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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

conflicting pressures « Previous | |Next »
December 4, 2013

In spite of the nimble political footwork and ad hockery the Coalition do look a mess. It's more than a few stumbles in the early days of a anew government. As Jack Waterford observes in the Canberra Times:

In two years down the track, the events of the past week may be remembered not for the Pyne pratfalls or the shifts by Abbott. Rather, they will be remembered as proofs the Coalition did not have its act together on fundamental problems (relations with the states, schools and educational standards and government spending), nor a mechanism of controlling public expenditure - instanced by how Abbott was able to pluck a notional $1.2 billion from the ether after but a brief discussion with the leadership team.

The Coalition's often inept, slapstick performances increasingly suggest that they don't have their act together on the core policy issues. It does look as if the strategic brilliance had always been to aggressively break apart the Labor government, not develop a coherent agenda for reform.

PopeDAbbottmess.jpg David Pope

The question is why? What's going on? It's certainly not due to the political pressure from the ALP or the Greens on the Coalition. They appear to be flailing about within their internal contradictions, and it looks as if the pressure on the Abbott Government is coming from within its own splintering ranks.

There is a gap between the governing the country in a stable, prudent manner and satisfying the ideological demands and expectation of the contradictory strands of the conservative base. The foundations on which the Abbott ascendancy has been built are shaky.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:49 PM | | Comments (5)


Reality has come home to roost.
And the COALition fellas [mostly] have never had to deal with that before. The media has protected them from such and the COALition simply doesn't know how to deal with it.
They were allowed to say what they wanted, real [?] or invented [you can think of lots of examples -Pope has just one] without scrutiny and now they just have to perform and bullying doesn't work outside Oz, 'stop the boats' has been revealed as an empty slogan, 'stop the debt' is easier said than done, people like their kids being educated and so on.
Mike Seccombe has several examples.
Meanwhile no longer distracted by media hype about 'waste', scandal [Slipper and Thomson for example], carbon 'taxes' and electricity bills, 'debt' of the other mob, the public can see what the COALition really has to offer.
The emperor has no clothes [never did have], so he [the COALition in general] is flailing about trying to cover up the naughty bits.

Poor us.

Very interesting observation, I think:

They appear to be flailing about within their internal contradictions, and it looks as if the pressure on the Abbott Government is coming from within its own splintering ranks.

The problems also stem I suggest from short-term thinking and not considering consequences. For example, the problems of bugging overseas leaders had been flagged by the cases involving Germany and Brazil. Tony Abbott, as Opposition critic, may have underestimated the problems of being prime minister. Hubris?

"The Coalition's often inept, slapstick performances"...

It's hard to take C. Pyne seriously.

Pyne says that Labor spent too much on education that money wasn't the answer; the government was going to spend a whole lot more--eg.,on Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory ; and Labor was bad because it did not spend enough re these states.

The Coalition sees China as an expansionist power that is likely to invade the rest of Asia. So Australia needs some strategic buffers between Australia and Chinese aggression.

It's the old Cold War view being recycle and it is at odds withe view that China as an economic powerhouse that is Australia's best trading partner.

Of course they are floundering.
Like the ALP right hacks, they have absolutely no self reflexivity as to themselves and what comnprises "themselves" as to impulses, appetites and motives.
Or any vison for the country or the future, beyond next Friday's Happy Hour, where they seek out ego massage from the drells of the press gang waiting at the House bar.
People keep waiting for policy development, but these people don't beleive in "government" or "civilisation" or civics, service and "community"- they are only self oriented.
There it is.
A policy free zone and nothing to cling to apart from power and its trappings, including election campaign funds from vested interests, of course.
If they have a policy, it is to avoid people waking up to the fact that they don't and won't have policies, at what most of us would consider a meaningful level.
They are absolutely the wrong people for the instigation of what someone like Donald Horne might conceive to be, a national or civilisational project.