Features Australia

Autocues for the clueless

17 February 2018

9:00 AM

17 February 2018

9:00 AM

Was anyone really surprised when the factional warlords and powerbrokers in the key NSW division of the Liberal party so brutally thwarted the members’ democratic aspirations? That said, it was so entertaining to see Malcolm Turnbull read an autocue almost as well as Barack Obama. By way of contrast, neither Jim Molan nor Tony Abbott ever need to rely on this aid.

Visionary leaders are often outsiders, supported by a rank-and-file richly endowed with both common sense and loyalty. Benjamin Disraeli was typical, distrusted by the high Tories but enjoying strong support from the rank-and-file to whom he extended the franchise. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, John Howard and Tony Abbott are other examples of leaders distrusted by their establishment but strongly supported by the rank-and-file.

The public interest is never the first concern of most of today’s politicians, it is themselves. With few beliefs, they rush to render homage to the latest dogma proclaimed by the elites. While the most damaging is global warming, few politicians believe in it. Otherwise they would not have CO2 footprints many times larger than most.

It is curious that in a mature democracy in the 21st century, we are more likely to be condemned for heresy than in the Spain of Isabella and Ferdinand or the Massachusetts of the 17th century. Today this is not about orthodox religion but one of those bizarre dogmas the elites themselves don’t believe in.

My own fall from grace began when it seemed obvious to me that our ancient crowned republic was vastly superior to the synthetic potage, that fake republic,  Messrs Keating and Turnbull had confected. Now Bill Shorten refuses to identify the sort of republic he’s planning to spend about a billion dollars on just in putting a referendum and the preceding votes his tacticians have dreamt up. In the meantime, he and Turnbull proclaim what they frequently deny, that is that we don’t already have an Australian as head of state.

More recently I found myself isolated when I advanced the view that the United Kingdom was better off being once again as independent as Canada, New Zealand  and Australia today are, rather than as a satellite of the Berlin-Paris Axis, countries whom their forefathers had so often trounced. Again, it seemed obvious to me that the United States and the West have a far greater chance of being restored to greatness with Donald Trump than a Clintonian continuation of the Obama decline into programmed irrelevance. What was especially surprising was that even some otherwise substantial commentators had close to nervous breakdowns on his election. One year later, many seem more concerned about his tweets or hairstyle rather than his achievements.

Just compare POTUS with so many Australian politicians. If ours haven’t created all of the problems confronting the nation, they have  certainly made most of them worse. These include their insane energy policies destroying businesses and jobs and impoverishing ordinary Australians, a failure to plan seriously for the harvesting of water in this the driest of continents, the movement of the pendulum in the criminal justice system significantly away from the protection of the victim, a socialist NBN based on a soon-to-be-eclipsed technology, allowing terrorists to return instead of interning them (preferably offshore), immigration at levels far beyond the infrastructure of our once pleasant cities, a health insurance model which on illness imposes vast and unknown financial burdens, as well as  Canberra’s incessant meddling in state matters even when federal governments show little competence in performing their core functions. This meddling costs about one tenth of our GDP, enough to pay off the debt in a few years. Worse, that federal meddling is at the root of the  significantly declining educational standards which the politicians are imposing on our children.

Instead of solving these problems, our politicians behave like retarded fashionistas. Just before their indulgent two month summer break, they decided the highest priority had to be given to same- sex marriage. But this must not have had the same attraction and importance as to the alleged beneficiaries. According to the latest report, Sydney City Council’s offer of free premises for SSM functions had only seven takers.

What have Australians done to deserve such a political class, probably the worst in our history? Just as the development of antitrust or trade practices law was necessary to counter the emergence of monopolistic and oligopolistic concentration in the market, so we need to act against the corrupt duopoly that controls our politics, unprecedented in comparative countries. In return for the vast cornucopia of lavish legal and financial privileges that the parties have conferred on themselves, they should be required by law to be open, transparent and democratic.

Few democratic political parties in the world today would allow the preselection of candidates to be determined not on merit as judged by the rank-and-file, but principally on the loyalty of a candidate to some shady powerbroker, especially one with an investment in the result.

While the factional warlords and powerbrokers in the NSW Division of the Liberal party undermined the members’ clear determination to democratise all preselections and party governance, the party has not even considered the next step, which is the norm throughout the West.

This is not leaving the choice of  leader exclusively to, as Alan Jones so accurately put it, the ‘bedwetters’ in the caucus, but involving the membership at large.

If Australia is to advance, and the next generation to enjoy its rightful place in the sun, we can no longer afford to have elections where the choice is between some lacklustre, virtue-signalling Tweedledum and Tweedledee, with policies to match. We need a real choice, a nation where governments stick to their core functions, and one where over time it would even be possible and viable for new states to emerge. And where politicians are accountable, 24/7 .

This will only happen when we re-join the advanced world, and our political parties are forced to become truly open, transparent and democratic. Then we will see this country turned around.

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