Let the cleaners be free

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:31 am

question that would only occur to an Age writer:

Is hiring someone else to clean up after you ethical?

The Age’s Alex May continues:

Danielle Robertson, CEO of DIAL-AN-ANGEL, says clients hiring the $25-an-hour cleaners from her agency are typically time-poor. “People don’t want to spend four hours on a Saturday cleaning – they would rather be sunning themselves or taking a walk or spending time with their family,” she says.

But maybe those cleaners would rather be sunning themselves or taking a walk or spending time with their family, too?

If they would rather be sunning themselves, there’s nothing stopping them. Poor but happy, they’d be, without jobs and income. Of course, Alex herself might be able to spend more time with her family if she weren’t required to write appalling nonsense for the Age. Where’s the justice?

Posted by Tim B. on 01/30/2007 at 09:43 AM
    1. The solution is for people who are working at non-cleaning jobs and earning the money to pay those who don’t have those same kind of jobs, to merely send the poor wretches a check for their non-cleaning services and clean their own damn houses.

      Fair’s fair.

      Posted by blerp on 2007 01 30 at 09:59 AM • permalink


    1. Is this Alex person serious? Can she really be that stupid!!??

      Posted by Latino on 2007 01 30 at 10:14 AM • permalink


    1. Hiring a Cleaner: Does it Leave a Sour Taste?

      Well, not if the bloody maid properly rinses the dishes. The article, incidentally, sets a new standard for lunkheaded triteness. What’s next? “Do You Tip the Table Help in Buffet-Style Restaurants?”; “What’s Wrong with Meeting the Postman Half-Way?”; “Are You Really ‘Green’? Twelve Things You Can Do with Your Bathwater.”

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 10:15 AM • permalink


    1. Gee, it’s such a shame that housecleaners have to work 7 days a week, huh?

      Paco’s right as always—there’s no pleasing some people. Where oh where does it end?

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 01 30 at 10:29 AM • permalink


    1. only in pravda indeed – & the comments are astounding.  what a bunch of tossers.  the whole point of getting a decent job is to pay for stuff you want. some people buy manolos.  some people pay lap dancers.  some people buy gazillion burner barbecues with liquid oxygen on tap.  if i want to spend my money helping my nice chinese cleaner get through his engineering degree, while i read the spectator, assemble ikebana from stiffened cholera bandages or stare into space, it’s nobody’s business but mine.  who in their right mind would clean dunnies & vacuum cat hair off the furniture if they didn’t have to? perhaps someone could wise alex may up to the concept of supply & demand.  with a cluebat.  not that she looks like a woman who does her own cleaning.  too busy rushing to the hairdresser to have the foils done ( takes ages you know), the gym & then back to the office to invent some lefty wank only a prize plonker like jaspan would pay for – the dead giveaway is saying “One of my dear friends refuses to hire a cleaner”, the classic marker of making stuff up

      Posted by KK on 2007 01 30 at 10:33 AM • permalink


    1. I bet she’d rather work on saturday, and eat all week.  Sheesh!  Is it ethical to buy an ipod when other people had to work to make the thing?

      Just how stupid have we become?

      Posted by blogagog on 2007 01 30 at 10:40 AM • permalink


    1. blogagog “very stupid.”

      If someones a computer programmer the person cleaning their house might want to buy an inventory program.

      Do they care about programmers who would rather be sunning themselves?

      I bet Alex May has called at least one technician on a saturday when their cleaner accidentally fdisked the boot partition away.

      Bloody favouritism.

      Posted by hollingshead on 2007 01 30 at 10:54 AM • permalink


    1. I hire a person to come in four hours a week just so I can follow her around apologizing for having more money than she does.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 01 30 at 10:56 AM • permalink


    1. #12 LOL.

      Paco, you have a gift.

      Posted by C.L. on 2007 01 30 at 11:02 AM • permalink


    1. #3, rather.

      Posted by C.L. on 2007 01 30 at 11:03 AM • permalink


    1. Hell, I don’t make 25 bucks an hour.

      Granted, there’s a distinct lack of cleaning up under some slob’s couch cushions in my current vocation but still…

      Posted by RyanOH on 2007 01 30 at 11:17 AM • permalink


    1. #10: Thank you, C.L. I’m wondering if I could make it as an Age writer. I think I could do it in my spare time, and I’d work for cleaning-woman wages (oh, lord! I’ve just recalled Steve Martin in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid! He went berserk every time someone said the words, “cleaning woman.”).

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 11:18 AM • permalink


    1. It’s hard to find good help these days.
      I mean, good writing help.

      Posted by Merlin on 2007 01 30 at 11:37 AM • permalink


    1. OK, who let paco have comment #12, making CL look like he’s proactively complimenting paco?

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2007 01 30 at 11:46 AM • permalink


    1. So that’s where the Tardis got off to.

      Posted by monkeyfan on 2007 01 30 at 11:52 AM • permalink


    1. #14. Yairs, the time/space continuem has been corrupted.  And wronright’s nowhere to be seen.
      Coincidence?  I think not!

      Posted by Olrence on 2007 01 30 at 11:55 AM • permalink


    1. In publishing, editors are the hired cleaners.  Not everybody has them.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2007 01 30 at 12:09 PM • permalink


    1. Does watching the maid clean up give you liberal guilt pangs? (compassionate head-tilt)

      Then fire the bitch!

