View Full Version : Maaaaate....

19th Aug 2005, 07:40
Mate, it's just not on
Matt Price
August 19, 2005

A STUNNINGLY overzealous instruction to parliamentary security staff banning the use of the term "mate" will be overturned today after being ridiculed as absurd and un-Australian.

Most of the 149 security staff employed in the federal parliament were seething yesterday after receiving an internal memo banning them from saying "mate" in public.

"Officers are requested to treat any visitors to Parliament House with respect and courtesy and not address them as 'mate' or use similar colloquialisms," read the instruction from security managers.

Security staff were unimpressed. "It's un-Australian, sir," one told The Australian.

And as word of the controversial instruction spread, Labor MP Roger Price demanded that Speaker David Hawker investigate the "mate" ban.

John Howard, who when he's not labelling someone "a good bloke" often calls them "mate", was stunned by the memo.

"This is absurd and ridiculous," the Prime Minister huffed as he left the chamber after question time.

By late afternoon, parliamentary overseers had got the message. The secretary of Parliamentary Services, Hilary Penfold, said last night she had not been aware of the "mate" memo but would overturn the ban today.

"It's going to be reversed in our daily briefing," she said.

"While the basic message in the memo was fine, I don't think it was appropriate to single out 'mate' and suggest it be banned," Ms Penfold
She was unaware of any incident that sparked the security memo. "I wasn't aware of the instruction until it was raised in parliament," she said. "I've had no complaints about the courtesy of our staff, who'll be free to address visitors as mate if they deem it appropriate."


19th Aug 2005, 07:43
Donīt see the problem, just call everyone Bruce.....

19th Aug 2005, 07:47
Fair Dinkum, Mate?

Conan The Barber
19th Aug 2005, 07:47
If I ever were to enter the Australian parliament in an official capacity, I would expect to be addressed as Sir. If not, I would certainly expect those who failed to do so, to have a bloody nose.

19th Aug 2005, 08:23
From the PM mailing list:


Prime Minister are you pleased the ban on the word mate has been lifted?


Well a bit of a storm in the teacup. We should use terms that are appropriate to the context of the conversation. Often on talkback radio somebody will ring me up and I'll start by off by responding with an expression, Sir or Madam, depending on the sex of the caller, later on if the conversation becomes particularly friendly you might in a casual way say, oh thanks mate. It all depends on the context and therefore you can't really have hard and fast rules as long as courtesy appropriate to the occasion is displayed.

jack red
19th Aug 2005, 08:28
Big backflip from the powers to be. Call everybody mate now -

no worries Mate !!!

19th Aug 2005, 08:30
:ok: Onya maate! Beats Madam or sir any day, even if you do know their name.

19th Aug 2005, 08:32
If I ever were to enter the Australian parliament in an official capacity, I would expect to be addressed as Sir.
By ..... ?

19th Aug 2005, 08:37
Great word mate. They should enshrine in law that everybody has to be addressed by it instead. That'd be right!:E

henry crun
19th Aug 2005, 09:10
I knew an Ozzer some time back who used to say "Don't call me mate, mates f*ck each other".

Perhaps the persons who issued this instruction have realised the truth of that statement.

It might also explain why Arstralians are so fond of using it. :p

19th Aug 2005, 09:42
Ya bunch of wankers! The reason the security blokes call these jumped up politcos "mate" is because they can't remember their bloody name! After all they're only bloody politicians not any one really important, hey?

Back to the cricket Bruce and see if we can win a test against these bloody poms!

Arm out the window
19th Aug 2005, 11:22
If he was a proper Aussie, the Prime Minister would have replied to that press questioning with something like this:
"Staff aren't supposed to call people mate? Mate, that is the biggest farken load of crap I've ever farken heard! Youse can all go and farken fark off, you farken wankers! Now you and your mates, your esky and your tinnies, fark off!!"

And Henry Crun, the bloke you spoke to was obviously just responding to your obviously un-Aussie usage of the word 'Mate'; when used correctly it never suggests the toffee-nosed euphemistic usage of the term 'to mate'. Maybe he thought you were keen to slip him one!

henry crun
19th Aug 2005, 11:40
Your assumption is wrong Arm out the window.

I never called him that, he mostly used it replying to his fellow countrymen. :)

19th Aug 2005, 15:09
Just love hearing supercilious comments from the mother country about this sort of thing. Just amazed that chaffers hasn't got involved yet.

The people making the comments are the very ones who fail so spectacularly to understand how natural this term of address is to us "convicts", no matter who we are addressing (deliberate grammatical error). And that suits us fine!

Should Conan or Orac or the pompous public servant who apparently sparked this storm in a teacup ever demand they be addressed as sir anywhere in Australia, they'd better be prepared to fight! :ok:

19th Aug 2005, 15:18
When I first moved over this side of the pond and used the word "mate" while chatting with a neighbour he asked if I had been in the Navy!:rolleyes:


19th Aug 2005, 15:29
Agreed, Binos.

Since when does an employer call the employee "sir"? We pay their wages and they work for us. They don't rate a "sir" or "ma'am" unless it's from their own staff and even that would be highly unusual in this country.

19th Aug 2005, 15:49
What a crock. Who came up with that little brain fart in the first place?

I guess when wannabe King Paul was adressing people as "scumbag" that totally acceptable :rolleyes:

19th Aug 2005, 16:02
It's been on the news, Jer but nobody wants to cough to it. The idea has been given the summary dismissal it deserves though.

19th Aug 2005, 16:26
*Sigh* That's good.

What next? We won't be able to refer to politicians as wankers?

19th Aug 2005, 16:32
Jerricho, I was led to believe it was a "senior public servant" who objected in the first place. It's to be hoped that given the idea has been hosed down by everybody from the PM down, the said person may be feeling somewhat of a twot, though from my dealings with senior public servants, I doubt that would be the case.

Solid Rust Twotter
19th Aug 2005, 19:13

Someone called, mate?:E :ok:

19th Aug 2005, 19:16
Got a whole news topic on the radia over here

"Staated in the trinches in tha furst and secind wurld waw mate..."