Tuesday, August 9, 2011

London Calling

CLAIRVOYANCE, it’s a Bunyip gift, although not a particularly useful one. Pick Tattslotto numbers in advance? Nah. The Melbourne player who will kick the first goal -- if Melbourne can kick a goal at all, that is? Nope. The sad fact is that there has never been a single whisper from the great cosmic beyond which might have set up a coup to make the bookies bleed. But useless glances into tomorrow’s events, they come all the time. Indeed, a stark and unsettling vision of what we will find in the next few days’ newspapers and electronic media has just revealed itself.

Here is a rundown of what the less fey can expect. Take it from a Bunyip, when it comes to upcoming pontifications on the Brit riots, these tips are so solid they might as well be cast in concrete:


Someone, most likely a social worker or university specialist in “social justice”, will hold forth on the opinion page, and at some length, about how easy it should have been to predict that London would explode.

Expect these key words and phrases: racism, disenfranchised, frustration breeds violence, police, police brutality, police as an occupying force, culturally insensitive, inequitable distribution, generational alienation, budget cuts, reduced services, underclass, parallels with the Indigenous experience of the inner-city diaspora

The article will finish with a lament that “this shocking violence, while understandable in its context, must be seen as a cry for reform and a restoration of hope. Only if Britain finds the courage to hire more social workers can the country hope to avoid a repetition.”


An apology to the rioters for the societal conditions that put their petrol bombs within such easy reach. Jeff Sparrow will publish a companion piece that insists looters should be allowed to keep their flat screens and fancy footwear unless prosecutors demonstrate the charges they lay are “legally and morally legitimate.

Stephan Lewandowsky will evince little sympathy for proprietors of the looted shops because settled, peer-reviewed climate scientists have endured much worse from deniers. He will then shoot another of his remarkable YouTube videos.


Another academic – every mortarboard worth its tassle wants in on this – will reference Freud and call on social scientists to study outbreaks of urban anarchy in order to identify and model “an underlying formula, that can be employed to predict and prevent such events?”

(Actually, that is no longer a prediction. Andrew Jaspan’s $6 million vanity press has just now published such an article.)

By week’s end, expect The Conversation to have published at least one plea for the government money needed to initiate that modeling. If not forthcoming, Australia will burn.


Why every society needs its rioters, who hold up a rectifying mirror to the distortions and delusions people who do not read The Phage cherish about their bourgeois decency and respectability. By Saturday, bet on the Parkville Asylum’s Stuart Macintyre to be citing Eric Hobsbawm in support of his own prediction that the proletarian revolution is almost at hand. All it will take, according to Macintyre, is just a few looters who mistake a leftist bookshop for a sneaker store. Once they have handled those three-month-old, surface-freighted copies of Granma, capitalism is doomed.

Fairfax stock will then drop even lower than its current 78 cents and the paper’s editorial writers will cheer, as the company’s hastening demise will be the most convincing evidence yet that Macintyre is correct. They will resolve to publish more articles of a similar nature, as their newspaper is simply too good and far too smart for the morons who shop at Chadstone. When their paper goes under, that will serve capitalism right.

Meanwhile, in other corners of the building, environment writer Adam Morton will have calculated the offsets required to expiate carbon emissions from the rioters’ fires. Michelle Grattan will be working on a co-production with Michael Gordon about how the mayhem in Britain is fantastic news for Julia Gillard, who can put all those false starts behind her and really begin making up lost ground. 


Jonathan Holmes will remain preoccupied with ignoring pal Wendy Carlisle’s errors of fact in her Monckton hit piece, so he will have little time to devote more than cursory attention to events in his native land. He will, however, check if Tim Blair, Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones have made mention of the rioters’ ethnic backgrounds, and also if Blair has been up after midnight again


Unless it can find a Collingwood footballer amongst the rioters, coverage will be limited to pictures of kittens orphaned by the fires and why Gwenneth Paltrow’s eye-popping hemline stopped her dress catching fire.

           So call up Sportingbet and put your money down. It will be money for old dopes.

UPDATE: It has started. This is in the Guardian:
First, looting comes from the belief that if you cannot get equality and cannot expect justice, then you better make sure that you "get paid". "It's all about the money!" is the motto of too many young black men, who have given up all hope of attainment in a white man's world.
Most likely you will soon be able to read the rest of that article, complete with exculpatory conjunction, in the Silly and Phage.

UPDATE II: In light of this post's title,  London Calling would be the appropriate clip, but bugger it! Spanish Bombs is the better song, especially this version:


  1. "London Calling"

    ...or as Our Wendy says, "Queue the Sex Pistols".


  2. Were the cosmic rays causing a bit of interference on how did Peter van Onselen will respond in The Australian.

    He will make the obvious link between the London riots and the poor leadership of Tony Abbott, especially for failing to back a price on carbon.

    He underline the need of the Liberals to switch to a real leader and somehow get the name Malcolm Turnbull thrown in as an alternative.

  3. That should be cue not queue.

    The words missing from your otherwise excellent exercise in prescience are "black" and "African", which the left will use once each in the same way Catholics say the words fellatio and cunnilingus.

  4. That should be cue not queue.

    Well, yes. Thus my hashtag.

  5. I blame George Bush.

  6. Surely The Clash tune for this occasion is "White Riot" sure it's brainless sentiment but hell what a driving sound!

    "White riot - I wanna riot
    White riot - a riot of my own
    White riot - I wanna riot
    White riot - a riot of my own

    Black people gotta lot a problems
    But they don't mind throwing a brick
    White people go to school
    Where they teach you how to be thick"

  7. You need more Florence Foster Jenkins.


  8. Yes, it's started all right. No doubt you've bookmarked this for an update already, but if not, from today's SMH:

    "A generation has been virtually ignored by the establishment - and now the country is paying the price, writes Laurie Penny."