Features Australia

Circling the Liberal wagons (again)

No room in the broad church for conservatives

9 April 2022

9:00 AM

9 April 2022

9:00 AM

Yes, we are at that time again. It is time to circle the Liberal wagons, we are told. Let us call it the triennial dilemma. We hate almost everything the Liberals have done in government, and we have long since forgotten why we ever supported them, but, come election time, we forgive and forget, motivated by the endlessly trotted-out argument – effective since 1944 – that the other mob is unspeakable and, so, unelectable. An oft-spoken phrase is, ‘the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about’. Hobson’s choice. Yes, we recall the old 1970s ‘tweedledum tweedledee’ argument, and acknowledge that the Liberals in government are, inevitably, Labor-lite – surely letting them off the hook – and we then line up to vote them back. Despite the appalling record, the wilful destruction of our liberties during the Covid ‘crisis’, the net zero bulldust, the factional wars, the bullying and ostracism of backbenchers who, God help us, actually espouse core liberal values, the abandonment of any semblance of true conservatism, the endless slithering, the bureaucratic overreach, the fiscal incontinence, the Liberal-at-all-cost supporter class insists that we line up at the polling booths to smile and say ‘vote Liberal’. Yay!

This requires some serious cognitive dissonance. It means that we forgive a Liberal government for crushing our freedoms. We forgive the total abandonment of any semblance of true liberalism and conservatism. We simply let that go through to the keeper.

Such a position belies four realities.

One, defending the Liberals in office misses the big shift in politics. The left-right divide is, no more, the big game in town. It is a legacy perception of the new reality. The new divide is between insiders and outsiders. The insiders dominate both the major parties, in equal, hideous measure.

Two, the worst has already been done.  What is there left to fear from the leftist party? What else could they do to us? In government, the Liberal party has delivered Covid fascism, useless National Cabinet autocracy, alignment with Daniel Andrews fascism, commitment to carbon net zero, economic bankruptcy and cringing deference to the woke power groups, the beliefs of which they claim to oppose in fear of their impact on our culture. The culture war is already over, and we lost. The long march through the institutions is complete, and the Liberal party doesn’t even talk about this any longer, let alone have a strategy to address it.

Three, the potential power of an extreme leftist Albanese is severely circumscribed, whatever he might personally believe and support. Last time (in 2019), the wagon-circlers threatened us with Bill Shorten and his ‘worst ever’ Labor policies. I have yet to see a Labor policy that could be worse than what we have already. But what of their hidden agenda? There is the Senate. Whatever its limitations, its numbers now basically dictate what any government can do. Including an Albanese-led ALP government.

Four, as the late Andrew Breitbart observed, culture is upstream from politics.  The big battles are not fought in the Australian Parliament. They occur in the classrooms, the universities, the bureaucracy, the churches (alas), the woke corporations, the media. Voting for Morrison will not make a jot of difference to any of these critical battles. Nor will voting for Albanese.

Despite all this, the circling of the Liberal wagons is in full cry. Senator Concetta Fierraventi-Wells was castigated for her parliamentary evisceration of the PM. But what if she speaks for a large and growing band of the right-of-centre disillusioned? Like the folks in NSW who lost their court battle with their own Prime Minister over his extraordinary attempts to ensure all his factional allies are shoe-horned into office. And they hounded Abbott out of office because he gave a gong to the Duke of Edinburgh.

The current incarnation of Menzies’ dream is not the remotest simulacrum of the founder’s vision and expectations. He himself refused to vote for the Libs in the Seventies. What would he make of the current mob? The ‘Labor-lite’ descriptor lets them off the hook. They are Labor-heavy. They have morphed from a party of conservatives and liberals into a party of globalist, socially liberal chancers and careerists who are there for themselves and not their constituents or voters. Moderate, modern, wet? Whatever.

The confused conservative or simply disillusioned non-party voter must decide if a party that has totally destroyed the trust of its electors deserves re-election. How can a party that has abandoned its key principles deserve allegiance? The question for right-of-centre voters in May 2022 is, do the Morrison Liberals demand our continued allegiance? If there is a compelling argument, I have yet to hear it. I don’t think the wagon-circlers have yet realised the depth and breadth of the visceral angst that is abroad. Nor have they come to grips with the fact that the disillusioned are actually on the right side of history.

Even the astonishing and unprecedented current legal battles within the NSW Liberal party have not shaken the powers that be. There is a revolution going on in Australian electoral politics. The exit from the Liberal party of almost all of the real liberals, like Flint, Christensen and Kelly, the folks who stood up for we-the-people when it counted, still seems not to have dawned on the insider class. The party apologists still believe, or at least say they do, that there is nothing to see here. Same old, same old. Bag the ALP socialists. All will be well. Rock up on polling day, hand out the how-to-vote cards. Smile at the cranky voters and say, we did our best. Take one for the team.

So, we have, again, the great triennial dilemma. Which bunch of third-rate, careerist chancers do we support? The major parties are kept in power as a result of the peculiar combination of our compulsory preferential voting system, which means that we have to end up supporting one or other of the duopoly insider parties, and the fact that, on almost all of the issues we vote on, they basically agree with each other! Climate? Covid? Woke? Nanny state? The embedded, shared globalist, socially liberal, big government ideology is common to both the majors.

The punters today have few powers. The one power they have is to throw out bad governments. They might well consider using it, in the light of the appalling, illiberal governance we have been delivered. By a party that dares to call itself ‘liberal’. Perhaps it will lead to some sober reflection by the Liberal party apparatchiks on what the party now amounts to, and what their behaviour in government has wrought. A Liberal win, on the other hand, would simply reward bastardry.

Those currently circling the Liberal wagons have a bit of thinking to do. They should reflect upon what they are asking of voters. Why should conservatives still vote for them? Why should swinging voters?  Why should those who have been crushed by the Covid State, imposed by Liberals and Labor fascists in equal measure? Why should deplorables? Why should flood victims? Why should those who once naively believed the Howard mantra of a ‘broad church’ party? The broad church is now the shared Lib-Lab duopoly. Spot the difference.

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