A friend of mine read my posting about the rise of independents like Allegra Spender, and immediately sent me a detailed text with her thoughts. She is obviously not as generous as I am about posh patricians like Allegra Spender.
I must say that her words have resonance with me, given that the involvement of my mother and other female relatives of the migrant generation in the fashion industry was restricted to working in textile workshops, rather than the glamorous life of Allegra’s mother Carla Zampatti.
Here are my friend’s words in italics:
Allegra Spender is not an independent, she is a largely out of touch elitist: a new class of candidate.
She is staunchly running on gender equality from a place of privilege, and like other ‘voices of’ candidates, Allegra has little understanding of gender equality and it’s locations, manifestations and dynamics. I note she has no acknowledgement of intersectionality in her discourse on gender inequality. Allegra does, however, represent an arrogant and paternalistic reformulation of privileged women seeking to fight for the rights and equality of less privileged women. Advocating for greater voice and empowerment of those women, while ensuring at all relevant times, that their privileged voice is the loudest and they get all the accolades. The absence of those gender oppressed women in their campaigns actually disempowers the women whose status they are grifting to advance their own political standing. Irony, no?
What people like Allegra reflect is that the Liberal Party has lost some of its broadness because privilege and money can buy a person (not just a party) a seat. This is something we should all be concerned about.
I have to wonder whether Allegra Spender and Zoe Daniel will be campaigning and pushing for electoral reform to make it much easier for poorer and less privileged women AND men to run for a seat in Parliament. Now THAT would be genuinely pursuing equality and democracy.
Not all men are equal and privileged and not all women are underprivileged, discriminated against and face inequality.
As for being a champion of climate change based on her concern for the environment, the narrow range of policies she has put forward do not reveal a depth of appreciation of the issues and considerations. I wonder, whether as Managing Director of her mother’s fashion business, they stopped producing dry clean only clothes, or whether they sought to improve the longevity and wear of the clothes they produced, or whether they sought to use recycled fabric or to have product stewardship built into their business model? Perhaps Allegra was waiting for a government subsidy to push them into the sustainability direction.