Ok, I’m going to lose a bit of the anonymity of the blog here, un-mask the caped criticiser and partially reveal my secret identity. Well, tell you roughly where I live anyway.
We live in Balmain. It’s a bit faux working class yet nicely affluent. It reminded us of Islington, where we lived in London. Islington has a load a wanky middle-class lefties but also a nice strata of sensible folk who work in the city in proper jobs that don’t involve taxpayer-funded diversity inclusiveness dance festivals and don’t have a hissy fit at the prospect of their children playing sports that involve there being a winner and a loser. The local MP was an unreconstructed Communist called Jeremy Corbyn who wore a dozen right-on badges of support on his commune-knitted tweed jacket and Maoist flat cap, but that aside, the place was pleasant.
We originally felt that Balmain was analogous in the Sydney context. Recently though, as I wander through my fellow Balmainians, I’ve started to feel like the balance was a bit too much on the side of the home-knit/tofu burger/Tommy has two Mummies/whale music and crystal therapy side of the scales.
I had this confirmed this week. Since this week’s state elections (three layers of government here in Australia, remember) has revealed Balmain to be populated by a mix of regular socialists and green socialists and corrupt socialists, that is Labor (sic), Green, Liberal in almost equal quantities. So equal in fact, that we actually don’t have a official representative for the state parliament as there is a recount going on to see whether the postal votes can swing it one way or the other. It’s not quite “hanging chads” in Florida but it’s amusing nonetheless.
I think the most telling part of the local election is that the Green candidate got almost a third of the vote. The Greens didn’t get close to winning a seat anywhere else in NSW but here in Balmain fantasy land we gave him a real opportunity to get elected. Putting aside the fact that the bloke has a face that screams “punch me!”, I’m shocked that my neighbours felt that they could vote Green (i.e. for more taxes for an unproven confidence trick) in the numbers they did. What’s worse, the bloke was born in England. Oh the shame.
So, for this reason and, OK, three or four other better reasons, we’re going to move out in a few month’s time. Northern beaches looks a good option, “the insular peninsula”, as Bondy (pronounce it this way to annoy the locals) seems far too cliquey and everywhere south or west is too grim for words.