there are very few — but has he ever called them, Sirrah?

SINGLETON: Sirrah? When did I do that?

WOMAN: Have you ever called any of your superiors Sirrah? You state that in your advertisements …

SINGLETON: Sirrah?

MOORE: Yes, in one of the ads … the MLC Centre has a knight in shining armour or something …

WOMAN: Yes, the MLC Centre.

SINGLETON: Yes, that ad actually fell down on me, you know, Bumper Farrel Jnr. was a great discovery and the new Shakespearian ad was to be done in costume, we were going to have supers in old English, so as you couldn’t understand what he was saying also simultaneously you couldn’t read what we were … (Inaudible over laughter) but unfortunately Bumper was trained in the meantime by Stuart Wagstaff, and gained a manager, and now the ad’s so … well I’m not very fascinated with the whole thing at all.

HARRIS: He’s only paying deference to his superiors because Sirrah is an anagram for Harris, as you probably can … (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

MOORE: Max Sirrah, John Singleton, we must end there, thank you both very much indeed …

SINGLETON: Thanks Robert.

MOORE: … for joining us on Monday Conference. Thank you everyone else too, ocker and anti-ocker alike.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  2. Singo and Howard Propose Privatising Bondi Beach
  3. Singo and Howard Speak Out Against the Crackpot Realism of the CIS and IPA
  4. Singo and Howard on Compromise
  5. Singo and Howard on Monopolies
  6. Singo and Howard Support Sydney Harbour Bridge Restructure
  7. Singo and Howard on Striking at the Root, and the Failure of Howard, the CIS and the IPA
  8. Singo and Howard Explain Why Australia is Not a Capitalist Country
  9. Singo and Howard Call Democracy Tyrannical
  10. Singo and Howard on Drugs!
  11. Simpleton sells his poll philosophy
  12. Singo and Howard Decry Australia Day
  13. Singo and Howard Endorse the Workers Party
  14. Singo and Howard Oppose the Liberal Party
  15. Singo and Howard Admit that Liberals Advocate and Commit Crime
  16. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  17. John Whiting's Inaugural Workers Party Presidential Address
  18. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  19. Singo and Howard on Aborigines
  20. Singo and Howard on Conservatism
  21. Singo and Howard on the Labor Party
  22. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  23. John Singleton changes his name
  24. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  25. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  26. Singo and Howard introduce Rip Van Australia
  27. Singo and Howard on Knee-Jerks
  28. Singo and Howard on Tax Hunts (Lobbying)
  29. Singo and Howard on Rights
  30. Singo and Howard on Crime
  31. Singo and Howard on Justice
  32. Singo and Howard on Unemployment
  33. John Singleton on 1972 cigarette legislation
  34. Singo and Howard: Gambling Should Neither Be Illegal Nor Taxed
  35. Holed up, hold-up and holdout
  36. The libertarian alternative vs the socialist status quo
  37. Workers Party Platform
  38. Singo and Howard Join Forces to Dismantle Welfare State
  39. Singo and Howard on Business
  40. Singo and Howard on Discrimination
  41. Singo and Howard on the Greens
  42. Singo and Howard on Xenophobia
  43. Singo and Howard on Murdoch, Packer and Monopolistic Media
  44. Singo and Howard Explain that Pure Capitalism Solves Pollution
  45. Singo and Howard Defend Miners Against Government
  46. Singo and Howard on Bureaucracy
  47. Singo and Howard on Corporate Capitalism
  48. The last words of Charles Russell
  49. Ted Noffs' Preface to Rip Van Australia
  50. Right-wing anarchists revamping libertarian ideology
  51. Giving a chukka to the Workers Party
  52. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  53. "A beautiful time to be starting a new party": Rand fans believe in every man for himself
  54. Introducing the new Workers' Party
  55. Paul Rackemann 1980 Progress Party Election Speech
  56. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  57. Voices of frustration
  58. Policies of Workers Party
  59. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  60. AAA Tow Truck Co.
  61. Singo and Howard on Context
  62. Singo and Howard Blame Roosevelt for Pearl Harbour
  63. Singo and Howard on Apathy
  64. Workers Party is "not just a funny flash in the pan"
  65. Singo and Howard on Decency
  66. John Singleton in 1971 on the 2010 Federal Election
  67. Matthew, Mark, Luke & John Pty. Ltd. Advertising Agents
  68. Viv Forbes Wins 1986 Adam Smith Award
  69. The writing of the Workers Party platform and the differences between the 1975 Australian and American libertarian movements
  70. Who's Who in the Workers Party
  71. Bob Howard interviewed by Merilyn Giesekam on the Workers Party
  72. A Farewell to Armchair Critics
  73. Sukrit Sabhlok interviews Mark Tier
  74. David Russell Leads 1975 Workers Party Queensland Senate Team
  75. David Russell Workers Party Policy Speech on Brisbane TV
  76. Bludgers need not apply
  77. New party formed "to slash controls"
