Why buy Liberal when you can have the real thing?

Michael Sexton has a very interesting piece in The Australian this morning, making the point that Labor is setting the policy agenda on pretty much every topic and the Liberals are really just a pale imitation of Labor.

We see this in education, health, childcare, climate change, industry assistance, welfare, tax and the list goes on.

Sexton poses the brutal question: does the Liberal Party really have an electoral future?

I guess most Cats would take the view that unless the Liberal Party runs with its own independent agenda – standing for the principles of classical liberalism, individual responsibility, small government, the defence of free speech and property rights – there’s not much point voting for this lot.

Sexton also makes the important point that the crowd on the ‘far right’ – whatever that really means – are not friends of classical liberalism, being advocates of protectionism, industry welfare and handouts to their favoured constituencies.  There are also cranks and plenty of conspiracists in this space.

Here is the piece, which I’m sure you will find interesting:

Does the Liberal Party have a future in Australia at the national level?

This may seem an extraordinary question to ask in the light of the re-election in July, albeit by the narrowest margin, of the Coalition it leads, and in view of the fact it has been a mainstay of the two-party system in Australia since its formation by Robert Menzies in 1944. It has held office — in Coalition with the National Party, as the Country Party became — for two-thirds of that period, although half of that time is accounted for by its 23 unbroken years of government between 1949 and 1972, largely a product of the Labor split in 1955.

It may be, however, that the electoral tide is moving against the Liberals, perhaps slowly but nevertheless inexorably.

This is not, it should be noted, because they are a stridently conservative party whose views are largely out of touch with the electorate. The Liberals are at best a centre party — not, however, centre-left like Labor, which in turn is outflanked on the left by the Greens — and the Liberals share with their two rivals widely prevailing views in the Australian community about the substantial role of government in society.

It is largely for this reason that the Liberals have no real solutions to offer to the problem of ever increasing government expenditure combined with relatively static sources of revenue.

The problem is caused by interest groups that constantly demand more money for their constituencies and instantly mount a vociferous public complaint if there is any suggestion of a reduction of funds from their existing level.

The Liberals — quite naturally — try desperately to pacify these groups by meeting their demands wherever possible. The Nationals are of no assistance in any of this because throughout that party’s history its sole objective has been to provide government assistance to its rural constituency, irrespective of the economic merits of these policies.

Despite all this, however, the Liberals cannot match the expenditure proposals of Labor and the Greens. This is a long-term problem when an increasing proportion of the electorate — now almost half — makes no contribution to government by way of taxation but is essentially dependent on government-provided benefits.

Menzies ran several successful election campaigns in the 1950s by asking the question about Labor’s spending proposals — very modest by current standards — “Where is the money coming from?” There would be little point in asking this question today because a majority of the electorate has no interest in the answer.

It expects governments to find the money somehow and problems of revenue-raising are of no concern. In the long or even medium term, of course, all this will eventually lead to an unsustainable budget deficit. Again, however, this seems to be of no moment to the electorate.

None of this means the Liberals may not win the next federal election or the one after that. All national governments in Australia since Federation have ultimately collapsed politically and been replaced by the electorate.

But it may become progressively more difficult for the Liberals to obtain more than 50 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in this political climate. It is also clear that they need more than 50 per cent of the seats in the House of Representatives in their own right as the Greens and almost any independent will support Labor in the event of a hung parliament.

Moreover, the Liberals have to do this without the floods of volunteer workers that opposing groups, such as the ACTU and GetUp, can put into marginal electorates. The Senate is, of course, permanently lost to the Liberals in a way that it is not lost to Labor, which can always rely on the Greens when it is in government.

Even when the Liberals do win government, however, they seem happy largely to accept the legislative framework inherited from their opponents.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has been much discussed but it is a useful symbol.

What is the point of being in government if there is not at least an attempt to defend freedom of speech? Over time this passivity on the part of the Liberals allows their opponents to determine the political agenda and so make it harder each time for a Liberal government to depart from the existing culture.

This political climate is not confined to Australia but can be observed in western Europe and even in the US. It is true that nominally conservative parties have held office in, for example, Britain and Spain, but they have pursued very much centrist policies.

The demands on government are increasing so rapidly in all these countries that it has become very difficult to resist them. It may be, therefore, that centre-left or even further left parties are better placed to win office in most Western countries in the immediate future. In any event, it seems the federal Liberal Party in this country is entering a very difficult period of its history.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Why buy Liberal when you can have the real thing?

  1. stackja

    UAP became Liberal under Menzies. Maybe new under Cory?

    This site can’t be reached

    The connection was reset.
    Try:
    Checking the connection
    Checking the proxy and the firewall
    ERR_CONNECTION_RESET

  2. Mayan

    Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has been much discussed but it is a useful symbol.

    How about libel law reform?
    *crickets*

  3. H B Bear

    As I have said before, putting aside the pure policy questions, the USP of the Liberal Party is lower taxes than under the ALP. This is primarily of interest to private sector employees who pay more tax than they receive in government services and transfer payments. If you are questioning the future of the Liberal Party that is why.

  4. Somewhere, Julia Gillard reads this and smiles.

  5. H B Bear

    Somewhere, Julia Gillard reads this and smiles.

    Yep mUnty. Australia’s greatest Fabian.

  6. Infidel Tiger 2.0. (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Sexton also makes the important point that the crowd on the ‘far right’ – whatever that really means – are not friends of classical liberalism, being advocates of protectionism, industry welfare and handouts to their favoured constituencies. There are also cranks and plenty of conspiracists in this space.

    Katterlaxy.

  7. Judith complaining on the Cat about cranks and conspiracists is amusing.

  8. Infidel Tiger 2.0. (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    She’s obviously read the comments here and been suitably disgusted by the debauched crankery that has been allowed to fester.

    Although it’s not a patch on the steaming shit come from the LNP themselves.

  9. Nelson Kidd-Players

    IT, do you have to remove you hat (or beanie) before commenting? 😉

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    I have a hypothesis about this stuff.

    First: Michael Sexton is incorrect. The Turnbull Liberal Party is not a centrist party it is centre-left. There is a consensus in it for SSM, higher taxes and climate crap.

    The ALP is a left party and Greens a far-left party.

    This is why the Libs are dead dodos walking. The left is a crowded space to be fighting for votes in. Yet half the electorate are righties: tradesmen, engineers, small business people, people who work in the private sector and do stuff. So it makes no sense at all for the Libs to go off chasing the mythical left-of-centre vote. The lefties of the public service, public education and other publicly funded sectors aren’t ever going to vote for the Libs.

