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Why We Actually Need A Conservative Party: Elon Musk And The Titanic

We often have the assumption that rich people know what they’re doing because, well, they got rich and if they had enough skill to build a fortune, then they must be clever.

Of course, I can see a certain appeal in that. George W. Bush, for example, was determined to make his own way and not rely on his parents so he went and borrowed a million dollars from his uncle and invested it in oil wells and next thing you know, he’s made it on his own.

Ok, some of you are undoubtedly thinking that you could have been independently wealthy too if only you thought of having an uncle who could lend you a million dollars when you picked the family you’d be born into…

So, it’s very tempting for people to live in the naive hope that Elon Musk knows what he’s doing. Or rather that he – like Baldric – has a cunning plan. I certainly believe that.

But for those of you unfamiliar with “Blackadder”, Baldric’s cunning plans had all the intelligence of a Matt Canavan tweet but with slightly less absurdity.

And so, I suspect Elon Musk’s plan is to disrupt in order to do two things:

  1. Create lots of publicity and therefore more traffic on Twitter leading to an argument that Twitter is breaking all records.
  2. Getting staff to leave so he can pick and choose the people of a more compliant workforce who’ll institute the changes he deems necessary.

The problem he seems to be creating with Number 2 is the simple fact that he has no idea what’s necessary and seems to be sacking the odd essential person. It’s sort of like deciding that you don’t need someone to open the boom gates to let you into the building because that could be done by the person on the reception desk remotely, only to discover that once you’ve sacked all the people opening the boom gates, there’s nobody there to let the person in to the reception desk so that they can operate the boom gates remotely, and this would be fine if only you’d got the boom gate operators to explain how to open them so that someone could get in the building to change the system.

The basic problem with Australia – and most Western countries – is our total lack of any sort of Conservative party.

The normal way democracy works is that you get the radical party voted in because we need change and then after a while, the electorate gets sick of all the change and elects someone who promises that they won’t change too much and they’ll even undo some of the changes… not too many, mind you, because we’re all heartily sick of this damned change and… oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to swear but you know how it is. Some things needed to be addressed and they were but all this extra stuff, well, it’s just not right, eh. Let’s go back to the good old days, when nostalgia was at its peak… And then after a few years of nothing much happening, we get a bit of groundswell for the things that need to change….

Nowadays, it seems like we don’t have any conservatives. When Labor get in, it’s usually as a result of promising not to change very much at all but, well, we all agree that this and that need to change, but even though we think that’s a good idea, be patient because we can’t do that yet because we said we’d be nice and quiet and not wake the neighbours in order to get elected and we know how important it is for Labor governments to keep the promises once elected. Liberals, on the other hand, are permitted the excuse of changing circumstances. You know the sort of thing: “When we promised that we were in opposition but now we’re the government, circumstances have changed and we feel we need to be more responsible when we were promising that we’d cut taxes, spend more and balance the budget all within days of being elected!”

The Coalition will undertake a path of radical changes, such as WorkChoices or privatising anything that’s left in their hands no matter how controversial that would have been a few years earlier.

The Liberals are no longer a bunch of conservatives. In Victoria, they’re currently attacking the Victorian Electoral Commission for its decision to refer them to IBAC for their inadequate response to questions. Now, I’m not going to into the pros and cons of the particular investigation. I’m simply going to point out that to accuse an independent body of interfering with an election campaign is a pretty serious allegation. In fact, I would argue that it’s worthy of a Royal Commission where all the interactions of the VEC and the Liberal Party are examined under oath and we can get to the bottom of what went on. Ok, we’re in a caretaker period but I’m sure that were Dan Andrews to announce his desire for one, then Matty Guy and his mates would be right behind it.


Anyway, my point is that no true Conservative party would start attacking the independent body and be casting doubt on its independence because such things destroy faith in the institutions that we hold dear.

Mm, I just re-read everything and I suddenly realised that it’s like this:

  • Elon Musk thinks he’s clever because it’s always worked in the past so why not now?
  • Labor are now the Conservative party.
  • The Greens are the radicals that we’ll get sick of after a few years of them making too many changes when they one day win government
  • Elon Musk thinks his plan is working because he’s got the boom gate operator to come back for a day and open the gate.
  • The Victorian Liberals thought that Tim Smith was a potential leader until he drove into a fence while he was drunk. Now they think that their best chance is to get behind Matt Guy and hope that he can make people angry enough with Labor that they won’t notice that the fence hasn’t been repaired a year later and, anyway, what’s that got to do with Matty because he’s not responsible for anything that anyone in his party does or says, and if we can just get elected then we’ll change IBAC’s terms of reference so that they can’t investigate past misbehaviour, only things that Labor might do in the future if they’re elected again.
  • Elon is pretty pleased with himself because he figures that eventually, it’ll work, or else he’ll just launch another rocket and tweet from space telling us that it doesn’t matter if Twitter fails, or the Earth because he’s got a spaceship and nobody on earth really understood him and…
  • Elections have delivered shock results, but the press keeps predicting a possible surprise… When Kennett lost, it was mainly from a protest vote which people felt confident giving because there was no way he could lose. I suspect that the Liberals ads saying things like “Don’t risk another four years of Dan Andrews” may actually work against them when people decide that they don’t want to risk more change and something about the devil you know…
  • Like The Titanic, Elon feels pretty much unsinkable. Maybe he should have considered the lifeboat question a little more carefully.

