Class Trip: Should Labour go after the “Bogun Vote”?

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CAN LABOUR WIN the “Bogun Vote”? Should it even try? Seriously, if going after the votes of “Waitakere Man” is considered bad, then pursuing the Bogun Vote must, surely, be worse? And yet, at one time, the in-work, well-remunerated, union-dues-paying, domestically-settled, family man – and his sons – constituted the heart and soul of the Labour vote. Indeed, so irrevocably gendered was the New Zealand working-class vote that the poet, James K. Baxter, made humorous reference to it in his otherwise bleak suburban tragedy, Calvary Street:

Where two old souls go slowly mad,

National Mum and Labour Dad.

In 2015, however, Baxter’s stereotype seems all wrong. Fifty years after the publication of Calvary Street it is Dad who votes for National and Mum who (maybe) votes for Labour. In 2015, the self-employed, well-remunerated, domestically-settled, family man – a.k.a Waitakere Man – is much more likely to vote for the Right than the Left. His children, if they bother to vote at all, probably do the same.

Boguns are very different from, and should never be confused with, the offspring of Waitakere Man. The latter represents working-class New Zealand males on an upward socio-economic trajectory. Boguns, by contrast, represent working-class New Zealand males on the socio-economic skids. They are the blokes – especially the young blokes – who struggle to find and remain in even the most poorly-paid employment. Their domestic situations tend towards the precarious. They rent rooms – not houses – and struggle to both make and retain strong social connections. That’s why mateship is so crucial to the Bogun identity; especially mateship built around sporting allegiances and motor vehicles.

The fathers and grandfathers of 21st Century Boguns were the men for whom the fully employed, compulsorily unionised, welfare state was, primarily, constructed. Men of modest educational attainment and limited ambition who were able, nevertheless, to live full and rewarding lives under the state’s (and their union’s) protection. These were the men who worked for the state-owned Post Office and Railways; whose families occupied state houses; whose award-wages kept them, if not in luxury, then, at least, in reasonable comfort. They were also the Labour Party’s most loyal supporters. That it was Labour, in the person of Roger Douglas, who destroyed their world and cast them and their families onto the scrapheap, is the defining Bogun betrayal.

To the sons of these men, growing up in the 1980s and 90s it must have seemed as if the “new” New Zealand cared about everybody except them and their dads.

Maori were in the middle of a “renaissance”. Multi-million-dollar “Treaty Settlements” were being signed. For the coming generations of Maoridom there would be university scholarships and trade-training programmes. New business enterprises were planned, and special housing schemes. Things were looking up – if you were Maori.

For women, too, all paths appeared to lead upward and onward. At school, the Bogun boys’ female class mates were constantly being told that “Girls can do anything!” And with the top posts of Governor-General, Chief Justice, Prime Minister and CEO of New Zealand’s largest company all held by women, that inspirational feminist slogan seemed no idle boast.

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For young, working-class blokes without tertiary qualifications or readily marketable skills, however, inspirational slogans were in short supply. The two great institutions which working-class New Zealanders had constructed to protect and advance their interests: the trade union movement and the Labour Party; were no longer able or willing to do so. Labour had been taken over by Thatcherite ideologues in the early 80s. And, in 1991, the public sector unions had voted down the call for a General Strike against the Employment Contracts Bill. Not that it was the unions of the public servants, teachers and nurses which were about to be decimated by National’s union-busting legislation. That fate was reserved for the unskilled and semi-skilled workers of the private sector. Within a decade, barely one private-sector worker in ten remained unionised.

That young working-class males, growing up in the post-1984 era, were often gripped by feelings of extreme frustration, resentment, anger, worthlessness and despair is hardly surprising. Socially, they appeared to have lost all value; politically, they had become invisible – and utterly without champions.

Indeed, the opposite appeared to be true. More and more, the Boguns began to hear themselves described in the most derogatory terms. Expressions imported from the USA – like “rednecks” and “white trash” – entered the vocabulary of the Boguns’ middle-class detractors. In a Labour Party almost entirely purged of its working-class membership, the people who had once constituted the very heart of its electoral support were increasingly regarded as the natural enemies of the party’s new, upwardly-mobile, and socially-liberal apparatchiks.

