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August 22nd 2018 print

Peter Smith

Dead Wood. It’s Best for Burning

Trump is good because he has good policies, as did Thatcher and Reagan. Big deal if the Liberals get a new leader! Dutton or Hastie, whoever it might be, will inherit a dearth of good policies, bad ones aplenty, shifty colleagues and a party withered in root, branch and wallet. We need a new one

tree witheredHow times change. Dow plummets as Trump beats Clinton. Dow futures edged down when news just broke that Trump’s ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to making hush payments to Trump’s putative casual squeeze before the election. Why the change? Well it isn’t because Trump has proved himself to be a sophisticate after all. It is because his policies are working and the market likes that and is nervous about him being undermined.

Trump has good policies. Here are just some of them. Lowering corporate taxes and red-tape regulations to get the private sector investing. Lowering regulatory burdens on the energy sector in order to produce more coal, oil and gas. Tightening immigration to fight terrorism and crime, to protect America’s social services, and to prevent cheap labour from undercutting wages for those at the bottom of the rung. Putting North Korea and Iran on notice of America’s resolve to prevent them ever using nuclear weapons. Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem to show solidarity with the only beacon of hope in the Middle East. Renegotiating trade deals to prevent America being ripped off by unfair tariffs. Putting the hard word on NATO allies to pay a fairer share of their own defence. Ensuring that the Supreme Court is not dominated by left-wing activists by appointing originalists to the court.

These are the policies that had Deplorables coming out to vote. I would have been lining up from the early hours to vote for these policies. And, totally unsurprisingly, they are working.

Let me switch to the ructions within the Liberal Party. Presumably Malcolm Turnbull won’t survive; though my political punditry is unreliable. I prefer Peter Dutton, obviously. But would he make a difference? He would be surrounded by the same wets who voted for Turnbull in the spill. How would policies change, leaving aside whether Dutton would have the same kind of ability as Abbott to strut the hustings.

The Liberals ‘believe in climate change’ apparently, whatever that means. They just intend trying less hard to ruin our economy with renewables than would Bill Shorten. The Liberals have apparently slightly slowed immigration by administrative means but otherwise are as committed to ruinously high immigration levels as Labor. And they are almost equally oblivious to the need to preserve Australia’s cultural coherency. They argue against Shorten’s new intended raid on the incomes of self-funded retirees from the position of having screwed them earlier in the piece. And the screwer-in-chief Scott Morrison is mooted as a (sic) failback leader if all else fails. They argue for the most faint-hearted corporate tax cuts in the history of public finance. So, its barely discernible tax cuts versus none at all under Shorten. (editor’s note: those cuts were officially abandoned as of a few minutes before this column was posted.)

I could go on but the situation is clear enough. There is hardly a sliver of daylight between the two sides on policy principles. Yes, Labor might be disastrous but so are the current lot. They are almost as equally bad as each other.

Never mind the policies look at the leader, doesn’t cut the mustard. That’s why Trump was and is so good. He has good policies – as did Thatcher as did Reagan. This Liberal Party has a dearth of good policies and bad ones aplenty. A better leader than Turnbull will not solve that. We need a new party.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [14]

  1. oldsailor says:

    From where, pray, will you get it, Peter?

    • Peter says:

      I admit to having no idea oldsailor. The jig is up I’m afraid. But then again Australia has been lucky in the past. Keep our fingers crossed is the best I can come up with.

  2. Biggles says:

    Peter, Hope is not a strategy.

  3. hwka says:

    The Liberals think it will all be OK.
    A new leader, a few minor concessions nothing really consequential like telling the Paris wankers they are dreaming.
    Oh, and knifing a successful PM in favour of a complete and utter tosser like Turdbull that managed a considerable majority down to a single seat in a heartbeat.
    And then three years later these opportunistic deadsh1ts saying: OK, we screwed Australia in a short period of time – just like Labour – but Turdbull is history and an election is coming : “Are we good?”
    There could be a million or more that , like me , are resolute and unwavering.
    I (we?) will NEVER vote Liberal again.
    That means a minor party vote with manual preferences to suit or an informal vote.
    Oh , an informal vote is just plain dumb as you forfeit the right to have a say in how your country is governed.
    Pardon?
    You mean the plebiscite on immigration that forever changed our country?
    Or perhaps the plebiscite on that massive, mind-numbingly stupid transferral of our sovereign rights to the IPCC?
    Or perhaps the plebiscite on how to best utilise the enormous reserves of coal,gas and uranium?

