Justinian the Great: A Seal in a Liberal Circus

No wonder Tony Abbott lost his job. He just doesn’t get it.

There will always be some Liberals who want the party to go further on climate change or be more compassionate on boatpeople. There will always be others to question turning the economy upside down when it won’t make any difference to emissions, and to caution against anything that might embolden the people-smugglers. It’s not a question of decency versus hardness of heart but of what really is the most ­humane thing to do. The leader’s job is to get the balance right.

 

It is not a question of balance. It’s a question of ideology.

You are either in the party of Menzies or you are not. The issues he raises entail zero sum policy / political choices.

There is no balance between doing more on climate change and lower electricity bills (no matter how many rent seekers lie to the contrary).

You are either for low cost energy or you are for emissions reductions. Experience shows can’t have it both ways (despite the utopian drivel we are constantly fed in the media).

You can have open borders and deaths at sea or sovereign borders by sending back boats and refusing refugees entry.

There can be no balance between sovereign borders and open borders, between false compassion and strong deterrence. It’s one or the other.

That Tony Abbott believes intrinsic political differences can be managed simply by a leader “striking a balance” within the party room is unbelievably naive and dumb.

This amounts in essence to a disunited / fractured government held together only by half pregnant policies right across the economic and social spectrum!

That is not leadership. Leadership is more than simply being a a seal in a circus balancing a ball on its nose.

It is not the leader’s job to reconcile the irreconcilable. It the leader’s job to get the big policy calls right and manage the politics.

Placating your enemies whether within or outside the political tent is simply a recipe for government paralysis and political suicide.

You would have thought Abbott might have learned a thing or two from being dumped by the Left wing of his own party. It would seem not.

Sadly (but predictably) Morrison believes he to can hang on being another seal in a Liberal circus.

Soon the ball will drop. The only question is when will the penny?

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54 Responses to Justinian the Great: A Seal in a Liberal Circus

  1. stackja

    Menzies faced Big Iron/Brisbane smears. TA faced the AGW scam. MSM are the problem.

  2. sabena

    “MSM are the problem”.
    Yes but they always have been-leadership has to be crafted around that.That means communicating to electors by as many means as possible.

  3. Senile Old Guy

    It is not the leader’s job to reconcile the irreconcilable. It the leader’s job to get the big policy calls right and manage the politics. Placating your enemies whether within or outside the political tent is simply a recipe for government paralysis and political suicide.

    This what Trump gets. Abbott won an election in the biggest landslide in recent history…and then caved in to the leftists in his own party. Who knows why he did it but they left wing media probably gave heart to the lefty Liberal MPs. That was the end of Abbott and the LNP. They turned to Lord Waffle and he promptly lost all of the seats Abbott had won, being “saved” by the Nationals picking up a seat. The rest is history.

  4. Megan

    A consise and accurate summary of the current state of affairs. We have no-one at all – across the political spectrum or MSM – with the leadership skills needed to prevent the quickening slide to disaster.

    Leadership is not and never will be a popularity contest. We forget that at our peril.

  5. stackja

    sabena
    #2852177, posted on October 30, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Menzies held public meetings. Today the leftists would invade and disrupt. Menzies would not be allowed on ABC. Social media is ruled by the left.

  6. Allen

    In any compromise between right and wrong, only wrong can prosper.

  7. stackja

    Senile Old Guy
    #2852178, posted on October 30, 2018 at 9:22 am

    ALP/leftists don’t want reconciliation. They want chaos.

  8. 1735099

    The binary black and white absolutionist nature of the material above is precisely why the Libs are in the mire.
    Menzies would be spinning in his grave.

  9. Terry

    Nuclear allows for reliable and cheap(-ish) energy with zero emissions.

    Coal allows for reliable and cheapest energy with some emissions (which are yet to be proven a problem of any consequence).

    Gas has a place for its flexibility, also cheap(-ish) and reliable.

    Hydro works well in the limited places we can deploy it but will only ever be a minor player here.

    Unreliables offer NOTHING but wealth transfers to rent-seekers. NOTHING.

    They exist only under the stench of corruption and subsidy.

    WTF are these people doing.