      Sure, her family may go hungry, but you’ll feel better about yourself.

      Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 2007 01 30 at 12:11 PM • permalink



      Augh, that comment, along with the constant repetition of “You should pay more, you’ll feel better,” represent what I hate about lefty socialist thought:

      1. Setting arbitrary prices because it’s fair.

      2. Making every damn thing in the world more expensive. I have yet to see a single lefty policy that won’t result in higher costs. Hell, that’s not a side effect, it’s the goal.

      Posted by Fatmouse on 2007 01 30 at 12:12 PM • permalink


    1. But it has to be said, sometime back in ‘83 my then wife and I moved up to Papua New Guinea.

      The standard go was to engage domestic staff, often with comic results, but it was just the done thing.

      Anyway, we didn’t.  Not sure why, something to do with an unexamined egalitarian ethic or something.  By the time we left the country after two years we’d realized that all we’d achieved was to deny some aspirational national of an income, one which we could have well afforded but of huge significance to the worker.  On reflection, little wonder they thought we were’nt ‘playing the game’.

      Silly delusioned souls we were.

      Posted by Olrence on 2007 01 30 at 12:13 PM • permalink


    1. Oh, and two more items of Lefty stupidity:

      1. Half the posters are up in arms over the phrase “the new black” because, you know, RACISM!  It’s like that “niggardly” controversy all over again.

      2. Someone commented that if you only pay your maid 12 bucks an hour, you deserve to have them steal from you. That’s right, hippies, stick it to the man! Property is theft!

      Posted by Fatmouse on 2007 01 30 at 12:16 PM • permalink


    1. #20. weren’t.  PIMF

      Then we realized that you can’t feed your kids on notions of dignity.  Alas, too late.

      Posted by Olrence on 2007 01 30 at 12:18 PM • permalink


    1. $25 an hour?

      A 40 hour week with four weeks vacation means $48,000 a year! Assuling – like our cleaner – they get paid cash-in-hand then they are sitting on a very pretty penny indeed.

      Do I fell ethic

      Posted by Villeurbanne on 2007 01 30 at 12:22 PM • permalink


    1. #22. Not when true dignity comes from self-reliance and the reward for honest toil.

      But we hadn’t realised that then.  You see, we were all theory, no experience.

      Posted by Olrence on 2007 01 30 at 12:23 PM • permalink


    1. (Apolgies…hit submit)

      Do I feel ethically challenged? No, not a bit. Good on ‘em for getting out and finding a market that suits their schedule and skills.

      Posted by Villeurbanne on 2007 01 30 at 12:23 PM • permalink


    1. My grandmother came to America as a cleaning girl; a poor Norske kid who was sponsored by a family that had made good. She continued in this profession when my grandfather died and she had two small boys to raise.

      She had more dignity and class than the whole Age staff crammed together. To hell with them.

      (Aside: Perhaps if the $25-an-hour cleaners had genuine Pine-Accented Cleansing Oil™, it would make their job easier.)

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 01 30 at 12:33 PM • permalink


    1. #26: (Aside: Perhaps if the $25-an-hour cleaners had genuine Pine-Accented Cleansing Oil™, it would make their job easier.)

      And a 55-gallon drum of the stuff is available for what you’d pay for a one-year subscription to the Age. Life is about choices.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 12:36 PM • permalink


    1. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear this was parody.

      Western capitalism has created so much wealth that we, as a society, can afford to pay dimwits like Alex May to gaze at their fucking navels.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 01 30 at 12:49 PM • permalink


    1. All I can say is that later today I’m leaving the GP surgery where I work as an RN to become a cleaner as the pay rate is higher

      Anyone here live in Sydney who needs me to clean the loo?

      Posted by aussiemagpie on 2007 01 30 at 12:51 PM • permalink


    1. #29, remember though that $25 includes GST so call it $22.70. Plus whatever the Dial-An-Angel agency skims off the top. They’d also have a fair bit of unpayed travel time and “gaps” between jobs.

      Still that’s a good pay rate. Of course if you’re going to go and take a walk while someone cleans the house you really don’t want to be paying them $5 an hour and hoping that don’t steal everything that isn’t nailed down.

      Posted by sam on 2007 01 30 at 01:17 PM • permalink


    1. #30 sam

      Yes of course all the extra taxes skimmed off the top

      However if anyone here living in would like a top cleaner I’m the one for you – I won’t pinch anything I promise and believe me I’ve had many years of experience cleaning loos

      Because I’m multiskilled (being an RN) I’ll have to charge a bit more though than $25 an hour

      Posted by aussiemagpie on 2007 01 30 at 01:23 PM • permalink


    1. #14 Rob Crawford – OK, who let paco have comment #12, making CL look like he’s proactively complimenting paco?

      #15 monkeyfan – So that’s where the Tardis got off to.

      #16 Olrence – Yairs, the time/space continuem has been corrupted.  And wronright’s nowhere to be seen.  Coincidence?  I think not!


      Oh for pete’s sake people.  This has nothing to do with the Tardis, or time travel.  This has everything to do with the likelihood that paco took a chapter from Darryl Mason’s book of self-praise and paid CL to post adoring comments with respect to paco’s own comments.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if paco dangled some sort of independent sales representative job marketing a product that is both unethical and profitable.

