What an extraordinary year. And what a wonderful way for conservative-leaning Australians to head into their summer holidays. Over the coming weeks there won’t be any shortage of ‘relaxed and comfortable’ conversations to be enjoyed around the nation’s fabled barbies, that’s for sure.
Twelve months ago, the accepted wisdom by most pundits (but not by this magazine or its editor) was that Bill Shorten and Jeremy Corbyn would inevitably become the respective leaders of Australia and Great Britain and that – terrifyingly – a new era of socialism would descend upon our two countries. Only in The Spectator Australia could you read with confidence that these two horrific events were no ‘lay down miseres’. Indeed, whilst the elitist mainstream media and the ABC salivated with excitement about the prospects of Shorten and Corbyn governments, with their armies of commentators and journalists feverishly reinforcing each others’ flawed opinions, this magazine repeatedly reasserted its faith that the common sense and decency of the average hard-working Aussie and Brit would prevail to prevent these twin calamities from occuring.
For those among us who enjoy political schadenfreude, Sky News’s Paul Murray arranged for the hilarious television coverage of the night of May 18 (ScoMoses’ ‘miraculous’ victory) to be replayed in full recently, to watch forlorn pundit after pundit squirm in embarrasment.
While the ice cream is melting and the kids are frolicking in the shallows, Speccie readers might find a few moments to ponder just how different this Christmas and New Year would have been were we all now labouring under the yoke of a new socialism: economic vandalism, higher taxes, higher unemployment and a tsunami of left-wing identity politics would have engulfed us here and would be about to hit Blighty.
Instead, the sun is shining and the ScoMo, BoJo and Trump trio now dominates the anglosphere and the West – and may well do so for many years. For sure, there will be bumps ahead on the Brexit ride and both ScoMo and BoJo could do with spending a bit more time studying the Trump manual and less time pandering to the climate nutters and other luvvies. In the case of Britain, as David Samuel points out in this issue, it was Margaret Thatcher who warned that there was no point defeating communism and socialism only to sign away your sovereignty to the EU. Were she alive today, she would not doubt warn that there is no point quitting the EU only to sign up to the punishing political doctrines and commitments of the United Nation’s climate change hoax; yet Boris Johnson (a climate sceptic back when he edited The Spectator) has done just that.
But all of that can wait. In the meantime, as the Brits freeze, brave Australians are struggling with the destruction of property and tragic loss of life from an especially severe bushfire season – fueled by the failure of politically-correct ‘environmentally-aware’ state governments and authorities to properly manage our highly flammable land through appropriate hazard reduction and cool burnings. Fire trails have been left to grow over and farmers and land-owners prevented from clearing scrub and bush. In a reprehensible act of blame-shifting, the NSW Environment minister absolves himself and his department of responsibility for land management by blaming the bushfires on ‘climate change’.
Speaking of which, more good news as the year came to an end, with the ludicrous COP25 climate talks in Madrid ending in disarray, despite (or perhaps partly because of?) the presence of the doom-mongering 16-year-old seer from Sweden whose many talents, apparently, include her being able to ‘see’ invisible carbon dioxide. There couldn’t be a better time, in our opinion, for Australia (the climate luvvies’ favourite whipping-boy) to say ‘sayonara’ to this extremist cult by pulling out of the Paris Agreement and concentrating our efforts instead on cleaning up genuine air pollution, managing the land properly and tackling tangible problems like plastics in our oceans. If only!
In the meantime, we wish all our readers a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and a prosperous New Year. Enjoy the break. And to our wonderful writers, contributors, ideas people, cartoonists and all who help the Speccie in so many different but invaluable ways, thank you. But it’ll be back to work very soon! We’ve all got a huge year ahead of us.