  78. The Workers Party
  79. Malcolm Turnbull says "the Workers party is a force to be reckoned with"
  80. The great consumer protection trick
  81. The "Workers" speak out
  82. How the whores pretend to be nuns
  83. The Workers Party is a Political Party
  84. Shit State Subsidised Socialist Schooling Should Cease Says Singo
  85. My Journey to Anarchy:
    From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
  86. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  87. Singo and Howard on Freedom from Government and Other Criminals
  88. Singo and Howard on Young People
  89. Singo and Howard Expose how Government Healthcare Controls Legislate Doctors into Slavery
  90. Singo and Howard Engage with Homosexuality
  91. Singo and Howard Demand Repeal of Libel and Slander Laws
  92. Singo and Howard on Consumer Protection
  93. Singo and Howard on Consistency
  94. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  95. Political branch formed
  96. Government seen by new party as evil
  97. Singo and Howard on Non-Interference
  98. Singo and Howard on Women's Lib
  99. Singo and Howard on Licences
  100. Singo and Howard on Gun Control
  101. Singo and Howard on Human Nature
  102. Singo and Howard on Voting
  103. Singo and Howard on
    Inherited Wealth
  104. Singo and Howard on Education
  105. Singo and Howard on Qualifications
  106. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  107. Singo and Howard Hate Politicians
  108. Undeserved handouts make Australia the lucky country
  109. A happy story about Aborigines
  110. John Singleton on Political Advertising
  111. Richard Hall, Mike Stanton and Judith James on the Workers Party
  112. Singo Incites Civil Disobedience
  113. How John Singleton Would Make Tony Abbott Prime Minister
  114. The Discipline of Necessity
  115. John Singleton on the first election the Workers Party contested
  116. Libertarians: Radicals on the right
  117. The Bulletin on Maxwell Newton as Workers Party national spokesman on economics and politics
  118. Singo and Howard: Australia Should Pull Out of the Olympics
  119. Singo and Howard Like Foreign Investment
  120. Mark Tier corrects Nation Review on the Workers Party
  121. The impossible dream
  122. Why can't I get away with it?
  123. The bold and boring Lib/Lab shuffle
  124. Time for progress
  125. The loonie right implodes
  126. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  127. John Singleton on refusing to do business with criminals and economic illiterates
  128. Censorship should be banned
  129. "Listen, mate, a socialist is a bum"
  130. John Singleton on Advertising
  131. John Singleton on why he did the Hawke re-election campaign
  132. Sinclair Hill calls for dropping a neutron bomb on Canberra
  133. Bob Howard in Reason 1974-77
  134. John Singleton defends ockerism
  135. Singo and Howard talk Civil Disobedience
  136. The Census Con
  137. Singo and Howard Oppose Australian Participation in the Vietnam War
  138. Did John Singleton oppose the mining industry and privatising healthcare in 1990?
  139. Bob Carr in 1981 on John Singleton's political bent
  140. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  141. John Singleton on elections: "a Massive One-Day Sale!"
  142. John Hyde's Progress Party praise
  143. King Leonard of Hutt River Declares Defensive Just War Against Australia the Aggressor
  144. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  145. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  146. John Singleton bites into Sinclair Hill's beef
  147. Save Parramatta Road
  148. 1979 news item on new TV show John Singleton With a Lot of Help From His Friends
  149. Smoking, Health and Freedom
  150. Singo and Howard on Unions
  151. Singo and Howard Smash the State
  152. Singo and Howard on the big issue of Daylight Saving
  153. Come back Bob - It was all in fun!
  154. A few "chukkas" in the Senate for polo ace?
  155. Country Rejuvenation - Towards a Better Future
  156. Singo and Howard on Profits, Super Profits and Natural Disasters
  157. John Singleton's 1977 pitch that he be on a committee of one to run the Sydney 1988 Olympics for profit
  158. Thoughts on Land Ownership
  159. 1975 Max Newton-Ash Long interview on the Workers Party
  160. The Electoral Act should allow voters to choose "none of the above"
  161. The great Labor Party platform: first or last, everybody wins a prize
  162. The politics of marketing - laugh now, pay later
  163. Singo and Howard call Australia fascist and worse
  164. The mouse will roar
  165. Viv Forbes and Jim Fryar vs Malcolm Fraser in 1979
  166. Quip, Quote, Rant and Rave: four of Viv Forbes' letters to the editor in The Australian in 1979
  167. Australia's First Official Political Party Poet Laureate: The Progress Party's Ken Hood in 1979
  168. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  169. Harry M. Miller and The Australian disgrace themselves
  170. Ocker ad genius takes punt on art
  171. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  172. John Singleton mocks university students on civil liberties and freedom of choice in 1971
