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Barbarians to Baronets?

Barbarians to Baronets; Conservative aspirations in Australia.

In several articles of late, and even on one blog-site to which I was once, regretfully, a regular contributor, I have been “corrected” in my terminology of naming many of the LNP and their hangers-on as “middle-class” when, if one can believe ones detractors, I should have used the term; “upper middle-class”, because, you see … many tradies now consider themselves of the middle-classes. And one just couldn’t imagine oneself mixing with such common folk, m’Lord!

Well, suck my wellies and call me Barnaby! A tradie is middle-class now do you mind? In your bleedin’ dreams, Brenton (or whatever your name is!). All this shit about status and class … and here in Oz, FFS! Don’t try to bung on side with this old carpenter. You get your hands dirty with labour, be it hard or soft. You’re on wages, you’re on piece-work … you’re working class. You’re a professional – as in consultative or managerial or ownership/employer you’re middle-class. And that’s ALL you are, be you the local hardware on the corner, or Gina The Hutt. You’re middle-class. Even that dozy dreamer from Point Piper with all the shrewd judgement of a seasoned meth’ addict is just a middle-class schmuck.

All this bullshit of dividing the classes into sub-groups is just some pitiful attempt by some who want to “elevate” their status from little snob to pompous arsehole! There’s a lot of them … usually from some Latin-logo’d private school that was more interested in screwing up the minds and bodies of their charges than delivering a decent education. But that’s another subject. What we are concentrating on here is the exposure of a sinister and foolish direction by the conservative movement in Australia, not necessarily to destroy the unions and suppress the working classes, but rather, it would seem, a convoluted and deluded ambitious path to create a new aristocratic order in Australia. And that, by necessity demands the restructuring of the classes in the nation to the three levels of social order required of the class system:

1) Aristocratic class.

2) Middle class.

3) Working class.

If you are of the working class reading this, you are probably thinking; ”That is absurd!” and of course it is. Of course it is, to you and me it is just crazy! But you think back over the behaviour of those LNP ministers and their behaviour – remember Speaker Slipper and his donning of the old trappings of the position, including the dress-code? – and then there’s the Bishops and the Turnbulls and the Prof’ Flints and that gross Alan Jones! All the bastards in the front bench (except Barnaby … you can’t pin this on Barnaby … except perhaps the Idiot Son!) … and you remember Murdoch, the “dirty digger” … when he was a “digger” who would’ve sold his arse for just a dab of the Royal Parkinson Sword on each shoulder … as it is all he could get was some second rate chit from the Pope … no doubt recalling those halcyon days of the Holy Roman Empire. Keerist! What a panoply of strange fruit! And all of them aspiring to levels far above their station; of a rut full of sewerage! Mind you, I kind of wonder if they are even consciously aware of their movement in the direction of aspiring aristocracy, and are in reality just obeying the age-old subconscious imperative of upward-mobility from barbarian leader to barbarian chief to barbarian king … the need for control and authority the driving force behind their many delusions.

Because if you think back to the days of Malcolm Fraser and the overthrow of the Whitlam government, it was not by democratic means, but rather with the assistance of The Crown intervention, using a set of anachronistic principles in place from a time of regal-aristocratic dominance to “legitimize” the treason – “Dieu et Mon Droit” – with that top-hatted, drunken scut playing the role of My Lord Chancellor to the LNP rodents scurrying around the back door of Yarralumla! God help us all. We shoulda laid out the rat-poison for the lot!

And then to The Mad Monk; Abbott bestowing knighthood upon the Consort Royal of the Queen of bleedin’, bloody England do-you-eff-ing-mind! And on Australia Day to boot! Squeeze his nuts and tell ‘im he’s dreamin’. Can there be an any more absurd gathering of dupes and mongrels throughout the entire catalogue of human history – and I include Caligula and cl’-cl’-Claudius in that little collection – than the LNP? Because if Abbott didn’t do that dirty little deed because he thought he was in a position almost equal to the Regal Monarch of his and Robert Menzies “Motherland” then I’ll go “eck!”

