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Bit of surly class warfare from Andrew Leigh on Radio National

I-filed 2 July 2012 29

Andrew Leigh has been securing himself a disproportionate presence on the ABC Radio airwaves lately. He secured a spot on the Science Show recently, then Breakfast on Saturday. Interestingly, on Saturday he exhibited quite a nasty bit of class warfare for a chap who represents the middle-class burghers of Canberra.

Speaking about higher education degrees, he was scathing about how parents whose children attend sandstone universities “clap politely while little Johnny and Susan get their degrees”, contrasting these apparently uptight and unpleasant stuck-up types with the whooping, joyous working-class families celebrating at the “besser-brick westie” universities.

Andrew – why the pointless classist diatribe? What do you have against families where more than one member happens to have earned a degree? Moreover, Andrew Leigh, if you’re going to tar the middle-class with such scorn, shouldn’t you be representing a working-class electorate rather than Canberra with the highest proportion of higher degrees in the country? Biting the hand that feeds you!


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29 Responses to
Bit of surly class warfare from Andrew Leigh on Radio National
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Jethro 11:30 pm 04 Jul 12

Call me a classist, but I looked down upon the families at my graduation who whooped and yelled.

Damned bogans, not understanding social context. It’s not a footy match, and, no, thongs aren’t acceptable footwear.

And did you really need to bring the vuvuzelas?

I-filed 9:03 pm 04 Jul 12

Duffbowl said :

I’d like to point out that “rock-spider” has some serious connotations. If you meant to call A-Cog a lover of small children, then go right ahead. Otherwise, I’d suggest retracting.

Well then perhaps A-Cog might care to learn from a taste of his own medicine – being responded to with an irrelevant and gratuitous insult rather than a comment on the topic at hand …

dungfungus 10:46 am 04 Jul 12

c_c said :

dungfungus said :

A_Cog said :

OMG I-filed. YES that is a troll post. You took the “Johnny and Susan” quote out of context and plugged it into your overall “class war” narrative which is designed to make Andrew Leigh look like a tool. I listened to the broadcast, and you’re out of line. I think Andrew Leigh is ok, for a Harvard-educated economist who can actually understand how policy and economics should interact.
Also, you suggested that I “arm [myself] with something of substance” . I did, so try this:
I just scanned through your 65 posts. 19 are explicitly anti-Labor. That’s 30%. Then there are your anti-ABC rants. That was all I needed to see. I didn’t need to read any more of your forced, apoplectic prose.
I-filed, you’ve just been defiled.
Put down the I-pad and watch Rush Hour, which just started on channel 88.

What are you; a cyber stalker or something worse perhaps?
Watch out I-filed you just been defiled.

Yep, I’d say picture this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a7/Life_conspiracy_wall.jpg

I’ll bet his favourite movies are “One Hour Photo” starring Robin Williams and that Hitchcock classic, “Psycho”

davo101 10:06 am 04 Jul 12

nice_enough said :

My only problem with Andrew is he is such a BORING DRAB UNINSPIRING NERD.

Exactly, which is what makes him the ideal candidate to represent the electors of Fraser.

(Based entirely on what the average Australian thinks Canberrans are like).

PS: If you think Dr Leigh is boring, drab, and uninspiring my local member used to be one JW Howard.

nice_enough 9:41 am 04 Jul 12

I don’t have a problem with Leigh in this regard, in fact I think his comments were pretty fair, and did not have any of the class warfare hatered that I-Filled is whining about (maybe its in your head?) …

My only problem with Andrew is he is such a BORING DRAB UNINSPIRING NERD.

Duffbowl 9:24 am 04 Jul 12

I-filed said :

Yes, it looks as though “A-Cog” is a creepy cyber-stalker and rock-spider.

As much as like watching supporters of either side go at each other like whimpering puppies, I’d like to point out that “rock-spider” has some serious connotations. If you meant to call A-Cog a lover of small children, then go right ahead. Otherwise, I’d suggest retracting.

c_c 2:30 am 04 Jul 12

dungfungus said :

A_Cog said :

OMG I-filed. YES that is a troll post. You took the “Johnny and Susan” quote out of context and plugged it into your overall “class war” narrative which is designed to make Andrew Leigh look like a tool. I listened to the broadcast, and you’re out of line. I think Andrew Leigh is ok, for a Harvard-educated economist who can actually understand how policy and economics should interact.
Also, you suggested that I “arm [myself] with something of substance” . I did, so try this:
I just scanned through your 65 posts. 19 are explicitly anti-Labor. That’s 30%. Then there are your anti-ABC rants. That was all I needed to see. I didn’t need to read any more of your forced, apoplectic prose.
I-filed, you’ve just been defiled.
Put down the I-pad and watch Rush Hour, which just started on channel 88.

What are you; a cyber stalker or something worse perhaps?
Watch out I-filed you just been defiled.

Yep, I’d say picture this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a7/Life_conspiracy_wall.jpg

I-filed 9:34 pm 03 Jul 12

dungfungus said :

What are you; a cyber stalker or something worse perhaps?
Watch out I-filed you just been defiled.

Yes, it looks as though “A-Cog” is a creepy cyber-stalker and rock-spider. Perhaps he/she also emerges from the rock-face to administer the ALP creepy database – or works for the dirt file office. Not sure where the idea came from, that posting political opinions on Riot-Act is somehow not “legal” or “normal”. As it happens, I am a Labor voter. Just a heavily disillusioned one.

dungfungus 9:02 pm 03 Jul 12

A_Cog said :

OMG I-filed. YES that is a troll post. You took the “Johnny and Susan” quote out of context and plugged it into your overall “class war” narrative which is designed to make Andrew Leigh look like a tool. I listened to the broadcast, and you’re out of line. I think Andrew Leigh is ok, for a Harvard-educated economist who can actually understand how policy and economics should interact.
Also, you suggested that I “arm [myself] with something of substance” . I did, so try this:
I just scanned through your 65 posts. 19 are explicitly anti-Labor. That’s 30%. Then there are your anti-ABC rants. That was all I needed to see. I didn’t need to read any more of your forced, apoplectic prose.
I-filed, you’ve just been defiled.
Put down the I-pad and watch Rush Hour, which just started on channel 88.

