Flat White

“Progressive” ideas didn’t win Victoria, conservative ideas went missing

28 November 2018

7:32 AM

28 November 2018

7:32 AM

I don’t believe for one moment that Daniel Andrew’s stunning election victory means Australians are converts to “progressive” politics.

Does anyone seriously think the majority of people want their children taught that gender is a social construct? That their little girls could be boys trapped in the wrong body requiring puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and ultimately their breasts surgically removed?

Monty Python’s Life of Brian was right. It’s not even the Romans’ fault that a man can’t be a woman with a womb and have babies.

But that is precisely what Daniel Andrews’ farcical “progressive” Victoria teaches children at “Safe Schools”.

And does anyone seriously think heroin injecting rooms which maintain people in a dangerous addiction are the way to go because it is too hard to help them get free?

That killing vulnerable sick and old people instead of caring for them won’t lead to the abuses that are rife in Belgium and Holland?

Renewables sound great and people feel virtuous when a big coal-fired power station like Hazelwood shuts.

But when the lights go out and the jobs go offshore, will they remain wedded to “progressive” politics?

I think it is too early to claim that “progressive” politics has triumphed and that conservatism should be consigned to the scrap heap. People don’t yet know the meaning of or the consequences of “progressive” politics.

Andrews won people over because he was strong and the Liberals were weak.

He removed a lot of dangerous level crossings and people saw that rare thing in politics – promises being kept and stuff being built.

Here’s the real reason the Libs got flogged. They don’t stand for anything and they don’t fight.

As Andrews implemented his “progressive” vision, the Liberals were barely on the playing field.

What was their vision for Victoria? What do they stand for? No one knew.


Sure, they opposed “Safe Schools” and the rest but like Liberals everywhere, they failed to sustain a debate in the public square.

Most people simply didn’t hear the counter-arguments put.

The Left get up every day and go out and fight. Liberals are lazy, particularly when it comes to the awkward culture issues.

They also face the pressure of their “moderate” wing, which largely supports Left “progressive” social policy, telling conservatives to “tone it down”.

It’s also hard because the media are not neutral and no one wants to have to put their stack hat on.

By contrast, Daniel Andrews has steel in his spine and sticks to his guns, even over unpopular programs like “Safe Schools”.

When Liberal Leader Matthew Guy was given multiple free hits at “Safe Schools” during the Sky News peoples’ forum, he squibbed it.

He talked a big game on “Safe Schools” at the Australian Christian Lobby’s election forum but went missing in action on Sky.

He didn’t have the conviction.

It was always said of former prime minister John Howard that people might not have agreed with everything he said but he was respected and rewarded electorally because people knew where he stood.

He did not flip and flop. He had principles and stuck to them. And he would make the case in public.

The same cannot be said of modern Liberals least of all the Victorian Liberals.

Their timidness is compounded by the influence of the so-called moderate arm which is a pale imitation of Labor which is in turn now a pale imitation of the Greens.

On social policy and energy policy, they all agree on the principles and only disagree by degrees as to what action is necessary.

The Greens have been the tail wagging the policy dog of Australian politics for many years.

And this is why the political Left, which includes the Liberal moderates, are quick to draw the conclusion from Victoria’s election result that it is their view of the world that has triumphed.

But what has not been attempted with any serious exertion is standing up to the Left with courage and grit.

Donald Trump is no paragon of virtue and his narcissism and bad manners are off-putting.

Say what you like about him, but one thing is clear.  He is not afraid to stand up to the Left and he is not afraid of their hysterical shrieking.

And on the big policy calls like border security, standing up to identity politics (he quashed the transgender nonsense in the military) and reducing the size of government he is getting it right.

But he has to fight for it and is not afraid to do so.

If the Liberals engaged in the battle for ideas and were willing to sustain a fight with the Left they would win the respect of voters.

The road of pragmatism and timidity is less confrontational but like Monty Python’s parody, voters can see it is a sham.

“Progressive” politics will lead to social and economic chaos over time. It has to be taken on in public and that will take courage.

If the Liberals continue to compromise their principles in their quest to curry favour with polite elite opinion, they will continue to stand for nothing and fall for everything.

Lyle Shelton is a spokesman for the Australian Conservatives and is their Queensland Senate candidate.

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