Dob in a Trot

Clearly my hypothesis that the left is ruder than right has not won universal support. But I am sure the Victorian Police would agree with me. They have already charged 26 people with offences relating to the G20 protest that I linked to, and yesterday set up a Dob-in-a-Trot program by releasing photographs of 28 further persons of interest. I had been hoping to provide a name or two, but alas I don’t recognise any of them. But perhaps some student readers can help make life miserable for their campus foes?

The cops reckon they have enough, from one protest, to convict 26 lefties of criminal offences. I doubt that many names could be produced from a decade of Australian right-wing misbehaviour. On violence at least, in Australia the left is far more uncivil than the right.

23 thoughts on “Dob in a Trot

  1. I think the assumption that they are all lefties is quite incorrect — I’m sure some of them simply turned up so that they could have a good fight with the police. You should try and talk to some of them and see how little they actually know about what they are protesting about. My suggestion is that a fair chunk of them are simply morons, rather than lefties protesting over some ideology.


  2. I agree that most of them are morons who have no understanding at all of the issues. They are treated as a joke in the community so their ideas are not corrosive. On the other hands if they assault police or others or damage property they should be charged with these crimes. There should be no attempt to confuse the pleasures they apparently gain from cop-bashing to exercising their beloved ‘freedom of speech’.

    I also took a look but couldn’t identify any.


  3. This post is a bit disappointing, Andrew. You are implying that the 26 people charged are guilty of something other than being left-wing in public. As someone who has been charged at a protest, but subsequently had those charges dropped when I insisted on seeing the evidence against me, I’m not willing to go along with the idea that the police are infallible, or apolitical.

    Moreover, I’d put down police violence against peaceful left-wing protests as right-wing incivility, and I’d say you’d easily come up with 26 names in a relatively short space of time — if they haven’t unlawfully removed their ID badges…


  4. Robert – The police certainly aren’t infallible (that’s why we have courts) but having been on the receiving end of left-wing violence and intimidation myself I sympathise with their situation. If anything, then tend to be too restrained in putting an end to anti-social behaviour.


  5. Without giving the game away too much, cross-referencing the selective high school and pricey private school (all denomenations) yearbooks and the G8 universities’ (and laTrot) computerised id card photographs with biometric measurement would bring in a hearty yield. The police are acting on behalf of the less priveleged and or more ignorant, like Bracksy and Nixon. I reckon Baillieu would let them go.

    The game does not end there though, a spell in jail or on charges could ensure the political career of some of those pictured and allow revolutions and change of government style in the future, just like Menachim Begin of Israel and Hitler both of whom were in the big house.


  6. Ethnic violence like Cronulla, Aboriginal riots, or the Serb-Croat biffo at the tennis this week fits with my broader explanatory theory, that the closer something is to a person’s core identity the more they are likely to respond violently to their opponents’ perceived provocations or misdeeds. But it does not map neatly onto a left-right spectrum, and more importantly it is not motivated by left or right identification.

    Fred – I think you have what I used to call, when the CIS did more pro-family stuff, the single mother syndrome. Whenever we published something which showed that kids of single mothers on average did worse than other kids, we would get agitated responses claiming (and I have no reason to doubt them) that their kids had turned out fine without Dad. You are reading the original post as if I was condemning all leftists (including yourself) when clearly I was not. I think your response is actually consistent with my theory on identity.

    I used the only statistical evidence I could think of, in the AES, to show differences of feeling and behaviour on the two extremes of the left-right spectrum. There were haters and activists on both sides, but the likelihood was significantly higher on the left side.

    Left-wingers attend far more protests, which is where political violence usually happens. Climbing up a vertical cliff face would be easier than showing that violence is more prevalent on the right than the left in Australia.


  7. Of course I know you are not labelling ALL lefties as rude!

    But I take you to be saying that if one picked a sample of moderate lefties and moderate right-wingers – defined in some sensible way to exclude psychos -and ensured the two samples were alike in all other relevant respects such as education and social background, the sample of lefties would generally have an appreciably higher proportion of rude people in it. That is, you are saying there is something INTRINSIC in being a left-wing thinker which makes one ruder.

    If that is what you mean, you have completely failed to produce any evidence: the street demonstrators (probably anrchists who joined for the fun) prove nothing and nor does the isolated case of a few people heckling Andrew (I have often been rudely heckled by critics, so what?). Anyhow, I can see no logical reason for your hypothesis at all – at least in a vibrant democracy. And it does not match my experience.

    If you mean somethig else please correct me.


