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January 18th 2016 print

Michael Copeman

Malcolm’s LINOs, Tony’s CARPETs

Dismissed by the Liberal Party's ascendant Labor-lite faction as thick and woolly, restive conservatives have long memories to go with their principles. They're waiting and watching and ready when the time is right to make their move, certainly at the ballot box and, quite possibly, via other means

carpetIn America they have their RINOs, as in ‘Republicans In Name Only’.  Despite their party’s boilerplate support for free enterprise, the wisdom of markets and government being the servant of the people rather than vice versa, these ostensible representatives of conservatism vote tirelessly for bigger government, higher taxes, cradle-to-grave welfare, open borders, appeasement and, perhaps their worst folly, they make nice with liberals in vain and misguided attempts to be liked and, if all goes well, score the odd invitation to appear on left-dominated US media outlets.

In Australia, we have LINOs, which could not be a more appropriate acronym, given that our Liberals In Name Only are happy to let the left and its media agents walk all over the conservative principles their Liberal Party professes to hold dear.  As our latest Prime Minister can attest, the ABC just loves conservatives who aren’t really conservative and will promote them tirelessly. Until an election is called, that is.

It is open to debate, but Don Chipp may have been the first LINO. Back in 1977, he felt there was no place within the Coalition for his range of policies.  So the Australian Democrats were founded.   How did that turn out? Well, in 2015, after 38 glorious years of deal-making with governments of left and right persuasions, the Australian Democrats were de-registered. Is there a lesson there?  I submit that there is: Move to the centre. Lose your identity. End up with no party at all.

We all know that the passionate grassroots of a party, the sorts who hand out how to votes and keep branches ticking over in the lean, opposition years, tend to have more firmly held political views, be they of the left or right, than the larger voting public. We also know that straddling the fence on political issues is uncomfortable at best, likely to result in an unceremonious fall.

So, what’s the alternative?  Since September last year there has been an unofficial new movement in Australia dedicated to replacing our elected LINOs with something better. At a risk of being just a tad too cute, let me dub them the CARPETs — Conservative Australians Reeling from the Public Execution of Tony.

What are CARPETs like?  Some are woolly.  Some are worn by age, although their colours and fine patterns still show through.  Unlike LINOs, who wipe themselves clean after every electoral calamity and return happily to a supine acceptance of the left’s boot heel, CARPETs retain the stains and memory of earlier mishaps. They endure but they don’t forget, in other words. More often than not dismissed by the left Establishment as woolly and thick, their hidden virtue is that they don’t slip. LINOs, by contrast, are awash with the latest fashionable causes and forever wet, which makes for a certain treachery. In any debate, LINOs can never provide more than an uncertain footing.

CARPETs also tend to be quieter than LINOs, who reflect much of the noise and bustle around them. Just now, CARPETs feel as if they have been hung out to dry. Beaten even. They are watching quietly — sullenly would be a better word — as their party’s new direction charts a parallel course with that of the Opposition.

They see a new leader ostentatiously taking tea with Gillian Triggs, who worked so tirelessly to generate so many of the stories and faux scandals that were heaped upon his predecessor.

They see wind farms back in favour and know that taxes are being poured once again into the pockets of rent seekers.

The see the endemic bias of the national broadcaster and note that no effort whatsoever has been made to see it hire its first, its very first, prime-time conservative host.

They see a defence establishment seemingly more concerned with the construction of transgender bathrooms than identifying future enemies and formulating how best to foil them.

They see palace politics and court eunuchs plotting and scheming to winkle out conservatives and award preselections to yet more LINOs.

More than that, they remind each other that only parties gaining first-preference votes get AEC funding and mull the ballot-paper alternatives they might mark as #1. Some even mutter about the need for a split, knowing that when they tear up the LINOs once and for all, they will find a charter of conservative principles underneath.

They know that for all the initial shine and gloss, LINOs loose their lustre. When they do, when they are uprooted nationwide by the sort of 13+% swing that went against them at the recent North Sydney byelection, the moment will be ripe to cart them out into the cold for collection on the next hard-rubbish night.

CARPETs see all this and quietly keep the faith. They know their day will come.

Comments [10]

  1. Wayne says:

    This CARPET didn’t know about the AEC funding. Thanks for the heads up. I was going to do this anyway even if in my electorate it probably will be futile but this means my gesture will have an effect after all. Cheers.

  2. Bran Dee says:

    Such cleverly expressed sentiments in what could perhaps be called a metaphysical parable. CARPs will have their day again, indeed they will! But for a moment consider why we got done and dusted after 2 years into office and why Conservative Australians are Reeling from Public rejection.
    The unpalatable truth is that these Conservatives were ineffective in office. Conservatives were given the microphone at an Abbottabad concert but sang offkey at their own gig. At the concert they were lost for words, got stage fright, forgot the lines, hung back offstage, chose the wrong songs, sang seminary tunes rather than Liberal classics, were unable to match expenditure with income and the treasurer was off in the never never having failed to convince the public and the ABC of the ongoing expenditure crisis left by the outgoing vandals.
    Perhaps most galling for the fans was that the the lead singer gave control of communications into the hands of an envious primohombre.
    Changes were never made to disfunctional office management and the lead performer completely ignored a 6 month ultimatum to make
    changes. Really it was not so much a concert but a comic tragedy of errors. Now one must wait for a second chance with a new team.