Only very occasionally, did the Boguns become visible to the rest of New Zealand. Denied anything even remotely resembling the ennobling narratives available to Maori and women, they had become little more than the butt of stand-up comedic humour. With their mullet haircuts and Metallica T-Shirts, the best they could hope for was to be treated as a colourful Kiwi sub-culture – something akin to the outcast “Juggalo” movement in the United States.

And then, in 2003, Possum Bourne died. The rally-car champion had been a hero to tens-of-thousands of Bogun “petrol heads” and they turned out in vast numbers to bid him farewell. It was a poignant reminder of just how many young New Zealanders lived below the radar of a society obsessed with wealth and “winning”. Like the huge Pasifika turn-out for Jerry Collins, 12 years later, Possum Bourne’s mourners were emblematic of a New Zealand routinely ignored, even denigrated, by those with the power to keep the spotlight aimed exclusively at themselves.

So, yes, I believe that Labour should try to win the “Bogun Vote”. Not only because, having ignored them for 30 years, Labour owes them – big time. But also because Neoliberalism will never be defeated by the social groups it has lifted up, but only by those it has cast down.

 

71 COMMENTS

  1. Bloody oath Chris, Count us in.

    I was one of those and grew up feeling like it was a caring safe cocoon to live in NZ then but a bit dull for a single man.

    So “I split for Memphis where the cats were and all and I’ll be a rock’n’ rollin soon” as the 1961 song goes.

    Truly though, we lived in a free thinking world & learned to think outside the square.

    And this is now suppressed by this government with their dumbed down policy, to keep us all “Compliant” and under their control, so this era of Man was a free thinker as I still am.

    Labour had better take us on as we need to fight this tyrant of a government.

  2. Chris Trotter is an honourable man!!!

    Been sold out on all fronts. Don’t forget the welfare state, feminism, and mass immigration.

    $814 is about what I would earn after tax trucking doing a 60 hour week.

    Why would a wimminz-I mean heroic single mommy wanna put up with a mans sh*t when she can get her sugar daddy government to take care of her???

    How’s a bloke supposed to compete with that huh???

    Become a gangster I guess – I do hear the wimminz have a thing for the badboyz

    On the mass immigration front I know of a delivery job that just went, minimum wage, had 76 applicants.
    It’s ok though. Keep bringing in the immigrants to take the jobs. Kiwi blokes don’t need jobs.
    In fact all Kiwi’s should take the hint and p*ss off to Australia – you are no longer wanted or needed. These lands are now claimed in the name of The Peoples Republic Of China.
    All dissenters will be shot

    ;-(

      • Thanks for asking Laydi. I was…..Till Andrea opened her mouth and started busting my balls and playing the oppressed saintly martyr.

        All them heroic single mommies still take my tax dollars with not a hint of thanks or gratitude, just attitude. How about they leave my taxes for me and then we can call it even.

        Till then you don’t know the half of it…
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H-5ArU5jV0

        • “not a hint of thanks or gratitude”?

          What are you expecting, Jamie, several thousand letters of “thank you” from women who’ve left abusive relationships, or, whose husbands have deserted them for some blonde office co-worker?

          What about solo-dads? Would you like “thank you letters” from them as well? Or just line up and give you a manly handshake?

          We’ll leave you taxes when you pay for your education, healthcare, and use of other State facilities.

    • You still don’t get it, do you?

      You say ‘Why would a wimminz-I mean heroic single mommy wanna put up with a mans sh*t?’ and then you grizzle.

      Mister: if you were my partner I would accept no sh*t. None. Don’t even start. I would expect US to be working together to raise ourselves and our family to better things. There is no need for sh*t from either side.

      You can still do the bloke things – without stupid power games and making me wait for stuff you can easily do – and I can do my things, too, without any power stuff from you.

