Dislocated Albo

Very little about Australian politicking – distinguishing that from affairs of state – interests me these days. In my adolescence I became a politics tragic. That probably had something to do with the aggressively delineated sides that existed in the later days of the Bjelke-Petersen government. As just one example: when the militant Electrical Trades Union went on strike in 1985 over the Premier’s move to privatise some of the work customarily done by the old, Brezhnevian SEQEB, schoolyard debates were common. Boys took sides, much as they did about Ford versus Holden after the Bathurst 1000 (and with as much expertise). They argued the case they’d heard their fathers make at the kitchen table. Joh was either a god or the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.

Fast forward many years to the ouster of Tony Abbott. After that, the old zeal for daily political battles, for red meat brawls in Question Time, for adherence to a side … that all died. It should have died earlier; one of my regrets is that I ever backed John Howard’s war in Afghanistan or his cynical, socialist use of the treasury to buy middle class voters. Howard was cut too much slack for too long by either immovable loyalists or proponents of that most hackneyed of saws: Labor would be worse. Anyway, Malcolm Turnbull’s rise signified to many on the right that Australian politics was no longer Brock versus Moffat. The drivers were all on the same team and the contest had become a noisy, meaningless race staged only for the credulous dummies still watching.

Which brings me to Anthony Albanese – or will do after one more detour. There is no better analysis of the strange takeover of the National Party by rainbow leftists – by wokels, if you will – than Paul Collits’ at Quadrant last week. Former leader John Anderson is quoted noting his old party is now well to the left of the Liberals on ‘social’ issues – to the extent that his wife and long-time fellow member Julia would be highly unlikely to join its ranks today. The Andersons’ dismay about the Nationals’ pseudo-urbane conversion to virtue-signaling is identical to that of lifelong Liberals who lost the fire when Abbott was axed.

And so to Albo. The arc wasn’t for arc’s sake. Because the only thing that does interest me about contemporary politics is why Anthony Albanese has failed to become dominant against Scott Morrison. That’s because he seemed unbeatable as a potential Leader of the Opposition if only he could have taken the job from Bill Shorten – which, per new party rules, he couldn’t. He was the man most likely if only he could become the man most likely. Albanese is likeable enough, persistent, self-deprecating and possesses the stolid-but-humane savvy of a poor Sydney boy made good that cannot be faked. Years ago, blogger Mark Bahnisch observed that Albanese looked and sounded like a Labor pol from the 1940s – in a good way. It was true.

Most people thought the Labor caucus and party members made a mistake giving Shorten a narrow 52 percent win against Albanese in the October 2013 leadership ballot. The scepticism was spectacularly vindicated when Shorten was given a Hewson-esque heave-ho in May. I don’t believe for a minute that ill-considered policies on negative gearing, franking credits and renewable energy were responsible for the loss. They didn’t help, certainly. No, I think Scott Morrison is simply a gifted retail politician whose happy-go-lucky persona – combined with an almost Hawke-like self-confidence and believability on the hustings – completely blindsided Shorten who, by comparison, came across to voters as a flustered roo-in-the-headlights. Another plus for Morrison is that he is the first party chief since Bill Hayden and the first prime minister since John Gorton who seems like he could be entirely happy, and entirely himself, if he had to leave office. Voters like that. Homely and sane in The Lodge is a big cultural change after nearly 40 years of sociopathic entitlement wars.

Several important questions arise out of Morrison’s ascendancy and Albanese’s stasis. First, does the prime minister’s win (and Gladys Berejiklian’s) mean that the left-ward tilt of the LNP has finally worked as a generational, Labor-busting triangulation? Were the now dominant Wets right to retreat from the old “battlelines” and the last warrior standing at them? Are the Nationals onto something, electorally, by pairing Tim Fischer’s Akubra with Don Dunstan’s pink shorts? Is it, in fact, the LNP’s home-brand of boof-headed dad-woke – spiced with occasional Stalinist excess by Berejiklian – that has left Albanese flummoxed? I would answer (in the voice of Dibley’s Jim Trott): no, no, no, yes.

The trouble for triangulators is that they can eventually be be triangulated and a simple, unexpected shift in personality politics can be enough to start the process. Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd – like Scott Morrison – are examples. Who they were and how they came across changed everything immediately. Hawke’s masterful colonisation of economics discourse and Rudd’s ability to create a market for his trifecta of fake – fake expiation, fake consultation and fake catastrophe – bamboozled the Coalition for years. Principles can be drudgery but insisting on them and standing by them serve the interests of a political party (and the nation) far better in the long run. The Wets and the wokels shouldn’t get too cocky. At this moment, however, Labor’s parliamentary leader is no longer able to pick easy fruit off the old Tory sideboard. The hitherto reliable “social issue” differentiators have been largely neutralised by the LNP’s capitulations. That only leaves the class war blunderbuss in Labor’s gun safe; it still has Bill Shorten’s bloody hand-print smudged on the stock.