  10. Dr Fred Lenin

    I never thought of Abbott as a good leader ,he was good in debate against the gangrene socialist rabble and the recividist communist ranga and egotistical fool running the opportunist unionist party , but far too nice to the soft left who had infiltrated the liberals ,this enabled turnbull to Stab hm in the back ,Abbbott had ability but didn’t have enough bastard in him unlike turnulll who is all bastard and as he has always proven little abiiity . He did however ensure increased profits to his sons dodgy hedge fund and his own and Goldman Sachs Cayman island accounts . The liberals must be allowed to amalgamate with the union mafia their fellow travellers on the soros / u.n.communist global fascist dictatorship plan . We need a real non political patriotic organisation to totally reform the political system ,it has gone beyond redemption ,a total failure to the people it supposedly represents

  11. Baldrick

    The leader’s job is to get the balance right.

    This is the problem with the Stupid.Fucking.Liberal.Party. They try to appease everyone and end up pleasing no one.

    You’re elected by a majority of the electorate to implement a Conservative agenda, not appease Leftards in your Party.

    “The quantitative evidence is they (the Liberal base) don’t matter”, obviously still rings true in the Liberal Party.

  12. Iampeter

    I agree its about ideology but this post fails to identify what that is because of a common lack of comprehension of what politics is even about.
    Politics is about rights. You are either on the side of individual rights or a collectivist.
    An individualist (a right winger) is someone who would no more call for regulation of immigration than he would call for regulation of energy companies. To a right winger, the function of government is to protect rights not regulate peoples lives.
    The fact that Abbott (and conservatives in general) don’t understand this and end up calling for less regulation in energy but more in immigration, in a totally incoherent approach, speaks to their political illiteracy.
    What that means in practice is they end up increasing regulation across the board anyway.
    That’s why conservatives (including Abbott) built the green bureaucracy and middle class welfare, making their sudden, pretend opposition on these issues laughable.
    Without explicitly supporting individual rights, it can be no other way.

  13. Dr Fred Lenin

    Abbott had ability ,loook at the way he railroaded Hansen into jail for Howard , people said he didn’t have enough bastard in him ,ask Pauline about that . But there is no doubt turnbull is all bastard ,usually the way people who dailies in everything they do are , he did make lots of taxpayers mone for the rentseeking industry ,he his son and Goldman Sachs are heavily into ,profits untaxable . Morro appointing him to a rentseekers conference in Indonesia proves moos unfit for the job little failed suburban lawyers are never much good in politics ,just review the list of failures we have had in Australia . One good thing though ,they all end up very wealthy when they are thrown out .
    How about an RC into the wealth of retired politicians and public servants ,and the sources of it ?

  14. sabena

    Stackja 2852182:-
    Trump does it by tweeting-and it seems to be effective.

  15. Petros

    Baby boomers are not leaders. Worst generation ever.

  16. Fat Tony

    stackja
    #2852174, posted on October 30, 2018 at 9:17 am
    Menzies faced Big Iron

    Wasn’t that Pig Iron Bob?

  17. Fat Tony

    Petros
    #2852221, posted on October 30, 2018 at 10:07 am
    Baby boomers are not leaders. Worst generation ever.

    What about the so-called “Greatest Generation”? They started the Second World War, and their parents, the First World War.

    Need I mention Generation Snowflake??

  18. BREAKING: Tony Abbott is still a spineless cuck in a cheap suit.

    Oh wait that’s not breaking, we’ve known it for years now and yet still I hear people persisting that he is the great saviour and “if only the Libs would make him leader again everything will be great”.

    We really are an utterly retarded country. He’s a nice bloke but we don’t need nice blokes running the country. The stupid twat implemented half the left’s agenda for them, then got dumped for a lefty PM and has guaranteed at least two terms of Labor looting what remains of the country’s wealth.

    It’s difficult to tell whether Abbott or Gillard has done more to destroy Australia.

  19. candy

    It’s difficult to tell whether Abbott or Gillard has done more to destroy Australia.

    I don’t remember Ms Gillard stopping the boats and ensuring national security needs are met, Mr Rusty. lol.

  20. Pyrmonter

    This post epitomises the rank idiocy of so much of the ‘commentariat’.

    There is no balance between doing more on climate change and lower electricity bills (no matter how many rent seekers lie to the contrary).

