“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” is a near perfect description of what is going on inside the Liberal party right now. They don’t just appear to be disunited and dysfunctional, in reality, they are all of that.
No matter how hard Malcolm Turnbull tries to convince us that he is succeeding where Tony Abbott failed, the truth is otherwise. He is proving to be as big a failure as Abbott was, the only exception being that he is able to articulate his failures.
Who would have thought after the debacle that was the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd dysfunction, that this government would be journeying down the same path? Yet here we are, witnessing an internal donnybrook every bit as fierce as that which brought an end to the Labor government in 2013.
What is it about politics that lets this happen? What is it about politicians? What is it about us as a people, that we breed such mongrels? We shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose; it has been going on since Adam and Eve. Never though, has it been so open.
The Turnbull government is in deep trouble and they know it. Their policies are shallow, their vision is non-existent, their judgement is pathetic, their inability to deal with relatively simple issues like marriage equality, climate change, the economy, education, health and welfare is indefensible and the polls show the electorate has lost confidence in them.
Little wonder they are fighting each other. Labor members watching from the sidelines can’t believe their good fortune. What they see is a mirror image of their own behaviour just three and a half years ago. But this one is nastier.
The government’s problems are clear to those of us watching from the balcony. Their inability to think for themselves has allowed outside forces, the ones that fill their coffers, to dictate the terms. These external forces want to maintain the status quo and continue to broaden the gap between them and the working man and woman.
Hence, there is no room to serve the people.
Winning a pay cut for the lowest paid in our society says it all. While politicians, state and federal, feather their nests, taking advantage of rules of their own making, that encourage them to bleed money from the system and while those in the corporate sector pay themselves obscene salaries, those that work on Sundays are being penalised to advance the cause of inequality.
Governments around the world have been dismissed for less. There’s not a spin doctor alive that can fix this.
It’s what happens when one loses control. Someone else steps in to fill the void. The federal government are just pawns playing out a script, backed into a corner with no means of escape. The plutocrats have taken over.
The Coalition will lose the next election by a landslide. Mind you, a landslide in Australian elections might be as little as 53%. For some reason, mostly to do with a flawed electoral system, it only takes a few percent to create a huge imbalance in party representation.
At least when Labor were defeated in 2013, they were governing well. But the electorate saw through the disunity and exacted a price. This time the electorate can see bad government in addition to disunity and the Coalition will suffer for it, big time.
When the level of despair and dysfunction has escalated to a point where Peter Dutton is being considered as prime ministerial material, you know the end is nigh. But changing governments every six years is not good for the country.
Labor needs to learn the lessons of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd disgrace. Sound leadership, sound economic policies, embracing equality and not being intimidated by the media or the plutocrats, will endure, provided the party, as a whole, works as well on the inside, as it does serving the people.
It’s Labor’s to lose.