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July 03rd 2016 print

Notes From Election Day

Random thoughts on the Stupid Party's comeuppance for betraying a successful leader, flinging principle to the wind and mounting the most inept election campaign since the invention of the ballot box. James Allan, Peter O'Brien, Tati Sofaris, Michael Copeman, Daryl McCann, John Izzard and more hold forth

angry old lady IIWhat a strangely beautiful and enchanted day! I knew the election would go badly for the usurper when I took Mum to the polls in the afternoon and found no one handing out HTVs for the Libs. Never, ever seen that before in this electorate. The local DelCons have all gone fishing, think I.

Driving Mum home, she tells me she feels “young and wonderful again” (at 89) because, after months of agonising, she voted other-than-Liberal, the first time since 1972.

“I didn’t think I could do it,” she says, “but after two months of that bastard Turnbull, I had to.” I have never before heard Mum use “bastard”, or any swear word for that matter. This made me think the day was enchanted.

Then the Bulldogs beat the Swans with a last-gasp goal that put them four points ahead with two seconds left on the clock.

There is a God, and vengeance cometh with the night!

After 10 o’clock, when the Turnbull DD debacle is beyond dispute, she’s ringing me when she should be asleep, demonstrating once again that, while her body needs a walking stick, her mind is sharp as ever.

“I should be in bed but I want to stay up to see The Bastard make his speech. You know he’ll try and claim he has achieved a huge victory.”

“Nah, Mum,” I tell her, “he’ll resign. He’ll have to.”

Midnight comes, the Liberals’ most-fabulous-ever leader appears and launches into a thunderous waffling.

Yep, a boy should always listen to his Mum. She’s right again.    – roger franklin

___________________

Tati Sofaris writes: Finally, when the darling of the press corps emerged to claim his, er, victory, it was obvious that old habits die hard. Here was the man installed in the Lodge almost solely on the strength of efforts by the gallery and commentariat to present a once-ousted party leader as the Coalition’s great white hope.

Grate Blight Hope, more accurately.

But whoever was behind the camera stuck to the narrative, recording history as some have preferred to present it since last September’s coup and before. As the Wallah of Wentworth strode through the cheering throng, his very own Potemkin Village of bogus gusto, he was framed from slightly below, appearing for a few seconds a towering hero, a man of strength and wisdom and formidable presence.

Let us hope the limp minds and fan persons at Fairfax and ABC enjoyed the spectacle — however misleading — of the man their slurs and slanders of Tony Abbott dressed up as the better choice.

By tomorrow, that artfully spun public image will have faded once and for all.

Smartest man in the room? Well seeing him refuse to resign certainly smarts.

___________________

Peter O’Brien writes: Tony Abbott was shafted on the basis that he would lead the Coalition to defeat.  Despite the self-serving protestations of Liberal turncoats like Arthur Sinodinos, we will never know if that’s true — but he could hardly have done much worse than Turnbull, whose treachery could only be stomached if he had won a resounding victory with a strong mandate to get the one thing done that Abbott had hitherto failed to do, viz, get the economy back under control.

Scraping back will not cut it.

If he can eventually form government, Turnbull will not have much of a mandate for anything other than not privatizing Medicare.  The Groundhog Day analogy with the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years is almost complete.

Justice demands that the tableau be played out in full.  Turnbull must, at the very least, call a leadership spill.  It’s probably too much to hope for but, even given his shortcomings, Tony Abbott seems the logical choice to replace him.

___________________

Andrew Bolt at his blog: ….

Malcolm, you assassinated a Liberal Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who’d won an election by a huge margin.

You promised to do even better than him.

You then treated the Liberal base like dirt, smashing it with a huge super tax, refusing to speak to conservative journalists, repeatedly humiliating Abbott.

You referred to the colonial settlement of Australia as an “invasion” and even held an end-of-Ramadan meal with known Muslim bigots.

You called an early double dissolution election on the excuse of needing new laws to tackle rogue unions with a building and construction commission, but with the true aim of getting rid of crossbench oppositionists in the Senate.

You went to the election with basically only one policy to sell — a pathetic 10-year promise to cut company tax …

Bolt is only getting warmed up. And then there is the columnist’s Sky News editorial….

 ___________________

Jim Allan writes: The vast preponderance of the political class, and the media class, all supported ‘Remain’ in the UK.  The people begged to differ.  That was perhaps the best political voting result of my life.  And last night, here in Australia, we saw a roughly analogous scenario play out with our election result.  The majority of the Liberal Party, those 54 pusillanimous MPs who brought you ‘the Great Communicator’ (who just happened to be the most left-wing Liberal leader ever), look a lot like ‘Team Remain’ in the UK.

