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April 06th 2016 print

Peter O'Brien

A Wavering Liberal Writes…

The polls' tidings have not been good and growing worse for the Turnbull government, whose apologists conjure all manner of villains -- Abbott today, cowardly premiers tomorrow -- to explain voters' blindness to the PM's virtues. The better explanation has something to do with principle

core beliefs

Below, a constituent’s letter to reader Ann Sudmalis MHR, Liberal member for Gilmore, which runs south along the coast from Wollongong

Dear Ann Sudmalis,
Thank you for your letter welcoming me to the electorate of Gilmore.  I would like to offer you some thoughts.

I note that in the September leadership challenge you voted for Tony Abbott.  In the first instance that speaks well of your sense of loyalty and, in view of how the ‘Turnbull’ government has imploded in a mere seven months and now appears to represent nothing recognisably conservative, it also speaks well of your judgement.

I was recently re-reading James Clavell’s novel Shogun.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with the work but in one scene, the English privateer John Blackthorne explains to his Japanese patron Lord Toranaga that, although his allies, the Dutch, are in revolt against their rulers (at that time Spain) there were extenuating circumstances.  Toranaga responds that there are no extenuating circumstances for rebels, to which Blackthorne responds ‘unless you win’.  With grim humour, Toranaga concedes the point.

The reason I raise this cameo is because it reminds me a lot of the Turnbull coup.  The only way in which he can be forgiven is by achieving a big election win – bigger than Tony Abbott might have – coupled with a mandate to do the major thing that Abbott had, up to then, failed to do viz rein in our overblown spending.  Right now that outcome is looking highly unlikely.

I recently left the electorate of Eden-Monaro.  Had I still been there at the time of the election I would have found it impossible to vote for Peter Hendy.  At the time of the first challenge to Tony Abbott, I wrote urging him to support the incumbent PM.  Little did I know at the time that he was already one of the plotters instrumental in doing the unthinkable – assassinating a sitting PM in the full knowledge of what Labor had already vividly demonstrated as the price of disloyalty.  Prior to the coup, Hendy was already losing much support due to his habit of failing to respond to communications from his constituents.

All the achievements of the current LNP government are attributable to Tony Abbott.  Turnbull has not scored one goal and now, rather than prosecute the case for spending restraint, all he can talk about is taxes.

It is beyond my comprehension how a LNP government can, inter alia, walk away from the Section 18C amendments, participate in the promulgation of such a perversion as the so-called Safe Schools program and continue to pay homage to the unmitigated boondoggle that is the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

I have been a Liberal supporter all my life but how I vote in the upcoming election is line-ball.   For me the only compelling reason to vote for a LNP government that is looking increasingly like an ALP one, is my absolute conviction that if Labor gets back, the illegal immigrant trade will start up again regardless of what Labor may say or do and that they will re-introduce some form of pointless and costly carbon tax.

On the subject of global warming, I pray that if the LNP government is returned there remain enough of the Members who originally threw Turnbull out because of his support for Labor’s ETS, to do the same if he tries it on again.

In the hope that you might be one such person, and in recognition of your support for Tony Abbott, I shall probably put my vote your way.

Sincerely
Peter O’Brien

 

 

Comments [7]

  1. Keith Kennelly says:

    Turnbull has lost liberals as well as conservatives.

    To win an election he has to win back all those lost liberals and conservatives as well as the ‘wavering’ progressives.

    Impossible.

    • Lawrie Ayres says:

      Turnbull is not a conservative as I would describe it and now we also know that many in the Liberal party are anything but conservative either. How any thinking person could still believe in the CO2 scam is beyond me and even some who once thought the scientists were telling them the truth. Turnbull, and I admit Abbott too, were blind to the bias of the ABC and did nothing to rein it in. Turnbull is supposedly a free marketeer but allows a taxpayer funded entity to unfairly out-compete a privately owned newspaper. 18C is still allowed to stifle the necessary debates on SSM and “recognition”. Turnbull has not managed to introduce one savings measure in seven months and seems to be trying to outspend Labor. I can easily understand why Trump has scored well; there are a vast number of unrepresented people out there just waiting for a saviour and someone to vote for. Abbott could have been that man but Turnbull certainly is not.

      • ianl says:

        > Turnbull, and I admit Abbott too, were blind to the bias of the ABC and did nothing to rein it in

        Not blind, in my view. Abbott was absolutely powerless to change ABC culture – even a suggestion of funding reduction threatened Peppa. Imagine the screams if anything real had been proposed – one could hear the wailing from Mars. And the anti-Abbott propaganda would have been unbearably shrill, about 300dB in strength and unending.

        Turnbull needed the ABC to do his dirty work. He had no reason to interfere with that and every reason to encourage it to continue. So, not blind … sociopathic narcissism, yes.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        How any thinking person could still believe in the CO2 scam is beyond me and even some who once thought the scientists were telling them the truth.

        Haven’t you heard, Lawrie?
        Scientists never tell the truth unless it suits them to do so.
        And climatologists are only in it for the money: you know, grants and stuff like that.
        Completely unlike the lily-white merchants of fossil fuels.

  2. I would suggest that all LNP voters send a similar letter to their MP.

  3. Eeyore says:

    As I am in the federal seat of page, I get to choose between the standing member Mr Hogan MP and Ms Saffin. Both of whom seem to be pretty decent people.

    This seat has moved between Nats and Labor since the 1990′s and has been described as a bellwether seat.

    There is no liberal option, the greens and a collection of other dubious types pad out the ticket.

    Mr Hogan supports anti CSG activism, is a proponent of CAGW, he has to be if he is to win in this area loaded with a mixture of pensioners, farmers, Anti vaxxers and loggers, when Nimbin falls into your constituency you have to been tinged green to survive the tightrope of contesting interests.

    He is a long way from what I would describe as my personal preference, his saving grace is he is better than the alternative.

    That is why I am a frenzy of indifference, my vote in the house of reps changes nothing, it cannot improve the hopes for my kids, certainly there is no one standing that argues for the repeal of 18C, the reduction of government, financial responsibility, changes to the ABC charter or any of the issues that exercise me on the federal level. Crowing about more government grants to the local bicycle club is the bread and circuses, it’s groundhog day, the same spending of borrowed money………federal politics writ small.

    And so I sleepwalk to the election knowing that my vote will change nothing, much like choosing between Shorten and Turnbull, two sides of the same bland coin, feeding the same gruel that they want us to swallow unexamined.

    I long for a Trump character to turn it all on it’s head, someone who can burn out the stupid even if it is under the white hot torch of greater stupidity but until then I am stuck with the grey, the plodding of baby kissers marching us all like lemmings over the fiscal cliff with nary a word of protest or a micron of thought.

  4. pgang says:

    I don’t know. I think all this shows is the pointlessness of polling. Why politicians pay anything but a passing nod to it I don’t know, and those who unseated Tony Abbott accordingly belong to the highest Order of the Moron. Newspoll has always been a joke, yet it’s treated like the great prophet of politics. So beware, don’t read too much into this poll slip.

    Of course this is all easy for me to say because my seat will go to Labor under doomsday and my vote counts for nothing.