    Ok, that gets to my hypothesis, which is the Libs are chasing the left because of self selection. The type of people who go into politics are those who want to do social good (ie lefty inclined) and aren’t too busy doing stuff. Consequently the parliamentary Libs are full of law graduates like the ALP are. Both got the full SJW edumacation through their uni degrees.

    But the people doing stuff are too busy to stand for parliament, and they’re anyway shut out by the maaates who all went through uni together. So Conquest’s 2nd Law kicks in and the Lib structure naturally populates itself with wets.

    The point about Conquest’s 2nd law is it applies to “any organization not explicitly right-wing”. The Libs have dropped the ball by dispensing with their moral positions (that would’ve maintained an explicit right wingness), therefore they are drifting left. As a result their real voters – tradies, small business people, retirees – are spalling off as the party disappears into the vast lefty swamp with all the others. So we have a huge vote to minor parties on the right. All those voters thought carefully about their vote, and came to the conclusion that the Libs and the Nats were no longer appropriate representatives.

    Given the Lib party structure is now substantially colonised by self-selected lefties I see no hope for them. They are indeed dodos.

  11. miltonf

    I think the short comings of the LP are yet another manifestation of the exhausted and discredited politico-media class in all western countries.

  12. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Somewhere, Julia Gillard reads this and smiles.

    Julia Gilliard? The one time head of a Party that “…used to contain the cream of the working class. Now it contains the dregs of the middle class, who persist in using the Party as an intellectual spittoon.” That Julia Gilliard?

  13. miltonf

    Tony Abbott won a thumping big majority in 2013 and then did some really odd things.

    But the people doing stuff are too busy to stand for parliament– exactly right Bruce.

  14. the crowd on the ‘far right’ – whatever that really means – are not friends of classical liberalism

    Well of course not. Classical Liberalism leads directly and inexorably to today’s Liberal Party. Why pursue a failed pathway?

    Protectionism is not a bad starting point in moving away from the errors of globalism. National governments remain far too concerned about the ‘other’ rather than the fate of their own. Nations are becoming simply arbitrary places without a defined people.

    But yes, the general thesis of his post seems correct. The Liberal Party will be replaced (or merge with the Labor Party) because it is no longer functioning as an effective Outer Party in our democracy. There is no longer restraint being applied to the direction of travel, barely even moderation. And so democracy will seek out restraint where it can find it (currently forming as the Alt-Right), which will then energise the left, which will then overcome the restraint, and the ratchet will move leftwards again.

    As Jim mentioned a week or so back in the US context:

    Hillary wants the alt right to take over the right, to become the Republican party.

    Which means that the alt right gets all the lovely beltway gravy that the Republicans are getting today – and like the Republicans, gets no power. Like the Republicans, becomes the outer party.

    […]

    The alt-right taking over the Republican party is not the booby trap. The alt right being exposed to the same incentives as the Republican party is the booby trap.

    That is our system of government for you.

  15. C.L.

    Michael Sexton has a very interesting piece in The Australian this morning, making the point that Labor is setting the policy agenda on pretty much every topic and the Liberals are really just a pale imitation of Labor.

    We see this in education, health, childcare, climate change, industry assistance, welfare, tax and the list goes on.

    I think it’s a bit silly to say Labor is “setting the policy agenda.” It is wedging a policy agenda via a media staffed by party loyalists and leftists. The leftist noise machine in this country has frightened the Liberal Party off anything worth doing.

  16. Yohan

    The future of right wing politics is not classical liberalism, unfortunately. It is right wing nationalism and populism, an example being Trump and the European populist parties.

    If the Liberal party does not recognize this they will become irrelevant. The current Liberal party offers you the same as Labor, but with less handouts. Who would vote for this?

  17. Mayan

    Protectionism is not a bad starting point in moving away from the errors of globalism.

    Trade between societies that have comparable laws and standards is not problematic. The idea between free trade is that people are able to do what they do best, and that benefits everyone.

    The error today is that it is not longer about letting people do what they do best, but rather about regulatory arbitrage. If a society has a legal system in which firms are free to pollute, ignore the safety of the their employees, or even only pay them sporadically, that is a rather different proposition to free trade. It amounts to a competition between firms that are subject to very different laws.

    The rare earth minerals business is a good example. They’re not rare, and they could be sourced from places other than China, it’s just that the powers that be in China won’t tolerate anyone pointing out that they are producing them in a way that harms the health of Chinese people, and severely degrades the land and water near the refineries. It’s not a situation any developed nation’s populace would allow.

    Still, you have to admire the nerve of the powers that be to call special deals for special friends “free trade agreements”. And they manage to do it with a straight face.

    As always, the assumptions are important.

  18. Trade between societies that have comparable laws and standards is not problematic. The idea between free trade is that people are able to do what they do best, and that benefits everyone.

    Good points. The other aspect that is being addressed is the notion of subsidiarity. The nation provides a geopolitical bound that is compromised by the global nature of capital. A company working wholly within a nation has its interests tied to that nation. A company that spreads internationally is inherently unbound to those interests and should be treated as an external actor.

    A nation thus must have a completely different relationship with internally constrained companies, and externally spread ones, and similarly with citizens.

    Which is not to say that external actors are always at cross purposes, but that rather, lacking an inherent alignment, coincidence of interest must always be being reassessed.

    The same applies at more local levels, and in regards to investment.

  19. Yohan

    Nick Cater wrote a book about the new divide, that was not left and right. It was the insider elite vs the silent middle. Labor has now abandoned the working class altogether and just appeals to the poor and elite. The silent middle is ready for the taking, but the current Liberal party wants to be PC, non radical, non populist. Welcome to political oblivion.

  20. Mayan

    A nation thus must have a completely different relationship with internally constrained companies, and externally spread ones, and similarly with citizens.

    It’s worth remembering that companies do not exist naturally, but instead exist only through state fiat.

    Ideally, they should not have any voice in politics, because the polity is comprised of people, for the benefit of people. When corporations are given a voice, that effectively gives those people who control those artifices more say over how the polity is run. To defend the involvement of corporations (and unions, NGOs etc.) in politics is to argue that someone whose primary asset is their labour is somehow less a citizen than someone who can earn a living by allocating capital — to justify some animals being more equal than others.

