Henry Ergas on the challenges for the Coalition

Henry Ergas (our own Henry) pointed to the existential crisis for Labor to keep hold their traditional vote while their policies are written the progressive left. Then he warned that this is no reason for complacency on the non-left.

However, there are also crucial areas in which the Coalition is struggling. Pope Leo XIII observed in one of his encyclicals that every error contains a grain of truth. Unfortunately, there is that and more in Labor’s claim that the Coalition lacks a comprehensive vision for education, health and aged care — and it is simply undeniable that whatever vision it has falls well short of a credible road map for reform.

But mere tinkering cannot resolve those areas’ deep-seated difficulties; if they are left to fester, it will take more than a miracle for the Coalition to win the next election.

I am looking forward to future columns from Henry to contribute to the vision for those areas because you would have to be a raving optimist to expect it to come from Liberal Party. Word has come from Kirralie Smith of Binary that Drag Queen Story Time is now being promoted as a huge attraction at South Australia’s biggest children’s festival next week.

Promoted to kids as young as 0-8 years old, it’s funded by the South Australian Liberal government and will be held at the State Library.
And for the sake of our children’s innocence, we can’t miss this opportunity to protest such overt brainwashing of vulnerable kids into the transgender agenda.
So please take action today by signing this petition calling on the South Australian Liberal government to cancel Drag Queen Storytime.
It is so important we send the South Australian Liberal government a strong message they won’t forget.
Together, we can be a voice for Australia’s children.
Yours sincerely
Kirralie Smith
Binary Spokeswoman

Getting back to core business in education and health, where are the plans that are required to do something that makes a difference? Spending more money is not the answer, the Liberals have been doing that although the Liars Party claim otherwise.

The think tanks have been active here and also independent commentators like Kevin Donnelly. Now is the time to make the good work better known.

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14 Responses to Henry Ergas on the challenges for the Coalition

  1. stackja

    ALP plan to unseat JH then MT created havoc, TA tried, MT again. MSM helping ALP with ‘polls’.
    Scomo is an unknown quantity.

  2. stackja

    ALP/MSM will continue to push for socialism. And homosexual lobby want to extend their agenda.
    Voters will have to be patient.

  3. I think it needs to be understood that SA is not normal, no matter which party is in charge of the circus.

  4. nb

    It would be great to see the libs properly define the problems, publicise the problems, and be seen to provide effective solutions. It is unimaginable that the majority of the public would not be on side.
    The main problem is not the ideas of the left, but the use of taxpayers’ money to promote them, and the use of state coercive power to enforce them. No liberal principle need be overturned to reduce state support for the left agenda. In fact, reduction of state interference in daily life, including the life of ideas, is deeply consistent with liberal principles.

  5. John Barr

    The first thing that needs to happen in Education is to put a stop to the pushing of Socialism/Marxism as a panacea to the Worlds ills. It’s not.

    Name a Country that Socialism/Marxism has improved the lot of the ordinary person. Eg; Venezuela?

  6. Roger

    What can Morrison do?

    Start with guaranteeing freedom of speech and religion.

    From The Australian:

    Voters derail the PC freight train

    Israel Folau comprehensively upstaged the recent election campaign. But both leaders fled from the issue of his sacking by Rugby Australia over his social media posts, despite its obvious importance to ordinary people.

    They kept the conventional political wisdom, which is to stick tightly to the well-worn path of “it’s the economy, stupid” and to treat other issues as dangerously off-message.

    But the interest was so intense, and the events so current on election day, that it would have affected the psychology of many voters.

    Voters don’t always know what “it” is but they connect it to stories like Folau’s. It’s often called political correctness. Others relate it to freedom of speech, cultural Marxism or the Greens. Whatever it is, Scott Morrison’s “quiet Australians” hate it.

    These are the people who don’t care to know what a Ruddock review is, nor do they pontificate in the abstract world of political philosophy and democratic freedoms.

    The only politician most of them can identify is the Prime Minister. But they sure know Folau. When issues of political correctness touch something as dear to the Australian heart as their sport, it suddenly becomes very relevant indeed.

    The outcry over Folau’s treatment was enormous. Everyone who wrote or spoke about him was guaranteed an audience.

