89 thoughts on “Monday message board

  1. We expect that the event in Sydney (Cronulla) yesterday will garner a lot of attention. It was simply disgusting, and should be utterly condemed. We have said so on our blog.

  2. All right-thinking people ought to deplore Sunday’s riots and also those no doubt myriad of acts that contributed to the bad blood that seems to exist between ethno/religious/social groups.

    Understanding the causes is also important.

    I wonder how important the “Sydney effect” is.

    Diverse groups of Sydneysiders have shown a distinct propensity for riot in the last year or so.

    Is this accidental, or is there something about Sydney and/or its inhabitants that predisposes them to riot?

    Some possibilities:

    Geographical layout
    Socio-ethinic demography
    Socio-ethnic geography
    Mass media peculiarities (The Daily Telegraph effect, the shock-jock effect.)

  3. Mass media peculiarities (The Daily Telegraph effect, the shock-jock effect.)

    Definitely a factor.

  4. Don’t forget the lovable Patriotic Yoof League and Jim Saleam. Those people have been very active in fomenting just this kind of stoush in Sydney. they don’t seem to have such a strong foothold in Melbourne.

  5. I wouldn’t place set much store by any speculations on causes, but one look at some of the far right blogs (TimBlair et al) quickly makes clear which Australian thighs are being slapped in delight over what’s happened.

  6. The Australian beach culture is supposedly utopian, hedonistic and happy-go-lucky; in reality, zones like the Sutherland Shire and the Northern beaches are repellently parochial, white, racist, drug-addled and thuggish. The Master Race of ‘The Shire’ live in the most Anglo-Celtic part of Australia and believe that they’re the Chosen. Sydney society generally is far too fragmented and ghettoised ethnically.

    Having lived in Sydney for six years (1998-2004), I utterly despise the place and will never live there again. Its dominant ethos is thuggery and resentment. To borrow a metaphor from H.G.Wells’ ‘Time Machine’, the children of suburbs like Manly and Cronulla look like the Eloi, but behave like Morlocks.

  7. Unfortunately, Will, what you say seems to be true of Australia beyond Sydney. The sole point I agree with the incumbent far right commentariat on is that the apparent social liberalism of Australia really was a top-down imposition, without roots in the population at large. Social progressives are generally in denial about this. By and large, Australians are uninterested in anything other than ownership of ‘stuff’, and to the extent that they have any opinions, they are (very) right wing on many points. Certainly a deep racism still goes essentially unchallenged outside of a subset of the university educated classes.

    That has been my experience, anyway. I don’t know what social attitude surveys have been saying.

  8. While Sydney and Melbourne certainly aren’t chalk and cheese, nevertheless there do seem to be some nuances that may serve to make Melbourne somewhat less congenial as a host to mob violence than Sydney.

    I desire neither to be over-confident nor (as a Melburnian) triumphalist about this. I wouldn’t be enormously surprised, given the similarities between popular cultures Australia-wide, were similar riots to break out in Melbourne in the near future. But so far, they haven’t.

    And it is worth noting two interesting coincidences:

    1. Hansonism never generated a wide following in Melbourne, despite One Nation’s efforts and a quiteaccurate targetting of potential followers in the areas of Dandenong and Geelong.

    2. Shock-Jock radio has never drawn a commercially viable audience in Melbourne. It has been tried, and it failed. Alan Jones was ridiculed off the screen when some years ago Channel 10 decided that it was time for Melbourne to find out what they were missing and Sydney was getting.

    As CB observes, maybe liberalism is a top-down imposition in most of Australia. Maybe that is slightly less true in Melbourne.

    Whatever, I believe that the whole of Australia became aware of a threshold to a very different place from that mythical land of tolerance.

  9. My impressions of Sydney society (‘Sketches From Suburban Life’) are very subjective but based on my time there and my time in Canberra and Melbourne. To me, there is a nasty and paranoid atmosphere in Sydney that isn’t found anywhere else. I also believe that a sense of social liberalism is quite deeply rooted in the Australian psyche – including anti-racism – but it’s in desperately short supply in our largest city. Most Australians would be offended to be accused of racism.