And this conservative delusion of grandeur is being absorbed into the general acceptance of society, where with the advent of “reality TV” and many film and video media portraying a fantasy of rags to riches or poverty to prince/princess, we get a blurring of reality where many people who are surviving on barely a living wage begin to flatter themselves as part of a bigger dynasty of pomp and circumstance … a situation I would think is to the benefit of the conservative movement’s voting advantage, having all these wannabes doffing the cap and tugging the fore-lock to the Laird of the Manor: ”Vote 1 – LNP”.

Time for a reality check, my little chickadees. All those slavey f#ckers out there in the Oz sunshine better get a grip on who they really are and not who they think they are and to what class they belong and join up to your local union, because before too much time has passed, we are going to get a serve of their Lordship’s shit on a platter with low wages, off-shored jobs, on-shored 457 visa $4 @ hour workers and a complete cut in social services so we can all gather in the village hall as serfs in the feudal kingdom of the “born to rule” class to receive the next serve of shit-sandwiches. And if you think that’s the end of it, think again, for there’s still around 75 more items on the little IPA wish-list circulating around LNP headquarters and on the wall of Twiggy and Gina’s and Rupert’s creatures offices. And if any of us think that we are going to get special consideration because we have self-elevated ourselves from working-stiff to middle-class stiff, then … well … STIFF!

You can guarantee those by-products of Delhi-belly in the conservative movement are not looking for too many fellow travelers in their Broughams and carriages, after all, there’s only so many times one has the inclination to wave one’s wrist in appreciation of the masses gathered to worship. For the rest, one feels compelled, when one meets such on the pavement, to drop a handy fiver or such into their begging bowl, because, y’see, t’s the kind of bloke you are.

Nope, you can hope or demand all you like, but there is only two classes of society in Australia: working-class and middle-class. And as for the rest, you’re just whistling into the wind, me old china. Whistling into the wind …


  1. John Boyd

    Don’t hold back….tell us what you really think!

  2. Joseph Carli

    What do I really think?…There was nothing wrong with Norm Gallagher and the BLF…good stuff, good people!

  3. isw

    You put a grim smile on my face, thanks.

  4. helvityni

    My sister in law of Russian background calls any rich peasant ‘would be if could be’….My Dutch mother in law was very proud of her sons who were all according to her, ‘real tradesmen’, I wonder what an unreal one would look like…

    My lovely dad was a reluctant farmer, being the eldest of the siblings, his interest were more of a bookish kind, and he was determined that all his nine children got university degrees… Uni was more or less free, and we worked during the summer holidays to pay for lodgings..

    Those real tradies were all good earners and true to their Dutch heritage sensible with money and have all done well ( financially) in the world…

    I don’t quite know into which Aussie class I now belong, coming from a background, where from a farmer to doctor was one uni course away, not generations….classless sounds good.

  5. Roswell

    You have heaps of class, helvityni.

  6. lawrencewinder

    Moi Deer Fellah, It’s only the natural progression as of the old, long lost and lamented feudal system coming back into play. Robber Barons have need of status emboldening symbols to cement their obvious authority over the peasants… just look at how they went delirious over the anniversary of the death of that near commoner, Di. It is also useful to deflect attention from our utterly (appropriate for us) methods of maximizing our wealth.
    Be a good chap, and peel be a grape?

  7. John Holmes

    I would suggest that the term “Squatoracy” also is highly descriptive of those who stop at little to put upon those who are deemed to be less deserving. The description of Rural Socialism is very apt as well. “Socialize the losses, and privatize the profits”

    An example of the consequences of these attitudes is the tendency of this group to send their children off to private schools which decreases the amount of monies spent in the local schools for education (less kids, smaller schools).

    Of course the main reason is to ensure that they grow up in the correct mating circles and mate-ship circles. Funny how some pride them selves as stud breeders.

  8. David Bruce

    Why am I reminded of an old newspaper cartoon showing a line up of pigs, with snouts in the trough and LNP branded on each of their rumps?