  173. Murray Rothbard championed on Australian television in 1974 (pre-Workers Party!) by Maureen Nathan
  174. John Singleton profile in 1977 Australian MEN Vogue
  175. I think that I shall never see a telegraph pole as lovely as a tree
  176. Ralph Nader vs John Singleton on Consumer Protection
  177. John Singleton's first two "Think" columns in Newspaper News, 1969
  178. Singo and Howard on Ballet
  179. Product innovation comes first
  180. Protect who from a 'mindless' wife?
  181. A party is born
  182. Tiny Workers' Party gives us a hint
  183. John Singleton on the ad industry, consumerism and innovation
  184. Workers Party Economic Policy Statement, December 1975
  185. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  186. John Singleton and Howard on Government Largesse
  187. Counterculture must exclude government handouts
  188. John Singleton's 1974 Federal Liberal Election Campaign Ads
  189. John Singleton believes in the Workers Party
  190. Write-up of John Singleton's 1978 speech to the Australian Liberal Students Association
  191. Singo in 1987: "Joh doesn't go far enough ... I want absolute deregulation of the economy"
  192. Maxwell Newton chapter of Clyde Packer's No Return Ticket (1984)
  193. Singo and Howard on Totalitarian Socialism and Voluntary Socialism
  194. Rip Van Australia on Ripoff Vandals Taxing Australia
  195. Singo and Howard beg for tolerance
  196. John Singleton's 1985 advertising comeback
  197. Singo and Howard Demand End to Public Transport
  198. John Singleton and Howard on Fred Nile, Festival of Light, FamilyVoice Australia and the Christian Lobby
  199. Capitalism: Survival of the Fittest
  200. Return Australia Post to Sender
  201. Singo and Howard on Public Utilities
  202. John Singleton and Howard say monarchy should be funded by monarchists alone
  203. John Singleton on cigarette advertising
  204. Singo in 1972 on newspapers' demise
  205. John Singleton farewells Bryce Courtenay
  206. John Singleton on Australian political advertising in 1972
  207. Gortlam rides again
  208. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  209. John Singleton on trading stamps, idiot housewives and government
  210. 1975 John Singleton-Sir Robert Askin Quadrant Interview
  211. Singo asks two prickly questions
  212. VIOLENCE, TV BAN, DRINK - SINGO SPEAKS HIS MIND
  213. Why John Singleton can't keep a straight face
  214. Why John Singleton Defends Smokers Rights
  215. Tony Dear on Paul Krutulis, the Workers Party and murder
  216. An Ode to Busybodies
  217. Progress Party and Workers Party lead The Australian
  218. How many tits in a tangle?
  219. Viv Forbes in 1978 on loss-making government, the Berlin Wall and misdirected blasts of hot-air
  220. John Singleton wants the Post Office sold and anti-discrimination legislation scrapped
  221. A speech from the Titanic
  222. A crime must have a victim
  223. John Singleton vs Australia Post
  224. Minimum wages the killer
  225. Has Fraser got his priorities all wrong?
  226. John Singleton says "the royal family should be flogged off to the U.S."
  227. John Singleton vs Don Chipp and the Australian Democrats
  228. John Singleton vs Don Lane
  229. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  230. John Singleton's 1986 reflection on the Workers Party
  231. Bob Howard in 1978 on libertarianism in Australia
  232. John Singleton on the stupidity of anti-discrimination laws
  233. Thou shalt know the facts ... before thou shoot off thou mouth
  234. Charity: An Aesop Fable
  235. Bob Howard announces the Workers Party in freeEnterprise
  236. New improved moon
  237. Announcing people ... YES, people!
  238. Creativity in advertising must be pointed dead on target
  239. John Singleton on barriers to, and opportunities for, effective communication
  240. Wayne Garland on John Singleton on Advertising
  241. John Singleton schools ad course
  242. John Singleton: advertising awards
  243. Mr Singleton Goes to Canberra for Australian Playboy
  244. John Singleton on his TV career for Australian Playboy
  245. John Singleton sacked for telling the truth about Medicare
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(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  2. Hancock's Australia
  3. Hancock on Government Help
  4. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
  5. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
  6. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  7. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  8. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  9. Jump on the Joh bandwagon
  10. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  11. Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
  12. Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
  13. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  14. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  15. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  16. Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
