This below is from a Quarterly Essay called Unfinished Business: Sex, Freedom and Misogny by Anna Goldsworthy. It’s in the correspondence bit, talking about the previous essay, ‘Not Dead Yet‘ by Mark Latham.
Fwiw, imo, Guy Rundle is a very very smart guy.
That social vision is advanced by most of the current ALP elite past and present, whatever their other differences. Of course it is. They’re all driven people, members of a lifelong political caste, and they project that assumption onto the general electorate as the only way to live your life. There seems to be no understanding that most people don’t live that way; that’s why they’re most people, the average, by definition. The idea of a better life encompasses many incommensurable things – not merely better houses and material things, but more free time, more family time, ease of life, security and a certain centredness in their own existence. Past Labor leaders understood this, and so did John Howard – he took it over by telling people they should be able to feel more “comfortable and relaxed”. That wasn’t just about Keating’s perceived advancement of a cultural liberal agenda; it was about the sense Labor had established in the early 1990s that everyone was on a forced march from the suburban “Settlement” society established over a century to.. God knows where. Bob Hawke had kept a lid on such enthusiasm, won four elections (and is unmentioned in Latham’s chronicle of leaders); Keating ramrodded it and lost the farm. In the ensuing years, elements of the NSW Right have developed an enthusiasm for the market that amounts to a repudiation of the mixed society/economy that made this country one of the best places to live a working/middle-class life in the twentieth century.
Rundle, G. 2013. Correspondence, in Quarterly Essay 50, p.99