Leading article Australia

ScoMo’s lack of discipline

12 February 2022

9:00 AM

12 February 2022

9:00 AM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week called for unity within the ranks of the Coalition in order to get his religious discrimination bill through Parliament, and warned his party room that a lack of discipline would sink the government at the forthcoming election. Talk about pots, kettles and accusing others of that which you yourself are guilty of. The disunity which threatens the Coalition is entirely self-inflicted, the result of appalling decision-making by the Prime Minister, and the lack of discipline applies not to the majority of Coalition MPs but specifically to those ‘modern’ Liberals – Dave Sharma, Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson, Katie Allen and Jason Falinski –who wilfully destroyed the government’s winning climate change formula from 2019. Should the government lose at the forthcoming election, it is those individuals, along with Scott Morrison and his advisers, who will be entirely to blame. Nobody else.

A general who does a dramatic about-face halfway during a battle and points the guns at his own right flank cannot be surprised when some of his troops fail to fall into line or even desert their position. The abandonment of the arrangement that saw the Coalition win the ‘miracle’ election – to stick to the Paris Agreement on reducing carbon emissions but to go no further – has destroyed the one and only potent weapon that the Coalition could have relied on to scare swinging ‘quiet’ voters from switching to Labor.

On top of which, self-evidently, Scott Morrison has gambled the long-term economic prosperity of the nation on a pointless and futile attempt to pander to the globalist climate/renewables investment lobby both here and overseas. The gamble has already failed. At Glasgow, the luvvies simply mocked Mr Morrison. Here, Climate 200, the lobby group of renewables investors promoted by the unctuous gazillionaire Simon Holmes  à  Court, rather than rewarding the Coalition for its net zero U-turn has instead poured even more millions into unseating Coalition MPs, including, hilariously, some of the aforementioned bedwetters who persuaded the government into changing tack. Call it Sharma Karma.

Worse, one only has to look overseas to see the horrendous political problems being caused by net zero commitments: energy shortages, inflation, even the threat of military blackmail. What sort of myopia allows the government of a resource-rich nation such as ours to head down this nihilistic path? One senior Cabinet minister, when asked by a climate-sceptic backbencher what would happen if ‘green hydrogen’ didn’t actually work, replied ‘well, we’ll just have to find something else’. Oh, that’s alright then.

(It is worth reminding readers that this magazine nearly a year ago suggested a winning formula for the Coalition: commit to net zero based on lifting the ban on uranium. A suggestion described by one so-called centre-right journalist in a rival paper as ‘ridiculous’.)

But the Prime Minister’s ‘lack of discipline’ as the keeper of the conservative flame goes much, much further than embracing net zero. The Djokovic case, where the government booted out a non-political individual on political grounds, made it clear that the ‘modern’ leadership of the Liberal party will follow the focus group lynch mobs on the flimsiest of pretexts, even if that means trashing such esoteric but long-revered and cherished Liberal concepts as freedom of conscience or freedom of political discourse.

And when it comes to cutting off your nose to spite your face, could there be a more idiotic decision than that announced this week to pour more money into the ABC? Why finance and give succour to an organisation that is committed to your destruction? It is laughable to blame conservative former Liberals who have deserted the party for enabling a Labor victory, when you yourself have just tipped an extra four billion dollars into the campaign coffers of an organisation that trashes Australian history and traditional values and gleefully promotes division and discord.

As protests occur not only around the world but in Canberra against mandatory vaccination, the failure of the Coalition to provide credible centre-right leadership is at its most glaring. One does not have to be an ‘anti-vaxxer’ to be opposed to individuals being forced against their will, or coerced through heart-breaking dilemmas, to take a recently developed medical treatment. Indeed, so absurd is the proposition that had you said three years ago that in Australia individuals would soon be required to choose between taking a risky medical procedure or losing their job, you would have been laughed out of court. Scott Morrison has unequivocally stated that vaccination is not mandatory in Australia. Yet this week his health minister blithely announced that a third booster shot would soon be, well, mandatory.

And we’ll leave his repeated trashing of the presumption of innocence for another day.

Such weak leadership is unworthy of being supported by conservatives. The tragedy for our nation, alas, is that the Labor alternative is far, far worse.

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