That is why you fail

Classic words from Master Yoda to Luke Skywalker when expressing doubts as to his belief system.

On the same note Tim Andrews in The Spectator:

In attempting to court the soft left vote, May violated a cardinal rule of politics: When you cede the intellectual argument to your opponents and play on their turf, you will always lose as a result. Not only are they much better at it than you are, voters will always choose the ‘real deal’ to the pretender.

The solution?

So called “moderates” have consistently argued the necessity of being “pragmatic”. Yet history has demonstrated time and time again that this is a failing strategy. The conviction politics of Thatcher, Reagan, Howard won resounding electoral success. The attempts to pitch to the left have consistently failed.

Rather than being in conflict, the principled is the pragmatic. We have the ideas that have been proven time and time again to not only work, but to win. They connect deeply with the core values in our national psyches, with the disenchantment of governments, and will resonate with electorates. It is time someone in our political classes remembered this and actually gave them a go.

RTWT.

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48 Responses to That is why you fail

  1. C.L.

    So called “moderates” have consistently argued the necessity of being “pragmatic”. Yet history has demonstrated time and time again that this is a failing strategy. The conviction politics of Thatcher, Reagan, Howard won resounding electoral success. The attempts to pitch to the left have consistently failed.

    Rather than being in conflict, the principled is the pragmatic. We have the ideas that have been proven time and time again to not only work, but to win. They connect deeply with the core values in our national psyches, with the disenchantment of governments, and will resonate with electorates. It is time someone in our political classes remembered this and actually gave them a go.

    This goes against your own Turnbull support, Sinclair.
    Yes?

  2. struth

    C.L.

    This goes against your own Turnbull support, Sinclair.
    Yes?

    Exactly.
    You knew he was a lefty when you threw your support behind him.

  3. Craig Mc

    I’d say it’s good advice for Malcolm, but he sincerely is a useless twat. He’s not pretending.

  4. Roger

    The trouble is that we have a political class that doesn’t recognise the importance of standing on principle anymore, but whose only objective is winning power.

    They have mistaken the means for the end.

  5. cui bono

    Couldn’t agree more with the post.
    Most of today’s parliamentary Libs think the centre is all about pragmatism, not ideology.
    Yet it is ideology, principles and values that an inherently conservative Australian electorate are actually looking for. The Tampa election is an exemplar.
    The Turnbull Team will interpret the British election as more proof ‘we need to govern for the centre’. Bill Shorten is safe with his irresponsible pitch to the left.

  6. Roger

    Why else would the Liberal Party dump Abbott for Turnbull?

    Only to retain power at the expense of a leader who, while far from perfect, at least maintained some principled convictions.

    I don’t recall you being on the right side at the time, Sinc. Perhaps you’ve learned since?

  7. RobK

    Once you’ve soiled your copy book it becomes more difficult to appear principled. Core values are not a movable feast. Other than that, I think its sound advice from Yoda and Sinc.

  8. Motelier

    Soooooo, is Mal still PM and leader of the SFL?

  9. RobK

    SFL? Is that like compact fluorescents lights?

  10. Pyrmonter

    CL and struth – so you’d prefer that paragon of neoliberal virtue Abbott? He who blocked foreign investment, and increased income tax?

  11. H B Bear

    Waffleworth’s belief system extends only to his own genius. Unfortunately a number of bedwetters fell into it also.

  12. JC

    Sinclair

    Voters understand only one thing – money handed to them. They don’t care nor give a rats about wealth creation. With a 50/50 split in the electorate where half the population is loading off the other threatening them with a pointed gun, 2 million government workers … appealing to good sense doesn’t work anymore.

  13. Roger

    He who blocked foreign investment, and increased income tax?

    I, for one, would prefer he hadn’t done those things, but they could be relatively easily set aside by a government directed by principle over expediency.

    Destroying the economy through a price on carbon and undermining the Australian iteration of Western, liberal culture through indiscriminate immigration and loss of control of the borders are more fundamental errors that are probably impossible to rectify.

