June 1st 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Scomo routs Labor, the Green, GetUp and the left-wing media by Patrick J. Byrne and Peter Westmore

CANBERRA OBSERVED Surprise! Polls aren't what they used to be

GENDER POLITICS The true cost of childhood gender reassignment

OBITUARY Bob Hawke, R.I.P.: astute politician, flawed policies

POETRY AND SOCIETY T.S. Eliot and the modern condition

WATER POLICY The time is ripe to revisit the Bradfield scheme

ASIAN AFFAIRS Taiwan upgrades U.S. links, asserts sovereignty

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Recapping the trial as Cardinal Pell's appeal approaches

THE FAMILY AND SOCIETY Working to bring down the Sexual Revolution

HISTORY OF SCIENCE Faith and reason and Father Stanley Jaki Part 2: Science and ancient cultures

HUMOUR A tidy planet is a happy planet

MUSIC Charles Ives: Modern elements aimed at sounding good

CINEMA John Wick 1: The lighting of the fuse

BOOK REVIEW Novelised true crime a true thriller

BOOK REVIEW The experiences of Phoebe Raye

POETRY

LETTERS

FEDERAL ELECTION Queensland voted for jobs, life and country

NATIONAL AFFAIRS The trial of Cardinal Pell ... an injustice

EUTHANASIA D Day - June 19, 2019 - Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 begins operation

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CANBERRA OBSERVED
Surprise! Polls aren't what they used to be


by NW Contributor

News Weekly, June 1, 2019

The 2019 election will be a watershed for decades to come, but in the meantime there is going to have to be some deep soul-searching inside the Labor Party about its identity, its constituency, and its ideology.

It was never meant to be like this.

The opposite was meant to have happened – the Liberal National parties’ divergent bases were at this juncture meant to be tearing themselves apart between the inner-city café latté constituency versus their conservative supporters in the suburbs and the regions.

Scott Morrison has put paid to all of that. The LNP now stands unequivocally for a constituency comprising ordinary aspirational Australians who want to own their own house, who aspire to giving their children better opportunities than they had, who want to save for their retirement and not been punished for being frugal, and who want to try to live independently of government.

In one dramatic and incredible election win, Mr Morrison has swept away the internal problem of the LNP’s twin bases – the progressives and the conservatives – to serve what he calls the “quiet Australian”.

This constituency is a modern-day version of “Howard’s battlers” and Menzies “forgotten people”.

“Quiet” because they clearly don’t reveal their views to pollsters and because the media (namely the ABC and Fairfax and others) don’t give them a voice in the national conversation.

Scott Morrison’s new constituency is not much interested in changing society from the top down and doesn’t want affluent inner-city moralisers telling them what to think, sneering at their faith, or telling them that their petrol ute must to be replaced with an electric one to turn down the Earth’s temperature.

One dramatic motif for the 2019 election was former Greens leader Bob Brown, driving from Melbourne (a city built on gold mining) in a fossil-fuelled convoy to central Queensland to tell them it was morally wrong to open a new coalmine.

This stunt alone helped drive thousands of votes away from Labor to the LNP.

The reputation of polling companies has been shredded at this election – not one picked the result and most were way off the mark.

The Australian’s Newspoll, in particular, which can be held partly responsible for the destruction of the prime ministerships of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, got the election totally wrong.

Whatever its methodology, Newspoll wasn’t talking to people in regional Queensland who were worried about their children’s future and their future job prospects, and who were more than happy to have a new mine in their area if that meant bringing prosperity to their towns.

Pollsters had also convinced the commentariat that climate change was a vote-turning issue and that young people, like the devotees of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, were going to catapult Bill Shorten into the Lodge.

It was not to be.

Ironically, Bill Shorten’s embrace of far-left redistributive policies was actually a repudiation of his earlier life in the right of the Labor Party.

Whatever criticisms one might make of Shorten, his political youth was spent pushing back against the ALP’s socialist left; but, at the climax of his political career, he chose to embrace the left.

Shorten was pro-Israel, pro-the American alliance, formed in the right wing and reasonable Australian Workers Union. His political mentors were people like Bob Hawke and Bill Kelty.

But in the week Bob Hawke died, Shorten seized the mantle of Gough Whitlam instead of Hawke, signalling that his government would “change everything”.

Trouble is Australians did not want to change everything; they were happy with most things as they are.

Labor is likely to elect Anthony Albanese as its next leader, but he will have his work cut out for him as he tries to fashion policies that appease Labor’s progressives but reconnect with the traditional working class the party has shunned for many years.

Certainly through the union movement, Labor is deeply embedded in the child-care industry, as with hospital workers and public servants, but it has lost contact with small-business people, with tradies and miners and the self-employed.

Shorten was swept up in the ACTU’s “change the rules” campaign and was happy to stand by and watch as Sally McManus declared unions would break the law to get what they wanted under his government.

Labor also threatened to unleash radical federal transgender policies and severely restrict religious freedom.

Many commentators have declared that Labor’s agenda was simply too ambitious; but the fact is that its big policy agenda was beginning to frighten a lot of people.

Ironically, the people elected a “new” prime minister instead, but one they knew wouldn’t launch radical change on them.

The people have given Scott Morrison three years to get on with things and granted him a considerable amount of goodwill.




























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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm