Feb 232011
 

You know things are crook in Tallarook when Chris Mitchell, or one of his shadows, writes an editorial damning Conservative politics with very faint praise.


He/they/it warns Tony Abbott and the ‘Liberal’ Party – a misnomer of the first order – against the death knell of any political organisation. Disunity. It’s hardly anything new to those of us who watch events, that disunity and individual ambition were always the bugbear of the Conservative parties post the Howardian era. Conservatism by its nature is most unified when on top of its game. When a surfer rides a wave, for the briefest of moments he or she is in complete charge of self, board and the dynamic water holding both up & moving. The balancing act requires an expert knowledge of probabilities, when to move around, when to stay still and when, ultimately, to bail out else the water overcome the surfer. Howard surfed a political wave for 11 years. Wobbly as he stood up, almost losing government in his first tilt, then running into easy water funnelled by along by bigotry, fear and loathing. The wave ran out when the people powering it reached shore & realised it was barren, desolate and presented no future. The water receded from Howard, leaving him stranded, as any ocean of discontent will inevitably do.
Conservatism in Australia is still looking for a leader. Tony Abbott is not he or she. Tony Abbott is in the seat by the good graces of one individual. Only one. His modus operandi is divisive, directionless and focuses only on achieving what he feels he’s been cheated out of. The Lodge. He blames, either tacitly, or overtly as most see it and certainly the editorial author sees it, “a grab bag of independents”. Yet, he persists in attempting to woo these independents to his way of thinking, all the while utterly ignoring the rationale employed by those independents in backing a Labor government. That being stability of government & pursuit of that government’s program.
This lack of understanding on Abbott’s behalf is clearly evident in the member for Lyne’s decision to abandon any further weekly meetings with the opposition leader on the grounds of Abbott’s persistent attempts to gain government by convincing the independents to back him and not the government. As I see it, Abbott has nothing to offer anyone to change sides in this game, as he doesn’t offer anything like the stability IN government being displayed by Gillard’s presentation. What possible stability is evident in a party whose elected members seek only to further their own career ambitions, where in-fighting is du-rigueur and competency absent?
That isn’t to say that government is actually superior in any single area, in fact direction on a number of matters appears to be knee-jerk reactionary instead of proactively insightful, but at least the unity of purpose is there. With a hostile Senate in place, there isn’t likely to be anything proactive instigated by government until 1 July this year, when the malcontent elements leave the Senate. Then, and only then are we likely to see what this government’s program agenda really is. That is the political reality, and a reality that few, if any on the opposition benches seem able to appreciate. Without policy direction, conservatism in this country will continue to wander the political wastes. Without truly competent leadership focused on policy as opposed to opposition for opposition’s sake, genuine Liberalism will not undergo the re-birth it so badly requires.
If the Editor in Chief of the Conservative Express can see what’s happening, then clearly, Blind Freddy is the one in charge of the opposition parties. Mitchell is correct. Gillard & her government are dining out on this incompetence & disunity displayed by Abbott et al. If he ever hopes to secure government, he will only achieve it at the ballot box. Not in weekly meetings with independently elected members of Parliament.