Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, October 04, 2002

Uncle knew she must have one. A boyfriend that is. At last he's out from under the bed

In a post so tightly argued it chokes itself, fellow blogger Don Arthur diagnoses Auntie's ideological position. Her condition is, well, representative.

That is, all clever people seem by some law of nature to be ideologically southpaw: And Auntie only consorts with clever people. Like Don.

I've never made a systematic study of this but I suspect that Australia has a shortage of credible conservative sources for stories on political and social issues. With the exception of economists, most academic social scientists seem to lean to the left - especially on social and cultural issues.

I thought it was the rabid right that based its political judgements on suspicion.

And if Auntie's operatives find non-leftist sources too right for their taste? Should the communards open their eyes a little wider? Not on your nelly, says indulgent Don.

Part of the reason the ABC ignores socially and culturally conservative opinion may be because such opinions lack spokespeople the ABC's journalists find credible as sources. If this is the case then conservative critics of the ABC ought to turn their attention to improving intellectual life on the right

Yes, you did read that, and I haven't made it up. Cleanse yourselves, O children of Satan, that ye may be fit to enter the Queendom.

The Don then resorts to the two favourite defensive manoeuvres of the Friends of Doom and the retired ABC apparatchiks who staff that cheer squad.

Both sides of politics hate Auntie when their passions are aroused, so they must both be wrong. Ergo, unbiased Auntie. Pure cop-out.

He ignores one awkward little fact. The entire permanent political commentariat proudly boasts of its bias. That is the snuffling Adams, the droning Lane and - well perhaps Mc Cutcheon doesn't care what he thinks as long as its weird - declare themselves of the left. Adams also boasts his hostility to any public figure to his right, eg shrub, little johnny.

Don then deserts that tattered banner for another equally threadbare: since the commercial media are to the (i.e.Don's) right, it is only right and proper that Auntie should be reserved for retentive Whitlamites.

Here's a lesson from my Philosophy I tutor. If you're putting a couple of premises together to make an argument, it's a good idea to check that they're not going to fight each other to the death.

If you want to read how the Auntie's politics is good for you, in the best of all possible media worlds, you'll find it better expressed by the Friends of Doom.

I'll leave you find their site for yourselves.