Prick About Town

I do more than just blog about food, you know.

If you’re near a newsagent, pick up a copy of the Spectator Australia today — I’ve got a column about NIMBYs as the champions of urban freedom against developers and the government.

I’ll also be on Sky News around 2:30pm AEST to talk American politics.

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2 Responses to Prick About Town

  1. The Usual Suspect says:

    Cassandra Wilkinson regularly subverts News Ltd’s paywall by posting her Oz columns on her own blog – but then she’s a free thinking radical, contrarian, and almost always (to my mind) has a fresh angle on most topics.

    And PWAF? To tell the truth, being a mere impoverished media worker in the free press (and hence shocked by the Spec’s cover price) I will never know. Unless I stumble on a copy in my local library… but given that the journal is a conservative organ and most of its local contributors are in furious agreement with one another on all matters, I’ll take a guess: that the Spec’s verdict on Nimby-ism is one of whole hearted approval.

    Sincere apologies if I’m wrong. I’ll happily be corrected…

    In my part of the inner west (which the last census figures alarmingly say is now wealthier than the North Shore), Nimbys have in recently waged war against uni students, public transport users, renters, a police station, a bus depot, people who need boarding house accommodation, the mentally ill, ethnic groups other than anglo, and in general – anyone poorer than them. A unifying element of their campaigns is fear, fear of social change and fear of people “not like them”.

    Or just fear of anything in a familiar world ever changing. In a nutshell – the conservative mindset.

    Nimby battles are framed very differently though. Usually – the environment as opposed to capitalism, the little battler against developer greed, or more simply, Good vs Evil. Not in all cases (but say nine out ten), the desired outcome will be the status quo, or be socially and environmentally retrograde.

    In ten out ten case the political party most likely to leading their charge will be the Greens. Liberals (at least at the local level) will be manning the barricades against any interlopers, and the Labor Left luvvies will (now that Part 3A has been relegated to the shameful past) be in the thick of it yelling “Me too!”

    Some see irony in this situation the extreme Left and conservatives having so much in common. Jack Mundey jokes about finding himself on stage next to Barry O’Farrell, “Save this-or-that suburb” Facebookers find their sites bombarded with sympathetic posts from Australians Against Further Immigration, and everyone is united in their desire to spare residents the indignity of living next door to Asian apartment buyers. But there’s really nothing odd about any this at all.

    No matter what the battle, Nimbys are all on the same page, unified by a common pledge: “F— off. We’re Full!”

  2. I get what you’re saying, but why shouldn’t those whose amenity – which quickly translates into wealth through property values – not fight tooth and nail against those who would appropriate said amenity/wealth for some ‘greater good’ (which, coincidentally, often enriches well-connected developer types)?

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