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Just WHO controls the conversation (of left-wing politics)?

There was a moment, it is written, when Julius Caesar stood on the foggy far bank of the Rubicon in silence, with his formations of loyal legionnaires at his back before he whispered those fateful words; “Jacta alia est”.

I feel empowered today to whisper those same sentiments if not the actual words … for it is not with the intent to conquer a government that I am writing this piece, it is with the intent of wresting the conversation away from those who like to think they are in control of where the left-wing politics of this nation ought to be heading. For too long has the needs of the “wretched poor” of that majority of the national population … and in that bracket, whether they want to know it, accept it, or not, I include the everyday pensioner, be them aged and surviving from pillar to post pension payment or the other myriad of the poor, be they Indigenous, refugees, invalids or the working poor “other” … the so many and increasing number who have little connection to the Glam and Glitter nightly portrayed in an endless stream of inconsequential and mindless reality television fantasy … a fantasy, the ABC is keen on increasing with a new direction of portrayals of warm‘n fuzzy personal stories rather than disturbing investigative current affairs. For too long have they been tricked and maneuvered by a duplicitous middle-class.

For while the more radical side of the left-wing keep calling for intensifying the pressure on those representatives in the parliament, we see only a very cautious edging toward further left … much like a bad vaudeville act comically edging itself off stage. This is most probably governed by the frightful reality that the general population is fearful of radical anything that could jeopardise their hard-won fantasy of a plasma TV in the lounge room and that faint scent of Glen 20 in every other! Even if both the TV and the couch are “on the tick”.

With a population that was dead-weary after two world wars in the space of two generations, they were a sucker for the Menzies era of “Father Knows Best” governance … where successive Liberal governments were returned with little more effort than a false belief in the generosity that they were “The hand that giveth” … and the arm that kept the dreaded “Reds” at bay … and when the time for a more radical left-wing government was deemed necessary, the fear was portrayed that the entire nation would be sent into the red-column of bankruptcy because the government of the day “gave too much”, a handy coup d’état put paid to a continuity of “fair go” politics.

From then on in, we, the people, have suffered a decline in living wages and standards with the following of capital’s egregious philosophy of economic rationalism where once at least we had the illusion of the hand that was “giving” was our government, now we have those corporate banking institutions in charge of the economic direction of the nation and the monetary system has become “The hand that giveth – credit” … and bankruptcies have never looked better, and white-collar crime has never been more profitable … and respectful … so respectful, in fact, that now it even appears to have the tick of government approval!

So why has it come to this?

Simple: The education of a middle-class that has been indoctrinated to believe that the only way to a civilised and functioning society is to have that class of “institutionally trained” devotees managing both the treasury and the political direction. For it is no accident that such institutions of education have been lauded and funded and held to the highest esteem of the pinnacle of learning and cultural sophistication, let alone that of intellectual and academic brilliance so that after all the glittering prizes have been distributed to them and them only, the churned-out products of these “ruling-class machines” speak the same “language”, see the same “horizons”, and hear the same “cry of needs of the people” that they perceive it is their duty to govern … after all, was it not written; “Father Knows Best”. So that even those women who graduate from such institutions may believe they are “calling the shots” of liberation from a patriarchal tyranny, they are only doing what is within what could be called a “perimeter of containment” that allows those of the middle-class to “rip-it-up” so far and then the nurtured indoctrination of “trigger comforts” pulls them back to gaze more closely and sentimentally on the treasures and possibilities accumulated by their parents and social kind and to reassess if they really want to go to that radical “bridge too far”.

So then the “soft-soaping” of their more radical vocabulary begins and quickly fades from an “we must” to a gentrified; “There ought to be some consideration toward … ” and the conversation that was entrusted by the working classes to those who had persuasive command of language and “learned” politics now becomes a light-headed whine and whinge of the bleedin’ obvious … because all that time while we of the half-educated working class deferred trust and voice to those better educated to speak on our behalf, they have instead fallen back on their social status blood-line and do not want to lose out on the better things in their life for nothing more than what they have been told is a futile fight for liberty and equality with the great, stinking, out-of-tune song singing ungrateful unwashed.

Might they now truly believe in their soul of souls is right … and that is about as far as their reach for democracy goes!

There were two incidents in Australian colonial history that could have changed the conservative direction that this nation has gone down. The first was the Eureka Stockade Uprising, the second was the insurgency of the Kelly Gang, culminating in the siege of The Glenrowan Inn … pity the night that the schoolteacher (a middle-class aspirant?) ran to warn the special troop train before it was derailed by the deliberately loosened tracks and sent plummeting down the embankment that could have created the necessary destruction of the belief of central colonial power and led to the envisioned and threatened uprising of the Irish settlers of Western Victoria. Such is Life.

But in these days of social media revolution, when the capacity for radicalising of the left has never been more possible, we still have those scared, timid voices of the trained poodles of the middle-classes whispering their “Peter Pan” ideals into the ears of the fearful “don’t be too radical … look what (we/I) … you could lose … sure, you got every reason to complain, and look! … here … I’m always here to help you complain … ” So its futile, silly letters to a minister, silly open letters to politicians, “fists in Gucci gloves” waving in the air to be followed with a tiring sigh and comforting words in the plummy-accent with fellow radical Wilderness School or Scotch College old fellows at their fav’ café or split-level house in Toorak or North Shore or the sub-equal … emulated in the lower caste suburbs by a “seen in Vogue magazine” interior decorations and the plasma in the lounge but with a/many delicately balanced credit accounts that with just one loss of income could bring the entire suburban fantasy of the house of cards tumbling down and the whole family spends Chrissy and the near future by the sea in a loaned caravan on a sad council oval with so many other homeless working people.