To break free of triangulated no man’s land, Albanese has only one option: policy. There is no return possible to the consensus governance of Hawke and Kelty, nor to the phony GFC emergency of Rudd and Swan, nor to the Emily’s List culture trolling of Julia Gillard. Those days are gone. Albanese faces textbook full employment, a budget in surplus, record low interest rates, popular consensus on sovereign borders and a dwindling appetite for ultraism on renewable energy even in Labor’s ranks. Those are not rich pickings. Wage growth, tax cuts, the immigration Ponzi, housing affordability, the crisis in Australian education, tax cuts and supply-side economic reform – these are the policy start-ups Albanese has to invest in. A hard and possibly lonely slog, it will mean standing over the Kim Carr-led neanderthals of the left, the climate fanatics, the teachers’ unions and the zombie Keynesians predicting imminent meldown and demanding deficits to forestall it. Can Albanese do anything like this? I hope so. It would be good for the country to have the LNP’s expediency exposed and a revival of Labor sanity inaugurated. But does he even want to do anything like this? That I don’t know. Nobody else does either – which, at this stage, is the essence of his problem.

This entry was posted in Federal Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Dislocated Albo

  1. BorisG

    Class wars are easier to pursue and less dangerous.

  2. Zyconoclast

    Albonese is a citizenship fraud.

    Slomo should have referred him to the HC and try and have him removed from Parliament.

    Anthony Albanese told the ABC’s 730 program a lot more about his family than he’s disclosed on his citizenship declaration

  3. BorisG

    Why would socialists pursue conservative policies ?

  4. billie

    another one who wanted the top job but doesn’t know what to do with it

    like Gillard, another hollow person who they thought would work because they are a good parliamentry performer .. in other words, an abusive d*ckhead

  5. Tom

    A splendid read, CL.

    This is type of analysis I would like to see at the Paywallian, which barely interests me these days, even though I maintain a subscription (mostly for easy access to Leak junior’s weekly ‘toons). It’s a pity The Australian is no longer a newspaper as it has found breaking stories beyond it and now sees itself as a retailer of mostly non-leftwing talking points (even though 90%+ of its staff are rabid lefties at war with the paper’s conservative readership).
    .
    CL would be a ideal replacement for the Oz’s “editor at large” Paul Kelly, whose tired old Labor-aligned blinkography stopped being interesting when the Hawke-Keating regime was deposed by Howard. The Oz’s token investigative reporter, Hedley Thomas, has gone AWOL, presumably shedding long service leave, and hasn’t written anything for more than a year.

    Because the Oz is still relying on Paul Kelly for its world view, it hasn’t applied any intelligent analysis to Australian politics since the 1990s: It sleep-walked through the Howard and R-G-R regimes and still hasn’t come to terms with the rise of Morrison, which CL tackles so well in this post.

    Thank you, CL. I’m very glad you’ve decided to start writing more. It’s a shame there aren’t more of you in Australian journalism.

  6. Rafe Champion

    Thanks CL that deserves an essay in reply. Would you like to tell us briefly why you stopped writing on your own site years ago? The days of Lavertus Vomitus and the presiding genius Mark Bahnisch what has become of him.
    Ah the memories….trailing off to incohent mumbling…

  7. Herodotus

    I’d like to know what part you reckon the mugger twins Setka and McManus played in Labor’s defeat.
    Rudd was very aware that the union movement had to be neutralised as a bad look in the lead up to 2007.
    Shorten and Co. had no such awareness while bully boy and marxist wongalike did their stuff.

  8. Mater

    Great work, CL. Thanks.

    As for this:

    completely blindsided Shorten who, by comparison, came across to voters as a flustered roo-in-the-headlights

    I think there was a bit more to it.
    I had male CFMEU acquaintances tell me that they didn’t think we could afford a Shorten Government at the moment (which I reported here at the Cat at the time). So I think policies had a reasonably significant effect, especially in sections of the community which Labor should have owned.
    As for the female vote, when describing Shorten, not one of my female acquaintances failed to use the word “smarmy”. Some of them had no idea about the policy offerings, but all said that Shorten sent a chill up their spines. Is Albo any better?
    Modern politics, such as it is.