      The only reason this even shows up as odd is CL apparently shot the gun too quick, giving his “oh you’re so smart” comment before paco even commented.

      Oh, this is bad.  I call for an ethics investigation.

      Posted by wronwright on 2007 01 30 at 02:06 PM • permalink


    1. Is it ethical to read what someone else has written?  Of course, most would prefer leisure activities to spending countless hours writing a novel.

      Then again, wouldn’t the writer prefer to spend their time engaged in leisure activity?

      Sounds immoral to me!

      Posted by Christopher Ross on 2007 01 30 at 02:13 PM • permalink


    1. Is it ethical for the Age to pay for tripe when they could have monkeys with keyboards write it just for fun?

      Alex May is depriving simians of productive, esteem-enhancing play.

      Posted by Harry Bergeron on 2007 01 30 at 02:14 PM • permalink


    1. This person really is an idiot.

      Posted by Room 237 on 2007 01 30 at 02:22 PM • permalink


    1. Here’s one of the commenters:

      I think the only moral issue here is price. Paying anyone $10 an hour to do anything is immoral, particularly work that hard and for a handful of hours. Shame on anyone who agrees to that price.

      Exploitation starts at anything less than $25 an hour, in my view.

      (Mika)How can she tell that paying anyone $10 to do anything is immoral?  Seems to me that’d be overpaying our friend Alex.  Where did she come up with the $25/hour minimum figure?  Why not $22.50? Or $30?


      Posted by Not My Problem on 2007 01 30 at 02:28 PM • permalink


    1. #32: Ethics investigation? Ethics investigation? I’ll tell you what deserves an ethics investigation. I’m sittin’ here, minding my own business, taking my government-approved lunch break, spooning a mouthful of coffee-flavored yogurt into my gob, and you write something so funny that it makes me spit the stuff all over my vintage, silk Van Heusen tie, 40 minutes before an important meeting. No, on second thought, that doesn’t require an ethics investigation. That requires a law suit. For actual damages, and for pain and suffering (did I mention that it’s one of my favorite ties?).

      Seriously ponders ramifications of ethics investigation. Could threaten to spill the beans on Rove, but that would probably mean a life-long hitch in the witness protection program, with some crummy job, probably driving the honey wagon behind the elephants in a Romanian circus – or even worse: maybe cleaning Alex May’s house. No. Must do the honorable, manly thing: find a way to blame this on Stoop Davy Dave.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 02:32 PM • permalink


    1. #29 aussiemagpie: No, but I can offer you an RN position in sunny QLD. Casual, $13.25/hr, no penalty rates. Lots of crappy stuff to do.

      Hey, who knows, I just might get an RN for that. And I’m sure I’ll get what I paid for, too. My world view is sometimes remarkably uncomplicated. Something to to do with market forces. If I lived in Byron Bay, I might even call it the Ying-Yang of Economics. All natural, organic even, none of that artificial subsidising rubbish they like to throw in nowadays. That stuff clogs up your liver, don’t you know, throws everything out of balance. Economic Feng Shui for me!

      (Please don’t bother to improve on that, JonathanH. Just let me know if I’ve missed any Moonbat Alpha stories in the last couple of days)

      Posted by Dminor on 2007 01 30 at 02:43 PM • permalink


    1. BTW, DIAL-AN-ANGEL doesn’t immediately sound like the sort of service you get for less than $25 per hour.

      Posted by Dminor on 2007 01 30 at 02:45 PM • permalink


    1. Hiring a cleaner: does it leave a sour taste?

      So simple to solve. It’s called rinsing. OR check to see if the cleaner hired, is packing arsenic.

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 01 30 at 02:46 PM • permalink


    1. #34 What is unethical is the Age requiring people to pay for such tripe.

      Alex May is letting his classism show.

      Posted by rbj1 on 2007 01 30 at 03:00 PM • permalink


    1. Newspaper/magazine editors clients hiring the $25-an-hour cleaners from her agency writers are typically time-poor. “People don’t want to spend four hours on a Saturday cleaning their time writing – they would rather be sunning themselves or taking a walk or spending time with their family,” she says.

      But maybe those cleaners writers would rather be sunning themselves or taking a walk or spending time with their family, too?

      Instead of, you know, earning a living for those families.

      There – fixed.


      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2007 01 30 at 03:20 PM • permalink


    1. Dear Alex,

      Is it ethical to pay for sex? My local whorehouse charges $130 for a half hour visit, but I could get it at home for free. A dear friend says it’s good to have a change and my partner says go ahead, just leave me alone! What do you think, Alex, should I be helping support single mother hookers with expensive drug habits?

      Posted by Big Arnie on 2007 01 30 at 03:41 PM • permalink


    1. But maybe those cleaners would rather be sunning themselves or taking a walk or spending time with their family, too?

      Which, presumably, they get to do when they’re not working, just like everyone else who has a regular working schedule.

      BTW, the #25 an hour goes to the cleaning service, not the individual worker.  They get less than half that.  They’d be better off working independently and cutting out the middlewoman.

