Blood on the Latte

latte.jpg

Writing in the SMH today, Edith Cowan Uni politics lecturer Peter Van Onselen and consultant Phil Senior call for Labor to focus on the bush. There are more rural/regional seats than outer metropolitan seats and Labor holds fewer of them.

But Labor can’t do that while the party is controlled by the inner-city latte set. It has become so narrow in its inner-city focus it has lost touch with its working-class roots in the bush as well as outer-metropolitan areas.

Yep – right, “working-class roots in the bush”.

Labor was strong in the bush in Queensland and New South Wales once upon a time because of the presence of a base of mine workers, railway workers, shearers and bush workers, often organised by the AWU. At state level, Labor is still competitive in rural and regional areas in NSW and particularly Queensland and Victoria where Beattie and Bracks won a swag of regional seats. So it’s true to say that Labor can do well here, but unfortunately too much of the argument sets up the tired old dichotomy of inner-city versus everyone else. There are also some fairly sweeping generalisations further on in the piece.

Our authors have apparently noticed that in outer-metropolitan areas:

Once the land of the blue-collar worker, probably a member of a union, voters in such areas are now more typically sub-contractors. Their increasingly aspirational outlook makes them less susceptible to the politics of class than the voters Labor traditionally has relied on. Their increasing small business bent draws them to the Liberal Party. Rather than reversing, this trend is only likely to get stronger.

Really? More typically? Is that so? It would perhaps have been helpful if the authors had a look at some of the ABS figures on employment category.

Oh, and the way to win over the bush? Labor “needs to tap into… fears”.

Fortunately, I suspect with Parliament having risen for the year, and Labor strategists dreaming of the beach and Christmas, no one but me is reading this kind of analysis…

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
This entry was posted in Politics - national, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
18 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rex
Rex
2022 years ago

This is just so much tosh, this ditch the latte left meme. They’ve become the new scapegoat.

A Channel Nine, Brisbane, Current affairs reporter, David Magen speaking at the “Straight of Brisbane Festival” made this claim. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/mediarpt/stories/s1259651.htm

“The chattering classes.. have a particular responsibility for their appalling contribution to life in Australia. And I’m talking about the politically-correct, inner-city elites who stamp their feet when John Howard’s re-elected”

Now what sort of rubbish is this statement? Why is the chattering classes contribution any less appalling than the aspirational’s contribution, or the Poer elite’ contribution?

Lets’ look at who’s been giving the ALP advice on ditching the Latte Left.

Christian Kerr
http://www.crikey.com.au/politics/2004/10/18-0002.html

Glenn Milne, Bill Shorten (and Rupert Murdoch)
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,11455997,00.html

Michael O’Connor (CFMEU) & Andrew Bolt
http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2004/s1253178.htm

It looks like a frame up job to me. Right wing unions are getting the support of media outlets who are trying to cover up their pre election waffle. A second and more sinister agenda being to kill off the moralising of the chattering classes while they are on the mat.

They are trying to cow them into silence.

I say rise up, toss the lattes and the chardonnay to one side, recognise that you to are a worker, are you have a right to be heard. Don’t give up the fight and don’t give up the ALP to union cronyism.

Its this so called

Guy
Guy
2022 years ago

So much media analysis in the wake of the last election seems to be focused on identifying a single scapegoat or class thereof. If only the reality was so simplistic.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

On yer Rex!

James Farrell
James Farrell
2022 years ago

If you googlescholar (thanks again, Scott) this Van Onselen, you find his special interest is electioneering strategy. Hence the preoccupation with getting effective messages through to particular groups. So I wouldn’t get too upset. The science of spin has no necessary connection with reality.

By the way, is that thing what Brisbanites call a caffe latte? I thought it was only beer portions you had idiosyncartic names for.

Peter Murphy
2022 years ago

The simple, honest latte is the stupidest scapegoat in the world. It’s not even a inner-city thing any more. You can get them in suburbia, and you can even get them at roadhouses and country towns. Many pubs even have a coffee machine available. What do the journos want – a return to the two spoons of Nescafe and powdered milk?

David Tiley
2022 years ago

It’s all their management gives them. Pabulum Pablo.

Graham
2022 years ago

Hell yeah. Paragon Cafe, Goulburn, a must-stop… Also, any damn bakery in the towns around Albury. The coffee at the Yackandandah bakery’s pretty good, not to mention the Neenish tarts… (Mind you, I think latte’s are silly, and am just happy with a ordinary flat white.)

As for Labor picking up seats in the bush, what they need is good, solid, popular local candidates – something which they’ve underestimated the importance of, in deference to faceless bruvvers in many cases. Policies are a start, but having someone who can articulate them with regard to the local angle without the bullshit is just as important. It’s worth noting that recruiting local talent (rather than local timeservers) is something that the Liberals do very well in comparison.

There might be also some ground to cover with the National’s unspoken disconnect with their coalition partners – their social outlook might be fairly similar, but differences in each party’s approach towards the economy are, well, odd…

Aside from “seachange” seats (eh), though, most rural seats need something like a 10-20% swing to budge them.

Nic White
2022 years ago

That picture is awesome.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

Graham is right – lattes are stupid. Flat white with burnt fingers.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

I’m a flat white boy myself. Never had a latte in my life… quite seriously, not once….

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
2022 years ago

Aaah, those lattes are spreading like cane-toads, their gobbling up all those other forms of life. What chance is there for the Chico Roll and the Battered Sav when these communistic coffee connisseurs spread their pervasive influence.

But this is just the start, next there will be a proliferation of Dendy Theatres into the comfortable world of the white-picket fence. Life will never be the same again when those unfortunates from the suburbs find that some art-house flick from Turkmenistan has replaced “Garfield, the Cat”. Civilisation is rooned, Aaaaahhh.

Graham
2022 years ago

I just noticed I’ve been guilty of the greengrocers’ apostrophe up there. Something about comments boxes really stuff’s my proofreading…

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“What chance is there for the Chico Roll and the Battered Sav when these communistic coffee connisseurs spread their pervasive influence?”

You rebrand. The Chiko Roll becomes an earthy peasant blend of wholesome Provencal fare wrapped in 91% fat-free, near-filo pastry – the fact that it was a culinary concept dreamed up by a boiler maker in Wagga is de-stressed.

The battered sav is reborn as an Argentinian aphrodisiac originally devised as a campfire food by lonely gauchos out on the Pampas. The hearty, organically-produced beef heart is wrapped in a Pacific fusion Tempura batter and served with a latte.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

I bet someone is doing a doctorate on Garfield as suburban metaphor as we speak. Or write. Between the two is the liminal dystopia encoded by the perfect lasagna.

Guido
2022 years ago

Anyway is a Caffelatte not a latte! (or a lah teh as many pseudo trendys call it).

You can ask for a latte in Italy and all you’ll get is a glass of milk.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Hmm, yes, it looks like a flat white but was labelled latte.jpg – must indeed be Queensland beverage terminological confusion!

Alan
Alan
2022 years ago

I thought Latho was going to race to the Lodge by pur

Francis Xavier Holden
2022 years ago

its funny – here in Melbourne most of our last tranche of (semi)organised crims were blown away, whacked, done over, either just after, during or just before, having a latte.

They hung around Lygon St Carlton and certainly were an inner city latte set but most only had a degree from Coburg College, Bluestone University or a Jike Jika Masters