Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, September 22, 2002
AUNTIQUES! That's the word. Fits those privileged preachers of Auntie's.

You know who I mean. Lane, Adams and - at the comedy end of the line - McCutcheon.

Auntie's Auntiques.

These three, with fifteen hours of our national radio broadcast time between them, come from the same 1960s mould.

Like France's Bourbons, they have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing.

What they haven't forgotten. There are people left behind in the rush of the liberal-capitalist world to greater prosperity. That governments have role in smoothing the bumpy road.

Great. Everyone knew that by 1880.

What they haven't learnt. Government failure. Bureaucracy as the age-old enemy of liberty and prosperity. The moral hazard of welfare. The growing plague of parasites carrying the banners they painted in the 1960s and 70s. That their salaries are paid by the majority they despise.

Why should they learn? Auntie's Communards pay them for staying ignorant.

Shrines of reactionary, comforting, tummy-tickling, adoration of the eternal present in which Gough didn't lose. He was robbed.

Whitlamism wasn't the playground of self-deceiving fantasists who couldn't give away beer at a trade-union picnic.

Cairns, Morosi, Connor, Grasby, rocketing deficits, soaring inflation, burgeoning bureaucracies, just the imaginings of the media moguls.

Except, of course, Auntie.

Just another dozen or so big-budget programs, another few percent tax on Big Business and the indecently prosperous, a few more public Corporations (just like Auntie) will make the dream live.

If that bastard Kerr hadn't pulled the plug!

But still there's Auntie. She's ours.

Not yours.

Stroke, stroke, stroke. Purr, purr, purr.

Should be R-rated.