No more Mr Nice Guy

Andrew Bolt asks the question:

What’s the point of the [Liberal] party, then?

So it’s not surprising that I had dozens of angry Liberals ring me on 2GB last week to say they’re fed up.

The Institute of Public Affairs even raised $40,000 in just four hours from typical Liberal supporters donating $10 or $20 for a newspaper ad savaging their own government for dodging the free speech debate.

“We’ll lose the base on this,” a Cabinet minister told me.

Sure, it’s great to finally have a government that is at least competent.

But the members want more for all the blood they sweat for their party. They want the Liberal Government they worked for and this isn’t yet it.

Which leaves traditional Liberals with a dilemma. Which party will at least fight for their values?

My tip? Watch Liberals of a libertarian kind at least lend an ear to the new Liberal Democrat Senator, David Leyonhjelm, while more conservative ones cheer Family First Senator Bob Day. After all, someone’s got to speak for Liberals, don’t they?

Couldn’t agree more.

Unfortunately, Andrew is still making excuses for Abbott.

But will there be a stiffening of spine? I fear not, since the problem is less Abbott than his more ABC-attuned MPs.

No. A fish rots from the head down.

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57 Responses to No more Mr Nice Guy

  1. Anne

    Two of my friends have resigned from the Liberal Party this week!

  2. egg_

    Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, whose support among his colleagues is growing.

    As predicted, ehem.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    The Federal LNP government is putting up taxes, not cutting waste, not cleaning up corrupt unions, not protecting free speech and now wants to collect a giant database of information about everyone without court order. And they are giving money to Hamas to boot.

    You have two years to change this before you lose office, because you are going to lose office on the record so far. So you may as well fix the country while you have the chance and not waste time pandering to the lefty MSM.

    It’ll be even worse in the NSW state election since votes can exhaust. Why should I give preference to the LNP when my conscience says I shouldn’t?

  4. Myrddin Seren

    Bruce of Newcastle

    You may appreciate this anecdote.

    Even before the parade of Liberal shame in ICAC got really rolling, the NSW Liberal Party approached me for an ongoing donation for the state election.

    I ( politely ) told the volunteer phone worker that as a currently unemployed resource sector worker in a state where the supposedly economically rational and pro-business Coalition government had at best ambivalent disposition to the sector, if not outright hostility, that the Liberals were killing their base in NSW and there was no money from me to be had.

    The phone worker told me that I was the third person just that day who had told him exactly the same thing.

    The political-class, careerist Liberal machine people are literally spitting in the face of their base – and they know it.

    I suspect Michael Kroger’s advocacy on BoltA a while back of taxpayer funding for elections shows where they are going, which is to eliminate any relevance or role for regular folk except handing out HTVs on election day.

    So be it – their choice.

  5. stackja

    What’s the point of the [Liberal] party, then?

    It is not the ALP.

  6. .

    No more Mr Nice Guy
    Posted on 9:40 am, August 11, 2014 by Sinclair Davidson
    Andrew Bolt asks the question:

    What’s the point of the [Liberal] party, then?

    Finally. I’ve been asking this since the utter flop of a budget.

  7. Empire

    The mission of the majors is to win elections, nothing more.

    Governing, in the true sense of the word, is not relevant to the party.

  8. James Barlow

    My party membership is currently due and for the first time since I became a member I am weighing up whether to renew. As Sinclair notes here (and previously) the Federal Coalition lacks spine and seems to be settling for being in office, rather than doing anything effective with office.

    I wrote to my Federal Senator recently on the issue of the Labor Policy Debt Tax. He rang in response to my corro, which while a nice touch, was pointless as he did nothing but roll out a range of annoying platitudes, counter to the values we’re supposed to stand for. I kept my anger in check, but the mix of hypocrisy and spin was deflating.

    As for the 18C backdown, it’s unbelievable. It also needs to be relabeled the Minorities Protection and Legal Activist Compensation Section. I don’t have libertarian concerns about some form of legal protection against hate speech (and am an IPA member, about to renew my membership). But there’s an enormous difference between hate speech, and speech that might cause offence.

    What I, and the majority of ordinary members of Coalition aligned parties (and I suspect Labor Party members) object to is the industry of seeking out offence and then demanding compensation for it. The law, and the vast armies of legal do-gooders et al that suck off it, will never be a match for robust and decent community and political leadership. But this is missing in action, what we have instead is the contracting out of social responsibility and leadership to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats and officials whose existence depends on maintaining the fiction of offence. And as part of it see the non-Left part of society as a target to be attacked again and again and again.