  9. Iampeter

    They argued the case they’d heard their fathers make at the kitchen table.

    Not to be rude, but that’s pretty much still the level here at the cat and in general anyway. Political discourse is rock bottom.

    Howard was cut too much slack for too long by either immovable loyalists or proponents of that most hackneyed of saws: Labor would be worse.

    Howard was NOT cut too much slack. Howard and his supporters were simply politically illiterate. So no one knew what policies to support or implement or not and why. As a result Howard implemented a far left agenda of building the environmentalist bureaucracy, weapon buy backs, middle class welfare and none of you knew to oppose it because you had no idea then and you have no idea now.
    That’s why today you guys can write serious articles talking about those “leftists” and their environmentalist agenda, utterly oblivious to your own culpability in this mess.

    Malcolm Turnbull’s rise signified to many on the right that Australian politics was no longer Brock versus Moffat. The drivers were all on the same team and the contest had become a noisy, meaningless race staged only for the credulous dummies still watching.

    Incorrect. It was the Howard government that made it clear that the “drivers were all on the same team.”
    But conservatives were “credulous dummies” even then. By the time we reached Turnbull it was waaayyy too late for you guys to be figuring it out. In fact, you didn’t figure it out. If Turbnull was more anti-immigrant, or anti-abortion, or had some other random position on an issue conservatives approve with no understanding of politics, you would’ve supported a leftist like Turnbull just like you did Howard.

    Former leader John Anderson is quoted noting his old party is now well to the left of the Liberals on ‘social’ issues

    LOL this is what I mean. Many issues conservatives regard as “social,” as if any issue in politics is not social, and the positions they take are the actual left wing positions. For example, being anti-same sex marriage, anti-abortion, etc are LEFT WING positions. They are on the same side as the people who would force a Christian church to conduct a same sex marriage, or force you to pay for their abortion.
    Properly determining what left wing or right wing means in politics requires a more fundamental understanding of the subject than just random positions you hold for random reasons. Non-political reasons.
    Politics is about individualism vs collectivism and not anything else. Those who advocate for individual rights and rights-protecting government are “right wing.” These are the people who support capitalism and would never regulate any activity that doesn’t violate rights.
    But I know that none of these terms are even understood by conservatives let alone supported.
    Instead you guys use the term “right wing” to describe a bunch of religious, traditionalist collectivists, which represents the other side of the same coin as those you call “the left.” Not a political alternative to the left.

    IMO until you’ve started figuring these fundamentals out your analysis of “Albo” is going to be as wrong as it has been of Howard and Turnbull and the Nationals.

    The issue with politics today is that even the adults are discussing it like children in a schoolyard.

  10. notafan

    I too think policy had something to do with it.

    Are leader characteristics so dominate in Australia?

    I never once looked at Morrison or Shorten on TV or listened to them on radio.

    I was Labor til the 1990s at least, so not like I am rusted on.

  11. Rafe Champion

    Sifting policies through the test of individualist vs collectivist a great move. And ditch the label rightwing for the good side.

  12. Old School Conservative

    Kenneally is auditioning for Labor’s top job with her unilateral policy announcements which Albo knows nothing about.
    Albo’s policy dearth leaves a gap which KK wants to fill.

  13. Mater

    Politics is about individualism vs collectivism and not anything else. Those who advocate for individual rights and rights-protecting government are “right wing.”

    I don’t disagree. But politics is the art of the possible. I would add also, “the practical”.
    Your definition of “rights” makes it practically impossible for a government to protect them.

    As Solzhenitsyn said of the West:

    “The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals…When a government starts an earnest fight against terrorism, public opinion immediately accuses it of violating the terrorist’s civil right. There are many such cases”

    You’ve stated that it is an inalienable right for people to immigrate any where they choose. You did caveat that by saying unless they “are a criminal”. How do you practically achieve this? Which code of law do you use? What about ‘lawless’ nations (which would undoubtedly constitute a lot of such immigration)? Is it really inalienable, if it can be limited by the laws of man?

  14. bespoke

    Top shelf C.L.

    Principles can be drudgery but insisting on them and standing by them serve the interests of a political party (and the nation) far better in the long run.

    Who is left that can step up without being dragged down by past mistakes from within?

  15. Tom

    Labor’s parliamentary leader is no longer able to pick easy fruit off the old Tory sideboard. The hitherto reliable “social issue” differentiators have been largely neutralised by the LNP’s capitulations. That only leaves the class war blunderbuss in Labor’s gun safe; it still has Bill Shorten’s bloody hand-print smudged on the stock.