  9. kerri

    I rather think that the intentions of the present mob of seat polishers in the parliament is to replicate the Indian Caste system for not only do they regard themselves as above the rest of us, but through negative gearing, higher university fees and lower wages they work to keep our children members of the caste they were born into. They deliberately crush every opportunity for improvement to today and tomorrow’s youth whilst using taxpayer funds to prop up their peers with overpaid positions that they are both unqualified for and unsuited to.

  10. Joseph Carli

    A damn good tribute..

    Too Old to Rat
    Or, The Old Unionist

    Henry Lawson, 1912

    I don't care if the cause be wrong.
    Or if the cause be right —
    I've had my day and sung my song,
    And fought the bitter fight.
    In truth, at times I can't tell what
    The men are driving at,
    But I've been Union thirty years,
    And I'm too old to rat.

    Maybe, at times in those old days
    Remembered now by few,
    We did bite OR in various ways
    Much more than we could chew —
    We paid, in sodden strikers' camps
    Upon the black-soil flat;
    We paid, in long and hungry tramps —
    And I'm too old to rat.

    The Queensland strike in Eighty-nine,
    And Ninety's gloomy days —
    The day the opera comp'ny sang
    For us the "Marseillaise",
    The sea of faces stern and set,
    The waiting "bitter cup",
    The hopeless hearts, unbeaten yet,
    The storm cloud rushing up.

    The fighting, dying Boomerang
    Against the daily Press;
    The infant Worker holding out;
    The families in distress;
    The sudden tears of beaten men —
    Oh! you remember that! —
    Are memories that make my pen
    Not worth its while to rat.

    I've wept with them in strikers' camps
    Where shivered man and beast;
    I've worn since then the badge of men,
    Of Hell! and London East!
    White faces by the flaring torch!
    Wraith wives! — the slaves of Fat!
    And ragged children in the rain —
    Yes! — I'm too old to rat!

  11. Joseph Carli

    Here..I’ll throw in my tuppence worth…

    The Hill of Content.

    There’s rowdy celebration
    In the houses of Beaumont.
    There’s champagne corks a poppin’
    Amid cherry faces of content.

    But there’ll be no smiling faces
    In the lowland avenues,
    Just wasted young people treading
    The weary paths to local dole queues.

    There’ll be a dozen new dreams fostered
    In well appointed offices.
    Their well-fed lucky children
    Safely tucked in colleges.

    But there’ll be no dreams for children
    Of the outer city sprawl,
    Save the dream of permanent income
    From the social welfare maw.

    And you can’t help having contempt
    For those folk on “content hill”,
    When they ravish “well-stocked tables”
    While we swallow the bitter pill.

  12. stephengb2014

    Thank you Joseph, you have given me a whole new perspective of Norm Gallagher,so called

    I too apposed the accord – I knew what would mean, and I spent the next 30 years fighting the productivity offsets and fighting to retain hard won conditions, usually having to settle for a meager 2 to 3 percent raise in exchange for losing some other condition like afternoon tea, and usually with agreements made 12 and 15 months after the expiry of the last enterprise agreement.

    I have never lost my worker status, even when becoming a public servant. My bosses hated me and tried many times to bribe me in some way.

    I wonder about our current ALP, but am delighted with noises the UK Labour party are making under Corbyn, at least something is rubbing off onto Bill Shorten – is it enough, probably not, but we have to go with Bill now .

    I hope enpugh current ALP MPs can still see the light on the hill.

    S G B

  13. Phil

    Good writing Joseph C – I share your contempt for the purveyors of class. The Norm Gallagher tribute was a good link too – what a character and what a stalwart – we owe him much. Apart from a few surviving unions today – CFMEU being one such – the majority of our fellow working Australians are disorganised, timid and frightened – easily manipulated and divided by the politics of fear and deciet – captive to digital screen technologies they are soft and malleable – easy prey. Perhaps this is inevitable and we can but sit by and observe, and lament? Has the fire of militancy gone out for working Australians? I think it still splutters but I have no idea what will it take to get it burning again.

