Albo was needed, not wanted

by PAUL COLLITS – ONLY about 32 per cent of Australian voters gave Labor their first preference at the 2022 federal election. 

There was no ringing endorsement, despite a decade of ignominious and corrupted Liberal rule. Certainly, there was no mandate. 

It’s clear that Albanese and his hucksters – either maniacally ideological or bungling fools – decided not to follow a cautious approach. He, like Whitlam, has created a crisis of governance.

Labor scraped into office with preferences from Parties to its Left.

Despite attaching himself like a barnacle to what he considers popular causes, Anthony Albanese only just made it into the Lodge.

BEHAVIOUR

The debate over the voting behaviour of conservatives, centrists and populists rages on. I am firmly in the camp of the UniParty and of the need always to punish bad governments.

No one can remember a good government in Australia. Abbott’s might have been – but we will never know.

I recently dared, as a colonial, to offer the Brits some gratuitous advice on their forthcoming July 4 election.

What if the alternative is worse? There is an argument that Albo is worse than the other lot. Perhaps it is blindingly obvious.

Recently a regular writer at Quadrant Online, Peter O’Brien, wrote about Airbus Albo with the following headline: “A man with few if any redeeming qualities.”

He went on: “One tends to be instinctively antipathetic to political opponents, even allowing that you might agree with some of their policies. It’s a visceral, not an intellectual, reaction.

“You will probably notice how it can even extend to physical appearance – or is it my imagination that his smile is a weird rictus?

“It’s not universal. Gough Whitlam, until recently our worst prime minister, was a hard man to dislike. All (or most of) his disasters were made with good intentions. Disliking Paul Keating, on the other hand, was a doddle, and continues to be so.

“Albanese, however, is in a different league. The Office of Prime Minister has seriously exposed this hollow man. As he continues to pile lie upon equivocation upon blame-shifting upon bluster, I have found it easier and easier to dislike him.

“With his recent moral vacuity on Israel and the ICC, he has now achieved the ultimate nadir. He is contemptible.”

Well, yes, he is. No arguments with any of the above. We all have our unfavourite Albo policies.

Funding Hamas’ adjacent United Nations groups. The renewables madness being executed by Chris Bowen. The Voice. The gift of $600m to PNG to establish an NRL team. The Digital ID. Mark Butler’s cheer-squadding of the WHO’s Pandemic Treaty.

FAILURE

Not to mention the unleashing of the American-born eSafety Commissioner on free speech. Making Brittany Higgins a multi-millionaire on our dime. The failure to conduct a proper inquiry into COVID management. Failing to stem the runaway corruption and waste contained in the NDIS, an un-needed socialist invention of a decade or so ago.

Or there’s his support for Palestine to be admitted to the UN or upping the ante on our suicidally high immigration policies.

It is not an impressive list. Not bad for a mere two-and-a-bit years’ work.

Albanese is a candidate both for Australia’s worst ever government, and for a rare case of the dismissal of a first-term government, at the next election.

He’s not even worthy of the paltry 32 per cent support he garnered.

Albo even makes Bill Shorten look good. Well, goodish. He even makes Whitlam look moderate. Sort of.

Bad policy can be defined in a number of ways, a bit like judging good and bad governments and good and bad prime ministers.

What are the criteria? Well, policies might be bad because:

  • No one wants them;
  • They were not discussed in the election campaign, or at least they weren’t emphasised;
  • They ignore current circumstances;
  • They are dangerous to either the economy or to social harmony or our international standing;
  • They may have unforeseen consequences of a nasty nature;
  • They are not needed; they address a non-problem.

Even a very cursory look at Labor’s policies shows failure on all of the above criteria for judging bad policy.

You might expect a governing Party with a slender level of support and absolutely no mandate to be cautious and sensible in its first term. In order not to frighten the horses, to demonstrate its capacity to govern to those unsure of its intentions and capability, to win over its opponents and swinging voters. And to save more radical changes, if any, until the second term.

It is clear that Albanese and his hucksters, either maniacally ideological or bungling fools, decided not to follow the cautious approach. They act as though we wanted them there!

I realise that every government thinks it has a mandate to govern. But this lot have taken this tendency to another level.

When bad governments are thrown out on their dismal record – think Morrison, Perrottet and the coming British Sunak carnage – and there is only a mediocre replacement, we’re left with a democratic stalemate.

No one is happy. The new government is not “the solution”. It is there on sufferance, and no one is enthusiastic.

By instantly being awful, Albanese has broken this mold.

He, like Whitlam, has created a crisis of governance. His policies are dangerous, not just disappointing. He has created the pre-conditions for a counter-revolution, against not only the current government, but against the previous one as well.

This sets up an interesting scenario. A crisis of legitimacy. An existential threat to the polity. A “how did we get here?” reaction.

Whitlam energised a whole generation of counter-revolutionary voters. They didn’t take to the streets in late 1975. That was left to the whinging Leftists who screamed “unfair” and burned effigies of John Kerr and shouted endless epithets at everyone in their sights.

ANGER

The voters saved their extreme anger for the ballot box. They were willing to reward, electorally, the anti-Whitlam, twice over. Two landslides in a row.  The voters, then, thought that things were that bad.

