If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the phrases, “the next generation of the Liberal Party” and “line in the sand”, I may not have enough to retire, but I’d certainly have enough to buy a decent set of noise-cancelling headphones.
Of course, as Malcolm mansplained a few days ago, politics is the art of the possible. It’s also the art of framing things so that you disguise the forest by getting people to look at the leaves and not notice all the felled trees.
So, it’s a whole new generation. We’ve moved from the old Turnbull and Julie Bishop to the young Morrison and Josh Frydenberg and, hey presto, you’ve got a whole new generation. Immediately the whole Liberal Party has entered a “new generation” because with the new PM, we’ll have an enormous range of more up-to-date policies, reflected by his youthful outlook on such things as marriage equality and climate change. Ok, well, maybe not, but hey, he and Josh are both younger, so that makes the average age of the leadership team younger and that’s what a “new generation” means, isn’t it? I mean, we don’t have to go changing policies or anything.
Whatever, it’s time to draw a line in the sand. I know this because it seems to be the new line from just about any Liberals I’ve heard interviewed in the past few days. While I’d like an interviewer to actually point out that sands are known for shifting and that perhaps a line in the wet cement might actually have a chance of still being there next week, I do agree, we need to “look to the future” and “move forward” and “put the events of last week behind us”… And I didn’t even get the Liberal’s talking points for this week!
It’s time to forget the past and get on with the business of governing for all Australians so that they understand that the Liberals are on their side. As part of this philosophy, Scottie has appointed Barnaby Joyce as a special envoy for the drought, and offered Tony Abbott a role as a special envoy for indigenous affairs. For those of you wondering what a “special envoy” is, it’s basically an appointment made for a specific and expressly stated purpose, such as giving former leaders something to do. In the case of Joyce, his role will be to go around having a beer in drought affected areas and reassuring all those in marginal seats that the government is on their side and that the drought has nothing to do with climate change. In the case of Abbott, should he accept the role, his role will be to go to remote communities and stay there. Not all the time, of course. Only when Parliament is sitting or when there’s an election campaign.
So far Tony hasn’t accepted the role and has expressed concern that it’s not a real role and he’d just be given a title without actually doing anything constructive. According to Tony, we’ve just had a Prime Minister like that and we all know how that ended.
Anyway, I think it’s time that we all got behind this forward looking government and let them tell us how effective they’ve been in keeping unemployment at the same rate, getting the Budget back into credit in a few years time and putting downward pressure on energy prices thanks to things like suggesting that we have National Energy Guarantee which asks private companies to guarantee energy and keep prices as low as they can.
The NEG did get through, didn’t it? I mean with all the brouhaha of the past week, I sort of stopped paying attention so I don’t know where it ended up…
Oh, apparently so did the Liberal Party.
Anyway, Scott Morrison told us in his first speech: “We’re on your side”, and I believe him even though earlier in the week when he was asked if he had any leadership ambitions, he put his arm around Malcolm and said: “This is my leader and I’m ambitious for him.”
After all, how was he to know that he’d stand as leader just a couple of days later. How on earth would he have been expected to know what he was planning.