When Matt Damon starred in the movie Downsizing earlier this year, he could not have known he was providing a role model for Australia’s left-wing media. The press gallery consistently told us the opposition to Malcolm Turnbull inside the Liberal Party was a parliamentary rump. It was supposed to be a small band of malcontents: Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly, Kevin Andrews, Eric Abetz and a few others. They were written up as ‘the usual suspects’.
But on Tuesday last week, when the Liberal leadership was declared vacant, we found out the rump of six or seven was actually 35. By Friday, it had grow to 45 Liberal MPs who wanted to see the back of Turnbull. Mr Harbourside Mansion was forced to drive to a lakeside mansion, Yarralumla, to hand in his commission as Prime Minister.The truth was out there. The media had been downsizing the scale of anti-Turnbull sentiment – another example of Fake News. In Damon’s Downsizing the world faces an environmental disaster, forcing scientists to shrink people and buildings to one per cent of their normal size, reducing the drain on the Earth’s resources. It’s an apt metaphor for Turnbull’s mismanagement of energy policy. He also had an apocalyptic view of the future, panicking with the development of his flawed, high-risk National Energy Guarantee, that moved us closer to 100 per cent renewable energy. We should be a global energy super-power with flourishing nuclear, renewable, coal and gas industries. Increased supply from such an energy base would drive down prices. It is claimed renewable wind turbines may send people loco. Perhaps there’s one in the Canberra press gallery.
Throughout the Turnbull era, his media fan club told him to ignore Sky News because ‘nobody watches it’.Similarly, they thought he could snub Alan Jones and Ray Hadley on Sydney Radio 2GB because ‘they are preaching to a small political fringe, the far-right conservatives’. Yet when the Liberal party dumped Turnbull, whom did the Left media blame? It wasn’t Malcolm himself. His failures on personal income tax reform, Big Australia immigration policy, housing affordability, sluggish wages growth, rising electricity prices and divisive identity politics were conveniently ignored. Led by Nine’s Chris Uhlmann (an ex-ABC presenter married to a Labor MP), they blamed Sky, Jones and Hadley. The powerless had become all-powerful, an example of upsizing.
No sooner had Malcolm and Lucy started cleaning out The Lodge, but the press gallery went back to downsizing. They tried to convince the new PM to ignore conservative voters, depicting them as a handful of extremists you could fit into a phone box. The ABC’s Laura Tingle said the conservative base ‘remains a small thing’. Fairfax’s Jacqueline Maley declared the right-wing ‘rump or lump within the Coalition’ to be ‘very unrepresentative of mainstream Australian values’. The ubiquitous Malcolm Cate McGregor depicted ‘the Liberal party base as shrill broadcasters and unrepresentative ideologues (who) are all out-of-touch with voters’. In fact, the fastest growing part of the Australian electorate is people who want to conserve the best parts of our country. Some used to vote Labor. Many are disillusioned Liberals and Nationals. Still more have rallied around One Nation and other minor parties fighting to defend the principles of Western civilisation. These ‘conservatives’ think Australia was a stronger nation 10 years ago. Before merit selection was abolished in favour of judging people by their race, gender and sexuality. Before their sons were discriminated against, simply for being white and being male. Before the Left invented the wacky myths of ‘white male privilege’, ‘unconscious bias’ and ‘cultural appropriation’. Before Safe Schools tried to pollute the minds of young people by telling boys and girls they can change their gender as easily as they change their iPhones. Before universities segregated young Australians away from each other with the absurdity of ‘safe spaces’. Before staring at a good-looking woman was redefined as ‘sexual harassment’ on university campuses, with students forced into ‘stick-figure’ consent courses. Before our military had their fighting symbols removed and painted their fingernails pink. Before the police force and fire brigade put ‘gender equality’ ahead of public safety, with the best person for the job no longer getting the job. Before the outrage industry tried to control our language and limit our larrikin spirit. Before our GDP growth relied almost entirely on huge immigration numbers – overcrowding our cities, pricing young people out of home ownership and flooding the labour market to hold down wages. Before electricity prices went through the roof. Before our schools fell behind Kazakhstan and other Third World countries on international league tables of academic success. Before the political system became a joke with a revolving door Prime Ministership. Australia in 2007 was worth conserving. Since then the nation has changed direction. Vast numbers of smart, fair-minded Australians believe it’s gone the wrong way. Why did Turnbull lose the Liberal leadership? It’s not rocket science: he ignored the new conservative constituency and its concerns, a political neglect reflected in 38 consecutive Newspoll losses (8 more than his own benchmark). He ignored them, so they downsized him.
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