G'day Russ,

I can't remember whether you're on LBO or not.  In case you're not (and in
case other Thaxists might be interested), here are a couple of perhaps
edifying (and mebbe not) snippets from there.

G'day all,

Well, the 'minimalist' republican option took a 54-46% kicking.  It seems
the richer and the more formally educated the cluster the more enthusiastic
the  republican sentiment (well, it was their sorta republic), and the
poorer and the less formally educated, the weaker the support.  Women, too,
voted much more strongly against it than men.

Them's the tea-leaves.  I'll leave it to my compatriots to read 'em.

I reckon any analysis should factor in just how much this is the
consequence of marketing from both sides that, I submit, has been the most
offensive load of crap I've yet had the misfortune to gag at.  The further
we sink into this power-suited, spin-meistered, populace-loathing,
slogan-chucking mode of public discourse, the ... well, I don't actually

One thing (it has occurred to me) that we should inform interested
Americans about, is that the Australian constitution (the effective focus
of today's expensive embarrassment) is unknown to all but a dozen lawyers
and a handful of lonely academics.  Our system is the product of a sorta
common-law process - entirely run on convention, and almost entirely
without recourse to the actual (and astonishingly dated and incongruent)
constitution - only almost no-one knows that either.

Still, if anything good has come out of this, it is that Australians still
won't know anything about the constitution in whose name they cast their
vote.  None of that hands-on-hearts stuff for us!  Well, except for this
nauseating Olympics business, which is only gonna get worse, I s'pose.  If
I stop smoking, d'ya reckon I could get a seat on the space-shuttle?


G'day Ange,

>just look at the referendum result in australia.  most people voted 'no' to
>the republic question.  only 9% of people in australia are monarchists.
>rob noted that the people at the end of the scale voted 'no', but even he
>couldn't bring himself to say that overwhelmingly it was the working class
>who voted 'no'.  and we didn't vote 'no', those of us who did, because we
>wanted a monarchy, but (as well as many other reasons), the kinds of
>representational structures and organisations of working class aspirations
>are not in place in australia that would have asserted itself as an
>_identity_ within the framework of the referendum.  to put it another way,
>the working class existed only as a resounding 'fuck you'.

If you mean there's nothing in the institutional setting, no channel for
expression or will-formation, no sense we're relevant to anything, no
respect for us whatsoever implicit in the glossy lying pap beamed at us by
PR professionals, nothing we're discussing featuring in any of the
orchestrated coverage, no connections being made between our material lot
and the contentious word changes - that the whole thing seemed like a tiff
about nothing, between our distant betters, with our money but not about us
- well, yeah, I agree with you.  Had their been a 'fuck you' box, I reckon
it would've got up.

>a strongly-felt (as the pundits keep calling it) chasm between 'leaders'
>and 'led'.

Which crisis, I reckon, either produces polarised collective politics, or
reduces us to a sullen aggregate of self-privatised individuals and
grouplets.  The far right's demonstrably better at the former, and the rest
of us are demonstrably inclined to the latter.

>and there's no 'identity' because the prior forms of working class identity
>have proved themselves to be little more than mechanisms of integration and

Well, I passionately agree with this - but I don't reckon most saw this in
such a finely tuned beam - we simply hate all authority more every day.
The 'no' brigade traded on this throughout, and it resonated.  'Course,
their particular deployment was both deceitful ('direct election' alone
would just get us more of the corporate party thing) and incoherent ('don't
fix what ain't broke' is an ill fit with 'don't trust your institutions').

>which explains why traditional Labor Party electorates
>voted overwhelmingly 'no' -- as did National Party (rural) electorates

Not to my satisfaction, Ange.  A bit of insecurity overload (generally a
conservative force); a bit of 'fuck all this
symbolism-for-the-cafe-au-lait-set shit' (an impotent bleat from a proudly
practical and unpretentious political culture which has to choose from two
words to express itself); and a dash of 'we the people should be trusted to
choose our president' (although we're happy not choosing our
primeminister).  That's my instinct, anyway.

>you can't explain that without pondering the history of the collapse of
>>traditional forms of representation, organisation and identity, and
>indeed >without thinking a little of the ways in which working class
>identity is being

The welfare state seemed like a practical expression of the people, I
reckon.  This state doesn't.  Our institutions don't express us, and we're
either too insecure or too alienated from each other to even think of doing
the expressing directly ourselves.  Get into some of that Telstra stock,
buy dead-locks, and enjoy some private suit-loathing when the news comes on
- that's us.

Negatively tarrying,

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