Tilling The Fields – Bolt and Murray’s silly attempts to appeal to the Working Man

As we get closer to the inevitable Federal Election, we are seeing the continuation of the attempts in our media to Appeal to the Working Man by a group of people who have little to do with them.  Today, Andrew Bolt declared that he’d “had enough” of apologising to men, and decided to wax lyrical about What Men Do from his Malvern HQ.  This paragraph in particular was amusing (as tweeted by Stephanie Peatling), as to help middle class right wing activist Bolt separate men from the “silly activist” middle class women.


Men, apparently are out there “tilling the fields”, amongst other things that men do alongside women in our economy. It’s mostly machines doing most of that tilling these days, so maybe Bolta was being nostalgic about Soviet propaganda posters like this one.


Phrases like this demonstrate exactly how Bolt has no idea what working class people do.  He’s not the only one at this game, though. The 4 (or is it 5 these days?) Hours of Hate over at Sky continues with it. The Number 1 Faux Working Class Man, Human Agro, on Monday night, had this gaggle of working class pretenders on his show.

It’s somewhat telling what kinds of people position themselves on the media as being somehow the “voice of the people”.  Hardly.  Miles away from his Western Sydney Uni degree past, Human Agro these days just happily spouts right wing catchphrases and doggerel in the same way Puppet Agro mouthed Jamie Dunn’s comedy gear did all those years ago. Pauline Hanson lives far away from the broiling masses in her declared residence in Coleyville, far away from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, happily commenting on “ordinary Australians” from her citadel, whilst James Ashby continues to tweet as her, and do amazingly dumb things like thinking Mark Latham’s voice is a vote winner.

Latham, probably Hanson’s future NSW Senate candidate, is another happily far away from those same masses, in his case Mt Hunter (a mutual happiness felt by residents in Campbelltown).  It’s little wonder that he’s now dumping on the party who made his career by being part of One Nation’s robocall strategy in the upcoming by-elections.  He just does whatever random stuff he thinks will get him a job somewhere in the political class he so unconvincingly criticises. Crayonhjelm’s group of gun lovers won’t get him that, but Hanson’s brand might.

The last figure in this faux working class lineup is Graham Richardson, Labor numbers man turned symbol of everything that was wrong in the NSW Labor Party. Richardson was spot on in criticising the traitorous actions of Latham in turning on the ALP.  Latham was also right in his criticisms of Richardson.  Quentin Dempster hits the reality of having these two ex-political class losers on Sky.

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Really, Cartoon Connection had more political credibility.

None of these people represent anything real or “working class” in politics. Hanson mostly votes with the Government, unless it could be toxic for her votes in her angry middle class following group. Richardson is a patsy for Alan Jones’ attempts at relevance. Latham is just my new Urban Dictionary definition.

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All of these pundits have as much to do with ordinary people as Andrew “Tilling the Fields” Bolt.  But they will continue to be represented as being voices for the voiceless by Sky, Channels 7 and 9 for now until the election and it’s putrid.  But I am amused at the idea of Mark Latham’s voice suddenly appearing. It reminds me of the Get This Warwick Capper prank call sketch. “Remember me, I was big in the 80s”.  No, Mark, people are trying to forget.


The Utility of a Single Pseudonym Persona – Why I have returned as Preston

Eight years ago I started a twitter account with a pseudonym. I didn’t really know what I was doing or going to do with it. But a little while ago, I started to branch out and start a sport pseudonym account, as to specialise in the world of sport, as well as not do so much sport on my political account. I also started to dabble in tweeting under my real name, about sport, politics and music.

So many accounts!  So many different tones and agendas.

Somewhere along the line, doing those social media dabblings, I have realised a few things.