  8. Fred,

    What do you make of the evidence, taken from the AES, that Andrew presents? I think it is good evidence for his claims.

    From what I read, some commentators, here and in the previous ‘Rude Lefties’ post, are using arguments based on the ‘Law of Small Numbers’ – ‘I remember this happening, so therefore the theory can’t/must be true’.

    Of course there are going to be haters, violent nasties, rude people etc. in all large groups. I think what Andrew is saying (and please correct me if I’m wrong, I promise I won’t hiss) is that groups associating with left-wing politics have a GREATER TENDENCY to incivility than other groups.


  9. “But I take you to be saying that if one picked a sample of moderate lefties and moderate right-wingers – defined in some sensible way to exclude psychos -and ensured the two samples were alike in all other relevant respects such as education and social background, the sample of lefties would generally have an appreciably higher proportion of rude people in it. ”

    OK, I agree I have not shown this. My AES sample was at the extremes, because I was interested in the effects of strong right or left identities. My basic hypothesis would be that the stronger one’s views the more likely, all other things being equal, that a person would react strongly against contrary views (on both sides, and in other identity-related realms). But I also thought from observation that this was more prevalent on left than right, which the AES data supports.


  10. Robert: Just because police are dickheads doesn’t mean that the 26 who were arrested didn’t do anything either.

    We all the saw the Youtube videos of the anarchists attacking police vehicles at that protest. Hopefully they are the ones who have been charged.


  11. Oh dear, Andrew……Bannerman thought you had at least a snifter of rationality to you. It seems he was so sadly inaccurate in his assessment. You’re merely another of the ‘anti-left’ brigade, along with Blair and Bickford. Shame on you, Andrew.


  12. I think lefties are ruder than those from the right.

    The reason I think this is that those on the right are generally better off financially and the left are resentful of this as they like mediocre to be classified as the highest level so that they then sit at the top.

    As a result of this leftist attitude towards those that are better off many lefties believe that anybody above their level needs and deserves to be cut down to size.


  13. I am not sure that I agree with your proposistion, Andrew, that there are more left wing haters than right. I have no statistical evidence to back up my hunch – simply experience, but I would propose that this may seem to be the case because of the *forum* in which ‘haters’ tend to express themselves. And this, I would suggest, would differe from country to country and culture to culture.

    The ‘left’ (verrrrry broadly) in Australia tends to be more politicised – so it is in the political ‘arena’ they express themselves. I would suggest that you might find more ‘right-wing’ haters in different forums – particularly the religious one. In Australia, though there is a cross over (of course) between politics and religion, the forums in which the ‘fundamentalist’ religious (for here we find the most haters) express themselves are not particularly visible.

    I think a counrty like Spain, where religion is more intergrated into politics (and therefore, according to your proposition, the two more intergrated into people’s core identity *at the same time*) isa good example. Plenty of haters on all sides of the Spanish civil war!


  14. Joel – My argument was Australia-specific; or rather it was a general argument that depth of feeling and links to personal identity are the sources of the motive for incivility or violence, but that in the Australian context this is more prevalent on the left than the right – which as you say, and which my data from the Australian Election Survey supports, is on average less politicised. So your Spain point is consistent with what I am arguing.

    I’m not sure about the ‘fundamentalists’ here – despite the excitement they have caused in the last few years they don’t really seem to have caused much strife.


  15. I think I recognized one person, but I couldn’t be sure. Mind you, it has been a couple of years since I ran into her – but I doubt she’s changed that much. Troubled, certainly. Violent, never. I could see her at a protest, but I couldn’t see her chucking something.

    Let’s not make the mistake that all 28 people were caught in the act of thumping someone else. As the article says:

    In releasing the images yesterday, Detective Superintendent Richard Grant said the 28 either witnessed or were suspected of perpetrating the worst of the violence that left one policeman with a broken wrist, and others bitten and showered with glass.

    Some of the people in the photo look like thugs, but the majority look like posers. I believe a few were selected because they had cameras in their hand – meaning that there might be more photographic evidence for the prosecution.

    I’m still deubious about Andrew’s conclusion that the left is less civil than the right. I still remember when full-on skinheads were common in Brisbane, with white shoelaces in black Doc Martens. Nasty pieces of work, too.


  16. Andrew – Point taken and agreed on the Australian specific nature of your analysis – which I think can be traced to our unique political history… and, indeed, ‘fundamentalists’ have not caused much strife here, but they are, or at least certain of them, are capable of ‘hating’ along with the best of the left…


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