In Brief

‘Everyone is laughing’: Australia reacts to British heatwave hysteria

Aussies baffled by UK’s failure to cope with ‘average’ temperatures

Australians are struggling to muster much sympathy as whingeing Poms swelter in what may prove to be the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the UK.

In fact, Britain’s heatwave hysteria is causing much amusement down under, where  the record stands at 50.7C.

“It was the hottest day of the year in the UK and Brits could not cope,” declares the headline in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Poms told not to go outside,” says Australian news site News.com.au. “Britain is melting, apparently, as it faces its hottest summer in a century. But don’t feel too sorry for our Pom mates - because it turns out their definition of ‘heatwave’ is dramatically different from ours.”

The site notes that the UK’s top hot spot, Santon Downham in Suffolk, saw the mercury soar to 33.3C, before dropping to 24.3C at 11pm - “a temperature most Aussies would probably welcome during out own scorching summers”.

The problem is that the English do not know how to cope with heat, said the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper yesterday in an article headlined, “Why British people can’t handle heat - and we can”.

The newspaper spoke to the president of Australia’s Climate and Health Alliance, Dr Elizabeth Hanna, who explained that Brits are not used to sweating so much and don’t understand the importance of staying out of the sun and drinking lots.

Abigail Malbon, a UK expat living in Australia, is also taken aback by the summer madness back home.

“I’m fully aware that everyone is laughing at the English. Look at them, with their ‘stifling’ heat, sunbaking in their gardens and complaining that it’s just too hot to bear. Can you believe they’re saying that they can’t sleep? That’s an average day here in January!” she writes on Nine.com.au.

But Malbon notes that if the tables were turned in winter and the temperatures dropped to minus degrees most days in Australia, it would be making the news.

“Aussies; give us a break,” writes Malbon. “We don’t get it very much, and when we do, we like to enjoy it the only way the Brits know how: by complaining, while simultaneously basking with a beer in hand.”

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