September 23, 2003

RICH WHITE GUYS

Millionaire Phillip Adams recalls a discussion with millionaire Paul Keating in which the pair of millionaires tried to work out what had gone wrong with the Australian Labor Party:

Keating's response to the question was given in confidence, but it will hardly come as a surprise to his multitude of admirers - at least as numerous and enthusiastic as his detractors - that he's been appalled by the decline of his once great party.

Maybe itís something to do with all the millionaires. Not a lot of Labor voters can relate, Phillip.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 23, 2003 06:36 AM
Comments

Is Phil the Dill suggesting Lawrence is the saviour?

Read . this.

It spells out a few reasons why she may not be the answer.

Posted by: Gilly at September 23, 2003 at 12:16 PM

Kim Beazley senior said it all 30 years ago. "The ALP was once run by the cream of the working class; it's since been hijacked by the dregs of the middle class.''

Posted by: slatts at September 23, 2003 at 12:37 PM

Oop, that's more like 15 years ago.

Posted by: slatts at September 23, 2003 at 12:42 PM

'The ALP was once run by the cream of the working class; it's since been hijacked by the dregs of the middle class.'

Says it all about Labor, really.

What is at first glance a Robert Menzies-style bon mot is actually a gross and stupid insult to the greater part of the population - Labor's constituency.

The dregs of the middle class. Titter, titter.

Pathetic.

Labor's greatest skill is dissing their own constituency - and they reserve their greatest hate for the politician who treats the latter with a degree of respect. Hello, John Howard.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 23, 2003 at 12:58 PM

The point is of course is that Phat Phil and his ilk are not really socially exclusive enough to move in the best circles. Hence, the permanent chippiness of their opinions.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 23, 2003 at 01:49 PM

In a two party system, where in so many respects parties become mirror images of one another, it seems to me the height of infantilism to develop a loathing for one party or the other.

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 01:50 PM

You wonder why Phil's name has never appeared on a ballot paper given he has the answer to everything. There's only one problem - the voters.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at September 23, 2003 at 02:01 PM

Poor old Mork just doesn't get it does he. We don't loathe the labor Party we loathe its basic philosophy which at every turn wishes to sacrifice freedom for a bogus equality and to entangle us in red-tape in the name of a social vision that is pathetically wedded to the idea that politics are the highest good.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 23, 2003 at 02:05 PM

Gee, Tori, I wasn't aware that the Labor party stood for those heinous things. I thought it just wanted political power.

Maybe you could point me to a party that promotes free market liberalism above all else. I'd definitely vote for that one.

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 02:16 PM

You couldn't do better than vote for the Liberals then Mork, as their philosophy has always been more to the right than that of poor old Labor.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 23, 2003 at 02:58 PM

The Liberal Party is a party of free market liberalism?

You and your little jokes, Tori!

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 03:38 PM

This 'dregs of the middle class' line is getting old and lame. Australia is a far more meritocratic society now than it was in the past. The most intelligent of the working class have since moved on into the middle class so you won't expect Labor to have as many working class as before. Incidentally have any of you guys actually attended Labor party meetings? I used to and there were lots of working class members - what is more, they weren't all so-called 'Howard battlers' (i.e. whining loser rednecks). Keating and Adams are pretty smart guys, Keating would arguably just be as wealthy if he'd gone into business. So why is it suddenly a sin to be wealthy just because you're not voting for the 'right' party?

Posted by: Jason Soon at September 23, 2003 at 04:36 PM

Jason, no-one is saying it's a sin to be wealthy.

The point is that Adams and Keating are the selfsame millionaires who term $50,000-plus taxpayers - those raising families to populate the country and generate wealth for others - as 'wealthy' and hit them with punitive taxes to finance all the usual Labor hobby horses.

It's about their hypocrisy. Not their wealth.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 23, 2003 at 04:44 PM

No, ilibcc, it would only be hypocrisy if they sought to be exempt from tax themselves.

Perhaps "altruistic" is the word you're reaching for!

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 05:02 PM

Try the Liberal Democrats- party wing of the ALS.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at September 23, 2003 at 05:15 PM

Oh and ilibcc is right about hypocrisy- both Fat-Boy and Laughing -Boy are registered "primary producers", and obtain the tax benefits that cockies who actually grow stuff get; why else would Phil be ensconsed in the hunter Valley (and yes, I know he has his own postcode, so if he lived in Sydney he would be worth a lot more). Keating's piggery interests are a little more justified- he just wants to ensure the continuance of his gene pool.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at September 23, 2003 at 05:19 PM

Mork, altruistic? Of course. No matter how much we lampooon them, their intentions are not innately cynical - but the point really is how their stated positions come across to the traditional Labor voter.

The answer to that is very badly. A millionaire calling $50,000 wage slaves 'wealthy' won't wash, so Labor loses voters.

Labor needs to reject its social agenda policy wonks - the chardonnay socialists, inner urban elites, call them whatever, and reclaim its traditional base - which in recent decades (wakey, wakey, Labor Party!) has transformed itself into the middle classes - with families - in the middle to outer suburbs and regionals.

The Greens are welcome to the anxiety-ridden inner urbans. Who else would want them.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 23, 2003 at 05:34 PM

Habib, Keating sold his interest in the piggery in 1995.

Please do try to keep up!

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 05:35 PM

ilibcc - I actually agree with that. Keating once said that the best thing about the working class was getting out of it, and thanks to the Labor governments of the 1980s, a good many of its erstwhile members did just that.

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 05:38 PM

Meant to say: thanks in part to the Labor governments of the 1980s.

