Tim Newman had an excellent piece the other day on the subject of Trump’s refusal to be swayed at the G20 summit as regards the Paris Agreement.
But even Trump would probably acknowledge that on this issue, and several others, he is simply representing the interests of the people who elected him. That is his job after all, but Merkel, Macron, and the rest don’t seem to understand this: they talk of changing Trump’s mind as if he’s decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement just for the fun of it, instead of it being something he was specifically elected to do.
It is a very relevant point. Trump is one of the very few politicians in modern times to actually act as he was instructed to do by his fellow countrymen who voted for him. To the other leaders at the G20 summit, elections are something you have to get through so you can then get on with doing whatever fleeting thought bubble takes your fancy.
Malcolm Turnbull was notable more for his inane schoolboy grinning in the ranks rather than for any real hard diplomacy in Australia’s interests, and more particularly for the interests of the people that he is supposed to represent. Turnbull governs in spite of the people, and this representative democracy business is such a yoke around his neck that he feels the need to undermine it at every opportunity.
Being on the other side of the world seems to have given him some Dutch courage, while simultaneously removing any last vestiges of political acumen that he may ever have possessed. Surrounded by the high profile leaders of the world, perhaps he became assured of his own brilliance amid such inspiring company. How else could anyone possible explain his sudden desire to make a speech declaring that the Liberal party never had anything to do with conservatism?
Malcolm Turnbull has made the bold claim that the Liberal Party has never been a conservative party, and that Robert Menzies was a moderate, progressive leader, in a speech strongly defending his own centrist governing style.
Describing the “sensible centre” as the modern political battleground, the Prime Minister suggested a comparison between the Liberal Party under his leadership with that of Menzies, who he said had purposely rejected traditional conservative politics.
Once can just imagine him coming off the dais after delivering his Disraeli lecture, his insecure smile plastered across his weak and vacillating countenance as he undoubtedly sought reassurance that he had done a really good job and was really rather a smart guy after all, actually.
It’s not a betrayal so much as a weary resignation of what everyone knew all along. The only thing that Turnbull stands for is more Turnbull, and if he gets out of bed each morning with no real idea of why he’s there or what he’s doing, then it doesn’t really matter because he’ll be okay in the end. The country can go to shit, but he’ll be fine.
For the last 30 years Australia’s politicians with very few exceptions have done their very best not to represent the electorate in any way shape or form. Australians were never asked if we wanted a multicultural policy to hemorrhage our country with millions of foreigners who were specifically instructed not only that they didn’t have to assimilate but that Australia would somehow be greatly enriched if they stuck to their own cultures and traditions in the middle of our way of life.
Australians were not asked if we were happy with the idea of the government confiscating our legal firearms. We were not asked if we were desirous of the idea that heath and safety commissars could regulate every aspect of our daily lives under the guise of “safety”. And I must have missed the memo where we got a say in whether we were allowed to have a smoke inside a public building.
As far as I can recall the labor government was elected in 2007 due to their promises of undertaking fiscal prudence, only for them to blow all of the country’s savings and throw us into decades of debt so as to avoid an annual recession for which we were long overdue. I missed the part where we got a say in that one. But then finally the Liberals got back into power with great promises of returning the budget to a balance. Only they didn’t do that, did they. Instead they ramped up the level of spending to amounts that the opposition could only fantasize about in their wildest socialist wet dreams.
We didn’t get a say in the teaching of homosexual propaganda to our children in schools, we didn’t get a say in costly taxes on air, and we certainly didn’t get a say in the wholesale dismantling and destruction of the national energy grid which has seen power bills across the country quadruple in under two years. We missed out on having a say about being locked out of our own national parks for recreational purposes, as well as vast swathes of the fishing grounds, we never had a say in the brilliant concept of issuing employer-sponsored work visas with little to no checks or balances in place to deal with the wholesale fraud and masses of completely unsuitable immigrants that followed, thereby driving down wages so that the only wage growth in the last 10 years has been in the ever-expanding public service.
We certainly did not get a say in the prime minister of the country standing up in parliament and saying sorry to aborigines for perceived wrongs and injustices that may or may not have been done on behalf of all Australians everywhere. Just for the record, no sorry from me. And true to form our politicians seem committed to voting on gay marriage themselves instead of allowing the people a direct plebiscite on the matter, something which they were specifically elected in the last election to do.
Need I go on? Just exactly when has there been an effort to actually represent the people of the nation and their real needs and desires? I bet if the government was stupid enough today to announce a referendum once and for all to see if Australians wanted a return to the white Australia policy, the policy that was spearheaded by Menzies, you know, the guy that Turnbull reckons wasn’t a conservative, I reckon that Australians would vote yes in their collective masses. Even with over a third of the voting population being born overseas I think that it would still get up by a very large margin.
But they won’t do that. They won’t ask us. They’ll pretend to ask come the next election. But then it will be back to business as usual, swanning around the world and poking fun at that president Trump guy. What an idiot he is, eh? Fancy that, backing out of the Paris agreement just because he promised his electorate that he would. Who does that, eh?
Very few people, unfortunately. Very few indeed.