When are this nation’s Angry White Men going to get off their lackadaisical arses and dire up?
Dear LL – What is it with Australia’s apathetic blue-collar males? Their counterparts elsewhere in the world are burnishing flaming torches, harassing minorities, electing sinister ethno-nationalists and generally behaving like the atavistic fascists we all know them to be deep down. Which at least has the upside of allowing members of the intelligentsia in places such as the US and UK to perceive themselves as noble Dietrich Bonhoeffer types; dissidents heroically attempting to stop their societies degenerating into the kind of hellholes where 18C-style legislation might be repealed. Yet here in sleepy old Australia, I can still walk down the street with almost no chance of being surrounded by a mob of ocker tradies crowing that they’re “taking their country back” while ripping the beret from my head and insisting I sing Waltzing Matilda to prove my patriotism. I must ask: am I the only one enraged by the lack of reactionary backlash the Antipodean prole has managed to muster?
LL replies: Tell me about it, Paul! Do you think it’s easy being the leading progressive commentator in a nation where the conservative PM won’t even back up a member of his team when he states all teachers are shameless bludgers? Do you think I don’t long for the day when this stable democracy careens into Weimar-level fissiparousness? Even more gallingly, it seems even Australia’s oppressed minorities can’t show the initiative of their foreign counterparts and manufacture some hate crime hoaxes in the absence of any more authentic outrages. It appears the only hope for an ugly populist uprising down under lies in an armada of Syrian boatpeople descending, the new health minister outlawing McDonalds and Summernats forcing attendees to take part in feminist-consciousness-raising workshops. Fingers crossed!