“Isolated and angry” an apt descriptor of Far South Sydney’s [pen]insular white trash? Err, no it actually refers to residents of geographical middle Sydney.
Of course, The Australian‘s headline is meant to refer to cultural, rather than geographical isolation. But other than in respect of skin colour, how different are the residents of the two Federal electorates of Cook (which takes in Cronulla) and Watson (which takes in Lakemba)?
Academic James Jupp seems to think that they are strongly differentiated by levels of education, and therefore employment and income:
“The Lebanese have been left behind compared with other groups such as the Chinese, Vietnamese, Greeks and Jews,” says James Jupp, director of the Centre for Immigration & Multicultural Studies at the Australian National University. “Their level of education and therefore their level of employment and employability are lower than average … they are still in the classical ghetto situation. So there is a lot of resentment there: they haven’t done terribly well and they feel that they are not being treated like Australians and that they are being picked on.” (same URL)
To me, the 5000 or so white pride rioters on Sunday didn’t look like they had too many, if any, university degrees between them. And sure enough, the respective proportions of adults with post-secondary education aren’t strongly differentiated (the figure for Watson is 36%, which is about the national average, while Cook’s figure of 45% is left in the dust by the electorates of Melbourne (51% – but with a higher unemployment rate than that of Watson, BTW) and Sydney (60%).
So the residents of Cronulla are slightly more educated than those of Lakemba. What Jupp fails to account for is where this extra education was hiding on Sunday. Also missing from Jupp’s analysis is that the economic success of the “Chinese, Vietnamese, Greeks and Jews” compared to the Lebanese must logically also be observed in respect of Sydney’s Anglo-Celts (to use home ownership and tertiary education rates as two concrete measures here).