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November 29th 2012 print

James Allan

The very model of a modern journalist

So you think you could make a career in the media. It is isn't difficult, truth be told, if you can master the essential qualities of eltism, myopia, selective outrage, moral inconsistency and groupthink


Hello readers. I’m tweeter Pompos-Alot and I’m here to teach you a bit about journalism, and especially how to write from the champagne socialist perspective. Of course that first requires that you have oodles of money, like me, so that you can emote about things like the exploding stream of boat people arrivals, and you can do so with next to no concern for trifling unpleasantries such as facts and consequences. Just say, "Gosh this is all awful so why don’t we just let more and more and more of them in."


As a champagne socialist, the joy is that you never have to pay the price for elevating your feelings above all else.  Paying the consequences is for the hoi-polloi.  It’s really remarkably liberating. So what if the former Howard government’s boat people policies worked brilliantly and had boat arrivals down to just two or three a year. The key point is that that regime made my moral antennae feel a bit squeamish.  I was a tad uneasy.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what really counts.

But you do have to strike a certain pose when writing well from this champagne socialist perspective. What I do — and take it from me I’m a very successful journalist and man-about-town broadcaster, so I’d know — is to try to give a superficial patina of looking balanced in what I say. Of course, being a champagne socialist I really must, in the end, put the boot into that nasty Mr. Abbott in everything I write.

And I do try to find every chance I plausibly can to say the Gillard government is recovering and finally, this time, is seeing a fresh dawn and sunlight and ultimate victory. Heck, I even called the last election for Labor about 20 seconds into election-night coverage, after only a handful of Queensland seats had starting sending in returns. You see, my motto is “It’s never too early to side with Labor!”

I even managed to say some time ago that, in my view, the Prime Minister was in the clear on these slush fund allegations Julie Bishop has been running in Parliament. And I was able to say that nice and early, without waiting for anything as dreary as further “facts”.

   Look, if you’re going to have loads of money yourself, taking positions more agreeable to those on the political left makes you feel better about yourself.  Take it from me, it gives you room to emote and let your feelings ooze out. And really, isn’t that what makes a good opinion writer and journalist? Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.

   Well, I should know and I say ‘yes’ to that. It’s not unlike my feelings when Julia Gillard became Prime Minister. I just welled up with emotion and thought the symbolism would be wonderful for my daughters. 

 Really, if you’re not into symbolism that is wholly and completely divorced from good consequences how can you ever expect to be a top champagne socialist opiner like me?

   Now go get yourself a bottle of Pol Roger champagne, have a think about what I’m saying, and look out for my next article slyly putting the boot into Tony Abbott and the Coalition. You’ll love it. I know that I do.