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July 03rd 2016 print

Daryl McCann

The Need To Clean the Liberals’ Stable

I voted Liberal yesterday, a ballot cast with grave misgivings and in the grim knowledge that, confronted with the evil of two lessers, the party was only slightly more representative of my views than Labor. Only root-and-branch reform will save me next time from that appalling choice

pitchforks and torchesIn this, the Year of the People throughout the Western world, the year of Brexit, and populist rallies in the American heartland, the Liberal Party seems a very odd creature indeed. Even though Malcolm Turnbull tried to make himself as small a target as possible, Bill Shorten’s ruthless game of identity politics still managed to frame the Prime Minister as Enemy of the People #1 – the would-be assassin of Medicare.

Labor’s scaremongering might have been a bold-faced lie but it worked because (a) the Labor-Greens are highly skilled at framing their political adversaries as the enemies of the people (b) the presentation of PM Abbott’s 2014 Budget, whatever its merits or otherwise, gave the Labor-Greens the wherewithal to deride the Coalition as the enemy of the people, and (c) PM Turnbull’s pivot “to the middle” reached out to leftist ideologues, rather than ordinary Australians – the real middle-ground in our country.

Recent Liberal leaders, and again that includes both Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, have no idea of how much they are loathed by leftist ideologues for just being representatives of Liberal Party or – and this might be more important – how many intelligent and concerned ordinary Australians would support them if only they assembled a coherent case against the PC madness of the Labor-Greens.

Many commentators on the conservative side of politics might now claim that Tony Abbott was doing a great job before he lost the top spot. Nevertheless, eighteen months ago there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of support for the notion he was the right man at the right time. Abbott made a great start in challenging ideological orthodoxy with Operation Sovereign Borders, but his Team Australia project came undone when he failed to pursue it with intellectual nous, with an indifference to political correctness and with the flair of a modern-day communicator.

In Bill Shorten’s “victory speech” last night he thanked the party faithful over and over – à la Paul Keating’s 1993 “True Believers” speech – before belatedly giving a nod to the wider Australian community. The cultist always gets these things the wrong way around. His unapologetic partisanship and Kevin Rudd-like narcissism, not to mention the sly self-satisfaction at the effectiveness of his Medicare hoax, reassured me that I had done the right thing voting for the Liberals in the House of Representatives. That said, I probably was not alone in thinking that maybe the time has come to do more than vote and opine and hand out flyers.

Maybe the time has come to get one’s hands dirty.

Comments [16]

  1. DRW says:

    Labor’s Primary Vote has been the second worst in history.
    The swings against the Liberals were in seats held by Turncoats.

  2. Rob Ellison says:

    “We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage…. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.”

    Rather than simply react to progressive initiatives – it is more than time to rediscover the roots of liberalism and to deliver a narrative for the 21st century.

    • Rob Ellison says:

      Hayek of course.

      • ianl says:

        And very apt it is, too. Now, what practicalities will we carry out? (Pity Judith didn’t like your polemics, they made me laugh).

        • Rob Ellison says:

          I think polemics are too grand a term for the habitual failure of moderation.

          But I’m all for practicalities. Soils repair – 4th gen nuclear – smart development goals? And more.

          https://watertechbyrie.com/

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

          What was my last post there? The one I asked to be taken down several times? Judith Curry asked me to ignore David Springer because she couldn’t control him. But if I spend time composing some trifle on economic growth and environmental management – ecomodernism – then there is a limit to the relentless excrement I am prepared to wade through. Even as an old sewerage engineer. Not to mention the endless reiteration of quite insane climate theories. It is one of the circles of hell of far as I am concerned. For a site run by a climate scientist – even one who refuses to commit to anything but a vague notion of uncertainty and Italian flags – the nonsense was quite distracting. I was quite worn out.

          I thought today to rewrite my first piece there.

          https://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/

          There is a piece on the Emissions Reduction Fund that may appear here soon. I have companion piece just reworked on applying the ideas of Nobel Prize in economics winner Elinor Ostrom’s to management of fisheries, forests etc.

          It is all about creative, humane and effective strategies for the 21st century – rather than just reacting to a progressive agenda.