    I am inclined to think that cultural vigour is almost spent in the old anglo-Australian population. The best hope we have is to positivley harness the inherent vigour that is already here from earlier waves of migrants and that arrives today with every boat and plane load of refugees and other migrants from cultures that have not yet succumbed to the vigour sapping corporate consumerism.

    I see no useful future for the conservatives in a new Australia – to hell with their old ways and their thuggery.

  14. Freetasman

    Good points Joe, I agree with you, unfortunately the minority has the control of the majority because far to many in that majority are prepared to step above each other to go to “one class above”
    There is no doubt that the strategy of the “elite class in command” have used the greed and ignorance of the people to divide them.

  15. wam

    When I started work, bond, not the crook but the cotton, set the class.

    There were 3 classes workers, middle and those who had servants or treated people as if they were servants.

    Some tradies were x-dressers blue by day and white by night.

    By the 60s many tradies had switched to builders and ditched the blue for the loose weave of the white,

    These forged the menzian alliance that keeps electing such crappy governments,

  16. Joseph Carli

    When you see the gormless stupidity of the behaviour of the wealthy politicians like Palmer, and Turnbull, added to those CEO’s getting millions per year…When you see the unrestrained greed of those corporations gouging the public and their government and the LNP govt’ doing little or nothing to stop them, you get to understand the complicity between the private education institutions, the business networks, the banking system and the corrupt politicians that “sieve” the humans out who can “make it” in the totally corrupt mercantile world of wealth gathering. There is no measure of cruelty and corruption that will not be tried and tested to milk the public purse for all it is worth.
    While those with wealth will guard such from those they consider unworthy and worthless, it is really the undeserving wealthy who are deserving of our scorn…THEY are the real filth of humanity.

  17. Freetasman

    Yes Joe, but the sad reality is that they will be nothing if was not for the greed, ignorance and consumerism of the majority.

  18. Joseph Carli

    But , Freetasman… the majority’s behaviour cause or effect?…I have the belief that the vast majority of working people would be quite content with a secure job, decent wages and the weekend off to relax and do their “own thing”.

  19. stephengb2014

    I am retired now, I have been fortunate, apart from a relatively short period of real poverty, I have lived reasonably well. Throughout my working life I enjoyed an ever increasing levels of income, but I noted that there was always something that I desired that I couldn’t quite afford.(yes desired not needed). So I think the desire for more is ever present in most people.

    Now I am retired my income is a third of my final income, its not struggle street, but I have had to retink my priorities, and realise that we “need” quite a lot less than we desire!

    Yes I think most people would be content with enough money to live with reasonable comfort, but when I say ‘most’ we have to remember that enough people voted initially ,and then back, into power the greed orientated idiology for our government! So that I have to suggest that ‘most’ is not by many.

    S G B

  20. Freetasman

    Joe, you have been in the work force enough to know the attitude “I am Ok, bugger you Jack” and for that reason among others the unions have lost members.
    I would change your sentence: vast majority of working people would be quite content with a secure job, decent wages and the weekend off to relax and do their “own thing”. by the majority would be quite content as an individual with a secure job and decent wages and not prepared to risk them to support the struggle of others.
    You will see that when people star applying for jobs in Amazon warehouse in Victoria.

  21. Joseph Carli

    Freetasman..I cannot let this article finish with such a cynical comment. I will not say that you are entirely incorrect, because it is true that I , and I suspect most readers here HAVE witnessed such an attitude as the “I’m alright Jack” one…But then THAT is where good national / local leadership example comes into play…We see time and again where an individual or group will put their own comforts aside to help others in times of crisis. We have awards for those individuals who show extraordinary strength of character in such emergencies…they are rightfully rewarded..but when we have successive right-wing governments that divide the community to promote individual “success stories” based on monetary or assets of wealth accumulations, that usually involve certain sleigh-of-hand financial manipulations over service to community, then we are going to see more citizens opt for the “glittering prize” rather than local respect.
    A sad result in any society.
    I am an idealist, I have seen good works done for the greater mass of people and I continue to strive to that end, as I do believe most , in their heart of hearts, also aspire to. ‘Tis better to be thought worthy amongst one’s close companions than be praised highly amongst many strangers.

