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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 08:25 am
Former ALP leader Mark Latham attempts to re-write history:
I value the language of academia, with its theories and lateral thinking, but I also love the language of the Australian larrikin, so down-to-earth and expressive. This reflects the two formative experiences in my life: the time I spent dedicating myself to the virtues of a university education while growing up in a wonderfully working-class suburb of Sydney. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I treasure this mix: the value of book learning, combined with an earthy, knock-around approach.
One of the saddest things I have seen in my lifetime has been the decline in Australian male culture, the loss of our larrikin language and values. This has been squeezed out of society by a number of powerful influences: the crisis in male identity brought about by changes in the workplace and family unit; the rise of left-feminism in the 1970s and 1980s, with its sanitising impact on public culture; and, more recently, the prominence of neo-conservatism and its timid approach to social behaviour and language. Australian mates and good blokes have been replaced by nervous wrecks, metrosexual knobs and toss-bags. I saw so many of them in politics, from all states, parties and factions. It’s the revenge of the nerds, John Howard-style.
Ah, but who was it who allowed his own mother’s earthy language to be sanitised in 2004?
UPDATE. More on Mark from Andrew Bolt.