    One way to achieve that would be to require that political donations can only be made by natural persons who live in the electorate in which the recipient is running for election. Sure, it would be imperfect, but it would be better than nothing.

    I’m not sure that the theory of trade has considered in depth, and with healthy cynicism, the difference between bodies corporate and people. People have allegiances and a sense of duty, and are close to the results of their decisions and actions. Organisations propagate themselves, have no allegiance or sense of duty, and they provide psychological distance between decision makers and consequences. That applies to companies, unions, religious organisations, NGOs, etc.

  21. Rabz

    widely prevailing views in the Australian community about the substantial role of government in society

    Just reading that sentence raises my hackles. The “role of government in society” is to be as minimal as possible, as far I’m concerned.

    Allow a “substantial role for government in society” and what do you end up with?

    Dead people*, tax leeches hoovering the productive and entirely predictable, negative “unintended” consequences of poorly designed, hugely expensive and utterly unnecessary and absurd so called policy.

    *Fisky made a very funny observation the other day about how people living here had largely forgotten that the role of government wasn’t to kill people en masse through staggeringly stupid “policies”, as we saw during the R/G/R nightmare. One thing in the Waffler’s favour, you might say.

  22. Empire

    We have probably passed the point of no return where the only option is for net tax payers (including their dependents) to organise and withhold revenue from the state. What transpires from that may be peaceful or it may be violent.

    The aftermath will be either collapse or some form of limited franchise where the funders of the state exercise gerrymandered control over the plundering tribes invented or invited by the left during the last half century.

  23. Nick Cater wrote a book about the new divide, that was not left and right. It was the insider elite vs the silent middle.

    Cater has no credibility to lecture others about being part of the insider elite.

    Neither side of Western politics really has an answer for the major domestic economic problem of our time: how to help the Western middle classes to live and grow comfortably in a transitional age of globalisation, where the only places where real wages are growing are outside the West.

    Transfer payments from those who benefit from globalisation to those who lose out are the least worst solution devised. Trickle down doesn’t work. I await a new solution to the problem with non-bated breath.

  24. sabena

    I think Sexton is incorrect when he poses the question “Does the Liberal Party have an electoral future”.
    The question is “Does the Liberal Party have an electoral future with Malcolm Turnbull as leader?”
    The answer to that question is obviously no and illustrates what a disastrous decision was made this time last year.

  25. Roger

    “Where is the money coming from?” There would be little point in asking this question today because a majority of the electorate has no interest in the answer.

    They would if they paid tax.

    No representation without taxation!

    Only net tax payers should have a vote as to who holds the Treasury benches.

  26. Ez

    The Liberals strategy is blindingly obvious. Textor even spelled it out for goodness sake.

    Libs will drift as far left as they have to, in an attempt to pick up enough ‘left’ votes to add to their “at least they’re not Labor” votes, to form government.

    Not attempting to reign in our welfare culture, hitting soft targets (corporates/multinationals) and dithering around (to avoid the wrath of the FIMC and the Twitterati) gives you this Election-Winning Machine™.

  27. Organisations propagate themselves, have no allegiance or sense of duty, and they provide psychological distance between decision makers and consequences

    I think this is a result of construct rather than nature. Organisations are currently constructed without sovereign limit. If you make an organisation limited within a polity, the issues change in nature, as the limitation of the organisation to that polity enforces an alignment of interests.

    Companies – in the older sense of groups of men working together to achieve an aim – do naturally exist. In one sense, they form a far more natural minimum unit of sovereignty than the individual does. Its probably better that we reconsider the notions underlying incorporation and limitation of liability, and what responsibilities should go with that.

    to justify some animals being more equal than others.

    The issue with that notion is that any animals are equal in the first place. But equality is the grand lie of the age, and so pretence ensues. Much better to remove the need for pretence than reward those better at maintaining that pretence.

  28. John Mc

    Bingo! The Libs do the same thing that Labor wants to do, they just do it slower.

    This is why it works, why it makes them the ‘natural party of government’ and why they’re addicted to it and can’t change direction even if they wanted. Labor (and the Greens) set the agenda with present the challenging new ideas. Then the Libs massage them a bit and give the public a bit more time to come around, then they incorporate them in their platform. This applies to both social policy and economics; that tax increase might come a year or two later but you’re still going to cop it. This puts them in the position of strength while their traditional base more or less holds out (while clenching their teeth and holding their noses) and they pick up more and more of the centre-left voters who have cut the dreadies, ditched the “one love” T-shirt and got a family and small business of their own. It’s an approach that will probably work for them for another decade or more. But it will leave a big opening in the right of the field.

  29. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Only net tax payers should have a vote as to who holds the Treasury benches.

    Hear! Hear!

  30. miltonf

    Thing is Rabz, was government always this incompetent? Didn’t Menzies anounce a ‘jetport’ at Tulla in 1963 and in1970 there was a jetport at Tulla. Seems like the calibre of the public of the public sector has nose dived over the years.

  31. J.H.

    The moment you try and explain politics by saying “Left” and “Right”, the argument becomes obscured.

    I think if it another way. I’ll try to be simple here…. It’s all about the Tax Pool.

    It’s about ideologies that promote enslavement and ideologies that prohibit/restrict enslavement.

    What is enslavement then?

    What is freedom?

    If you are “Conservative” you need an ideology or doctrine to be “Conservative” about. Same with “Reactionary” and “Revolutionary” and “Activist”.

    Liberalism for me is the most appropriate form of government because it attempts to disempower Kings and powerful cabals who seek to tyrannize. Liberalism would seek to motivate and understand the better side of human behavior to create rather than seeking to use the worst side to take.

    Parliamentarianism is an attempt to give representation to the voiceless.

    It attempts to give representation to those who would be enslaved…. and not to be confused with the representation of minorities…. After all, it is always minorities who seek to enslave the masses. To use them, restrict them, compel them.

    Thus we come to that Tax Pool….. The raison d’etre of Governments and bureaucracy. They live to Tax.

    The modern politician is quite willing to enslave the entire population to maintain that Tax Pool. They would annihilate civilization itself with a “Carbon Tax” in order to maintain it.

    Forget “left” and “right” and just go for “Right” and “Wrong”….. There is only Liberalism, the ideology of free enterprise and political representation…. and then there is Socialism, the ideology of Statist elites who want to grow that Tax Pool with the enslavement of the population….. The rule of Kingly minds above that of the ignorant masses.

