When Labour Doesn’t Work


Australian Claire Lehmann has an essay over at Quillette with her take on her country’s recent elections and how they fit into some broader trends. Labour did reasonably well in some cities, but lost in rural areas.

The swing against Labor was particularly pronounced in the northeastern state of Queensland—which is more rural and socially conservative than the rest of Australia. Many of Queensland’s working-class voters opposed Labor’s greener-than-thou climate-change policies, not a surprise given that the state generates half of all the metallurgical coal burned in the world’s blast furnaces. Queensland’s rejection of Labor carried a particularly painful symbolic sting for Shorten, given that this is the part of Australia where his party was founded by 19th century sheep shearers meeting under a ghost gum tree. In 1899, the world’s first Labor government was sworn into the Queensland parliament. Shorten’s “wipe-out” in Queensland demonstrates what has become of the party’s brand among working-class people 120 years later.

She goes on to take note of the fact that the parties of the Left have two natural constituencies who are not necessarily natural allies.

Picture a dinner party where half the guests are university graduates with prestigious white-collar jobs, with the other half consisting of people who are trade workers, barmaids, cleaners and labourers. While one side of the table trades racy jokes and uninhibited banter, the other half tut-tuts this “problematic” discourse.

These two groups both represent traditional constituencies of mainstream centre-left parties—including the Labour Party in the UK, the Democrats in the United States, and the NDP in Canada. Yet they have increasingly divergent attitudes and interests—even if champagne socialists paper over these differences with airy slogans about allyship and solidarity.

Progressive politicians like to assume that, on election day at least, blue-collar workers and urban progressives will bridge their differences, and make common cause to support leftist economic policies. This assumption might once have been warranted. But it certainly isn’t now—in large part because the intellectuals, activists and media pundits who present the most visible face of modern leftism are the same people openly attacking the values and cultural tastes of working and middle-class voters. And thanks to social media (and the caustic news-media culture that social media has encouraged and normalized), these attacks are no longer confined to dinner-party titterings and university lecture halls.

So now, the Left is having to deal with a revolt of the Deplorables. Coal miners in Queensland and West Virginia and oil and gas workers in Alberta and on rigs in the North Sea who don’t want any part of a Green Nude Eel are but one example of the split occurring on the Left. However, much of the leadership on the Left seems clueless about why some of their traditional voters might want to keep their jobs or be able to raise their families within cherished traditions. As Jonathan Haidt observed in The Righteous Mind, we humans view moral questions multidimensionally with “liberals” and “conservatives” placing different stress on different attributes. Often, folks on the Left aren’t placing any value on moral questions that are important to other people.

No centre-left party in the Anglosphere has adapted to the ongoing class realignment. Indeed, they lack even the vocabulary to explain what such adaptation would entail—which is why the left’s recent election losses, from Alberta to Adelaide, are blithely chalked up to voter xenophobia or ignorance (a response that, of course, only serves to make their brand problem worse). Until the left finds a way out of this endless loop of toxic pre-election posturing and post-election blame-shifting, such supposedly “shocking” results as was witnessed on Saturday are going to remain a regular occurrence.

Read the whole thing.

Flyover Australia


During the recent Australian election, the Labour Party ran on a very “progressive” platform of higher taxes, more public handouts, and a steep reduction in the nation’s carbon footprint. The polls said they had the election in the bag. And then, Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison led his party to victory. Now, the talking heads and scribblers can’t decide if the Australian voters are evil or stupid or both.

Climate change did work as an issue for the Left in some urban constituencies. A former Conservative prime minister lost his seat in the suburbs of Sydney to an independent candidate who campaigned on that issue. However, many deplorables, (for example, coal miners in rural Queensland) who had supported Labour switched sides when jobs were on the line.

The pundits are calling the Australian voters “dumb, mean-spirited, and greedy” “moron” who “rejected the big picture.” At least, they haven’t started claiming that the result was caused by Russian interference.

Brexit. Trump. Australia. The European Parliament election in the UK this week should be quite interesting.

Today’s Talking Point


The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill that would put significant restrictions on abortion if it becomes law. The bill contains, get ready for today’s talking point, “no exceptions for rape or incest.” That phrase appears in the headlines in stories about the bill from the Washington Post and CBS News; the lack of such exceptions figures in stories from the AP, Reuters, and other sources. The real problem that Progressives have with the bill is that it outlaws abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It seems that they’re trying to use the lack of exceptions for the rare instance of rape and incest as a way painting the bill’s supports as out-of-the-mainstream extremists. We’re also beginning to see stories about Rowe v. Wade being in danger of reversal by the Supreme Court.  I expect to hear the tip jars rattling at various presidential campaigns quite soon.

I’m not in favor of rape or incest but I believe it’s a good thing that we no longer treat rape as a capital crime and hang the perpetrators. I also believe that we shouldn’t kill either of the victims of a rape, so I’ve never understood why it makes sense to allow killing a child because he or she was conceived during a rape. I feel the same way about killing a child conceived incestuously.

Don’t Know Much About History


That would be the charitable way of categorizing Congresscritter Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) statement that her “Palestinian” ancestors provided a safe haven for Jews fleeing the Holocaust.

First, there were no “Palestinians” during the Holocaust or the immediate aftermath. The arabs living in Palestine during the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate called themselves “Arabs.” No one referred to them as “Palestinians” until after Israel had survived being invaded by multiple Arab armies in 1948.

Second, even if she used the term “Palestinian” proleptically, the arabs almost universally opposed Jewish immigration into the region, and they did so violently for the half-century prior to the founding of the State of Israel. And in 1967, and in 1973, and in …

Of course, it could be that Tlaib really believes the Palestinian propaganda version of Near Eastern history, but I don’t think so. I believe she knows the truth, but it doesn’t fit her narrative. Her response to outrage over her statements has been to double down with a statement repeating the lie that Palestinians welcomed Jewish refugees.

Not even CNN is buying it.

Rule 5 Squared


Left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky’s Rule 5 states that “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Kamala Harris set herself up for a dose of ridicule by allowing this obviously staged picture to be tweeted.Pro Tip #1: Experienced cooks don’t leave the packaging for raw chicken lying on a kitchen counter.

Pro Tip # 2: If you want an article of clothing to appear to be something used everyday, wash it at least once in order to remove the “just out of the box” creases.

Stacy McCain’s Rule 5 states that “Everybody loves a pretty girl.” Here’s a picture that ran in the Carroll County Times several years ago when Mrs. Hoge was running a personal cheffing business.

As Green Fades to Black


Pacific Gas & Electric is seriously looking at power blackouts this summer. Bloomberg reports that

A plan by California’s biggest utility to cut power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season could plunge millions of residents into darkness. And most people aren’t ready.

The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.

Some residents are turning to other power sources, a boon for home battery systems marketed by Sunrun Inc., Tesla Inc. and Vivint Solar Inc. But the numbers of those systems in use are relatively small when compared with PG&E’s 5.4 million customers.

Read the whole thing. And if you’re in California, buy candles and a generator.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Rudy Giuliani, who is Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, had announced plans to visit Ukraine to ask that country’s new president-elect to pursue inquiries that could yield new information about the origin of the Russia collusion investigation and about former Vice President Biden’s past influence in the country. He cancelled his trip, saying:

I think I’m walking into a group of people that are enemies of the president, in some cases enemies of the United States, and in one case an already convicted person who has been found to be involved in assisting the Democrats with the 2016 election.

Hmmmm.