      When I was working (and going to school to better myself, and raising two kids, and keeping my husband in clean clothes and sexual favors) I would have killed to afford a house cleaning service once a week.  I wouldn’t have felt guilty about it either.  And my kids would still have been forced to clean up their rooms and do their homework.  Alex May of the Age is either dishonest or stupid.  His choice.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 01 30 at 03:47 PM • permalink


    1. For crying out loud, Alex.  It’s a job.  They’re not house elves.

      Posted by Achillea on 2007 01 30 at 03:50 PM • permalink


    1. RebeccaH, why can’t he be both stupid and dishonest?  Surely he can multi-task that much.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 01 30 at 03:59 PM • permalink


    1. Next thing they’re going to say that hiring someone to have sex with you is unethical…

      Posted by Quentin George on 2007 01 30 at 04:06 PM • permalink


    1. It’s official folks: spending time with family is a guilty pleasure of our modern, artificial time! (It must be official; it’s in The Age)

      Posted by AlburyShifton on 2007 01 30 at 04:35 PM • permalink


    1. Sorry if someone has already made this point: but when time-poor individuals pay people to clean their house so they can spend time with their family or sunning themselves on a Saturday, the cleaners typically do not come in and work on the Saturday-they clean during the week, when the homeowner is at work, then go out on the Saturday with their family or sun themselves.

      People who hire cleaners are not oppressive overlords but employment creators.

      The issue of hiring cleaners troubles successful lefties quite a lot. A former colleague of Nick’s expressed guilt at the fact that she had to have a cleaner in because both she and her husband worked full time.

      — Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2007 01 30 at 04:49 PM • permalink


    1. It’s Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage. I can wash dishes as well as my maid, and I’m not too shabby at ironing (she does have the edge here, admittedly). But last time I checked, her software engineering skills were somewhat lower than mine. Therefore from a productivity point of view, it does not make any sense for me to wash my own underpants and have my maid write C++ programs.

      I pay my maid about twice minimum wage, roughly £1 per hour. I only need about six hours a week, so it’s not too much of a strain on the wallet.

      Posted by David Gillies on 2007 01 30 at 04:54 PM • permalink


    1. Ethical, or moral? You DO understand the difference, don’t you?

      I have to ask, seeing as you’re a reporter and all…

      Posted by mojo on 2007 01 30 at 04:58 PM • permalink


    1. #44 RebeccaH –

      When I was working (and going to school to better myself, and raising two kids, and keeping my husband in clean clothes and sexual favors)

      Oh good lord RebeccaH, you sound like Mrs. wronwright.  She calls it giving me sexual favors.  Like it’s a favor to me.  I tell her it’s a mutual favor.  It’s as much for her as for me.  I usually give her a satisfied knowing nod with I say that.

      Why do 99% of all wives think sex is a gift, transferred from the wife to the husband.  And not a gift from the husband to the wife?  Why?  Why?

      I bet Halliburton is involved some how.

      Posted by wronwright on 2007 01 30 at 05:08 PM • permalink


    1. Of course, the ethical thing is not to pay them at all. The extra money won’t make them any happier and could cause mental illness.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 01 30 at 05:12 PM • permalink


    1. #29 – aussiemagpie, I did leave being a RN to set up my own company. To get an even bigger cash flow to the business, my partner & I started cleaning offices. Great money for the hours worked (before & after hours) and not too much thinking on the job. Leaves plenty of time for the gym, share trading and catching a few rays (with 30 plus on of course).

      Posted by ozconservative on 2007 01 30 at 05:13 PM • permalink


    1. Of course it’s silly to hire a maid service… That’s what you have children for, as I was reminded on numerous occasions while growing up.  On the other hand, I was recently looking at one of those Roomba robo-vac things to keep my place clean, which costs a bit more, but that way I’m only exploiting our future robot overlords.

      By the way, anyone else find it slightly odd that all of Paco’s “Vintage” silk ties all seem to still have the pricetag hanging off of ‘em?

      Posted by Vexorg on 2007 01 30 at 05:15 PM • permalink


    1. I wonder if Ms. May suffers from pangs of guilt over the fact that she pays someone to change the oil in her car?  After all, that guy down at the garage would probably rather be sunning themselves, or spending time with their family.  Well, other than the fact that the guy down at the garage would like a paycheck more.  So Ms. May is going to buy herself some 40-weight and an oil filter and drag herself under her car, right?

      Posted by David Crawford on 2007 01 30 at 05:27 PM • permalink


    1. Lord Finchley
      by Hilaire Belloc

      Lord Finchley tried to mend the Electric Light
      Himself. It struck him dead: And serve him right!
      It is the business of the wealthy man
      To give employment to the artisan.

      Posted by BruceW on 2007 01 30 at 05:30 PM • permalink


    1. Clean up after you?

      Tim Blair, the Age office in QLD needs a big clean up!! People near the far corner of the room closest to the photographers division clean up your desks!!! Hide your 80’s magazines!!

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 01 30 at 05:44 PM • permalink


    1. #30

      On costs used to be about 24%.

      Posted by kae on 2007 01 30 at 05:47 PM • permalink


    1. Since we all offer our labor for sale, what the hell difference does it make whether you’re a cleaner, a journalist or a rocket scientist.

      From what I see, being a journo on The Age is a far less prestigious job than a cleaner.

      Posted by Bonmot on 2007 01 30 at 05:47 PM • permalink


    1. Thank you for the clerihew
      Bruce W.
      It cheered me from my mood so dour
      As I make eighteen cents an hour.

