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A “new generation” or a bunch of old Christians and young fogies?

When Tony Abbott first put his hand up for the Liberal Party leadership back in 2007 (withdrawing before the ballot), Paul Keating called him the “young fogey” – an apt description of an anachronistic man whose personal beliefs are out of touch with those of the majority of Australians.

Scott Morrison assures us that he has installed a “new generation” of leaders but it is increasingly apparent that what we now have is a government full of young fogies.

While Australians overwhelmingly endorsed marriage equality in the very expensive non-binding voluntary survey thingy, when it came time for our politicians to vote, 25 Coalition MPs and Senators chose to ignore the will of the people by voting NO or abstaining. These included Scott Morrison, Bridget McKenzie, Matt Canavan, Michaelia Cash, David Littleproud, Stuart Robert, Zed Selesja and David Fawcett, all of whom now hold positions in Morrison’s ministry, as well as ‘Special Envoys’, Abbott and Joyce.

Scott has quickly launched his attack on the values taught at state schools (despite having attended one himself), exhorted us to all to pray for rain, and to love each other.

Yet several others who refused to vote for marriage equality are those who are suspected to be among the infamous bulliers in the recent leadership spill – Andrew Hastie, Michael Sukkar and James McGrath for example.

The Christian lobbyists are sensing an ascendancy and lining up to make their demands, but does this “new generation” of leaders understand, let alone represent, the new generation of Australians?

In the 2016 census, 39% of young adults aged 18-34 reported no religion. A further 12% reported a religion other than Christianity. That is over half of our young adults who are not interested in some sort of Judeo-Christian version of the world they live in.

Debate about free speech has flared again – whether it is for religious people, angry about marriage equality and Safe Schools, who want to enshrine their right to shun, or white nationalists who demand a platform to attack minorities.

But views on this tend to be age-related too.

Forty percent of millennials in the US – where free speech is enshrined in its constitution – think the government should be able to prevent people from saying things that offend minority groups, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. That drops to 27% among generation X respondents, 24% among baby boomers and just 12% for “silent generation Americans,” aged 73 to 90.

There is also a generational divide in major emitting countries over who should bear the greatest burden in curtailing greenhouse gases. Young Americans, Japanese, Indonesians and Australians (those aged 18 to 29) are significantly more likely than their elders (ages 50 and older) to assert that rich countries should do more than developing nations to address climate change.

Vote Compass revealed that young Australians also hold different views on offshore detention for asylum seekers and on immigration more broadly.

Young people are more opposed to boat turnbacks and offshore detention, and more supportive of an increase in Australia’s refugee intake.

“Young people overall tend to have a more cosmopolitan view of the world,” said Dr Aaron Martin, a lecturer in political science research methods at the University of Melbourne. “That’s obviously a pretty sweeping statement but I think having travelled more, having lived in a more diverse country … that explains the age differences there.”

ABC election analyst Antony Green agreed. “Young voters grew up in a more multi-ethnic society than older Australians,” he said.

Old white Christian males in our government, and the young fogies who lust after that exclusive power and privilege, are moving us away from science and back to the days of fear, intolerance and discrimination where faith trumps fact and “others” are viewed with suspicion..

One bonus is that the marriage equality plebiscite motivated many young people to enrol to vote. In fact, in the couple of weeks after the voluntary survey was announced on August 8 last year, almost one million Australians had either enrolled for the first time or updated their details.

The next federal election will be the first chance for many of these voters to give an opinion on the man who stopped the boats and who denied abuse was happening in our detention centres, the man who refused to vote for marriage equality and who doesn’t want our kids to talk about respectful relationships or gender diversity, the man who brought a lump of coal into parliament and who scrapped any policy for emissions reduction, the man who wants us to pray to break the drought.

It’s time for our young to raise their voices and for we oldies to get behind them and elect a government who cares about the new generation of citizens rather than their ‘new generation’ of political hacks.


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  1. Diannaart

    Here’s the deal, ScoMo, you old young fogie, you believe in a single deity (that means only one of its kind and not unmarried, right?) anyway, you believe you can pray for rain. Well, I am praying to the same deity, to ensure at the next election you and all your old young fogies are tossed out, never to return until the LNP is actually replenished with a fully representative party, starting with but not limited to, 50% female … but maybe not so representative of bullies … had a gutful … we need to get things done.

  2. Terence Mills

    Barrie Cassidy and Josh Frydenberg on Insiders

    Cassidy: Just tell the people of Australia why Malcolm Turnbull was sacked.

    Frydenberg: I think that the focus for the Morrison government and for all my colleagues is on delivering more jobs, lower taxes and the essential services.

    It’s not looking good when our Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the Liberal party cannot answer a simple question !

  3. Shaun Newman

    Yes, the assembly of God Australian Branch of the USA cult is prominent in this Morrison government Ministry with Stuart Robert being bought back into the Ministry as Assistant Treasurer, following his humiliation of having to resign from the Ministry for his indiscretion in China a couple of years ago.

    The balance is an eclectic combination of strange weird and wonderful characters like Christopher Pyne as of all things Defense Minister, still, I suppose following the drubbing in NSW last weekend with a 29% swing against them, the tories will be looking only at Ministerial pensions for their ‘best mates’ following their time in the national parliament lol.

  4. Bronte ALLAN

    Well said Diannaart! The biggest trouble with ALL the happy clapper, flat earth, right wing, inept, lying so-called “liberals” is that they are still in charge, but hopefully enough “normal” or reasonable Australians will do the right thing when the next election is called & get rid of the lot of them. We HAVE to have the Labor lot in by next year, for sure! We, as Australians, have all suffered enough with ALL their incompetent ways! We deserve better! Well written article, as usual, Kaye!

  5. Cynthia

    I would not “pray for ràin”, but would consider it for ” an election now”.

  6. Peter F

    Diannart, I love the idea of better representation for women. It saddens me that women should apparently ONLY be selected on mereit: something clearly not applicable to men in the selection process.

  7. Kaye Lee


    I love Mungo’s nickname for our new PM…. ProMo is so much more apt than ScoMo

  8. David Bruce

    Is it possible that the LNP has created our own swamp in Canberra? The Murdoch sponsored yes men who appear to be in charge are serving Australian interests very poorly. Is anyone thinking and working towards the Australia we want to be in 2030? Or is that being decided for us by the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) with increased immigration, austerity and more involvement by the International Misery Fund (IMF)? Do Australians really believe the changes to our society are beneficial, or can we thank the controlled media for forming our opinions?

  9. Diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    I was looking for an alternative to “ScoMo”, trust good old Mungo’s deliciously fertile imagination … “ProMo” it is.

  10. Sadha R

    All the prayers to an imaginary super power will not save this lot.

  11. paul walter

    Straight out of Bronte and Dickens.

  12. Andrew Smith

    Doubt it’s a coincidence that conservatives target and assume ownership of regional electorates, if we ignore recent by elections.

    Regions everywhere (inc. Europe, US, UK, Turkey, Russia etc.) have ageing, and declining populations while youth emigrate to cities, making the same electorates more Conservative, including some old Labor or left support (through some anti-immigrant sentiment).

    US Conservative Nativists, Erdogan, Orban et al. understand the importance of regions and buying or attracting votes to form their last redoubts, lacking diversity of youth and working age to resist

  13. John Higgins

    I worked in the hospitality industry for 35 years travelling on sales calls to Japan three times a year. Try explaining ProMos great idea of “Australia where the bloody Hell are ya?” Tourism Australia spent a fortune on a huge railway station wall promoting the campaign in Japanese, the only problem was it was Roppongi railway station which is mainly patronized by American and European business people. Why it wasn’t located at Shinjuku where 4 million Japanese pass through each day was an example of base stupidity. I never could quite accurately explain the campaign … it doesn’t translate … dumb and dumber … no change there in Leadership

  14. Max Gross

    Scomo, nah. Scummo? Yep!

  15. New England Cocky

    @diannaart, Kaye Lee &Mx Gross: Another offering is “Scat Morriscum” …. look it up in your dictionary, it is little scientific for that lot to understand.

  16. Jaquix

    OMG look at Morrison with his Judas hands on Freydenberg and McCormacks shoulders?

  17. Christina Heath

    I have one prayer. ‘Dear God. Please deliver us from SCOMOSAURUS.’

  18. Rhonda

    Amen, Christina, & praise Dog 🙂

  19. paul walter

    They are very old young men, the Alan Tudge/ Christian Porter types. Upbringing?

    The older ones, by contrast, have the traits of delinquents.

  20. Wayne Phillips

    Can ProMo please explain why “god” has given the farmers of NSW and southern Queensland the drought in the first place?

  21. Matters Not


    given the farmers of NSW and southern Queensland the drought in the first place?

    Probably, as a punishment and an example. Voting for same-sex marriage is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord so it’s only fitting that – Drought, Famine, Earthquakes, Pestilence and Extreme weather be bestowed upon the land.

    Clearly there’s worse to come. So look out Victoria, South Australia, Western …

    Don’t like that explanation? In the world of ‘faith’ (magical constructions of reality), there are many other options. What one would you like?

  22. Peter F

    MN…… praying for rain is an attempt to communicate with the weather.

  23. johno

    Rain follows the plough. Ideology of the late nineteenth century.

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