last night’s Crikey Christmas party failed to degenerate into racial
strife, self-satisfied staffers turned to speculating about whether
race riots could flare in our gentle southern capital.

like demographics, the lack of Sydney’s North-South divide, a more
responsible Melbourne media culture, and a greater separation in Sydney
between the “skippy” beach culture and the inner west “Lebbo” culture
than is apparent in Melbourne all came into play. Sydneysiders fought
back with the observation that there are no “real” beaches in
Melbourne, hence no venue for urban warfare.

It came down to
this comfortably simplistic analysis: in Sydney, they demonise their
Lebanese as gangsters and attack them on the beaches. In Melbourne we
elect them Premier.

But there is hope for our friends in Sydney. Last night was also opening night of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre’s Sedition exhibition,
which drew a big crowd from all over town, including many Liverpool
locals. This was Sydney’s west, often sneered at by the trendy east and
inner city – and jeered at by the bogans of Cronulla.