Huffington Post Australia has posted footage of Sydney and surrounds in 1939/40. The footage is compiled from reels of film discovered recently in a California garage. It is a sensational historical and social find, particularly for someone who grew up in Sydney around that time. I was four-years-old in 1950 and have a good memory of things. Things had not changed much by 1950, except for the cars, of course. The atmosphere of the war still dominated. Things were very different from now. It was great to see footage of Manly baths, a popular destination for people living on the North Shore of Sydney, a place we often went to from our home in Lane Cove.
A proposal for free movement between Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom was proposed around three years ago. The agreement would be on the same sort of basis as the EU. London Mayor Boris Johnson, a great supporter of the proposal, pointed out that the people of Australia and the United Kingdom could hardly be more alike culturally and ethnically. Indeed, that is the central thrust of my just published book Prison Hulk to Redemption – all about the cultural foundations and continuities between the two blocks. This last week the proposal has had some more airing – much to my delight.