    All that was glaringly obvious during yesterday’s federal parliament question time, where the Labor strategy, identified in a series of virtually identical questions by Albanese, was to trigger a debate about Australia’s faltering economy.

    Talk about firing blanks; it was pitiful, knowing that Albo’s only solution was a rerun of the Rudd GFC free money handouts and the rest of the useless Keynesian pump priming money gusher.

    CL is right. The electorate isn’t buying any of the standard Labor tricks, but Morrison believes in nothing but his political survival, so Australia will remain in a state of paralysis for the foreseeable future.

    Meanwhile, the economy is being strangled by red-green tape and the sheer size of the federal government (twice as big by revenue-spending as it was under Howard) and the Morrison government has no intention of tackling any of those crucial issues.

    The only good thing is that Labor couldn’t win the May election to restart its socialist wrecking of Australia, but that’s hardly cause for celebration when Morrison and treasurer Josh Friedenberg are both Keynesian rabbits in the headlights.

    The economy is effectively in recession as the economy is gummed up by bureaucratic paralysis and over-government, but freeing it up is all too hard for the government. Australia is screaming out for leadership and Scott Morrison ain’t it.

  16. calli

    Thanks C.L. Excellent analysis.

    The hitherto reliable “social issue” differentiators have been largely neutralised by the LNP’s capitulations. That only leaves the class war blunderbuss in Labor’s gun safe; it still has Bill Shorten’s bloody hand-print smudged on the stock.

    And what a blunderbuss it is, peppering friend and foe alike. The dog that don’t hunt.

    What Labor needs is a good, hard recession. Or a war. Or both. Such things have been known to bring home the bacon, even if it is ASF tainted this time round.

  17. Shy Ted

    I think Scott Morrison is simply a gifted retail politician whose happy-go-lucky persona – combined with an almost Hawke-like self-confidence and believability on the hustings
    In my part of the world he’s seen as another do-nothing PM.

  18. yarpos

    “Kenneally is auditioning for Labor’s top job with her unilateral policy announcements which Albo knows nothing about.
    Albo’s policy dearth leaves a gap which KK wants to fill.”

    Seems a crazy thought at first but Labor do like to keep digging when in a hole already.

  19. Truth n Justice

    To win government for labor Albo must espouse policies that will cause him to lose his own seat to the greens. How sweet it is!

  20. candy

    … a revival of Labor sanity inaugurated. But does he even want to do anything like this?

    Albanese has the advantage here because he could choose good policy, be a little brave on the big issue, adhere to old fashioned Labor Party ethics. He needs the ticker.
    Bill Shorten had some ideas but no-one much wanted them and his personality in the public arena after all the backstabbing was somewhat offputting.

    It’s all before Albanese, if he has the ticker.

  21. mem

    “To win government for labor Albo must espouse policies that will cause him to lose his own seat to the greens. How sweet it is!” Politically maybe, but the down side is that Joe public is wearing the fall out. Imagine if the Labor Party changed its tune and came out fighting for people rather than the various interest groups: a moratorium on renewable energy, build more dams, new coal fired generation, clamp down on the immigration influx, abolish red tape and get people back to work by facilitating business to create jobs. Yes well pigs might fly.

  22. max

    Not Albo, not KK, Jim Anderson is the future. A Keynesian zealot and a Rudd/ Gillard throwback who has nothing new to offer but he’s waiting for Albo to tire at the 8 furlong mark.
    Not covered in CL’s excellent piece is Albo’s personal circumstance. No missus, no kids, father and mother a bit of a mystery, how will he handle the Women’s Weekly puff pieces ? Doesn’t seem to bother him which I like.

  23. Pyrmonter

    The Cat has changed over the years – it’s less classical liberal, and, a bit like Quadrant and the Oz Speccie, has become something of a house forum for discontents among those on the ‘right’. The world changes, and so has the Cat … but …

    CL’s suggestion that the the presence of what could generously be termed ‘social liberals’ (some are so principled, but others are no more than pragmatic political entrepreneurs responding to what they perceive are movements in the voting ‘market’) among the coalition is anachronistic: it’s the stuff of the bitter and counterproductive Peacock-Howard battles of the 80s. As someone of an age similar to CL, I can recall not only the SEQEB dispute (Where JB-P was right; but so also were the ginger group around Angus Innes, who thought there was something distinctly smelly and untoward about JB-P’s administration, a sense vindicated by Fitzgerald), but the public ruminations on whether Australia was, for example, to have an openly racially determined immigration policy: an argument that contributed to Howard’s loss in ’87, and fed Labor’s (false) line that it was the embodiment of enlightenment liberalism. CL seems to have forgotten Dick Hamer; Eric Willis; David Tonkin; and lesser figures like Chipp and Robin Millhouse – at one time or another all coalition government leaders or ministers.

