Fear the bogan revolution
Richard Davoren writes: Re. “Bogans delight in pig-ignorance” (Friday). Mathew Cummins is spot on in his comments about the futility of attempting to educate bogans. I need to stress though, that Tasmanian bogans represent the gold standard, and we want to keep them on top! The new federal member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson is currently undertaking a survey around his electorate to determine the level of interest in the ABC and SBS and asking people if they watch these channels. Initially I assumed that the Liberals were keen to dismantle the ABC because it removes one layer from their shroud of secrecy. Now I am not sure. Like education, being informed is a pathway to greater understanding and that is something that the Liberals might not want as an outcome.
Peter Finnegan writes: The recent mention of bogans brought a wry smile to my puckered, aged face, having just returned from a short cruise with a well-known cruise line, on which the tidal flow of true-blue dinky-di bogans fluctuated daily. The uniform de rigueur is thongs, board shorts or similar, T-shirt or sleeveless singlet and a two-day growth. A cap is optional, sometimes with brim sideways or backwards, and daily showering also seems to be up for discussion. Two such glitterati entered our lift with beers in hand, one belched loudly and said “oh, that feels better” and the other’s body odour sent us fleeing for an open deck. You can work assiduously to avoid them, but when they start to turn up in the dining room at night for what is listed as a formal dinner wearing their uniform, all hope for a sane, sensible civilisation is lost.
Our hidden apartheid
Roger Keyes writes: Re. “Pilger’s paradise in forgotten Australia” (November 26). Matthew Knott calls the Langton-Pearson views “influential”. I wonder who is influenced by them other than those whose main interest is in whitefella exploration for exploitation and the capitalistic “business” agenda generally. These two have much to say about what they call “the left”, but they don’t seem to have a very rational response to the many who hold, with Pilger, that “like apartheid South Africa, reconciliation is not possible without justice … And this will only happen when the first Australians are offered a genuine treaty that shares this rich country — its land, its resources and opportunities. The benefit then will be mutual. For until we give back their nationhood we can never claim our own.” We can paper over or “move on” from the dispossession, dislocation, deprivation and murder all we like, but the stark truth is that our much-vaunted standard of living is based on the theft of the First Nations’ resources. Neither I, nor Pilger, or anyone else can possibly be expected to use anything but “extravagant and emotive language” as Knott seems to call direct expression in addressing such immorality.
Pay up now or risk bigger costs in the future
Les Heimann writes: “A test of government will as Qantas and Holden come begging” (Friday). Bernard Keane’s piece is quite contrary. On the one hand there is acknowledgement that our car industry is not subsidised anywhere near as much as other countries. Nonetheless, argues Keane, it shouldn’t be. We are not playing on level ground so we should not play at all? Tell that to all those Australians who will lose their jobs when Holden leaves. Tony Abbott stated he would give nothing to Holden’s owner General Motors and demanded they hurry up and make up their minds whether to stay or go. The politics are typical Abbott and typical free trader liberals refer to as “drys”. This mob have absolutely guaranteed that both South Australia and Victoria will slide right out of the Australian economic picture and suffer between them about 200,000 job losses over the next three or so years. Australia cannot afford to put that many people on the dole; and that’s where they will go because there aren’t any other jobs for them to go to. A disaster for Australia and an irresponsible approach to a solvable problem and worst of all — in fact absolutely unforgivable — the impact on so many Australian workers and their families. I can’t get my head around how these irrational free marketeers are such uncaring bastards. Australia is not the United States. In this country we tend to look after one another.