  14. struth

    Pyrmonter, they can all bite me.
    The liberals are dead to me, Tony Abbott included.

    He is just a little right of the U.N. socialist hack, Turn coat.

    Not good enough by a long shot.

  15. Art Vandelay

    Theodore Dalrymple also with some cutting observations:

    Theresa May has proved an apt pupil of the David Cameron school of political incompetence. Lacking principle, she is not even good at being unprincipled: a Machiavellian, it turns out, minus the cunning.

    It did not help that she had the charisma of a carrot and the sparkle of a spade. As she presented herself to the public, no one would have wanted her as a dinner guest, except under the deepest social obligation. Technically, she won the election, in the sense that she received more votes than anyone else, but few voted for her with enthusiasm rather than from fear of the alternative. Her disastrous campaign included repeated genuflections in the direction of social democracy. Even after her defeat, moral if not quite literal, she burbled about a society in which no one was left behind—never mind that it would entail a society in which no one would be out in front, that is to say, a society resting in the stagnant pool of its own mediocrity.

    Unfortunately, egalitarianism is a little like Islam in that, just as a moderate Muslim can always be outflanked by someone more Islamic than he, so an egalitarian can usually be outflanked by someone more egalitarian than he: and in the contest between the Conservatives and the Labour Party, no one will ever believe that the Conservatives are more devoted to equality of outcome than the Labour Party. May therefore chose her battleground with a perfect eye for defeat.

    Substitute ‘May’ for ‘Turnbull’ and you’ve got an accurate assessment of the Liberal Party’s failures too.

  16. Dr Fred Lenin

    All of our current problems are down to career politicians all of them ,islamofascist terrorism massive debt huge interest bills sucking taxpayers money into th maws pf greedy moneylenders to the detriment of all .huge numbers of dysfunctional migrants on welfare , even your electricity bill is down to them . change the system before we become a third rate province of the u.n.communist dictatorship,.

  17. When I heard that an election wasn’t required for another three years (is this correct?), I couldn’t believe how arrogant and stupid it was to call a snap election. Those three years should have been used to make good and prove everyone on the Left wrong. What is it with today’s politicians?

  18. Nerblnob

    The centre is a moving target, defined by the edges.

    If trying to capture “the centre” means moving to the left, the centre then moves to the left.

  19. Nerblnob

    You’re correct, bemused. A lot of people just angry at May for making it four years of referenda and elections by calling this.

  20. Fleeced

    The conviction politics of Thatcher, Reagan, Howard won resounding electoral success. The attempts to pitch to the left have consistently failed.

    The problem with current lot, is even when they pitch to the right, I don’t believe them. They call themselves conservatives, but their actions often seem almost a caricature of what they think conservatives want to believe. One that isn’t far removed from what lefties construct as a straw-man.

    Of course, most of the time they don’t bother even with that, and will call themselves centrists. But they stand for little. They’ve been concentrating on “brand” and “signals” and whatnot for so long, that they have no core of their own. They are all empty suits.

    Given the horrible choices the UK had on offer, this is arguably the best they could have hoped for: Conservatives returned to government, yet still beaten.

  21. RobK

    Nerbl,
    I like that-” the center is defined by the edges.”

  22. H B Bear

    Another quote from Art Vandelay’s link at 4.13pm,

    This [Corbyn’s] proposal overlooked the fact that the top 1 percent of earners already pay almost three times as much in income tax as the bottom 50 percent combined, and also the fact that wealth is dynamic rather than static, resembling more closely the bloom of a grape than a cake to be sliced. Taxes on capital (in other words, state expropriation) were Corbyn’s obvious next step, with capital flight the equally obvious consequence.

    As John Constantine routinely notes, taxes on capital are the next stage in the growth of government. With decades of Keynesian mis-allocation of resources reducing economic and income growth to a trickle (outside the walled garden of the government sector itself) de facto or actual capital appropriation is the next line of attack.

  23. incoherent rambler

    The libs have had their “May” moment at the last election.

    Next step is electoral obliteration.

    Not a bad thing.

