100 DAYS OF SYDNEY LOCKDOWN: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT?
Mark Latham, The Daily Telegraph February 13, 2017
IN the age of political disruption, there is only one immovable constant.
Australia’s elite class of political insiders continues to get things wrong. This is the fuel driving the rise of the outsiders — voters disillusioned with the two-party system, searching for strong leadership to restore their economic and social freedoms.
In the United States, Britain and Australia, the malaise of the elites started with the invasion of Iraq in 2003 — sacrificing thousands of young lives and trillions of taxpayers’ dollars, only to make the world a more dangerous place through the emergence of Islamic State.
Saddam Hussein had an easy answer for troublemakers. He put them up against the wall and shot them. Now, due to the folly of the neo-conservative foreign policy establishment, Iraqi-inspired terrorists are shooting at us.
Over the past 12 months, the elites have had a particularly bad time.
They thought it was good idea for presidents, prime ministers and famous people across the world to tell working-class Britons not to leave the European Union.
The revolt of the outsiders started with Brexit.
Then the insider class scoffed at the idea of Pauline Hanson returning to federal Parliament, with the ultimate elitist, Malcolm Turnbull, dismissing her as an “unwelcome presence”.
Hanson won four Senate seats and Turnbull lost 14 in the lower house.
He established a unique electoral pattern: the further one moved away from the CBD of our major cities, the bigger the swing against the Liberal Party.
Then, to cap off their mistakes, the elites dismissed Trump as an unelectable joke — both in the Republican primary contest and the general election against Hillary Clinton.
Their preferred Republican was Jeb “Low Energy” Bush — someone devoid of drive or inspiration for winning the culture wars: pushing back against the Left’s PC programs, social engineering and identity politics.
Can you think of an Australian leader who’s petrified by the thought of dismantling the ABC, SBS, the Human Rights Commission and the cultural Marxism dominating our university and school systems?
Since 2013 we’ve had two of them, actually — Turnbull and Tony Abbott — both as ineffective as each other in fighting for freedom. This is the problem with what I call civility conservatives. They pay too much homage to institutions, frozen into believing that change can only come at a respectfully slow and gradual pace.
Meanwhile the bourgeois inner-city left has raced ahead with its infiltration of public institutions — using them as a platform for depicting everyday Australians as racist, bigoted, wife-bashing monsters.
It is an outrageous slandering of good people by taxpayer-funded snobs. And neither Turnbull nor Bill Shorten have lifted a finger to stop it.
In fact, there’s tripartisan support (Liberal, Labor and Greens) for funding the government agencies culturally at war with suburban and regional Australia.
This is what the current parliament is presiding over: institutions that hector and harangue people, telling them it’s wrong to love Australia Day, to wave the flag, to sing the anthem, to celebrate the virtues of our majority European heritage.
We are losing our country and the pillars of Western civilisation that have made us great. Yet the only time Turnbull can fire up in Parliament is when his own political skin is on the line.
No wonder Cory Bernardi has left the Liberals. No wonder the outsider vote in Australia, mainly clustered around Hanson, is 20-25 per cent and rising. No wonder in a recent Essential Poll the proportion of Australians who thought “the system” was working well for them recorded a pitiful 6 per cent.
At every turn, the political class is dragging us down. The left-versus-right squabble between renewables and coal-fired power has given us a Third World energy system, with rising prices and a zany South Australian government barely able to keep the lights on.
Cross-party support for Big Australia immigration levels is driving up housing prices, hurting local jobseekers and clogging our roads and trains.
Meanwhile, Canberra can’t stop feeding the beast of public spending and bureaucracy — cementing a 49 per cent top marginal tax rate that punishes economic success and leaves small businesspeople and professionals working every second day for the government. Our children are also copping it. The tripartisan neglect of teacher quality has lowered the academic results of schools to a standard worse than Borat’s Kazakhstan.
There’s even a law called 18C that persecutes university students trying to access computer labs to finish their assignments. While civility conservatives are paralysed on these issues, the so-called moderate wing of the Liberal Party has caved in altogether.
Thirty years ago Labor was overrun by machine politics. Now the same thing has happened to the Liberals, with a single person, Michael Photios, controlling the entire NSW division. Machine politics is not only about spin, manipulation and cynical ways of winning elections, it’s also addicted to policy compromise.
This is why Labor and the Liberals now look so similar — they have both surrendered to the same lobby groups. Their insiders’ club is overflowing with opportunism, rorting and policy accommodation.
Without these institutionalised failings, the rise of the outsiders wouldn’t be possible.
The voters spot a dud government miles away.
Each key element of Trumpism is a manifestation of this process: a noninterventionist foreign policy, nation-first economic strategies, tough-minded immigration restrictions, abolishing cultural Marxism programs and a determination to drain the swamp of political compromise and corruption.
In Australia and beyond, the conservative establishment is bleeding to death. Trump, Hanson and Bernardi didn’t do it to them. Their wounds are entirely self-inflicted.
1/ Pauline Hanson toasts Donald Trump.
2/ US President Donald Trump.
3/ Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Picture: AAP
4/Senator Cory Bernardi announces his departure from the Liberal Party: Picture: Kym Smith