How much can a koala bear? Well, we’ll soon find out in New South Wales as the Nationals are threatening to bring down the government over the issue of expanding koala habitats. Note, this the same party that threw their support—along with Gladys Berejiklian—behind decriminalising and extending abortion.
It’s the same kind of political ineptitude and moral vacuousness that saw the former premier, Mike Baird, take on the greyhound industry but give the whole Safe Schools Curriculum a free pass. According to The Sydney Morning Herald:
Deputy Premier John Barilaro has confirmed that the junior Coalition partner will abstain from supporting any government legislation until their demands over the koala policy are met.
“By not supporting government legislation effectively means all members united in the National Party will sit on crossbench,” Mr Barilaro said.
Likewise, The Guardian Australia has reported:
The Nationals leader and deputy premier, John Barilaro, says the Liberals will need “to earn their votes” on legislation, rather than having guaranteed support.
Barilaro said his party would be abstaining from voting on government legislation except when it is legislation that affects the regions or which the Nationals deem important.
“We will not green-light just anything the government puts up,” Barilaro said.
This has caused NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay, the NSW Opposition leader, to question the Premier as to whether or not she still had a functioning government. And in the light of today’s fiasco, it’s a valid question! According to The Newcastle Herald, Ms. McKay told reporters that, “It is my belief that the government is no longer functioning.”
Make no mistake, this is a political crisis of the Premier’s own doing. Gladys Berejiklian failed conservative voters when we did a backroom room with independent MP Alex Greenwich, and she has now failed to show the requisite leadership in unifying the Coalition on what should not be—especially in comparison to abortion—a controversial social issue.
What’s more, note that according to a NSW Parliament Report, Koala populations and habitat in NSW, the koala is listed as being ‘vulnerable’ rather than as ‘endangered’.
However, there’s an even deeper philosophical crisis, though, that is going on here behind the scenes. And that is, by abandoning our conservative, Judeo-Christian worldview, our elected leaders are driven by subjective utilitarian whims rather than any coherent moral framework. As Malcolm Muggeridge presciently once wrote in Esquire, all the way back in 1970:
Searching about in my mind for an appropriate name for the decade which has just begun, I settle for The Decade of The Great Liberal Death Wish. It seems to me that this process of death-wishing, in the guise of liberalism, has been eroding the civilization of the West for a century and more, and is now about to reach its apogee. The liberal mind, effective everywhere, whether in power or in opposition, particularly so during the present period of American world domination, has provided the perfect instrument. Systematically, stage by stage, dismantling our Western way of life, depreciating and deprecating all its values so that the whole social structure is now tumbling down, dethroning its God, undermining all its certainties, and finally mobilizing a Praetorian Guard of ribald students, maintained at the public expense, and ready at the drop of a hat to go into action, not only against their own weak-kneed, bemused academic authorities, but also against any institution or organ for the maintenance of law and order still capable of functioning, especially the police. And all this, wonderfully enough, in the name of the health, wealth and happiness of all mankind.
So, this is where we have now come to as a society. Where the worship of the environment is more important than the health of the economy. Where the well-being of animals more sacrosanct than controverted theories regarding sexuality and gender. And where the proliferation of native wildlife more precious than the health of unborn children.
Muggeridge was right. Western Civilisation is being destroyed from within. And ironically, it is Liberal Coalition governments such as Berejiklian’s, who have routinely failed to stave off our demise. For instead of preserving our values, they are destroyed them. As Muggeridge wrote:
Previous civilizations have been overthrown from without by the incursion of barbarian hordes; ours has dreamed up its own dissolution in the minds of its own intellectual elite. It has carefully nurtured its own barbarians—all reared on the best Dr. Spock lines, sent to progressive schools and colleges, fitted with contraceptives or fed birth pills at puberty, mixing D. H. Lawrence with their Coca-Cola, and imbibing the headier stuff (Marcuse, Chairman Mao, Malcolm X) in evening libations of hot chocolate. Not bolshevism, which Stalin liquidated along with all the old Bolsheviks; not Nazism, which perished with Hitler in his Berlin bunker; not fascism, which was left hanging upside down, along with Mussolini and his mistress, from a lamppost—none of these, history will record, was responsible for bringing down the darkness on our civilization, but liberalism. A solvent rather than a precipitate, a sedative rather than a stimulant, a slough rather than a precipice; blurring the edges of truth, the definition of virtue, the shape of beauty; a cracked bell, a mist, a death wish.
Mark Powell is Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
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