Say it loud - I'm elitist and proud

Friday, April 19, 2002

IT'S ODD to be praised by both Margo Kingston and Tim Blair. But thanks to them I'm now (according to Hitmatic) getting dozens of hits from around the world, from Melbourne to Cornell University.

But from right here in Sydney, Martin English sends a follow-up to yesterday's 'Poor Sydney' story. NSW Police Minister Michael Costa is now a country member claiming his full living-away-from-home allowance for being forced to work in Sydney. I especially like the bit about 'experience the issues that confront regional and rural NSW'.

DR. THEODORE DALRYMPLE is taking my advice. The man who has chronicled the decline of Britain from the depressing point of view of a prison psychiatrist has had enough, and is moving to Australia.

More than a year ago, after reading his latest cry of anguish in The Spectator, I wrote asking why he stayed in Britain, and suggesting that he move to somewhere more pleasant, like Sydney's North Shore or Northern Beaches. (Page down about 5 times to get to my letter.) Sure enough, the leafy North Shore has won his heart. I hope he lightens up at last - but will he be as entertaining?

Thursday, April 18, 2002

THIS SHOOTING took place 1km from my home. When I can bestir myself to take some exercise in the evening, my walk route takes me past the scene of the crime. Jai Jago is not forgotten - nearly a year after his death, flowers are still being left at the scene. Hopefully he will now receive justice.

OH NO - while Margo Kingston's Web Diary makes a welcome return to the Sydney Morning Herald's webite, she now claims: 'On my return [from South Africa], the winners [neo-conservatives] appear to have finally dropped "elite" from their arsenal of abusive labels. Perhaps even they thought it too ridiculous.'

Where does that leave me?

POOR SYDNEY - he's a city with 'special needs'.

As a Sydney property owner (I have a flat, but I want to buy a house) I demand that rebate. OK, it's economically irrational, but gimme anyway.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

More on the British and their great tourist attraction, the class system: my view of David Cannadine's Class in Britain.

Monday, April 15, 2002

WHY DO the British have a class system? Because they like it. And the latest working class hero is Lord Cadogan, owner of much of Chelsea. The Sunday Telegraph reports:

The 65-year-old peer is going to court to oppose a development of four luxury houses at £1.5 million apiece in Chelsea Manor Street, on the grounds that when the site was sold to the borough by his family in 1929, the sale was subject to a covenant that the land should not be used "for any purpose whatsoever except for the housing of the working classes".

The developer which now owns it, Dano Ltd, says the covenant is meaningless, because the words "working classes" are not "capable of meaningful definition". Lord Cadogan says they are, and that the provision of affordable housing in the heart of one of the world's most expensive tracts of real estate remains an aim worth defending.

Minette Marin in the Sunday Times:
Lord Cadogan is clearly right...the working classes are with us still and object violently to being described in any other way. Class is more a state of mind than a socio-economic group... Reports of the death of the class system are much exaggerated. It has merely been softened into acceptability, and it continues to provide hours of harmless pleasure and indignation; this is one of the best forms of light entertainment in this country and one which is available hardly anywhere else in the world, at least not in our extreme baroque form.

WHO CAN support Dubya's war on terrorism while calling for Henry Kissinger to be tried as a war criminal? Christopher Hitchens, that's who.