      BUT – it works better when we’re best buddies, too. Not ‘mates’ but just as good as. Otherwise you keep your $800 a week and your bloke stuff and I’ll struggle by on a lot less than that so’s my kid/s don’t have to hear you grizzling, slagging me off, keeping us poor with drinking/gambling and other bubby behaviours. Or even hitting because you’re frustrated (like it never happens to women. Yeah, right.)

      If you’re partnering up for a silent slave and a sex toy – go somewhere else. If you want a decent ‘fight on your side’ partner – start behaving as a man, not some whingeing male.

      Thank you.

  3. Chris ….I m stunned.

    Totally stunned.

    Did the Angel of Bogunry come down one pleasant evening whilst you were sound asleep and impart to you the lone cry in the wilderness of the Bogun and their plight ?

    And counting myself among that number at age 52 ….the celebrated yet as – of – late marginalized title for those who would even now claim Bogunry as their spiritual , political and ancestral home and STILL wear their hair like a Lion – have been gravely misunderstood and ostracized by the ostentatious clamour of those who would strive to enter the ranks of grey haired – at – middle age middle classery.

    And those dogged Boguns who choose not the temptation to falter or deviate from their chosen course of Bogunry receive the bountiful rewards that that path begets.

    The noble aspirations of mateship and matess-ship , loyalty , honour and truth… the ability to render needlessly and overly complex issues down to its most raw and basic commonsense componentry – like the rebuilding of a short block V8 engine block complete with grease and oil change – coupled with the altruistic and egalitarian ideal of a fair go for all blokes and bloke esses , and the aversion to safety razors and effete snob smellies…

    Are simply timeless.

    Old Boguns and Young Boguns.

    A creative and most dependable demographic.

    If one is to doubt this…the next time you take your car to a mechanic or a BOGUN appears on the scene when you have broken down in the middle of nowhere…the next time you listen to that wealthy and famous rock artist who has retained the full essence of Bogunry…that instead of dismissing the Bogun as a relic of a former age …or as some sort of self parodying comic figure to be disparaged…think again and give quiet thanks to the ample and historic contribution to the betterment of humankind of those who chose to walk the rugged and aesthetic life of true Bogunry.

    It is perhaps time indeed that Bogunry is again given its full due and patronage by their traditional political representatives …. such as the Labour party and others on the true Social Democratic Left.

  4. Hmm, bit late I would’ve thought Chris. I seriously doubt there’s anyone left in Labour who would know how to communicate with the remnants of NZ’s working class. I have to point out tho’ as a baby boomer the guys I know who were tradesmen and NZ Post office trained are all well off.They adapted and moved into management roles in retail, started their own engineering businesses and trained apprentice tool makers, fitters and invented stuff which they patented and sell at field days etc etc.The really smart ones moved to Oz and never came back.

    • There’s a layer further down: casual labourers, freezing works people, food processing, road works, forestry and fishing, machinery operators…

      The people who never got School C or any trade quals. The people who rise early, slog hard and get damn’ all. The brilliant guys who drive long haul, or operate heavy machinery with grace and flair.

      ‘Those’ people. Usually deeply conservative. Know what a fair go looks like. Work hard for the right boss and company. Don’t have to be geriatrics or xenophobic to vote NZ First.

      ‘Those’ people – who would love their kids to follow in their footsteps or go better and are dismayed at how so many rugs and rungs have been hauled away.

      Decent Kiwis, bogan or not. And under-represented at any level of government.

    • 100% Shona!

      Since the emasculation of Labour by Auntie Helen and her coven of witches, Labour has been populated by precious little darlings where ‘attending the ballet’ is mandatory.

      Hey Jamie – see you at Western Springs in November. :- )

  5. hmmm, I understand the point you’re trying to make here, but I question if you’ve been around REAL Bogans??

    All the Bogans I have known (Hutt Valley represent) are intelligent people who at some stage realised they needed to grow up and have a good paying job …. Many work for themselves in the trades.

    They’d still consider themselves working class family guys, but financially, they’re doing very well. Still musicians in their play time. In bands at night.

    I think New Zealand has always had a subset of disaffected white youth, but I’ve never referred to that group as Bogans….

