In an article for the AFR, Pru Goward discussed her “lifelong fascination with the underclass”. Oh, do tell, Pru, writes Joel Jenkins.
After decades of dismantling the job security of Australians in John Howard’s retinue, Pru Goward pens an article blaming the people that deliver packages to her door, who brush cut her irrigated lawns, those who feign interest in all the unreasonable demands of her and the class she represents.
There is no dignity afforded to the casualised chattel packing the trucks that ﬁll the shelves at Bunnings and Coles, that shunt around packages from far away distribution centres, the people that make the cheese, slice the eye ﬁllets and pack the asparagus that supplies the caloric intake and subsequent energy of slack-minded elites like Pru Goward.
Then, somewhere between Martin Chuzzlewit and Soylent Green, she observes the incredible strain these people place on her society. Pru says the underclasses are viewed by government agencies “as huge cost centres” that are “over-represented in their use of government crisis services”. She sums up the people that prop up her tuffet as citizens who “are always the last to give up smoking, get their shots and eat two servings of vegetables a day”. Horrible and despicable people.
After talking about social workers, the tired and overworked, the underpaid and understaffed — all factors to blame on the proles, of course — she starts cosying up to hardcore eugenics.
Pru speaks from the heart: “Oh yes, and they don’t vote often.” The proles don’t really like contributing to democracy, she begins the sub-human observation. “Despite the billions of dollars governments invest in changing the lives of proles, their number increases.” (Proles again?) As the ﬁrst of my spinning eyeballs gained focus, slap, “. . . birth rates far outstrip those of professional couples”. Then she tells us how badly we treat our children.
Goward has let us in on something she probably shouldn’t as she reveals a glinting treasure dropped from the ﬁrmament that sits above the crucible of power in this country — she tells us how they really feel about us. She repeats a message that is usually muttered in the safety of cucumber sandwiches and lunchtime gin, sending it out to her golf buddies that read the AFR.
I wouldn’t normally dare cast sweeping aspersions on the machinations of the rich and delirious but feel compelled to aim one at Pru Goward and the Financial Review. What she has written represents the beating heart of an agenda — a fortuitously conceived idea that is arbitrated by the aristocratic heart of this incestuous backwater.
Goward’s article is a disgraceful insight into the heartless nature of the elite in this country, with all their levers of power, and made all the more insulting given it comes from a former equal opportunities commissioner. Unfortunately for Pru, for better or worse, the future of this country will be determined by the underclass and however those like Pru wish to treat it, it’s the underclass that will choose how we proceed.
There are Pru Gowards in every safe seat in this country, in our public institutions and academia — their cloistered minds write our articles and their think tanks shape our military and strategic future. Pru’s people lobby against the public interest and hoard wealth off the backs of the very people she has just king hit. In lieu of the major parties, meaningful support from educated liberal elites and non-partisan analysis in the press, it’s time the proles started owning the discussion on class in Australia.
- This is an edited extract. You can read the full version as well as other articles from Joel on Bogan Intelligentsia and follow him @boganintel
- Read ISV magazine in full here