    The last time I saw something gain so much traction from the world of political correctness was when that world touched something else Australians love: their kids. When the so-called Safe Schools program brought it home to the family, people got mad.

    Yet, true to form, politicians ignored it, fled from it or became complicit in it.

    I have seen focus groups and polling done on this stuff, and it tears the conventional political wisdom to shreds. People do care deeply about it and it makes them angry, every bit as angry as a death tax or indeed any economic issue.

    It comes as no surprise to me, then, that voters who care about such matters swung to the government in droves. The outer suburbs and smaller cities of middle Australia delivered big swings, along with ethnic and faith communities. A coalition of groups campaigned in crucial electorates such as Chisholm, Boothby and Bass with a steady flow of materials on religious freedom and political correctness. It worked.

    Maybe it’s time for these Australians to know they are free to talk like a footballer and keep their job. To quote their sacred texts without fear. To take their son’s dress off and tell his primary school to please cut it out.

    Here is a chance for Morrison to tell the quiet Australians he is for them and, because he is for them, he is giving them legislation that says “rack off” to the politically correct bullies.

    But first the government needs to stop fleeing from opportunities such as the Ruddock review into religious freedom; to stop treating them as controversies to be avoided but opportunities to be seized.

    Some legislated freedoms in the realms of thought, conscience, and religion would have been a welcome political counterbalance to the festival of anti-discrimination statutes.

    How anti-discrimination — a single human right among many — came to be legislated in more than a dozen acts, enforced by state-based commissions and tribunals, and rounded out with six of the eight commonwealth human rights commissioners, is bewildering. Small wonder, then, that we are drowning in activist-led litigation and bullying.

    Folau was merely the famous one who got noticed. There are dozens more who have been in similar trouble for much less.

    The law firm I helped establish has handled more than 60 cases where Australians have lost their jobs, were stripped of their professional accreditations, were hauled up for hate speech, booted out of university, denied the right to be foster parents, and generally bullied every which way imaginable by activists wielding reams of legislation, backed by a discrimination commissioner with an Orwellian mindset.

    And yes, like Folau, they have mostly been religious. Because the religious are the low-hanging fruit for these bullies.

    But mark my words, they won’t stop there.

    Meanwhile, the government is holding out a few shrivelled fig leaves to solve the problem — running away, as usual.

    On offer is another anti-discrimination act (this time for religion) and a review of exemptions to anti-discrimination laws to be done by the Australian Law Reform Commission — no doubt destined to say much, do little and ultimately gather dust in the parliamentary library.

    Where is the real answer?

    And why are our politicians so afraid?

    Pass a restoration of freedoms act (or whatever name gets a tick from the focus groups) that spells it out, warts and all. An act that tells those who voted for the government that they are not aliens in a politically correct country but that the politically correct are aliens in a free country.

    Free speech. Freedom of association. Freedom of conscience. Freedom for parents.

    Write them down. Legislate them and watch the quiet Australians rejoice.

    To the average voter, the Morrison government’s odour of political correctness seemed less stench-like than Labor’s.

    But it can, and should, do better than fig leaves.

    Martyn Iles is managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He is a former managing director of the Human Rights Law Alliance, a law firm specialising in matters of religious freedom

  7. Mark M

    If Scomo pulled out the UN and it’s global warming scam, he could be PM for as long as he likes.

    Nothing is more important to Australia than a cheap, reliable energy system like the one we had.

  8. Enyaw

    One of the reasons I resigned from the SA Liberals is because of their profound weakness in almost every facet of their style of Government …and now allowing this insidious evil to be presented to our most innocent of little souls is nothing short of depraved lunacy.

  9. Ceres

    Some great comments above. Roger summed up my feelings, I felt like an an alien in a politically correct Australia. All the values I was brought up with and which I regarded as not negotiable, seemed to be disappearing. I was prepared for the worst last Saturday and have been been somewhat reassured as a result of Queenslanders’ common sense.
    As for the lefty preoccupation with so called man made climate change I hope Morrison gets the message that lefty views are not shared by a large proportion of the population. Seize the moment whilst you have the momentum Scott and pull out of Paris whilst the MSM are still licking their wounds from the election result. They’re too busy gnashing their teeth and lamenting their Labor pinup boys and just might go easy on you.

