ALLAN PATIENCE: Behrouz Boochani, No Friend but the Mountain: Writing from Manus Prison

Many Australians would be amazed that they might not be viewed as decent, kind, and generous folk with an acute sense of social justice. Aren’t they a people intuitively practising the virtues of mateship and egalitarianism? Don’t they thumb their noses at pretentious authority? Aren’t they a great sporting nation? Aren’t they universally acclaimed as the most successful multicultural country in the world? Aren’t they famous for their plain-speaking, robustly democratic life-style – they of the ‘lucky country’, the land of barbeques, beaches and long weekends? What’s not to love about them?