Sucked in by the public broadcaster’s worldview, and what is trending on Twitter, they ditched Abbott and in doing so wholly misread their core supporters. And boy, oh boy, did they pay for it last night.

The spin will come fast and furious but make no mistake: this was a terrible result for the Coalition.  More to the point, if I might indulge in a little counter-factual speculation, the Libs did worse than they would have under Abbott.  (I know the ABC won’t admit this, as they had such a clear hand in Abbott’s defenestration.  And I know the Lib conspirators, who toppled a first term Prime Minister as though what Gillard had done had never happened, won’t admit this either.)

We know that Abbott would have run hard against the unions. Turnbull said barely a word on this score.  We know Abbott would not have attacked the superannuation of his core supporters (while leaving the defined benefit schemes of ex-politicos and judges basically untouched).  We know Abbott would have run hard on the boats.  Again, Turnbull uttered barely a peep.  We know Abbott, to some small extent at least, would, have gone after the renewable rent-seeking scam artists.  Turnbull is one of them.

I could go on but I think it must be plain to all and sundry that this was a disaster of a campaign by the Libs and that whatever the questions raised by Abbott’s leadership, Turnbull was the answer to none of them.

At the time of posting this the best case scenario for the Libs is 77 seats in the House, and it could be 75, even 74.   Whichever of those proves to be the case, Turnbull has to go.  Listening to George Brandis, talking about the immediate future on Sky and saying how unwise it would be to assassinate the current leader. I suspect Mr. Turnbull is going to bear an intense aversion to that word within, oh, the next few hours or so.

Until Turnbull, it would have been hard to imagine a senior Liberal minister making me want to scream at the TV, but Brandis achieved that feat. Here was a key conspirator against Abbott and what was he suggesting? Why, that the Libs had better learn not to defenestrate a sitting PM!  Forget it, buddy.  We can all live with that attitude once Turnbull is gone, and not before. This was Brandis playing for his political life – the same Brandis who sold out on free speech (you might recall he once liked to paint himself as a would-be John Stuart Mill when it came to free speech) and who recently appointed Ed Santow to the Human Rights Commission.

Let’s me put it this way: if the Libs don’t get rid of Turnbull they will never get my vote back.  I reckon more than a few readers will agree with that sentiment. If the Liberal party room and caucus won’t pull the trigger then the Nationals should walk in and say ‘Turnbull goes or we go, and any of you who want to join us are welcome to come’.

Playing the role of the ABC’s preferred version of a tame centre-centre-left/right/mostly left-centre party as the foil to Labor is a mug’s game.  Turnbull’s popularity emanated from inner-city ABC and Greens types who would never – and who last night did not – vote for him.  Meanwhile the Liberal base was furious and acted accordingly.

All in all it was a pretty bad night for the political strategies of Mark Textor and Arthur Sinodinos.  Oh, and Niki “Mrs Woolcock” Savva and PVO and the rest. The Turnbull Times pundits at Newscorp did not have a good night either.  It appears that they were wrong about their man Turnbull.

Walk on water, they said? No, he sank like a stone.

___________________

Michael Copeman on the seven lessons Team Turnbull didn’t learn:

Don’t re-run failed parliamentarians

The Coalition could well have gained a clear majority in the Lower House if it had politely replaced candidates whose ability to be elected (or re-elected) was known to be doubtful. The seats of Indi and Mayo are obvious examples where the right candidate probably would have won.  Instead, voters were faced with Liberal candidates with proven track records of being on the nose.

Don’t cosy up to adversaries

The Prime Minister might have thought that his Eid dinner in the marquee at Kirribilli House was a gesture of support and tolerance for Muslims, with Waleed Aly and Susan Carland sitting next to him.  But, in Western Sydney, Muslim voters did not repay him with support at the ballot box.

By way of contrast, Pauline Hanson and Fred Nile may now command three Senate seats between them (and perhaps more). Each is an outspoken critic of taking  a softly-softly attitude to problems that Islam has imported, so-called “radical Islam” most of all.

Remember, only the marginals matter in the House

The uniform 3% two-party-preferred swing against the Coalition across much of Australia underlines how much candidates, issues and campaigning in marginal seats are key to electoral success.

While the Prime Minister was highly visible in marginal seats, they were also the scene of some his major gaffes — his abruptly cancelled shopping mall walk in the Sydney seat of Lindsay, for example.  These misteps were no doubt noted by swinging voters, not the policies designed to attract them.

Don’t give voters an excuse to split their Senate vote

The obvious disunity within the Liberal Party was nowhere clearer than in the list of Senate candidates.  In NSW and other states there was the usual internal Party debate (leaked to the media, of course) about who would be above whom.  But the more important divisions were factional and obvious. Laughably, our then- and for-the-moment PM denies these factions exist in his party.

