Sunday, 14 December 2014
Giving Abbott a Break
In his Herald Sun op-ed this morning, Andrew Bolt argues that Tony Abbott should be given a break by conservatives: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/hes-flawed-but-needs-a-break/story-fni0ffxg-1227155788437 Bolt makes a number of excellent points, including the fact that people who identify themselves as conservatives (or libertarians or libertarian-conservatives or right-wing or Centre-Right or whatever) are not tribal in the way leftists are. We think for ourselves and do not rely on an ideology to decode the world for us. It is right and proper that conservatives should critique Abbott. Nevertheless, there are what we might call "purists" who flay the Abbott government at every turn because it does not perfectly match their expectations.
Bolt gives the example of the Coalition handing over $200 million to the UN Green Climate Fund. Many of us do not believe that, after 18 years and three months of no rise in the global temperature, Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) can any longer be called, well, catastrophic. Bolt reminds us, nevertheless, that the ideologically-driven Labor government (2007-2013) spent $10 billion buying off the Greens. My own small contribution to the subject can be found here: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2014/11/tony-abbott-right-person-right-time/
Finally, it is a perfectly reasonable argument to make that one should not have to vote for Abbott only because the alternative is so bad. But the Abbott government - to take one area as an example - has not been merely less bad on the matter of irregular maritime arrivals but absolutely brilliant. The article at the following link goes, I think, some way to corroborating that: http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2014/07-08/boat-people-brought-rudd-gillard/
There are those who argue that Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's Operation Sovereign Borders is the exception rather than the rule amongst the government's initiatives, and yet that would be unfair. The trade deals with South Korea, Japan and, yes, China are worthy of mention. And so is the re-alignment with India. Australia's foreign policy prowess under Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop is unprecedented. That most Sydney Morning Herald readers and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aficionados are unaware of this is hardly the fault of Abbott.
The real struggle ahead for the Coalition government, in my humble opinion, is a cultural one. Abbott's commitment to the importance of Villers-Bretonneux, not to mention the whole Team Australia concept and the National Curriculum, are important pointers to the future. The Long War (2001-) is a civilisation struggle that runs along the fault lines of the world and the fault lines in our own country. The Australian Greens' insistence that Islamic State psychotics are not terrorists and Labor's refusal to countenance Australian military assistance for the heroic women and men of Rojava (northern Syria) tells us much of what we need to know about modern-day leftism. The soft totalitarianism of the left is with us every day in every way, as this one example illustrates: http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2014/12/professor-stanley-liars/
Finally, the Abbott government's solidarity with the State of Israel in its struggle against Islamic apocalyptic millennialism contrasts starkly with the attitudes now ascendent in the Australian Labor Party, let alone the Australian Greens. Yes, the Abbott government might have sold the May 2014 Budget better, but some proportion, please.