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 01 30 at 05:49 PM • permalink


    1. #36

      I had to chuckle at that. The journos on The Byron Shire Echo a privately owned and very profitable moonbat community weekly, get paid $15 per hour.

      Posted by JonathanH on 2007 01 30 at 06:04 PM • permalink


    1. #62
      It’s profitable because of the real-estate ads, and the general business advertising, of course.

      Posted by JonathanH on 2007 01 30 at 06:08 PM • permalink


    1. #60

      From what I see, being a journo on The Age is a far less prestigious job than a cleaner.

      Not to mention far less useful.

      You know, there have been a lot of charlatans over the years with a lot of ‘schemes’.
      Perpetual motion.
      Carbon trading….

      Posted by kae on 2007 01 30 at 06:21 PM • permalink


    1. #64
      Peter Foster’s diet tea.

      Posted by kae on 2007 01 30 at 06:21 PM • permalink


    1. Without a doubt the dumbest thing I have read in the Aged – just slighty dumber than yestedays “world is ending and we’re all doomed” front page even.  When I was a kid my mum did a few stints cleaning houses to supplement the family income – it helped to pay the mortgage.  She also worked in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation for a bit.  Its called a job.  I’ve cleaned offices and worked other unskilled jobs to pay for the essentials at uni (like beer and nightclub entry fees).  And I’m sooo grateful I was pitied by this cross eyed fuckwit.  Lets all save the poor oppressed wage earners eh Alex, you fucking hypocrite.

      Posted by bondo on 2007 01 30 at 06:26 PM • permalink


    1. Of course lefties worry about paying cleaners. It disproves their idiotic theories that if we keep improving productivity then fewer people will be needed to make necessities and there will be mass unemployment. As we right wing economist types have to keep reminding them, people will always find new services and products that they’re willing to pay for which creates these opportunities like running your own cleaning business. That’s why people can have jobs like being a consultant on how to dress properly or be personal fitness trainers.

      Posted by Francis H on 2007 01 30 at 06:41 PM • permalink


    1. And I’ve used cleaners, as has already been said most work weekdays (although i’m sure some do weekends). Their choice when they want to take time off. Never felt a pang of guilt.

      Posted by Francis H on 2007 01 30 at 06:44 PM • permalink


    1. #52 Why do 99% of all wives think sex is a gift, transferred from the wife to the husband.  And not a gift from the husband to the wife?  Why?  Why?

      Wronwright, this is a discussion Mr. H and I have had many times over the decades we’ve spent together.  At this point in time, the less said the better.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 01 30 at 07:04 PM • permalink


    1. Clive Hamilton is typically having a bloody good grizzle about right wing commentators while conveniently ignoring the left wing commentariat – including himself, add Alan Ramsay, Terry Lane, Mike Carlton, Phillip Adams, Adele Horin, Michelle Grattan et al – but I digress – read his exquisite whine in today’s The Australian which is below:-

      Cut & paste: How a right-wing, pro-Howard cabal is stifling debate

      January 31, 2007

      Clive Hamilton and Sarah Maddison, in Silencing Dissent (Allen & Unwin), on the controllers of public opinion

      THE [Howard] Government’s close cabal of supporters – an inner circle of ideological warriors comprised of [the Herald Sun’s] Andrew Bolt, [Quadrant editor] Paddy McGuinness, [The Sydney Morning Herald’s] Miranda Devine, [The Australian’s] Janet Albrechtsen and [The Daily Telegraph’s] Piers Akerman, and others such as [The Australian’s] Imre Salusinszky, [historian] Keith Windschuttle, [The Australian’s] Christopher Pearson and [the Sydney Institute’s] Gerard Henderson – are mostly associated with Quadrant, a right-wing magazine, and the neo-conservative think tanks the Centre for Independent Studies and the Institute of Public Affairs.
      Together with talkback radio host Alan Jones they form a sort of syndicate of right-wing commentators who receive favour from the Howard Government not only because they share a similar ideological position but because they are vituperative and unrelenting critics of anything vaguely to the Left of a centre that, over the last two decades, has shifted a long way to the Right.
      As a group, this right-wing syndicate helps to set the climate of public debate, working in ideological lockstep with the Government and often narrowing the terms of the debate itself by pouring scorn on anyone who still dares to articulate views associated with the now unfashionable values of social justice and human rights …

      The actions of the Howard Government have put Australian democracy at risk.

      God I love moonbats!

      Posted by Bonmot on 2007 01 30 at 07:04 PM • permalink


    1. #70 Tim doesn’t get a mention?  Clearly Clive Hamilton needs to start reading this blog.

      Posted by bondo on 2007 01 30 at 07:32 PM • permalink


    1. Well Bonmot the only governments anyone is supposed to agree with are Labor or left-wing. Anyone agreeing with a conservative government are simply in “lock-step” and stifling debate.

      Funny how pouring scorn is now equated with stifling debate. Wasn’t the mantra of the left during hanson’s moment in the spotlight that freedom of speech didn’t include freedom from ridicule or strong criticism.

      Posted by Francis H on 2007 01 30 at 07:40 PM • permalink


    1. Hmmmm.

      @ wronwright

      Why do 99% of all wives think sex is a gift, transferred from the wife to the husband.  And not a gift from the husband to the wife?  Why?  Why?