But don’t worry. ”They” have your interests at heart and are more than willing to give you a “voice of complaint” on a media platform they share with their fellow status authors … you are not alone … till the bailiff comes.

It is interesting in this town I live near … it has been a conservative-voting town for as long as I can ascertain … many, many years … and they swear by the Liberal Party as having the best interests for the country folk … yet it has to be the centre for the most disadvantaged and in many case most impoverished folk in the region … and the town has gone from vibrant centre to wrack, ruin and despair with most of the historical pioneer civic structures crumbling or in a sad state of disrepair to display loss of inspiration to lift themselves up … all is self-centred toward the individual and to self-preservation. They are divided … like the rest of the nation … and they are in consequence … ruled by their tormentors … and they can see no other way because they distrust any words that speak of radical politics, but go to the general store and you can ascertain their trust of dietary habits by the stacks of “preferred brand” of frozen pizza!

Why has it come to this?

Too much listening to a duplicitous educated to imbecility middle-class knowing the price of every one of their possessions and having no idea of the value of a quality of life lost by the working poor so they whisper insincere words of the possibilities of “personal achievement” rather than listen to an honest inner voice of liberation and revolution!


  1. New England Cocky

    An interesting article Joseph, but expecting Australians to mount the barricades and overthrow the government is most unlikely. I mean, that would cut into our drinking and surfing time!! Past “revolutions” have been bloodless coups conducted by the CIA in league with conservative judges and an alcoholic GG.

    Perhaps a more effective way to achieve the same result is asking questions on a “one to one” basis, much the same as GetUp! are using to great effect in their campaign to unseat Dutton.

    The NLP misgovernment has had 58 CONSECUTIVE POLL LOSES to the ALP so it is important to keep the punters focussed on the low moral standards of NLP politicians such as adultery, condoned water theft by Parliamentary fathers-in-law, abuse of Parliamentary Allowances Scheme, failing to honour undertakings to divest property interests; all attributes of Barnyard Joke the sometime representative of the National$ in New England.

    So “Women who support Adultery support National$” and similar lines will have the greatest impact because most women do NOT support adultery.

  2. Meg

    Unfortunately, the “switched-on” baby boomers are too comfortable with their sky-high-rising property values, SMSFs and overseas holidays to take part in a glorious worker’s revolution. Perhaps if things get much worse, we could find our own Chavez – perhaps a noble indigenous figurehead?

  3. Joseph Carli

    I don’t ever seriously expect the working classes of Oz to “mount any barricades”, but I would like to see others than the “secure class” direct the conversation of left-wing politics so that we get REAL policies that will deliver REAL results that benefit the REAL producers of society..such involvement in the political process just MAY change the structure of what politics is and how it can be changed so that radical social change beyond economic solutions for social problems can be created.

    I cannot see any evidence over the past many decades where the middle-class has given anything more constructive than a kind of lip-service to the poor and vulnerable…using those people and social situations more to “rescue” themselves rather than assist those they are supposed to be helping.

    Even with the cause célèbre da jour that is most on the lips and in the minds of many “aware” commentators on the site : liberated women, it is more a case of paying lip-service to those most victimised that in consequence elevates THEM in their opinions to a higher level of sanctimonious elation…a bit like Mother Therese gaining fame on the backs of the impoverished..for if there was serious intent to liberate those women who most suffer the oppression of men, they would be doing less talking on social media and more talking to the wives of those ministers who are responsible for tormenting the refugee women and their children incarcerated on Nauru…or in the case of homeless older women , talking to those women CEO’s and bosses who have “broken the glass ceiling” to demand better conditions for their female workers…or are these mostly middle-class women too just the same power-hungry megalomaniacs as the males they partner?

  4. corvus boreus

    There are ‘liberated women’ who devote time to social media that could be spent nagging Peter Dutton’s wife.
    Similarly, males who are truly worried about employment conditions could be off ear-bashing Michaela Cash’s husband.
    Yet here we all are, blokes and shielas alike, sitting on a blog-site, tap-tap-typing away…

  5. Freethinker

    New England Cocky, when draconian governments are firm in control the are able to get what they want and when weak moderate right are in opposition they will not change that draconian laws if they get elected. Always they will find an excuse.
    If the Coalition return to power Get Up and others like it will be silenced.
    Regarding revolt, peaceful or not can happen when the majority of the working class, the students and the clerical worker lost everything so they have nothing to lose and risk their lifestyle.

    Meg, not only the baby boomers are too comfortable, working people, specially self employed or working couples are consuming like if there is not tomorrow. You only have to go to the marinas, caravan parks and read the statistics of record sell in the RV industry to know that.
    Retail figures are at record high and savings are at record low which means people are using their savings to satisfying their greed for material things.
    If a global financial crush come and people lose all that plus their homes, then we will see the “weak up of the masses”
    There is not better incentive that have not be enough bread on the table to start protesting.

