Thursday 11 May 2023

Is The Liberal Party Dying?

Apart from Tasmania every state and territory has a Labor government as does the Federal government. In Victoria last year the Liberals couldn't win against a premier nicknamed Dictator Dan. At the last Federal election seats that in the past had been regarded as safe Liberal seats were lost to Liberal party types who decided that they weren't into climate change and divisive social issues enough. It makes you wonder about what is going on in the Liberal party.

The Liberal party has always been a strange beast, it was, as is the tradition in Australian politics, the anti-Labor party. Made up of people with very different views but who all agreed that Labor must be opposed. For decades it worked, but there has always been the question, 'what does the Liberal party stand for'?

In the past it stood for individual liberty, small government, fiscal responsibility and social conservatism. 

But the truth was that it has always been ready to drop support for one or more of these if it was convenient. In fact a common theme in the history of the Liberal party has been it's attempts to out Labor the Labor party. Which of course fails, because when people have a choice between the real thing and the fake thing they will choose the real thing.

Which leads me to the Victorian Liberal Party, a party that couldn't win against a government that locked it's citizens up for 200 days in 2 years. It has no plan for what it will do once it is in government. It claims that it opposed the tyranny of the state Labor government, but if you took the time to look you found out that they only mildly disagreed with that government. If they had been in government the only difference might have been that things were not so bad because they lacked the backbone that Dictator Dan possessed. Dictators have backbones, not something that can be said for the Liberal party.

It expelled one of it's members for going to a pro-women rally.

That same party is now looking into having more ethnic minorities and more female members of parliament. So a party that claims that it values the individual is looking at quotas. It just cannot decide what it really believes or stands for. 

That extends to finances, it used to be accepted that Labor ran up debt and the Liberals were responsible with money. But that is simply no longer true. Neither are responsible with money, both run up debt, both print money. I still encounter people who think that the Liberals will sort out the debt, but I have to wonder in what world are they living in?

This decade Victoria is going to relive the 1990's, were the state nearly went bankrupt. Labor is spending money that we simply do not possess and that will come back to bite us. In the 1990's the Liberal party saved Victoria, at least financially, but today we cannot rely upon them even for that. 

Maybe it is a good thing if the Liberal party does die. It has no answer but more to immigration, the same answer it has towards debt. If this country is to survive it should die and why not at it's own hands.

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Sunday 7 May 2023

The Coronation of Australia's New King

A new King of Australia has been crowned, although you might think of him under a different title. Which got me to thinking about the role of the monarchy in Australia and within Liberalism more generally. 

When I was growing up it was very common to be told by the talking heads of the media that we should enjoy the monarchy while it lasted because no new Monarchists were being born.  In other words it was old fashioned and in time it would die out. Most commenters said that Queen Elizabeth II would be the last monarch of Australia, because it was only her personal popularity that kept it alive. A King Charles III was an absurdity that was just laughable, he had neither the charisma nor the popularity to keep it going. Yet here we are with King Charles III and no popular movement towards becoming a republic. 

Sure there are people who are Republicans, there are those who think an inherited head of state is weird and there are those who aren't that interested at all. And yet every commercial television station, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Sky news broadcast it live. It obviously generated a great deal of interest. There are a lot of people out there who do think that this is important. 

Because monarchy has a strength that other forms of government do not have, it is centred around family and individual people. Not for an election cycle but for their entire life. The life of both the royal and of the non-royal. That personal connection is a rarity when it comes to politicians and when it exists much more fragile. 

I was expecting much more criticism and hostility but both have been quite subdued. Republicans came out of the woodwork, but I still got the impression that the media was more interested in generating controversy than anything. I hear that a commentator on the BBC said that the royal family was too white. But all par for the course. 

For decades rumours have circulated that this coronation would be very multicultural and multi-faith, so I was half expecting the worse. But to be honest I was pleasantly surprised with how traditional it was, including how White, British and Christian it was. I also heard some say that the ceremony was a break from tradition, but the truth is that every coronation has features that are unique to it and this one was no different in that regard.

The coronation proves something that we on the right should always take to heart and that is that no matter what we are told the things that we love can go on and all that we have to do is to keep faith with what we believe. Never give up.

So let me say


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Monday 1 May 2023

The Rise of Slogans and Emotionalism

When I was a teenager back in the 1980's one of things that impressed me about Liberalism was that it was prepared to debate issues. Controversial issues were regarded as controversial and they were debated, even on television. Back when everyone had a very limited choice about what they could watch. 

Even back then I noticed that there was real opposition to debating issues openly and honestly, I also noticed that the debates were biased. One side always seemed to get the better deal, yes the Left side. As I watched more I started to realise that these debates were not open and honest. They were instead a way of letting people know what the correct opinion was. A way of short circuiting any opposition, look we gave this a fair hearing and it just couldn't make it's case, time to move on and get with the program. 

It was also a lesson to watch the men and women who ran these programs become increasingly side lined as debate became unfashionable. In it's place was something that Left-liberalism had been playing with for a while, sloganeering. Instead of having a debate or an argument you had a slogan. This way the rational part of the brain was bypassed and you could engage with the emotional part of the brain. 

This was a big thing for Liberalism as it had always prided itself on it's rationalism. Liberals championed the idea that their philosophy was logical and rational and that it was these factors that would lead to it's inevitable triumph It's opponents however, had always noticed its emotionalism. That it often sort to use emotions and to then claim that that was rationalism.    

Since the 1960's rationalism has been in decline, although it really declined from the 1990's onwards. In it's place were slogans and emotionalism. Arguments were required to counter the middle class and the institutions. Once they had largely been won over then they moved on to using a weapon that people find hard to fight. How do you fight a slogan?

"One man, one vote"

"Love is love"

"All men are equal"

"Equality between the sexes"

It is incredibly difficult because it is so light it can avoid any blow. A slogan becomes a mantra, something that can be said without any understanding of the issue and yet it gives the speaker the feeling of knowing everything. What else can there be to know?

Slogans appeal to the emotions, it bypasses the intellect, which is what gives it its strength. As the saying goes, you cannot argue someone out of a position they were never argued into. 

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