“The Liberal Party is a broad church. You sometimes have to get the builders in to put in the extra pew on both sides of the aisle to make sure that everybody is accommodated…” (John ‘The Lying Rodent’ Howard, 2005).
“Separation of church and state was set up to protect the church from the state, not the other way around. To protect religious freedoms.” (Prosperity gospellor Brother Scooter Morrison, 2017).
It’s hard to imagine, in these days of unfunded empathy, that the Liberal (sic) Party once had a social conscience. Robert Menzies said this in one of his Forgotten People radio talks in 1942:
“The country has great and imperative obligations to the weak, the sick, the unfortunate. It must give to them all the sustenance and support it can. We look forward to social and unemployment insurances, to improved health services, to a wiser control of our economy to avert if possible all booms and slumps which tend to convert labour into a commodity, to a better distribution of wealth, to a keener sense of social justice and social responsibility. We not only look forward to these things, we shall demand and obtain them.”
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there” wrote British novelist L. P. Hartley and nowhere is that more demonstrable than the devolution of Menzies’ Liberal Party into a get rich ponzi scheme of unsustainable greed, corruption, silencing of dissent and rape of the environment. In hindsight Pig Iron Bob never looked so good.
The turning point for the Libs came with the election of that beetle-browed, guileful goblin John The Lying Rodent Howard as PM. Howard bastardised the Menzies doctrine of self-reliance and reward for effort into a “fuck you, Jack, I’m alright” dog whistle to the worst instincts of the suburban, McMansion dwelling electorate who were ready to be convinced that they too could be partying with the glitterati at Tetsuyas or Vue de Monde if they signed on via their ballot papers.
Howard’s “broad church” was one of exclusion of the undeserving – much of middle Australia did not want to think of themselves as losers and so swallowed Howard’s devious doublespeak. It was the cosh of Work Choices that revealed the devious Howard’s divide and conquer agenda. Despite Howard’s subsequent humiliating demise the template for the pestilent behaviour of the Libs had been established – Sloppy Joe Hockey’s “lifters and leaners” and Scooter’s “if you have a go you’ll get a go” are just variations of Howard’s “aspirational Australians” dog whistle.
Stemming from the dark, divisive Howard days of pissing on those on the outside of their tent the Tories have further degenerated into a secret society of nodders and winkers, cronies, brown baggers, spivs, shonks, poons, privateers, liars, thieves and touts. What later happened with the advent of the Mad Monk, a Strop clone and winner of the who-could-possibly-be-worse-than-Howard lottery, is that the religious wackos have assumed full control. The pews of the broad church accommodate a nut cluster of bigots, hypocrites, sky pilots, shrubbery-lurkers, bookburners, curtain twitchers and creationists under the autocratic rule of a smug mammonite.
Post-Captain Catholic, we now have Brother Scooter assuming the missionary’s position of preaching archaic dogma to con the natives into submission.
The Engadine poo jogger is a fitting representative for today’s regressive Tories. Those of them who are uncomfortable with Scooter’s bizarre, Rent-A-Jesus prosperity gospelling cult of latter day spivs have shown that they’re OK with the greed-is-good product; they’re only resentful of Scooter’s arrogant belief in his own infallibility and are nervous about his closed-eyes, arm-waving marketing. Newspeak is accepted Tory practice, glossolalia though is just plain weird.
Religion and politics have always been tainted by the other. The border between them remains very porous well into the 21st century when science, evidence and facts should’ve triumphed over superstition.
Scooter’s literal belief that he’s been anointed by a Range Rover-driving, heterosexual, sadistic, self-obsessed, all-powerful deity explains his hypocrisy, hubris, humbug, bigotry, persecution of “the others”, autocracy, smug arrogance, science denial and disdain for scrutiny and accountability. His religion-for-sale beliefs provide him with endorsement of his appalling lack of basic decencies.
Under Morrison, Howard’s “broad church” is only for the righteous; the tithers buying divine favour, the wealth-is-a-virtue grifters and profiteers and the meek and the compliant. As far as Brother Scooter is concerned the rest of us can go to hell.
This article was originally published on The Grumpy Geezer.
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