  24. Texas Jack

    Amazing that people are still unwilling to call time on the Liberal Party. The corpse has been rotting in the swamp since at least Abbott, probably longer. The whole broad church thing is a big con. The sooner the remaining Liberal conservatives band together with Bernardi the better. He’s the only one willing to tell it like it needs to be told.

  25. alexnoaholdmate

    No, it doesn’t speak out against Sinc’s support for Turnbull, guys.

    Maybe it’s time we accepted it and moved on – this is the Turnbull Sinclair wanted in the first place.

  26. alexnoaholdmate

    Dalrymple is right.

    If you’re going to be unprincipled and scheming, then at least do it properly. Otherwise, where did it get you?

    As my avatar says in my favourite film, “I don’t mind a parasite; I object to a cut-rate one.”

  27. alexnoaholdmate

    Or, from another equally magnificent film: “It profit a man nothing if he gain the whole world and lose his soul – but for Wales, Rich?”

  28. cath

    that is why tony abbott failed too. ceded ground and tried to curry favour with the left. Abandoned and let down his the people who voted for him. crazy stuff. give them the old one-two a la andrew bolt, and keep walking.

  29. Sinclair Davidson

    This goes against your own Turnbull support, Sinclair.
    Yes?

    I din’t support Turnbull against Abbott because he is/was pragmatic. I supported Turnbull because he would replace Abbott; and win the election. If Abbott had been more principled he would still be PM.

  30. Roger

    I supported Turnbull because he would replace Abbott; and win the election.

    Because winning is what matters, not what you do with the power won, eh?

    Look, I’m prepared to be philosophical; Maladroit is a lesser evil compared to Shorten, chiefly because the right wing of the SFL can keep him on a reasonably tight leash. But what exactly has he accomplished that is an improvement on Abbott? Not that Abbott is the gold standard, but at least he got rid of the carbon tax and restored border sovereignty. He has expressed his own regrets about his failures on 18C, which still stands under Turnbull. Hey, at least Abbott can admit mistakes!

  31. Sinclair Davidson

    Roger – I’m a firm believer in punishment for the wicked. Abbott raised taxes and did nothing about 18c.

  32. Rev. Archibald

    No one has or will do anything about 18C.
    Your choice Malcolm put forward a change he knew wouldn’t get up. And it didn’t.
    We are stuck with it until the end.
    Hurry up end, and come.

  33. RAZOR

    Abbott raised taxes and did nothing about 18c.

    The 18c bit is what really disgusts me about Tony. (Though I still think he is the far better choice)

    18c negates the most important foundation stone in democracy. All other freedoms leach out from the freedom of speech.

    So Tony failed badly on this but Mal has done no better. And maybe Tony would have eventually realised that Freedom of speech is the core definition of a Liberal.

  34. alexnoaholdmate

    Both men promised to do something about 18C.

    Both men failed.
    One of those men has since abandoned all principles – if he ever had any in the first place – and destroyed the Liberal Party. It lost every seat of its majority at the last election, and will lose the next one catastrophically.

    It will then spend a decade in the wilderness while Labor destroys the country.

    So – was it worth it?

  35. Robber Baron

    Let’s do some plain talking.

    All politicians act in their own interests.

    Bernardi jumped ship because he was going to be so far down the Senate ballot he would have struggled to get re-elected under the Liberal party banner. He can survive as an independent branding himself as a true conservative.

    The other conservatives such as George Christensen will only jump if their chances of re-election are better as an independent. They must first have a long-established brand, otherwise its going to cost them a lot of money for advertising and the ABC/Fairfax/Facebook/Twitter/Google ain’t going to give them any time or space.

    The Liberals in the HOR know that unless you have a really big personal vote, you have no chance of being elected as an independent. Somehow Green mutants are a chance as evidenced by McGowan in Indi, Wilkie in Denison, and Katter in Kennedy. All variants of green big government sludge. No one will vote for any conservative free-market capitalist party advocating for smaller government. Just as one poster wrote earlier, its all about money for you vote.

    Let’s face it. Australia is becoming a Eurabian country, but stuck in arse-end of Asia, with no hope of change.