    Joe, at the present time there are far to many “trendy lefties” that are limiting their participation in the political debate to protest on and on about the government to trying to converting themselves, but do not asking the opposition to come with changes to remove their neoliberal policies.
    This “trendy lefties” will not debate or even acknowledge any criticism to the ALP, their are in the position that the opposition it is better than the Coalition and that it is good enough.
    The political debate in the majority of the social media resembles a gossip conversation in a inner city hairdressing saloon.

  6. corvus boreus

    I agree.
    All too often commentary threads upon serious political subjects get clogged up with pablum, especially where people avoid the topic completely and simply use the forum to sling personal insults and lurid accusations against other contributors.
    This contributes to neither the exchange of relevant information nor the formulation of practical suggestion towards policy amendments, and is something we should all strive to avoid doing.
    Anyways, I’m off to work…

  7. Joseph Carli

    I would draw peoples attention to the title of my piece in that I am wanting to change the CONVERSATION of left-wing politics..there is no talk of taking up arms…just yet!…so lets not fix the crow’s gimlet eye on the carcass just yet and concentrate on the proposition put forward.

    I am keen now to hear Sally McManus’s speech today..it sounds like the union is throwing down the gauntlet.

  8. johno

    Freethinker, Pretty much agree with your comment. Although this bit makes me wonder…

    ‘If a global financial crush come and people lose all that plus their homes, then we will see the “weak up of the masses”
    There is not better incentive that have not be enough bread on the table to start protesting.’

    I have no faith this situation would wake these people up for the common good of everyone.

  9. Joseph Carli

    On the point of those “liberated” middle-class women who employ poor women to clean their expensive houses…I wonder these days how Meredith Hellicar feels about those wives who contracted mesothelioma from their husband’s association with asbestos?…we won’t ask Julie Bishop, she’s much too pre-occupied at the Harrods jewelry counter to pay much attention to the dying.

  10. Kaye Lee

    “if there was serious intent to liberate those women who most suffer the oppression of men, they would be doing less talking on social media and more talking to the wives of those ministers who are responsible for tormenting the refugee women and their children incarcerated on Nauru”

    What a bizarre comment.

    If I had a problem with the job a tradie did at my place, should I harass his wife about it?

    As far as your pot shots at “liberated women” (a somewhat dated term you seem to use perjoratively) are concerned, we have been fighting for equal rights for centuries, and part of that fight involves making cultural change by pointing out when men are being dismissive, when they are stereotyping, and when they are being downright insulting. It involves insisting that men stop objectifying women as trinkets for their sexual gratification. It involves making our voices heard as part of the political debate. It involves the struggle for equal opportunity. It involves fighting for autonomy over our own bodies. Sadly, it also involves reassuring men constantly that we are not their competition but their equal partners.

  11. Freethinker

    Oh no! are we going to spoil a political debate with things out of the topic?
    What it is going on, stop trying to motivate people to ask the opposition to go left it is again in the agenda?
    I am not interested in debating “the battle of the sexes” and I do not thing that many bloggers are also interested on that.
    Write an article about that if you feel that you need it but please, in courtesy to others and showing good manners leave this debate for what it is intended
    Back to the topic please.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Ummmm….I am responding to the comments made by the author. That makes them on topic which happens to be about who should control the conversation. I am not sure we need anyone to control the conversation, which is the subject of this article. My point is that the conversation should be open to all.

  13. Joseph Carli

    It is the control of the conversation about many social problems that has been gazumped by the middle-class controllers that I object to…AND THAT INCLUDES the conversation about the corporatizing of the “brand name” of “women” by a fatuous middle-class that wants to own everything that is not socially “nailed down”…The liberation of women will be done by the vast majority of women, mostly from the working classes, NOT as directed from the “board rooms” of middle-class sensibilities…THEY don’t want equality..THEY want control of “The Marque”!

    The middle-class objectifiers want THEIR version of “liberation” (really subjugation in another form) to be THE mainstream version of identity for women..THEIR VOICE to be the only voice…Well..you’re out of luck , just as YOUR version of control of the conversation is out of date…

    So how would I know of the relationship between middle-class women and their poorer cleaners?..I know because my mother was one of those poorer cleaners..for most of her working life…She used to take me with her when I was a child…and she continued way past the time I was a young man, when she used to take my younger sibling with her…She would tell me the everyday events in the lives of her “Ladies” ..as she used to call them..though she was not a gossip and the women would confide in her to an almost embarrassing depth that sometimes shocked her.

    Many of these Ladies were from the professional class that needed a cleaner to keep on top of the housework that their two-bit husbands didn’t do..lazzeroni!..I remember many tales she later related to me when I would visit her..

    I remember her telling me that one wealthy woman from an elite address confessed to her that she made it a point to NEVER pay any account until she had got the third threatening letter just in case the company wrote the bill off as a lost cause..

    But most of all, I remember this one aged lady she was devoted to..My mother would even walk the two kilometres to the woman’s place on a Monday evening to put her rubbish bin out for the Tuesday pick-up…at no cost..just because she was such a long term client ..25yrs in fact…and in all that time, I can only recall my mother telling me ONCE in surprise that :
    “Oh..I was given an extra dollar for my cleaning at Mrs. R..’s on Friday..she pressed it into my hand and whispered (though there is never anyone there but her and myself) that in future I can look forward to that little bit extra…and she patted my hand..”

