Leading article Australia

Crack open the Dom

9 October 2021

9:00 AM

9 October 2021

9:00 AM

It’s not often these days that somebody who is a conservative, a Christian and a contributor to this magazine ends up as one of the most powerful leaders in the country. So the news that Dominic Perrottet is now Premier of Australia’s premier state is to be warmly welcomed by all who value traditionalism, reason and freedom. Pop out the bubbly, and if it’s Dom Perignon, so much the better.

And while you’re at it, here are a few snippets from Mr Perrottet’s articles in The Spectator Australia to enjoy.

From his cover story ‘Deconstructing Greer’ in 2016: Recently I received a letter, as NSW Finance and Property Minister, demanding that I urgently remove the ‘Germaine Greer’ plaque from the Sydney Writers Walk in Circular Quay. The reason for the demand, sent from a concerned, vigilant citizen, was that Ms Greer holds horrifically bigoted views on transgender issues, so her name can no longer defile public places in NSW.

As Stalin erased Trotsky from Soviet photographs, so Ms Greer must be expunged, our public places sanitised – that’s progress, comrade. Ms Greer is a particularly interesting target for the Left because she was once its darling; a feminist pioneer at the vanguard of the gender revolution. She stuck it to the man, and is still sticking it to him.

True progress demands a truly free exchange of ideas, because the best ideas are forged in the furnace of fierce disagreement – the battle of ideas, where wits are sharpened, arguments blunted, minds expanded, and gradually, truth revealed. Nothing has made this clearer to me than the responsibility of legislative decision-making. Free debate is simply indispensable in that process. But I have felt the chill setting in – the reluctance to speak out, even among colleagues, on matters of huge importance, for fear of falling foul of the PC police.

This is the path to dead-end, unthinking government. If democracy is to survive, we must defend freedom. We must resist the growing pressure to deploy the state’s firepower to enforce a ‘progressive’ agenda that criminalises dissent. Because you can only have progress with a contest of ideas. And you can only have a contest of ideas if you are free.

And from 2018: It is often said that the Liberal party is a broad church, and there will always be a tension between conservatives and progressives, liberals and traditionalists. That tension, when healthy, is our greatest asset, driving assured progress, guided by the steady hand of accumulated wisdom. Balancing and blending the liberal and conservative strains is not easy, but it is essential, especially for the party’s leaders. It means more than just begrudging compromise, or offering concessions to appease internal hostility.

When all you do is compromise, inevitably you end up compromised.

When you look at the left wing of politics, activism is in their blood. We would do well to rekindle our own activist instincts if we really want to shape our nation’s future in a meaningful and lasting way. [We must] put citizens – not government – at the centre of society, [recognising] the dignity and the potential of free men and women to build a great nation, to govern their own lives, and to rise to the challenges of living in community – rather than presuming that government can solve society’s ills at the stroke of a legislator’s pen.

Fine words which he echoed by condemning medical apartheid based on denying freedoms to the unvaccinated. The big fear is of course that, as was the case when Tony Abbott foolishly appointed Malcolm Turnbull to his 2013 Cabinet, Mr Perrottet’s generosity towards those on the left of the party will prove his undoing. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how the appointment of Matt Kean an unabashed climate change obsessive as Treasurer, can spell anything but trouble for both Mr Perrottet and for New South Wales.

Recently, as Treasurer himself, Mr Perrottet floated plans for a new NSW land tax to replace stamp duty; an ill-thought-through scheme that would create a two-tiered property market where buyers pay a premium to avoid land tax. Whether Mr Kean intends to introduce this tax, or any other thought bubbles, remains to be seen.

One reader has expressed the view that it may be beneficial to have Mr Kean in the Treasury portfolio, where he might come to appreciate that the sort of mad green schemes such as closing down coal mines and embracing unreliable ‘renewables’ comes at an unacceptable cost to taxpayers. This sounds like wishful thinking. The experience around the world is that the climate-obsessed are prepared to wreak havoc upon any economic system in order to satisfy the demands of the global warming cult and their carpet-bagging ‘renewable investment’ mates.

But in the meantime, let’s raise a glass to Dom. And pray Mr Kean doesn’t literally ruin the party.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments