In the latter part of January, 2018, I had the following published on Professor Davidson’s old Cat2. I do not have a copy of the responses, but I recall the majority slotting comfortably into the ‘You’re over-reacting. If we send them a message, they’ll change,’ category.
Nostalgia is a drug, a sedative. It keeps us on an emotional mid-level: experiencing neither lows nor highs, lest cognition be triggered into responding constructively.
I believe the United Australia Party to be just another distraction squirrel. By paparazziing the cute/novel squirrel, we allow our dysfunctional, dependent relationship with the abusive, manipulative, Liberal Party to remain unchallenged. If we don’t look at it for a while, maybe it will realise what it is missing, and stop screaming at us?
I’ve left the original post as it was, aside from one punctuation change. The mentions of the Australian Conservatives have been left for a reason. As readers will note, I was incorrect in predicting the internecine struggle between the Bernardi splinters and the old timber.
As to how the desired goal is achieved … that remains elusive. I would hope, however, that Cats will avoid the lazy ‘If you haven’t told us how to do it, why should we consider it?’ approach.
Here we go again:
Napalm the Playground.
Can a viable political force representing traditional conservative values, arise and survive on the right of the centre while the Liberal Party of Australia still theoretically occupies that space in the public consciousness?
I don’t believe so, hence this post which argues that the greatest danger for new conservative political representation comes not from strangers, but from familiar faces.
I’ll be using the example of Corey Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, however any other vaguely conservative party, existing or yet to be born, would be applicable. The identity of the alternative is irrelevant. The central premise is that we who desire a change, must make that change happen. If we yearn for a phoenix, first we need ashes; ashes we need to create ourselves as voters.
My semi-regular refrain “The Liberal Party is DEAD” probably reads as flippant and tedious prattle. Beneath it, however, lie two beliefs:
(a) That the Liberal Party of Australia no longer has anything to offer those who believe in conservatism.
(b) That ignored yet tolerated due to sentimentality, or even slightly wounded, the Liberal Party will claw, scratch and spit at anything within reach until its very last spasm. It seeks only to continue existing, to consume the oxygen in its vicinity and deny the same to others.
I believe that such behavior (b) will make it difficult for a viable, conservative alternative to arise and thrive. Therefore the Liberal Party of Australia must be destroyed. Totally.
I have stated previously my hesitations about The Australian Conservatives. Here and now is not the place or time to expand upon those without digressing from the central premise of the post. So let’s just say that hypothetically, I will switch my vote – which I value now, more than ever – to Bernardi’s party if they choose to stand candidates for the House of Representatives. It is certainly not going to the Liberals.
With the Liberal Party still swaggering around the ‘Right’ playground, however, the Australian Conservatives will have competition with an established, well-resourced organisation that still pretends to be conservative for the sake of differentiating themselves from the Labor ferals over the fence in the ‘Left’ playground.
The Liberals will brand themselves as reasonable, everyday, ‘family’ conservatives, and the newcomers as radicals and reactionaries. To we, the already-convinced, this will appear ridiculous, but in the consciousness of the general public, which receives much of their information via the feral-left media, it wouldn’t be a difficult branding task. ‘You know us. You’ve trusted us for decades. Who are these newcomers? Can you trust them? We don’t.’
Bernardi’s crew will flourish better and get away with growing pains and the inevitable mistakes in an empty playground.
Therefore, if we want something else, our first task must be to ’empty’ that political playground. Herd the Festering Zombies into the groundsman’s shed and metaphorically set fire to it. Douse the ashes liberally with acid, then lay an enormous concrete slab over the location. Now the playground is free for the Australian Conservatives to roam, play bullrush, fall over and skin their knees, and generally grow.
But how do we do that? I’m hesitant to suggest the memoryvault tactic, simply because that will lead to a digression and the perennial ‘at least they’re not Labor’ statements. What we need to decide in this thread is if it is necessary to make ashes, or if we think the old turkey and the new phoenix will play together just fine?
Certainly I would agree that reducing, rather than totally destroying the Liberals, is a more practical goal in the short term. The long history that underpins their brand will be enough for many voters to nostalgically cling to, particularly in the absence of a credible alternative that can establish a strong public presence.
If we are talking about realism though, do we think the Australian Conservatives (or another alternative) are going to be able to gain a significant enough initial foothold to be able to call the shots with the remainder of the Libs, assuming we have aimed for only ‘a little off the back and sides’ rather than ‘clippers, no comb?’
If the Liberals lose a substantial number of seats, are they willing to, or capable of, realising why? Or will they simply default to the ‘not left enough’ mentality? If the latter, the remnants will certainly shine the spotlight on the Australian Conservatives as ‘extremists’ and the ‘far right,’ because it will be easier to do so than target Labor or the Year Zeros (I refuse to call them ‘The Greens’). If I was a Liberal strategist, that’s what I would do.
I am not saying don’t vote for the Australian Conservatives or an alternative party, but focus first on destroying their competition. Yes, it is a simplistic strategy, but the idea is to stimulate discussion about how we can make change happen, to our benefit, rather than simply wait and hope and cross our fingers that ‘the universe will provide.’ Which, you have to admit, is about the extent of conservative political strategy in this country.
If we allow the gangrenous, spongy corpse of the Liberal Party to remain, it will spit and dribble and urinate acid on whatever is close to it. No-one benefits from the undead.
Napalm the playground. Allow something to rise from the ashes.
Seat holders must lose their seats and return to be ordinary people in the ‘burbs. They might meet their old constituents. Angry constituents. Very angry constituents.