The usual Coalition voter who was unhappy with either the Left or the Right faction may well have split their Senate vote to support at least one of the minor parties.  Public disunity in the Liberals — brought to the fore by Turnbull’s relentless campaign to white-ant and then depose Abbott to the disadvantage of his own party — was largely to blame.

Don’t make the campaign all about “moi”

The key badge and logo of this election was for “the Turnbull Coalition Team”.  It is a safe guess that the implied, quasi-presidential emphasis on a multi-millionaire, ex-merchant banker who lives in a harbourside mansion in Sydney didn’t resonate so well with swinging voters in Western Sydney, regional Queensland, South Australia or Tasmania.

Humility is not a Turnbull strong suit.  But he should be reminded that we currently live in a Westminster-style democracy where the PM is merely “first among equals”.  And those “equals” are all Australians, right across this huge country, not just those in the plum seat of Wentworth.

Pork-barrelling is passé

Listening to Coalition politicians, you would have thought that Australia had a great shortage of sporting stadia and that Rugby League was a struggling amateur sport unable to raise a dollar.

Looking at returns in the seats where new, expensive, sporting facilities were promised around Australia, these pledges seem to have done little to save marginal seats. In safe ones they were expensively unnecessary.

Every time a pork barrel is announced with great to-do somewhere, the reaction from electors elsewhere is not “Well, good for them!” but “Oh, no, more of our hard-earned tax dollars wasted”.  Attempts to indirectly buy votes in this way are counter-productive and possibly even illegal.

If you want to unite your country, first unite your party

After seizing power last September, Turnbull had the opportunity to heal the rifts he had caused in his party, but didn’t.  He could have given Tony Abbott a ministry (e.g. Indigenous Affairs or Defence).  He could have ensured that — like Abraham Lincoln — he assembled a “team of rivals” to work to retain power this year.

Turnbull could also have stated that he would not push his own left-of-centre views now that he was in charge, not just in that Parliament but after his re-election. The fact that he refused to do so sent a clear signal to very many Liberal voters that he could not be trusted in future.

During a new Parliament, he might introduce another referendum on a Republic, soften border-protection laws, and a re-launched a carbon tax (which seems to have been his preferred option, despite its manifest failure here and overseas).

His very-late-night speech after the Election did not provide any hint that he understands the problem that he represnts, let alone plans to solve it.

If he really wants to unite the party he has done so much to divide the best thing he can do — the only thing, truth be told — is resign.

___________________

John Izzard marvels at the absolute ineptitude of Australia’s smartest man: It takes a certain sort of a disdainful Shakespearian-attitude to emerge from the assassination of an elected Australian Prime Minister and spout the immortal words, “It has never been a better time to be an Australian.” It is one thing to try playing Hamlet, but the tights have to fit. From day one, it was obvious that Malcolm Turnbull was just not right for the part. “To be or not to be?” certainly got answered on Saturday evening. Ouch!

And answered, too, during the eight weeks of the election campaign, and even before that. Who on earth was advising him? Which genius counselled Turnbull and Morrison to alter the superannuation laws that would mainly affect Liberal voters — and in an election year to boot! Well done, boys!

And who was the brains trust that decided to remove Australian flags as the backdrop to Turnbull’s TV advertisements and interviews, replacing them with a US-style “presidential” pseudo-seal. Bravo!

And with Bill Shorten carrying on all through the campaign like Jubilation T. Cornpone from Li’l Abner, why was Turnbull so punch-shy, so afraid of mixing it up that he barely mentioned union corruption — the very issue that triggered this disastrous rush to the polls and which made, or should have made, the opposition leader a sitting duck. It was as if nothing from Shorten’s past would be allowed to pass Turnbull’s lips. Good stuff, Malcolm!

And why hold a banquet for Imams and religious zealots at the Prime Minister’s official residence, and succumb to their wishes that they not eat from china and cutlery, if it had been used on previous occasions by Australian “infidels”. Did Turnbull and his advisors think a photo of him sharing Islamic nosh, which had to be prepared in an Islamic kitchen with halal-certified ingredients, because the PM’s kitchen wasn’t good enough, would be considered acceptable to his voting base? Enjoy!

And as a keen supported of gay marriage, why would the PM make such a display of entertaining Islamic leaders, quite a few of whom have publicly urged that homosexuals should be, slaughtered. It’s not that Turnbull is of the left — it’s just that he is seldom right.

Tony Abbott stopped the boats. On Saturday, former Coalition stalwarts stopped the votes!