    Um, no. There is ultimately a trade-off between CO2 output and energy price, but it is one that is encountered at the production possibility frontier between energy and CO2. But the effect of the policies of successive governments of both right and left is that we’re so far from that frontier that there are ‘free lunches’, or ‘low-hanging’ fruit available for any competent government to use to move us toward that frontier.

    First and foremost, the use of the LRET as an indirect carbon tax has lined the pockets of promoters and satisfied a small number of the smug but stupid voters interested in gesturing, but has been a very inefficient means of reducing CO2 output, one that is contrary to the ideas of environmental economics, accepted by almost every writer in the field whether of the left or right – that is, whether someone like Jonathan Porritt, or Greg Mankiw (or Posner, or Becker).

    For reasons of which pretty much any Cat reader should be aware, the way to ensure the lowest cost means of CO2 output reduction are used is to use some sort of price. Having decided to do so, the better approach is probably a tax rather than an ETS, but anything that sets the market into operation rather than the artificial command and control measures that provide for excellent studies in Public Choice, and terrible policy.

    It is time to accept that the electorate (rightly or wrongly) want something done about CO2 output, and to focus not on this nihilistic denial that any policy should be adopted, but to return to the policy framework adopted by the coalition from 1983 to 2004: markets work when they’re allowed to, and are the cheapest means of achieving any policy goal. Heavy-handed government interventions of the sort Abbott supervised are their antithesis, and fail. Repeatedly. It’s time the LPA drained the Warringah swamp and moved on; better to do so now, than wait for GetUp! to do it.

  21. stackja

    Fat Tony
    #2852231, posted on October 30, 2018 at 10:15 am
    stackja
    #2852174, posted on October 30, 2018 at 9:17 am
    Menzies faced Big Iron

    Wasn’t that Pig Iron Bob?

    Communist party used the term. Lazy reporters repeated it. Menzies was AG not PM. ALP picked up the term. Past lies still repeated. Why? I know, leftists rule.

  22. stackja

    TA did not create the AGW scam. TA stopped the boats. All the time MT was at work.

  23. candy

    I think what TA is writing here is a kind of support Scott Morrison piece, to bring the LNP together (enough) to win the next election and trust him to stay on the right path thereafter.

  24. candy

    Pyrmonter, do you hold a significant role in the GetUp organisation?

    How does GetUp “get rid” of someone whose policies they don’t like? I have a strong hunch how they will go about it, as I know they are rallying the Greens right now, but what are your thoughts?

  25. Mak Siccar

    You can have open borders and deaths at sea or sovereign borders by sending back boats and refusing country & welfare shoppers entry.

    FIFY.

  26. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Menzies faced Big Iron/Brisbane smears. TA faced the AGW scam. MSM are the problem.

    Menzies faced the accusations of the “Brisbane Line” smears. That policy was never even considered for the defence of Australia, let alone ever adopted.

  27. j.arimathea

    Where the hell is Cory Bernardi?

  28. Rusty of Qld

    Clive Palmer is the only one talking sense on the electricity scene, “scrap the Paris accord build coal fired power stations”. Could we do any worse than vote for Clive?

  29. jupes

    It is not the leader’s job to reconcile the irreconcilable. It the leader’s job to get the big policy calls right and manage the politics.

    Spot on Justinian.

    Good post.

  30. stackja

    Rusty of Qld
    #2852262, posted on October 30, 2018 at 10:52 am
    Clive Palmer is the only one talking sense on the electricity scene, “scrap the Paris accord build coal fired power stations”. Could we do any worse than vote for Clive?

    Bankruptcy disqualification?

  31. jupes

    Clive Palmer is the only one talking sense on the electricity scene, “scrap the Paris accord build coal fired power stations”. Could we do any worse than vote for Clive?

    This would be same Clive Palmer that had Al Gore announce his last energy policy.

  32. Pyrmonter

    @ Candy

    Pyrmonter is about as far politically from GetUp!’s form of left-populism as can be – a Hayek-quoting, Scott Sumner-consuming old-fashioned believer in free markets for free people. A middle aged, life-long Liberal who despairs of the party he joined before the end of the Cold War. One who campaigned hard for an Abbott government (twice) and was dismayed by the resulting product. He is also occasionally in touch with political reality; and the reality he saw working across Wentworth was a Liberal-voting ‘base’ that has contempt for the make-spaces and hacks of the parliamentary party. Anyone who thinks the lower north shore, or Melbourne’s eastern suburbs are ‘safe’; or reflect the mindset of Jones and Hadley needs to examine some of their basic understanding of politics. The Liberal voters expect better; and I fear that they may have in mind getting it by throwing the bums out first.