    In my experience most Kiwi males go through a “spell” at some point … unemployment, bitterness, sometimes crime, drinking, smoking too many special cigarettes, etc. Then they find themselves (and get over themselves) and then end up being paid more than Bogan women.

    • “hmmm, I understand the point you’re trying to make here, but I question if you’ve been around REAL Bogans??”

      We had some living next to us, about ten years ago. The wheelies and burn-outs they did in front of their house (and ours) left rubber-tyre patterns that looked suspiciously like crop-circles.

      Hmmmm… bogans from Outer Space?

      So those aren’t meteorites burning up as they streak across the night sky. They’re ’empties’.

      • The Bogans are trying to tell you something, Frank …those cryptic circles are not in the grass and mud splattered all over your house front for no good reason …

        Its a message for those truly gifted to interpret…they obviously consider you an envoy of that message…that Fords beat Holdens any-day.

  6. I always find it a little perplexing when the term, ”going after a vote” is used, as if that is the ‘seule raison d’etre ‘ for creating a particular policy within a political Party.
    You hear it all the time.
    “Labour only released information that highlighted the lack of a real Foreign Investors List , to ‘go after’ the struggling middle class vote”.
    Or, Labour formed policy to extend paid parental leave to ‘go after’ the young families vote.
    If everything is that cynical , then there’s your problem , bearing in mind that the same rules don’t apply to National.
    Everyone knows, that is exactly how they operate.
    That short termist approach works for awhile, but like the boy trying to plug all the holes in the dike , eventually you run out of fingers and toes.
    National has about one finger and one toe left, if they’re lucky!
    Despite the negative spin that the media love to put on every single little thing that Labour does and says, they do come up with a lot of well meaning well thought through policy.
    That’s why ‘No Ideas National ‘ steal it . The ultimate compliment you might say!
    So if Labour wants to take the ‘confusion’ out of about where to ‘position’ themselves, my advise is, don’t ‘position’ yourself.
    Your datum for all policy formation should always be ,” Is that the fair and reasonable thing to be doing for the most vulnerable in our society, combined with, how can we ensure that everyone has the same opportunity for a full and complete free education ?
    From there, everything else will fall into place.
    Or to coin an old phrase of my Grandmothers, “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”!

    • Grant,

      Could you name one of those “well meaning well thought through policies” please?

      Because all I see are endless botches which their opposition can shred to pieces. The latest of which was Little’s tax policy proposal, which turned out to be already in the tax code!

      Prior to that there was the hilarious Capital Gains Tax on property “except the family home” when Labour couldn’t define what a family was. Before that there was the ‘caravans in the fast lane’ transport policy.

      So please inform me – I’m concerned I might have missed something.

      • “except the family home” when Labour couldn’t define what a family was

        Really, Andrew? Care to provide some evidence for that? Or is that another one of your airey-fairy assertions plucked out of thin air? What next, parrot fish?

      • Absolutely Andrew and now we are into our second generation of educated young women bemoaning the fact that there are no men to fornicate and breed with. Neo liberalism has a lot to answer for.

          • Says the Strawman King .

            The only party’s you frequent buddy are the National party ones where you receive a small fee to exercise your inherent propensity’s towards diverting , derailing , confusing and subverting any real point that is behind any sensible societal issue that shows the neo liberal National party in all its stupendous failures.

      • Andrew. You obviously suffer from selective memory disorder.
        What about Labours’ excellent Education policies of lowering class size numbers and ensuring every single child had some form of computer.
        Compare that to Nationals’ Charter Schools fiasco and the unworkable ‘Super Headmasters ‘ supposedly mentoring other ‘ under performing’ schools.
        Or the ‘Paid Parental Leave’ policy that National ended up stealing, only to water it down and make a complete hash of it.
        There are many more . Just open your eyes and mind.
        You might find it quite liberating!

