Saturday, March 15, 2014

(Above: more Nicholson here)

Weird, or what?

It's not just that Barners was listening to Natasha Mitchell - the moment it has to be said, if a radio is handy, that the pond turns to ABC-FM - but that Barners felt the need to join in the discussion, and that he should have been identified as "Barnaby in New South Wales".

And that's before we even get on to the surreal nature of the contents.

Now the joy of the full to overflowing intertubes is that you can listen to the audio at Barnaby Joyce on bogans: Agriculture Minister incognito on Radio Natonal phone-in.

It's a bit like Superman dressing as Clark Kent and dropping in on ordinary elitist ABC mortals:

'Barnaby' went on to argue that even the act of listening to Radio National could be considered "elitist" or a "statement of class" by some in the community. 
"Don't assume anything about the Life Matters' audience," Mitchell joked. 
"I would presume that on many worksites at the moment that people with tool-bags are probably unlikely to be listening to this program, even though it's a great program," 'Barnaby' replied.

Uh huh. Or should that be eek, he's an unctuous, creepy crawly, genuine cardigan-wearing ABC listener who just loves talk back radio and the sound of his own voice.

If you happen to find listening to Barners induces a certain kind of giddiness, you can always read Barnaby Joyce makes surprise call to ABC radio to talk about class and bogans.

It turns out that this Barners was a twit who didn't have the first clue:

"Barnaby in New South Wales, hi!"
Barnaby: "G'day Natasha… "I think if people honestly believe that there's a class system then it would be clearly identifiable as you walk down the street.
"You'd be able to say that person belongs to that class, that person belongs to another class, and I don't think it is," he added.
Barnaby from New South Wales made several further points. It was a myth that a class system still existed in modern Australia. Being a "bogan" was more often than not "a consumer choice" and paying for private education was a consumer choice not unlike buying a speedboat or a car.
"Where is the clearly identifiable upper class?" Barnaby from New South Wales wondered. "Where do you see people and say, 'Well that person is obviously of the upper class?"' Another caller suggested to Barnaby that the upper class could be found at Randwick Racecourse and "in all the good places".

Yep, Mosman would be a good starting point too. And Woollahra. You could, with a bit of luck, spot the special Minister for Copper Wiring ...

It always strikes the pond as bizarre when people claim that Australia is a classless society. What on earth is the point of having a monarch in a remote eerie and elites handing out gongs to each other and ponces and prats strutting around in their specially reserved pockets of wealth if you can't have some good old fashioned class attached to the phenomenon?

Did the pond just dream it passed by first class and business class seating on the way to the sardine can at the rear of the plane?

What was all that about a class war we heard being banged as a drum for years?

The idea that Australia is a classless society is a myth that many of us cling to – mateship and egalitarian stories of sacrifice in war are promoted as enduring and iconic virtues. 
But it is nonetheless a myth. The truth is somewhat less saccharine. The class struggle is alive and well in Australia and low-level class war is a constant feature of daily life. Most workers know this instinctively – prices go up faster than wages, car industry handouts don’t save their jobs but (coincidence the bosses claim) seem to be equal to the “profit” announced by the “struggling” Ford Motor Company. (and a lot more here).

But do go on Barners. We love the sight of you being in love with your insights:

Perhaps trying to elevate the discussion, Natasha Mitchell asked about the division between public and private education in Australia. What, she asked, did Barnaby think about the concentration of children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in public schools? 
"I think it is a case of parents wanting to make a greater contribution towards an education," Barnaby said. "That's a choice that they make. Some people decide to buy a speedboat, some people decide to buy an SUV… 
"Well, not many people decide to buy a speedboat," Ms Mitchell interjected. 
Barnaby: "Ok, well whatever blows your hair back. Whatever makes you happy. 
"Some people have a desire … especially sons and daughters of immigrants, they want to get their kids the best form of education and they think there is an advantage there, but you can easily fix that up by just giving greater latitude to state schools to have a greater say over what they do and that will remove a lot of that."

Whatever blows your hair back?

Life is a blow dryer?

So education is like buying a speedboat or an SUV and your choice is to choose whatever form of education is doing the rounds, and if it features creationism and religious fundamentalism, why just give the state schools the latitude to go barking mad, and everything will be well ...

Or some such. And then, last night, Rebecca Huntley on RN Drive claimed to have received another call from someone calling themselves Barners, and they joked about the dangers of admitting to being an ABC listener, though the pond was inclined to dismiss it as an elaborate hoax.

Oh it was a great joke around the pond's kitchen table, until someone paused to contemplate the obvious.

In a few years, if Warren Truss decides to move along, his likely successor will be Barnaby Joyce. And the way things work at the moment, that means Barners will be the deputy prime minister ...

At that moment an astonished gloom settled on the table.

That such a thing could be ...

I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked 
 And fell down in a fit; 
 The holy Hermit raised his eyes, 
 And prayed where he did sit. 
 I took the oars: the Pilot's boy, 
 Who now doth crazy go, 
 Laughed loud and long, and all the while 
 His eyes went to and fro. 
 "Ha! ha!" quoth he, "full plain I see, 
 The Devil knows how to do talk back radio." (apologies to STC whose original can be found here)

(Below: more Moir here)

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