"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
~ Often misattributed to Mark Twain.
The rise of Scott Morrison is the best of all possible worlds, says the mainstream media.
According to the Murdoch media megaphoning monstrosity, along with the rock-headed rightwing shock-jocks at 2GB and 2UE, Morrison is a welcome swing back from the dangerously “leftwing” Turnbull to a “sensible” rightwing position.
While, according to the ABC, Fairfax and the almost unwatchable commercial television networks, Morrison is a win for Turnbull’s moderates, being far less extreme and severe than the ghoulish Peter Dutton.
Both of these conclusions are patently false.
It is therefore left to Independent Australia to reflect the bleeding obvious, once again.
In this case, it is clear, firstly, that Scott Morrison is not a “moderate”. Indeed, he is every bit as extreme as Peter Dutton, if not more so.
And, secondly, that Malcolm Turnbull did nothing to push the Liberals to the left. In fact, he has pursued almost exactly the same regressive, repressive, reactionary policies as his predecessor and done almost nothing to advance progressive policies.
So, it is business as usual in the Liberal Party Government. The chief spokesman has changed a top hat for a baseball cap, perhaps, but apart from that, things will run on in the same chaotic, mean and anti-social way as they have for the last five years.
The chief of staff of new PM Scott Morisson is John Kunkel, ex-deputy CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, the same group that provided a lacquered lump of coal for Scott to wave around parliament in February last year in the middle of a drought. https://t.co/9AhNqGHOj7— Leroy (@Leroy_Lynch) August 26, 2018
TURNBULL A LEFTIE?
There is a view, backed up by much of the mainstream media, that Turnbull was deposed because he was taking the Party too far to the left.
This strange perspective was expressed by Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells, in her hand-delivered letter of resignation to Malcolm Turnbull last week:
I made comments publicly [after the Bennelong by-election] about concerns that the party was moving too far to the left and that we were losing our conservative base.
In January, we had further discussions where I openly expressed my views on a range of issues.
Over the year, I have continued to express my concerns. The same sex marriage debate eroded further the support of our base.
It is noteworthy that Fierravanti-Wells could only point to same-sex marriage as an example of Turnbull pushing the Party to the left. Because, as shown by the results of the divisive and unnecessary plebiscite Turnbull insisted upon to appease the far right of his party, the vast majority of Australians of all political stripes support this very basic human right.
The reality is Turnbull was a different salesperson for the same rightwing policies pursued by former Prime Minister and Morrison’s new “Indigenous envoy” (heaven help us all) Tony Abbott.
Whether it be tax cuts for big business and the rich, opposing a Royal Commission into banks, beating up on people on welfare, continuing Australia’s abusive border control policies, promoting coal mining, giving money to the fossil fuel lobby to greenwash the Great Barrier Reef, bribing Rupert Murdoch, further concentrating media ownership, deriding and misrepresenting renewables, denying Indigenous self-determination, beating up on minorities and supporting a bellicose U.S.-led foreign policy, Turnbull has been every bit as enthusiastic in its pursuit as his gormless, raw unpeeled onion-eating predecessor.
Many suggest these policies were antithetical to his natural instincts, but who knows what natural preferences Turnbull really has? Turnbull is a chameleon. He wore a leather jacket and spoke like a leftie on ABC Q&A in Opposition because he wanted to differentiate himself and build his profile. Whether he also believed in those things then, or at any time, is a moot point. In power, Turnbull’s actions and words suggest he was an extreme rightwinger, just like his predecessor — and, indeed, successor.
The fact Malcolm lost his job after attempting to implement a feeble energy policy that vaguely mentioned emissions merely bespeaks the power of the propagandistic rightwing press and the delusional character of the extreme-right of the Liberal Party.
It is rather telling that Turnbull’s son Alex – another former Goldman Sachs banker – has since come out with the most sensible comments about the whole affair, when he said that people who
"… own a lot of coal in the Galilee Basin [in Queensland were exercising] undue influence on Liberal Party policy…. [They] have their hooks into the Liberal Party ... which has no money… It’s impossible to vote for the LNP in good conscience.”
BREAKING: Alex Turnbull says his father was felled by coal interests who "have their hooks into the Liberal Party" https://t.co/dTO4JToOmw— GetUp! (@GetUp) August 27, 2018
It is clear the Liberal Party is captured by powerful special interests. Unfortunately, Malcolm Turnbull did nothing to help the Liberal Party escape from this dangerous trap — one that has also left this nation still ensnared, after a decade of dithering and uncertainty.
Alex Turnbull was wrong, however, when he said:
"My father fought the stupid and the stupid won."
It would be more accurate to say, he didn’t argue with the idiots, but still brought himself down to their level and, as usual, they won.
This is only half this story! The rest of this editorial, including a wrap of all the news over the last week and 'Morrison a moderate?', was originally published in our weekly subscriber only newsletter and may be read in the IA members only area HERE.
Access the members only area by subscribing to Independent Australia HERE.