Per my post in the OT, Matt Cananvan was certainly bashing Scomo re Net Zero via George Christensen’s latest email.
Looks like Russian/China et al gave Net Zero in freezing Glasgow the thumbs down, with public transport, woes per Johanna’s post, virtue signalling fail.
Don’t just sack the bastards, give them a performance appraisal so that they know where and why they failed. It’s the least we can do to help them become useful citizens in whatever new employment they take up.
Old bloke says: November 4, 2021 at 8:58 am
Yes, I have been doing that to both Michael O’Brien and Matthew Guy.
I have been telling them to get some mongrel into their PR system, to learn from Trump who made accurate statements in remarkable, sometimes outrageous ways so that the hostile media could not simply ignore him.
The latest smack-down of Bernie Finn for that brilliant portrait of Fearsome Leader is exactly the own-goal the Victorian Opposition doesn’t need.
True, it’s sad that Tim Smith has ruined his Parliamentary career, but I hope that he can do more good outside the House than inside it.
While the wimpy wets hold the reins, I realise I am beating my head against a brick wall. However, they will not be able to credibly say that they never knew.
Normally, in an election cycle the government of the day p1sses off one or two groups which may weaken its election chances. Now, everything is different than it was in 2019.
Millions of Australians have had their lives turned upside down because of the government’s response to the China Pestilence and I really don’t think they’ll forget it or let the government forget it. I think these are the groups that are very unhappy with the government:
SMEs that have either gone bust or which have been decimated because of government decisions – lockdowns etc;
workers who have lost their jobs as a result of financial damage to the first group;
separated families from the internal border restrictions, especially those whose family members were very sick and/or have died without their relatives’ presence during their illness;
cross border businesses and workers who’ve been unable to attend to their normal activities or who require ongoing travel papers daily and who’ve had to contend with state governments shutting a border without notice;
the closing of whole industries almost on a whim – see construction in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and/or in Melbourne;
the lockdown of Melbourne/Victoria for months and the removal of conventional freedoms/police acting like thugs;
forced vaccinations of whole industries and workers stood down and/or sacked for not getting vaccinated;
citizens unable to return home from overseas for months/years;
Voters/Liberals/conservatives upset at the weakness of the Prime Minister and the Government vis a vis the Premiers/State Governments on closed borders etc, as well as the Prime Minister’s refusal to call out the premiers on their heavy-handed approach to citizens;
people wanting to re-locate their families to other states to start a new life and being denied entry;
vaccination being mandated across whole sectors and in some cases states, yet the Prime Minister insisting that such a thing does not exist in Australia;
People and their families with post-vaccination side effects that have permanently changed their lives;
voters betrayed by the government’s nett-zero emissions decision;
voters angry that so much money has been expended and the nation will be in debt for decades.
That is more than a sizable number of disgruntled voters, but if I thought a bit harder I probably could identify a few more groups.
Though we are possibly still 5-6 months away from the next election and the government may think there’s time to fix up its electoral fortunes, I can’t see that happening: as the virus retreats it will be the refuse of the government’s policies that stay in the voters’ experience.
So we are at a stage where drastic considerations are becoming more likely. 75k people supposedly have signed up to the United Australia Party and Craig Kelly’s leadership is a giant plus to persuade fence-sitters. Those numbers and the presence of the party on the airways and on tv is light years ahead of where the Australian Conservatives ever got.
Imo, the United Australia Party does give Liberal voters a real alternative, especially in such trying times when drastic measures are needed. And even if there’s been previously a concern that it’s only the SFLs or the Liars, that worry is null and void because of the UAP.
True, it’s sad that Tim Smith has ruined his Parliamentary career, but I hope that he can do more good outside the House than inside it
See my comment – we’re in drastic times. Tim Smith should be supported by his Party; if Matthew Guy won’t do that then he doesn’t want to win the Victorian state election.
Bar Beach Swimmer says: November 4, 2021 at 7:20 pm
I happen to know that Tim is not viewed well by the power brokers in the Libs administration. Hence as others have said, schadenfreude flows generously on both sides of the political fence.
So, sadly, I have to agree with you. Yet another reason not to vote for them. UAP come on down to Victoria.
Enact the immediate implementation of “Right of Recall”into ALL govt elections, State and Federal. If is known that your local Member can be called to task and forced to show cause or face another immediate election campaign, if enough voters are unhappy with their performance,or, action on election promises, then the politicians might just see that they are under an obligation to actually do what they promised.
“Imo, the United Australia Party does give Liberal voters a real alternative…”
Agreed – although perhaps for a different reason.
What the majors have forgotten is that there are two aspects to the conservative/progressive divide – the fiscal and the social.
Fiscal – conservative: we should live within our means vs progressive: gov should spend as much as required to reach the goal
Social – conservative: reduce/remove regulation, the market should rule vs progressive: we need more regulation to reign in the greedy evil bastards and protect those “down on their luck” etc.
The “middle” or swing voters have been disenfranchised by the lack of acknowledgement of this duality – both the centre-left and centre-right. Many are fiscally conservative and socially progressive – they want to help those down on their luck, but also don’t want strangling regulations that entrench the “big guys” monopolies. They want freedom for the most part, but are willing to accept certain constraints that they feel are beneficial to society as a whole.
These are the people that I think UAP can and have targeted, and I think it is a winning strategy if adhered to and done well. It also, of course requires widespread knowledge of the policies. Fortunately, one of the “pluses” of the covid debacle has been to bring such matters to the attention of many in the disenfranchised middle – it may indeed be the traditional (mostly) labour voters who get UAP over the line in many electorates.