    The coalition has always (or, at very least, has since the fusion of the Protectionists and Free Trade parties into the Commonwealth Liberal Party) housed conservatives, classical liberals and anti-Labor social liberals. Given the fondness a large part of the electorate seems to have for the sort of ’40’s Labor’ CL refers to sentimentally (and which, it should be remembered by Cats, took us very close to the Argentine path of fully socialised banking, and involved corrupt systems of price control, product quotas and trade rackets that were only slowly dismantled under Menzies) that seems the best we’re going to get.

    From time to time the various groups will rise and fall in relative strength within the coalition: but lately, we’ve seen both the champion of the self-styled conservatives, long time factional leader Abbott; and the champion of social liberalism, an outsider who won several lotteries in life without ever showing that he’d worked that hard to do so (or gained the insights necessary to work out how to manage his own party) Turnbull, try, and fail, at leading this strange coalition of interests and ideologues.

    Morrison isn’t great shakes; his background is entirely in the hackocracy. I doubt he’s up to dealing with genuinely hard issues (his inability to resist the clamour for ‘government assistance’ in the face of drought suggets he’ll wilt if we have a truly serious economic disruption), but he is, by a margin, better than any Shorten Labor government would have been. For small blessings, those among us who are believers should give some thanks.

  24. Pyrmonter

    (Oh, and a reminder: Don Dunstan was originally a member of the Adelaide Uni Liberal Union. But for his assessment of prospects (he was, in a foreshadowing of the modern hackocracy, a naked careers), he might well have combined social liberalism with the sort of business-friendly (if not pro market) politics of the SA Libs, rather than the thuggery and sectarian politics of a Labour party controlled by the likes of Jack Wright. SA would have been a different place: a good deal wealthier, in all likelihood. It wasn’t as if the SA Libs couldn’t live with social liberals – they had Robin Millhouse as AG.)

  25. Alessio

    For somebody who claims to have a lack of interest in today’s politics you’ve done a creditable job exposing the likely current situation. I agree that voting for blue or red has almost become the same vote which means there is no battle of principles, a highlight of yesteryear. I remember Jim Killen and Eddie Ward’s debates in parliament, full of wit and principle, debates which increased my own vocabulary! Oh that we had such politicians today and oh that we had a voting public of principle today.

  26. Rococo Liberal

    I keep thinking of the old adage that if you want more of something thhen subsidise it. Well if we want more people to be middle class, then we should subsidise being middle class. I bet a lot of no hopers would suddenly work out a way of being middle class if there were government subsidies for it and no subsidies for the poor.

  27. Ben

    If only the LNP could take CL’s recommended path…

    Also “wokel” – brilliant

  28. No, we’d just have a lot more middle class people falling down the ladder.

  29. Rococo Liberal

    No, we’d just have a lot more middle class people falling down the ladder.

    But think about the concept a little more. People only get rewarded if they are respectable, working and paying tax. Can’t you see a lot of people would then work hard to get the rewards if they weren’t rewarded for being lazy and workshy?
    Maybe what we should do is have a national lottery where families with children and a household income of over $200K are eligible for one og 200 annual cash prizes from he Government of another $200K. Other criteria for elligibility could be the necessity to have a regular direct debit to charity for at least $50 per month. The family should alo be one where the parent are married.
    In other words, if government is going to incentivise things it needs to incentivise those things that make people happy and successful.
    We need an elite that is proud of its status and not hypocritical about it. The woke members of the elite are hypocrites in that they practice what they don’t preach, i.e. a stable, bourgoise lifestyle.

  30. C.L.

    Rafe, I suppose there were a lot of old Blogspot Aussie bloggers around in those days and it was a bit of a dull slog eventually. All of those sites are now gone. It came down to time expended and the reward received for it. I had other things to do. Slightly different mix of responsibilities in the last six months or so has freed up a bit of writerly time.

  31. Vagabond

    Albo is and has always been a member of the liars left so you really can’t expect anything different from him. What is perhaps a little surprising is his ineffectual performance so far. He was touted as someone who could do better than Shorten but has not lived up to that. As was said further up he does look and act like an old style ALP politican and that’s not going to work in the 21st century. His head will roll at the first opportunity.