  10. My impressions are as subjective as yours, Will, but based on different places (Sydney, Brisbane, and quite a few rural places). I certainly haven’t come across any resembling deep-rooted liberalism except amongst Latham’s ‘tourists’, who are essentially the same all over the world. Perhaps it depends on the circles you move in. My experience of the non-office dwellers in Australia is that daily racism is endemic. It doesn’t break out into violence as often as it might, I suspect, because Australian workers have been quite well off, with fewer of the cheek-by-jowl discomfort and tensions that tend to exist in societies with large populations of ‘working poor’. The plan is for all that to change, of course, and I certainly fear for the future.

    I accept that most Australians are offended to be labelled racist, but anyone who’s spent time outside of uni-educated Australia will be entirely familiar with comments like “I’m not racist, but I hate [insert nationality]’s”.

  11. There have been several high profile court cases (at least in the Sydney Media) over the last year in which Lebanese youths have been found guilty of multiple repeat pack rapes across Sydney. I am not sure how well publicised these have been in the rest of the country.


    Coupled with other incidence (the lifeguard assault last weekend) and the Muslim factor the cocktail obviously got volatile.

    Looking at the footage and photos from Cronulla it seems to me that some of the police officers involved were truely heroic. They put themselves at grave risk to rescue and protect individuals that the crowd had singled out for attack.

    I have family that live in the street where the “Lebanese” reprisals later took place. They locked themselves inside their house as a mob destroyed cars and property outside.

    I new the world was mad but this is way too close to home.

  12. “I am not sure how well publicised these have been in the rest of the country.”

    They were endlessly and massively reported in the media.

  13. now I’m only a dumb commenter on a blog – but to me if the police came down hard on the ratbags from the beginning we may not have the problem escalate to a “race” issue.

  14. I tend to agree with orang.

    The NSW DPP tried to downplay the racist element of the gang rapes in 2000, only to have it blow up in their faces when Miranda Devine published this column.

    It’s sort of like if US officials in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas said something like “There’s no such thing as the mafia, go about your business, don’t be racist”.

    Of course, the gangs on the beaches aren’t anything like the real mafia, they’re just a bunch of wannabees. But to deny their existence just doesn’t wash. And a lot of people can see and don’t like the dishonesty of the NSW government in denying the existence of a problem.

  15. Let’s re-work that last sentence.

    A lot of people can see, and don’t like, the dishonesty of the NSW government’s denial of the existence of a problem.

  16. Orang says: “now I’m only a dumb commenter on a blog – but to me if the police came down hard on the ratbags from the beginning we may not have the problem escalate to a “raceâ€? issue.”

    If the (vastly outnumbered) police had cracked down early on the ratbags, as you suggest, they would have been accused by the “Monday morning experts” as being heavy handed and provocative.

    Also, I don’t buy Crispin’s argument about less educated Australians, and I assume he means white Australians, being significantly racist. Australia’s relatively trouble free multicultural experiment does not suport the claim.

    We need to know more about just how bad the alleged Middle Eastern gang situation is in Sydney before casting judgement. For example, how many people are involved? Are the reports of regular intimidation of Western women well founded or exaggerated? Are these gangs themselves racist? Are they genuinely and openly hostile towards all non-Muslims?

    It will be interesting to see how Islamic community leaders react this week. To date I think they have, by and large, served their communities rather poorly.

  17. “now I’m only a dumb commenter on a blog – but to me if the police came down hard on the ratbags from the beginning we may not have the problem escalate to a “raceâ€? issue.”

    When looking at the riots in Paris and the riots in Redfern and Macquarie Fields, I formed a theory regarding what I think of as soft/hard policing.

    “Soft” policing is the period in the lead up to the riots when the police essentially tolerate the creation of no-go zones and fail to act against anti-social behaviour.

    “Hard policing” comes when there’s spme key events – such as the deaths in Redfern, Macquarie Fields and Paris of people being pursued by the police – where the police attempt to reassert their authority in areas which they’ve previously effecitvely ceded to the criminals.

    These key events can’t be said to “cause” the riots but they are the proximate trigger which crystallises the underlying resentments and conflicts into acts of violence and property crimes.

    Given the rather wreched record of “zero tolereance” policies I’m not sure what the alternative is – there has to be some way to avoid conflict with local communities which leads to escalation without creating the preconditions for more serious violence later.

  18. I appreciate Crispin’s thoughtful comments on the prevalence of racism in Australian society and I’ve worked with some intensely racist people (white and blue collar) who would never incite or consider violence. As others have pointed out, Sydney’s toxic brew might have a long list of ingredients.

