Voters in the Victorian federal electorate of Batman were a little nonplussed at the huge number of Greens supporters roaming the streets on March 17 election day.
Throsby can’t be sure if punters knew how many of those green-clad enthusiasts were Saint Patrick’s Day oirish celebrants. Nor should he venture the ratio of material micks to plastic paddys.
Despite the greenery, Labor “romped in” as we say, and the likeable Ged Kearney follows a string of union leaders into the relatively unified ranks of parliamentary ALPers. We keenly anticipate a plethora of doh-worthy inanities from the conservatives, claiming the Labor party is run by unions. You know, the Labor party – created by ordinary folk, workers and labourers who formed unions. Such dreadful bondships. Hmm, not unlike the BCA or the Minerals Council, but without such deep pockets.
Commentariat narrative quotes a consensus of themselves declaring The Greens would “cruise to victory” due to Batman now being a “gentrified” electorate.
The by-election was indeed an odd contest between two non-conservative candidates. Lacking a sufficiently brave or wealthy Toff, the LNP coalition decided it was a poor business case with a lousy likely ROI.
So we enjoyed the amusing spectacle of two socialist candidates – a neoliberal socialist and a tree-hugging socialist – trying to put air between themselves. Labor presented a poker faced steady-as-she-goes approach and steered into the franking imputation storm, emerging barely dampened, while the Greens almost self-destructed in a spiteful brouhaha.
The gentrified were not hugely impressed.
Perhaps the Irish presence was tacit support – not for the colour of The Green, but – for the party of the Catholic Labor Party.
Throsby loves an Irish irony. Who doesn’t?