  33. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Price is a terrible indicator for, and controller of, CO2 output. Who is to measure that and who is to provide price certification? It’s open to so many rorts, and more to the point, it is totally unnecessary. So many half-pregnancies to be sold in that lot.

    Just declare pregnancy: we think CO2 issues are unproven as yet, unlikely to be as harmful as declared initially anyway, and we want a viable electricity supply: thus low-emissions coal-fired power will be the policy into the next fifteen or twenty years. End of story till then. That will fly.

    As for the ‘great demand for something to be done’ out there. That is dubious. I think most people would be happy for reassurance that the issue is nowhere near as pressing as it first appeared. Which is actually the truth of the matter.

  34. I don’t remember Ms Gillard stopping the boats and ensuring national security needs are met, Mr Rusty. lol.

    And I don’t remember Gillard promising to implement far-left policies then once in office slashing taxes, killing off the CAGW scam, reducing the size of Government, halting the p&do march through the schools and appointing conservatives to positions of power.

    The trouble with people like you is you’re enthralled by showcase policies.

    “Look over here! I stopped the boats! Please don’t turn around and look at the extra 12,000 ‘refugees’ we’re ushering in!”

    “Look over here! I repealed the carbon tax! Please don’t notice the legislation I’m introducing to sneak in a cap and trade scheme…or the fact your power bills are higher than ever!”

    “Look over here! I care about the welfare of children. Please cover your eyes as I implement the ‘Safe Schools’ program in our schools!”

    Can anybody actually name anything that Abbott implemented that improved our lives or was even vaguely small Government or conservative?

    Stopping the boats doesn’t count. Border protection is one of the core functions of Government, we shouldn’t be cheering and celebrating when a Government does it. In fact we should be investigating and prosecuting Governments that FAIL to do it, especially when the failure was so blatantly done on purpose. Anyway Molan and the military stopped the boats.

    So other than that, what? Name one thing Abbott did that resulted in one step right? Andrew Robb’s trade deals are about the only thing that I can think of and they might have had a small positive effect for the few exporters we still have.

    With the rise and rise and rise of Donald Trump how anyone can even look at Abbott and not laugh at his utter ineptitude and weakness or even consider him for anything more than backbench padding is deluded. This country HAS to get over it’s obsession with Abbott to move forward, he had an enormous chance and blew it so badly he has condemned the country to at least a decade of misery.

  35. manalive

    You are either in the party of Menzies or you are not …

    “ The functions of the State will be much more than merely keeping the ring within which the competitors will fight. Our social and industrial laws will be increased. There will be more law, not less; more control, not less (The Forgotten People Robert Menzies on 22 May, 1942).
    That speech looked to a post-war era when even conservatives envisioned a larger role for the State that Menzies in power did apply.
    But it was his opposition to the bank nationalisation plans and the implications of further socialisation of the economy by the Chifley government that won Menzies the 1949 election.
    Today’s equivalent, energy policy i.e. dropping Paris not tinkering at the edges, would do it for Morrison.

  36. Dr Faustus

    The Broad Church concept may once have had some relevance when the differences between members of the congregation were issues of degree, not fundamental direction.

    No amount of leadership is going to help trying to herd conservatives along with evangelical climate disasteratii and social activists who are only associated with the Liberal Party because they don’t want to get down with bad-mannered scruffy-people and do the full socialism thing.
    The average of ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ is never going to be good policy for the majority – no matter who is kicking the can.

  37. candy

    True enough the Broad Church might be irrelevant now as voters seek strength and reliability (to my mind), but it looks as if Scott Morrison is giving it one last go before the election. Malcolm Turnbull lost a lot of seats though on the Broad Church concept, the A Man For All Seasons persona he liked about himself.

