Being from the Tony Abbott wing of the Liberal Party’s deep background cover, a sobered up TA is better by far than any of the alternatives. Prince Phillip is more of a sad joke than a policy issue. Unlike pink batts, the NBN, carbon taxes, mining taxes or the rest, it didn’t cost us a thing. Nevertheless, symbolism is important, and it was a major error. Yet for all that, amongst the possibilities of the moment, I would rather try to win the next election with Abbott as the PM than anyone else.
As an absolute certainty, if the Libs are led by someone who finds global warming anything other than the biggest con in the history of science, a very large part of the Coalition’s natural constituency will, at best, become indifferent to the result of the next election. Abbott was allowed to take over principally because he seemed to have a reasonably clear picture both of the significance of atmospheric carbon to the future of the planet, along with an understanding that his party is probably riddled with people who really do believe something needs to be done.
I can also see that Abbott was distracted by the clamour over 18C which must be, within the scheme of things, pretty small beer as any issue of the moment could be. The Two Dannys ended up with their conviction overturned. There is no issue of significance that cannot be debated at the moment, and there is not a chance in a thousand anyone will be taken to the HRC based on their views of radical Islam. It is symbolism again, perhaps, but there are an awful lot of ethnic minorities who would like to see the law come down on the side of tolerance and against racial abuse.
Where the Government needed to go right from the start was to fix up the two greatest economic messes we have, the level of public spending and the rigidities built into the Fair Work Act. How Martin Parkinson survived past the first month of the government remains beyond me. Whoever it was who allowed such a dyed-in-the-wool Keynesian to continue to oversee Treasury – and a warmist to boot – made the largest imaginable error. The response, presented via our current Treasurer, was the standard Keynesian junk. It was static and based on finding revenue, rather than dynamic and predicated on generating private sector growth.
And then there was the missing IR inquiry that needed to have been introduced from the first day. The PC report should already have been delivered, not just starting out.
But because of a lull in the polls, which happens to every government in the middle of its term, the Libs are apparently about to switch from someone who at present looks in the vicinity of 50-50 to win the next election to someone who is certain to lose. I don’t see the logic, but short-term thinking seems to be the nature of politics in a democracy.
What this sets up is the possibility that Bill Shorten and Labor will aim to be elected with the promise to fix the economy, balance the budget, restore industrial relations stability and create jobs. Sounds like a great idea to me. I only wish someone had actually tried it before now.