    And then there is the ever growing division between the community and the world of politics. We have reached a point of disgust with politics in Australia and not by accident. It’s been gradual, but insidious. Ordinary people are not just denied the opportunity to contribute and take part, their efforts are actively rejected. There are tiny circles of influence within government – the Wing(s) and their multitudes of advisers, and the office bearers of party management.

    The views, interests and suggestions of the common man and woman (especially those of us still members of parties) are listened to grudgingly, and then dismissed aggressively. Months ago I heard Paul Bongiorno being interviewed on RN Breakfast about the latest review of the Labor Party which would herald in a new era of member involvement and contribution. It was an an extraordinary display of ignorance by a man who has made his career in political media (and I am suggesting Bongiorno is largely unaware of what happens at the Branch/HQ level).

    But then, and this is the twist in the tale, perhaps I’m simply not fighting hard enough for what I believe in.

  9. James Barlow

    The mission of the majors is to win elections, nothing more.

    Governing, in the true sense of the word, is not relevant to the party.

    Empire – you may well be right.

  10. Token

    Two of my friends have resigned from the Liberal Party this week!

    2 more of the types of people which the Labor-Lite party call “extremist kooks” they are happy to be rid of.

    The piece on Chris Pyne on Sat tells us how much they care. They assume they will harvest those votes in the end so they are happy to demonise such people.

  11. egg_

    The mission of the majors is to win elections, nothing more.

    Governing, in the true sense of the word, is not relevant to the party.

    +1

    Expressed same – the new political class.

  12. struth

    Do you get the opinion as I do that Abbott and especially hockey have got the shits and are actually getting angry with their base.
    Bloody democracy is such an annoyance when you are trying to bend over for the noisy minorities.

  13. Dave Wane

    Of course the politics of removing 18c is difficult. But it WAS a promise! That should have been more than enough to carry the repeal process through – even if the Senate was likely to reject it. I have never been a member of the Liberal Party, always believing that they are Labor-Lite. In other words: still socialist control freaks who love to tax and spend, only on a slightly milder scale.

    I have long argued a true Liberal Party should have as one of its main goals a return to Pre-Whitlam Australia, especially in regard to ALL anti-discrimination laws, ALL government sponsored and funded multiculturalism and ALL taxpayer-funded “universal” health i.e. Medicare. Sure it is hard to get back there now, but surely it should be an ambition? Obviously there is much more to do other than just “Pre-Whitlamising” Australia, including a free labour market, but any step towards more individual freedom for all Australians is very worthwhile and must be taken.

    To abandon the repeal 18C because it all seemed too hard (afraid of typical Muslim over-reaction) shows that the road ahead for total abandonment of all anti-discrimination commissions and the like (including the Human Rights Commission) is indeed going to be a steep and rocky one.

  14. Joe

    If you are afraid of over-reation, isn’t that what the police and security services are for?

  15. H B Bear

    What’s the point of the [Liberal] party, then?

    It is not the ALP.

    Might as well be.

  16. stackja

    H B Bear
    #1412261, posted on August 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm
    What’s the point of the [Liberal] party, then?

    It is not the ALP.

    Might as well be.

    No!

  17. Tim Neilson

    Dave Wane
    #1412224, posted on August 11, 2014 at 11:34 am
    “Of course the politics of removing 18c is difficult. But it WAS a promise! That should have been more than enough to carry the repeal process through – even if the Senate was likely to reject it.”
    Exactly. If the Coalition had put it through the House and into the Senate and then the ratbags there had rejected it, I wouldn’t be criticising the Coalition at all. At least then the anti-free speech brigade would have had to nail their colours to the mast. I doubt whether PUP’s supporter base would have been unanimously thrilled if they’d opposed it.

  18. dianeh

    LNP has lost me and a number of others that I know.

    For me, the LDP is looking good.

    I cant really see Abbot and co holding to their election promises to win me back. And Im sure they simply dont care, as they know they will get my preference eventually.

    Preferential voting should be optional as it is in NSW. Rest assured LNP you wont be getting my preferences in the NSW State election.

  19. blogstrop

    No. A fish rots from the head down.

    I don’t think you can dismiss the effect of flaky members of cabinet if you are running a cabinet system properly, and not just as a rubber stamp for what the leader wants.

  20. Both the ALP and the Libs are facing identity crises right now. This can only be good for Australian politics – time to stand up and be counted.

