Unsurprisingly, The Australian’s editorial finds clear messages in the election result (“It’s a mixed result, but the messages are clear”, August 28) which coincide nicely with the messages The Australian was peddling before the poll.
These messages date back to 1996 when Howard’s spin doctors, notably Andrew Robb, invented “battlers”, supposedly representing “middle Australia”, who stand in contrast to “educated urban elites”, who support Labor. This demographic fabrication is a fortune cookie, in that if you ask almost anyone if they are battling, and in the middle, they will say yes; and if you ask them if they belong to an elite, they will say no.
Who are these elites? The rich? Statistically the very poor vote Labor and the very rich, Liberal, but in between there is no clear connection. The educated? Statistics show a slight Liberal bias among people with degrees. Some kind of exclusive club to which most people are denied access? Oh, come now – but even If so, why are elections always so close?
If anything, this election has shown that people are sick of this kind of divisive claptrap and want a more consensus-driven approach.