Maybe we should all go back to MySpace…


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  1. wam

    wow more of a giggle than ever, rossleigh. Radicals like the loonies can never win government but they can certainly fuck up the community and the government. Sooner rather than later, there will be a bipartisan approach to end preferential voting and the 50% plus 1 vote requirement and embrace the first past the post system. The senate could be an up to 6/12 X highest totals rather than a quota.

  2. New England Cocky

    Geez Rossleigh … what do you take to create such wonderful articles? Perhaps you could take up a career on the stage with this style of material. Wonderful!!

  3. New England Cocky

    @wam: Oh dear, another backward thinking contribution from the Tories troll.

    Be careful what you wish for, because we have all seen the wonderous pollies elected by ”first past the post” elections; such luminaries as David Cameron (remember Brexit?), Shrubya Bush (WMD = Weapons of Mass Deception?), Boy Boris (How to Destroy the English Economy for the Benefit of Rich People) and Trumpery (I wuz robbed!!)

    Regardless of the alleged cumbersome nature of the Australian preferential voting system, it remains the best election system in the world. It is far superior to ”first past the post” held on a working day (to reduce worker participation) that considerably benefits established money interests.

  4. Terence Mills

    Baldric’s cunning plans had all the intelligence of a Matt Canavan tweet but with slightly less absurdity.

    Classic stuff – straight to the pool room with that one, Rossleigh

  5. RomeoCharlie29

    NEC, agree but of course you also have anomalies like the preference whisperer who gets people elected with as few as 19 primary votes.
    Another good one Rossleigh

  6. Phil Pryor

    So, flashes of insight here, flying, some amusing (was that the aim?) and some observant. Surely, people and groups have policies and attitudes and these are out there or can be discovered for public office purposes. Thus, if people vote and have preferences, a great range of choice, support, transfer and swing can occur, the better to get a reasonable compromise, which is ALL any of us can expect from an electoral system. Other systems, especially U K first past the post, are seriously warped and produce instant rot, decay, illegalities, clowns, dunces, deviates and silly decisions. Boris Bonkdrink couldn’t run the dog pound properly; no status. And, if anyone thinks I’m wrong, surely they are correct??

  7. Clakka

    There’s possibly only one method the electorate is now accustom to.

    In keeping with the adage “elections aren’t won, they are lost by the incumbent” Pretenders who have previously whinged, get their candidates in place (aka ducks in a row), set out their “How to Vote” cards, then go missing (n climate change).

    Leaving it to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. Couldn’t get fairer or more conservative.

  8. Geoff Andrews

    A very naughty comment NEC – calling wam a tories troll. That’s hurtful whether he is or he isn’t!
    The preferential system simply asks each voter to say who he/she does NOT prefer.
    First past the post is too easy to rort.

  9. Gangey1959

    Isn’t gwbush a merkin?
    Or did I just miss something in the translation?

  10. Andrew Smith

    ‘Conservatives’ have only themselves to blame, thanks to John Howard’s & Rupert Murdoch’s influence; being corrupted by rebranded eugenics i.e. imported radical right libertarian socio-economics of Koch Network of think tanks & constant calls for white nativist immigration restrictions of Tanton Network for environmental ‘hygiene’ reasons via ‘population growth’; then blocking any pricing & environmental constraints on fossil fuels and/or big business.

    If one looks at the Liberal’s policies of the ’70s under Dick Hamer, they look more like Labor today, after (more socially liberal) Kennett at state level and Howard at federal level took them further right, now leaving a large space.

    We now see the results, the Libs like the GOP and the UK Tories have lost their centre right, wets and actual liberals, opening the space for centrist parties like Labor/Teals/Greens, Democrats and Labour to garner more support from more educated, diverse working age and youth especially; in Oz the latter is due to obsessions with Howard/Crosby’s targeting of ageing Anglo-Irish ‘conservatives’ in Australia, on ‘wedge’ issues.

  11. New England Cocky

    @RC29: Agreed. Perhaps that shows the need for government limited funding for political advertising.

    @ Geoff Andrews: Thank you for your comment. A spade is a spade not a shovel.

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