Comments [72]

  1. Another View says:

    Like your Mum, for the first time since 1983 I didn’t vote for the Liberal Party. Mind you, I couldn’t gift my vote to the ALP – seriously is the Medicare Lie the level of politicians that we must accept in this country? I just can’t believe that the ALP will see this as a win, especially when King Mal finally got the kick in the arse for his behaviour that needed to be given! Shameful is what he has been, and he should resign today!

  2. nfw says:

    If Turnbull does resign it’s about time we made them pay for any by-elections. I know it would never happen as the politico-legal elite/class always looks after its own and yet again the taxpayer pays. Turnbull sit on the back bench, I doubt it? Where would he put his ego? Death should be about the only way there is a need for a taxpayer paid by-election. I don’t even trust “medical” advice as to a candidate’s condition; we all know how dodgy that can be.

  3. Jody says:

    Listen up: Tony Abbott would have been even more disastrous that Turnbull. At least Turnbull had a HIGHER popularity rating than Shorten and he’s still in a hung parliament situation. Abbott had such poor popularity the Coalition would have lost even more seats. Stop thinking about the past; like Windsor and Oakshott, Abbott is yesterday’s man.

    Now, I sincerely hope that Labor is able to form government. It’s going to be absolutely untenable for them in the Reps and the Senate and a total poison chalice for the Coalition, which now has a chance for a new leader and to return to the base. It’s going to present an opportunity for the Coalition to get back to basics as a conservative force. Let Shorten and Co. deal with the chaos. Fingers crossed, totally!!

    And I hear you say “what about debt and deficit if we get Labor”. Well, folks, the people just don’t care about debt. Look at the astonishing rates of personal debt if this country already – unprecedented levels. The voters don’t care about government/national debt because they aren’t bothered about their own. This poll ‘result’ shows us that quite starkly.

    Just to re-iterate: please let Labor over the line and please allow the Liberals to vote for NEW leader, a conservative, who has the chops to make the hard decisions. And they have PLENTY of talent.

    • Peter OBrien says:

      So by your logic, a Labor government courtesy of a Tony Abbott defeat would be be unacceptable but a Labor government courtesy of Turnbull’s monumental stuff-up would be a good thing because it would allow the Liberals a chance to repair the damage inflicted on them by Turnbull’s monumental stuff-up.

      I agree with you about the poison chalice though. Abbott might be the only one with the balls to pick it up, if for no other reason to make sure the boats don’t start up again.

      • Jody says:

        I didn’t go into this election wanting a Labor Party, but I’m saying that if a hung parliament then it’s best that it be Labor because governing will be untenable. In fact, I’m praying for Labor.

        Malcolm Turnbull had HIGHER popularity ratings than Shorten and the best he could muster was a hung parliament. Abbott would have seen a total wipe-out as he had hideous unpopularity in the electorate. So it took a rating of 40 something percent to deliver Turnbull a line/ball – what do you think a rating of 14% would have yielded? This is straight common sense.

        You can call me deluded, senseless or whatever moniker you deem acceptable; I’ve been around long enough (was in first Lib campaign to “Turn On The Lights”) to see the bleeding obvious. People have exacted revenge on Turnbull and it has completely shot them in their own feet.

        • Peter OBrien says:

          Personal popularity ratings have never been the determining factor in elections. It is the 2PP. Turnbull started with all the advantages bequeathed him by Abbott and stratospheric personal ratings and he managed to parlay that into a total disaster with an even more unworkable Senate. We will never know if Abbott’s campaigning skills would have overcome his unpopularity but I suspect he would have won the election, albeit with a much reduced majority. Howard was deeply unpopular for most of his career but look what he achieved by perseverance. You say there is plenty of talent. Would you like to name a contender who is not tainted by the execution of Abbott and who has genuine conservative credentials and the necessary experience and leadership, skills?

          • Jody says:

            Personal popularity has everything to do with an election when two parties are both identified by the electorate as being exactly – on the nose – the same and there are no other disciminators.

    • en passant says:

      Jody,
      You are delusional. Because of your popular Turncoat I did NOT vote Liberal, but would have if Captain Thought-Bubble Abbott had been in charge. Some of us can see substance past the waffled hair

    • pgang says:

      Your stubborn belligerence on this matter has never been a good look. Just admit that you are wrong. The LNP would have won this election with a clear majority with Abbott as prime minister, because Australians were looking for the stability that comes with conservatism.

  4. Jody says:

    Apropos Andrew Bolt: he’s living in the past and will soon become irrelevant.

    • en passant says:

      Andrew Bolt makes a lot more sense and has a greater following than you. Bolt’s influence will increase

      • Jody says:

        I don’t see a “following”. I make my own call based upon what I think is reasonable intelligence and observation. Bolt has become hysterical and long past the point of objectivity. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s actually got a crush on Tony Abbott.