So, we have established that we didn’t want Albo, and he has been a disaster. And his disaster has a precedent, back in the long distant 1970s.

Where does this leave the broader question of “what to do” now?

Well, the answer lies with Peter Dutton. The last few elections have shown us that the pro-freedom micro Parties have failed to excite the electorate. So, we come back to the failed Liberals. Notwithstanding all that we know about the UniParty theory.

The model for a leader of the Opposition faced with a disastrous government turns out to be … Malcolm Fraser.

Along with Gough Whitlam and Tony Abbott, he was one of the three greatest Opposition leaders we have had.

The governments they faced, certainly in the cases of Fraser and Abbott, were on the verge of being extinction level events for the nation. Whitlam only just scraped in in 1972 with a handful of seats to spare, contrary to the Leftist historical narrative that has forever since asserted a popular revolution.

The other two Opposition stars romped in.

Fraser’s skill was to present the facts of the crisis and to promise decisive corrective action. And he had a good backing team. Think Tony Staley, the gentleman fixer, Phil Lynch, armed with his very helpful Treasury moles, the then attack-dog Reg Withers in the Senate and a certain backroom, academic political philosopher called David Kemp. (Later a Howard Government minister and, in “retirement”, the author of a multiple volume history of liberalism in Australia).

The stern persona of Fraser and the sheer scariness of the incumbent were enough to create the counter-revolution.

We have, now, the scary government of all scary governments. Scary in the 1970s doesn’t hold a candle to scary in the 2020s. But will the 1975 model work in our current situation?

The seventies now seem like a foreign country. There wasn’t a woke generation. There were no greens. There were no teals. There were no social media pile-ons.

FACTIONS

Also, there were few Liberal “wets”, and their influence in the Liberal Party was confined to a few contested policies. There were no Liberal factions intent on tearing down conservatives.

The legacy media weren’t totally owned by globalists. The Canberra bureaucracy was moderately non-aligned.

There was a clearly defined middle class which felt threatened by Gough, Jim Cairns, Rex Connor and the rest of them.

There were voters prepared to be seriously scared and prepared to execute the big switch. (They were still there in 1996 and in 2013).

Perhaps not now, though. And there was the possibility of a conservative majority in the Senate. Fraser didn’t use it, of course, but that is another story.

So, we may be reduced to hoping that the Albo Government will implode. Don’t give up hope. Chances are, they will.

Which brings us to this point.

Perhaps we needed to experience an awful and dangerous government to trigger a counter-revolution.  Nothing else has worked to date with the insipid Liberals. And, boy, have we been landed with such a government.

Maybe that will work, even in the weird political times that we now inhabit.

Keep voting out bad governments? Is it the only electoral strategy open to the perennially disillusioned?

But the counter-revolution needs a strategy for the ages. And the A team to match the task.

FRASER

Malcolm Fraser had his philosopher and an A team at hand. The Liberals already have their Fraser. Potentially.

If the Liberal wets, the Birmingham class, can understand the crisis and the threat, there might be hope.

Peter Dutton may or may not see the size and shape and nature of the political crisis we face, and may or may not be up for leading a counter-revolution.

It needs far more than a clever election strategy, more than marketing slogans and faction management.

It needs “a leader and a philosophy”. Perhaps Dutton should give David Kemp a call.

This is where the voters come in.

To date, we have disgruntled ex-Liberals and populists rightly cranky with the sell-outs of the past and with limp, Labor-lite facsimiles of the once great party of Menzies.

Voting for micro-Parties has gone nowhere electorally. A leader of Fraser’s (or Menzies’) acumen would be thinking – how do I build the new 2020s coalition of the disaffected, the silenced and the fearful?

How do I engage with the freedom movement? How do I convince those who have given up on us to think again?

Perhaps we needed the awful Albanese wake-up call to understand what the problem is. For the Liberals. For the disgruntled populists. And for the nation.PC

Paul Collits

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: Anthony Albanese. (courtesy The Advertiser)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Spectator Australia on June 7, 2024. Re-used with permission.

3 thoughts on “Albo was needed, not wanted

  1. At the last election, I lived in the electorate of one of the limp lefties (Sharma) so voted for the Lib Dem candidate, so my preferences still went to the Coalition. I have a lot of respect and hope for Peter Dutton. He is calm, is strong of character but to keep voters like me, he MUST control the lefties. Archer from Tasmania should go. She votes against her Party more than with them. If our next government is a Labor/Greens/Teals coalition, we are doomed.

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  2. Fraser did nothing to reverse the stupidity of the Whitlam years. Worse than useless, then ruined Rhodesia and caused much human misery and started the rot in South Africa, another now failed State.
    Dutton is gutless and backs Julie Inman-Goebbels. Enough said. We don’t need a former copper running the place.

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    1. On leaving the police, Dutton completed a Bachelor of Business at the Queensland University of Technology. He and his father founded the business Dutton Holdings, which was registered in 2000; it operated under six different trading and business names. The company bought, renovated, and converted buildings into childcare centres, and in 2002 it sold three childcare centres to the now defunct ABC Learning. ABC Learning continued to pay rent of A$100,000 to Dutton Holdings. Dutton Holdings continues to trade under the name Dutton Building & Development.

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