Angus Take House

Worst Take of the Week: Railcards for Millennials vs The Australian Gay Marriage Debate

How can we spend time on gay marriage when crocodiles are free to kill?

by Angus Harrison
24 November 2017, 12:29pm

(Screengrab via ABC Australia. Photo of a train Phil Sangwelby Phil Sangwell on Flikr CC BY 2.0)

Welcome to Angus Take House – a weekly column in which I will be pitting two of the wildest takes the world's great thinkers have rustled up against each other. This is your one-stop shop for the meatiest verdicts and saltiest angles on the world's happenings. Go and grab a napkin – these juicy hot takes are fresh from the griddle.

TAKE #1:

Screengrab from the Independent

What’s the story? Philip Hammond’s budget, featuring no stamp duty for first time buyers and a flashy new railcard.

Reasonable take: Or you could actually try fix the housing market, or actually attempt to lower train fares? Your call.

Poached Eggs on Rye Take: Millenniaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaals!!!!

Genuinely, at this stage, is there anything more eye-wateringly unbearable than the “millennial” of the middle-aged columnist’s imagination. The wealthy, avocado-quaffing app designer of their fever dreams; Generation Rooftop Party, who complain about rent because they’ve spent all their money on house plants and Love Island DVDs.

Today we welcome the Independent’s Sean O’Grady into this pantheon, thanks to his blinding explanation of why, no, he doesn’t think you should have a railcard actually, because, actually, why should you?

Bizarrely, Sean seems to think that if you give people aged 26-30 subsidised train fares, they will only use them to travel to… “stag dos”? “I wish them every happiness,” he says, “but see no need why I should help them boost their personal booze budgets.” I’m sorry Sean, mate, but if the government wants to subsidise the round of lukewarm cans Carlsberg then colour me Tory.

The genuinely troubling assumption Sean makes is that millennials are all affluent. His suggestion that older taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidising younger ones, completely ignores the bulging disparity of wealth across the generations. Of course some millennials are well off – and yes, sadly, they are the only ones who will benefit from Hammond’s budget – but that doesn’t mean the hopes of all young people can be written off as the indulgent fantasies of trust-funders.

TAKE #2:

What’s the story? Australians have voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage.

Reasonable take: Congratulations Australia, on this, your special same-sex day.

Barbecued Crocodile Take: I honestly don’t care if people are gay, but really and truly we should be talking about crocodiles.

Some very, very, very good video content here. I’m just slowing my breath a little and really wiggling my sit bones down into my chair, before I watch this for the 8000th time this week. This is Australian MP Bob Katter delivering his thoughts on the debate around gay marriage in Australia – which he opposed, claiming it distracted from the “real issues”.

The real “hot take” here though, is less the opinion and more the delivery of it. First we meet Bob Katter v.1: a light, lovely grey-haired old fella, his plummy Aussie voice bouncing up and down like a tipsy Harold Bishop. “People are entitled… to their… sexual proclivities!” he chuckles, like an Australian Father Christmas. “Let there be a thousand blossoms bloom!”

THEN – and I must stress, this THEN comes like a crack of thunder in monsoon season – we meet Bob Katter v.2: his face contorts into a stroppy frown and he spits, “but I ain’t spending any time on it!” The transformation is terrifying: Just like that Katter goes from uncle who always slips you a fiver to psycho neighbour who chases kids with a rake.

His big beef is that while everyone has been busy talking about gay marriage, crocodiles have been tearing people to shreds in North Queensland – which is, yes, Very Australian. I’m sure they, as a nation, are very pleased that their progressive move to legalise gay marriage has been overshadowed by an old man shouting about crocs.

Prime cut: People are entitled… to their political proclivities! Let there be a thousand… hot-takes... bloom, as far as I’m concerned!


gay marriage
Bob Katter