  7. Governance
    By the people
    For the people
    Of the people
    Bogan/Bogun step up and be counted
    (Members of The Bilderberg excluded)

  8. Unfortunately if you’re a modern leftwinger you can’t be racist, sexist or homophobic so the only people left to look down on are “white trash”. My fellow degree holders won’t like me saying it but it’s a theme that’s run through my life as far back as I can remember.

    Knowing the superiority streak that runs through my type I’d have to say that Labour is probably the very last party that bogan’s would feel at home in these days.

    • Bogans have their own party.

      It usually consists of copious amount of beer, “Coromandel Green”, and doesn’t finish till around 5am the next day. Or when Noise Control seizes the stereo gear. Whichever comes first.

          • Oh nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu Frank….its Ozzy and Joe Satriani , Bach , Lynard Skynard and the Pogues…we are a very eclectic and discerning much…

            ACDC…meh…ranks with Motorhead …certainly not in the same league as Celtic traditional folk or Teutonic metal …and could not be rated as primal as the Sioux Sun Dance…..however as with George Thorogood….good for encouraging an up beatness of the gathering before the early morning hours waft in ….it is then that even Vienna waltzes can create a certain relaxed ambiance…

            Tis true !

            🙂

  9. FFS, do we have to divide the population into yet further sub-cultures, separate groups and put people into drawers? That is the dilemma Labour face, like many parties, I fear. People trying to suggest peer groups or potential voter groups, based on ethnic, cultural or whatever basis.

    Let us face it, with the closing of many factories in the late 1980s and 1990s, with technological innovation and economic and social change, we have few traditional blue collar workers, many are now service industry workers, in many different areas.

    And well, there are white, brown and all sorts of shades of New Zealanders now, why should Labour focus on one group, and one that is so stereotyped, I wonder whether Boguns are not rather an endangered species these days.

    We have had very many immigrants move here, we have here in Auckland, and also in some other cities, and less so in some rural regions, much diversity, various people from diverse cultures, with different religious and whatever inclinations, I am sure some of them struggle to identify with this country and wonder, where they belong.

    Labour needs to be inclusive, concentrate on basics, on social and economic priorities that affect all or at least most, who want a fair, just and somewhat equal society, that also develops the local economy and builds a new nation.

    Maori are part of this, so must be many migrants that choose to make New Zealand their home. We need to find common ground, and Labour’s future cannot lie with picking groups before others, for goodness’ sake.

    I admit though, that the kind of success expecting, business and personal ambition encouraging immigration policy we have does select migrants who may be less inclined to vote Labour.

    This post is one I find troubling, as it makes so little sense and does not help us or Labour to find its way.

    No, Boguns are a phenomenon of the past, I fear, they will become extinct and turn into a new modern form of beings, who will perhaps still have some peculiar traits, but who will evolve like the rest of us.

    I wish your next post will deliver something more enlightening and inspiring, dear Mr Trotter.

    • The bogans will outlast their oppressors. This flimflam rockstar economy bullshit won’t make it to the end of the decade. Education doesn’t pay in NZ – so it won’t be the literati who predominate. We are going to have a large serf or tenant class, and they will give educated liberal bullshit short shrift. The next mass leader could be a Danton or a Hitler – the elites have certainly earned one.

      • Top comment Stuart Monroe,

        Me now as an elder and then as an early free thinker Bogon Bogan or whatever, in 1960 at 16 I climbed out of the job at woollies when I left school and sought a job as an apprentice electrician which put me somewhere in the middle and partied hard and wild in the 1960’s but become a dull time so then I got on the big dual first & second class P&O ship Oriana and sailed to USA.

        Like the movie Titanic I fell into a lower social order with all these University types just going on their OE to UK with their noses in the air I was still trashing a good tune on my guitar and catching the girls singing Roy Orbison.

        Yes it was the days of “wine women and song”, and lots of beer and getting drunk but no drugs.

        This was the golden era of free thinking where the world was our oyster.

        We never knew how lucky we were.

        I will die never wanting to be told what to think, do, or say, it’s just the way we grew up as free thinkers that is no more.

      • Well that clears that up then. If you are a blue-clollar bogan don’t bother expressing your point of view around here. It is unwanted and not welcome just like I said it was.

