‘Never make the same mistake twice.’
It is a mantra that applies to everyday life, but even more so to politics. Failure to adhere to its simple premise often spells political suicide. It is an error made out of blatant ignorance or just pure narcissism. For the Liberal Party, it is all of the above.
Something that has become apparent in recent years is that the Liberal Party is a far cry from what it used to be – from what it should be.
Instead of acting as the centre-right option for voters, the Liberal Party has become indistinguishable from its main opponent. Truthfully, ever since the undermining of Tony Abbott, it has gone to absolute hell.
Malcolm Turnbull was clearly the wrong person to lead a centre-right party with his left-wing ideological leanings. He would have been better suited to the Labor Party, but they rejected him.
Turnbull’s entry into the Liberals was one of John Howard’s worst mistakes. Once the so-called ‘moderate’ faction of the Liberal Party gained more control, Abbott’s history of leading the party to an election landslide didn’t matter. Abbott was a dead man walking. The same could not be said of Turnbull in his 2016 double dissolution election. His narcissism left him hanging onto the top job by a thread, after which he continued to steer the Party further to the left, making them more unelectable with each passing day.
When Scott Morrison came into power in 2018, I was skeptical that he would be able to lead the Liberal Party properly. Would he veer back onto the straight and narrow and ensure it returned to its roots?
Morrison was, after all, Turnbull’s right-hand man – ‘his captain’s pick’. He won the party room ballot because Turnbull bought him time to collect votes by demanding a nonsense petition for a party room meeting. Turnbull’s antics to ensure a Morrison victory should have been a huge red flag for keen political eyes. It certainly concerned me.
But, I was willing to give Morrison a chance. For some time, it looked like he might actually be a decent leader. That was until he started capitulating to the ‘moderate’ faction… Then, just like his predecessor, Morrison took a turn down Leftist Lane.
Today, the Liberals are on a path to self-destruction.
A little under three years ago they were staunchly against an electric vehicle policy – a policy that then Labor leader Bill Shorten took to the election only to end up pulling a Hewson. Now, Morrison and his band of ‘mad men’ are taking this same failed policy to the 2022 election.
Not only that, but they have also blown billions of dollars, increasing debt enormously. This is something you would expect from Labor, and yet the Liberals imagine they can pull a magic budget out of the public coffers in late March to convince us we are ‘back on track’. It is a deceptive attempt to get the public back on side and ensure they are able to hold onto power for another three years. That is not to say Labor are any better; both are just as bad as each other.
And just when you thought the Liberals could get any worse, they have somehow managed to land on another morally bankrupt spot on the political board game. The Liberals want to bring ex-New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian back to life – and in high definition!
That’s right, the recently-resigned premier, who had to step down after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) launched an investigation into her over her dealings with ex-MP Daryl Maguire, is now being touted for Federal office.
Contrary to regular proceedings, the NSW Liberal Party have pushed back the closing date for nominations for preselection for the seat of Warringah from December 3 to January 14 in the hopes that Gladys Berejiklian will run. This is despite the fact that the findings of ICAC’s investigation into Gladys have not yet been handed down and will not be until months after the preselection deadline. If she were to stand, she would be doing so with the very same cloud over her head that created the storm that led to her resignation from state politics.
In reality, Gladys should not be allowed anywhere near Federal Parliament.
There are, however, many politicians or supporters who have been enthralled at the prospect of the former Premier running for Warringah. They are obsessed with her political resurrection to the point of absolute delusion, and fail to see that this is exactly the kind of move the Labor Party would make. Yes, Gladys may be popular in the electorate and might garner enough votes to win the seat, but that does not mean she should run.
Gladys is the ‘darling’ of the moderate faction.
She has received support from the Prime Minister himself to take a tilt at federal politics, and Morrison’s endorsement is nothing short of political insane. He is demonstrating a severe lack of respect for the due process of ICAC while backing a handicapped horse in the race for Warringah. Morrison has previously said that Gladys’ treatment has been shameful and expressed dismay at the media jumping on the ICAC saga.
Politicians are not immune to criticism, at least not in a democratic society.
Even though Gladys has protested on radio that she has no intention of running (which is the honourable decision), the fact that the Liberal Party have championed the idea is disgraceful.
The situation is telling of a party devoid of morality and respectability. They are no longer a party of sensibility, of reason, or of decent economic management. Instead, they are stumbling around in the dark – flailing about trying to save themselves by pleasing everyone – but they have tripped over their own feet and managed to lose their base instead.
Both major parties offer terrible leadership options for this nation. They are one and the same. The only way to divert their plans is to ensure the Senate is clogged up by crossbenchers from minor parties like the Liberal Democrats, One Nation, and the United Australia Party. That is not to say I endorse all the policies of these parties, but they have demonstrated that they will stand up to protect this nation against further government overreach and the inane ‘leadership’ of two parties that have shown repeatedly that they do not have the best interests of Australia at heart.
As for the Liberal Party, they never should have fallen into the Turnbull trap again by allowing Morrison to rise to power. They made the same mistake twice, and they will need a miracle to avoid the consequences.
Joel Agius is an independent writer. If you would like to read more of his work, you can do so at JJ’s Outlook.
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