Behind the scenes of BlogCampaigning, I'm often giving Jens a hard time for not contributing more often. Some of it is good-natured ribbing about how he's lazy, some of it is a little more serious. The reality is that for the past few months he's been busy finishing up his PhD, and is now on a speaking tour of Australia, so I really shouldn't be so hard on him. (Espen, however, has no excuses.)
Part of Jens's hard work has paid off in the form of recognition by the Sydney Morning Herald, which published an excerpt from the abstract of one of his presentations:
"For Europeans, as the Swiss banker father of a friend of mine once said, Australians are the plebeians of the Western world.
"The clichés were presented by the editor-in-chief of the German broadsheet Die Welt, Thomas Schmid, last year in an editorial. He argued that Australia lacks civilisation, everyone is dressed informally, there is a lack of social differentiation and the only thing setting the upper class apart from the middle is its higher income.
"It is an empty place with nothing in the middle—in geography nor identity. These are prejudices Australians have had to deal with almost since the arrival of the First Fleet, a fate they shared with other New World societies such as the United States."