In the song, the character Derek (who is featured in the story line of Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)) attempts to convince his father, Arthur, of the great opportunities available in Australia, where there's "no drug addiction" and you can "surf like they do in the U.S.A." Derek's advertisement is compared to John Smith, who campaigned for America in a similar manner, by author Thomas Kitts.
The song also features a jam sequence lasting for approximately half the song, which is atypical for The Kinks. In the Australian single edit, this section is removed by editing an earlier section of the song into another section during a drum beat, which is then followed by a fade-out.
It has featured in a wide variety of Australian press and online media, including mining forums, and continues to garner attention due to its controversial and provocative message. Music press have hailed the song as one of the great contemporary Australian protest songs. The Melbourne Age went as far as to say that Midnight Oil's 'Blue Sky Mine' has nothing on 'Australia (Whore of the World)'.
The Song has been banned by ABC Local Radio Southern Queensland (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) as being too provocative for a conservative audience. ABC Southern Queensland encompasses the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region which is the region where Gordon hails from originally and where he has performed the song at a number of anti-mining rallies. The song has however received airplay in other parts of Australia from the ABC, and has been showcased on the national flagship ABC Environment website. As of May 2011, Gordon is contesting the Toowoomba ruling with the case currently before the independent ABC Consumer and Audience review board.
Australia in reply lost Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith early ... 40.6 Back of a length delivery and Agar lofts this in the air while defending ... More pressure building on Australia ... 25.3 OUT! Finch is gone! Big blow for Australia! Fuller delivery on the off stump, Finch looked to loft it down the ground and Dhawan takes an easy catch at long on.
Australia in reply lost Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith early ...Maxwell needs to take charge to keep Australia alive in the chase ... More pressure building on Australia ... 25.3 OUT! Finch is gone! Big blow for Australia! Fuller delivery on the off stump, Finch looked to loft it down the ground and Dhawan takes an easy catch at long on.