Stop the boats Westies

Kevin Rudd got elected in 2007 by convincing people that he was a slightly younger and more vigorous version of nerdy John Howard, with similar conservative policies except that he would abolish that nasty Work Choices legislation and introduce some fairly meaningless warm and fuzzy window-dressing like apologising to the Stolen Generations and ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

Tony Abbott just got elected by similarly convincing people that he was merely a more disciplined, authoritative version of Rudd/Gillard with very similar conservative policies and a handful of meaningless but macho slogans like stop the boats, stop the waste and build the roads of the 21st century. ((which actually seems to mean spending pretty much the same amount as Labor on infrastructure but diverting it from railways to roads so we can move the traffic jams a couple of kilometres further up the road. ~ KP))

It now emerges that the rather more practically significant macho slogan that Tony failed to mention was “stop the Westies from going to uni“.  Good job too! Manifestly the only way to restore flagging academic standards is to reserve university places for all those thoroughly decent chaps and chapettes from Shore, Riverview, MLC and Scotch College, while relegating the Westies to their ordained social place in TAFE- certified occupations, burger-flipping and waiting in dole queues. Ill-considered resentment on the part of the lumpen proletariat is to be avoided through early implementation of time-honoured tactics of mass distraction like firing up the Culture Wars and History Wars to get them hating arty- farty and intellectual “elites” instead of their real enemies.

Meanwhile, the vanquished Australian Labor Party is busily experimenting with pseudo-democracy by staging a rank-and-file ballot for parliamentary leadership between two almost equally shop-soiled union/factional heavyweights.  I think I might go out and buy one of those Aussie Pride T-shirts and find a quiet pub in which to reflect on my good fortune.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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7 Responses to Stop the boats Westies

  1. derrida derider says:

    the only way to restore flagging academic standards is to reserve university places for all those thoroughly decent chaps and chapettes from Shore, Riverview, MLC and Scotch College

    Nonsense, sir. The way to restore academic standards is to direct funding away from from those ghastly western suburbs schools and spend it on better rugger fields for Shore, Riverview, MLC (oh alright, hockey fields …) and Scotch College. It’s the only way to build decent chaps and chapettes.

    That Gonski chap really let the side down in helping that working class parvenu of a PM, but fortunately we now have a Cabinet of old boys who can be trusted to know what matters.

  2. Alan says:

    I could wish for a more open field than Shorten and Albanese, but we’ve gpt what we’ve got.

    I am relieved the right did not try to abolish the internal primary in favour of using their caucus numbers to install Shorten. Once one Labor leader has been elected rather than appointed the prospect of abolishing the system will be zero, zip, nada. Equally importantly, because they are making public appeals to a party members, both candidates will be forced to forced to make different arguments to the expanded electorate than they would have made to the caucus.

    The NZ labour party has just been through the same process, though with a different electoral college (40% MPs, 40% party members, 20% affiliated unions) and found the process very beneficial to the party.

    Opening up the leadership process may be the best thing to come out of this mess for Labor. Next time we can hope for a wider field.

  3. Wun Farlung says:

    You have to wonder what the reaction will be like when the Westies find out in lieu of higher education and the aspirations that accompany, they are expected to do the cleaning, shopping trolley collecting, aged care and taxi driving etc

  4. Thomas the Tout says:

    Ken – is this a diatribe written in haste?( It is way below your usual standard).

    Do you contend that everyone and anyone should have a University degree?

    And is your argument based on geography? I ask because I am ignorant of what is available in the western suburbs of Sydney.

    On the other hand, it was the ALP Govt that put up economic barriers to stop most regional and rural dwellers from attending a tertiary institution unless it was in their ‘backyard’. Some unbelievable stuffing around with pre-conditions to receive living away allowances, and a long wait for the problem to be ‘fixed’.

    I am not sorry to see the Libs take govt, even though some of their policies may not be to our liking. But the last lot were so self-serving that they had to go – you cannot serve the community if you are too busy serving yourself.

    • whyisitso says:

      Diatribe is a bit complimentary, Thomas.

      As a Sydney westie, I can see the sandalista elitist (credit to Gerard for the terminology) in Ken coming out strongly, particularly in his assumption that us Westies aren’t smart enough to qualify for Uni on a level playing field.

      The Manly-Warringah in him treats us all as fibro-dwelling cavemen. If on his next visit to Sydney he were to venture past Parramatta, he’ll find that the outer western suburbs house some highly aspirational (another hated word of the sandalistas) citizens who live in what he and his ilk like to sneeringly call macmansions. Shockingly materialist of course, comparing ill with the inner city elites who live in their 3-million-dollar restored terraces and kid themselves that they have low-carbon-footprints as they fly around the world for their various conferences.

      We do have an excellent university here (called The University of Western Sydney).

  5. derrida derider says:

    it was the ALP Govt that put up economic barriers to stop most regional and rural dwellers from attending a tertiary institution unless it was in their ‘backyard’.

    Up to a point, Lord Copper.

    What about the $4k lump sum payment for those who’ve had to move to study? Or the lowering of the age of independence for Youth Allowance? True, the work-based conditions for independent rates of Youth Allowances were changed to make it harder to fund a gap year at taxpayer expense but at the same time they were eased for many others, including those coming from the bush.

  6. murph the surf. says:

    Put up barriers or removed free access?
    Could we afford to go back to that scheme for citizens ?

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