That Paul Kelly, in The Weekend Australian, has effectively outlined the problems the Liberals face there can be no doubt, though he has no solutions of his own, just an expression of aspirations; though these themselves are but part of the problem.
Turnbull may be seen as pragmatic in being able to get policies through the senate, but in doing so he is further alienating the conservatives within his own party (let’s leave aside the apparent support offered him by Peter Dutton, Cormann and Frydenberg for the moment).
Crucial in the mix is the poll results, and here Turnbull seems unable to alter public perceptions about the viability of his party. His Labor-lite policies may have been intended to show he is capable of success, but they are of little value if they don’t boost his fortunes.
The conflict between Turnbull and Abbott has become an existential one for the Liberal Party itself. As Kelly rightly points out, Abbott isn’t going to back down any time soon, albeit his intentions are both specific and limited. Limited in the sense they are aimed specifically at those voters who are thinking of defecting to either The Australian Conservatives or to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (the ones who have already defected, including me, are unlikely to come back to the Liberals under the current leadership). I am of the opinion that Peta Credlin is right about Tony not interested in clawing back the leadership, despite many of his colleagues thinking otherwise.
On the other hand, Turnbull will only be able to retain the illusion of policy success up to the next election, but will then lose in a landslide. His support will largely from the centre left supporters and a diminishing number of ‘rusted on Liberals’. The parliamentary conservatives doggedly support him, because of the risk of precipitating an immediate election if they don’t. Nevertheless execution must surely be staring them in their collective faces. And marking time is surely just the hiatus before the inevitable decimation.
Personally, I am not opposed to a significant electoral defeat, come next election, in that a sinking ship might well contribute to the rats jumping into the deep blue, even at the risk of permanently damaging the party itself. I don’t see Tony salvaging anything, but he can only retain the respect of his loyal supporters through trying. His defection to the Australian Conservatives, for instance, would be catastrophic to the remaining conservatives within the Liberal Party, but not to conservatism as a whole. It could only boost the fortunes of the party he joins.
These are particularly difficult times for conservatives, and these may continue for a while, but my feeling is that we ought to be looking at overall trends, which means switching our reference point beyond our shores. Everything in America seems to suggest that the Left has been indulging in overreach on a massive scale. Leaving aside the disgraceful ‘Not My President’ protests for the moment, and focusing instead on the media: CNN has been caught out in its relentless campaign to link the Trump presidential campaign to Russian interference, in that it has been shown to entirely confected and knowingly so. The very recent revelations of the deceit have led to key dismissals, but have also confirmed everything Trump has said about fake news.
Then the pu*** protests and the Antifa riots at Berkley and other universities can only contribute to the impression that it is indeed the Left that is fascist, not their opponents, and that their rhetoric to the contrary can only be counter productive.
In short conservatism can only be seen as being resurgent over there, not the opposite (as it seems over here). We tend to lag behind America when it comes to social trends, and it certainly seems so now. But five, ten years hence?
The messages coming out of Europe are far more confused, in that a so called centrist, not Marine le Pen, won the French presidential election, and this has been followed up at a parliamentary level of massive support flowing on to Macron’s party. But the immigration levels and Islam itself remains a ticking time bomb, one that has certainly not been defused by the election of Macron.
Elsewhere in Europe, those on the left have voiced concerns about rising right wing sentiment, and yet the left have done little to mitigate the evils of mass Muslim immigration, again a ticking time bomb. Almost as bad is the fact that Germany has only in the last day or so legalised SSM, this being very much a Left wing success.
Then there is Brexit, which seemed overwhelmingly like a conservative win, back in June last year, but with Theresa May’s near-death experience, this last general election, one might be forgiven for thinking that the Left has re-established a degree of credibility.
Politics in Australia must be seen in the light of world-wide movements. And as such I suspect the Right is indeed on the rise, though still dependent on further Left wing overreach, before the centrists are convinced about the lack of viability of those who have been deliberately undermining our culture, indeed our civilisation. For the rest of us, we must continue to speak out about the deliberate undermining of our Judeo-Christian values.