Posts Tagged ‘Kate Grenville’

Taint misbehaving

August 29, 2012

Having a convict ancestor is quite the thing in Australia now. There’s even a society for descendants of the very first ones, the First Fleeters – the aristocracy of convicts. It’s a perverse kind of prestige.
When I was growing up in the 60s, through, it was nothing to be proud of. The index cards in the state library were regularly thinned-out by people who surreptitiously ripped out the card that proved their convict ancestry. Having a convict in the family was called “the taint”. There was even a suspicion that it might be a hereditary defect.
Kate Grenville Guardian 18 February 2006

This is an authenticity bid, isn’t it? Between the 60s and now whitey has had to admit he (and she) nicked the land. And have been joined by “waves” and “floods” etc of “foreigners”, that is to say, not white – or at least European – like us. So, being able to trace yourself back to the “real” lot becomes a mark of respectability. FFS.