    As for KK, she’s well placed to be our Jeremy Corbyn. She’s a particularly stupid lefty and at the moment nobody sees her as leadership material. Just like Corbyn was. She has the advantage of being better looking and a woman. If the libs stumble and the liars hold it together she’ll be in like a blowy on a turd and then we’ll wish we still had Julia .

  32. Iampeter

    Sifting policies through the test of individualist vs collectivist a great move. And ditch the label rightwing for the good side.

    You’re missing the point. The terms you use are not important. What’s important is understanding the fundamentals.
    An individualist/capitalist/classic liberal/right winger/whatever, is someone who supports and can describe a rights protecting government. That’s the end state. The reason an individualist supports this is because of their support for the moral concept of individual rights. The reason they support rights is because they have a rational thinking methodology and so are able to properly integrate the facts of reality that lead to these requirements for humans to live among each other.
    This long string of interconnected concepts is called “a world view” and is required before you can opine on politics, which is a very abstract science that comes on the end of this string.
    So given all this where do you think you sit? Where do you think conservatives sit?
    Well, conservatives have an irrational world view (to the extent they have one at all). It is either religious nonsense or similar irrationality produced by the likes of Kant or Popper.
    With this it makes no sense for you to support individual rights, nor do you even have the means to understand the concept. Which means there’s no reason for you to support rights-protecting government or capitalism. Yet at the same time you know enough on a superficial level to recognize that dictatorship is “bad” if for no other reason than the body counts. Almost if it would only work then you would support it.
    As such, in practice what we get from conservatives is total incoherence. For example, on the one hand they will claim to support capitalism, yet on the other hand call for private enterprise to be regulated in every way imaginable, from who they can hire/fire, whose content they must host, who they can do business with and where and so forth. This is a completely incoherent if not outright self contradictory position.
    We see this specifically with you when you oppose the HRC yet support people for random, non-essential reasons, dragging their employers to FWA, which is effectively the same thing. You don’t even realize the contradiction because you don’t realize the fundamentals at play.
    Conservatives need to choose: irrational beliefs, leading to an irrational moral system, leading to an authoritarian state in one form or another. Or, embracing reason and beginning the journey towards a rational political system.
    But until this is figured out discussing “Albo” is completely pointless.

  33. Iampeter

    I don’t disagree. But politics is the art of the possible. I would add also, “the practical”.
    Your definition of “rights” makes it practically impossible for a government to protect them.

    As Solzhenitsyn said of the West:

    Yes, that is a contradiction as is the quote from Solzhenitsyn, who is a total enemy of Western civilization and it’s ideals.
    Key quote (although the whole thing is worth reading):

    He wants Russia to remain a dictatorship, but a dictatorship run by the Russian Church. He wants Russian religion, the Greek Orthodox Church, to be a substitute for Marxism. In other words, he wants to take Russia back to the stage before Peter the Great, to the seventeenth century or earlier. He is anti-industrial and wants to take Russia back to being an agrarian country. And that horrible, pretentious person is held as some kind of hero of liberation

    So if you’re quoting Solzhenitsyn you’re already way off base when it comes to the topic of rights since he quite rightly opposed them like all religious altruists.

    You’ve stated that it is an inalienable right for people to immigrate any where they choose. You did caveat that by saying unless they “are a criminal”. How do you practically achieve this?

    Who cares?
    But to elaborate, questions of technicality are what you discuss after you’ve agreed on the fundamentals. But you don’t agree with me and in the absence of political, rights-based argument, you’re trying to still keep debating a point you’ve lost by raising non-essential technical points that can be answered any number of ways, with any number of right answers, none of which matters if you disagree fundamentally.

    In any case, your example is such a non-issue that I can’t imagine why it keeps coming up. How law enforcement treats criminals has no direct relationship with why we should or shouldn’t be regulating immigration.
    If there’s a criminal on the loose and a man-hunt on the way then the appropriate processes will be followed, including public announcements, stop and searches, property searches, etc. All of which is perfectly consistent with the function of protecting rights. There might be additional processes as per whatever is agreed with a neighboring country in the event of cross-border police action being required, but this has nothing to do with someone crossing a countries border going about their business, anymore than it has anything to do with you crossing between residential suburbs on your way to work.
    It’s just a non-sequitur.

  34. Mater

    Who cares?
    But to elaborate, questions of technicality are what you discuss after you’ve agreed on the fundamentals.

    Wow. Are you serious?

