Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Flint Phalanx Flunks

David Flint is a curious beast. Writing in his intro to a new book by Flint “The Twilight of the Elites”, Tony Abbott draws attention to Flint’s “non-Anglo”-ness, so as to highlight all the more Flint’s maverick credentials (Here’s an ethnic being a Right Royal WASP – imagine that!). I had never picked up Flint’s ancestral otherness, to be honest – I always assumed that his blindingly obvious silver spoon background was the alpha and omega of his cloistered, pointy-end-of the-plane life.

But no – Flint turns out be a gamma, after all. At least that’s what I think he’s saying. Certainly he protests at length about the difficulty he had finding a mainstream publisher for “Twilight”. (Any author knows, of course, that large publishers are currently starved of book proposals, and will throw themselves at your feet to publish your work, irrespective of its saleability). With only one publisher’s door left to knock on – as the old story goes – bingo! And in another “against all odds” moment, the uber-waspish Flint’s saving-the-day publisher turns out to be an arm of the National Civic Council, a nasty, far-right, nominally Catholic outfit that many (including me, before today) might have reasonably assumed to have been long ago consigned to the dustbin of sectarian machiavellianism.

Anyway, one of the bonuses of commercially dealing with the Paranoiac Right is that their message – that Our Message is being stopped by Them from getting out There to You – is highly susceptible to premature ejaculation; i.e. the stuff is just so good that it has to be let out on the Internet, and for free, now, months before the book will be formally launched. In other words, don’t bother buying Flint’s book – the NCC-supplied internet freebie has all the good stuff, anyway. Such as:

If the elites had had their way, entry to Australia would now be substantially under the control of criminal people-smugglers based in Indonesia, the influx of their clients would now be out of control, and East Timor would still be subjugated.

See what I mean about “Paranoiac Right”? When all that stood between us and this bleak fate was John Howard and his down-to-the-wire November 2001 mandate – I say “phew”! Pass the bottle, Uncle David, and tell us, once again, how close it came! We really can’t get enough of this “the Truth they didn’t want you to know” stuff, can we?

Finally, some disclosure. I am almost certainly a member of the “elites” – I have happily used the phrase “rednecks”, usually to describe affluent Australians who explicitly denigrate knowledge and education. I now take this partially back – the epitome of a redneck, in fact, is David Flint – a far-Right loose cannon who is humorous and dangerous, in disturbingly equal parts.

There is no “elite” agenda. There is, however, a group with disproportionate cultural sway in Australia – the usual term for them is “baby boomers”, and, as Mark Davis’s “Gangland” showed, they happily inhabit both the Right and the Left (although are undoubtedly skewed towards the latter). And as my regular readers will know, this little blogger does not like the said baby boomer hegemony. But “agenda”?

I don’t believe in secret conspiracies, David Flint. If I have a problem with an argument (or sometimes, a person) I say so, loudly – nothing and no one is out there to stop me. If a person of your wealth and station has to stoop to the public illusion that he is being silenced by nefarious, near-invisible forces, then you are either deluded, in the clinical objective sense – or otherwise, you are paddling in waters of deep hatred that have sucked (or will suck) you smoothly and inexorably in, beyond the boundaries of your own mind, morality and volition.

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