  21. Ozgrandpooba

    Enough of commenting from the sidelines from me- have joined the IPA today and also made a good sized donation. Next step join FF. Wonder if they have a nsw operation. Will check website. Semper fi and get ready for a war of atrition folks. We’re going to battle our side mostly (sadly).

  22. Gibbo

    What are the alternatives really? Given a choice between Labor-Lite and Labor-Heavy I’m gunna choose lite.

  23. .

    I have long argued a true Liberal Party should have as one of its main goals a return to Pre-Whitlam Australia, especially in regard to ALL anti-discrimination laws, ALL government sponsored and funded multiculturalism and ALL taxpayer-funded “universal” health i.e. Medicare. Sure it is hard to get back there now, but surely it should be an ambition? Obviously there is much more to do other than just “Pre-Whitlamising” Australia, including a free labour market, but any step towards more individual freedom for all Australians is very worthwhile and must be taken.

    It ought to be the prime directive.

  24. Sinclair Davidson

    blogstrop – Abbott admitted this was his decision.

  25. Bruce of Newcastle

    News Ltd puts the boot in. Murdoch must read the Cat:

    THE groaning burden of buyer’s remorse has been acknowledged by the Abbott government, and the Prime Minister last week began steps to placate his political customers.

    With bonus terrifying photo of The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce. Shorten should hang a copy in his office.

  26. Badjack

    The ABC hate and despise Abbott because he is a Catholic. That type of hate is misguided.
    Liberals and conservatives are starting to despise Abbott because his Catholicism has him….
    turning his cheek to barbarians and appeasing them
    appeasing those who don’t believe in freedom of thought and speech
    appeasing the ‘leaners’ in our society by taking soft options on repairing our economy
    plus plus plus

  27. Badjack

    I missed the word ‘rightly’ …should be …rightly starting to despise Abbott.

  28. Driftforge

    Looking at this in a arbitrarily good light: Abbott is (un?)intentionally providing space on the right for a permanent, non-centrist right party to counter the presence of the Greens.

    Add in a couple of high profile defections in the senate to the LDP/FF…

  29. Enough of commenting from the sidelines from me- have joined the IPA today and also made a good sized donation.

    Welcome aboard, friend.

  30. deiseal

    I have donated to The Nationals in the past, handed out how to votes and put up Corflutes on my property. The next election I would give a large donation to either FF or the LDP if they run a candidate in either the state or federal elections. The combination of piss weak coalition governments in Victoria and Federally means we need to clean out the stables. If I wanted Labor I would have voted and donated to Labor.

  31. JohnA

    stackja #1412119, posted on August 11, 2014 at 10:28 am

    (And HB Bear)

    What’s the point of the [Liberal] party, then?

    It is not the ALP.

    Just give it enough time…

    …to change their name to the Australian Liberal Party :-)

  32. Dr. Sir Fred Lenin

    I have been calling the political parties ” the National Green Laboral Party” NGLP for a long time,its the old Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber syndrome.It is caused by politicians being careerists, school,uni,politics,retire young on a huge pension and a job gained as a bribe when yiu were in office. Cot them back to one term in a lifetime,voluntary voting of Taxpayers only ,and no preferences. Corruption punishable by life in hard labour.by life I mean 101 years a with no time off.

  33. 1234

    Suckers, the lot of you. Abbott has a track record. Before the election he would tell one group one thing and then the opposite to another. With all your ranting and raving against Gillard you lost track of what an unprincipled, lightweight, flip flopper Abbott is. Suck it up, you have been conned, like a majority of the electorate, and they don’t like it.

  34. blogstrop

    Did Abbott take the 18c decision against his entire cabinet, or is it split? How many in the cabinet are for more stringent action to correct the ABC, as opposed to those like Turnbull who don’t want to? Was the soft-but-pleases-nobody budget a team-endorsed tactic, or did Joe Hockey do it on his own?
    Howard’s fumbling of the succession wasn’t his alone. Plenty of mistakes have to be owned by the party. Wanting to just blame Abbott or Credlin might feel good and serve as a handy encapsulation of an attack, but it isn’t always that simple.

  35. blogstrop

    Suck it up, you have been conned

    The electorate was conned badly in 2007 and didn’t see through the bolshoi in 2010. As long as they are fed on it by the majority of the media they’ll be conned again.

  36. egg_

    News Ltd puts the boot in. Murdoch must read the Cat…

    “WHICH ONE’S THE ‘ANY’ KEY?”

    Pffft!