      *shrug* look at it this way.

      If *you* had to look at a guy’s fat hairy backside and go “Whoooo!  That is sseeexxxxyyyyy!  And I’m getting me some of that tonight!”.

      Well you’d probably think it was a gift too.


      Posted by memomachine on 2007 01 30 at 07:52 PM • permalink


    1. #3 Ah, Paco, the tipping bit is all screwed up in Australia. They haven’t quite figured out the concept of Fast Food or Service, although they try.

      ..But nice bunch of people 🙂

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 01 30 at 07:55 PM • permalink


    1. “Is hiring someone else to clean up after you ethical?”

      Not only is it ethicval, it is morally correct. Not to expend resources upon things you and others want is to waste them.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 01 30 at 07:58 PM • permalink


    1. Expect a survey of staff in the newsroom of The Age-Jazeera would find a disproportionate number of people who have a little ethnic woman who comes in and does for them for a pittance. Ditto the ironing, ditto the garden. Those busy lives trying to social engineer a whole state leaves no time for the mundane tasks of life. Maybe Alex May’s cleaning lady quit and the agency won’t send around another one.

      The left looks in the mirror every morning is sees a grasping, greedy snob and thinks everyone else is like that.

      Posted by Contrail on 2007 01 30 at 07:59 PM • permalink


    1. This Alex May chick must’ve been living in a cave (Osama?) to have discovered that people hire maids or cleaners because families (or couples) have two incomes from full time work, and therefore have less discretionary time with which to clean their home and do laundry.

      Also, my shirts are sent out to the laundry, I take my car to a car wash, I get pizza delivered, I go to a bar (rather than drinking at home with store-bought), garbagemen make home pick-up so I don’t drive to the dump…ahh…you get the idea…all sorts of tasks or personal services that are outsourced to other service providers.

      Is Alex May 12 years old? Or what?

      Posted by Forbes on 2007 01 30 at 08:04 PM • permalink


    1. #39 Dminor, I concur. That would typically be $150 for 30 minutes, $250 an hour up here.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 01 30 at 08:10 PM • permalink


    1. #43 Big Arnie, home cooking is fine, but occasionally it is nice to go out to the restaruant.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 01 30 at 08:14 PM • permalink


    1. Last night we hired a Dial-an-Angel babysitter – $84.20 for the first 4 hours, then $15 p.h.

      Four-year-old Rosie loved Jessica (young woman in her late 20s) and drew a picture of the two of them together.

      Nevertheless, the experience will undoubtedly scar her for life. We’re so ashamed, gallivanting off to enjoy ourselves.

      But we live in Sydney, so shallowness and greed come naturally to us.

      Posted by David Morgan on 2007 01 30 at 08:34 PM • permalink


    1. Snobbery and class consciousness at its finest.

      Note she doesn’t mention paying an IT person to fix her computer, or paying a tradesman to fix her washing machine. So why pick the cleaner?

      Because she secretly looks down on anyone who does cleaning for a living. She does not regard it as a paid service, to her it is somehow shameful, unskilled and subservient.

      That’s my take, could be wrong. On the other hand, I know a lot of people just like this idiot and have heard similar discussions.

      Posted by dee on 2007 01 30 at 08:40 PM • permalink


    1. #43 & #79. What’s going on here? The sexual revolution has obviously happened and not included me.
      My recent suggestion of getting a live-in young swedish housemaid that could help out around the house with various other things prompted a glare that could kill a man.

      Posted by Hank Reardon on 2007 01 30 at 08:48 PM • permalink


    1. #81 I think you are spot on.
      #72 For some reason, when I first read your post I read it as “Funny how scoring porn…” and thought, ok, I wonder where this comment is going… Then I read it again, it made more sense the second time.

      Posted by Not My Problem on 2007 01 30 at 08:54 PM • permalink


    1. I think we are all getting a little hot under the collar here.  If this is the right Alex she is a. cute b. probably worried about what her Mum thinks about her, as do most women in my non statistically valid experience and c. not aware at all that she has said anything controversial.  Let’s just look at the pictures, this is the girl’s section of the paper.

      Posted by allan on 2007 01 30 at 08:57 PM • permalink


    1. The problem I have with hiring a cleaner is that my wife runs around cleaning the house before the cleaner arrives.

      Posted by ilibcc on 2007 01 30 at 09:07 PM • permalink


    1. #84: We. Must. Rescue. Her.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 09:08 PM • permalink


    1. Unethical!  You want to know what unethical is. . . my wife makes me tidy up before the cleaning lady comes!!!

      I’m trying to run an effective refugee resettlement programme (El Salvadoran cleaner, Chinese ironing Man, Pommie Lawn Mower man) and the wife is taking bread out of their mouths!!

      Posted by Razor on 2007 01 30 at 09:10 PM • permalink


    1. ilibcc obviously a little quicker on the draw!

      What is it with the cleaning up before the cleaner?  The Mother-in-Law does it too so I thought it was genetic.

      Posted by Razor on 2007 01 30 at 09:12 PM • permalink


    1. My Chinese Ironing man is putting two boys through one of the top (admittedly Catholic so not the most expensive) PSA Boys Schools in Perth!!