        • Tallaijohn says:

          Your argument holds no strength. The proof is in the election results. Abbott’s versus Turnbull’s

          • Wayne Cooper says:

            Jody, the personal popularity of leaders is no guide to electoral success. David Lange beat Piggy Muldoon in an election when his own approval rating was 17%. I don’t remember Malcolm Fraser ever being more popular than Goof Twitlam, but he thumped him twice electorally. That both Rudd and Hawke were popular before being elected the first time is no proof of the argument that popularity is important – if it were, how come Hawke nearly lost to Andrew Peacock the year following his election? He was not suddenly less popular, and he went on to two more victories. What Turnbull does share with Rudd is that they are both inherently unlikeable people, but electoral success or failure does not automatically follow.

  5. GerardB says:

    The great communicator failed to communicate, connect with his party base and the electorate and generally stuffed up the Tony Abbott legacy of an electoral buffer. Groundhog day reigned supreme.

    • Jody says:

      Malcolm Turnbull is a failed leader, yes, but you’ve all voted in such a way as to suggest Shorten is a better one. That’s where we differ. But, in the environment of total political turmoil I’m advocating for a Shorten Labor government so that the Coalition can regroup (not with Tony Abbott) with an effective and strong CONSERVATIVE leader. There are plenty of contenders.

      The revenge factor in this election has yielded precisely the results we now have.

      • chuckp61 says:

        Jody,

        I voted for my local Liberal member Peter Dutton by putting 1 next to his name on the green form – I put the greens last and labor second last. in the middle I put the rest in order of least distasteful. For the senate I voted for the most truly conservative people I could find – mostly ALA then FF followed by Liberals.

        What I was hoping for, as outlined in this place previously, was for the Liberals to form govt in such as way as to finish off Turdball politically forever – I detest the man.

        It is my firm belief that if Abbott had not been deposed the result would have been much better – he is a renowned campaigner. I would have voted much differently and I suspect tens of 1000s of conservatives would have voted differently too.

        Sure the left media would have kept up its assault but I suspect there efforts would have been seen for what they are by the populace – in much the same way that the efforts of EVERYONE in the political, media and sundry elites had no effect on the Brexit vote.

        I’d like to see Abbott back in the leadership but I would like to see an Abbott who has learned the lessons of his first go around.

        I would like to see him come back and KICK ARSE on 18C/ABC/Muslim immigration and integration/defence(expensive submarines particularly)/Unions etc. Maybe lots of other conservatives would too.

        • Jody says:

          An Abbott return to leadership will guarantee infighting in the Coalition which will last for years!! I can guarantee it because Abbott has a good brain and some decent ideas which are suitable for him being on the front bench but in no way does he have the leadership, diplomacy and dignity required by leadership. We saw that with the ‘shirt-fronting’ fiasco.

          As for progressives (one step forward/two steps backward) they will always despise any Coalition leader. Look how they whined that Turnbull had been pulled to the right of the Coalition and how he cow-towed to the Liberals. Yeah, right.

          Forget Abbott. There is much talent in the Coalition.

          And I’m still praying that Shorten makes it over the line and has to deal with that Senate and the Coalition throwing barbs from the other side of the chamber. Bring it on!! Minus Turnbull, of course.

          • [email protected] says:

            Jody, Turnbull was only ever popular with the media class and the Inner City elite, that is the wealth consuming/wealth re-distributing types. Abbott is/was more popular with those who live in the wealth generating areas. The voting patterns in the UK were similar for Brexit. Wealth consuming Scotland and wealth consuming and manipulating types in London wanted to stay, those who generated the wealth wanted out.

        • Lawrie Ayres says:

          The problem now Chuck is that whoever leads the government in this parliament will be lucky to get politicians wages approved. The Senate appears to be a no go zone for legislation that may adversely affect any constituent and has a great many I-want-to-get-even-with-the-man types; think Lambie. There is no chance 18C or any real reform will get through.

          On the local; news Rob Oakeshott told his followers to hang onto the T-shirts because they might need them before Christmas. He is a fool but he may also be right this time.

        • iain says:

          ‘Turdbull’ – that’s a new one – i’ve never known a surname to be so manipulated – turncoat has been my favourite, but i concede at a footymatch or in a pub, turdball definately cuts through.

  6. Homer Sapien says:

    God bless Roger’s mum and Andrew Bolt.

