Tuesday, February 10, 2009

She was asking for it

Something called Natalie Bennett, writing in the Guardian, attempts to make a name for herself from the comfort of her warehouse conversion in Shoreditch by blending pseudo-environmentalism and cultural cringe into the bushfire version of the old "if only she didn't go out in public in that short skirt" argument.

Does the Guardian also think all those silly Asians should leave the tsunami zone?

Thanks for that bit of intellectualised xenophobia, Nat. Don't slip on the ice on your way to work... (via twitter)

UPDATE: I'll leave this as written to capture how her piece, and that sneering tone, made me feel. Hurt and angry in a nutshell. I suppose having taken a few deep breaths and distracted myself with some policy analysis for half an hour I don't feel as catty. We do need frank assessments following this tragedy and though I don't think she makes any useful points (Australia's 21 million population should move back to blighty? We should all live in humpies? Chop down every tree as per the UK, now her loved and adopted home?) and is highly insensitive, it is probably best that we Victorians give everything at least half-a-read in order that, when the ash settles, we can see if things can be done better.

Let me just add one final point; that if she didn't live a life of extraordinary privilege she would see people like my old welfare clients, who are proof that not even London manages its population and resources in a way that gives security to all of its population. But I guess they don't eat at the Ivy.

UPDATE II: The tactful Right Wing version; Abortion Done It. Unbelievable.


Anonymous said...

This woman at the Guardian is a complete idiot. I stopped reading ehr bit where she claimed that Flannery told her c. 1988 that the population of Australia was then 4 million. In fact, the ABS says that the population in 1988 was 16.5 million. It's astonishing that a writer would not research such an easily obtainable figure but it's unconscionable that she would blame her error on someone as well educated as Flannery.

Penthe said...

I had the same reaction of rage initially as you did. I tried very hard to arrest the feeling of 'what right have you got to say all that from the other side of the world while people are suffering here'. Because in a week or two maybe it won't be news over there at all, and if she really wanted to say those things there probably isn't a better time. Unlike here when there is likely to be months and even years of recrimination and research and blame going on.

Anonymous said...

Ummm...I thought she made some good points? Much of Australia isn't habitable and is already well over its human population carrying capacity.