    On the question of the culture of different cities; for a few years now I’ve wondered whether cities have a ‘dominant ethos’. Melbourne’s ethos (if such exists) is conservative, but communitarian and humane, Sydney’s seems to me to be that of the ‘head kicker’, from the ruling class down.
    Archetypical Sydney politicians are Keating and Latham, angry and vituperative. For Melbourne, it’s lofty Mal Fraser, who looks better and better as each year passes.

  19. And perhaps the current Anglo-Arabic war started with a single incident on the beach X years ago involving only a couple of kids. Word got around.

  20. Having spent my youth in a beachside Sydney suburb, followed by several years driving a taxi around Sydney’s streets, I can confirm the long-term existence of a parochial thuggish element in the underbelly of Sydney’s beach culture. Add to that the intrinsic Anglo-Australian racism that has characterised Australia since colonisation, combined with the steadily increasing anti-Islamic sentiment that the Howard government has manipulated to remain in power, and it’s hardly surprising that these disgraceful events have occurred.

    When Howard claims that Australian society isn’t essentially racist, he is about as credible as when he has been in the past on subjects as varied as the GST, IR, Children Overboard etc etc. The reason Australians continue to return the disingenuous little creep is that they recognise in Howard and his cronies the embodiment of their own white bourgeois hypocrisy.

    We are reaping what we’ve allowed to be sown.

  21. Whenever, something like Cronulla happens, the looney left have to find a range of mitigating factors to explain why the events occured. Katz writes about

    -Geographical layout
    -Socio-ethinic demography
    -Socio-ethnic geography
    -Mass media peculiarities (The Daily Telegraph effect, the shock-jock effect.)

    What utter nonsense. It’s a turf war. (old fashioned as it sounds)

    These skirmishes are NOT an argument about multiculturalism, or about the clash of civilisations, nor is it (with lashings of Marxist interpretations) about social depravation.

    The Dumber vs Dumber battle that is occurring on Sydney streets is being fuelled by testosterone, the bravado of youth, ‘dumb’ politics, and a siege mentality.

    Let the Police do their business – crush the thugs hard.

  22. All of three of the following statements are true, and it shouldn’t be necessary to choose between them:

    1. Australians are on average relatively tolerant of other cultures.
    2. The majority of Australians are not racist.
    3. There are many Australians who are deeply racist.

    Racism is a big problem, but we should maintain a sense of proportion about it. A few riots, organised by hard core thugs in the football hooligan mould, do not indicate to me that the social fabric is unravelling.

    I’m curious to know what Crispin means by ‘subset of the university educated classes.’ Literally that? I’m struggling to think of any tertiary-educated person of my acquaintance who is overtly racist. Or did you actually mean ‘the subset which is university educated’. I doubt that’s true either, but even if it is, the number of university educated is fortunately large and growing.

  23. Gerard Henderson has written what I think is a good article on the Cronulla riots. In particular he explains why this does not show Australia to be a racist society.



    Mix Lebanese Australian youth with drunken Australian beach-goers and an occasion for serious violence soon exists. As Bruce Baird (the federal MP for Cook, which includes Cronulla) pointed out on ABC Radio 702 yesterday, more than 90 per cent of the Sutherland shire consists of Australians of Anglo-Celtic background. That is, from Monday to Friday. On weekends, however, many Lebanese Australians travel to the area from south-western Sydney.

    Australia is essentially a tolerant and accepting society. It is consistent with the essential Australian empiricism that individuals of ethnic background meet their most sustained opposition in the areas where few of them live. This is in stark contrast to genuinely racist societies where ethnic groups are opposed because they are known.

  24. Morganzola is correct. As a trained lawyer, Howard could not have missed learning about Australia’s institutional racism in his Constitutional Law class.

    Of course, true to form, Howard hedges his comments by talking about Australian “society” as if Australian “society” can be considered without reference to its history and the institutional structures that maintain it.

    Australia was founded on official racism:

    The “Race Powers” provision of Section S.51 of the Constitution excluded Aborigines from commonwealth citizenship and consigned them to the status of mere residents in the various states.

    Under the same “Race Powers” provisions the following racist legislation was passed:

    Australia’s first enacted legislation enabled the forced deportation of Pacific Islanders.

