Latte Leftie – 285

Latte Leftie wonders when the Left will get over its juvenile hero-worshipping of the salt-of-the-earth working man

Dear LL – What is it with hi-vis-vest-donning politicians and their long-running love affair with tradies? Surely anyone who’s ever renovated an Inner West terrace (and who among us hasn’t?) knows these despicable creatures are the most arrogant, avaricious, loudmouthed, swinish, tax-dodging and untrustworthy individuals imaginable. Actually, now I think about it, it makes perfect sense John Howard raised them up as culture heroes two decades ago. Nonetheless, I’m bemused a Left-Right war between real and fake tradies flared up during the election campaign. Surely there should now be bipartisan consensus around Australia joining the EU purely to flood the labour market with Croatian ‘chippies’, Polish pipelayers and Slovenian ‘sparkies’? And shouldn’t the ACCC have the power to jail for life any tradesman who fails to show up to provide a quote after a decent Australian has taken the afternoon off work to wait around for them?
Andrew, Petersham

LL replies: Hear, hear, Andrew! Nothing would smooth the transition from the mining boom and turbocharge ‘jobs and growth’ faster than slashing tradies’ wage from the current heart-surgeon level down the kind of remuneration enjoyed by that barista with a PhD in Cultural Studies who serves me my Peruvian goat’s milk macchiato every morning. Let’s see how concerned ‘Tony’s tradies’ are with the nasty Labor Party being mean to banks and people just trying to get ahead by negatively gearing their 15th investment property when they’re pulling down the pittance their forefathers were pathetically grateful to receive for mindless manual labour. In fact, it is just a pity there weren’t more current or erstwhile socialists running in seats other than Grayndler this election. At least under a dictatorship of the proletariat 21st century Australia’s answer to the Kulaks would be identified as the Joe the Plumber-style class enemies they truly are and quickly exiled to some hellish decommissioned refugee camp in the West Australian desert.