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Abbott and a “conservative centre-right”

By Niall McLaren

Before the toreador moves in for the highly-staged kill in a bullfight, picadors and clowns taunt and humiliate the trapped animal, injuring it and goading it to a frenzy so that it becomes incapable of defending itself. We see much the same process going on in the Liberal Party.

Dumped PM Tony Abbott is reported as congratulating his nemesis by moving the party to a “strong centre-right” position where it embraces “what might broadly be called conservative positions.” If the LNP does not do this, Abbott warns darkly, people who favour such policies will follow “other standard bearers,” clearly implying hard-right fringe parties.

It should be noted that the concept of a “conservative centre-right” party is an oxymoron. Politically, “centre” and “conservative” are far removed from each other. A conservative policy is by definition not centrist. One would expect a former Rhodes Scholar to know this. However, Mr Abbott is much more cunning than the average voter. He knows perfectly well that when he uses the term “centre-right,” he actually means “right of centre,” and that his supporters and financiers fully understand this small point. “Right of centre” embraces everything from the very moderate welfarist-protectionist policies of Menzies and Fraser, out to the rabid right which has just thrilled Mr Abbott and his friends by annointing Donald Trump.

Abbott’s goal is to shift the concept of a political centre, which is defined as “the avoidance of extremes,” to somewhere far to the right of the people who built the Liberal Party. In the process, he and his supporters intend to scare or drag the Labor Party into following them, effectively somewhat to the right of Menzies, in fact. In this, he is proving very successful.

The anti-establishment insurgency of Donald Trump (which was actually a vote against the corruption of the globalist elite, which the Clintons represent so ably) has greatly excited Mr Abbott. Dressed in his clown uniform, he has jumped down into the arena to taunt and goad the (Turn)bull that deposed him into making some impulsive, ill-judged move, thereby exposing his neck to the toreador’s rapier.

Putting aside the rather painful puns, the danger is that the political “centre” has been dragged far to the right. The globalist-corporatist Malcolm Turnbull saw that, in Australia, this is politically risky and attempted to halt the process but he had to sell his soul to the so-called “make Australia great again” brigade. Turnbull and Abbott have no fundamental disagreement on the basics of their respective programs: to advance the goals and ambitions of the transnational financial-industrial-militarist elite. They differ only on tactics. The concept of a “conservative centre-right party” is part of the obfuscation that has allowed Trump to put his stubby fingers on the nuclear buttons. Voters need to beware of such Orwellian thought crimes.

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  1. Zathras

    If the Trump vote was an anti-establishment protest, then how does electing a representative of the same establishment resolve it?

    Trump has been bankrupted several times and has a history of exploiting and underpaying his workers and contractors as well as outsourcing to meet his business needs.

    Is it some sort of homeopathic remedy where subjecting yourself to a bit of the disease is also the cure?

    Homeopathy has been proven to be nonsense, as is Abbott’s opportunistic claim.

  2. Wayne Turner

    Indeed Zathras.Trump being anti-establishment is a BIG LIE.He fits the perfect profile of THE establishment – A self serving millionaire who hasn’t paid taxes for years. He’s conned the desperate,gullible and ignorant,by saying what they wanted to hear (Including “scapegoating” every poor non-white minority) and promising the world with unworkable policies eg: Bringing jobs back from countries that pay slave labour wages.How? By paying workers even lower slave labour wages? and/or empty slogans ie: Abbott USA style.

  3. Ria, Young

    Hope Tony can move the LNP so far to the right that it will move itself out of existence. Current policies are far removed from the earlier concepts of fairness. Tony will always be remembered for the litany of lies he told to get elected. The best thing that could happen is the country party, the Nationals, to wake up to themselves, and break the Coalition. They are just the ‘yes’ men and do nothing to help the country people.

  4. townsvilleblog

    Abbott and a “conservative centre-right” there is nothing “centre” about this fanatical ultra right wing conservative faction within the Liberal Party, they are a hare’s breath away from being fascists.

  5. guest

    Americans seem to be bedazzled by celebrity and wealth. Trump impresses the poor and disaffected by his talk of restoring the American Dream because he seems to have achieved it and they want it too. The Clintons, however, despite their wealth, cannot deliver. Trump promises to “drain the swamp”.

    The Australian raises this kind of point by speaking to a citizen of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Hillary Clinton grew up and her father was born. Obama’s Vice President, Joe Biden, was born there. You see the connection?

    The citizen says:”Every politician who takes office in this country makes themselves richer rather than the working man…At least Donald Trump is a billionaire, he doesn’t need any more money – he owns more than half of New York City so if he can bring that business model to the United States, we can start making money again.”

    Another citizen, a construction worker, says:”I’m 61 years old I never voted before in my life and I registered this year just to vote for Trump…I decided to vote for him on the day I heard he was going to build that wall (along the Mexican border). He said that on the radio as I was driving past a (construction) job we had bid on unsuccessfully and there were 10 Mexicans working on it.”

    So there is this big hope for the American Dream and the desire to deny it to others, even though Mexicans, for example, are employed as cheap labour. Millions in the world migrate in search of a better life where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer

    A woman complained about the cost of Obamacare, but it cost her more not to take it up.”Why should the government get involved in health care?” Too much power for government.

    But there were others who rejected Trump. Lack of experience with the military and with politics (“…all Trump has ever done is build buildings”}, taking race relations back to the 1960s…

    And so when we look at reasons for voting for Trump it all depends on the words and how people interpret them. Even the most outrageous declarations in Trump’s policy-making are excused as “he did not mean it”. Others see his statements for what they really are.

    So what did he mean? Is he really going to build a wall? Is he really going to deny Climate Change? Is he really going to shut out Muslims while he investigates the reasons for terror? Is he really going to annihilate ISIS? Is he going to increase military power? Is he going to create more jobs? Is he really going to make trade deals favour the USA?

    Trump’s words, Make America Great Again, are full of nostalgia. They are not words of forward vision. He is fighting globalisation even while the USA plunders the world.

  6. Wayne Turner

    Trump has all the answers,but no real workable solutions.

  7. crypt0

    From time to time i hear people refer to abbott and the hard right of the Liebral party, which suggests that there are some who are not of the hard right.
    Can anyone name a few of these alleged LieNP members, who presumably might be of the “centre-right” ?
    That whole mob seem alike to me … Like Townsvilleblog said … above.

  8. Harquebus

    Abbott, Turnbull and Trump along with every other politician that I can think of shares a common absurd ideology that guarantees their failure. A belief in the concept of infinite growth.
    While they continue to pursue their absurd ideology, their continuing failure will only exacerbate and we will see many more like Abbott, Trump and Hanson enter the political arena.

  9. Cynthia

    I think Trumps is a “snake oil salesman”.

  10. Max Gross

    Abbott is so far to the right of centre he has all but fallen off the flat earth he sails upon

  11. Athena

    “If the Trump vote was an anti-establishment protest, then how does electing a representative of the same establishment resolve it?”

    This is the problem with the working class people who vote for candidates like Trump and Pauline Hanson. They run on emotions, not critical thought, and they’re extremely gullible. Conservatives know that and exploit it. The rest of us are aware that he has no intention of following through on promises to help the little guys.

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