    Left and right is for shoes.

  32. Rabz

    Didn’t Menzies anounce a ‘jetport’ at Tulla in 1963 and in 1970 there was a jetport at Tulla

    I can remember the apoplexy when St Gough announced in 1973 that a second Sydney airport would be built at Galston Gorge.

    43 years later and there’s still no second Sydney airport – and I’m not holding any great hopes for Back ‘o’ Buggery’s Creek being finished any time soon, either.

  33. LGS

    Nature abhors a vacuum.
    If the Libs continue to move left, or seek the votes of those on the left who will never vote for them anyway, a new conservative – or even right wing party – will eventually and inevitably emerge to fill the void.

  34. duncanm

    I agree with many above comments — Empire is close to my thinking regarding the outcomes.

    Countries will inexorably drift towards ‘free stuff’ until there’s some sort of upheaval.

    Taxpayer revolt (yeh – try that when they’re extracting it at the point of a gun), a great depression, war, Venezuela, revolution, etc.

  35. miltonf

    Back in the 80s in the NSW LP there was a thing called, IIRC, ‘the Group’ that was as left as.

  36. I Am the Walras, Equilibrate and Price Take

    They’re not called Cuckservatives for nothing.

  37. mem

    What has happened is that the Labor Party has captured public employees and service industries across all levels of government as its Labor support group. It has done this by boosting positions directly to departments, municipal councils, unionizing service industries eg health and by rewarding these groups with increased salaries and increased positions. By targeting these groups and drawing them into the Labor voting fold it has replaced the manufacturing, mining and other industries that are shedding jobs. On the Liberal side Abbot was successfully growing the Liberal voting pool and targeting two important groups; small to medium businesses and retirees. Abbott established a Small Business portfolio with Ministerial representation.Abbott understood that the number of small home based businesses is growing as well as small to medium companies that can use improved technology to compete etc.By courting these businesses he was winning votes and capturing a growing voter base. Turnbull dismantled the Small Business portfolio. In doing so he will lose thousands of potential supporters at the next election. Similarly the retirees group is a growing voter group,but guess what, Turnbull attacked them exactly where it hurt them most. He destabilized their retirement plans and put them off-side to the point very few will trust the Liberals again. Turnbull is the immediate problem. If he doesn’t go the Liberal Party won’t survive past the next election. It will be all over.

  38. Mother Lode

    The tax moochers would have no problem with reduced spending as long as they were no worse off – although you would need to neuter the ABC as a first strike to stop them doing that ‘theatre for the trusting’ thing where they would be saying that cuts to renewables would actually increase prices for low incomes and give free electricity to the ‘rich’.

  39. Michel lasouris

    Mr Turnbull did not stem the tide against Liberal ; he accelerated it. Regrettably he is utterly unable to see this. Mind you, his insular ,blinkered view of Australia and Australians is very widely accepted now by all but his inner circle in Canberra

  40. Speedbox

    “The Liberals are at best a centre party”

    Note the operative words “at best”. Those two words summarize why most of us are so infuriated with the modern Liberal Party.

    The problem is caused by interest groups that constantly demand more money …….(and) The Liberals — quite naturally — try desperately to pacify these groups by meeting their demands wherever possible.

    Yep, and more fool the Libs for falling into the honey trap.

    Today’s Liberal Party is nearly indistinguishable from the ALP and the creep to the left continues. I believe that a new conservative party will claim the political ground abandoned by the Liberals. IMO the timing for a new conservative party is looming in the medium term (3-6 years). The catalyst will be the electoral loss to Labour at the next election (who doesn’t believe that will happen!?) and Shorten sworn in as PM. Following the electoral loss the Libs will be in disarray (Turnbull will resign) and the Australian Conservatives (or similar) will announce their intention to stand candidates in every electorate in the country at the next election. Whilst the new conservatives are unlikely to achieve Government in their own right at their first attempt, the NP will sniff the political breeze and jump ship to form a new coalition. Again, this may or may not be enough to form Government at that time but the present day Libs will be gutted to insignificance.

    The once great Party formed under Menzies will have died, and been reborn.

  41. Cater has no credibility to lecture others about being part of the insider elite.

    The fat fascist fuckwit acts just like the fat fascist fuckwit he is and declares someone he doesn’t know and has likely never met to be a non-person who should be silenced, gagged.
    Do you actually realise what a fat, fascist, stinking, piece of totalitarian Commie filth you are you rake-stepping, despotic, cowardly, pus-filled, colostomy bag or were you just born defecated that way?

  42. No Eynestine

    Australia is so wealthy! The are 60,000+ Not for profit organisations that employ around 75-80% women graduates of free leftist education. Total employees in the sector around 850,000 and growing.

    Add those workers, I won’t say unproductive in the perjoritive sense, but I will say unproductive in the direct GDP sense, to the multiple layers of direct government salaried workers and we see a class of worker whose only general activity makes it harder for value adding industries to thrive.

    This type of worker could only exist in the past because their impact on our economy was relatively small and it made some people feel good. That’s how it started.

    Well that time seems long past. This group of workers is now a major waste of resources and money that could be invested in value added systems.

  43. Mr Rusty
    #2139567, posted on September 6, 2016 at 2:31 pm
    Cater has no credibility to lecture others about being part of the insider elite.

    The fat fascist fuckwit acts just like the fat fascist fuckwit he is and declares someone he doesn’t know and has likely never met to be a non-person who should be silenced, gagged.
    Do you actually realise what a fat, fascist, stinking, piece of totalitarian Commie filth you are you rake-stepping, despotic, cowardly, pus-filled, colostomy bag or were you just born defecated that way?

    Pfft. People reckon I have anger issues.

    Sad!

  44. Robber Baron

    At the last federal election, I decided to go to the market place and sample the fare of offer from each political party. The Greens offered up their Soylent Green. No, not eating that. The ALP served up some sort of Chinese meal that stunk to high heaven. No to that. The Liberals served up expensive hot air waffles. No, I need something more substantial. The One Nation woman was serving up a decent portion of fish and chips. There was a long line of people at that stall. She had a smile from ear to ear, and listened to everyone. The public knows what they want.

  45. the sting

    Commonwealth public servants should not be allowed to vote in Federal elections and State public servants should not be allowed to vote in State elections , then we might see some real economic reform that this country needs.

