– 27th July 2015
Just glancing at the ALP Conference agenda tells the story
Is there a subject of any relevance to ‘mainstream’ Australia? The gorilla in the room is the economic circumstance we are’ progressively’ winding ourselves into; entertaining anything that may grab the attention of a (voter) constituency and distract joe public.
This is politics in Australia today and I am unsure a Liberal Conference would deal with any more substantial matters. Maybe the political and business (leader?) class are hoping the gorilla just drifts off into the jungle. I think not. China will not suddenly burst into a demand frenzy for resources nor are any comparable miracles on the horizon.
It is very disappointing to have watched our decline when so much was in the offing. We can compete but the reforms needed are beyond the current crop of political and business leaders immersed in self preservation at any cost. We are lost in arguments of alleged principle on both sides when in fact it is clear self interest is the only driver; that manic striving for the Treasury benches at any price.
It was on the table for serious discussion in Liberal circles after 1993 and it may well go further next time round; a new political grouping without past allegiances, however they are excised is an open question because the task of a ‘new direction’ would not be happy news for those of the left or indeed the hard right. The oft mentioned ‘forgotten man’, most recently for me by Amity Shlaes in examining in refreshing detail the New Deal and its consequences, must return as the centre piece of government policy.
We must come to an approach that while recognising the Keynesian role know that its the private sector that can activate the incentive to drive the economy to a sustainable competitive stage. This is not rampant capitalism or even the more recent internally redundant intone ‘compassionate conservatism’, its recognition that policies are only effective if they are for the wider good and that we beckon Australians to feel part of our society. It is clear RG Menzies made this connection and we must regain it.
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