    White Australia.

    Motherhood bonuses to be paid only to bona fide whites. Any dispute as to the racial identity of a mother was to be settled by a medical practitioner who judged on the basis of “appearance”.

    Under the Defence Act, non-white boys were prohibited from learning the arts of war. Again, any dispute as to racial identity was to be settled by a medical practitioner and his colour swatches.

    Senator John Herron, Howard’s own Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, opined that the 1967 Referendum which excised mention of Aborigines from the Constitution did not preclude continued exercise of the “Race Powers” provision of the Constitution.

    The various states of Australia, especially WA and QLD, have their own, post-federation, record of official racism.

    With the single exception of the 1967 referendum, all of these provisions have been removed by executive fiat, or have fallen into disuse. This happened when the political classes of Australia shared a consensus about the intolerability of these provisions.

    Perhaps these elites (both Tory and Labor) were being prudent. Perhaps they understood that a public campaign to strike down official racism would be unpopular.

    Instead of confronting unpalatable realities head-on, the elites constructed Potempkin Villages of happy, tolerant, multicultural Australia. Meanwhile, longstanding grievances went unacknowledged and unaddressed.

    So long as a consensus persisted between the political elites of Australia promoting the myth of tolerance, racist sentiment remained ghettoised.

    But Howard is well known for tearing up that consensus and cleverly playing the race card when it suited him.

    Howard has breeched that conspiracy of silence about the persistence of racialism in Australia.

    And now, true to form, he has lied about the existence of his most potent political tool, which he has used repeatedly and relentlessly to garner the marginal vote in successive elections.

  25. I fear the police’s failure to address the problem of gangs in Sydney is about to blow up in their faces. By allowing this problem to fester, they are playing right into the hands of the extremists and drunken idiots. What is just as worrying is that 90% of the people involved in the riot were under the age of 25. We risk creating a generation of racists if we fail to address the underlying problems and write off what happened as the work of racists and crack-pots. I fear we are reaching a crisis point.

  26. James Farrell is quite right to say that this a ‘turf war’, but that answer is hardly exhaustive. I had a turf war with my next door neighbours when they used my wheelie bin without permission. Cronulla is on a different scale and a little more complicated, with many more ‘stakeholders’.

    It’s SOME turf war.

  27. Weekly: I’m probably one of your ‘looney left’ who thinks it is worthwhile to seek explanations for human behaviour, if perhaps not on blogs (quick responses, any bugger can contribute, etc). It doesn’t seem that odd a thing to do to me. If it does to you, I wonder why you bother contributing to any form of conversation on the subject at all? As you don’t believe there’s any knowledge to be gained or communicated, then your comment must have illocutionary intent. Rhetoric, perhaps? If so, addressing your interlocuters derisively as ‘looney left’ is an utterly hopeless tactic!

    James Farrell: Yes, I did mean ‘subset’ literally. Again, maybe this is a clash of subjectivities which might show how valueless they are, but, for example, I’ve met few non-racist engineers, whereas I don’t think I’ve ever met a racist linguist. I agree that tertiary education strongly correlates with less racist attitudes, but it seems patchy to me across disciplines. I don’t know how much value to place on such indisciplined reflections on one personal history, but I’m not sure what gets at the truth any better.

    Terje Petersen: I would hardly know where to start with Gerard Henderson’s typically shallow piece. He believes that ‘inter-marriage’ is an indicator of tolerance! I’ve no idea how you’d do a study to measure this, but I’d be willing to place a very large bet that if you could measure both an individual’s propensity to consider mating outside their own ethnicity, and their level of racism, you’d end up with no correlation.

  28. As usual the bleeding hearts have co-opted the argument and forced it into a debate on racism only. It is about chauvinism through and through. Stop putting the cart before the horse and admit that some idiots do not like the way we do things in this country.

    This morning in the SMH: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2005/12/12/1134236005902.html

    “In Bay Street, Brighton-le-Sands, a young woman was sitting in a car when men approached and opened the door to her vehicle and put a hand up her dress, saying: “We are going to rape you, you Aussie sluts.” A witness, Linda El-Hassan, 19, said a shot was fired at the woman’s car but she was unhurt. Miss El-Hassan said she was Lebanese and opposed the violence. “We all came to this country and we are all one in this country.”