        You tried Trotter – Respect to ya – unlike the rest of your mob

        • Of course your views are welcome.

          The point is that if Labour segments the population and then tries to work out how to appeal to each it’s just more of the crap it is now “all things to all men”.

          If they want my vote they need to sort out their core principles of how to create a livable society for everyone. That would mean addressing inequity and the environment as these are fundamentals and they couldn’t possibly give a second thought to signing away our sovereignty.

          How they sell that vision to different segments is a different matter – but that comes later not sooner.

        • Hey Jamie, you’re free to say what you think. We’re free to say what we think about what you say. You’re free to reply. This is how open debate works. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen, but don’t blame us for keeping it warm in here.

          I think Steve Hughes sums up the paradox of the whole bogan things quite nicely:
          “It’s brilliant heavy metal, its imaginative, it’s fantastic, it’s f*n outcast, it’s subversive, it’s f*n non-conformist, it’s homo-erotic, it’s homophobic, it’s isolationist, it’s f*n global, it’s f*n some of the most sophisticated, spiritual, intelligent people and musicians I’ve ever met, and some of the most dumbest, retarded f*n meathead cunts I’ve ever run into on the f*n planet, and that’s why it’s f*n brilliant. There’s a bit of f*n everything, although still less f*n yobbos than football fans.”
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohogzxiqqkM

          I also love it when he says:
          “You hate Enya?!? Tony Blair’s alive mate! F*n Dick Cheney, Condaleeza Rice, Henry Kissenger, Richard Perle, I mean if you’re going to hate, hate positively, mate, you understand? See these are genocidal, psychopathic f*n maniacs… and this is Enya. Hate the demons mate, not f*n Enya. Why would you hate Enya, it’s just silence, coloured in. It’s like hating a waterfall.”

    • Oh bollocks…go down into your basement, drag out that old black leather jacket you used to wear proudly , and crank up ‘ Drink yourself away ‘ loudly at 2 am.

      Then have a cup of tea and after that hop into bed and go to sleep.

  10. “….Neoliberalism will never be defeated by the social groups it has lifted up, but only by those it has cast down.”

    That is the key sentence. People should remember, while they are parsing each other’s sentences for contraband utterances on the sexist/racist front, that the designated outcasts are always described in roughly the same terms by their oppressors, and that you can tell who they are by taking note of the group to whom those terms are applied. They are generally depicted as lazy, feckless, dirty, devious, incapable of adapting to the modern world, and so on. It is also commonly said that they no longer exist in any meaningful way, that the decent ones will soon be assimilated and the recalcitrant will gradually die out. And it is easy to make such claims about people who are denied a public voice. The people to whom those terms are applied in societies like ours are the working class who have not become middle class aspirants. And the countries to whom those terms are applied are those who have failed to abandon such people. The difference between the terms “working class” and “lower socioeconomic group” or “underclass” says it all.

    To defeat neo-liberalism we need an allegiance between the abandoned rather than aspiring working class and the vocational rather than careerist middle class. Both groups get the importance of the public good over private advantage. While the latter are not exactly the pariahs of neo-liberalism, one only has to look at John Campbell and Nicky Hager to see that they too are required to modify their ideas if they want acceptance. The vocational middle class should remember that if the working class are irreversibly defeated, they are the next in line for exclusion.

  11. ”Only very occasionally, did the Boguns become visible to the rest of New Zealand. Denied anything even remotely resembling the ennobling narratives available to Maori and women, they had become little more than the butt of stand-up comedic humour ” — add in some lashings of sanctimonious brow-beating and you’ve described much of this comments section ! Super work Mr Trotter

  12. Bogan!! Bogan!! Toga!! To… wait a mo, there are sub cultures within Bogandom too–old Westie V8 boys is mine,

    and we should be sought after by the “voteseekers”, remember when Phil Goff fronted on his motorcycle at the thousands strong ACC run and rally a few years back in Wellington? It went down very well in motoring circles, a bit more oomph on Sue Moroney’s ACC levy campaign too should be similar, we still remember Laila (Alliance) Harre’s leather jacket out West too!