    They worked out the fundamentals before Oct 1917. The technicalities came after. Everyone had a slightly different view of what the technicalities should be. The strongest, most vicious group won the day. Memorable result.

    Might be worth bedding down both before taking the plunge.

  35. Iampeter

    The coalition has always (or, at very least, has since the fusion of the Protectionists and Free Trade parties into the Commonwealth Liberal Party) housed conservatives, classical liberals and anti-Labor social liberals.

    Yep and it’s always like that in America as well. But I think this is the very problem that needs resolving. Classic liberals, actual individualists, should not be making alliances of convenience with any collectivists.

    This all goes back to the Founders, who were the first people in history to understand political theory and apply it. But they never bothered codifying/naming their ideology. They didn’t even think political parties would be necessary because the functions of government would not be up for debate. Like a mathematical formula, you apply political theory consistently to every problem.
    Whether you agree with this or not, it meant individualists were left without a movement, while less politically clear headed groups started forming around random, non-essential issues. Everything from slavery, to state’s rights, to trade, all became either singular issues around which parties formed, or in some combination thereof.
    So classic liberals were just left making alliances with which ever group was the least evil and clueless at any given point in time.
    Then towards the end of the 19th century, as the ideas of the religious conservatives came to their horrifying conclusion in the communist movements, the religious conservatives were thrown out of their own parties by the secular and more serious versions of themselves. Since then they’ve had an alliance of convenience with classic liberals.
    This alliance has achieved nothing except the total destruction of political discourse, such that today all major political movements are either secular or religious collectivists. There are no individualists in politics, nor any idea what that even means, which means even if there were, they have zero political prospects.
    To begin fixing this problem, what few classic liberal/individualists still out there, need to publicly divorce themselves from religious conservatives. They need to make it clear that religious collectivists are on the same side of politics as their secular counterparts, regardless of what random position they might have on some single issue.
    Then they can position themselves as the true alternative to the left and we can finally begin to have the political discussions we should’ve been having all this time.

  36. Iampeter

    Wow. Are you serious?

    Well, yea.

    You need to understand political theory to make political arguments.

    Questions of technicality, like law enforcement, come after your politics and aren’t themselves political.

    I.e. what you determine to be the function of government will inform how police go about there business, but how police go about their business will not inform what functions a government should have.
    It doesn’t work in reverse.

  37. Mater

    Yes, that is a contradiction as is the quote from Solzhenitsyn, who is a total enemy of Western civilization and it’s ideals.

    I haven’t read his letter to the Soviet Authorities in 1973, and I’m not going to rely of Ayn Rands interpretation of it. I’ll have look when I get a moment.
    In the meantime, it might be more relevant to read his thoughts on the west in 1978, after he had spent time here (as opposed to his thoughts having never experienced it).
    It doesn’t paint rosy picture for the West, but in hindsight, it’s rather prophetic on a number of fronts. He identified/foretold 40 years ago, problems we are seeing today. I don’t see any sign of a ‘total enemy’.

    https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/alexandersolzhenitsynharvard.htm

    Don’t worry, I expect to neither convince you, nor convert you. It’s a (supposedly) a free country.

  38. Iampeter

    I’m not disputing that Solzhenitsyn would be critical of the West.
    He is an anti-Western, left wing thinker.

    I’m not sure why you’re quoting him or what argument you’re trying to make.

  39. Mater

    But to elaborate, questions of technicality are what you discuss after you’ve agreed on the fundamentals.

    Questions of technicality, like law enforcement, come after your politics and aren’t themselves political.

    Fundamentally, Communism is a utopia but unsurprisingly has never been fully achieved.
    Why? Because practically/technically is can’t work when human nature is factored in. This is a technical/practical glitch which brings down fundamentals.

    You are the stereotypical ideolog who stands in front a large scale wall map and nonchalantly sweeps his hand across it saying, “I want to go from here to here”, without any thought or consideration of the great big fucking ravine in the middle of it. Said ravines tend to throw off the ‘fundamentals’ and send you in ill considered, tangential directions. Better to consider the ‘technicalities’ and details first.

  40. Mater

    He is an anti-Western, left wing thinker.

    Is he?
    Do you want to quote some of his words which indicate this, rather than what Ayn thinks?

  41. Iampeter

    Fundamentally, Communism is a utopia but unsurprisingly has never been fully achieved.

    No, fundamentally communism is altruistic and therefore collectivist. It has nothing to do with utopias.

    Why? Because practically/technically is can’t work when human nature is factored in. This is a technical/practical glitch which brings down fundamentals.