    • Richard H says:

      Spot on! “… these Conservatives were ineffective in office” – never a truer word spoken. Was there any government in recent history more useless and ineffective than the late, unlamented Abbott Government?

      Apart from stopping the boats, of course – but that hardly needs mentioning. And repealing the carbon tax and the mining tax in the teeth of a bloody-minded Senate. And halving the projected long-term deficit that was Labor’s parting gift to the nation. And signing several major trade deals – with China, Japan and South Korea – that promise a big boost to our exports. And the initial but crucial step in the process: tipping out the festering sore in the nation’s body politic that was the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government.

      That’s some “comic tragedy of errors”.

  3. Jody says:

    Bran Dee, this is an excellent overview but I don’t agree about the Conservative return. Society has changed so much in recent years that there’s no going back. The younger generation wants to have their views heard and enacted and we oldies have had our day. Since we expect them to pay for our old age I don’t think it reasonable to also expect them to adopt our political philosophies. Rightly or wrongly, the ‘boomer’ generation is being put out to pasture – literally. I don’t like the ‘brave new world’ very much at all but, fortunately, don’t expect to have to spend an awful lot of time in it!!!

    • DRW says:

      Jody,
      Liberal voters in the Beltway could play havoc with Labor and the Greens, rather than informal, second preference Labor or Greens depending who is the member so their tenure would only be three years.

    • Lawrie Ayres says:

      The role of parents is to guide their children through the formative years. The same applies in later life as the older generation, who have seen it all at least once before, can help the youth avoid trying and failing to reinvent the wheel. The Left have been trialling various forms of socialism for all of the twentieth century failing at every turn and yet they still persist like the madman who thinks the next experiment will be successful. Conservatives should have read enough history to know that their method has saved the world on many occasions when the Left were destroying it. This is a common thread in world history as the young and inexperienced make mistakes and leave it to the old fuddy-duddies like me to clean up the mess. The younger generation still have much to learn so leave a core of the old in place to guide them. Turnbull suffers from perpetual youth and has learnt very little and is more suited to the vandals in the ALP/Green coalition.

  4. DRW says:

    May I suggest the rump of the Liberal Party opposing the LINOs.

  5. Alistair says:

    If we are going to continue with the carpet analogy – mark me down as an axminster.

    Seriously though, I think we must keep all this in perspective. If Shorten gets in, there WILL be a new carbon tax, there WILL be a flood of new immigrants, and there WILL be a blow out in Federal debt to match Penny Wong’s $100 billion as Finance Minister. With Turnbull, it is only probable. I just dont think Australia can afford take Labor another hit.

    The idea to only vote Liberal with the second preference is a reasonable one. From memory every Lower House first perference gains the Party the price of one postage stamp while an Upper House first preference is worth the price of two stamps. I believe that is how it is calculated. I certainly dont want the Liberal party to benefit financially in any way from my vote – and will be taking every precaution to make sure it doesn’t.

  6. en passant says:

    An excellent article that uses Aesop’s approach to parody the dismal situation the ‘Lucky Country’ has worked hard to achieve. There is no point in comparing the even worse performance of the EU (particularly Sweden) or the ongoing decline and fall of the USA as only Oz is of concern to us (though we must concern ourselves with what the RoW is doing and take appropriate action).
    Oz has had dismal politicians in the past and democracy has failed by electing fools in return for a feel-good sugar hit, but surely this is the nadir when the choice is between really bad and a not really different really bad? This has to be the worst political era in Oz history, not excepting Whitlam or Gillard-Rudd, because there is no knight errant to shine through and recover the battle from the forces of evil. The major parties are both evil with a sprinkling to Green slime topping.
    Like most people I thought Tony was the answer, but he became Captain thought-bubble and was not the messiah. However, in a civilised political party he would have seen the light and decided over Xmas that he needed to spend more time with his family. Could he not see the audience (prole party members) crying out from the stalls that Lancaster Macbeth was behind the see-through curtain? As in all tragedies the doomed ignore the most obvious signs, play their role to the end and are assassinated. Had that not happened then Morrison was Tony’s likely successor, but now he is not ever going to be forgiven. His time is over for a few shekels’ of silver and his current job.
    So, what is the answer? We must weaken the power of government. This can be done because the electorate can certainly ‘balkanise’ the Senate by voting for independents and minor parties. This requires the voters to do some really tough work and know who the candidates are, what they stand for and to vote below the line by filling in every box. Probably the electorate will find this too hard, which means that will not work. This is my option despite the effort it will take.
    The alternative is to vote above the line for a minor party. Family First, the ALA, LDP and maybe one yet to spring up before the election in May. (I have $10 riding on that date, so watch this space).
    The Lower House is a much tougher road for candidates, but again the same strategy applies, though the odds of success in breaking the current major parties stranglehold is much worse.
    I have been here 50+ years, yet the years since 2007 is the first time I have ever felt worried for the security and economic future of my adopted country. This has to be the worst crop of politicians (from all sides) this nation has ever let infiltrate the golden rort halls of parliament. It is rare for a country to elect so many traitors, Earthians and Quislings who have so little concern for the sovereignty and wellbeing of the people they are supposed to represent. Another first for Australia.