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Where are the REAL Liberals?

Malcolm Fraser is welcomed at Andrews Air Forc...

Malcolm Fraser is welcomed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland USA, upon arrival for a visit to the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received a phone call the other day from the Liberal Party asking if I was happy with my membership.  I haven’t been as active a member as I’d like, or planned to be, but anyone who follows us knows why!  There are not enough hours in the day at the moment.  That doesn’t mean I don’t keep my eyes on what is happening in my country.

There seems to me to be a code of silence about our leader.  For overseas readers, in simple terms the Australian system is such that the elected representatives of the people within each party choose a parliamentary leader from amongst themselves.  If the party is in power, that person is Prime Minister – if not, the person is the Leader of the Opposition.   Currently we are in opposition.

I have pleaded many times for our politicians on both sides to stop using asylum seekers as a political football.  It is inhumane.  Today I even found myself agreeing with Chris Bowen, something I have to say I never thought I’d do.

Recently, Malcolm Fraser wrote an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald.  Malcolm is a past Liberal Prime Minster of Australia.

How can you ”restore integrity” to the policy affecting asylum seekers when the proposals embraced are based on falsehoods, misinformation and a blatant playing of politics with the lives of vulnerable people? This is the opposite of integrity. It is inhumane and demeans Australia. Is this the basis on which Abbott will operate if he, as he believes he will, becomes prime minister?

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/abbotts-evil-policy-work-20120617-20hzs.html#ixzz1ytjwgVr9

Let us be very clear here – this is a past Liberal Prime Minister describing the “evil” work of the one who would like to be the next Liberal Prime Minister.  To put it in an American context, it would be Clinton describing Obama but in the Republican camp.  Our Liberals are our conservatives.  I know, very confusing to Americans!

Back to the phone call I received.  I explained my current state of time bankruptcy.  I also said one thing I was not happy about was our leadership.

“You mean the State Premier?”

“No, I mean the federal leader.  He is an embarrassment to the party and to Australia.  Surely we have someone better to lead the party?”

The young man sounded a little shocked.  Perhaps not what he expected from a member.  I call it how I see it.  It seems most of the members of the house of representatives are bullied into towing the party line set by the “leader”, so it is up to the members to speak up and assure our elected representatives that we are not happy.  Not happy at all.

I will accept that I am probably a little biased.  I am married to a man who was for many years an asylum seeker.  A man who slept in a staircase in India.  Who had one set of clothes and wrapped himself in a towel when he washed and dried that one set of clothes.  Who was so thin when an old school friend ran into him, the friend thought he was dying.

Thankfully, I can put aside my fears of being biased because other people don’t like Abbott’s stance either.

Two interesting news reports came out today.  The bad was this:

One well-placed Liberal source told The Australian that Abbott would rather see Labor continue to bleed politically with ongoing boat arrivals. If that means deaths at sea continue, he said, so be it. Perhaps Abbott thinks such tragedies reflect more badly on Labor than his own side because the government appears responsible for the mess courtesy of changing John Howard’s asylum-seekers policies in the first place.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/an-end-to-the-blame-game/story-e6frg6z6-1226408324421

To even think that, let alone say it, indicates a man after power at ANY cost.  A man,  I also read today, whose parents manipulated the system to become “ten pound pom” immigrants.  A man who professes very strongly to be a christian!

The good was (same article as link above):

Yesterday senior moderate Liberal MP Russell Broadbent joined colleagues Mal Washer and Judi Moylan in calling for an entirely new approach to processing and policing asylum arrivals.

FINALLY some sanity from my party!

The history of Abbott is not the history of a man we should even remotely consider as a possible leader of this country.  If anything, based on the fundamental principles of the Liberal Party, he should not even be a member.

Published university reports show that after a narrow defeat in the university senate elections in 1976 – Mr Abbott’s first year of an economics-law degree – he kicked in a glass panel door.

In the ensuing two years, he was repeatedly accused in the university paper of being a right-wing thug and bully who used sexist and racist tactics to intimidate his opponents.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/17/1089694611874.html

Read the article: it is an eye-opener! How did he even get elected?  A leopard doesn’t change those spots.

