Some politicians and members of the press live by labels. Some who call themselves ‘conservatives’ loathe those whom they label as ‘progressives.’ Each term is as dubious as the other. Each is in truth bullshit.
The Liberal Party has trouble – as much trouble as the Labor Party – in saying what it is about. There tend to be at least two views – one the old type of ‘conservative’; the other, the old type of ‘liberal.’ Each of those terms is now useless – bullshit, in truth.
That does not stop either side citing Robert Menzies in support.
Take George Brandis. He wants some people to leave Menzies alone. He refers without naming them to the Sky After Dark crowd who recently saluted Nigel Farage. Brandis says that Menzies was influenced by both Gladstone and Deakin – ‘anti-socialist progressives.’
…. he very deliberately avoided naming [the Liberal Party] the ‘Conservative Party’…. ‘We took the name ‘Liberal’ because we were determined to be a progressive party, willing to make experiments, in no sense reactionary, but believing in the individual, his rights and his enterprise, and rejecting the Socialist panacea.
Of course, there was much that was conservative about Menzies. This was most obvious in his traditionalism, in particular his sentimental devotion to British institutions.
Are you clear about all that? True ‘Liberals’ are not ‘conservatives,’ but ‘progressives’. But they are against Socialism.
When did you last run into a Socialist? Someone who believes in Medicare, or relief from rising power prices, or disaster relief for fires, floods, and epidemics – that blow the deficit to Kingdom Come?
Each of the labels ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’, and ‘socialist’ is now useless at best and positively dangerous at worst.
The bullshit is and has been for a long time obvious. And it obscures one sad issue for our two-party system. Name one policy statement of the Liberal Party or the Labor Party that is flatly contradicted by the other.
Liberal – conservative – progressive – socialist