    Women in Australia do not need idiots and wankers like the rioters in Cronulla to defend them but they do need everyone to admit the startling fact that Australian women are MORE IMPORTANT than muslims, people of arab background or rioters and that our freedom today to do as we like in our lives without harrassment is paramount.

    To dress up this issue as all about Cronulla or all about racism is to be gutless and a hypocrite but that approach also denies us the basic support that some members of our society need. We know it is abnormal for Australians to roam across the sand in twenties and thirties without a football between them. It is abnormal to gang up and bash a lifesaver. It is abnormal to abuse pregant women for showing their pregancy or crowd around teenagers asking them if they’re virgins and threatening to rape them because they are not ‘covered’. The locals are sick to death of these weirdoes.

    It is a tacit implication that our immigration department lets in people to roam freely whose culture is antithetical to ours, who raise their children to be hostile to females and that the sum total of our society’s frontline defence against their dangerous imported chauvinism is a fifteen year old or a single female on a beach who is targeted like a sitting duck.

    If over the years, these had been anglo-saxons we’d have called the police (as we did in cronulla) not the bloody anglican archbishop or a cardinal or two, so the media should leave islam, the “lebanese” and any self-elected ‘community leaders’ (who clearly can’t manage their community to save themselves) out of it and address the specific behaviour of some men and some boys that threaten women and make us scared.

  29. Thanks for the benefit of wour wisdom Weekly:

    “The Dumber vs Dumber battle that is occurring on Sydney streets is being fuelled by testosterone, the bravado of youth, ‘dumb’ politics, and a siege mentality.

    Let the Police do their business – crush the thugs hard.”

    I guess everything that has happened in Sydney can be explained by reference to the incontrovertible fact that there is far more testosterone in Sydney than anywhere else in Australia.

    This logical fallacy of yours is called monocausalism.

    I never mentioned “depravations”, by which I imagine Weekly means “deprivations”. (You’ve struck lexical gold there Weekly.)

    This rhetorical trick of yours is called “constructing a Straw man”.

  30. what the: hundreds of young European (mostly English) and Australian men thieve, brawl and whore their way across the tourist traps of SE Asia every year. Is this a problem of us exporting our ‘culture’ over there? Does the fact that this happens make those youth representative of Australia and Europe?

    “Australian women are MORE IMPORTANT than muslims, people of arab background or rioters” is the least meaningful comment I’ve yet seen in the comments on this blog. But I’m fairly new here.

  31. Katz, as always you remain remarkably pedantic.

    The point about the issue of identifying social DEPRIVATION as a non-issue, is that it is a natural flow-on from your original argument.

    However, we feel that the Cronulla issue suits your purpose – i.e a convenient event to blame Howard, yada yada, (why not mention George Bush, the war in Iraq, greenhouse! for good measure)

    You may well respond by saying that they don’t have any impact? Well you earlier wrote:

    -Geographical layout
    -Socio-ethinic demography
    -Socio-ethnic geography
    -Mass media peculiarities (The Daily Telegraph effect, the shock-jock effect.)

    You have raised the issue of ethnicity as a primary cause.

  32. Oops…I’m sorry. It wasn’t J.Farrell who made the ‘turf war’ comment, but ‘weekly’. I’ll try to be more careful.

    Yes, indeed, Katz, Sydney is dense with testosterone. Also Ecstasy, GBH and growth hormone: witness the primate pack behaviour on TV. I’ve always been disturbed by the shooting of the near-blind French photographer on Bondi Beach. The two coppers responsible, Podesta and Di Lorenza (spelling?) were real party boys and might have been whooping it up on the pills the night before.

    Remember the Good Old Days when pharmaceuticals were meant to make us more gentle and caring?

    The easiest option is to always say ‘A plague on both your houses’, ie that it’s all about blond hoons versus non-blond hoons, but I refuse to concede that all the fighting was caused by the presence of Arabic Australian men. There is such a thing as ‘the ugly Aussie’.

  33. “Australian women are MORE IMPORTANT than muslims,”

    Yes because “Australian” and “muslim’ amd “muslim” and “woman” are antithetical and exclusive classes.

    Presumably the dozen or so “Australian” woman who attacked a woman in the streets of Cronulla for daring to wear muslim dress and beat and kicked her were just defending themselves.