      Posted by Razor on 2007 01 30 at 09:13 PM • permalink


    1. Tim, stop troubling yourself by reading The Standard Gauge. Go to the Herald Sun and be delighted by the girls of Werribee.

      Posted by slatts on 2007 01 30 at 09:25 PM • permalink


    1. #70

      Cut & paste: How a right-wing, pro-Howard cabal is stifling debate

      Ugh. The Loewenstein argument, rendered all the more silly by having it published in an ostensibly right-wing pro-Howard newspaper such as The Oz.

      (Is it actually right-wing? Or does it just appear that way relative to Fairfax)

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2007 01 30 at 09:28 PM • permalink


    1. oops, I meant the Australian office!

      Tim, wash and clean me …xx smootches and pash rash :” “: “ :” suds and stuff.

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 01 30 at 09:28 PM • permalink


    1. I’m thinking about taking on someone to have a shit for me- is this selfish?

      I note this mong has penned a tome on property rennovations as well- surely she couldn’t be profiting from property speculation, one of the most evil practises in a litany of capitalist evil, pricing poor charwomen out of home ownership, and gentrifying inner urban areas, thus driving the lumpen proletariat to the outer western suburbs where they are ignored by government and preyed on by door-to-door scammers and loan sharks?

      Surely not.

      Posted by Habib on 2007 01 30 at 09:33 PM • permalink


    1. O/T Hmmm, I don’t recall ever having heard this outlined to any previous waves of immigrants to the anglosphere???  Wonder if just to be on the safe side we should add it to the citizenship info and tests for our new arrivals???

      IMMIGRANTS who want to live in the small Canadian town of Herouxville, Quebec, must not stone women to death in public, burn them alive or throw acid on them, according to an extraordinary set of rules released by the local council.

      You can’t kill women, town tells immigrants

      Posted by casanova on 2007 01 30 at 09:35 PM • permalink


    1. #86.

      Then Andrea can employ her as our blog cleaner.

      Posted by Penguin on 2007 01 30 at 09:36 PM • permalink


    1. You shouldn’t be slagging off Alex like this- have a gander at her resume’, and it’s abundantly clear she’s well qualified to spruik on issues of equity and social justice, after all she WAS the editor of Smash Hits, Barbie and Surf Chicks– like a Chomsky with norks.

      Posted by Habib on 2007 01 30 at 09:47 PM • permalink


    1. En shee teeches ritin et TAFE us wil.

      Posted by Habib on 2007 01 30 at 09:51 PM • permalink


    1. :: ‘;’;O o OO oo”” ‘;;’ ‘;; OOO

      “Washing Suds” by 1.618

      For Sale $69,9999 with soap on a rope included.

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 01 30 at 09:52 PM • permalink


    1. #97

      yur kudding, shees a Kiwi?

      Posted by kae on 2007 01 30 at 09:55 PM • permalink


    1. Smash Hits, Barbie and Surf Chicks- like a Chomsky with norks.

      She probably worked with Georgia Lewis on the Slimming magazine.

      Does TAFE mean she’s a lefty and has hairy legs?

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 01 30 at 09:56 PM • permalink


    1. O OO OO OO ooo”” OOOO

      Look, lots of bubbles!!

      I think it’s the bubbles in Coke a Cola that makes me hyper!!

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 01 30 at 09:58 PM • permalink


    1. #99- no, just illiterate and idiotic.

      I suppose it’s much the same thing though (ducks chair thrown by irate ovine admirer).

      Posted by Habib on 2007 01 30 at 09:59 PM • permalink


    1. Habib
      ur a jim!

      Posted by kae on 2007 01 30 at 10:04 PM • permalink


    1. #81

      Because she secretly looks down on anyone who does cleaning for a living. She does not regard it as a paid service, to her it is somehow shameful, unskilled and subservient.

      As one with a high IQ, but a pathetic EQ, with virtually zero organisational skills, people who can clean for a living are regarded by me with the same awe usually reserved for rocket scientists.

      Posted by AlburyShifton on 2007 01 30 at 10:06 PM • permalink


    1. Is it still wrong if you get them to wear a French Maid outfit and follow them around the house?

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 01 30 at 10:08 PM • permalink


    1. #94: From the article: “Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, said the declaration had ‘set the clock back for decades’ as far as race relations were concerned.

      ‘What are we supposed to do’, asked the outraged Muslim spokesman, ‘shoot them? Just try getting a gun under Canadian gun control laws! Strangle them with a bowstring? That is so ‘Ottoman Empire’”.

      Ok, I made that second paragraph up.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 10:23 PM • permalink


    1. #96: What the hell is a “cadet journalist”? Do they have to wear napolean hats made from a newspaper? And I’m not sure what a “journalism trainer” is; puts me in mind of dogs and leashes and whatnot.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 10:29 PM • permalink


    1. “The rise of two-income households means we are more prepared than ever to outsource domestic duties.”

      What’s this “we” crap?  Does Alex May have a mouse in her pocket?  I hope she’s not including me in her lunacy.  Me missus paid her way through Melbourne Uni cleaning and wishes she could have been paid $25/hr.  Also, she worked as a barmaid at various pubs.  She definitely would rather have been sunning herself than verbally wrestling drunken yobbos like me.