    May I offer (if I be so bold) this little parable..:

  22. helvityni

    1) Aristocratic class.

    2) Middle class.

    3) Working class.

    I for sure haven’t met any ‘aristocratic’ people in Oz; well plenty of rich, poor, and some hovering between those two, the aspirational, people who start in the Western suburbs, and in two or three suburb changes, house sales, want to move into the so called top one…

    Lately a new class has been added to the list, consisting of, the homeless, the jobless, the desperate, the ones without hope…

  23. Jane

    What a beautifully written article. Thank you.

  24. Freetasman

    Joe, with all my respects, I do not agree with the “cynical” I’m realistic and based my views in the history of humanity and past personal experience.
    It is nice to be idealistic and also optimistic but as long as we live in a country where materialism and consumerism in excess it is possible, as long as that consumerism and materialism have caused that people sold out their freedom by lock up in debts I am convinced that I am close to be correct.

  25. Joseph Carli

    Freetasman..As I wrote above; I wouldn’t say that you are INCORRECT, but again, if I can draw on MY experience with my own self in “situations”..: If “truth” is the wanton display by the majority of ostentatious consumerism and cruel intent, then surely it is better to live within one’s personal belief in your own good intentions than join in a riot of greed? After all..we here are in the majority witnesses to crass indifference and want to work to alleviate that.

  26. Craig Daniels

    Hi Joseph
    Apart from the fact that I live in Beaumont SA, I agree with all you say. I hate the term ‘aspirationals’ with a passion and I hate other demographic/marketing divisions as well. Of course massive state apparatuses, corporations both public and private have also muddied the waters from Marx’s day but I couldn’t agree more about your insistence that if you sell your labour, you are working class. Of course there’s always the ‘petite bourgeoisie’. There are plenty of proletarians who have escaped the confines of their class or not depending on how you define class. I don’t think this is a sin or some sort of class betrayal, except when they deliberately become class enemies. Class is a bit like ‘race’. It’s a social construct. Marx was arguing in a particular philosophically dialectic rather than totally binary universe. I reckon C Wright-Mills provides a bridge.


  27. jimhaz

    [the majority of our fellow working Australians are disorganised, timid and frightened]

    We have been dragged down further than would otherwise have been the case by excessive immigration over the last 2 decades as new immigrants are more timid as a group on IR matters. Neo-cons have found it so easy to manipulate the working population. Without such high immigration creating a divide and conquer affect I’m sure they would have found much more resistance and slower social regression. Generally speaking Immigrants are also more inclined towards authoriarian types. The same neocon induced problems have applied to the UK – but less so in northern European countries that have had much lower immigration over the same period.

    Even the costs of housing through immigration demand makes timid and frightened employees.

    The left needs to stop being pro-high immigration.

  28. Joseph Carli

    Craig…Yes..Beaumont HAS seen a kind of generational regression from what was once THE suburb for the aspirational professional to a sedate retirees suburb, while the more younger hipster set has moved more to the near hills suburbs, I have to concede that the distinctions between the classes can confuse even myself with some in my own family attempting to “don the cloak of conceit” of superiority from what was once the poorest of the poor to ostentatious display. A sad retreat from feelings of insecurity in my opinion..and indeed, I suspect that iron has entered the soul of one or two and they now vote against their fellows in class from this deluded sense of attainment..alas!.

    I have tried to live by the rule of ; Instead of increasing ones consumption of throwaways, one ought to reduce ones “overhead” of reliance upon un-reusables. But that may just be a personality thing..I have never liked working for someone elses living rather than using my labour for my own…a circumstance I was able to put into practice with my trade..not everyone’s capacity , unfortunately.

    jimhaz..While I have to agree that the newly arrived migrant can be intimidated against protest by the fact of where they have in many cases escaped from and first contact with a govt’ that demands some sort of debt-guilt from them, I don’t agree to stop immigration, but rather to let the union movement have first contact in any new workplace to recruit the immigrant and let them know their rights as a citizen of this nation…after all, it is not the political party nor the corporation that owns the nation..THEY are usually only the beneficiaries of circumstance.

