At a national level, the coordinating body of the Liberal Party is the Federal Council. It comprises 14 delegates from each state and the Australian Capital Territory. These include the State/Territory president, the State/Territory parliamentary leader, the president of the Young Liberal Movement, the president/chairman of the Women’s Council and 10 other delegates. Other members of the Federal Council include federal Parliamentary leaders and federal office bearers of the organisation1.
It is this council which voted to privatise the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), something I suggested some months ago may be on the cards2. They also voted to move the Australian Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Julie Bishop stated that while she understood the sentiment (?), the embassy would not be moving. Despite her intervention, the motion passed 43 to 37. The motion to privatise the ABC was put by the Young Liberals and was passed overwhelmingly by the council. This was stated by one Liberal source as being due to the ascendancy of the conservatives3. This was demonstrated by the dumping of one of four Liberal vice-presidents, the moderate Trish Worth, replacing her with conservative Teena McQueen.
While this motion to privatise the ABC has been on the agenda of the right wing, big business lobbying organisation, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) for many years, this is the first time it has passed by a vote in a Liberal Party organisational sector. Of course senior Liberal parliamentarians including the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg, Scott Morrison and Mitch Fifield (the latter two are associated with the IPA) came out furiously denying that the ABC would be privatised4. This is only because this vote has given the Labor Party an excellent cudgel with which to beat the Liberals over the head during the next federal election campaign. If they are re-elected, you can bet your bottom dollar they will continue to run the ABC down by cutting funding, so the populace will become dissatisfied with its service, so at some time in the future, there will be less outrage when the possibility of privatisation is raised again. This is standard conservative practice for aiding their aim of privatisation5.
There is footage of the vote at the Federal Council meeting and some of the people who voted to privatise the ABC include at least four of the party’s top federal officials, and at least one federal MP, and there was broad applause when the motion was passed by 39 votes to 10. All of the Tasmanian delegation voted in favour of it, much to Eric Abetz’s delight. One of the four federal Liberal vice-presidents, Karina Okotel, voted in favour of privatisation. She is one of the religious nutter right who have effectively taken control of the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party. Hilariously, she stated that the “private sector produces content, faster, cheaper and more efficiently”6. It is clear from this she has not seen much of the dross which passes for entertainment, current affairs, or ‘documentaries’ on commercial television. All they are designed to do is sell advertising; nothing else.
One of the real worries about this motion being passed was that people such as Turnbull (or anybody else for that matter) did not have the intestinal fortitude to speak against the motion. Even from a practical political point of view, you would think that the proponents of the motion would have realised that this will give the ALP a large stick to beat the Liberals with both in the forthcoming by-elections and in the next general election. Apart from any other consideration (e.g., the stupidity of the idea in the first place) this shows how out of touch the Liberal Party is with the real world.
Yep. Watching the conservative shenanigans in recent months makes me think that stupidity is a virus and it is endemic to conservatives. One Notion, Family First, Bernardi, O’Dwyer, Cash, Abbott, Morrison, Bastiaan, Okotel…… the list is long.
I always thought conservatives were authoritarian, intransigent, fearful of change, fearful of dissent, unable to deal with a challenge along with a smattering of right-wing religion and a bit of stupid.
I now believe stupid has risen to the top of conservative characteristics followed by dogma (either religion and wishful-thinking-economics) – how to deal with people too stupid to know they are stupid?
It is a difficult problem and is essentially the Dunning-Kruger Effect: Stupid people overestimate their abilities and intelligent people underestimate their abilities. This is exacerbated by some of the stupid being prey to narcissism, with the most obvious examples being Donald Trump and Tony Abbott. They have an extremely high opinion of themselves, with no reason to do so. In someone other cases, stupidity can be ‘bought’. For instance, politicians can be given money to deny things for which there is plenty of evidence. That is true for a significant portion of the Liberal and National parties with regard to the reality of climate change and the lie of trickle-down economics.
Agree about the likes of Abbott & Trump – too stupid for the power to which they have somehow been elevated.
What is the excuse for Turnbull?
He doe not appear stupid, yet he has been “doing” a lot of stupid since Utegate/Godwin Grech onwards.
I don’t really know what the psychological terminology for it is. Like many, I was so relieved to see the back of the Abbott hilarity, that anyone would have been an improvement. However, reality soon set in, and it was clear that he was much the same, just a little more articulate. Deep down, I think Turnbull would have done whatever it took to become PM. That was his only real aim. He is a cypher, except for that. There are no beliefs; no character; no ethos; no principles; just the lust to be PM.
I too was sooooo relieved not to have to watch Abbott loon around as Australia’s PM.
I was concerned about Turnbull because of the Utegate episode – however, I did not expect him to actually be worse than Abbott – which he is, because he knows better, whereas Abbott is just an ignorant tool; Turnbull truly is a hollow man.
I couldn’t agree more.
Hollow man indeed. Turnbull has either compromised almost every principle he had simply because he enjoys the title of PM or, just as likely, his principles were little more than a facade designed to win popularity. In the end we’re entitled to judge Turnbull by his actions and they don’t make pretty reading on any front. Those still holding hope that the “true Malcolm” might reappear need to accept the reality that’s he’s simply another conservative – vacuous, false, intent on greasing the palms of the wealthy and taking from those less well off, while selling future Australians out by failing to manage the national estate – the environment and its assets. Abbott is a hopeless and ignorant idealogue, Turnbull is simply hopeless – oh and egoistic.
Precisely; a hollow man.
Corrected for accuracy: IPA MOLLS RUN THE “LIBERAL” PARTY
On a brighter note I was happy to see IPA ideologist (former) Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd finally get his just desserts – well part of them. The great pity is that the mooted inquiry into Lloyd’s behaviour didn’t go ahead. His letters to the CT said everything you need to know about him.
Chortle! I think the rot with regard to the IPA is beginning to set in. A piece I am about to put up will indicate why.