  38. Pyrmonter

    @ Lizzie

    By all means, the catastrophisers exaggerate. On both sides. Advanced economies do not depend on CO2 output in the way they did in 1973, or in 1923: one of the great benefits of markets is that we have repeatedly discovered better ways of economising on resource inputs – that, after all, is the secret to long run economic growth. That’s why we should have a single, transparent, general policy measure, rather than the byzantine set of inconsistent virtue signals established under Howard, massively expanded under Rudd and Gillard, and lightly pruned under Abbott. Frankly, Turnbull’s FEG would have been an improvement, which says little about Turnbull and much about the mess he inherited.

  39. Viva

    I think what TA is writing here is a kind of support Scott Morrison piece, to bring the LNP together (enough) to win the next election and trust him to stay on the right path thereafter.

    IMO this is also the motive behind today’s Oz editorial which supports Abbott’s thesis re a personality over a policy problem in the coalition.

  40. Herodotus

    More slogans needed.
    It’s a Great Big Scam On Everyone.
    Collective Madness Creates Veneztralia.
    Dishonest Media Kills Free Speech.
    Dishonest Media Hearts AGW.
    Discrimination In Immigration Is Essential.
    Liberal No Longer Means Conservative.

  41. stackja

    Meanwhile ALP lies and prospers.

  42. Confused Old Misfit

    Without CO2 we’d all be dead.

  43. Herodotus

    Did Howard really have any option, given the media storm, apart from trying to sell modest reduced emissions while not really knuckling under to Kyoto?

  44. Confused Old Misfit

    Tony Abbott was ineffectual as a leader. He failed to deliver on his promise and promises. Since I arrived in Australia in ’81 the only politician who has even appeared to actually lead was Hawke. I suspect my recollections are in error. The rest, of either stripe, have appeared served more to distribute the spoils of power for the pleasure of their respective party colleagues.

    And where indeed is Cory Bernardi?

  45. Big_Nambas

    No hope, repeat after me, no hope, no hope…………………..
    Scomo is just Turnbull dressed as a turkey.
    Get ready for 3 terms of Labor resulting in much higher taxes and national debt well over a trillion dollars.

  46. jupes

    The Liberal Party is now liberal in the American sense of the word.

    On the bright side it ends any confusion when our Seppo friends come visiting.

  47. Big_Nambas

    Cory Bernadi is putting together a team to try and have control of the Senate, I for one hope he succeeds.

  48. Confused Old Misfit

    Big_Nambas
    #2852328, posted on October 30, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Cory Bernadi is putting together a team to try and have control of the Senate, I for one hope he succeeds.

    I too hope he succeeds. But to succeed he needs to have some visibility and to my mind it appears that he is either naturally inclined or is being advised to be quiet and gentle and reasonable so as not to spook the “middle of the road” or “undecided” voter.
    Recent events overseas should have disabused any objective observer of the effectiveness of that tactic. The Australian electorate will respond to strongly stated small “c” conservative positions that reflect their concerns.

  49. Percy Popinjay

    Can anybody actually name anything that Abbott implemented that improved our lives or was even vaguely small Government or conservative?

    I nearly asked Abbott that very question a couple of weeks ago at the Wentworth Gliberal forum, although I was going to add “you are approaching the most important election in this country’s history since the Whitless disaster – when is the government going to finally implement some sensible conservative policies instead of implementing labor’s and the greenfilth’s for them?”

    Abbot was spectacularly lacklustre at that forum and so I’m presuming the editorial is simply a reflection of what he tried to pass off to the audience there. On the bright side, we now know what was in Taylor’s “groundbreaking announcement on securing the energy grid” – even more of the unrelenting idiocy and anti-scientific gerbil worming catastrophism that’s got us into this utterly dire position in the first place.

    The Gliberal Party is a shambling zombie corpse. Time go all Michonne on it’s rotting arse.

  50. .

    Cory should stop hanging around the Liberal Party.

    I’m an outside observer and I’m curious why some of the AC members aren’t more angry about this.

  51. Percy Popinjay

    Yikes – apostrophe fail – apologies all.

  52. A Lurker

    Social media is ruled by the left.

    It’s why I call it Socialist Media.

  53. Rusty of Qld

    stackja,jupes,
    Clives only going to take us where all the other idiots are heading (oblivion), so lets get there quicker, without a bullshit carbon scam and die laughing.

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