      Posted by GerryM on 2007 01 30 at 10:37 PM • permalink


    1. Mrs Entropy used to force me to tidy up before the cleaner came as well.  Actually, we just lost our cleaner (perhaps we didn’t clean up enough for her beforehand).  Just when we were getting used to her too, She just turned up in her Audi A4 Quattro one day, and said “Sorry, but I don’t have time to do cleaning anymore, hope it isn’t too much of an inconvenience.” And then she was gone.  beep.  beep.

      Posted by entropy on 2007 01 30 at 10:42 PM • permalink


    1. #109 She was just probably off to have a bit of a sun so you wouldn’t feel guilty Entropy.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2007 01 30 at 10:48 PM • permalink


    1. GerryM at 108 might have stumbled upon the sticking point.

      I’d say there is a difference between “domestic duties” and “domestic needs.”

      Define housecleaning as a “need” rather than a “duty,” and it seems a simpler step to hiring out.

      No one seems to object to office cleaners.

      Posted by Janis Gore on 2007 01 30 at 10:53 PM • permalink


    1. #109. What was the hourly arrangement there Entropy?

      Posted by Hank Reardon on 2007 01 30 at 11:48 PM • permalink


    1. #88 What is it with the cleaning up before the cleaner?

      well picking up the old pizza boxes, beer bottles & filthy underwear beforehand gives them a good clear run with the hoover.  it’s called being polite.  besides, if you leave piles of shite everywhere, they eventually get irritated & stop coming, & then you have to do all the disgusting jobs yourself until you find a new one.  trust me.  i’ve played this game for decades & learned from my mistakes

      Posted by KK on 2007 01 31 at 12:11 AM • permalink


    1. She had more dignity and class than the whole Age staff crammed together. To hell with them.

      One of the things I really enjoy about this blog is how it gets Americans who would otherwise be oblivious to gnash their teeth over the antics of a small Australian newspaper.
      It’s really quite delightful, and they don’t even need the Pre-emptive Antipodean
      Colon Oxidator to help them digest all our news.

      Posted by carpefraise on 2007 01 31 at 12:23 AM • permalink


    1. I had a buddy in Frisco (always say “Frisco” as it pisses off the native moonbats) who once partook of a naked maid service. The knowledge of such a service would no doubt send our pontificating correspondent into orbit.

      Posted by Tommy Shanks on 2007 01 31 at 01:21 AM • permalink


    1. I always used to get extra for keeping my clothes on.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 01 31 at 01:24 AM • permalink


    1. Is hiring someone to clean up after you ethical?
      Ask Ethan:

      Posted by chrisgo on 2007 01 31 at 01:43 AM • permalink


    1. February 1991 to December 1992: Cadet journalist at Mosman Daily

      November 1993 to November 1995: Dolly Magazine features editor

      November 1995 to March 1996: New Weekly deputy news editor
      I was responsible for editing the entertainment and gossip pages

      May 1997 to April 1998: Girlfriend magazine editor

      April 1998 to April 2000: Minx magazine editor

      July 2000 – July 2001: Publisher
      I was publisher of Emap Australia’s youth division, publishing Smash Hits, Barbie, Kerrang and SurfGirl magazines

      I have been commissioned by Allen & Unwin to write a book about renovating. I have a regular renovation column in Australian Women’s Weekly

      Y’know in fairness to young Alex, I don’t think we can claim to have nailed here today the most intense, deranged and dangerously obsessed political ideologue and writer since Karl Marx.

      Posted by geoff on 2007 01 31 at 02:13 AM • permalink


    1. … it is fun, though . . .

      Posted by Razor on 2007 01 31 at 02:33 AM • permalink


    1. Is hiring someone else to clean up after you ethical?

      Is forcing them to do it at gunpoint moral?

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 01 31 at 02:46 AM • permalink


    1. #112, We paid her $20 an hour for three hours work.  She only did our place and one of Mrs Entropy’s cousins.  She was a kept woman and I think bored and looking for something to do, as she certainly didn’t need the money.  I also suspect that she didn’t tell Hubby that she was doing a cleaning job, and let’s face it, it was cash in hand 🙂 She was also a lot more thorough that a professional cleaner.  I suspect she might have stopped because she might have thought we needed the money more than her!

      Posted by entropy on 2007 01 31 at 03:09 AM • permalink


    1. paco
      What the hell is a “cadet journalist”?
      An intern, an apprentice – a mug* just learning the game.

      *mug – a novice, an apprentice just learning the game.

      Posted by Bonmot on 2007 01 31 at 04:17 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, the anguish of it all:Manchester, Chesterfield, Ottoman,
      Across the room I see
      And I’m a genius, genius;
      I believe in God –
      And I believe that God believes in Clod
      That’s me, that’s me, that’s me!

      Let the cleaners
      Let the cleaners
      The cleaners in
      Let the cleaners
      Let the cleaners
      The cleaners in …

      Posted by blogstrop on 2007 01 31 at 07:31 AM • permalink


    1. Paying a cleaner is a lot cheaper than paying for a divorce.

      End of story.

      You know it makes sense.

      Posted by mr creosote on 2007 01 31 at 08:54 AM • permalink


    1. That’s my goal in life, to be rich enough to afford a cleaning lady.

      Imperial Keeper

      Posted by Elizabeth Imperial Keeper on 2007 01 31 at 10:45 AM • permalink


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