There are two books called “The Conservative Revolution”, but, unfortunately, only one on Kindle. Of course, as Kindle is too “non-traditional” it isn’t Cory Bernardi’s book, so unfortunately, I can’t download it and tell you what it says. The blurb for Bernardi’s book on Amazon goes thus:
“An unapologetic advocate for mainstream values, Cory Bernardi presents a bold vision for a stronger nation that is founded on conservative principles. He takes the fight to the political left and calls for an overturning of the existing moral relativism that threatens Australia’s way of life. Bernardi argues that the best way to tackle this threat is to protect and defend the traditional institutions that have stood the test of time, something that he has done during his time as a senator in the Australian Parliament. Bernardi’s work courageously promotes the conservative cause and sets out a path to a better Australia through a commitment to faith, family, flag, freedom and free enterprise. This volume reminds us that conservative principles – not the populist whims of the left – generate enduring stability, success and strength. That is why we need a conservative revolution.”
Now, there’s been a bit of talk about free speech lately. Just yesterday, Tom Harris from the “International Climate Science Coalition” commented about people arguing with him:
“Glad to see John and I have all you freedom of speech opponents in a tizzy. The truth will out in the end and then you will look like fascists trying to silence legitimate scientific debate on something that is costing the world trillions of dollars while real problems such as the famine in the Sahel are not properly addressed.”
As I wrote a few days ago, some people seem to think that anyone arguing against their point of view is inhibiting their free speech. How Harris, who made well over twenty comments on two blogs without censorship, was having his free speech deniied is a mystery to me.
However, when I read some of the Amazon reviews, there was one thing that concerned me more than Bernardi’s statements. Let’s start with the person who gave the book five stars “for standing by a position that many conservatives are too afraid to stand up for”, while admitting that they hadn’t actually read it. I think we can all agree that it’s absolutely absurd to rate a book that one hasn’t read.
Equally, I feel, it’s just as absurd for his opponents to use a book review to condemn the book. By all means, write to the paper, mock his ideas on Facebook, send letters to the Liberal Party, but to condemn the book without reading it strikes me as a little closed-minded.
“We don’t need to read it! We know what he’s saying!” some will argue. And as I said, by all means, argue with the things that you’ve heard him say.
But there is one rather large problem with attacking the book without reading it and it’s this. If you haven’t read it, you don’t know what’s in it. And it’s the sort of stance that will be twisted to make it sound like Bernardi’s detractors are opponents of free speech.
To paraphrase, the late Lionel Murphy, “Mr Bernardi has a right to be an idiot.”
However, I think there’s a more concerning aspect to the current controversy over Bernardi. While we’re all jumping up and down over his interesting views on the traditional family, with Bill Shorten saying that, as a step-father, he was offended, and even fellow Coalition MPs like Warren Entsch condemning Bernardi, the rest of his book is being largely ignored.
Apart from suggesting that the green agenda – which supposedly values plants more than humans – and the Islamic religion are destroying our traditional Western culture, he also talks about that “which must not be mentioned” – Workchoices! (He may like to check the number of centuries that Muslims have lived in Western societies.) We see the following ideas floated:
“Surely an employee should be free to negotiate an acceptable workplace agreement directly with their employer … free from government or union interference,”
“Small business needs to be empowered to hire and fire employees free of illegitimate government interference.”
Now, I’ve always tended to the view that if you have to choose between SNAFU and a conspiracy, then you’re more likely to be right if you pick the former, one can’t help but wonder if this little test of public opinion shows us that we can be distracted from economic policy, if the suggestions on social policy are extreme enough.
If unemployment continues to rise, well, that’s Labor’s fault, isn’t it? Abortion is just too easy these days. If Holden leaves Australia, well, they can’t expect handouts, can they? Families need a mum and dad, not a mum and mum, because then they don’t have a male role model and they won’t be able to fix things. If workers don’t have the skills, then we bring in 457 workers – suggested that our own citizens be trained is “disgusting and racist”, isn’t it? By the way, a muslim in Sydney suggested that sharia law isn’t all bad. And if employers aren’t hiring, that’s because there’s too much red tape, isn’t it?
As for the growing number of unemployed, we need to bring it down, don’t we? More flexibility, less handouts, less union interference. Just don’t call it Workchoices! Remember the economy’s a mess because Labor killed the mining boom and it seems that some people just don’t want to work!
And hey, did you hear what Cory said about single mothers this week?