As usual, the devil was in the detail, and as usual, you simply can't stop a bad penny turning up, and so we've had a weekly dose of Caterism ever since he was supposed to depart the ranks of the reptiles, and at last leave the world in peace.
So now we cop this:
Well those with a good memory will remember Cater railing about the dangers of dangerous elites, as explained by that solid Caterist supporter, Miranda the Devine:
Cater's thesis, formed during the 2010 election, is that Australia has become increasingly polarised, not between right and left, but between people he calls the insiders and the outsiders.
A new ruling class of university-educated "progressives", "sophisticates", "elites" and "latte-sippers" have emerged as an un-Australian clique trying to lord it over everyone else. Controlling media, law, education and the political class, they threaten Australia's great egalitarian democratic project: "For the first time there were people who did not simply feel better off but were better than their fellow Australians. They were cosmopolitan and sophisticated, well read (or so they would have us believe) and politically aware. This was not the classless society I had signed up to join."
Yep, those pesky elites were really problematic:
... Australian egalitarianism is threatened by the assumption that "some citizens, the educated ones, are smarter than the rest, and that therefore their opinions should carry more weight".
He (Cater) traces the rise of the new insider class to the extraordinary expansion of higher education from the late '50s, in which the number of universities doubled - and became "degree factories".
The unintended consequence was the creation of an "intelligentsia with a narrower, more homogenous" outlook, marked by a "progressive world view, snobbery and self righteousness". The intellectual class has for almost half a century "misrepresented Australia's history, misread its present, misjudged its people and projected a miserable vision of the future", while maligning "patriotism as akin to racism". (Timely warning of danger within)
Indeed, indeed, harumph, shocking, appalling stuff, I say, wot wot, have we got time for a dry sherry at the Melbourne club?
Yet what to we read today?
Why it's an impassioned Caterist plea for the unfashionable notion of excellence and unashamed, unabashed elitism:
How many dreams of Olympic glory have been shattered by the ludicrously restrictive admissions policy of the Australian Institute of Sport?
The unmet demand for Australian gold medals at the 2012 Games frustrated the patriotic sporting public, yet millions of coodabeen champions who would have willingly graced that podium were never given a chance.
The demand-driven funding model for higher education introduced by the Gillard administration stopped short of including the Australian Sports Commission, where a somewhat unfashionable notion of excellence still prevails.
Yes, you there in the blue collar, stop giving yourself fancy airs and graces, and get back to your menial work, we'll have none of this nonsense that you're good enough to join the elites ...
What we need is a snobbish, self-righteous world view, where the universities are dedicated to excellence, and all this modern talk, this idle chatter about a nirvana of inclusiveness, in which every player gets a prize, is given the right royal order of the boot.
Oh okay, the pond really only indulged in this bout of Caterist whimsy for one reason:
A natural break on supply?
Well so much for applying the brakes, but do go on mocking the lumpen proletariat and their foolish attempts to emulate David Williamson's hero Petersen (made in 1974, a reminder of how tediously repetitious the Caterists can sound):
Bain-maries in the tedious low rent cafeteria of life! Existential ennui!
Oh yes, you can just hear, if not see, the withering sneer at the thought of all these students lining up at a cafeteria, eating chaff, when really their brains only make them fit for a hand out from the Salvos or Vinnies ...
But wait, there's more, and it's as rich and as ripe a form of sniggering condescension as we've seen in many a long year from an unashamed elitist who resolutely refuses to apply the breaks.
And what's to blame? Why it's that pesky bloody free market, as exemplified by the good old USA:
Aw shucks, we couldn't resist throwing in that bonus picture of Warney, nestling right next to all this ripe socialist talk of market failure.
But now we know that there's just too much over-education doing the rounds - them's the brakes - let's get back to peasant bashing:
The sons and daughters of peasants! Shameless upstarts, forgetting their places in life, wanting to be upwardly mobile. Back in your boxes, you peasants, you rustic boors, you churls, you provincial hicks, you yokels, you country bumpkins, you hayseeds, you paysan, you campesino.
And so on and so forth. Not that the pond has got anything against the peasants, coming from Tamworth and all, it's just a question of standards and proper elites ...
A university's reputation cannot survive on sophistry for long, of course ...
Naturally that's immediately followed by much Caterist talk of lowered academic expectations, downwardly reviewed pass marks, mollycoddled students, and potential customers twigging that quality has been sacrificed for quantity, thereby debasing the good name of institutions which should have remained unashamedly elitist:
Quantity instead of quality!
Such a perception is fatal in the international market, where prestige and ranking matter most.
Where, not to put too fine a point on it, the unashamed, unabashed elitist reigns supreme.
But there is hope, and it revolves around the reality that Nick Cater is completely useless and completely helpless, and so is in urgent need of subservient workers with skills in plumbing, electrical wiring, roofing, guttering, gardening, cooking, butlering, maiding, nannying, and all the other odd jobs an unabashed elitist needs for work around the house, especially if working on yet another analysis of why the classless society has failed in Australia:
Something practical with their hands! Paw power! And we don't mean pounding on a keyboard, that's reserved for the Caterists.
Back in to your boxes, you Whitlamite peasants, your proper place is to do Nick Cater's plumbing ...
The Lucky Culture is a migrant's ode to the adopted country he has loved since childhood. Cater, 54, chose to move here as an adult in the late 1980s, finding it "tremendously liberating" after what he describes as a lower-middle-class upbringing in Britain: "There is no recourse to status. In this country everyone gets a fair go. There are no institutional barriers to success."
Except if you want to go to university.
Really, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Please, please, good people, it's time to create some decent institutional barriers to success.
This wouldn't of course preclude the peasants from attending a class in Caterist irony 101:
... when Rupert Murdoch was in Sydney recently, Cater, a senior editor at The Australian, handed him a copy as he was leaving for the airport. By the time Murdoch got back to New York he was so taken with the book he asked for 10 copies to be sent over.
Why even the billionaires just love fair-minded, righteous classless, fair go Caterism.
And now, please be upstanding, and sing along with the Caterists:
When I was a little boy
Daddy used to say to me
"Son, we got a lot of land
We got a lot of work to be done
Go get your marbles put 'em in the house
Tear down your castles in the sand
Come with your poppy to the cotton patch
Get a little dirt on your hands,
Get a little dirt on your hands
Forget that useless uni degree
Get a little dirt on your hands, son
Get a little dirt on your hands
And you girl, why you out of the kitchen
You need to get a little flour on your hands girl
Just like a boy needs to get a little dirt on his hands
If he's gonna grow up to be a big, big Caterist man
You need to get a little Caterist dirt,
Get a little Caterist dirt on your hands
Get a little Caterist dirt on your hands.
Or just sing along with the Delltones' cover of the tune while we wait impatiently for Nick Cater's next exposition on the classless society, provided you're willing to work as a ditch digger, or perhaps a night carter or a garbologist, and carry away Cater's verbal garbage and confused, confusing diarrohea about elites: