Down and dirty

Paul Kelly tries to resuscitate Howard’s phoney “culture war” and recycles his own “polarised nation” theme in “Abbott and Gillard down and dirty” (The Australian, 26/3).

But again he can provide no hard demographic evidence, because it doesn’t exist: there is no “insider-outsider” divide, except insofar as a climatologist may uncontroversially disregard the opinion of a radio announcer on climate.

As if Kelly’s characterisation of the progressive minority of the media as “insider” and the dominant commercial giants as “outsider” were not absurd enough, he goes further: “The ABC…has departed from its charter obligations to the Australian people” by not mimicking the far-right shock-jocks of Macquarie. Even if that charter were merely to uncritically reflect popular views, which it is not, Maquarie’s line does not fit that description any more than that of the pitchfork-wielding mob they sent to Canberra. If they are Kelly’s “outsider” cultural army, then the war was over before it began.

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