        • Rob Ellison says:

          I think polemics are too grand a term for the habitual failure of site moderation.

          But I’m all for practicalities. Soils repair – 4th gen nuclear – smart development goals? And more.

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

          What was my last post there? The one I asked to be taken down several times? Judith Curry asked me to ignore David Springer because she couldn’t control him. But if I spend time composing some trifle on economic growth and environmental management – ecomodernism – then there is a limit to the relentless excrement I am prepared to wade through. Even as an old sewerage engineer. Not to mention the endless reiteration of quite insane climate theories. It is one of the circles of hell of far as I am concerned. For a site run by a climate scientist – even one who refuses to commit to anything but a vague notion of uncertainty and Italian flags – the nonsense was quite distracting. I was quite worn out.

          There is a piece on the Emissions Reduction Fund that may appear here soon. I have companion piece just reworked on applying the ideas of Nobel Prize in economics winner Elinor Ostrom’s to management of fisheries, forests etc.

          It is all about creative, humane and effective strategies for the 21st century – rather than just reacting to a progressive agenda.

  3. mags of Queensland says:

    Since John Howard’s time the lines between Labor and Liberal have blurred beyond recognition. There is nothing, particularly in this last farce of an election, to show a clear line between the two parties. The Liberal party needs to get its act together over the next three years and actively seek out candidates that truly reflect the aspirational beliefs of the middle ground. We had hopes of some of the bright young things, like Josh Friedenberg, but they have shown that they are not up to it. The next election starts NOW.

    • Jody says:

      Yes, I think you’re right. And it’s important to remember that Labor hasn’t been given a majority in the Reps since 2007 and before that it was many elections. The default position, therefore, is away from Labor so it’s difficult to understand why both parties are now so similar!!!

    • PT says:

      You are joking aren’t you? I don’t like Howard’s anti-gun mania, but he was hardly the same as the chaos that came after him.

  4. Bushranger71 says:

    If the Liberal Party wishes to rebirth itself, then it needs to swiftly cast off the John Howard mantle. Too many are in denial regarding the great harm that he did, especially concerning middle class welfare and rash defence spending. Although formerly a member of the National Party, I began voting informally in 1996 because I feared what JH might do; but I had also tired of preferential voting wherein my vote can be hijacked by shabby preference deals. If the political parties want clearer distinction of their platforms, they ought to be supportive of first past the post voting.

  5. nfw says:

    There is no root-and-branch in the so-called Liberal Party. Everything is driven from the top to the masses. In some ways it makes the Lie-bor Party look democratic; at least they pretend. The Liberal party, from an organisational and bureaucratic pov would find itself closer to The Greens. The Liberal party is driven by factional bosses who, having worked their way up the greasy pole, won’t give up power and influence in a hurry. Unless there is some real soul searching and admission of wrong doing there will be no reform. The only alternative is for a new conservative yet liberal party the way Bob Menzies envisaged. Alas, as George Orwell said: ”The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership.” Any political party is the same.

  6. Wayne Cooper says:

    Despite being a member of the Liberal Party for ten years, I have no say in preselections. I spent years handing out how to vote cards on election days and even hung around shopping centres talking up local members to the public, sometimes being abused for my trouble. On Saturday I voted the right way, but I will not subject myself to the slings and well-aimed arrows of public abuse for the sake of a placebo politician like Malcolm B. Turnbull. He has the blight of Debnam on him – another charmless, back-stabbing narcissist with a tin-ear for politics. The Liberal Party has to stop treating its members like mugs and give all members a say in (a) how the show is run, and (b) by whom it is run. Currently it resembles the Titanic, post ice-berg.

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    Rob

    To return to the intellectualism of the past here is what needs be done.

    Create schools of Engineering, Law, Medicine (includePsychiatry), Commerce (not business) Science (traditional exclude environment), Arts (traditional literature exclude all other humanities) and Philosophy.

    Allow some funding for both the Universities and these schools. And let fees be charged to cover research and academic pursuits in each.

    Guess which will fail?

    And the result will see all those who espouse the left wing dream out of work and influence very very quickly.

    Keith kennelly