    It doesn’t work with human nature because it rejects the fundamentals of what that nature is. That humans are individualistic and need to be egoists, not altruists.
    This doesn’t bring down fundamentals, this IS the fundamentals.

    You are the stereotypical ideolog who stands in front a large scale wall map and nonchalantly sweeps his hand across it saying, “I want to go from here to here”, without any thought or consideration of the great big fucking ravine in the middle of it.

    I am indeed an ideologue but what you’ve described there is not what an ideologue is or does.
    An ideologue is someone who takes ideas seriously and as such has a properly integrated world view.
    The left is full of ideologues. They know what they’re trying to do.
    To counter this requires a coherent alternative ideology. Not no ideas of any kind, which is all that hopeless conservatives have to offer.

    My entire point is that you urgently need to get an ideology. You needed one before you start engaging in political disputes which are nothing more than ideological disputes.

    Is he?
    Do you want to quote some of his words which indicate this, rather than what Ayn thinks?

    Do I need to? I mean I can when I get off my phone, but he’s a religious altruist. You already know where he’s going to sit politically because of the fundamentals.

  42. egg_

    another one who wanted the top job but doesn’t know what to do with it

    like Gillard, another hollow person who they thought would work because they are a good parliamentry performer .. in other words, an abusive d*ckhead

    Good observation.
    Class warfare is always mob rule, too.

  43. Mater

    My entire point is that you urgently need to get an ideology. You needed one before you start engaging in political disputes which are nothing more than ideological disputes.

    Ok. I’ll leave you and your ideology to bask in that feeling of superiority.
    However, if you ever want your ideology to be anything more than bluster on a blog site, you should start thinking about kneading it into a form of politics which has a chance of surviving in the real world against the numerous externalities which/who don’t share your ideology.

  44. Crossie

    Former leader John Anderson is quoted noting his old party is now well to the left of the Liberals on ‘social’ issues

    Ah, but the Photios gang know better which is why the bush is going over to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

    Yes I know, the Nationals are not controlled by the Photios Gang but that is just a fiction on paper.

  45. Crossie

    “smarmy”. Some of them had no idea about the policy offerings, but all said that Shorten sent a chill up their spines. Is Albo any better?

    Only if “slimy” is your thing.

  46. Crossie

    Old School Conservative
    #3186968, posted on October 18, 2019 at 7:00 am
    Kenneally is auditioning for Labor’s top job with her unilateral policy announcements which Albo knows nothing about.
    Albo’s policy dearth leaves a gap which KK wants to fill.

    Voters of NSW have already found her wanting but if Labor wants to get all of Australia to give her the same treatment they can go with hair-flick Kristina as their leader.

  47. Old Lefty

    When has Labor had sustained electoral success? Under McKell, McGirr, Cahill, Heffron and Renshaw, and then under Wran who lived off the political capital they had but up. By today’s woke standards, they wou d all be written off as outrageous right-wing reactionaries. And for the libertarians among us, yes, they were protectionist – but no more than Menzies and McEwan. That was a bipartisan consensus for decades.

    The putrefaction of the NSW Labor Right has big consequences nationally. Historically, NSW has kept the hard left at bay in the ALP and made the party electable; it is now failing on both counts.

  48. Old Lefty

    And Kenneally is a nauseating fraud on all counts.

  49. candy

    It doesn’t work with human nature because it rejects the fundamentals of what that nature is. That humans are individualistic and need to be egoists, not altruists.

    Iampter, I would disagree with that.
    Some people are very individualist or a bit, some are strong altruists or just a bit if it suits them.
    People are pretty complex and change according to life circumstances and experience, I believe.

    Lumping everyone into one category never works, nor is logical.

  50. Dr Fred Lenin

    I doubt if one alp pollie has ever been a real worker ,apart from part time jobs when they were at university.
    The alp ,UK labour and US decromats are full of tertiary educated career politicians with tiny degrees who are there for the well paying jobs ,not an ounce of conviction or altruism amongst he lot of them . Probably half or more of them owned by that mongrel Schwartz ,aka soros ,he owns 200odd m.e.p.s in Brussels .
    The only good thing that ever came out of Brussels was Sprouts .

  51. BorisG

    Is there a button to hide all Iampeter comments ? Or comments of any commenter whose contributions exceed a certain number of characters on a single thread?

  52. Clam Chowdah

    Really enjoying your posts, CL.

  53. Eyrie

    John Anderson is a useless dick. Incompetent Transport Minister.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.