  1. Sport Twitter is almost always bad.  Aside from discovering a few great people through sport twitter, it is mostly infested with men grumbling. About equality, modernity, umpiring.  It’s good in a way to get involved with sport focused conversations, but male sportsplaining often rears its ugly head after a while. If I wanted that, I would go to my local pub. Which is something I don’t do.
  2. The perils of your real name . On the sport twitter account, I tried to keep things largely upbeat and positive, just as I do on my professional teacher account.  I have found myself, however, getting into scraps with people when I expressed a criticism or point of views with which others have taken issue. As anyone familiar with social media arguments would know, it’s sometimes difficult to respond to criticism from a range of people without getting robust and fiery.  This is not to say the criticism wasn’t reasonable or apt, but sometimes one can respond to criticism with too much speed and hence regret.  Fine when it’s a pseudonym, but when you’re a teacher, the last thing you want is to have students and parents finding your tweets and then them not understanding or misrepresenting the context and nature of some of the discussions. So, whenever there was criticism or accusations made, I would freeze, stop talking and reacting in all sorts of paranoid ways. Not pleasant.
  3. Social Media is a terrible addiction in mental health terms.  I tend to get too hurt and take things personally on social media – especially when I go through a big depressive trough. I say things I regret almost immediately at such times. When I use a pseudonym, that makes it easier to protect my mental health, as well as move beyond mistakes. When it’s not, that makes things a lot worse. I go into a big spiral.
  4. So many people only engage with me as Preston. Whenever I tweeted about politics on my smaller real name account, especially when responding to people in the media, I usually received next to no response. I also found that when I tweeted random things, I got little response from my 200 or so followers on that account. Not much fun, really.  And social media does need to be fun and be about engagement.

I have realised that the only way I can do Twitter is via one account, one pseudonym. One set of wild thoughts about a range of experiences.   The other accounts, the other personas, can’t bring what I want from social media as can this randomly created persona. And I continue to not really know what that all means.



David Crayonhjelm – The 6 Year Old Who Doesn’t Care

There have been a lot of thinkpieces and a lot of airtime spent this week in regards the leader of the Liberal Democrats, former veterinarian, shooter and hobby farmer David Leyonhjelm.

There is little else to say except that he has finally received the mainstream media attention that he has craved in his 5 largely irrelevant years in the Australian Senate.

It has been of mild frustration to see serious presenters such as Virginia Trioli attempting to reason with Leyonhjelm in relation to his sexist treatment of Sarah Hanson-Young.  It cannot be achieved.  This is because he is exactly the same as any number of #notallmen trolls who seek out to respond to the twitter accounts of Clem Ford and Erin Riley on a regular basis.

Leyonhjelm a six year old child being told he’s wrong and refuses to see how he is. Except, this time, he’s got a crayon and he’s going to attempt to justify his actions.  So, if we call him Crayonhjelm, that may be more apt a name. Here are his articles of faith:

  • Every woman referring to rape culture is a misandrist
  • If that woman is heterosexual, they are a hypocrite
  • The Government are paying for things he doesn’t like
  • He’s entitled to free speech, except if it’s critical of him
  • The media is so unfair in not giving men a platform against mean women
  • Guns are cool

And so on.  Only this time, he hasn’t had the chance use his crayons to spell out his anti renewables, pro gun diatribes. But he has managed to position himself as the champion of men who have confused feels about their place in society – whether they be incels or marriedcels.

Crayonhjelm now has his place and profile – and will bob up on Sky News in a few months or so, probably the Daily Telegraph. Seeing Joe Hildebrand on The Project attempt to explain his schtick reveals how the Murdoch media will use him into the future.

Whether this leads to him coming back to the Senate remains to be seen. He got in on the back of confused old Liberal supporters seeing the Liberal Democrat Party first on the Senate ticket in 2013, scraped in on the back of preferences from other microaggression parties in 2016. Whenever the next election is on, he’ll have the doubtful qualities of Mark Latham trying to whip up outer suburban votes for the Lib Dems. On that count, Mark Latham will bring them nearly zero votes from the outer west, due to the reality of Latham’s brand being an inner city outrage agitator.  So he could struggle.

But there’s a possibility this positioning as the Toddler In Chief may just work for him.  And he will return, to do two things. There’s his day job, which is to vote with the Liberals, get paid a lot of public money. Then there is his hobby, to trigger people and love the attention.