  36. alexnoaholdmate

    As I said above, guys – we need to get over the idea that Sinc backed the wrong horse and is ruing his mistake.

    He isn’t – he believes Malcolm’s doing a good job.

    A couple of the normal disappointments you get with politics sure, but nothing to make him reconsider his opinion.

    When we talk about how the conservative/Libertarian side of politics has lost its way, we need to remember – we’re doing so on the blog of an academic who believes the Liberal are, by and large, doing a bang-up up job.

  37. Robber Baron

    alexnoaholdmate
    #2408696, posted on June 10, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    So – was it worth it?

    Malcolm became PM. It was his life’s ambition and he achieved it. Bugger everyone else!

    Billy McMahon was so incompetent he made Whitlam seem a plausible PM. 45 years later, we have history repeating with Turnbull making Shorten seem plausible. We learn nothing from history.

  38. Tintarella di Luna

    Abbott raised taxes and did nothing about 18c.

    And Turnbull raised taxes even more, attacked superannuation and did even less about 18c

  39. .

    jtfsoon was wise to hide you from Turnbull, Sinc.

    Join us and together we can destroy the emperor!

  40. Tintarella di Luna

    Turnbull was NEVER going to do ANYTHING about 18C because it would have displeased the luvvies

  41. John constantine

    Green Stalinist independents get to draw on the billion dollar a year ABC.

    In rural areas, ABC funding your campaign with free advertising on the leading media is priceless, as is the ABC doing your press releases for you and crushing your opponents with whatever gotcha will work.

    Examples like ex ABC Libby price and get gotcha on Mirabella violence towards saint Cathy that may go through the courts, but the election is over.

  42. Norman Church

    But those nasty conservative ideals are not shared by anybody that one meets in Canberra or at dinner parties hosted by achingly right-on doctors’wives. I simply don’t understand how this can be right (sarc).

  43. Slayer of Memes

    Abbott raised taxes and did nothing about 18c. Abbott raised taxes and did nothing about 18c.

    And Turnbull raised taxes even more, attacked superannuation and did even less about 18c

    Not to mention signed Australia up to the Paris Climate Accords, which Abbott has staunchly opposed…

    But hey, Potential Greatness and all that, amirite Sinc?

  44. Faye

    “Roger – I’m a firm believer in punishment for the wicked. Abbott raised taxes and did nothing about 18c.”
    Boy, what punishment awaits Turnbull? Turnbull has decimated the Liberal Party and is on his way to decimate Australia but is too dumb to realize what he is doing.

  45. Combine Dave

    One of those men has since abandoned all principles – if he ever had any in the first place – and destroyed the Liberal Party. It lost every seat of its majority at the last election, and will lose the next one catastrophically.

    It will then spend a decade in the wilderness while Labor destroys the country.

    So – was it worth it?

    If it means more votes for LDP from the failure of the LNP than yes?

  46. Combine Dave

    jtfsoon was wise to hide you from Turnbull, Sinc.

    Join us and together we can destroy the emperor!

    No chance of a return – Return of the Jedi style?

  47. candy

    Don’t fret, Prof. D.

    Malcolm Turnbull is an urbane polished and socially gracious gentleman.
    With the tax on banks, giving Catholic schools a bad name, and getting rid of coal, and soon legislating SSM, he appeals to many many people.
    It’s pragmatic and Newspoll should soon be good for him and all be well.
    I think they are all irksome policies with potential for harm (especially getting rid of coal mines) for a good conservative government but obviously government has done the numbers, the surveys and these are the policies they believe will make them loved.

  48. Robbo

    Politicians who stand for nothing, or alternatively fail to maintain strong support for their beliefs will always end up losers, and rightly so. What a pity it is that we have so many of these weak bastards in our various parliaments right now. It seems that the only strong political leader in Australia right now is Daniel Andrews. He stands up for his beliefs, idiotic though they may be, and he should at least be given credit for that. On the other side of the political divide, State and Federal, right and left, they are about as fearless and resolute as a piece of cooked pasta.

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