    • Jody says:

      Tony Abbott was not a successful leader but an impotent loud-hailer who listened to his critics. I don’t know why anybody would go into political life to be called “Turdball”, “wanker” and the other linguistically limited monikers you people who hate so well bandy about.

      I’d suggest you put yourselves forward if you think it’s such a snip being a federal politician. Meantime, chill out and listen:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH7YOvu1bio

  4. en passant says:

    Peter,
    Three people separately emailed me in anticipation of Turncoat being rolled.

    Here is a cut and paste of my reply to each:

    “Dutton will lose. The debacle of the NEG mythology has stirred the possums to take part in an opportunistic rebellion with about as much chance of success as Monmouth, Prince Charles or a dozen others doomed to failure from the outset. The single skill that the Malevolent One has is in plotting and intrigue, so he white-anted Abbott for months while he wheedled, sneaked, promised cakes and jam and built support for his coup. When 14 MP’s ushered The Turncoat into the Party Room and ScoMo and Lady MacBeth had hidden their betrayal from Abbott, the fix was in. Dutton tried to do in a week what Malfeance had taken months to achieve. Dutton will be lucky to get 30 votes as supporting him is the death of any ambitions of a career in The Ministry of the Damned.” I wrote this before James Allan published his article saying much the same.

    Dutton got 35 votes, which shows how many were willing to commit political hari-kiri rather than kow-tow to The Great Leader and future President for Life.

    The current crop of Liberal/National MP’s cannot be converted to reality. The only answer is a new coalition based on SELECTED defectors from the Liberals and the minor parties. I would not accept all the failedd Liberal opportunists simply because they voted to oust Turncoat. They all need to be vetted. When Bernardi ‘proudly’ announced Dr Dennis Jensen was his No.1 on the WA Senate ticket, I resigned from the ACM. Jensen appears to have been the very first to openly turn against Abbott and such an action should not be rewarded.

    Let me repeat my comment from ‘Turnbull’s Doormats”:
    “Not even replacing Turncoat can revive the Liberals fortunes as the same cabal of self-serving scum will remain at its core. I would rather cut off the hand that ticked a Liberal on the ballot paper than now vote for the Liberal Party I was a member of for 31-years.

    There is no time to create a new conservative party, so what we need is a coalition of the Minor Parties (ON, LDP, FF, ALA, ACL, ACM {even the execrable Katter Klowns} and a dozen more). If these cats are not collectively herded, then they will all win their few percent of votes, be defeated individually and discarded leaving the juggernaut of the Labor-Green Globalists with a free run to finish off Oz sovereignty.”

    The Liberal Slogan for the next Federal Election? ‘They will be worse than us!’ I feel inspired already.

  5. Jody says:

    I’ve been in touch with a significant insider all day (my son) and he’s told me 75% of everything said and written today has been outright lies. One thing is certain; Tony Abbott is using Peter Dutton to get himself back into the ministry so that in 18 months he can say, “god, that Dutton is a hopeless PM”. Sadly, Dutton’s ego has fallen for Abbott’s lies and he has become just another useful idiot in Abbott’s destruction of the party. It’s already blowing back in Abbott’s face and the ALP doesn’t want Dutton either – ergo, the Section 44 questions in parliament today. They’d much rather face Turnbull. Abbott knows the electorate won’t listen to him so he’s manipulating Dutton like a puppet. The man is a craven serpent and destined to fail. And you can take that to the bank. Since when is Tony Abbott bigger than the Liberal Party? Answer: ABSOLUTELY NEVER.

  6. Eeyore says:

    Just consider how you can vote for the Senate to be the most fractious one imaginable. It is all I have left.

  7. Les Kovari says:

    Utopia here I come.

  8. Keith Kennelly says:

    What a bloody farce.

    How could anyone defend the actions of Trumbull. Right from his knifing if Abbott to his grasping stupidity of hanging on and his undermining of people who have supported him to the party that made him.

    What an utter disgrace.

    And you Jody share that disgrace with your bile and filth laden hysteria