  46. Pfft. People reckon I have anger issues.

    Frank, when your boyfriend isn’t entertaining us by dancing on rakes then he is to be used as a punching bag.
    It’s all part of the rules.

  47. OneWorldGovernment

    the sting
    #2139584, posted on September 6, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Commonwealth public servants should not be allowed to vote in Federal elections and State public servants should not be allowed to vote in State elections , then we might see some real economic reform that this country needs.

    Nor should any ‘public servant’ nor NGO worker be entitled to pay income tax.

  48. Empire

    What has happened is that the Labor Party has captured public employees and service industries across all levels of government as its Labor support group. It has done this by boosting positions directly to departments, municipal councils, unionizing service industries eg health and by rewarding these groups with increased salaries and increased positions

    This could not have occurred if the state(s) had not grown rapaciously over time. It did and for the majority of time under the watch of Liberal dominated cabinets.

    More learned historians might argue otherwise, but I reckon the party was captured by the time of the 1949 federal election victory and has been on the slide ever since. The last serious attempt to purge the moochers from the fold was in the 80s and history shows the Wets won that battle.

  49. A Lurker

    I’d like to reiterate the truth of Bruce of Newcastle’s post at 12.04pm.

    Someone needs to copy+paste both Judith’s article and Bruce’s response onto an A4 sheet and shove it under the door of every L/NP MP and Senator in Parliament House.

  50. I wonder how many people there are that are comfortable voting Liberal.

    I mean, if you had to characterise the voting blocs, we’ve moved from the old working class (Labor) vs earning class (liberal) mentality towards something more like Productive class(Liberal) vs Consumptive class (Labor) vs bigots & sexist & misanthropes (greens).

    Unlike the US, we haven’t yet moved to the whites vs others, as the others aren’t a big enough bloc for that to work yet. We’ll get there. Identity trumps ideology and all that.

  51. I’d like to reiterate the truth of Bruce of Newcastle’s post at 12.04pm.

    Someone needs to copy+paste both Judith’s article and Bruce’s response onto an A4 sheet and shove it under the door of every L/NP MP and Senator in Parliament House.

    Bruce is, as generally is the case, correct. But I’m not sure what that would achieve — telling the wets that inhabit the corridors that they are wets is kind of impotent.

    Here is the problem. We need a class of people in government whose interests are aligned with the furtherance of the community as a whole. Yet we have a system of government that selects for a class of people that are best able to execute on the creation of propaganda and the interests of the individual.

    Democracy is shit. Until and unless we build something better, this isn’t getting fixed. Not even an ‘alt-right’ party fixes things, because the nature of democracy is to slowly but sure apply basic selection until the alt right is the right, is the centre, is ineffective and is replaced again.

    You have to change that mechanism of selection if you want to see things change.

  52. Mayan

    Companies – in the older sense of groups of menpeople working together to achieve an aim – do naturally exist.

    Any group, company or not, in which the group identity takes over, is subject to these defects. When people make decisions, yet think of the group (nation, government department, business, charity, union, church, etc.) as doing a thing, that is the psychological distance that allows people to make horrible decisions such as: covering up abuses by coaches, social workers, or clergy; allowing a town’s water to be polluted to save money; or leaving a bad design in place, with the Ford Pinto being a particularly callous example.

    In addition to the psychological distance, and lack of allegiance or sense of duty to one’s society, are two new problems that limited liability brings, which not even limiting the firm to a polity would fix. Firstly, it allows for companies to be run into the ground, leaving creditors impoverished, without recourse. Even the hit and run tradespeople who advertise in local papers, operating through a company structure, are bad enough. It used to be considered a grave matter to grant limited liability to a company, but now it can be had about $500 and an application form.

    The larger problem is the agency problem, combined with an incestuous management clique. Those who run the firms are remunerated according to a committee composed of their peers. The owners are ‘represented’ by yet more members of that group. It’s a go along to get along club, in which the owners’ money is spritzed around on friends and the gatekeepers of even more lucrative gigs.

    If the management blows up the firm, the owners have limited downside risk, so their motivation to care about the losses inflicted upon others due to this problem is itself limited. The management clique don’t have to worry about the law, because they are so rarely held accountable. Instead, the owners lose when a fine is applied, and when fines are repeatedly applied for the same offences, the rule of law is corrupted so that it can be broken when someone else’s money is paid to the state. Compare and contrast to the penalties handed out to people even for low-level drug offences, prostitution, petty theft, etc., and also consider that those people are marked for a lengthy period with a criminal record which can have severe consequences.

    It is an organisational form that often behaves quite differently to the the way that a sole trader, cooperative, or partnership would. The decision makers have different risks, and different consequences to their actions. This will affect the behaviour of firms, and the conduct of the markets in which they operate. That has important implications for the theory of markets and trade.

    As an aside, it’s odd that most ideas for tax reform have a different (lower) rate of tax for companies than for other organisational forms. And then there is a differential taxation of equity and debt holders and payments to them.

    The issue with that notion is that any animals are equal in the first place

    You’re right that they are not equal. Nonetheless, all people should be equal before the law. There is no conflict between the two statements.

    When companies, unions etc. are free to donate and influence the decisions of a polity, the results will likely be at odds with that which is desired by the people in that polity. One would have thought that a polity should be run by and for the people who reside therein. Therefore, my view is that only natural persons who live in the electorate in which a candidate is running should be allowed to donate to that candidate.

  53. H B Bear

    Someone needs to copy+paste both Judith’s article and Bruce’s response onto an A4 sheet and shove it under the door of every L/NP MP and Senator in Parliament House.

    Well that is one place to shove it I guess.

  54. Siltstone

    Bruce of Newcastle 12:04

    +1

  55. iampeter

    It’s great to see an article on this topic in a mainstream publication like this. It gets lonely been a crank on the internet pointing out that the LNP is just another left wing party and has been for a long time.

    One thing that bugs me though, is the lack of clarity around political definitions of left and right. This lack of clarity is how our slimy political class gets away with what they are doing – because they can just play endless word games with us. Clarity in political discourse is needed.

    IMO if you break down politics into essentially principles you get the individualist right wing and collectivist left wing.

    The individualists support capitalism and limited government as a matter of principle. This is the principled position of classic liberals that descend from the thinkers of the enlightenment.

    The collectivists support larger government, mixed economy and right down to outright totalitarianism which is what has to happen as mixed economies always collapse, requiring more government intervention resulting in the death spiral we see in Zimbabwe and Venezuela for example.