  17. A Condensed Case for Secession
  18. Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
  19. Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
  20. PM's sky-high promise to Lang
  21. Lang Hancock: "a catherine-wheel of novel suggestions"
  22. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  23. The spread of Canberra-ism
  24. Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
  25. 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
  26. Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
  27. The code of Lang Hancock
  28. Why not starve the taxation monster?
  29. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  30. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  31. Right-wing plot
  32. "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
  33. WA's NCP commits suicide
  34. "You can't live off a sacred site"
  35. Hancock: King of the Pilbara
  36. Bludgers need not apply
  37. New party formed "to slash controls"
  38. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  39. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  40. Government seen by new party as evil
  41. Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
  42. Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
  43. Bury Hancock Week
  44. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  45. Lang Hancock on Australia Today
  46. Hancock and Wright
  47. Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
  48. Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
  49. Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
  50. Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
  51. The Treasury needs a hatchet man
  52. We Mine to Live
  53. Get the "econuts" off our backs
  54. 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
  55. Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
  56. 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
  57. Enter Rio Tinto
  58. Hamersley and Tom Price
  59. News in the West
  60. Positive review of Hancock speech
  61. Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
  62. Australia's slide to socialism
  63. The Great Claim Robbery
  64. Why WA must go it alone
  65. Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
  66. MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
  67. Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
  68. The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
  69. Crystal Balls Need Polishing
  70. Minerals - politicians' playthings?
  71. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  72. Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
  73. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  74. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  75. Tactics change by Hancock
  76. Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
  77. 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
  78. Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
  79. Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
  80. Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
  81. 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
  82. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  83. Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
  84. An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
  85. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  86. Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
  87. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  88. Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
  89. Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
  90. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  91. Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
  92. Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
  93. Invest in free enterprise
  94. Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
  95. Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
  96. Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
  97. Mining policy a threat
  98. Over Whitlam's head
  99. Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
  100. Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
  101. Secede or sink
  102. Australia can learn from Thatcher
  103. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  104. How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
  105. Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
  106. Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
  107. Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
  108. The Ord River Dam
  109. Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
  110. Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
  111. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  112. 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
  113. Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
  114. Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
  115. 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
  116. Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
  117. Our leaders are powerless
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