There are many reasons why the Coalition has been politically inept. John Lord examines 25 of the key areas in which they failed.
THE DAY AFTER WATCHING the bear pit on Wednesday 5 December, something occurred to me. The Prime Minister was, in his usual manner, blaming Labor for everything his own party was responsible for and, at the same time, describing what Labor would do to the country if they won power. Some of it reaching into the lake of slime.
What occurred to me was the rather pompous way in which Right-wing politicians blame others for their own wrongdoings.
On the Thursday after witnessing another outburst, I mused at how confused we can become when we seek to vicariously blame others for our own problems.
So affected by the crisis was the Prime Minister that his voice reached a decibel of shrill that we have never heard from him before. Unedifying, full of hatred and fear; sarcasm and unbelief was he, at a press conference at which he looked as though he might break down. He was one the verge of losing it. Seriously so.
It was all born of hysterical nonsense unbefitting a leader of this nation.
Angry inarticulate words flowed from his mouth with the all the rapidity of an AK-47, telling us of the impending disaster should Labor be elected. I found myself mesmerized by the utter stupidity of his claims.
Every catastrophe he could think of was Labor’s fault. And the venom in his voice was saying it like he honestly believed it.
Our Government will always work to keep Australians safe. Today, Labor have been trying to erode our strong border security while delaying important anti-terrorism laws. They haven't learned from the last time they were in Government and we will do everything we can to stop them. pic.twitter.com/bRLD2djDT3— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) December 6, 2018
Labor would start the boats again he kept on repeating. I believe the people are over all of this silly contemptuous scaremongering. How many more times will he insult our collective intelligence?
I asked myself how it had all come to this.
Why had the Liberal Party allowed itself to be destroyed by the whims of three men, all liars with unique cunning? The Liberal Party is now but a skeleton of its former self.
With a mixture of both ignorance and arrogance, it has allowed itself to be stripped of its brand, its dignity and whatever trust it has left.
Abbott's lying, Turnbull’s hypocrisy and Morrison’s self-righteousness have all served to make the party almost obsolete and it remains to be seen if it will survive or split on factional lines.
This government has failed to realize that policies are important. That governance is more than an entitlement based on a born-to-rule mentality. More than just the management of economic functions.
Fundamentally, it is about people, how fairly you treat them, how honest you are with them and how you dispense equality of opportunity.
1. Before you vote, always question the incumbent’s performance. In your state of play, you are only as good as your last game, so to speak.
2. Since the Coalition repealed the carbon tax – a tax that had been working well and emissions were dropping – the Coalition who had put ideology before the common good, they have staggered like drunken adolescents from one side of the street to the other.
Abbott’s former department head admitted that his mission to axe the tax was only ever about the politics. Nothing whatsoever about reducing our emissions and honouring our commitment to the healing of our planet.
So after more than ten years of the conservative far-Right’s view that they know more about climate change than 95% of the world’s climate scientists, we are no further advanced.
The Prime Minister has nowhere to go. He is tied to the far-Right of his party without an energy policy.
Isn’t it absurd that Labor has the Coalition policy? One that had been passed by cabinet twice in the past two months.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's has issued warnings that the value of its investment in the National Broadband Network is under threat from 5G mobile technology, saying that it will eventually supersede its hybrid technology.
NBN to result in budget painhttps://t.co/MRH2owVO74— Timjbo 🇦🇺 🎄 (@pleaseuseaussie) July 25, 2018
A damning assessment of the $50bn NBN by Standard & Poor’s has added pressure on the Turnbull government.
"Greece, Latvia and Estonia enjoying the equivalent service for substantially less."#auspol
The ratings agency also says that Australian consumers compared to other countries pay much more for an inferior product. Unless it finds a way to reduce its rates, the NBN will turn out to be a very expensive stuff-up. Just like so many others this Government is responsible for.
In terms of the environment, I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today.
On the NBN: The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of today is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow.
4. The Abbott/Turnbull/ Morrison Governments haven’t a record of achievements to fall back on.
Those that they do list are:
- jobs and growth;
- tax cuts to companies with an annual turnover of up to $50 million and Australians earning more than $80,000;
- dubious historic education reform — transparent, universal, consistent needs-based federal funding for Australian schools (what about the Catholics?); and
- marriage equality. (I think the public can lay claim to that.)
5. Peter Dutton repeatedly plays the race card and the current Prime Minister is the originator of the asylum seeker plan.
Men, women and children will next year enter their 6th year of imprisonment with no foreseeable release date. And they haven’t even committed a crime.
Will Dutton and the Prime Minister continue with their wild, almost crazy assertions that Labor will allow the boats to return if they win the next election?
Public sentiment has changed. The boats have stopped and the public expects its government to be a little more humane.
A leader with any character would slap down members of his cabinet who roam the road of racism with all the force of a heavy roller.
6. The isolation of the voice of Barnaby Joyce may have been a political masterstroke, but it has left the National Party isolated and without a voice.
Who is it that leads them?
7. Abbott is not done with yet. He is now advocating we opt out of the Paris Agreement and also cut immigration. He still yields much power in internal machinations of the party but is detested by the public.
Huh? Paul is absolutely right. It was Abbott who signed Australia up to the Paris agreement. It helps to be on top of the facts before attempting a smack down. Your attempt has backfired. https://t.co/Ij8cNItEee— Trevor Smith (@Smithwatcher) December 12, 2018
8. In times of national security, fears the propagandists have successfully promoted the LNP as being best able to handle those fears.
Should we expect something terrible to happen before the next election? Or just more lies about the possibility?