It is thought in many quarters he lost the last election for the Liberals because women didn’t like him.  As a woman, I suspect there is a reasonable amount of the truth in that.  I haven’t liked him since the day he first opened his mouth as the “leader”.  I had very grave concerns about him being Prime Minister at the last election and having watched him in full flight since, I have even graver concerns now.

To my fellow Liberal members I say this: wake up before it is too late.  Oh, we may win the next election, but as Prime Minister, Abbott will do us so much damage we will be lucky to hold power again for twenty years.

I also saw an interview with Scott Morrison on the topic of asylum seekers yesterday.   I was horrified.  Watch the interview: Scott Morrison on ABC and make up your own mind.

We need a new, innovative plan to deal with people smugglers.  Like prostitution, this is a very old profession and unlikely to be stamped out unless there is a GLOBAL approach to resettling displaced people in a more timely fashion than is currently the case.  Make no mistake, some people smugglers actually believe they are doing a great thing.  Many are just after the money.  I personally know of at least one person in an entirely different part of the world who would never have managed to get back to his homeland without the people smugglers in that part of the world.  Yes, what is happening in this part of the world is horrific: 200 people on overcrowded and under crewed boats risking dangerous seas.  Many drown.  Rolling out 10 year-old policies that didn’t work when they were in place is a stupid suggestion, even without all the other issues mentioned above.

Many, many people  experienced in the field of processing asylum seekers suggest many alternative approaches.  When is someone going to listen?

When is Abbott going to put the lives of innocent people before his own grandiose plans for power?  From my observations, he won’t.

Remember this man is against personal freedoms, not just stirring up moral panic about asylum seekers who arrive in boats.  While asylum seekers is the current topic, look deeper.   This is not a leader.  I care about Australia’s democracy and I care about the reputation of the Liberal Party.  Don’t stand by in apathy.

It is said we get the leaders we deserve.   Let us stand up and be counted NOW: it will be too damn late after the event.

My thanks to Russell Broadbent, Mal Washer and Judi Moylan for having integrity: the sort of integrity the Liberal Party was founded on.

Overall, I have been disgusted with Australian politics generally of late.  We have people behaving like children in Question Time, Slipper-Pyne Gate, Thomson Gate, Jackson Gate and that’s only what we know about!   What don’t we know about?

Can we please have some mature adults running this country?

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20 comments on “Where are the REAL Liberals?

  1. […] supporter of more than 38 years), “Oh, we may win the next election, but as Prime Minister, Abbott will do us so much damage we will be lucky to hold power again for twenty years.” Twenty years may have been an […]

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  2. […] our right wing had become (don’t forget I was right wing myself all my life) and I thank Malcolm Fraser for my education on that score, I realised our friends at the IPA weren’t exactly how they […]

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  3. […] He may have more freedom now to speak in ways he couldn’t before, or in ways that were not necessary before the current crop of Liberals, but I see Fraser acted humanely then as he does […]

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  4. […] been feeling less and less able to to support the Liberal Party for some time. I’ve reached the point where I find I cannot, in all conscience, remain a […]

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  5. […] and supporting the thinking. I found I was in quite an illustrious group of people! There was Malcolm Fraser, giving very sage advice, Malcolm Turnbull and Christine Milne. David Donovan from Independent […]

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  6. […] would think, would you not, that the right wing/conservative party in Australia might just take a look at this shocking state of affairs and say to themselves, […]

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  7. The Fraser-style Liberals have more in common with the Greens than they do with the extremist Tea-Party style Conservatives now running the party.

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  8. […] “hypocritical and unsubstantiated by fact“.  Clearly Nicolle hasn’t checked Tony Abbott’s history.  She could start with the facts Julia Gillard presented in her now world famous speech.  I […]

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  9. […]  I am no fan of Mr Abbott’s: those who don’t believe me, please pop over to Where are the REAL Liberals? to see for […]

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  10. The trouble is you are now a LINO. Liberal in name only. ‘Your’ party is no longer really yours. It has long since departed. It’s no longer the party of Malcolm Fraser or Robert Menzies.

