“The Spoiler”: On the ropes, but is he still fighting the future!
Phillip Hudson writing in the Australian yesterday (October 12, 2015) noted that while the new Prime Minister is going from strength to strength, the party is treading water. The Essential Poll out today essentially says the same thing. Turnbull’s personal rating is going north but the Coalition has not improved its position since immediately after his ascension and may have even slipped fractionally. Could this be the result of “the Spoiler” still being in town; on the ropes but not out of the contest thanks to persistent niggling from the shock jocks and Murdoch Empire warlords who cannot accept that their views went unheeded? As the new PM preaches the virtues of collaboration, debate and collegiate intercourse, will the former PM slip back into the comfy shoes of the leader of the oppositio?
So what’s going on? As far as I can work out, in classic spoiler style, the former PM went around the traps telling people that nothing had changed under Turnbull and that the new PM was largely locked into his platform; you know the platform behind the loss of 30 consecutive Newspolls at an average deficit of around six points; notwithstanding the public’s equivalent level of disdain for the Opposition leader. The same platform that the LNP couldn’t get through the Senate during their first 18 months was unlikely to be so in the remaining 18 months of custodianship given a souring relationship with the cross benches. So the Parliament was in an ongoing stalemate and a general malaise was taking hold in the community at large as well as in business. This was manifested in increasing cynicism, even among the media if that were possible, leading to a sense of resignation toward and unpleasant future for us.
Then, with the elevation of Turnbull, there was instantly more hope in the hearts of the people coupled with a desire to want to believe Australia could break free from this downward spiral sentence. But the answer does not lie in the old 20th century Abbott policies nor does it lie in top of the head tilts at 21st century “technoscramble”.
The 21st century solution involves technological change to be sure but in the context of social and spiritual advancement and with that platform, the country will move forward at a rapid pace having the spiritual strength and social safety net to embrace grand technology and the challenges it will bring to all of our lives and futures. But we must also be brave enough to reject pointless and intrusive technology which is little more than a profit opportunity for its designers.
We are seeing some of this new thinking at work already in dealing with the challenge of radicalisation of Muslim youth but much more is needed in this area. It is not just about the Islamic community but all people. There must be not only a respect for women, for religion and culture so long as it is not against our laws, but there must be also be respect for the old, the weak – all people as part of a world we share. We need to recognise that we as spiritual beings cannot be bought off with geegaws and whirlygigs when a sense of fulfilment and meaning will deliver so much more. If we are to be a great country we must believe in ourselves as human beings capable of caring for others as much as achieving greatness financially, socially and spiritually.
There have been stumbles with the new government because it is very early days and as you would expect, everybody is waving their main issue at the PM and his team with equal vigour, but a priority list must be set urgently or no headway can be made.
This must include an examination of waste and poor decision-making allowed to accumulate over the last 30-40 years where billions of savings reside as noted in this paper here.
As Hudson says, the Coalition and Labor two-party preferred using 2013 preferences are neck and neck but Turnbull is the preferred leader 57% to 19% with 24% uncommitted. It would be my surmise that many of that 24% would be prepared to come across once the worst memories of the Abbott era are shaken loose and the politics of collaboration (as is being espoused by the current Lord Mayor of Wollongong) comes to the fore. As some have found in our local government for some time, people want resolution not point-scoring and constant warfare. And they seem to be prepared to make trade-offs to achieve it.