....unlike progressives, conservative commentators tend to stand on principle rather than indulge in partisan or personal cheerleading….
Chris Kenny, The Saturday Australian, 17-18 October, 2015.
On any given Saturday you can get about five whoppers like this from that newspaper as the ‘conservatives’ make faces at the ‘progressives’, like little girls to little boys behind the shelter-shed. What was the context?
Rowan Dean, the editor of the Oz Spectator, and the leader of the unattractive pack described in Passing Bull 15, threw a wake for the former PM. We are told that Dean was smarting if not seething. The usual idolaters were there – Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Paul Murray (who has been inconsolable on Sky ever since, routinely throwing objects as well as tantrums, and imploring the new PM to be tough on Muslims).
Mr Kenny, another idolater in his time, says he knows how these people feel. He does so in terms that contradict point blank the silly boast set out above, and which show why Australians are revolted by the cabal of politicians and journalists that have dragged us down to our present level, on both sides of politics, and where all except the addicts, or those who profit from or traffic in the addiction, are praying for relief, if not enlightenment from a mix of the Wars of the Roses and a New Dark Age.
After years of sneering at the poll-driven, media-grovelling superficiality of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor years, the Liberals have descended into the same sand-pit.
And with the ABC, Fairfax Media Newspapers, Canberra press gallery, academe and sundry other elements of the love media and political/media class railing against their version of the anti-Christ – a socially conservative prime minister – a great opportunity to prove them all wrong has been frittered away.
Most of us with a view to the structural ebbs and flows of politics could see that despite the antipathy directed at Abbott, some obvious failings and poor poll ratings, the Coalition was most likely to be re-elected next year.
This would have confounded the love media and twittersphere, and confirmed the good sense of mainstream voters.
In Abbott’s failure were strong policy settings (border protection, climate change, and attempted budget repair), the escalating issue of union power and corruption being teased out in the royal commission he established, and how all this had rendered Bill Shorten nigh-on unelectable.
When an impatient Turnbull launched his challenge the week before the Canning by-election he not only robbed Abbott of a chance for recovery but denied many true believers the pleasure of this social-political experiment – this vindication.
It passes belief. If you did not know that you were the victim of an experiment, at least you know it is not one that will be repeated. Here is why politics presently revolt Australians. There is hardly any reference to principle, but just a focus on partisan political cheerleading. And do you know why? The people and their representatives do not know as much as Messrs Kenny or Bolt. They cannot be trusted.
As usual, the crucial partyroom votes were exercised by inexperienced, impressionable and self-interested MPs, many of whom would not have entered parliament if not for Abbott’s campaigning skills and who might have been less than helpful in briefing journalists and voicing disharmony as they fretted over the polls.
In the next post, I will try to spell out this disease of the mind, but Mr Kenny does offer one frightening thought:
I sense the republican cause may be at the heart of much conservative antipathy.
These embittered relics of Plato’s Republic and the Split are not just harmless Looney Tunes. They are intent on not allowing us to break with the Mother Country and become self-governing without support from the Anglican Crown. Bring back 1788 – and the lash. They are Monarchists envenomed. Don’t they know about 1789?
Poet of the month: Yeats
The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion raging in the dark.
When all that story’s finished, what’s the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity and empty purse,
Or the day’s vanity, the night’s remorse.