With the Bunyip on extended walkabout, someone’s got to blog about Adele Horin. And having awoken this Saturday to find her 900-word screed against Western Australia, Tony Abbott, immigrants foreign and domestic, people who do not give as much as she thinks they should to charity, conservative cities trying to be “cool”, and God knows what else, I decided that someone should be me. Let’s get started, shall we?
Before you follow the blinding sun all the way to the Indian Ocean, there are a few things you must know about Western Australia.
For a start, in the 2010 election it garnered the biggest proportion of the vote for Tony Abbott of any state in Australia.
She says that like it’s a bad thing. Of course, to her, it is: Conservatives think their opponents are wrong; lefties think theirs are evil. Hope a Liberal voter never moves in next door to the Horins.
The piece drags on in its dreary way: “I will not dwell on the obvious pitfalls of life in the arid, hard-drinking and virtually all-male societies of the north-west mining towns” … “Perth tends to the mean, selfish and parochial” … “the letters pages of The West Australian have always filled me with dismay for their mean-spirited parochialism and occasional racism”.
Mean-spirited parochialism and occasional racism, eh? Sounds like a bit of an obsession for Ms Horin. It also sounds a lot like Labor’s reaction this past week to letting a few foreigners work in the mines. But anyway, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds and all that, I suppose.
You would expect the residents of Lotus Land to be happy. But they aren’t. Wellbeing surveys conducted by Professor Bob Cummins, of Deakin University, consistently find Perthites to be the most miserable of Australia’s city dwellers, with Sydneysiders. A city of self-interested citizens, buffeted by waves of itinerant workers, is not a harmonious one, despite its smaller size, high employment rate and smooth traffic flow.
“Buffeted by waves of itinerant workers”? It sounds like Adele is penning a new chapter for the Hanonsite Left’s playbook. Following on the past week of “they took our jobs!” rhetoric from the ALP, the caring classes who’d never work in a mine on a bet can get on the Australia for Australians act: Immigrants make people sad, especially the nasty ones who want to come to Australia to make money.
Since many of the “immigrants” referred to by Horin are other Australians heading west to make a buck, perhaps this is just a trial balloon in anticipation of internal passports? The modern, technocratic Left doesn’t trust individuals to eat, drive, or raise their children properly without all manner of nudges and interventions; why should they be trusted to choose where to live or take a job? China uses internal passports and migration permits to control this sort of thing, and they’re doing great! Just ask Thomas Friedman!
There’s a further elision at work when she says that Perthites are as sad as Sydneysiders: Last I checked, Sydney wasn’t in the grips of a mining boom, and on this side of the Harbour there’s still a lot of hostility towards Tony Abbott. The locals should be happy as Larry. Perhaps Horin means Sydney’s inner-west municipality of Marrickville, a place once judged so unhappy that the ABC had to make a documentary about it:
Sydney’s inner west suburb of Marrickville was chosen as the location for happiness ground zero. With income and employment levels around national averages, and an ethnically diverse population that is representative of modern Australia, it is also at the heart of the area identified in recent university surveys as the unhappiest in the country.
In the 2010 election, Grayndler – which covers Marrickville – sent Anthony Albanese back to Canberra, and the Liberal candidate got less than a quarter of the vote. It can’t be all those nasty conservatives harshing everyone’s mellow.
So what could it be bringing everyone down? Well, happiness studies are the divining rods of sociology and half as reliable, but as a Marrickville local, I’d like to blame all those greedy immigrants coming from other parts of Sydney looking for a bargain on an inner-city fixer-upper. They took our capital gains!