Howard, of course, had the great benefit of governing before the recent fashion for bright young Windsor-knotted think-tankers who style themselves “classical liberals”, and plead a no-prisoners libertarianism that insists that government should work with an almost anorexic enthusiasm for the reduction of, well, government, as the sworn enemy of individual effort, and the devil take the hindmost. To the concerned bystander, the tendency is to create confusion with more time-worn and gentler expressions of the Liberal brand.
And that’s Tony Abbott’s problem, to be governing in a time of fervour and impatience, a time when many in conservative politics are sniffing long-unresolved opportunity while taking in their inherited world with the steely glint of the one-eyed ideologue.
At the moment I’m scheduled to appear on his Sunday morning show and instead of wearing one of my very stylish hipster floral shirts I’m going to have to wear a tie. Windor knotted.
More seriously I have noticed increasing references by the MSM to either classical liberal or libertarian arguments. This is a good thing.