We are witnessing a monumental disconnect among those who define themselves as of the Right.
A stark example is the discombobulation of members of the Conservative Party of the UK, who abandoned former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in droves, suggesting the British Right has lost all faith in its philosophy.
The same is true of the Liberal Party of Australia, which, to a casual observer, appears devoid of political relevance.
In a masterclass of brevity, former Prime Minister Paul Keating said, the point of the Morrison government was, it had no point. And as if to reinforce this fundamental truth, Financial Review national correspondent Michael Roddan described the paper’s latest opinion scribe, former Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker of writing, ‘an inglorious fallacy’.
As for the Australian Left, ably led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the Australian Labor Party, along with a slew of articulate, well-educated independents, occupies the former domain of the Liberal Party, the sensible centre. And big capital is keen to invest in a renewables bonanza, as well as a reworking of the National Broadband Network, a return to local manufacturing, and a mining boom in rare earth metals.
So where now for the Right?
Blind Freddy suggests more copying of the delusional mantra’s of the Republican Party of the United States of America, which seems hell bent on waging a second Civil War.
The enablers of rightist fallacies remain the usual suspects of Sky After Dark, the warrior scribes of News Corp, and a core of ABC journalists who seem to suffer an acute case of Stockholm Syndrome.
Professor Marci Shore, a specialist in European cultural and intellectual history at Yale University, believes the terms Left and Right gained the prominence we now understand during the interwar years of the 20th Century. ‘A time of a polarising political spectrum: the Right became more radical; the Left became more radical; [while] the liberal centre ‘melted into air’ (to use Marx’s phrase).’
Professor Shore’s assessment is an accurate description of contemporary Australian politics.
But can this state of affairs last, especially in a party notorious for acts of self-implosion?
I think the answer is yes, providing Albanese remains in the top job.
Albo first eyed the top job when he backed Rudd in the election of 2013, when Kevin saved some of the furniture. After the seminal ALP Cabinet Meeting held in the Balmain Town Hall and in the dark year that followed, Albo enlisted former Senator John Faulkner to analyse the catastrophic infighting which resulted in the debacle of the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd years.
Then, following the 2019 election loss, Albo pipped Bill Shorten for the top job. And in the bitter three years which ensued, it became obvious to ALP rank and file, and the party’s state and national executives, that unity is paramount, if a party of the left is to become a party of Government.
After a decade of mean-spirited governance which delivered almost nothing of value to the Commonwealth, the Australian electorate yearned for stability, and voted for what Scott Morrison aptly described as ‘the “most left-wing leaning” Labor leader since Gough Whitlam.’
In defining how the Right now emboldens the Left, I leave the last words to Malcolm Turnbull, who said, ‘Political disunity is death’.
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