  7. Geoffrey Luck says:

    I don’t see any point in debating Jody’s views, on what she may or may not wish to happen. The objective conclusion to be drawn from the result – which was pre-ordained in Paddy Manning’s Born to Rule (and my Quadrant review of the book 17.12.2015) was the inevitable crushing of an overweening ego. The Liberal campaign was constructed around the Turnbull personality; it arrogantly failed to heed either the feelings of Menzies’ Common Man, or the larger trends of political currents. Malcolm Turnbull: journalist, solicitor, barrister, corporate counsel, cleaning contractor, mining investor, merchant banker and self-supposing internet expert, had been irritating everyone he came in contact with for the last sixty years. Now, at the apogee of his egomaniacal dream, he has irritated the nation. He has had his come-uppance, and in his chagrin has demonstrated the gracelessness of the umprincipled bully he has always been. Vale MT!

  8. Ian MacDougall says:

    I’m with Jody on this.
    Abbott was kicked out because of his habit of lying. His average was 32.5 lies per year (https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbott-lies-to-the-nation-to-the-end-65-of-theworst,8164),
    Except none of them were ‘porkies’ or ‘porky pies’. All of them were deliberate confidence tricks, as all lies are. “We will never know if Abbott’s campaigning skills would have overcome his unpopularity but I suspect he would have won the election, albeit with a much reduced majority.”
    READ AS FOLLOWS: We will never know if Abbott’s deliberate-lying skills would have overcome his unpopularity but I suspect he would have won the election, albeit with a much reduced majority.”
    Maybe. In this world anything is possible. But every time Abbott prefaced an answer with “…er… um…. ah …” it was a cue that he was doing a google search inside his head for the most credible answer: to last at least as long as it took for someone to say “wait a minute… “

  9. Mr Johnson says:

    Does anyone realise just how hard it is to get a real conservative leader elected these days? The media, academia, progressives, film&literary industries, unions, et al, and added to all that poor old Abbott had Turnbull standing over his shoulder. I agree with Jody, but not for her reasons. I think if all things were equal, then Abbott, the proven aggressive campaigner, would have won handsomely. But things would not have been equal – all the combined forces of the above, plus with Turnbull and dear JulieB leaking cabinet info to their pet Fairfax reporters before their ink was even dry would have been too much. Time for a new leader, but I hope that if its Christian Porter of ScoMo, then they ar cleared eyed about what they will be facing.

    • Trevor Bailey says:

      Thank you, Mr Johnson, for precipitating my suspicions that were either inchoate – or simply denied! – as they lurked near the surface of my soul.

      A consumerist West fastened to the teat of Mother Government has lost the appetite for conservative virtues such as prudence, patience, self-restraint, a regard for the example of our forebears, the Christian religion (recall Dr Johnson called David Hume ‘a Tory by chance’ in response to his skepticism), ‘oikophilia’ – the love of home – as Sir Roger Scruton reminds us, an essential quality underpinning patriotism & volunteerism (Burke’s ‘little platoons’)…anyway, this readership is well-acquainted with these & others. Tony Abbott embodied some of these qualities & touched the socially conservative hearts of middle- & working-class people in much the same way I’m told Disraeli championed & John Howard exemplified. But that was then.

      So what chance do these “old-fashioned” verities have in today’s ‘connected’ & Progressivist times? With apologies to TS Eliot: ‘Tumid apathy with no concentration/Men and bits of paper…Not here/Not here the darkness in this Twittering world.’

      • Jody says:

        This is excellent!! I agree. But I disagree Abbott could win – he was just so universally hated. And I’ll never forget that image of him standing next to “Ditch the Witch”. That was one of the lowest points in modern politics.

        • Lawrie Ayres says:

          I was there and Tony was not even aware the sign was behind him because he had a rapturous audience before him. BTW I agreed with the sentiment whole-heartedly. Julia was doing great damage to the nation and was very divisive; men against women, left against right, success against victimhood. She was a disaster in a pants suit.

        • Lo says:

          He was not universally hated. He was character assassinated, easy to do, difficult to combat. I think the results of yesterday suggest that a lot of us admire and respect him and will not forgive what was done to him. Right back at ya, guys.

      • Warty says:

        I couldn’t have said better if I tried. And yes, the pugnacious Tony Abbot did indeed appeal to the ‘socially conservative hearts’ of middle Australia. I disagree with Jodi about the possibility of an Abbot losing the election we’ve just had, simply because he was such a superb campaigner (as conservative commentators have pointed out). It wasn’t by accident that he was John Howard’s attack dog par excellence. He was universally hated by the left wing press and Peter Van Onselen in particular.

  10. Rob Ellison says:

    My abiding impression – as I maneuvered my crutches to the front of the line – was the politeness, civility and helpfulness of all concerned. It may be the laid back, country life style of Capricornia.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2016/guide/capr/

    The election results are perplexing. A flow of preferences to the ALP despite the presence of a preponderance of conservative candidates.

    What is the actual history? What we have in Malcolm Turnbull a leader who was deposed by Tony Abbott who then went onto defeat the most shambolic an d wasteful government in anyone’s memory. Tony then went on to leading a massively unpopular government until the augeries were far to obvious to ignore any longer.