    “It is a tacit implication that our immigration department lets in people to roam freely whose culture is antithetical to ours, who raise their children to be hostile to females…”

    Yes, because there are no elements in traditional anglo-celtic culture that are chauvinistic or hostile to women. I’m sure Anita Cobby’s parents will be glad to hear that.

  34. The fighting wasn’t ’caused’ by arabic Australian men, because the hoons and hooligans of both groups are soley repsonsible for their own behaviour. Period. That being the case, there is a clear need to ensure that:-
    gangs of young men and women for that matter, (whatever their ethnicity) are ‘moved on’ when they attempt to ‘gang up’ on others, by the police and no-one else; and
    there is a need to calm people down and stop describing various beaches as ‘our beach’. They do not belong to the locals, they belong as a matter of fact to ‘all of us’.

    Loutish behavoiur on beaches has been around as long as I can remember – if ethnicity wasn’t a factor, it would be something else (length of hair, style of clothes suburb etc;) It is important to be firm with louts, and not go overboard about the supposed ethnic origins of hoons and goons. It is also a fact that various shock jocks love this stuff because it gives them an audience, and because social tensions are being used by a section of the liberal party right in this country as cover for the ongoing kulturkampf against Australian liberalism. The shock jocks in Sydney are in a league of their own for irresponsible clap trap, partly because at least two of them have links with the unattractive and very unappealling liberal party right in this state. There is nothing that can of should be done about this, other than note it, and take it into account when you listen to their rantings. They are a disgrace of course, but I think they are valuable as a way of tracking the latest preoccupations of the right wing nuts who pass as the activist base of the liberal party and all points right in NSW.

    Jones is a skilful and absolutely shameless self promoter whose basic interests start and finish with himself and his own supposed power.

  35. anglo-saxon australia has elements of chauvinism obviously and i wrote that the rioters are wankers. Arrest them for they are idiots, it would be sophistry to argue otherwise. The chauvinist pigs on the beaches who started to raise the temperature years ago bring any foreign background they might claim to have into disrepute.

    On the final point, half our population is female and i think gender is entirely antecedent in importance to religion and ethnicity.

  36. Can anyone tell me what proportion of the Lebanese-Australian community is Christian?

    I’m guessing over 50% but it is entirely a guess.

  37. Here’s a small point that no-one has mentioned: many of the Master Race thugs in Cronulla were wrapped in the Australian flag (because they’d forgotten how to wear shirts?) and as every patriotic conservative knows, this demonstrates disrespect for our national symbol, even more so if you’re covered in sweat and beer.

    The last Australian politician to wrap our flag around her shoulders was Pauline Hanson and she strongly criticised for it.

    Not a good look, fellas.

  38. Here’s a small point that no-one has mentioned: many of the Master Race thugs in Cronulla were wrapped in the Australian flag (because they’d forgotten how to wear shirts?) and as every patriotic conservative knows, this demonstrates disrespect for our national symbol, even more so if you’re covered in sweat and beer.

    The last Australian politician to wrap our flag around her shoulders was Pauline Hanson and she was strongly criticised for it.

    Not a good look, fellas.

  39. “You have raised the issue of ethnicity as a primary cause.”

    I plead guilty to that one Weekly. A mob of baying Anglos shouting “Lebs Out! Lebs Out!” and a flying squad of Lebanese thugs congregating to wreak vandalism and serious assault on innocent bystanders both look like an expression of ethnic consciousness and solidarity to me.

    If these thugs had organised this mayhem around their Star Signs, I may have come to a slightly different conclusion. Or again, if the two mobs had been composed of men with high sperm counts fighting men with low sperm counts, I may have given some weight to your very interesting testosterone explanation.

    But alas, these fascinating counterfactuals seem to have been boringly stymied by some quite readliy ascertainable facts.

    Pity about that.

  40. Can anyone tell me what proportion of the Lebanese-Australian community is Christian?

    1991 data

    Overseas born: 40.2% Catholic, 37.0% Islam
    Second generation: 42.4% Catholic, 39% Islam.

  41. Peter Ruehl sums up the situation nicely in today’s Financial Revue. Go and read it. All this pontificating isn’t worth a pinch of poo.

  42. Quitter: I hadn’t read Ruehl before, and I doubt I’ll ever bother again. A useful general rule: never read anyone who uses the American term ‘loser’.

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