    But she was devoted to old Mrs. R.. a retired professional who “had rooms” somewhere in the city..The husband was a university professor in some faculty..I did know once, but I have forgotten..Anyway, after he died, my mother became almost, from what I could gather, the closest companion of that old Lady…They had a couple of children, also now professional people, but they were never around much ..shades of Harry Chapin?..As a matter of fact, my mother saved her life a couple of times by climbing through the small (my mother was always a slight build) toilet window to assist the woman who had collapsed on the floor..

    One time, however, when my mother was not there, the woman had a fall and was not found for several days and she was in critical care in hospital in a bad way..My mother went to visit her and though Mrs. R.. had her eyes shut, my mother told me she was sure she was aware..

    “I sat next to her and said hello and told her I had cleaned the house and attended to the cat and taken out the rubbish bin and whatever..and she reached for and held my hand…I could feel she hadn’t long to live and she held my hand so tight..even for the frail little thing she was .she held my hand so tight..so that when the nurse came in to check on her she saw and asked me if I was her daughter..it seems that I was her only visitor, and her children had not been…and I had to say that no…(and my mother shrugged her shoulders at the thought of the moment) I was her cleaner..”

    So yes…Mrs. R..did die and after the funeral and all was settled, the children gave my mother $500.00 in recognition of her services for 25 years…my mother was delightfully surprised.

    But they’re like that, the middle-classes…generous to a fault…What was that saying one client demanded of me when I quoted for a job?…Oh yes..now I remember :

    “I want the best possible job…a..at the cheapest possible price.”

  14. Kaye Lee

    ” the corporatizing of the “brand name” of “women” by a fatuous middle-class that wants to own everything that is not socially “nailed down”

    Oh for Pete’s sake. Everything has been owned by white men forever and they hate the idea of losing that privilege. “Women” is not a brand name. This is not a power struggle for dominance. It is a reasonable request that our place in the world not be defined, and our potential limited, by our gender. We are people asking for equal opportunity and mutual respect.

  15. David Bruce

    Another thought provoking piece Joseph, thank you. I read Dr Venturini’s recent blog about Constitutional Reform and was severely impacted by the following:
    “Meanwhile, as Fanon observed in The wretched of the Earth, “The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother-country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.”
    Of a place turned into a quarry by foreign interests and their local managers he said: “Colonialism hardly ever exploits the whole of a country. It contents itself with bringing to light the natural resources, which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the mother-country’s industries, thereby allowing certain sectors of the colony to become relatively rich. But the rest of the colony follows its path of under-development and poverty, or at all events sinks into it more deeply,” and “The native must realize that colonialism never gives anything away for nothing.”
    <<<“The people he said should “come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labour but the result of organised, protected robbery.>>> Rich people are no longer respectable people; they are nothing more than flesh eating animals, jackals and vultures which wallow in the people’s blood.”
    As for the future, “The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.”
    The last paragraph says it all, IMHO

  16. Joseph Carli

    Yes, David..I was most moved to anger when I read that exact piece..deep anger..It is why we need to have this conversation about just WHO is writing the agenda for so many policies..We know the people who are most affected are NOT getting a saying because the conversation is being high-jacked by a vested interest class who LOOKS the part of respectable, TALKS the talk of reason, but deals a stacked deck of cards..

  17. Joseph Carli

    Everything has NOT been owned by white men…it has been owned by a class of just a few well-placed arseholes of BOTH genders..Tell me Livia didn’t call some of the shots on the policies of Augustus?..Tell me that Imelda didn’t frame some of the behaviour of Marcos..tell me that Jeannine didn’t influence John and Lucy doesn’t have a say in the direction of Malcolm’s policies..and you can extend THAT hypothesis down through the ranks of influential CEO’s and administrations right to the board room floor.

    It is sadly the working poor women who have been at the end of the rope and have had to cop a lot of the flack of wretched frustration of the working class male who quickly falls to using the only power left and that is to bully any under him..perhaps his partner or children..even himself ..

    But as we all are aware..The end result of a problem begins where the problem starts..and most wretched social situations begin with middle-class economic oppression.

    Time to change the conversation..time to change the rules.

  18. Freethinker

    David and Joe, IMO, the actual reality is that we not longer are governed in each country by a democratically elected governments or even Dictator with their own ideology we are now governed by few big corporations which strategically place their muppet politician or fellow billionaire to manage the corporations interests.
    That is since neoliberalism and globalisation was introduced and it is supported by the moderate and extreme right.
    Only a left governments prepared to change the current trend are the hope for equality.

  19. David Bruce

    I was recently a witness to a World Bank transaction for USD 25,000 Trillion. It involved the issuing of 50,000,000 US Treasury Notes, each worth USD 500 Million. The trustee has until 2028 to cash these Treasury Notes. Anger does not begin to describe my reaction.

  20. Freethinker

    This is going to be interesting, Sally will address the press today and in the Guardian is this article, quote:
    The ACTU secretary, Sally McManus, will outline the ambitious demands of its Change the Rules campaign at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday, with policies for fair pay and secure work including a right for casuals to convert to permanent employment.
    The Labor opposition has already promised a labour hire licensing regime but McManus’s comments suggest the ACTU wants the policy extended so labour hire workers cannot be paid less than the permanent employees working in the same company.

  21. jimhaz

    [Just WHO controls the conversation]

    It would seem companies like Cambridge Analytica.



    Anyone want to start a Get Up campaign seeking to ban the use of such companies. Cambridge Analytica only started in 2014 – so get it out before they get to used to using such democracy corrupting tools.

