It has been a long time since Georges Clemenceau, the respected journalist, physician and former Prime Minister of France, uttered one of his most famous quotes.

A young man who isn’t a socialist hasn’t got a heart;

An old man who is a socialist hasn’t got a head

412584-130402-lucyholeYet, as The Australian’s article It’s not me, it’s you: grown-ups desert Labor shows, it seems that Clemenceau’s wry observation is playing out more dramatically in Australian politics today even more starkly than it has before.

The lead example from today’s illuminating story is Lucy Hole, 44-year-old construction planner from Sydney who after 25 years of proudly supporting the ALP,  will be voting for the Coalition for the first time at this year’s federal election.

Apparently Ms Hole is fed up with the Federal government, which she describes as vision-deprived“.

While I, and many, many others like me, are also fed up with the Federal government, I would say that they do have a vision. It’s just not one that the vast majority of Australian’s share anymore after witnessing the child-like antics and policies thought-bubbles of the past few torturous years.

Of course, Labor also have those legendary “Labor Values“, a term which I find nauseating in its superficiality, to fall back on don’t they?

Not according to Ms Hole, who said she no longer knows what these legendary “Labor Values” actually are anymore, if she ever really did in the first place.  I’ll let our ex-Labor luvvie who has seen the light explain further, because she does it so well..

“They talk about core Labor values but I don’t know what that means any more.

Historically (Labor) had a set of values I agreed with, but these days their values seem to be self-interest and what is politically expedient

Maybe it’s what they were like all along and my eyes have just been opened, but I’m pretty sure they once stood for something.

Labor has changed its values; I don’t think I’ve changed mine.”

As Tim Blair often says: Quite so.

The article goes on to explain how Ms Hole’s feelings and prospective voting intentions are not just isolated to the glistening shores of Sydney’s beaches, with Newspoll figures for the first quarter of the year showing that support for the ALP continues to plummet in all states of Australia, most dramatically in QLD and NSW.

But what illustrates Clemenceau’s notion of people becoming less idealistic as they age and assume more responsibility in life is the startling fact that dissatisfaction with Julia Gillard is particularly pronounced in the 35 to 49-year age group.

As John Black, former Labor senator, explains in the article it is very typical for there to be a shift towards more conservative based values as people reach the age of 40 and most certainly by the age of 45.

It’s a story of people and responsibility at the end of the day,” Mr Black said.

“That’s not to say progressives are irresponsible, but there is no doubt the nature of responsibility changes over time and voters adjust their intentions to suit”

I’ve always had conservative based values, but that might just be me.

Black continues to explain what he believes drives this nuanced change in the way that people see the world, and their place in it

It’s almost entirely to do with work. What we find is that people tend to get promoted and promoted until they’re running the place;

or they’ve started their own business or they’re in charge in some way, and that comes with an appreciation for policies that reflect that importance.

They’re no longer the employee, so to speak, but an employer, and people tend to act or vote more conservatively when they feel there is more at stake than just themselves.

Ah… that’s the money quote for me right there.

…people tend to act or vote more conservatively when they feel there is more at stake than just themselves.

So, as we age and become more aware that we can no longer howl at the moon of our adolescent indulgences, we realise that there is a much bigger picture going on.  Hmmm… how very interesting. Do tell me more Mr Black.

Recent reports show peak lending [mortgages] optimises in the 25-44 year old age range, which means people are likely to make their last [residential] move at that time.

OK, so now I’m starting to get the picture.  As people get older, they tend to settle down more and look to set themselves up for the second phase of their lives, generally by getting a mortgage and buying a home.  More often than not, this also translates into having a family, if you are that way inclined.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld used to say.

But what of the notion that young people want to be, you know, independent man and figuratively howl at all kinds of moons during the earlier stages of their lives, mainly to prove to themselves that they are much, much more different to their parents?

peterpan2Well, as I have realised, much to the inner child inside me’s disgust, getting older has seen me become more like my father each and every year, not that’s a bad thing mind.  And it’s not just the grey hair that is the giveaway either.

Married, mortgage, children.. heck if that isn’t going to make you grow up, realise that you are NOT the centre of the world and take personal responsibility seriously, I dont know what will.

My Dad presciently told me that this would happen one day, I just didn’t believe him. Gee whiz man, what would he know? I’m gonna go drink some more beer and chase some more chicks.. yeah!

But as we are reminded quite regularly by the polls, there are still clearly 30% of us who are, deep deep down, just big misty eyed kids stuck in perpetual adolescence, pining for a “fairer” world, where poverty is history and turning our lights off for an hour once a year will magically save the planet, man.

Worst of all for the rest of us, these Peter Pan wannabes always expect everyone else to pick up the tab for their wild and fancy dreams of utopia, just as Mum & Dad did for them when they were 16.

If you want something, then work for it yourself.

Dont expect me or the other adults to just give it to you anymore, because we’re sick of your bloody whinging.

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