There is no doubt that it is a serious issue. As pointed out in an article from 2014, 113 people had died from terrorism, but some context, please.
Conversely, in 2015, 730 died from domestic violence and around 2,500 took their own lives.
9. In spite of doubling our debt, the economy is being promoted as being in good shape by the Murdoch media. That’s not the truth, of course.
10. Jobs growth is being promoted as outstanding but is barely keeping up with our immigration intake. Do the punters really believe the line being fed to them?
11. Climate Change is still of major concern to the public. The Coalition has completely abandoned the Paris Agreement, saying we will bolt in our target without providing any evidence.
“We support Australia’s full participation in the Paris agreement...”— margieC (@Margforequality) October 24, 2018
Coalition urged to revive 'necessary and inevitable' emissions reduction https://t.co/7dsNfyy0Oq
12. The Coalition contains some of the most outstanding liars and hypocrites our Parliament has ever seen, including the Prime Minister. They are still to wake up to the fact that the voting public has said “enough is enough”.
13. From a July article in The Guardian :
News Corp Australia has called on the government to review the charters of the ABC and SBS and to restrict the public broadcasters from unfairly competing with its newspapers, websites and Sky News.
Rupert Murdoch’s Australian arm has told a government inquiry the Internet has transformed the ABC and SBS into “news publishers” who have the advantage of being taxpayer-funded, while denying commercial competitors revenue.
14. After having been dragged kicking and screaming by Labor and the Greens to have a Royal Commission into banking, Scott Morrison still won't contemplate a national ICAC. Again, the Coalition is out of touch with the public.
Scott Morrison says that Australia's current anti-corruption regime is sufficient & we don't need a federal ICAC. You decide: https://t.co/A5RzEaz0bd (note @scottmorrisonMP also said we didn't need a Banking Royal Commission or Child Abuse Royal Commission) #auspol #banksRC— Craig Thomler (@craigthomler) November 26, 2018
15. Almost everyone besides the Coalition believes that unemployment benefits are one reason many Australians are poor. They are simply inadequate for people to live on.
16. The question is, “are we entitled to know?”
When Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister, after successfully challenging Tony Abbott, the National Party placed certain conditions on him before they would form a Coalition.
Is he, or both, entitled to keep the secret to themselves, or, conversely, are the voters entitled to know?
17. Last October, Scott Morrison was doing a presser on News24. Addressing the price of electricity he said that if you wanted prices to come down you needed to support the Government’s National Energy Guarantee policy.
Then it was gone. And with it went any hope of lowering emissions. Now even my grandchildren are upset.
18. We still await the outcome of the enquiry into Michaelia Cash.
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
What we know is [federal police] have referred the matter to the DPP.
They would not do that lightly... They only do that when they think laws have been broken.
19. The Liberals have been in power for 16 of the last 22 years. If people think the country is stuffed, they should know whom to blame.
20. For all ABC’s faults, I for one would march in the streets to demand it be protected and I’m sure hundreds of thousands of people would do likewise. A comprehensive and factual news service is essential to democracy and the ABC is our only hope of ever having one.
21. Somebody sent this to me, but for the life of me I cannot remember whom:
Five years since the Federal election campaign, Labor lost, ushering in the nationally destructive Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government that has taken us backwards. (Note: some items are already listed.)
- no world-leading NBN;
- no carbon price;
- no booming alternative energy industry;
- no Gonski-scale school funding;
- a weakened NDIS;
- no republic;
- damaged relations with China and our region;
- subservience to the fascist Trump;
- wage stagnation;
- attacks on multiculturalism;
- attacks on welfare for the poor and vulnerable;
- Massive tax cuts for the wealthiest
- Australians and foreign corporations
- attempts to undermine Medicare;
- more expensive University degrees;
- $500 million cuts to university budgets and research;
- shrinking home ownership;
- every day cost of living up; and
- higher debt.
22. Although science tells the Government that sugar, salt and fat are the main causes of our health problems, it refuses to limit the amount of these toxic substances in food.
We never left the mass addiction business- we just swapped tobacco for sugar, salt and fat. https://t.co/L2XiNiUwuI— T. Bettina Cornwell (@BettinaCornwell) December 7, 2018
23. The Prime Minister’s refusal to acknowledge the Uluru Statement in our constitution is a tragedy and should be revisited as soon as possible.
24. A Facebook friend sent this list.
The PM has failed abysmally to:
- set a high standard in government;
- stand up to the IPA bullies;
- stand up to traitor Murdoch;
- hold his party to account;
- display moral leadership;
- call out racism;
- be truthful;
- respect Melbournians, residents of one of the best cities in the world;
- to dismiss racist Dutton; and
- to protect the vulnerable.
He is totally unfit to be PM, ever. Disgusting coward. Like others, he is racist, he backs racists, he fails to call out racists and he encourages racists.
25. Perpetual infighting between the ultra-Right neo-conservatives and the moderates has been a hallmark of this Government and who knows? The Prime Minister might even resign.
The real enemy of neo-conservative politics in Australia is not Labor or indeed democratic socialism. It is simply what Australians affectionately call “a fair go”.
Please add to my list if you so desire.
I’m tipping a 2 March election. Just because we are governed by clowns, it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.
Yes, Australia is turning away from the hard-right. Yes, the federal government is in chaos. But Labor and the Greens can hardly sit back and assume a 2019 federal election win, writes @Scottludlam https://t.co/piVFbX7Fiz— Crikey.com.au (@crikey_news) December 1, 2018
Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.