Flat White

It’s just a jump to the left…

17 July 2017

5:20 PM

17 July 2017

5:20 PM

If it feels like you’re doing the Time Warp again, it’s because you are.

Our nominally conservative parties have been stuck in the castle with Frank N Furter and seduced until they know the steps to the song without fail. While in power and bringing down the budget ‘it’s just a jump to the left’ and as we’ve seen in the LNP Queensland Convention while you’re in opposition, ‘and then a step to the right’, as they touch on the hot button issues that they think will bring back the fast leaking conservative vote.

Only a few months ago at budget time, they were more Labor than Labor giving Bill Shorten everything he could have wanted, effectively allowing him to rule from opposition. Now they have their back against the wall with an electorate with political options and it’s time to toss out a few bones.

It was the firework issues that we all know the media loves to spread far and wide. Privatise the ABC, ban head coverings for young girls, limits on Muslim migration, pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, etc. etc. Most of these were voted down of course but you could be forgiven for thinking that the party was discovering something of a conservative streak, or even approaching some sort of sensible middle Australian view on some issues.

Alas you would be mistaken.

One thing that was supported was not changing the stick figures on pedestrian lights from ‘male’ to ‘female’ looking symbols. Yep, big news people.

If anything is going to make them quake in their boots at Ultimo and scare them that their social engineering program might be in jeopardy, it’s traffic lights. This will really put a spanner in the works for The Greens now. Shorten must be shaking at such an earth shattering policy victory for conservative Australia.

It is the pathetic nature of such a resolution that shows a party in terminal decline, the tiny token exception that overwhelmingly proves the rule.

Remembering the words from the song, it’s a giant leap to the left and a tiny mouse step to the right, so small in fact it looks like the mouse has got arthritis and is barely shuffling.

I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it ends. It’s moving just as much as you have to win enough votes to gain power or cling to it if already in office. Once that mission is completed, it is back to business as usual. Ignore the voters, implement the ongoing leftward march until you need a vote from that pesky plebe out there on the street, and toss them a few more bones to let them know you’re on their side.

Don’t fall for it. There is no conviction here, no vision, no direction, no belief in what Australia is or what it can be. It is now a Shakespearian drama of clinging to power for its own sake and doing anything and everything to achieve that goal. The only thing lacking is the cunning of King Richard to pull it off. Sadly, even that is missing so we don’t even get amusement value out of it.

Stephen Cable writes at cablecritique.com and for Liberty Works.

Illustration: 20th Century Fox.

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