‘Bitter malcontents’ jibe may be snobby

MERCURIUS Goldstein is right about our living in a topsy-turvy world (“Stay at home and boo the television”, The NDL, Monday), but I don’t want his letter, or any lack of clarity in mine of August 7 (“Something rotten in the merry old land of Oz”), to leave any doubt as to what I was saying.

It’s this: allegations of racism, protected by political correctness, are now perceived by some among the ranks of the educated and powerful establishment as an overriding licence for reducing a child to tears at the football, unfairly shifting blame for this to security personnel, and class discriminatory abuse like Professor Langton’s of ordinary football patrons.

The operative phrase above is “some among”; the AFL was divided for the very good reason that its more thoughtful members knew that once you start saying “people who boo at the football are just trash” – or is that “white trash”? – you might lose those spectators, without whose money at the turnstiles there’d be no AFL and no Adam Goodes, Brownlow medallist and Australian of the Year.

But as to “some”, we can probably do without your stereotyping of all members of the establishment, as in the persons of Devine and Bolt.

Your idea of taking your family to the football is great, Mercurius. If spectators boo a player for two years, you know you can add to whatever you tell them that Stan Heuston thinks they are being bloodyminded. But I wouldn’t bother telling them that their booing is “co-ordinated”, or calling them “bitter malcontents”. It might sound snobby.

And congratulations on not having used the racist allegation in your letter.

Stan Heuston


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