Economic, political and diplomatic decline
Australia under the Howard government was riding high, a nation almost uniquely debt-free, well governed, behind secure borders and respected internationally.
Not only were we among the top ten countries in the internationally respected Legatum Prosperity Index; we were Number Two.
More than a ranking in Gross Domestic Product per capita, this assessment came from achievements through nine pillars, including the economy, health, education, governance, and freedom, indicating a pathway to prosperity. These can equally indicate that a country is going the other way, as Australia sadly is. Now just in the top ten, we’re ranked ninth. This is the work of our politicians. Unless we go back to conservative leadership, Australia will fall further.
The Howard era was a a golden age. But when in celebrating this I wrote The Twilight of the Elites, Tony Abbott presciently warned in his foreword that this could be no more than the twilight of an eclipse of the left-liberal intellectual hegemony. ‘Notwithstanding the book’s triumphant title,’ he added, ‘Flint is only too aware how ephemeral intellectual mood -shifts can be.’ How right he was.
To learn from this, we should recall that by 2007, Australia’s mainstream media had finally persuaded the nation that their bête noire, John Howard, had reached his use-by date. They had always detested Howard, so he long did what Donald Trump does, he went over them to reach the people. There were no tweets then, but talkback radio and breakfast TV existed.
But eventually, by 2007, they were successful in portraying him as tired and beyond the prime ministerial role, untrue then and untrue today. They presented Kevin Rudd as a young and more interesting version of a fiscal conservative.
As for Bennelong, a significant part of the vote against Howard is believed to have come from voters born in communist China, but not Hong Kong, persuaded by Beijing’s agents that Rudd was a close friend of China. What did they then think when he reportedly described China’s diplomats at the Copenhagen climate change summit as Chinese ‘ratf—ers’?
It did not take long for Australians to realise they’d been misled. When Malcolm Turnbull agreed with Rudd that global warming was the greatest moral challenge of the age, and acted on it, he lost the leadership of the Liberal Party. To the media’s surprise, the Liberals under Tony Abbott attracted such strong support that Labor panicked, with Bill Shorten first knifing Rudd then Julia Gillard. Abbott won by a landslide in 2013.
From that moment, the combination of a hostile media and a treacherous LINO (Liberals in name only) cabal plotting ensured that he would eventually be overthrown and his agenda undermined.
An insignificant event, something which had attracted no more than cursory comment when performed in around 40 other countries, served as the coup de grâce. This was a costless chivalric honour for Prince Philip. (Incidentally, we are seeing this media hunt mirrored by a malevolent American mainstream media as they desperately search for something, anything, which can be used to trigger an impeachment against President Trump.)
The only way we can reverse the malaise in this country reflected in the Prosperity Index fall is by installing a common-sense government, loosely supported by Cory Bernardi’s Conservatives and One Nation. Tony Abbott is the only tested leader for such a government, and clearly he has a programme which will save the economy and the nation.
For it is crucial to appreciate that not only is our decline economic. This once proud Anzac nation is also slipping into the increasingly hardline communist China’s sphere of influence.
It is worth noting here a curious correlation between politicians who insist that we must simultaneously convert into some politicians’ republic, and at the same time adopt an energy policy which will close down vast parts of industry and agriculture while making us more indebted to and dependent on communist China.
During the latest episode of the Sam Dastyari soap opera, Labor apologists retaliated by pointing to the former Liberal Andrew Robb. The ABC claimed that just before he retired as trade minister, Robb took up a consultancy paying over $880,000 per year plus expenses with Landbridge, a company said to have close links to the People’s Liberation Army and owned by a billionaire senior Communist Party official Ye Cheng. Landbridge took out a 99-year lease to the Darwin port in 2015, when Robb was still trade minister negotiating the China-Australia trade agreement. There is absolutely no suggestion whatsoever Robb did anything wrong. There are many other prominent republican politicians and ex-politicians with similar strong links to Chinese institutions.
Rather than attending to our declining prosperity and our excessive dependence on communist China, the government closed the House of Representatives for the second last week of a short year of sittings. Then the final week was dominated by that essentially boutique issue, same-sex marriage, where the government had behaved improperly by not having the legislation on the table before the people voted, not after. And while the government had unnecessarily surrendered control over decisions on the citizenship qualifications of MPs and senators, allowing the judges to burden the country with an interpretation lacking common sense and unrelated to the original intention of the founders, the Senate failed to investigate whether Senator Dastyari is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power.
Under the current government it is unlikely anything will be done about our economic, political or diplomatic decline. In the meantime, note that while the US House of Representatives returns after Christmas on 3 January, ours, totally exhausted by same-sex marriage and the mess they have made of dual citizenship, will not meet until 5 February, no doubt because of the health and safety of our more delicate politicians.