  37. Marion of the Glades

    Of course. And to those who’ve noted the tendency for self-serving and blatant indulgence (Kroger’s mention of election funding), let’s not forget that Abbott pushed the line that we need to fund the PARTY as well as the candidate! (I wonder who’s running his office then?)
    Time’s up. Bring on the Bishop and the new blood.

  38. Glynn

    You are wrong, Sinclair. With Labor courting the Muslim vote, how could the government proceed with changing 18c – it would be suicide at the next election. 18C has been around for many years, so why is it so wrong now? Because of the Bolt case? There is no way the Liberal Democrats would get loyal Liberal votes, only, by making a mistake at the polling booth, as happened at the last election – their policies are far too extreme.

  39. .

    With Labor courting the Muslim vote, how could the government proceed with changing 18c – it would be suicide at the next election.

    Surely there are more blue collar voters than there are easily offended Muslims?

    I see your point, but it isn’t a great strategy from the ALP.

  40. Helen

    Labour’s Muslim vote – there is only one seat, I believe that would go. Libs can easily afford that.

  41. Tim Neilson

    Do many Muslims actually vote Coalition? Are many likely to under any foreseeable circumstances? Or is this just another ultra-stupid attempt to placate people who want to hate and will keep on hating no matter what?

  42. David

    Love your gravatar Phillipa. Sure you are not a good Jewish girl?
    :-)
    Kol tuv

  43. Habib

    And the Mother In Law of Lightbulb Head has scored another gig on the public tit, as head of a taskforce on domestic violence. These bastards are harder to get rid of than herpes. Might work though, a poster campaign featuring a photo of the old bat, with text reading “if you beat your wife, she may wind up looking like this” couldd prove highly effective.

  44. Tintarella di Luna

    Labour’s Muslim vote – there is only one seat, I believe that would go. Libs can easily afford that.

    Yep And that guy won’t surrender it for anyone, he’s vehemently opposed to the moderation of 18c in any way and 15% of his constituency is Muslim which means 85% is not – do the sums you silly fellow and the stand you have taken will not endear you to the 85% and the 15% always vote Labor

  45. Petros

    Abbott was doing ok until the budget. Seriously, who advises these fools?

  46. who advises these fools?

    Brian Loughnane and his wife, Peta Credlin, as well as a restless, undead ectoplasm manifested from the disappointed spirits of John Hewson’s hopes and Andrew Peacock’s ambitions, Wile E. Coyote and, apparently, no one else.

  47. Greg James

    Imagine how I feel.

    I’m actually a member of the LDP, but at the last federal election I sort of held my nose and voted straight LNP because I didn’t want any rooting around with giving them a chance. I just wanted the pricks to have a straight run at things.

    And they get in with a whopping majority [albeit I accept there are issues in the Senate] – and then they proceed to stab their constituency in the back on nearly every fucking issue.

    Never again. That’s it for me and the LNP.

  48. goatjam

    It was interesting that in the (very short) list of things that Abbott/Liberals have not done was “Propose new freedom restricting legislation”. Apparently Bolt has either not heard of the proposed metadata laws or does not consider them “freedom restricting” in any form. Numpty.

  49. goatjam

    “With Labor courting the Muslim vote, how could the government proceed with changing 18c – it would be suicide at the next election. “

    If you think the Muslims in the 1 or 2 Labor held electorates were ever going to vote Liberal en masse then you are as deluded as, well, deluded as Tony Abbott is.

  50. goatjam

    “And they get in with a whopping majority [albeit I accept there are issues in the Senate] – and then they proceed to stab their constituency in the back on nearly every fucking issue.

    Never again. That’s it for me and the LNP”

    Hear hear.

  51. hammy

    It is not the ALP.

    At least the ALP has principles, something the Libs have never heard of.

  52. Paul

    “At least the ALP has principles, something the Libs have never heard of.”

    Comedy at last!

  53. Habib

    The ALP has principles, and if you don’t like them they have others.

  54. hammy

    I’m really gratified, however, that Catallaxy and its commenters have seen the light and have come over to my side of politics. Of course JC, Lizzie and others will never admit I’ve been correct all along.

  55. Blogstrop

    No majority in the senate.
    How would Morrison’s boat strategy have gone if itnhad to get through the senate?

  56. Petros

    We haven’t come over to your side, Hammy. You miss the point as leftards usually do.

  57. .

    Greg James
    #1412807, posted on August 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm
    Imagine how I feel.

    Like a slutty girl kicked out of bed with no cab fare from prince charming?

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