A revolting attempt for relevance

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(Image via abc.net.au)

Media rumblings of a Liberal Party revolt is a beat up  it’s really just has-beens trying to remain relevant after losing their power, says Liam Carlton-Jones

THE MEDIA are craving a return to the Rudd-Gillard fiasco of white-anting, sniping and whatever buzz-words for treachery people can come up with.

Surprisingly, "innovation" – the buzz-word of all buzz-words  isn’t enough to hold their attention.

It couldn’t even get Leigh Sales to be a giggling school-girl for her interview with the Prime Minister on ABC's 7:30. No matter how hard she tried to get Malcolm Turnbull to discuss the ins and outs of Canberra gossip, he wouldn’t give. 

I’m not surprised that Ms Sales and her journalistic colleagues are hoping that politicians can walk and eat chocolate cake at the same time. Ever since the leadership-spill, the talk of a possible "conservative" backlash against Prime Minister Turnbull has been eagerly anticipated by the press gallery.

Unfortunately, their desire for gossip has blinded them to the real story behind these events and the fact that they have nothing to do with any kind of planned revolt. All this is about is a personal desire for power and continued relevance for people who have been cast aside. 

Meetings of "conservative" thinkers within the Liberal Party started back in 2008. So to argue that they are about engaging in uprisings against the Government doesn’t stack up with its history. Since the Abbott leadership spill, the Liberal Party has been acting more as a front for dismissed ministers to assemble policy ideas that will be given maximum attention by the press gallery.

The content of these statements gives doubt as to their validity as tactics to undermine the current administration. Kevin Andrews, for example, has probably said more since being on the back-bench than he did as defence minister. He now speaks out about Islamic State and Syria with the freedom only a Liberal back-bencher enjoys.

It’s difficult for me to see how talk of sending Australian citizens out to die on the battle-field is going to lend you any support if you’re planning a conservative uprising. There is nothing conservative about war and conflict and the real conservative-minded people of this country understand this and are unlikely to be moved by Mr Andrews' call to arms. No matter how disillusioned we may be.


And Mr Andrews couldn’t possibly have believed his comments would cause Malcolm Turnbull any problems. His comments were purely controversial and what they did was make Mr Andrews the centre of atterntion. His colleagues who gave press conferences in the days after the comments were all questioned about the comments and the media ran speculation about Rudd-esque division. He spoke out to get attention.

This is all about politicians seeking the power and influence only high-office can give them. If they do have passions or beliefs they aren’t too keen to express them whilst in office, afraid that their mighty position may come under threat. If Kevin Andrews was truly serious about sending troops into Syria and Iraq then he should have said so when he was defence minister. But when that high office is taken away, politicians vainly seek to remain relevant.

I hope that Mr Andrews’ comments ilustrate to the media that no conservative revolt will come from these axed careerists who call for bloody conflict. They only want their voices to be heard as they fade away into retirement. The real conservative revolt will hopefully come from the conservative-minded people in this country who are fed up with the cultural Marxists who run both major political parties — but that’s a topic for another day.

Even when this desire for the glory of high office is so blatantly obvious, as in the actions of Ian McFarlane, the press-gallery still snickers and pokes at ministers in a vain attempt to get them to open up.

“Is this any challenge to Malcolm Turnbulls authority?”

They ask, hoping someone will take the bait.

It’s pathetic really. Ian McFarlane moving from the Liberal party to the Nationals so he can reclaim a seat in Cabinet is about as important to the Australian people as integrity is to Clive Palmer. His actions are plainly for personal political gain and again go to highlight that these politicians are interchangeable.

They no longer represent an ideology backed by a political party. It doesn’t even matter to which party they belong. As long as they are at the top table, that’s all that matters. It’s not as sexy for the media as undermining and sniping but to suggest that McFarlane’s actions are for any reason other than his own advancement is absurd.

But what else do we expect from our media? And what else do we expect from our politicians? The media’s race for a headline can lead to misleading representations of the truth — creating stories that are not there.

Politicians can play on the media’s desire for a certain story and at the same time further their own self-interested agenda. That’s what’s happening here. The media won’t find a conservative revolt from broken former ministers — they aren’t even conservative and only want a front page to remind them of what was and what might have been.    

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