by PAUL COLLITS – SIR Robert Menzies spoke at length about the importance of faith in politics, something that many mainstream Australians would wholeheartedly endorse.
The Liberal Party founder said “human nature is greatest when it combines dependence upon God with independence of man”.
He believed “religion gives to people a sensitive understanding of their obligations” which alone could make a community of individuals successful; and he described the Bible as the “repository of our faith and our inspiration”.
These days, however, his ungodly modern Liberals openly and routinely drum Christians out of the Party. Take South Australia for example.
This is the so-called broad church that the likes of John Howard and Tony Abbott (unaccountably) seek to defend. Perhaps they even believe that it still exists.
I, on the other hand, remain a convinced broad church denier.
Menzies, famously, stopped voting Liberal very soon after he retired from politics. (He repaired, electorally, to the then Democratic Labor Party of Bob Santamaria).
This is something that modern-day Liberal apparatchiks and assorted think-tankers who endlessly chant the name of Menzies conveniently choose to forget.
Menzies’ defection occurred when the Liberal “moderates” were people like Holt, Gorton and McMahon.
I wonder what he would make of Bridget Archer or Andrew Bragg – who doesn’t want “American culture wars” imported into Australia, who threatens to sue web sites which (allegedly) claim he doesn’t support homosexual rights enough, who wants an indigenous-only voice in the Parliament and who has said he is “a fan of the ABC”.
His allies in Trent Zimmerman, Fiona Martin and the rest of them are now targeted for electoral demolition by the Australian Christian Lobby.
I am reasonably certain that Menzies would never have turned up to the launch of a campaign for Trent Zimmerman.
Or be photographed grinning while standing next to a former NSW premier who is being investigated by an independent body for alleged public corruption. (Simon Birmingham believes ICAC to be a “star chamber” and Morrison thinks it a “kangaroo court”.)
Yes, it is normal practice, and quite understandable, too, for the Liberal Party to wheel out its most recent electoral asset (since 2007!).
Howard in retirement has garnered considerable affection from voters who recall from the now distant past competence in governing, a safe pair of hands, moderation in policy and fiscal continence. Things notoriously lacking in Australian politics ever since.
Not that Labor’s electoral star appeal is any better, as we saw with Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating being the only eminences on display at the recent ALP election launch.
But producing Howard come election time is a little galling. Where was he when governments run by his Party and supposedly committed to individual freedom were trashing the nation and hiding behind unelected health bureaucrats bent on keeping us all under house arrest?
Where was John Howard when Liberal governments were throwing Australians out of work for making their own health care decisions?
Did he speak up when his Liberal successor stopped Australian citizens from entering or leaving the country, aligning us with North Korea and Cuba and nobody else?
He wasn’t there for us. But he is there for … Trent Zimmerman!?
The ACL’s thinking about the election is very interesting: “A Labor win may result in a more rapid downward spiral of social engineering, but it will also show the Coalition they cannot treat Christians with indifference and expect to win.
“A Coalition win may mean they forever miss the opportunity to reflect and reform, and the Liberal Party will continue to deteriorate in its principles.”
Thoughtful words, indeed.PC