  10. Driftforge

    Sticking to health and education:

    – There are core differences between health and education.
    – Education is a wet string; health is a bottomless pit.
    – i.e it doesn’t matter how much you spend on education above some point substantively below what we spend now. What matters is the quality and capability of the children coming through the system.
    – and also – it doesn’t matter how much you spend on health, the demand for (free) services will always increase to meet the available supply.
    – So the democratically unsustainable solutions are a) to spend substantially less on education, focusing on educating to the revealed capacity of each child, and particularly focusing on the education of the extraordinarily capable, while focusing research on how to achieve those outcomes with less cost; b) to restrain expenditure on health (as is already reasonably well done) while focusing public research on the extraordinary breakthroughs that are now coming available. Establishing our own system for approvals that is clear of some of the flaws of the FDA process might also help.

    So the issue is – as is commonly the case these days – that the actual solutions to the problems that we face are democratically untenable.

    There is arguably no need at all for a public education system. Not sure about elsewhere, but locally the (non-capacity to pay as selection) private schools provide education with a total cost between 20 and 40% lower than the state system per student. The state could literally sell their schools to existing networks and cut 10% from the total state budget by providing funding indirectly.

    You can’t really do that with health, because profit motive doesn’t mix well with societal cost minimisation problems, especially ones that involve people at critical points of need (see also – legal system, prison system). The best solutions are where health is a church matter, and not funded by state theft (cough – taxation) but by voluntary charity. Charity, unlike welfare, is inherently self- limiting and self-optimising.

  11. Shy Ted

    I try not to listen to ABC Adelaide or read the Advertiser but when I accidentally do I’m astonished at what the Marshall gummint is doing, funding and rationalizing. He seems to be at every arts event, probably talking to his advisers. One term gummint.

  12. Squirrel

    One of the many bullets dodged last Saturday was Labor’s promise to uncap university places.

    This country already suffers from wasteful credentialism, and we have far too many people parked in university courses which will qualify them to be “well-rounded” Uber drivers, wait staff and shelf stackers. Aside from a student debt, it will also give them a chip on the left shoulder for the rest of their life when the world doesn’t deliver the lucrative, fulfilling careers they were told their degrees would entitle them to.

    The Coalition could do worse than using the available post-school resources to target areas of obvious skill needs, including with scholarships and/or at least partial fee reductions. Labor’s plans for a big boost for TAFE would doubtless have involved waste and sweetheart deals along the way, but the basic idea had several grains of truth to it.

    As to health, there are any number of options for systemic reform which have been floated over the last few decades, and abandoned for less than worthy reasons. A thoughtful selection from this menu should provide scope for better value for money (including on administration at the federal level) and better outcomes, with less cost-shifting. It’s the sort of thing that could be worked on over the rest of this year, and into early 2020, with some big announcements in the 2o20 Budget.

  13. ArthurB

    The LGBTI activists have been running a non-stop campaign for many years, with remarkable success. Their campaign is based on emotional blackmail, and they never concede an inch. The term ‘homophobia’ is now used to demonise anyone who does not agree 100% with the lobby. For example: my internet home page is Ninemsn, and today there are two leading stories – ‘The British Empire’s Homophobia Lives on in Former Colonies’, and ‘Sea Eagles vs Titans: Joel Thompson denies using homophobic slur’.

    Although only a tiny proportion of the nation is gay, the LGBTI activists have a lot of power, in part because most journalists are sympathetic to the cause. I think it is sinister that the activists are now allowed access to primary schools, so that they can indoctrinate little children.

  14. Pyrmonter

    A challenge Rafe:

    What exactly is so bad about Drag Queens? Pyrmonter is a regular at a Sydney pub featuring drag trivia. It isn’t always G-rated, but in terms of tolerance, spontaneous mutual respect for difference and living with those with whom ones’ politics differs (aka, old fashioned-liberalism), it could teach lessons to a bunch of the tribalists attending the more raucus sessions at Friedman (that climate change one with Nova and Minchin was a disgrace …).

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