Don't want to be too grandiose!

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 05:39 PM

You are correct Mork. Keating got out of pigs and this has meant he has more time to polish his antique clock/clocks.

Posted by: Rob at September 23, 2003 at 05:50 PM

what's up with this Jason Soon guy? "whining loser rednecks"? oh really? . so it's ok for you to call white working class people " loser rednecks"?. using your rationale it's probably also ok to call black people "jungle bunnies" and asian people "slopeheads". you're forgiven tho poofy boy.. it's a known fact that leftoids are infected with self-hate... you cant help it. just dont hate the rest of us ok?

Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at September 23, 2003 at 06:14 PM

Keating has more time to polish his antique what?

Oh.

Posted by: pooh at September 23, 2003 at 06:41 PM

To Jason Soon: of course its not a sin to be wealthy. On the other hand it is impossible to be internally consistent while being wealthy and espousing ALP rhetoric at the same time.....

Posted by: GeoffM at September 23, 2003 at 07:16 PM

GeoffM - what absolute nonsense! Exactly what "ALP rhetoric" do you have in mind?

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 07:28 PM

Mork, get back to me when you've done your background reading.

Posted by: GeoffM at September 23, 2003 at 08:47 PM

Such as . . . ?

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 09:43 PM

Thanks for asking Mork. There are a number of good introductory texts out there on Australian politics; I seem to recall one by Dean Jaensch, but I'd suggest you ask one of your teachers. If you go on to do Years 11/12, perhaps the History teachers would be best.

Really though, I think the newspapers are probably best. The problem is that it will take you some years to build up enough memory of the history of the political parties, the arguments they have advanced, the rhetoric espoused etc. Until then you may have trouble following such threads as these.

Nonetheless, I commend you for your obvious enthusiasm.

Posted by: GeoffM at September 23, 2003 at 10:08 PM

Geoff, superciliousness is for intelligent people.

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 11:01 PM

Mork said "Maybe you could point me to a party that promotes free market liberalism above all else. I'd definitely vote for that one"

Here you go Mork, the Liberal Democratic Party. Thanks in advance for your vote.

Posted by: Yobbo at September 23, 2003 at 11:02 PM

Jeez, Yobbo, if you're going to invite me to visit the site, don't you think you could have put up something like "Hi, Mork, thanks for visiting" instead of just "Our server is under-construction. Please check back at a later time"?

Posted by: Mork at September 23, 2003 at 11:18 PM

Here are a couple of questions for your next quiz night.

What were the two policy points of the ALP federally in 1903 (when they first got round to having a federal policy)?

Answer:
Empire Loyalty
and
White Australia.

Question two:
Which immigration minister said "Two Wogs don't make a White"?
Which party did he belong to?

Arthur Caldwell
ALP

Posted by: Bai Ren at September 23, 2003 at 11:59 PM

Hmmm ... the actual quote you're looking for is "two wongs don't make a white". It's funny ... the poor old geezer got a bum rap on that one. Everyone today assumes that he said it in the context of Asian migration, but if you read Hansard, it had nothing to do with immigration or even Asian people in general: it was just a straightforward play on two actual people's names in a completely unrelated context.

Few these days know or care that Calwell spoke fluent Mandarin, was a greatly sympathetic towards Asian nationalism and decolonisation, and was the architect of Australia's great post-war immigration program.

Posted by: Mork at September 24, 2003 at 12:14 AM

Mork,

Calwell was sympathetic to Asian nationalism because he wanted them all to stay over there. The great post-war immigration program of which he was architect was based on the White Australia Policy, which first sought to bring in nice fair-haired and blue-eyed Balts and only accepted darker and swarthier southern Europeans (like my parents and their families) under sufferance.

Decades later, Whitlam was still opposed to Asian immigration on political grounds when he referred to Vietnamese refugees as "fucking yellow Balts".

Posted by: steve at September 24, 2003 at 12:51 PM

F***ing yellow capitalist Balts - fleeing from the Communists, is what Whitlam meant.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 24, 2003 at 02:21 PM

Arthur Calwell could speak fluent Mandarin??

I heard him speaking in the flesh, and he could hardly speak fluent English.

Posted by: bai ren at September 24, 2003 at 07:49 PM

The reason that phuckers like Phil are offensive is that they espouse silly leftist hobbyhorses (such as environmentalism, welfare leaching, public sector sinecures, trade restrictions, subsidies, appeasement, unrestricted islamic infiltration etc.) which are abhorrent and detrimental to the ALP's traditional constituencies, even though they provide overpaid employment to whining middle class parasites and gratify their messianic delusions - all at the expense of ordinary working people. Because the noble savages keep turning bourgeois, the ALP keeps looking for greener pastures of disaffection among islamic fanatics, middle class losers, untalented artists and the like, oblivious to what most voters think on these issues. To add insult to injury, the ALP seem to think the masses are so stupid that they won't see through this.

Posted by: Clem Snide at September 24, 2003 at 09:37 PM

Ah shit Mork, look up one of Calwell's other comments: "I never want to see a chocolate coloured Australia". Incidentally, does anyone else recall the name of Whitlam's Aviation Minister, famous for recounting how he's once told the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea "I've told you sir, you can argue about it till you're black in the face, but it's that Ansett who's the nigger in the woodpile". Apparently that was the one time any member has reduced the entire House of Reps to silence (save, I assume, for the sound of jaws dropping). Meanwhile, Mork, do be a good boy and stay away from daddy's computer.

Posted by: National Party Headcase at September 26, 2003 at 08:44 PM