Much of the political coverage surrounding the replacement of Turnbull by Morrison implied that the factional fighting within the Liberal Party was between conservatives and moderates. In large part, such terminology is wide of the mark. The real fight was between two reactionary forces. The block of votes headed by Abbott and Dutton are simply fascist/racist ideologues who spend their days sucking up to coal barons and associated entities; their opponents are the mouth pieces for the big end of town and outer suburban racists.
Gone from the ranks of the Liberal Part are moderates like Fred Chaney, a Perth lawyer, who came to be held in high regard by the Indigenous community. The Judy Moylans of the Party who consistently took principled stances in relation to refugees and asylum seekers have disappeared or are cowered into silence by the overwhelming fascism in their mist.
Both 2019 contenders for the Prime Ministership had supervised the collective punishment of asylum seekers who had arrived by boat. Both had imposed regimes designed to coerce refugees and asylum seekers to return to the countries from which they had fled in fear of their lives. Both maintained a ruthless determination to weaken the spirit of their off-shore detainees and in the process, drove some to suicide and many more into clinical depression and other psychiatric illnesses. It did not matter to either Morrison or Dutton whether their captives were children, women or men: all were subjected to daily deprivation. Both failed to prevent women being raped, children being sexually abused and men being assaulted and murdered. Some of the perpetrators were employees of these Ministers.
Morrison will be remembered for his refusal to discuss boat turn-backs or any other “on water matters”. Dutton for his delaying medical repatriation of critically ill or dying asylum seekers. Both are proclaimed Christians who grossly misunderstand Jesus’ message about “suffer little children”. Morrison is a happy clapper from the Horizon Pentecostal church in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire. Dutton’s Christian background is more obscure. But one thing for certain is that Indigenous people, asylum seekers arriving by boat and less affluent people are unlikely to mistake either of these two miscreants for the good Samaritan.
Much has been made of the deep-seated sexism in the Liberal Party, particularly since Julia Gillard’s 2012 misogyny speech specifically directed Opposition leader, Tony Abbott. Many have pointed to the under representation of women in the Liberal Party and their refusal to introduce quotas when selecting candidates for winnable seats. During the recent dispatch of Malcolm Bligh Turnbull, one Julia Banks the only member of the Coalition to take a seat from Labor in the 2016 election, claimed to have been intimidated and bullied by fellow parliamentarians on both sides of the House and has announced she will not stand at the next election. Dutton camp supporters, like Craig Kelly in typical tough love style, claim she should learn to roll with the punches. But before you get too sorry for Ms Banks remember she was a high flying corporate lawyer before entering politics and in one of her early parliamentary extravaganzas she spoke against raising the rate of the New Start Allowance, she even went so far as to claim that she could live on it.
The Liberals are a sorry bunch and like their country cousins in the Coalition can justify the stealing of environmental water from the Murray Darling system by very wealthy irrigators, the accumulation of inordinate wealth by the big end of town, the corruption of the banks and the theft of the common wealth by the few.
If there is anyone who still believies that Scumbag Morrison and his followers are moderates then they really only need to remember his threat, egged on by Alan Jones, to abolish the CMFEU’s capacity to represent workers. Sydney University’s Professor John Buchanan says the reason why workers share of the profits has plummeted and owners share has skyrocketed over the last thirty years (and particularly in the last decade) is that in the past more powerful skilled workers and their unions set the wages bench mark and the Arbitration Commission passed on wage rises to workers with less bargaining power. The erosion of union power has ended that scenario and the Liberals are determined to keep it that way.
Copyright © 2020 John Tomlinson