  22. Joseph Carli

    Well…That speech by Sally McManus threw down the gauntlet!..This is going to change the conversation and no mistake…There’s no going back or ignoring from here…powerful.
    It will be interesting as Freethinker says ; will the ALP right come across to the union’s side of the table, or will they still try to keep their distance from the movement…I don’t think they can after that speech.

  23. diannaart


    Maybe one day you will meet Sally McManus.

    Although, I do hope she does not disagree with you on anything even the slightest thing, I fear for your blood pressure.

  24. Freethinker

    diannaart March 21, 2018 at 2:16 pm


    Maybe one day you will meet Sally McManus.

    Although, I do hope she does not disagree with you on anything even the slightest thing, I fear for your blood pressure.

    diannaart, I doubt that Sally will change to be a middle class trendy lefty “lady of the house” by the time that she meet Joe and I think thta both will be in the “same page”
    Doubt that she will defend Gina, Cash, Bishop,Lucy, etc just to support the “battle of the sexes”

  25. Freethinker

    Well Joe, not many from the ALP right faction were there, and Bill went North. Lee from the Greens was there.

  26. Joseph Carli

    diannaart..having reached the ripe old age that I am now, an having got there by some of the hardest, roughest roads, meeting so many and varied people both honest and not so honest on the way, I would like to think I am at least qualified by age alone to speak my thoughts aloud with what I would consider some life-expertise…

    I have had the ..call it good fortune..call it bad luck..opportunity of studying the machinations of the middle-class business, ethic and moral mannerisms at close quarters..because in my occupation as a licenced tradie, I have sat in on many casual , candid conversations with entrepreneurs and speculative builders and businessmen..them thinking I was “one of them”, being self employed, so they talked long and candidly about their many methods of how to influence, maneuver or corrupt systems and administrations..be it local govt’ or higher up … and all the time I was remembering these little bits and pieces..the two sets of books , changing and influencing the minds of protesters against a development, which people to whisper in the ear..many things..So I know inside and out how the middle-class manipulates the system and how they work together in a kind of network like cogs of wheels that click together across departments and corporations connected by either the “Old School Tie” or a sympathy toward corruption that makes even the most alien of ethnic groups likeable bedfellows!

    It is why that short story by Alan Sillitoe : “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner” is one of my favourites..because in that story, the toady Borstal warden unknowingly gives away the secrets of his class ambitions and the hero runner is learning as he serves his sentence exactly how the system works and how to break the system..so that when he is way out in front of the race the warden is expecting him to win so as to further his (the warden’s) own ambitions…the lad stops just short of the winning line and watches the warden’s face change from one of excitable anguish to cold, hard defeat when he suddenly understands the act of rebellion by the runner…: HE WILL NOT SERVE !…a truly beautiful moment of vengeance on that class of people.

    I too know that system, diannaart and I will not serve that class of people.

  27. Joseph Carli

    Yes..I saw Lee there..and I thought I saw Michelle Guthrie as well ..oh well, I suspect they will hear about it..Oh yes!..I saw …oh..that ALP Scottish bloke..Dougie Cameron!

  28. diannaart


    67 years of age may well be ripe even a little fermented, but that does not make you at all wise nor Methuselah.

    Also, this may be a shock, I do hope you are sitting down:

    Not all feminists are middle class, many are what you would think of as working class. Although I am not sure how you would categorise Ms McManus, given her Arts Degree in Philosophy.

    Like Sally, I also was the first in my family to attend university.

    I am aware you love to apply labels and get a tad uppity when people disagree with your categorising of everything – get over it.

  29. Freethinker

    I hope that Joe will ignore the comment so we can get on with the real topic, “the control of the Left wing politics”because other ways this will become another “trendy coffee shop” chep chit chat.
    I cannot believe this, just when we have the opportunity to have a constructive debate, this things drag on from another article.

  30. Joseph Carli

    diannaat…you may be, as you have informed us, suffering from a debilitating illness, but by jingo..you certainly keep a sharp, almost vicious, tip on your quill !

  31. Joseph Carli

    Sorry about that , Freethinker..I posted before your comment came up…I will refrain from further temptation. On topic, I thought that the speech that Sally gave was almost a reinforcement of my own direction in my article..ie; change the conversation..change the rules.

  32. diannaart


    The topic is about “controlling the conversation”, what do you think Joe is trying to do here?

    Joe, well of course I am “vicious” I am a woman disagreeing with man – FFS!

  33. diannaart

    I thought that the speech that Sally gave was almost a reinforcement of my own direction in my article..ie; change the conversation..change the rules.

    I rest my case.

  34. Freethinker

    diannaart, please turn the page.
    Joe in his article and I as participating on it, aiming in for once tart talking, debating, exchange of ideas about the Left left faction, how we can improve it, come with better ideas in how we can encourage the left in the opposition to become a force not a followers, how to stop trying to convert readers in this site to not vote the Coalition which it is a waste of time because not many visitors here are Coalition voters.
    If Joe try to control the conversation it is to not become another “hairdressing saloon gossip”.
    So if you also can control your inputs and concentrate on the Left of politics and who controlling it, you will help to have a constructive debate.
    I was expecting that you as a Green voter was going to mention something about that Lee was there. that the Greens will table in the lower house something about what Sally have said, but not we continuing with a hooligan type of debate!
    Bugger that I have the ………

    PS: I better stop here for respect and courtesy to Michael, Carol and their team.

