SCOTT MORRISON CAN’T SAVE THE ELECTION, BUT HE CAN SAVE POLITICS
Dave Pellowe is the director of Axiomatic Events, architect of the annual Church And State Summit and writes for the Spectator & Quadrant online.
The problem with Australian politics is the paradox of a lack of clear choices and a context of unprecedented polarisation.
If I can even be so naive as to suggest there is only one problem, or even only one main problem, optimism about political debate and futures could be greatly improved.
All that would be required is that the major parties should clearly distinguish themselves from each other.
There is a common frustration about both parties being nearly indistinguishable. MPs in the parties often feel this is unfair, especially those further from the centre, and their feelings are not without merit.
But neither are the comparisons. For example, the Labor Party insists that they won’t incentivise the miserable trade in human trafficking which flourished under their previous policies.
This frustrates leftists who want every refugee application approved indiscriminately. In fact, given a choice, they would open the borders completely.
Free welfare for the first 50,000 on board!
On the other hand, the Liberal Party insists that they can be trusted with the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, their borrowing and spending has frustrated conservatives opposed to the immoral theft which is intergenerational debt.
Some of my conservative friends and colleagues hold no hope of Scott Morrison being the Liberal Party Prime Minister they feel all Australians need.
They criticise his cabinet choices bitterly. In particular, they point out his omission of talented rising stars like Andrew Hastie; installing so-called “moderates” with half the talent and character instead.
In foreign affairs, Morrison showed a rare ability to upset Jews, Muslims and Christians all at once with his decision to recognise “West Jerusalem” as Israel’s capital and relocate our embassy when unicorns parade at the announcement of a Middle East peace deal.
Prime Minister Morrison hasn’t briefed me on his thinking & strategy behind the various decisions he’s made. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt however and speculate that he’s trying to unite the left and the right in the ‘broad church’ of the Liberal Party.
John Howard barely achieved this, in what now seem like the golden era of Australian politics, before Kevin ’07 and Australian presidential campaigns.
I suspect Morrison’s trying to compromise: to give everybody a little win while steering us in a generally better direction.
It’s obviously not working. In trying to please everybody, he’s pleasing nearly nobody. John Howard managed his balancing act in an age of 24-hour news cycles and before the advent of social media.
Society since then has become much more polarised. Punters have become much more opinionated and merely look for facts convenient to rationalising their feelings.
This is a game that conservatism cannot play and win. We can’t show a photo of 1,000 people who didn’t drown at sea to manipulate useful idiots to support our agenda of compassion. “No one was killed or injured” isn’t a headline that goes viral.
The progressives on the other hand, can show a dirty, tear-stained face of a child through a fence, carefully omitting the open gate a dozen metres away.
They then use these images to claim that children are being tortured by those nasty conservatives.
They can show hundreds of public servants fired from redundant bureaucracies, but we can’t show photos of our children and grandchildren saved from harsh national austerity measures and servitude to China because of wise budgeting and limited borrowing.
We can’t win the sensational feelings debate with attempts to make responsible government feel good.
Polling suggests the next federal election will be an annihilation of Liberal Party MPs and the Bill Shorten regime is inevitable. There is no likely path to success without a miracle. The government is lost. How then should an unashamed Christian conservative Prime Minister then lead his party and govern for the whole nation?
I believe that the only chance for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to continue in his role is for him to completely ignore the commentary from the Opposition and the leftist media complex.
This has been the single greatest failing of Prime Minister Abbott, Prime Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Morrison.
The leftists are never going to vote for you, so don’t go after their vote. The commentariat will never review you well, so don’t try to impress or even appease them.
Don’t just be yourself, don’t just be likeable or authentic – also be assertive.
It’s time to risk another approach hoping for a better outcome, rather than repeating the same approach insanely expecting a different result.
Morrison needs to abandon the concessions to Leftism that saw Abbott claim ISIS isn’t Islamic and Turnbull attempt to tax carbon dioxide to change the temperature.
It’s time to tell the media to rack off and let them shriek in their ABC/Fairfax echo chamber.
What people will rally to is a clear vision for a better Australia: free of debt & over-government, free of lawfare replacing liberty, free of the march of post-modern relativism enslaving our public institutions.
Prime Minister Morrison doesn’t need to be President Trump and could never pull off his braggadocios bullying.
The silent majority of Australians are craving a similarly fearless leader, however. They want a leader who will pick the right battles and happily die for them, risking his career and his government and unflinchingly weathering the storm of resultant hate in mainstream and social media.
We are fed up with populists following from the front concerned only with clinging to power. We pray for someone prepared to lose for the right reasons.
We want a clear choice who will be pro justice, life, liberty, family, and responsibility. We want someone who refuses to be defined by cynical labels or apologise to the mob for fighting for what’s objectively right.
Even if this won’t save the next election, and it may or may not, it has the real potential to save the Liberal Party from total irrelevance in the wake of electoral failure.
We need the Liberals to seize the initiative and rebuild the party with a momentum away from the moral relativism of The Greens who have the Labor Party hopelessly trapped in what is effectively a coalition. This would be a great result for the leadership of Scott Morrison.
Even if he was only the Opposition Leader, to demand honest conversations about the consequences of cultural compromise would once again give Australians a clear choice in future elections.
It would breathe fresh energy into a lukewarm party which currently is neither hot nor cold and good for nothing.
This approach could save Australian politics because the choice would again become bright. We would have a choice between bleeding heart socialism (which killed more people in the 20th Century than all of preceding history combined) and the liberty of common sense conservatism.
The polarisation of politics will not be fixed in a generation, but a conservative with conviction can cut off the hopelessness of competing for the compromised Centre which is ever lurching to the Left.
The choices should be stark, and the call to make an informed, objective, good decision at the next election should be loud and clear.
Dave Pellowe is a speaker, writer & political commentator and blogs at PelloweTalk.com.