  29. Jane

    Joseph Carli: Sorry no second prizes.

  30. Joseph Carli

    ” Sorry no second prizes.”….Hey!…that’s my line!

  31. Jane

    Joseph Carli: Well stop pomping your way through life; you just haven’t got it.

  32. Joseph Carli

    “pomping”..!!??…What the f#ck is THAT?

    “If you go to a Southern school, you know that Homecoming week brings the arrival of the dreaded activity known as “pomping.”

    What is pomping? Pomping is the action of rolling sheets of tissue paper into tiny paper balls. The “pomps” as they are called, are then glued one by one onto cardboard to create elaborate lawn decorations on campus that follow the Homecoming theme.”

    Please explain?

  33. Jane

    Pretending to be an intellectual and an arty writer like the author – you just haven’t got it. Thus, sorry no second prizes.

  34. Joseph Carli

    Like the author of what..this article above?

  35. Freetasman

    Mannaggia!!! que cosa fa Jane? if you do not like Joe articles exercise your freedom of choice.
    It is not the happy hour yet!

  36. Jane

    Joseph Carli: Oh you’re the same person. That comment that you left was complete shit and completely unrecogniseable from the article. What happened? You got lost in your ego.

  37. Joseph Carli

    Awww, jeeeesus!…why me!?…I was giving a polite, civil reply to his comment in regards to my article..I know Beaumont, and I have to concede some points in regard to my own effing family! want me to lie about my own experiences…? if I was to deny some valid points from commentators, THAT would be shit!…I can give and take on these issues…dammit!…anyway, whats your gripe in the comment I left?..YOU don’t get a free run just by calling something “shit”…give us your take or STFU !

  38. Jane

    Joseph Carli: Yes fair comment.

    You know how you can read some things they feed you. The author is…. aligned within themselves. It was clear and passionate and simple and beautifully written. It was smooth and smart and a delight to read – besides the fact that I agreed with what you were saying.

    Then, in your comment, you became what you had been castigating. It hurt my head and my being. It resonated with pomposity. Beautiful article, just don’t be a dick.

  39. Roswell

    Who the hell is your new friend, Joe? ?

  40. Joseph Carli

    Aww, caught me as I was practising one of the five daily pacha mah yagas of the day…If you look to the time that comment that you despise was put up, you’ll notice it was around midday…which was when I was practising my Nara yaga..: ” To serve guests with love, respect, and reverence (Nara Yaga). This practice is the basis for the traditional hospitality of Hindu households.” So I felt it incumbant upon myself to show even jimhaz that respect and love that I now dedicate to yourself as a fellow karmic being in this beautiful universe. So I ask you to practice the Brahma yaga.. “This practice refreshes one’s mind with sacred knowledge and also helps to preserve and enrich such knowledge.”
    Go now in peace , my sacred one.

    …and stop giving me the shits!!

  41. Jane

    Oh what a shame I saw that comment. I really admired the person i saw in the article …..but that isn’t who you are.

  42. Joseph Carli

    Oh, Jane…so it was only shallow flattery?…well, life has taught me, and here you prove the maxim that : “The road between flattery and mockery is VERY short and VERY straight”…that’s one of can quote me whenever you wish…why, it could even be seen as a kind of flattery!

  43. Roswell

    Jane, you seem hell-bent on attacking the messenger rather than discussing the message. That’s rather poor form and not accepted here.

  44. Joseph Carli

    Seriously, Jane..i don’t deliberately go around making enemies of everyone…if i did, I’d have very few friends…(oh, wait!)…if you liked the article, and THAT is what I believe..then good, perhaps discuss..I am still the same person who wrote the article and lived the life..I won’t insult anyone who wants to contradict me, but I have this working-class chip on the old shoulder that seems to dig a splinter into me when I get must know how it is..Here..another article I put up here explaining my anger.. ;

  45. Michael Taylor

    Joe, it’s human nature to get one’s back up when attacked.

    You’ve clearly rankled someone just for being yourself. But please don’t stop being yourself. “We luvs ya just the way you are”.

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