    For the first five years of my adult life I voted Liberal. For the past thirty I haven’t. I have a theory that we ex Liberals coast along thinking we are voting for the sensible party, the party of rationalists, the party that understands how the world really works until one day something happens and we realize just how naive we’ve been. For me it was the campaign to save the Franklin River in Tasmania. (yes. I am getting on in years). I grew up in Tasmania and I thought of course my party will be on the conservation side. I mean conservative and conservation are part of the same thing, right? And the Liberals are opposed to ‘big government’. And after all a Liberal founded The Australian Conservation Foundation. And Malcolm Fraser had stopped sand mining on Fraser Island and had stared down Joh when he wanted to turn the Barrier Reef into cement. It was bloody Labor and Country party premiers who kept building dams, wood chipping native forests and generally screwing up the environment…

    Like I said naive. In Tasmania the Liberals took the path of local populism and wanted to flood the Franklin even more than Labor. And naturally they decided the best way was to attack those of us who thought we already had enough dams.

    It was a real eye opener to be sneered at by politicians who I had previously thought of as being on my side, whom I had voted for, had handed out how to vote cards for, refer to me – hardworking, conservative, Liberal voting me! – as a dole bludging, lice infested, filthy greene.

    The triumph of opportunist populism over principle caused me to never vote Liberal again. As far as I can see nothing much in the Liberal party has changed in the past three decades.

    The Franklin opened my eyes. Maybe asylum policy will open yours.

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    • Thank you for sharing your experience Dendy. I do remember the Franklin, but not nearly as well as you.

      At the moment, for me personally, it is actually more than the asylum policy. I’m not sure people see that, given my connection. It is the quality of the politicians: make that the LACK of quality.

      It used to be that Liberals were intelligent, educated, rational…. what the hell happened? I asked today is it the profile of the members has changed? Many seem to be xenophobic, power hungry, irrational, inhumane. It just astounds me.

      On this site I have soundly criticised both parties, so I’m probably going to be excluded from both! 😆 But damn it, if someone doesn’t start the dialogue, nothing will change. Maybe nothing can be changed, maybe the Liberals will just evolve into the GOP of the USA and look what happened under Bush! Povety over there is horrific.

      Maybe what we need is a new “old” Liberal Party. Not sure what to call it though! Sadly, I also don’t have the money to launch a political party! Conservative but humane. Prepared to invest in the education of the future generation.

      For the moment I will stick to the “can’t change anything from the outside” idea, but we shall see.

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  11. Politics…Scott Morrison appears an arrogant SOB. Australia is getting to be very like NZ in politics. The NZ population is incredibly apathetic. get a politician who just keeps repeating what they think and eventually the public believe. “If you keep saying it it must be true” and those that don’t believe just give up and say: “oh they’ll do what they want anyway so why fight it.”
    It saddens me no end.

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    • Jo, apathy is a real worry. I read a comment by an American the other day that she never votes because she doesn’t think her vote counts. Votes have to be made in order to count! Exercise your democratic right and VOTE! Here, as you know, voting is compulsory, but I get the feeling many are just going through the motions to avoid a fine these days. It didn’t used to be like that.

      The calibre of our politicians these days is scary. I read here and there talk that democracy has a limited life in the history of mankind and have to admit I am starting to wonder. Not sure what the alternative is, but for heaven’s sake, the current situation is untenable.

      This year has been cringeworthy.

      One reason is the inability to debate, I think. Another Liberal supporter took to me on Twitter, blasting the ALP aslym seeker policies in relation to this article. This article is NOT about ALP aslym seeker policies, it is about the fitness of the current leader of the Liberals to lead. Three times I told the man to stay on topic, I was not entering into an unrelated discussion. He can’t manage to stay on topic. Blasting the ALP policy as a way to draw discussion away from the real issue under consideration, the lack of a good Liberal leader, is not the way to impress me the Twitterer is any better! 🙂

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  12. Well I don’t have any time for politicians of any kind- as far as I’m concerned democratic or not, UK or Uganda, ‘the scum float to the top’.

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