  13. The question really is …all Boganism aside…..is it really good to have a large swathe of the community not only politically unrepresented and marginalized ?

    Of which said group had a large former political influence in creating a society where people who were not even of that demographic benefited as well…and in which not so long ago created conditions for a flourishing of the middle classes themselves…

    Who had major influence in creating a political movement that ensured safer workplaces, fair and equitable remuneration in wages , that created stability for family’s on modest means…and not only that….but a stability in the regional areas as well…

    It is interesting that with the advent of neo liberalism there has been a gutting of those community’s , a centralization of populations into the city centers…and , with competition for employment being more concentrated,… facilitated in part easier passage of legislation that was designed primarily to be a union breaker.

    The Employment Contracts Act.

    As was the successful neo liberal policy of privatizing SOE’s ,…in many cases to foreign ownership….from banks to forestry… that was undertaken rapidly once a deregulated market meant that unions had less and less bargaining power.

    This becomes more and more a story of the break up of a stable society and one of compartmentalization of a hierarchical order…. based on wealth and social status…

    And those fortunate enough to have had the benefits of a free education system , and to have secured wealth before that neo liberal revolution took place are the ones who avoided being the ones left out – they and their offspring .

    And now we have a strata that becomes the cliched and easily typecast whipping boy that can be identified and attributed the worst quality’s such as sloth , unintelligent , lacking in moral fibre , a burden on the taxpayer, the criminal element , bigoted and parochial…

    Chris Trotter is dead right.

    Because all those negative attributes , – that throwing back in the faces of those previous generations who provided so much for greater society – has not only become the assumed attributes of any who fail to aspire to the neo liberal ideal by those now more fortunate…

    But in accepting those ideals and its mantras , – becomes the very indictment of prejudice , self serving bigotry and ingratitude towards those that paved the way originally and sacrificed much for social justice and equity – only for those more well off who now enjoy a sense of moral ,social, financial and intellectual superiority to mock and deny the very foundations and people who provided that stable earlier society from which these later ones benefited from.

    So yes…in all seriousness…this is a demographic that would indeed provide a significant number of voters – a marginalized group that has been tossed aside.

    And they are not just called ‘ Bogans’…they are the working poor , the unemployed , the casualised workforce on minimum wages, – wages that was never intended to be a realistic living wage…

    For any party to finally wake up and DO SOMETHING about this ever growing and large sector of voters… they would find a human resource at their fingertips that was there all along – and was foolishly disregarded.

  14. The housing market debate around housing has been described by Bryce Edwards as the tension on the Left between “Economic Nationalists and Global Cosmopolitans”, but I think TISM’s 1998 song “Whatareya? A Yob or a Wanker?” probably best captures better “A wanker fights inequalities, And for people’s rights; A Wanker fights class prejudice – A Yobbo just fights” – genius.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiHdpAVIHgo

  15. A bogan of my close aquaintance tells me that what is desirable is a socialist party not a gaggle of academics and politically correct cross dressers and creatures of indeterminate sex. The real socialist party need a leader, a meteor arising from the urgrund of Massey, Otara or Tawa, like Russell Brand. Someone with power in the voice because they have power in the soul.

    • In the early days when the Mongrel Mob first came to Dunedin, the bogans took turns to grab them and ‘welcome’ them to the city. Even today Woodhouse runs a significant daily risk of being the next Jaffa rolled down Baldwin street. Bogans have great problem solving skills.

  16. I’m not sure what a bogan actually is. Are they what used to be called “long-haired layabouts?” or simply “scarfies”?

  17. What an interesting article M Trottoir and very readable. Unfortunately this time you’ve been outclassed by your audience; such a spirited and strange bunch of contributions.

    From Jamie’s Texas trucker’s contribution to dear ol’ Frank sounding more and more like Statler & Waldorf from the Muppet Show! (You know, the two grumpy old men in the theatre box).

    What to me is even more interesting is the points awarded to the contributions.

    Is this yet another right wing hacking attack?

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