The rightwingers’ efforts to redirect anger on housing unaffordability away from the real cause – their precious investment properties – and onto immigrants instead are getting more vigorous, with the realisation that it’s a handy angle on which to attack Kevin Rudd.
Here’s another group whose support automatically means something’s a bad idea: the real estate industry. (I can’t believe I left them out of my earlier list.) If the land rats oppose a policy, that’s a powerful point in its favour.
If they can convince increasingly desperate younger Australians to forget that the jump in housing unaffordability immediately followed the GST, the “first-home buyers'” (really, the first-home sellers'”) grant and – most critically – Howard’s massive cut in CGT on investment properties, and instead to blame it on filthy foreigners, then suddenly the ALP’s having relaxed foreign ownership rules can be portrayed as having caused the whole thing! (Provided everybody’s got really short memories.)
The rich Australians whose interests the rightwingers represent get a handy scapegoat for the way their generation is fleecing the next – and the anger of the young is usefully redirected against the opponents of the political party whose policies were the biggest causes of the current mess.
And the divide grows deeper.