No doubt we should be grateful for small mercies. Malcolm is gone, although not gone all that far, and that is something. Scott Morrison is a step up, but lacks either gravitas or the charismatic glow. Perhaps we will be surprised, but I won’t be surprised if we’re not surprised. But he can win the next election and I most assuredly hope he does.
But what has been the most disturbing part of the day’s events were the 40 votes cast against the spill. It is possible the number was made up to save a bit of face for Malcolm. On the other hand, it really may reflect the attitudes within the party room. It would mean near enough half the Liberal Party is made up of Keynesian central planners who think they can spend our money better than we can, and who see themselves at the centre of the economy by dispensing billions towards their favourite projects. These same people wonder why productivity growth has come to a stop. Economic illiterates, but then most economists are as well. No idea how a decentralised economy causes growth almost without effort. They did it themselves under Peter Costello who made the economy hum by savage cuts to public spending and the easing of some of the burdens placed on businesses by governments. You can see the same result in the US right now, but no one here or there sees the cause and effect relationship between freer markets and economic prosperity.
The 40 votes against the spill also suggest that a large part of the party accept that global warming is such a major and pressing problem that it is worth wrecking our economy and our productive base to do what they can to ward off this phantom catastrophe. For myself, anyone who entertains this possibility at this late date is a credulous fool of the highest order, basically a simpleton without a shred of common sense. We sell our coal which gets burned up in a far more polluting way than if we used “clean coal” ourselves. And whether or not we stopped selling coal in an act of suicidal idiocy, the CO2 levels will do whatever they will do with our sacrifice or without. Meanwhile more and more Australians will freeze in the dark as the power bills go up.
The Libs plus the Nats remain better than Labor, and Morrison does at least have form in having stopped the boats and does apparently want to cut back on public spending. And all those folk who think letting Labor have a go while the Libs rejig themselves are the worst fantasists of all.
We must all live in hope, but as they say, hope is not a policy. We shall see.