There oughta be… an inquiry!

The Libs and the Nats appear to be placing their trust in… organisational change and intra-party bickering. This appears to be a reflex move when parties lose elections, but the inquirists might like to contemplate how successful Simon Crean was with a year and a half of navel gazing and factional fighting over party rules. That’s not to say that the Libs don’t need to address their weakness as an organisation and do something about branch stacking and the power of extremists in their midst, but Nick Minchin’s reference to the Valder Inquiry in 1983 is to the point.

Minchin should know, because he was then a junior apparatchik at Liberal HQ. Minchin’s argument is that the necessary organisational reforms are well known and what the Valder Inquiry achieved was actually to map out a philosophical and policy direction for the party. Of course, it was the time of the drys v. wets wars, and Minchin was and is happy about it because it was the first marker that Fraserism had been discarded and neoliberalism was the party’s future. I’m tempted to say it took them until 1996 to realise that the hard electorally unpopular edges had to be smoothed off (abolishing Medicare didn’t exactly go down a treat in 1987, and then there was Fightback), but maybe that ought to read 2007.

One thing is certain, though. There’s only so long that they’ll be able to get away with solemn pronouncements that the Parliament will examine Labor’s bills, and that Nelson will be consulting his colleagues widely. They need to articulate what they stand for – their record in opposition in the States suggests that just criticising governments for maladministration gets them nowhere.

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Posted in politics
7 comments on “There oughta be… an inquiry!
  1. Ambigulous says:

    “solemn pronouncements that the Parliament will examine Labor’s bills”

    indeed!
    Forsooth, if Coalition MP’s DIDN’T examine Labor’s bills, they shouldn’t be drawing a salary!

  2. mbahnisch says:

    There is that! But then I suppose they’re out of the habit, since most of them were used to receiving diktats from on high and voting without thinking.

  3. David says:

    ” … voting without thinking.” That’s SOP for them, isn’t it?

  4. Paul Burns says:

    Mark,
    I read somewhere in the reporting of the new leadership selection that one reason Turnbull wasn’t selected was because members feared there would be yet mor of the handing down from on high they’d had under Howard. Of course it was more complicated than that ; Howardistas, favours owed, moderates versus the right, the West against Turnbull, Minchin as Svengali etc., Will give the matter a bit more thought and make a more general obsertvation soon.

  5. paul walter says:

    Some were scared of Turncow, as likely a dominant voice. But also because it would have meant abandoning long nurtured and cherished but obsolete and ignoble flat-earth notions and policies held by these and they were scared not because the ( relative ) progressives ( oxymoron; I know ) were likely to be unsuccessful, but because the reactionaries dimly at last sensed their own lack of intellect and ideas and knew their nonsenses would be knocked down in the light of modern experience.
    Turnbull and Hockey alone offered them a way out of the broken down neo lib condundrum, by trying to enable the Libs to avoid denialism over things like “Sorry” and NoChoices, but that idiot Minchin organised the troglodytes and the result was that the Liberals remained in the Nineteenth century and the country was denied a reasonable Opposition.
    So, within moments of assuming leadership, mouthpiece Nelson denied it its one chance of legitamacy through a break with the past both on practical and ethical grounds, with the race Apology reneging.

  6. Why cant the Ron Paul style right and our beautiful democratic socialist Blogistan *together* drown the centrist Howard/Rudd minotaur in the bathtub?
    The same sort of Impi tactics that voted down the centralized EU superstate a few years ago can work together brilliantly, just loosely networked over the web. A latter day united front if you will.
    Advancing in diversity – striking in unison – the military-entertainment superstate will lose – we will win

  7. Ambigulous says:

    mark @ 2,

    yes, they kept on taking it from JWH, with scarcely a murmur (don’t Petro and Judy M and Russell Broadbent in 2006 stand out?); they kept on taking in the diktats and mouthing them in public, then suddenly his “magic” disappeared, and there they were poor buggers my Country Party and poor buggers the Liberals, wandering round like “cargo cult” believers, wondering why the flow of goodies had trickled away to nothing.

    Goodies gone? Must’ve been the fault of the Baddies! If we shout and complain and scream and shout long enough about the Baddies, they’ll stop leading us in the polls, won’t they? So they shouted and huffed and puffed and it got them a bloody big defeat.

    It’ll be interesting to see how many of the ex-cultists will pinpoint their old cargo cult as their own fault, and attempt to make amends. In the other tribe, at least Simon Crean TRIED to reduce that running sore “branch stacking”; he deserves credit for having a red hot dip on that. Results? I dunno, not being an ALP member. It’s the kind of topic that gets a run in the Press for a while then vanishes for years, while the Branches are being quietly stacked.

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