  35. diannaart


    Please forgive me.

    I understand I did not write how you were expecting me to – I just don’t know my place sometimes.

  36. Freethinker

    Oh please, can you stop that and exercise manners according to what it is expected by the fellow bloggers and the admin.
    For childish manners, there are many gossip sites on the internet.

  37. corvus boreus

    Joseph Carli,
    When Gaius Julius Caesar paused to mutter ‘the dice cast be’ upon the banks of the Rubicon stream, the loyalty of the ranks of professional soldiery that stood behind him had not only been secured through their assurance in his qualities as a military organizer/commander, but further bolstered by ‘aquisition bonuses’ (aka shares in spoils of war)..
    These trinkets and coins (and possibly promises of further) had been earned through the legionaries’ participation in Caesar’s (technically illegal by then republican Roman law) wars of conquest against the indigenous Celtic tribes of modern day France.
    By Caesars own egotistical braggadocio within his published, he claims that he netted over 1/2 a million human slaves for subsequent sale within that particular military transaction, which expanded Roman rule over over traditional territorial custodianship by stint of the injudicious application of fire and sword.
    Perhaps Caesar’s Rubicon words are not the most appropriate allegory to begin a discussion about democratic conversations.

  38. Jack Russell

    Never going to happen, but …

    If every wage-earner in this country just stopped tomorrow … every workplace deserted … until the rules were changed to enforce a permanently legislated equitable share of the entire wealth generated by our resources and labour, it would take the greedy lying bastards (politicians, corporations, and bosses) less than a month to sort it out and submit the new up-front, guaranteed, non-loopholed arrangements to us … for OUR approval.

  39. diannaart

    corvus boreus

    I, for one, am grateful Joe’s special subject was not the Third Reich.

    so shoot me

  40. corvus boreus

    On topic, please
    I discuss not Joe, but merely comment upon the words of and acts of Caesar.

  41. Freethinker

    Contrary to the result of the polls which were against reducing company taxes, it appears that the Government will have the numbers in the Senate with the support of few “independents”
    Slowly they are pushing the boundaries towards to a point of no return.
    Now we have to wait to see if the ALP come with a statement that will reverse this if they win government.

  42. diannaart

    Of course, CB, of course – getting my egotistical braggarts confused – please forgive me.

  43. Joseph Carli

    Jack Russell..I can see that a general strike may one day be called…maybe not so far away..if this govt’ gets any dirtier it will need to be hosed down…Though I wonder if the ACTU has the numbers now for calling a general strike..perhaps a targeted one.

  44. Freethinker

    Joseph, during the 37 hours a week campaign many of the unions were against strikes but in the industry where the metal workers union and the storeman and packers were present the strikes went ahead because the factories were unable to operate without members of both unions.
    Important and strategic unions have to merge and then the rest have to follow.
    That it is the only way to win against the greedy and selfish.

  45. corvus boreus

    Perhaps I might offer my own situational historical quotation, the wise words of another commercial/political imperial expansionist adventurer/entrepreneur utilizing military means to overthrow indigenous rule, Sir Major-General Baron Robert Clive (of India).

    “I stand astonished at my own moderation”.

  46. Kaye Lee

    The number of union members who listed their occupation as “manager” (89,900) or “professional” (543,300) easily exceeded the combined number of those who recorded their calling as a trade or technical worker (195,200), a sales worker (89,800), a machinery operator or driver (138,600) or a labourer (146,800).

    In the private sector, union density now stands at 10.1%. In the public sector, it’s 38.5%.

    From 1996 onwards, unions became increasingly dominated by professionals as blue-collar membership collapsed.

    Union density in the construction industry stands at only 9.4%.

    If the working people want a voice, then they should join a union because they are (or were) the only organisation strong enough to negotiate with government and employers.

    They should also pay more attention to who they elect. Most of the tradies I know vote Liberal.

  47. Joseph Carli

    It will be interesting to see if some sort of “natural” acceleration of civil disorder arises out of the increasing inequality, where the union has drawn a line in the sand which cuts in wages and conditions beyond that will not be tolerated.

  48. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee..as I remember the building industry, it has become an unregulated, feral industry…with the exception of those trades that demand a signing off in safety and regulations, (plumbers, electricians, carpenters etc) many in the industry are total amateurs. without oversight and in many cases collecting black money…some even try their hand at those regulated trades (as above) as a favour for the client to save them looking for other trades..it is a shambles..but if a union becomes involved, the truth will out!

  49. Kaye Lee

    Nurses and teachers are both highly unionised professions. They are in the invidious position of being able to call strikes but being extremely reluctant to do so because of the responsibilities their work entails. But they DO try to have a political voice. Which is why I get aggravated by comments like “class of “institutionally trained” devotees”

    You say things like the next quote which presume that every woman who attended university is part of some sort of homogenous brainwashed group think.

    “even those women who graduate from such institutions may believe they are “calling the shots” of liberation from a patriarchal tyranny, they are only doing what is within what could be called a “perimeter of containment” that allows those of the middle-class to “rip-it-up” so far and then the nurtured indoctrination of “trigger comforts” pulls them back to gaze more closely and sentimentally on the treasures and possibilities accumulated by their parents and social kind and to reassess if they really want to go to that radical “bridge too far”.

