Wednesday, 22 May 2019
“Humility is the basis of all intellectual advancement. However, it is truth that enables human progress.” (John Lord)
1) I had considered taking a week or so away from the grind of writing but I think it better to think out loud and disperse of my thoughts while everything is fresh and alive.
I, like many others, are just coming to grips with the stunning victory of the conservative side of politics. While doing so we should keep in perspective that as of this moment it is only around 181,000 votes that separate the two parties.
Hardly a ringing endorsement of the conservative forces.
As is my want when trying to sort through a mess I try to isolate out all the factors that have created it and then if possible marry them together in a way that gives an overall view.
2) Fortuitously on Monday night, I was watching “The Drum” (a public affairs program where the participants aren’t continuously shouting at each other) where the commentators were sanely trying to dissect the outcome of the election.
So with a great deal of crystal balling, I shall try to decipher what it all means and what might play out in the future. Thus it will take two parts.
The first thing I would point out is that this isn’t a runaway win by the conservatives. There is no doubt in my mind that had Labor had another leader they would have won.
That is not to be over critical of Bill Shorten. He performed admirably in bringing the party together and sticking like glue for six years.
However, it has to be said that he lacked the charisma to persuade the average voter to his point of view.
Commendable also were his efforts on policy. The problem was that they weren’t “liar” or “explainable” proofed. Morrison was too easily able to hit for a six everything Labor proposed.
That the Prime Minister was so easily able to call Shorten a liar and have people believe him is a concern for the future of our democracy.
There can be no doubt that we are well and truly in the age of Trump.
“Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.” (John Lord)
Just putting my idealism hat on for a moment in the knowledge that Pentecostal Christians take a literal interpretation of the Bible I am often bemused at their very liberal take on truth.
“Now children, you must always tell the truth.”
“But daddy you’re the Prime Minister and you tell lies all the time.”
“But children my lies are special ones that Jesus says are ok to tell.”
Truth in politics and society has lost its allure and untruth has won the day. Along with trust, it has been thrown out the window. Now we will have to seek out the truth of everything rather than accepting what we are being told in good faith.
3) One of the few positive things to come from the election is the demise of Tony Abbott. Without a shadow of a doubt, he is, in my view, the greatest liar (of both sides) ever to have trodden the plush carpets of parliament house.
4) The great difficulty of this election is trying to work out just why Labor lost. Was it Bill Shortens inability to sell the Franking Credits, Capital gains and Negative Gearing proposals? Was it Morrison’s ability to successfully convert concessions into taxes or his scare tactics about death taxes and retirement taxes? There was simply too much to defend.
5) That 675,000 or 4.5% of the vote was informal shows just how informal and certainly shows the disdain politicians are held in.
6) We might also ask ourselves how is it possible to be unstable, in chaos and rotten for six years but re-elected. As yet I have no answer for that.
7) It was also said that climate change was at the top of the concerned list. If that were the case then it should have made more of an impact but it hardly made a ripple.
There is this phenomenon in modern society wherein people expect everything should cost nothing.
Isn’t it strange that we all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health but we don’t want to be liable for the cost of a healthy planet.”
So, nothing is resolved on this matter and other than Abbott all the old deniers, the protagonists of old, remain to protect coal.
Morrison now has the authority to confront them but will he.
Alan Jones was on Q&A Monday night denying the science. Why should Australia act, we won’t make a difference? Well yes, if we and countries with similar emissions all act then we will eliminate 41% of the problem.
Sure I want something done about climate change but don’t expect me to pay. Sure I want better schools, better education, better hospitals and better retirement fertilities but don’t tax me more.
8) The conservative importance on the individual to make his or her way in the world seems to be making traction in a world that is losing its faith in society itself.
Even democracy, as the best method of government, is being questioned.
9) There was a long list of things that seemed to be of little consequence to Coalition supporters. Their hip pockets were their main fear. They are little fussed as to how many women serve in cabinet. The next cabinet might be even worse as might the cabinet generally.
Imagine that. A cabinet worse than the last one. The Prime Minister has already indicated that Melissa Price will have the environment portfolio. On that point, we will end up with an opposition shadow cabinet much stronger than the governments front bench.
10) One of the key tenants of conservatism is an adversity to change and if it is needed, it should be incremental.
11) The Coalition has always been a men’s club and the conservatives within it are the least likely to be abreast of changes in society and fight to the very end to protect the status quo.
12) There is no need for Labor to feel downhearted about this result. It may turn out to be a good one to lose.
With dark economic clouds building on the horizon, a recession (heaven forbid) is not out of the question and the promised surplus now looking in doubt three years is not far away. The shadow of Bill Shorten will be gone from the scene. And if the coalition is true to form they will have messed up a number of times.
You cannot always control what happens in life but the true measure of its impact is the way in which you respond.
13) There is much more to write about the election Labor should not have lost so I will catch up with you all on Saturday morning for part two.
My thought for the day
“The danger in looking back to often is that we lose the will to go forward.”
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