    Once these terms are clearly defined then you can apply them to all political issues. I think this lack of a clearly defined political ideology is the real reason behind the LNP’s descent into irrelevance. They are just all over the place on the issues. For example they believe that supporting SSM is left wing, when it is clearly the position of someone supporting individual rights. At the same time they believe that nationalist and “alt-right” groups are right-wing, when they are clearly collectivist and therefore left wing. They think Turnbull is not a Conservative but Howard (who ran the biggest taxing and regulating government up to that point in history) is a good Conservative. One has to wonder what the word “Conservative” even means to Conservatives or if they ever stop to think about all their contradictions.

    This lack of clarity has left the Conservative movement completely incoherent and completely intellectually disarmed in the face of much more coherent left-wing opponents.

    What’s needed is not a new Conservative party, but a new classical liberal party. A party that is built on the ideology of individual rights, capitalism and limited government and can articulate the how and the why.

  56. serene tiger

    Sabena 1:07pm – my sentiment exactly. The Liberal Party is not Malcolm Turnbull.
    The Turnbull Coalition Team is Malcolm Turnbull and it lost big time at the last election. Bishop, Pyne and the wets keep this dud in power because if he goes so do they. It was not an easy job to vote the way we did: no Shorten but no Turnbull either. Turbull has be turfed out – he is not going to leave voluntarily.

  57. Nelson Kidd-Players

    iampeter #2139678, posted on September 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    For example they believe that supporting SSM is left wing, when it is clearly the position of someone supporting individual rights.

    True individualists would rather the government stay away from marriage and SS couples to invent their own damn institution.

  58. Nelson Kidd-Players

    Otherwise, agreed: the individualist/collectivist dichotomy is far more useful than left/right.

  59. Mayan

    True individualists …

    … don’t need the government to tell them whether they are married.

    FIFY

  60. H B Bear

    They think Turnbull is not a Conservative but Howard (who ran the biggest taxing and regulating government up to that point in history) is a good Conservative.

    Not me – I’ll happily sink the boot into Howard as often as I can. Waffleworth’s main problem is that on non-economic policies he is indistinguishable from the Greens so he (deservedly) gets lumped in with them. Howard was the opposite.

  61. No Eynestine

    Great comment Ms Judith Sloan. I am a fan.

  62. Empire

    It used to be considered a grave matter to grant limited liability to a company, but now it can be had about $500 and an application form.

    Just as well all that changed. Without limited liability the appetite for risk would have been lower and development slower. Some things would never have been created at all.

  63. Bruce of Newcastle

    Driftforge – There’s a lot of truth in Churchill’s comment:

    Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    What I see happening is when the lefties get control of a right wing party, and then fail to deliver what the people want, that party gets destroyed. In Germany on Sunday in some states the CDU was beaten to third place behind the AfD (which is sort of ALAish) and the lefty SD. They were beaten because Merkel refused to do what the people want her to do, which is control the borders and boot muslims who won’t behave. Either the CDU will find someone to do what is required or they will be another bunch of dodos.

    So there is a sort of evolution in action which goes on. The problem though is when it comes to money everyone likes it and no one likes losing it, so the Left can always appeal to the venal. That takes you to Venezuela and Romania, which is another form of evolution in action. Darwinianly in the case of the leaders: Maduro hasn’t found his gibbet yet but sure looks like he will eventually.

    I don’t see an alternative to democracy short of heaven. Hence Churchill’s mention of “sin and woe”. The problem is in the heart of men.

  64. Muddy

    Why buy Liberal? Because it’s like taking photographs of roadkill: You just can’t help staring and wanting to capture the awesome beauty of death to show your friends that you’re wiser and more confident than you really are. If you had disposable gloves, you’d poke it too, because you know it’s not going to bite you.

  65. Joe

    Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    Whilst I have great respect for Churchill’s leadership during WWII, this statement is just inane.
    We who have lived the result of democracy are in a far better position to judge democracy – and it is found wanting.

    The form of government is mostly irrelevant – it’s the enforcement and respect of individual rights that is of prime issue. Democracy has shown that it is no respecter of individual rights.

  66. iampeter

    True individualists would rather the government stay away from marriage and SS couples to invent their own damn institution.

    Yes exactly.

    Driftforge – There’s a lot of truth in Churchill’s comment:

    See I strongly disagree with that quote. Democracy is NOT a good form of government period. The reason the Founding Fathers of America created a “Republic” is precisely to avoid the pitfalls of Democracy. The difference is that in a Republic the government is restricted by a charter or a constitution or whatever kind of legal document, from violating your individual rights. In a Republic your government can’t seize your wealth, can’t regulate your industries, doesn’t meddle in marriages, etc.

    Republic is the ideal form of government that needs to be worked for, not Democracy.

    If you were to draw spectrum from the right form of Government to outright totalitarianism it would look like this:

    Republic -> Democracy -> Anarchy -> Totalitarian

    Democracy is just a step in the decline from the rule of law that a Republic establishes, to mob rule, to outright anarchy and then finally to a totalitarian regime as the strongest thugs take over. On this Churchill was way off base and the muddling of terms like Democracy in with proper government like Republic is the same issue as the constant confusion between Right and Left.

  67. Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    I think this is pablum, a quote that’s presence in this day and age acts to prevent thought about how government may be improved.

    Are the answers simple? No. And part of that is the simple difficulty that people, presented with sufficient resource, fail to maintain the institutions that earned them sufficient resource in the first place, because those institutions impose atrocity, and the need for them is not nearly so evident in times of plenty.

    In some ways Churchill was a victim of his times. Democracy is great while the culture that sustains it remains great. And yet it continually etches that culture, leading to its eventual destruction. In the days of Churchill, the institutions that sustained Western Civilisation remained in place. Now, not so much.

    It may well be that the cycle of forms of government is near inescapable, and that each is called upon in term as the previous runs its course. That each generation attempts to either improve on what has gone before in the cases where the need is not so great, or to start over again where collapse is inevitable.

    I don’t know. But damned if I’m going to sit by and assume that democracy will eventually take care of all our problems when for the past 200 years evidence has been accumulating that it remains the cause of them.

  68. herodotus

    … Labor is setting the policy agenda on pretty much every topic …

    Labor make more noise, but it’s all crap. The Libs are making less policy, which is a good thing, considering that when they do these days it’s fairly crap as well. At least Abbott could point to some achievements.