    Can you not see how wrong that is? How you have reduced the diversity and complexity of millions of people to your narrow stereotype? How you think so little of them that they can all be “fooled”, that they are all greedy, that they have no compassion, no knowledge of the real world, and no desire to make the world beyond their family a better place. You seem to think that everyone who went to university is part of the idle rich, dilettantes pretending faux concern over coffee about things they couldn’t possibly understand

    Perhaps you didn’t mean any of that…..?.

  50. Freethinker

    Perhaps Joe (and me also) identifying more with Rosa Luxemburg or Mary Harris Jones AKA Mother Jones and perhaps it is base on what we have lived and saw during our life, Joe coming from a background that he has described before and I coming for a wealthy and family from he aristocracy in EU and South America.?
    Perhaps is because we identifying with what Chomsky is saying about the indoctrination in formal education?
    I do not think that anyone going to say that Chomsky is an ignorant?

    What we have to realize is that we all come from a different background, different experiences in life and we we accept that we will not take views as personal attacks or trying to put all the persons in the same category.
    All my family graduated in Universities and only few of them were indoctrinated, but free thinkers, independent thinkers are not the majority of graduated people that come out from Universities.

    Just my humble opinion and hope that clears bit this issue so we can talk more how united can reverse the present political situation.
    I guess that will be more constructive even if we have to “skip”some lines on the comments by fellow bloggers.

  51. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee..my disparaging is of those of a certain class..; The middle-class..and I disparage that group of “graduates” that I claim will only display a radical persona until they are “reeled back in” by a nurtured loyalty to their class and their own personal ambitions within that class..experience has shown me this..perhaps a necessity of material needs has shown THEM that.

    I do wish you and others would stop targeting ME and prove your own assertions…With your accusation that I have stereotyped millions of people..etc, etc..I will remind you that with the election of Howard for 3 successive elections, the election of Abbott, the re-election of Turnbull and taking in account the : ” How you think so little of them that they can all be “fooled”, that they are all greedy, that they have no compassion, no knowledge of the real world, and no desire to make the world beyond their family a better place.” (your quote) ..I would say to you …prove YOURSELF wrong!

  52. Kaye Lee

    I am not targeting you Joe. I am responding to things you write, I presumed that was the point of writing on a public forum.

    I do try to provide proof of what I say as I did with the union numbers. Where is your proof that the Coalition is elected by university graduates?

    I am also unsure of what you mean by middle class. What makes someone middle class? The top 10% of employees earned more than $60 per hour. Every tradesman I have employed of late charges that (though that is probably an unfair comparison as their work may be inconsistent).

  53. Joseph Carli

    ” I do try to provide proof of what I say “..So it ought to be easy..on your own words I say again : ” .I would say to you …prove YOURSELF wrong!”…

    Listen, Kaye..I have said before..I despise the middle-class..for reasons I have explained in other posts..if you want I can supply them..but I doubt. . . Let us acknowledge our differences and leave it at that..I will post my “biased” pieces, and you; yours..and we can try to swing the reader one way or the other..or perhaps neither..There!…how’s that?

  54. Matters Not

    Now if only we could have definition(s) of working class as opposed to middle class?

    Certainly not the first time I’ve asked the same question of this author who seems to base his whole world view on that (undefined) distinction. Or is it just one person’s “common sense”?

  55. corvus boreus

    Joseph Carli,
    I ask you, as someone who has formally studied Roman history (albeit in an ‘unqualified’ fashion), was my 6:00pm summation of Caesar’s military career up till your “Jacta alia est” quote in any way factually inaccurate?
    Ps, if you would prefer to discuss the charnel dietary habits of regional species and variants of ravens and crows, which no doubt opportunistically followed Caesar’s bloody trail of ambitious slaughter, I will, of course, fully understand.

  56. Joseph Carli

    I don’t know if some of you are deliberately trying to be obtuse…but a quick Google will suffice..:

    ” Definition of Class Structures. In the United States, there are three main class structures including the lower class, the middle class, and the upper class. … A class of individuals is a group of people exhibiting similar characteristics based on income, educational levels, status, and control.”

    I think you will find with a degree more research the situation will be same for Oz., with the “lower class” being called “working class”.

  57. Joseph Carli

    Corvus…” Many a fool would deride and fain would be on the laughing side”…accept it, embrace it and wear it with pride…and now …go away.

  58. Joseph Carli

    Now..having had our bit of a giggle, I give fair warning..I cannot be bothered with your jerkoff bullshit…and this being my right as it is my post, any comment from here on that doesn’t bear up to MY appreciation of wit or wisdom, I will send to the trash..and if you shit me enough, I will delete your past comments as well..most of which are weak as piss anyway….

  59. Freethinker

    Bugger!!! I cannot keep this thread on the topic, it appears to me that there is a intention to sabotage the article by concentrating in feminists issues, history, classes, the author, Joe and what ever issue can be discussed but not the left of politics.
    Every time that there is the possibility to open a debate to see if the left performs well, or if the ALP performs well and who is controlling it a bombarding of useless comments are made.
    Can we have a mature and constructive exchange of opinions or the “opposition” to the topic prefer to behave like the politicians during question time?
    Some times I have to pinch myself to not think that I am reading posts from a sport forum full of children that suppose to be in bed.
    Get real!!!

    I am out of here, sorry Joseph for not be able to continuing, was an interesting and must topic to debate but the ALP and the left are out of limits here.

