Sunday Sanity Break, 18 June 2017 - political dysfunction
The Weekend Oz has set a new standard for journalistic excellence. Three fine articles by Brendan O'Neill, Helen Trinca and the old master Paul Kelly. O'Neill's was the most original. A self-confessed 'Brexiteer' and genuine Democrat, he points out that the British elites have been trying to overturn the Brexit referendum from day one. He concludes: ' If Brexit is “softened” — that is, betrayed — then democracy in Britain will be bruised possibly beyond repair. The people will receive the message that we [the Brexiteers] don’t matter. We’re too stupid to matter. The softening of Brexit will be one of the most regressive and politically destructive things to have happened in this country in decades.
Read Brendan O'Neill's angry diatribe here. I must say I feel just like him in matters of Australia's economic policy. The elites of this game, Treasury and the RBA, have a dreadful recent (10 year) forecasting record and seem to me to be living in an outdated theoretical world is which fiscal policy ignores 'Headwinds' and monetary policy fails to take proper account of asset inflation or the need for policies apart from fiddling with cash rates. Yet there is little or no contact with people like Henry's editor who is a non-elite purely because of courage in sorting out a vindictive Treasurer Keating at Banana Republic time in the eighties.
Helen Trinca reports on a fine new book by Joan Williams called White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.
'What the white working class sees is the hollowing out of the middle class in the United States … They think neither Democrats nor Republicans have delivered for them, and their perception is absolutely correct.
'This talk they are voting against their own interests is a contemporary example of the stereotype, the idea they are dimwitted; it’s highly inappropriate.”
'Americans have a “convenient deafness” about class and prefer to see everyone as middle class. Williams splits class three ways — the top 20 per cent are the elites, the middle 53 per cent with a median income of $US75,144 in 2015 are the working class, and the remaining are poor. She is unapologetic about focusing on whites rather than people of colour, arguing that their often different cultural attitudes and needs have been ignored for too long'.
This article presents another blast about the elites and their alleged dimness and inability to see what is supposedly in their own interests. Here is a link to the full article that is warmly commended.
Paul Kelly discusses the 'Anglosphere crisis; the backlash against liberal excess'.
'Since the so-called Thatcher and Reagan revolutions that revitalised the two great transatlantic economies, a strange fate has befallen them — the US and Britain have succumbed to the downside of their success. They got drunk on complacency, excessive wealth and political hubris. The toll of public revenge is extracting a fearful price, with lots more to come'.
Kelly's long essay seems to me to discuss similar themes to those of O'Neil and Trinca/Williams. He concludes: In summary, populism has gone mainstream in the West and this is no accident. It constitutes a backlash by the nationalist/conservative/Somewhere tradition to the political and cultural power being mobilised by the progressive globalists.
'This conflict now runs through mainstream politics in Britain and the US. It is unlikely to dissipate any time soon'. Surely there are similar trends in many other western nations, including our small open economy at the southern end of the civilised world. How the Russians and Chinese must be enjoying the circus.
More here from last week's sanity break. Could all those distinguished writers by chanelling Henry?
Fitting to what appears to be this week's investigation into the politics of hope and aspiration, Fiona Prior sees Pablo Larraín’s biopic Neruda, a glimpse at the extraordinary life and volatile times of Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda. More here
The doughty Scots made the Wallabies look like they'd just enjoyed a good feed.
The Brazilians scored their first goal in 12 seconds, suggesting the Socceroos were not ready to go when the referee's starting gun (whistle?) went off. Then three more just to show how hard it will be for the Aussie Futballers to make it big on the world stage. Germany looms.
The Sunshine Coast Lightening netballers flogged the Giants in the first Super Netball Grand Final. More good news for Aussie shielas.
In the AFLM (M=Male) round 12, West Coast beat Geelong, St Kilda beat North Melbourne, the Swans downed Richmond, Port Adelaide comfortably disposed of Brisbane and the yound Caaaarlton! won a tight game against the Gold Coast Suns. Henry recently proposed the Blues for a 9th place finish, a prediction that at the time Caaaarlton! won a tight game against the Gold Coast Suns. Henry recently proposed the Blues for a 9th place finish, a prediction that at the time looked about as good as a Treasury budget, but no longer looks quite so silly.
Image of the week