Leading article Australia

How to win the next election

10 July 2021

9:00 AM

10 July 2021

9:00 AM

It’s time the Coalition government stopped fretting about the Covid situation and began to focus on the more serious longterm problems facing Australia. Chief among these is, of course, the resurgent belligerence of the totalitarian super-power to our north. Following the extraordinary and disturbing scenes at the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Chinese communist party – boasting imagery which looked as if it had come straight off the cutting room floor of a Leni Riefenstahl flick – where the Chinese dictator Xi Jinping bragged of confronting the West with a ‘wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people’, it is safe to say that the promise peddled by everyone from Gough Whitlam to Christopher Pyne that China was destined to become ‘more like us’ was always a forlorn fantasy.

As Daryl McCann points out in this week’s excellent cover story, and as is neatly captured in the superb cover image by Sarah Dudley and Ben Davis with its historic analogy, the clock is ticking for Taiwan as an imperialist China plots to swallow its tiny neighbour whole. Whether the Chinese communists follow through with their recently printed blueprint for a military invasion of Taiwan, or, more likely, have some other scheme up their sleeves, the reality is that before too long an Australian government will be confronted with clear evidence of China’s aggressive and insatiable territorial ambitions.

Given that we do not have anything like the capability to come to Taiwan’s rescue (nor, if our reaction to Hong Kong’s recent travails is any indication, the will) the question becomes more one of self-defence and deterrence in order to protect our own democratic and free way of life in the uncertain years and decades ahead.

The military defences we currently have on our northern borders are a joke; a couple of coastguard vessels and maybe a jet ski or two would appear to be about the sum total. The disgraceful commissioning of the French submarines which involves stripping them of their nuclear engines and crippling them with diesel substitutes has long been a subject of derision and disbelief within our pages. With good reason. That the aforementioned former defence minister Mr Pyne now claims that nobody back in early 2016 could have possibly foreseen the threat that China now poses is as obscene as it is incorrect. Think of the billions Mr Pyne could have saved this country if he had simply taken out a subscription to this magazine.

As well, as has been clear since the beginning of the pandemic, it is now imperative that Australia rebuilds its own manufacturing base and develops new supply lines independent of China. Given that we are blessed with the world’s greatest supply of natural resources and energy, it should not be hard to create our own industries upon which we can rely for many of the basic necessities, including pharmaceuticals.

The damage done to this nation by left-leaning governments, leftist thinking and quasi-socialist policies from both sides of politics is of tragic proportions. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be reversed or remedied.

First of all, Australians must begin to recognise that the exorbitant amount we pay ourselves for doing very little is simply unsustainable. At some point soon, a government of whichever persuasion must begin to tackle meaningful industrial relations reform which instead of just allowing sweetheart deals between big business and big unions actually promotes productivity, entrepreneurial flair and localised manufacturing.

Secondly, we desperately need cheap and reliable energy. ‘Renewables’ are about as useful as French diesel subs, and, not surprisingly, are relentlessly spruiked by the same mob whose grand scheme is to generate energy by pushing water uphill. Not only do ‘renewables’ cripple our industrial potential, they export jobs to the manufacturers of windmills and solar panels – the communists of China.

If we are too cowardly and spineless to use our own world-class coal because of our commitment to achieving net zero emissions, then the only alternative is nuclear power.

In 1998, John Howard and Peter Costello embarked on what many thought was an electoral suicide mission – proposing a new goods and services tax on every Australian. But the voters were smart enough to realise the merits of the Coalition’s arguments and Mr Howard won not only that election but the two subsequent ones.

Scott Morrison and the Coalition have a unique opportunity to go to the next election with their own version of the GST: pledging to lift the moratorium on nuclear energy in Australia on the first day of a new parliament. The pitch is simple: ‘If you really believe in net zero emissions, nuclear power is the only way to get us there whilst keeping us economically strong. But to do so we need a solid majority in both houses of parliament.’

Lifting the moratorium on nuclear power would also allow us to lease or buy US nuclear subs off the shelf as an immediate and powerful deterrent to any malicious intentions being harboured to our north. Watch the Left tear themselves apart in a frenzy. And watch the Coalition romp in at the next election.

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