  60. Matters Not

    Freethinker, thanks for your (apparent) well intentioned efforts but you will note that the link provided outlies six (6) categories or classes – none of which includes middle or working class in their construct.

    And class is an intellectual construct. While it’s not normal nor natural the class conceptscan be useful but only if one defines their use of the term.

    Or perhaps you have a different understanding? If so then fire away?

    But never mind, I think I am about to be censored. (Hilarious),

  61. corvus boreus

    Joseph Carli,
    Fair enough, it’s entirely your thread, and my comments on your opening statement seem to be entirely unwelcome.
    I wouldn’t want to unleash an outbreak of gang-attacks perpetrated by some Calabrian cabal.

  62. Kaye Lee


    The article seemed to be about a brainwashed university-educated middle class controlling the political conversation – ?

    But now it seems Joseph doesn’t want any conversation about that at all.

    Fair enough, but please don’t complain again about people not commenting on your articles.

  63. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    I observed the concerted harangue of foul personal insults to which you (and another) were subjected on the (subsequently deleted) ‘Samad Abdul’ thread, and, also having a keen sense of the hypocritically ridiculous, share your ‘hilarity’.

  64. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee…congratulations..you comment has measured up to my standard of witty humour..you have rung the bagatelle bell!

  65. Joseph Carli


  66. nonsibicunctis

    The situation is so bad because the indoctrination, socialisation if you wish, is largely unchallenged. Most people accept that our schools are about education when they are actually about socialisation and becoming more so with increasing government usurping of control over curriculum. Indoctrinated protestation about sexual and sexuality education is an example of this as, in a slightly different but related way, is the insertion of clerics into schools, instead of counselors, to undertake pastoral care.

    There was a time when it may have been possible to accept socialisation as a valuable enough for it to be the main focus of schools because universities were centres of true learning, investigation, debate, questioning and research. Sadly, today, they are businesses that chase students and organise their offerings towards vocational goals as a means of attracting them.

    As anyone of intelligence knows, our mainstream media supports these right wing approaches to mediocrity of values and unethical conduct. Indeed, many of our journalists and certainly their employers are complicit in promoting success as defined by material assets and wealth.

    One of the major results of this, in my view, and a flaw that is unwittingly supported by articles such as this, is that very notion of there being a middle class. This notion has been spread by the wealthy and is characterised by portraying materialism, position and wealth as positive goals in life, regardless of how they are obtained. Those aspects are disseminated with vigour in order to inculcate the aspirational notion of difference and ‘one-upmanship’ of becoming or being ‘middle class’ as opposed to being one of those at the bottom of the heap.

    The fact is that there is no middle class. The notion of its existence is a confidence trick. There are the haves and the have-nots. There are those who can manipulate, squander, cheat, lie, buy position and privilege and control their lives and those of the 90+ % of those who are economically “less than”, i.e. the Working Class.

    Donald Horne fore-shadowed this, implicitly, in “The Lucky Country” and although it has since been stated more plainly by others, this false notion of a middle-class has entrenched itself in our culture such that, as I said earlier, even many on the left argue as though it actually exists.

    I know it isn’t de jour to speak of it and most will howl one down for doing so. It is derided as representing an almost archaic and certainly out-moded critique of society that is no longer relevant. Despite that, my view is that what we have is a “Class” war with two camps – those that have and those that haven’t; those with scruples and conscience and those without; those who subscribe to ethical behaviour and sound, well-considered moral standards and those who don’t.

    Sadly, after that brief insight into what Australian society could and might be, after the demise of Menzies, we quickly saw the fear and panic of the “have class”, even to the extent that the then Opposition Leader connived with the Governor-General and he with the Palace and in a bloodless coup, illegally removed an elected government in spite of it having passed a vote of no confidence in the alternative Prime Minister and having voted in favour of the re-instatement of the elected Prime Minister.

    Since then, the conservative side of politics has been more wary and specifically gone out of its way to court big-business and wealthy individuals to fund its perfidy. Such perfidy is what we are now witnessing in spades.

    I don’t like violence and I agree with those who suggest that Australians are unlikely to engage in it to bring about political change. At the same time, I believe that the Working Class MUST take a stand or effectively accept that they will be paid slaves for the rest of their lives. Oh, sure, a few of them will make it upwards and the ‘haves’ will scatter some crumbs now and again to incite division and doubt in the ranks, but ‘have-nots’ is what most of us will be for generations to come.

    I don’t want to live in that world.

  67. Joseph Carli

    nonsibi’….. While I have to agree with you on the now existing two classes of structure in society ..: The Haves and the Have-nots…those “Haves” ..ARE…the middle-class…it is just that the primary position that was once occupied by the Aristocratic class has been vacated due to their loss of relevance (save ceremonial) and the super-wealthy have promoted themselves via a plutocratic governance to usurp the position they have always envied and conspired to obtain…But however much their wealth, however much their “bungin’-on-side”, however much their bribery and corruption, they are no more than a counterfiet aristocracy…The sad thing is though, many from the working-class, seeing the opportunity for their own aspiration, have adopted the more crude form of impersonation of those of the then middle-class and armed with a wallet-full of maxed-out credit cards, they are displaying their own version of “Sylvania Waters” in their own little cul-de-sacs in their own little estate housing projects with a suave name and flash lettterbox.

    It is a tragedy worthy of Euripides at his best!

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