Monday 14 May 2012

The North Shore

The North Shore of Sydney is a nice place to live - leafy, rich in parts and picturesque. Geographically, it's got lots and lots of ridges, so there are plenty of views; and lots of valleys where you can have quiet little suburbs. It's not uniformly wealthy, but there are enclaves like Mosman which are wall to wall merchant bankers and lawyers - places where the women drive Volvos, own Labradors, wear pink fluffy sweaters and have long lunches in expensive cafes. However, the North Shore is not uniformly full of silvertails sending their kids to elite  private schools.

I lived there for a few years. It's worth remembering that before the Harbour Bridge was built, it was nowheresville. Land was cheap, because transport into the city was awful. Transport is still pretty bloody awful, but that's not the issue. But it's a very nice place.

I don't know where the Prime Minister gets off when she put the place down the other day. The high property prices and rents on the North Shore say to me that it is a desirable place to live - people want to move there. A lot of people living there weren't born there - they grew up somewhere else and became successful enough in whatever it is they do to afford to relocate there. Australia is a socially fluid place - if you do well, you can live well.

Here's my advice for the PM:

  • If you want to live on the North Shore, forget about spending your life existing on welfare. You'll need to get a job and work very hard at it. There aren't enough hand outs in the world to subsidise a life on the North Shore.
  • That will almost certainly involve starting in a shitty, lowly paid job and working your way up through a whole series of jobs until you get a good one. Every rich, successful person I know started out in a job that was the equivalent of flipping burgers. (In fact, their first jobs usually involved cleaning up for the burger flippers - burger flipping requires skill).
  • Alternatively, start a business and work even harder. Your first few businesses will probably fail, and you will be broke for a while.
  • There is no certainty success will happen - life isn't fair
  • A good education will help. Study hard, work hard, be thrifty. Don't blow money on crap.
  • Try and hang out with like minded people. You'll find the going harder if you hang out with crooks and neer-do-wells.
End rant.


JC said...

"Silvertails" is a new one on me, but then I live in Texas (God's other own country). Etymology, pleaes?

Simon said...

JC (with those initials I won't question how you know where God's own country is):
from Google:

The English language expression silver spoon is synonymous with wealth, especially inherited wealth; someone born into a wealthy family is said to have "been born with a silver spoon in his mouth". As an adjective, "silver-spoon" describes someone who has a prosperous background or is of a well-to-do family environment. In Australia the expression "silvertail" is also used, although it has an almost identical meaning. It has been used in cultural or political situations to describe someone as aristocratic or out of touch with the common people.

JC said...

I noticed references to a football club, and also thought it might be an odd type of 'roo (got redtails, right?), but am oddly disappointed to find it just means "born with a silver spoon up his arse".

Anonymous said...

"I don't know where the Prime Minister gets off when she put the place down"

This is another thought bubble from her media advisor, that Scottish hick who previously advised the failed British Labour Party. His previous, equally unsuccessful thought bubble was the Australia Day race riot in Canberra - Gillard sure knows how to hire good advisers.

The ALP are trying to appeal to their base constituency, the "working families" out in the suburbs, by creating an "us versus them" meme to regain some traction in their traditional electorates.

Its not going to work though, the suburbs went to the Liberals in Howard's days (Howard's Battlers), and they will go to Abbott when we next go to the polls.

And this is the ALP's greatest fear; when Abbott wins the next election the suburbs will go to Abbott to punish the ALP, but they will stick to Abbott when they get used to him as they will see that he's a decent, blokey type of a bloke who they can trust.

My prediction is that, not only will Abbott win the next election, but he will stay as PM longer than Howard.