What are you; a cyber stalker or something worse perhaps?
Watch out I-filed you just been defiled.

whitelaughter 7:58 pm 03 Jul 12

annoying

davo101 said :

I would suggest before commenting that people listen to the full interview so that they can hear the comment in the post in context.

Annoyingly, the Radio National player doesn’t seem to give the time*, but the comment is right at the end – click directly below where it says ‘go forward’, about on the ‘f’.
The rest of the interview isn’t really needed as he’s responding directly to a comment she makes.

While I’ve certainly crossed all many pieces of nasty class warfare recently, this doesn’t seem to be one of them – he’s doesn’t criticize condemn the parents who clap politely, merely points out the enthusiasm of those for whom this is the first time a family member has graduated.

*If I’ve goofed, no doubt someone will be able to give the time and where to find it 😛

Jim Jones 9:51 am 03 Jul 12

Referring to kids as Johnny and Susan is rude? When did this happen?

Political correctness gone mad I tells ya!

davo101 9:31 am 03 Jul 12

I-filed said :

It’s a verbatim quote. You haven’t listened to the interview, clearly.

You haven’t got a single verbatim quote in your post, of the two phases you’ve put in quotes neither appear in the interview. At best what you’ve done is reported what you heard when you listened to the interview.

davo101 9:07 am 03 Jul 12

dungfungus said :

I notice Leigh hasn’t commented or defended himself so what does that tell you?

That he’s got better things to do.

ummmm_no 11:05 pm 02 Jul 12

c_c said :

Well, given his own colleagues at ANU are quite openly glad to see him gone, he was never going to be very popular with the elite anyway.

Innuendo and out the other, Uniboy. Pathetic gossip mongering.

poetix 10:33 pm 02 Jul 12

‘Johnny and Susan’ are not names that scream wealthy to me, speaking from a working class point of view.

A_Cog 9:15 pm 02 Jul 12

OMG I-filed. YES that is a troll post. You took the “Johnny and Susan” quote out of context and plugged it into your overall “class war” narrative which is designed to make Andrew Leigh look like a tool. I listened to the broadcast, and you’re out of line. I think Andrew Leigh is ok, for a Harvard-educated economist who can actually understand how policy and economics should interact.
Also, you suggested that I “arm [myself] with something of substance” . I did, so try this:
I just scanned through your 65 posts. 19 are explicitly anti-Labor. That’s 30%. Then there are your anti-ABC rants. That was all I needed to see. I didn’t need to read any more of your forced, apoplectic prose.
I-filed, you’ve just been defiled.
Put down the I-pad and watch Rush Hour, which just started on channel 88.

I-filed 8:47 pm 02 Jul 12

A_Cog said :

Yep, I reckon this is a trolling post too. Take something out of context, then put words into Andrew Leigh’s mouth. Typical righty tactic. Steer away from context and facts.

It’s a verbatim quote. You haven’t listened to the interview, clearly. If you want to call a post trolling, arm yourself with something with substance to counter it with. What “context and facts” are you referring to that differ from the OP? Leigh was claiming high moral ground for “one-degree families” by scorning and deriding “two and more degree families”. In other words, he was creating a phony “us & them” as some kind of weird classist point-scoring. He could have praised “first degree” families to the skies without using the opportunity to slur sandstone university graduates, in exactly the same tone that Wayne Swan et al use to slur (surprisingly often working-class) families who pay for private schooling. Cheap, unbecoming and misfired class-war tactic.

dungfungus 8:45 pm 02 Jul 12

A_Cog said :

Yep, I reckon this is a trolling post too. Take something out of context, then put words into Andrew Leigh’s mouth. Typical righty tactic. Steer away from context and facts.

Another comment from an Andrew Leigh apologist. Are trying to say he didn’t say what is quoted?
I notice Leigh hasn’t commented or defended himself so what does that tell you?

Russ 8:37 pm 02 Jul 12

I-filed said :

There is no other interpretation for the scathing and scornful tone of the “little johnny and susan” comment other than classism. What Leigh doesn’t appear to figure, is that those working-class folk who got degrees thanks to Gough Whitlam now have grown-up kids, who are now being awarded degrees. There is nothing privileged these days about multiple degrees in a family. Leigh should be saying, “good on them” – not ridiculing them.

What utter drivel – I just had a chance to listen to the piece (it’s only about 10 minutes long and worth a listen) and to take one comment (and not refer to the interview in the original post) then explode it out of context, applying some reaching interpretation to what was said (and apparently “how” it was said) is pathetic.

The whole interview was about social mobility, which Leigh appears to have spent a large part of his career studying (I’ll avoid comparisons to Nicola Murray in The Thick of It). As explained by another poster, regardless of the Whitlam reforms, there still exists a big chunk of the population for whom in their generations haven’t had one of their own achieve a degree, and it is a *huge* deal for them when one does, and it is an important indicator and reminder of social mobility.

And as for it being “classist” to make this observation – what in the hell do you think social mobility is all about?

A_Cog 6:43 pm 02 Jul 12

Yep, I reckon this is a trolling post too. Take something out of context, then put words into Andrew Leigh’s mouth. Typical righty tactic. Steer away from context and facts.

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