  69. Fisky

    GhostWhoVotes [email protected] 7m7 minutes ago
    #Essential Poll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 48 (-1) ALP 52 (+1) #auspol

    Not looking good for Turnbull! Drip, drip, drip…

  70. it’s the enforcement and respect of individual rights that is of prime issue.

    Is it really?

    Individual rights are somewhat of a luxury. Bloody nice to have. But individualism in itself is part of the rot.

    In the end, that which survives is right. This is a longer, harsher version of ‘history is written by the victors’, but it is no less true. Individual rights are ephemera, a codification of courtesies we extend to one another because in general it is to our advantage as a culture to do so.

    In extremis, survival is all. Rights be damned.

  71. Mayan

    In extremis, survival is all. Rights be damned.

    Is there any point in becoming a tyranny to avoid being subsumed by a tyranny?

  72. Squirrel

    Things will continue much as they are until foreigners stop lending us the money to pay for it, or only lend on the condition that we pay much higher interest rates than our Fairy Godmother RBA thinks are appropriate – then we will follow the Euro/Mediterranean path and from that chaos there may, in time, come a rediscovery of the fact that nice things have to be earned and paid for.

  73. Muddy

    It was the insider elite vs the silent middle.
    Think of a simple bubble (dishwashing detergent in water): the new elite perceive themselves as the material structure of that bubble. They are the shiny, reflective strength that holds the world (the air inside the bubble) together. Without them, there would just be air. I’m clueless about physics, but is this simply a delusion, that it’s to do with the air pressure inside and outside, rather than the ‘strength’ of the ‘material’ that holds the bubble together? The rather confused, scientifically-illiterate point I’m trying to make is to do with the self-image of our new elite. Clear as Muddy?

    The question is “Does the Liberal Party have an electoral future with Malcolm Turnbull as leader?”

    You can change the wrapping paper any number of times, spray it with eau de toilette, and play inspiring background music, but underneath it all, Nana has still ‘accidentally’ given you the same pair of second-hand old-lady undies for the fourth Christmas in a row. She’s a sweety, and we’re very attached to the old duck, but there’s only so many times the neighbours will tolerate her washing their new Merc with a whipper snipper before it gets ugly.

  74. Tel

    So, you want a real hard kick in the nuts, or just settle with the lightweight version?

  75. john constantine

    The fundemental transformation of the Australian society, from a mindset that valued production of things that could be traded for currency, to a psyche that values feelings as a currency all of their own is well underway.

    Well underway and funded by money borrowed on behalf of the taxpayer by our social justice overlords.

    Their sob bubble spends billions a year inculcating the kiddies that the government investing in their feelings is the only fair and equal reason it exists.

    Whenever you wonder why the left endlessly sabotages obsolete Australia, just accept that they have figured out that creating a permanent emotional wallow for the voting underclass is the future.

  76. Zyconoclast

    Back ‘o’ Buggery’s Creek being finished any time soon, either.

    I agree as an airport, there is as good as no chance.

    With a name like that, it has been short listed for the fist SSM colony on Sydney’s outskirts.

  77. Mayan

    With a name like that, it has been short listed for the fist SSM colony on Sydney’s outskirts.

    There’s rural retreat in Victoria, too.

    One would almost think an early European cartographer in WA was trying to woo someone.

  78. Tailgunner

    The future of right wing politics is not classical liberalism, unfortunately. It is right wing nationalism and populism, an example being Trump and the European populist parties.

    This.
    The Liberal Party is done.

  79. fhb5

    One option no one has pushed is how political parties are to be funded. My guess is that things would change dramatically if we introduced a system where the only political funding allowed is that from a voter directly. No funding from unions (either in cash or in kind via political ads etc), developers, or any other type of business and the funding is not tax deductible. Any funnelling of cash from an organisation through a voter would be punishable by imprisonment. My guess is that this would change the political landscape dramatically and we might get parliamentarians who actually represent their constituents.

  80. So, you want a real hard kick in the nuts

    Pretty much. And then regular follow ups so that the pain is metered out rather than stored up.

    Is there any point in becoming a tyranny to avoid being subsumed by a tyranny?

    Absolutely. Tyranny’s come in a multitude of different forms, the worst of which we are headed towards. TBH, I’d like to have my choice of tyrannies.

  81. Mayan

    TBH, I’d like to have my choice of tyrannies.

    Feel free to subject yourself to any of the world’s tyrannies, but please don’t inflict one upon the rest of us, who see little point in selling ourselves into slavery in order to avoid being enslaved.

  82. mem

    What short memories you all have and what a bunch of negative old bastards you are. I read many articles analyzing the future of the Labor Party shortly after the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd fiasco. The ALP had been flogged by Abbott and the pundits were predicting the end of the Labor Party. Its constituency was in decline, its policies had nothing to offer modern Australia, it was an anachronism etc,etc.. So cheer up old chums, life beyond the Turnbull wrecking ball will exist. Have faith, be strong and plan for the future. I often think of Turnbull as the devil lurking in the background ready to pounce when an opportunity arises. He’s the big negative force that comes out when you have just made it to high ground and start to relax. But take heart he’s been defeated before and will be again. Life for the Liberals beyond Turnbull!

  83. Kool Aid Kid

    What a snivelling, petty pissant commentary this is. Let’s just sit back and take a peek. In recent times we have the revelations that the dominant branch of the ALP has been totally corrupted by a half baked spiv, who has nevertheless been able to force supposedly leading figures such as Premier Carr to accomodate his transactions. We have seen the future of the ALP, also from NSW, admit that when billed a trivial amount by the Parliament for costs he felt it appropriate to ask a private concern affiliated with the Chinese Govt to pay his personal account. We have unions running an agenda through their agent ALP to protect building industry corruption. We have an alternative PM who is openly in the hands of people like Carr and Conroy and their union backers. We have a Victorian ALP Premier who overrules his Minister in order to satisfy utterly outrageous and politically idiotic demands from a union. And so on.
    The fact that the Liberal Party is choosing to support someone who might win elections – as opposed to Abbott, who made it clear in office that he had no clue – is no reason for childish ranting. Unless of course you imagine that Australian politics should end up as the Republicans now find themselves in the US?

  84. goatjam

    The Liberals are an Election Winning Machine. They win so much that I’m getting bored with it.

  85. who see little point in selling ourselves into slavery

    So what aspect of democracy makes it ‘not slavery’?