    We should probably follow the example of John Howard and support the party rather than truculently chuck a hissy fit and vote for Labor. An odd – and slightly mad – confession for a conservative. By all means leave the fold of the fiscally conservative. We don’t need or want you. Please line up in an orderly manner and leave your party membership in the recycled ballot box at the door.

  11. Geoffrey Luck says:

    What several people posting above need to focus on (instead of the umpteenth Abbott post mortem) is why the central problems of Islam and the economic destruction wrought by the Climate Change fraud have been left to One Nation. While Turnbull survives, the dangerous progressivism will continue.

    • PT says:

      I agree totally. Jody is obsessed with Abbott’s unpopularity without really examining it. It’s less “young people” than the media class. They hate his Catholicism, apparently oblivious to Turncoat being a Catholic convert.

    • Salome says:

      Dare I add, because nobody’s heard of the Australian Liberty Alliance, a socially and fiscally conservative party that appears to be backed and fronted by people who are better informed than the Hansonites and whose copybook is not already blotted with xenophobic remarks about honest and productive Australians who just happen to look a bit Asiatic?

  12. ArthurB says:

    Jody: I have to disagree with your preference for Labor to form a government if there is a hung parliament. I suspect that a Liberal minority government will not last, because the likely composition of the Senate means that the Liberals will be unable to pass any legislation, in which case our little nation may face another election later this year. If Shorten heads a minority government, he will be able to get legislation through the Senate, just as Julia’s minority government did from 2010 to 2013.

    I have to say that I feel gloomy about politics in this country. The Senate has become a real problem because of PUP, Jacqui and other independents combining to veto the Coalition’s legislation, any voter should have realised that over the past three years the Senate has made governing impossible, and yet the likely outcome of this election is that there will be more independents and members of fringe and single issue groups than before.

    • Jody says:

      I tend to agree with Paul Kelly who believes the electorate itself has to cop a lot of the blame for the voting habits today. I’ll be very interested to read what he has to say in coming days.

  13. [email protected] says:

    I know my vote is important – all the experts tell me so. But I could not bring myself to vote for any of the clowns. In my own electorate, both the LNP (I think he is) and Labor candidates put the Greens ahead of their main opposition. Any alleged politician who favours the Greens over a mainstream party is a fool. Only the majors bothered to canvass my vote. The sitting member is a clown and his opponent told me nothing about himself. If this is democracy, we need to find a better way. This result will hopefully mean the end of Turnbull if he is dumped and spits the dummy. But there will still need to be another election before the end of 2017.

  14. ianl says:

    Both Jody (soft left advocate) and MacDougall (hard left, AGW warrior) avoid admitting that with the probable (?) Senate makeup (Hinch, Hanson maybe x3, fewer greens etc), Shorten won’t get any destructive legislation through either.

    Jody will get over her cross, I think, MacDougall will just continue to try and destroy the national power grid for an unprovable hypothesis. C’est la vie.

    • Doubting Thomas says:

      And they’ve both turned into thumping bores.

    • Jody says:

      Your description of my political leanings is absolutely hilarious. Yes, I’m probably just a bore. That’ll cover it.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      You mean that “unprovable hypothesis” that at the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted as the basis of the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal?

      http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris/index_en.htm

      • Rob Ellison says:

        The COP21 greenhouse gas commitments – with the best will in the world and US$13.5 trillion – result in an increase in energy emissions to 2030 of 3.7 billion metric tons of CO2(1). As formulated it is all smoke and mirrors – a magic show reliant on misdirection. Emissions have increased by 10 billion tons since the Kyoto Protocol was ratified. Rivers of gold have been squandered for little return.

        Rather than continuing to go with the flow – it is more than time to review and reflect and splash out in a new direction. With a fraction of the US$13.5 trillion we could do much to solve the world’s problems – soil loss, food security, biodiversity decline, economic growth – and mitigate greenhouse gases at the same time.

        The other and more important initiative that came out of Paris was the French 4 pour 1000 proposal,

        http://4p1000.org/understand

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          Rob:
          That French proposal IMHO is quite good, but of course it rests on acceptance of the science, including the AGW proposition. That is by no means agreed around the HQ of this site, vide ‘Green $cience’s Ugly Growth’ by Tony Thomas.
          Carbon sequestration into soils, forests and other parts of the biosphere requires pretty massive economic changes. My own view is that the fossil carbon, which will run out anyway after about 250 years of business as usual, would be better kept as a source of long chain molecules for the chemical industry, road tar and so on, rather than using it for furnace fuel.