    The government still takes as much of your money as it wants to.

    The government still cares for you when you are ill or elderly.

    About the only difference is that it is impersonal.

    Slavery and democracy aren’t exactly opposites.

  86. Mayan

    So what aspect of democracy makes it ‘not slavery’?

    This began in the context of an assertion that we should shred our rights to defend against those who would harm us … oh, and shred our rights, which were dismissed as nothing more than courtesies.

    Take a look back at the history of the West, notably look at the history of the English speaking part. That has been a long process of working toward what you dismiss as mere courtesies. Does anyone imagine that the conflict that led to the Magna Carta was about courtesies? Did the Yanks revolt over the rudeness of being taxed without representation? And it is those rights and freedoms that distinguish us from the other cultures, and which have made us wealthy, too.

    When someone says we should get rid of all of that to defend against, say, Islamic conquest, are they not aware of the irony of declaring that we need to become like other cultures so that we can not have one of them foisted upon us?

    If that’s what floats your boat, please head to China, Congo, or Kuwait. I’m sure you’ll love it.

  87. entropy

    The ALP had been flogged by Abbott and the pundits were predicting the end of the Labor Party. Its constituency was in decline, its policies had nothing to offer modern Australia, it was an anachronism etc,etc..

    That is still true. The ALP vote barely improved from the trouncing it got from Abbott a the last election.

    It is an indictment of the uselessness of Turnbull et al that Shorten can get away with looking like a winner. Eventually he will convince enough people he is. In the meantime the libs are bleeding votes to the fringe parties. Both can be true. the major party that can convince those voting for Hansen, Katter et al that they have a reason for voting for them will win the next election. Turnbull won’t and is incapable of doing so.

  88. True individualists …

    … don’t need the government to tell them whether they are married.

    To the extent that they are married, no, the government before 1961 did not ‘tell them’ they were married and neither did it after 1961.

  89. C.L.

    Quite the opposite.
    LOL.
    People actually told the state they had been married.

  90. Yes, indeed. It is quite amazing that almost all of the reasons put forward for marriage redefiniton are simply wrong. I say ‘almost all’ out of charity!

  91. BorisG

    Yet half the electorate are righties: tradesmen, engineers, small business people, people who work in the private sector and do stuff.

    Well, the Libs clearly think these people will have no choice. The policies may be very similar but the pace of debt growth will be slower under LNP, hence many will vote for them.

    OTOH, if these people were really half the electorate, they would organise themselves into a conservative party. The minor party vote was substantial – yet even if they all were one party, they would win no lower house sits.

  92. sfw

    This is the reason that Andrews and Labor won in Victoria, The Libs under Ballieu and Napthine were just dripping wet and the electorate decided to go for the real thing, there wasn’t much choice.

    The fact that the Libs put Mirrabella up for a second time shows that they refuse to learn anything.

  93. Entropy

    Organisations propagate themselves, have no allegiance or sense of duty, and they provide psychological distance between decision makers and consequences. That applies to companies, unions, religious organisations, NGOs, etc.

    Random thought: could it be that the children of nation states, able to be formed by the legal structures of a nation state, be in competition with their parent for the allegiance of the individual?

  94. Mayan

    Random thought: could it be that the children of nation states, able to be formed by the legal structures of a nation state, be in competition with their parent for the allegiance of the individual?

    Interesting. It’s possible, or they could appeal to the self-interest/greed/need for status of a person and offer more of that for pushing their society under a bus than they could obtain any other way.

    Religions can offer things no government can. This isn’t usually a problem though, never mind the delusional conspiracy theories involving Catholic or everyone’s favourite scapegoat. However, a cult or an organisation with cult-like features could be designed to do just that, especially if led by someone with a inclination to create a virtual nation. Of course, this would be easier if the society were only loosely woven, with little to offer people from participation, which leads to Putnam, even those of his conclusions that he rejects.

  95. Robbo

    I want to vote for a Party that is to the right of centre and which will be a fierce defender of, and advocate for, the three great freedoms; freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association. Two out of three, or worse, is not going to be good enough to attract my vote. Just what the hell has happened that has turned the Liberal Party into a pale shade of the Labor Party in such a short time, and where the hell does that leave me? Looking back in time it all started with Malcolm Fraser, the man who had so much to offer and failed at pretty well every opportunity to deliver. Since then a succession of Liberal leaders have been disappointments in so many ways, with each adding his own bit to the slide away from the true values that the Liberal Party has always shouted. Some will protest that John Howard was a man who stood up for all the great principles but I disagree. Howard was always quick to buckle when faced with a screaming media and crazy interest groups and he didn’t mind dumping traditional supporters when he thought it was politically advantageous. The reality is that the Liberal Party has slid away from its traditional supporter base and now it has reached a point where its federal MPs have elected a man as their leader who has political leanings that are indistinguishable from the those of the man leading the Labor Party. I will never vote Labor or Greens but give me a reason why I should vote Liberal. They have walked away from me so I have walked away from them and the distance between us is now so great that it is unlikely that it will ever close.

  96. Mayan

    There’s an article on Macrobusiness titled ‘The Corruption of Australia‘. Arguing over which party is less corrupt is like debating gate latches as the horse runs off into the distance. To quote from the article:

    In the last month alone we’ve seen:
    * The Coalition’s Andrew Robb off to Moelis & Co to plunder his trade contacts;
    * The ALP’s George Wright off to BHP to fight the very policy he’s created;
    * Bob Carr pumping Chinese-funded questionable views;
    * Sam Dastyari likewise;
    * FIRB’s Brian Wilson not even bothering to resign as he joins buyout group Carlysle to give it the inside run.

    It’s across the entire leadership class, business, the executive and the bureaucracy.

    And, as a commenter there pointed out, did any of them think to check their Rolexes for bugs?

    They are all incurably corrupt, because they no longer rely on people (not companies, unions or whatnot) who live in their electorate for finance and physical help. The whole thing is completely estranged from the public whom they are supposed to represent and serve.

  97. Senile Old Guy

    It is an indictment of the uselessness of Turnbull et al that Shorten can get away with looking like a winner. Eventually he will convince enough people he is. In the meantime the libs are bleeding votes to the fringe parties. Both can be true. the major party that can convince those voting for Hansen, Katter et al that they have a reason for voting for them will win the next election. Turnbull won’t and is incapable of doing so.

    All too true.

Comments are closed.