          • Rob Ellison says:

            Groan. There are many reasons to restore soils and ecosystems that have nothing to do with ‘global warming’. And there is really very little reason to accept the old ideas of climate. Real science has moved on.

            https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/05/29/internal-climate-variability-trumps-global-warming/

            Nor is there any notion of major economic changes’ involved. It is about lower cost and higher productivity is farmer driven.

            https://www.facebook.com/Australian.Iriai/posts/975544925895103

            Carbon sequestration in soils has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement manufacturing. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security. Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding. There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs. Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content. Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss. Reversing soil carbon loss is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

            Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions. The warming potential of black carbon is equal to that of carbon dioxide emission from electricity production – but is given little attention in the public sphere. A global program of agricultural soils restoration is the foundation for balancing the human ecology. In this international year of soils – France has committed to increasing soil carbon by 0.4% per year. As a global objective and given the highest priority it is a solution to critical problems of biodiversity loss, development, food security and resilience to drought and flood.

            You are btw far too optimistic on fossil fuels. Gas supplies will go into rapid decline in barely decades, oil production has peaked but the decline is slower, coal has barely 60 years at current production. The marginal cost of all supplies are increasing. New energy will be cost competitive well before then.

            https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/06/18/safe-cheap-and-abundant-energy-back-to-the-nuclear-energy-future-2/

          • Rob Ellison says:

            Groan. There are many reasons to restore soils and ecosystems that have nothing to do with ‘global warming’. And there is really very little reason to accept the old ideas of climate. Real science has moved on.

            Nor is there any notion of major economic changes’ involved. It is about lower cost and higher productivity and is farmer driven.

            Carbon sequestration in soils has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement manufacturing. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security. Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding. There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs. Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content. Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss. Reversing soil carbon loss is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

            Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions. The warming potential of black carbon is equal to that of carbon dioxide emission from electricity production – but is given little attention in the public sphere. A global program of agricultural soils restoration is the foundation for balancing the human ecology. In this international year of soils – France has committed to increasing soil carbon by 0.4% per year. As a global objective and given the highest priority it is a solution to critical problems of biodiversity loss, development, food security and resilience to drought and flood.

            You are btw far too optimistic on fossil fuels. Gas supplies will go into rapid decline in barely decades, oil production has peaked but the decline is slower, coal has barely 60 years at current production. The marginal cost of all supplies are increasing. New energy will be cost competitive well before then.

      • chuckp61 says:

        Mr Macdougall your ‘list of lies’ just lost you all credibility with me. Even the IPCC is walking back from their ridiculous AGW scare campaign. The solar physicists have been saying for years its the sun and solar activity, or lack thereof, has a correlation to temperature triple that of CO2.

        Ask a 5 year old what warms the earth and they point at the sun, ask a 15yr old and they point at a car exhaust or a coal fired power station. That about sums up whats wrong with our education system.

        A list that claims Keating, Brown and Milne have a 0 lie count while Abbott never stops is simply a joke.

        Saying you won’t cut education and health is not a lie when you simply refuse to borrow 10s of billions to fund EXTRA spending promises left as land mines by the previous Rudd, Gilliard, Rudd debacle.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          “No cuts” = “no borrowing” in Abbotonian Orwellspeak then?
          I can’t recall that being laid out simply and honestly before the event by the political grub who said he would do anything to become Prime Minister.

          • chuckp61 says:

            Gonski was never funded – it was a BS promise by a dying govt who knew the $ for it didn’t exist but it would give them something to bash the incoming Abbott govt with for ever. Typical labor landmines

  15. Dallas Beaufort says:

    The gall of Arthur Sinodinos is on par with Bill Shorten.

  16. Stuart says:

    I followed James Allan’s sage advice from immediately after the Turnbull coup, to put Labor ahead of the Liberals in the House (as well as shunning them, with the exception of Cory Bernardi, in the Senate) in order to exact proper revenge for the betrayal by the Turnbull Liberals. As Mr Allan pointed out, meekly voting for the now minutely-better-than-Labor Liberals is to be Mark Textor’s ‘conservatives that don’t matter’. Look at it this way. The Liberals had the capacity to give us $100 worth of conservative policies. But they said, “No, we’ll give you $2. But you still have to vote for us because Labor will give you $1.” It’s worth much more than the $1 we’d gain by voting Liberal, to punish and bury the socialists/leftists in their ranks. Sadly, the Liberals haven’t been totally smashed, but at least they’ve been hamstrung.

  17. Davidovich says:

    An excellent group of Random Thoughts marred only by readers wasting time on the incessant nonsenses of Jody and MacDougall

  18. Ian Matthews says:

    There has never been a better time to be a Delcon! Get out Lord Lachrymose and take your maid of dishonour Lady Bishop with you.