The future of our nation depends on whether mainstream Australians start to engage the political process.
Where is our nation heading?
There are broadly two competing social and economic visions, as articulated in our public discourse.
While the terms Left and Right are imperfect descriptors and do not allow for nuance, they do serve a purpose and I will use them for this exercise.
Here is the left’s vision as I see it.
On social policy children’s gender is fluid, abortion-to-birth is a sacrosanct, mothering and fathering are optional in favour of experimental family structures and dissenting speech is to be curtailed.
On economic policy fossil and nuclear fuels are to be banned in favour of attempting to power the economy with technologies that do not yet exist and may never come to fruition. The consequences to the poor and others of a shrinking economy have not been considered.
The left promotes higher taxation, puts a lower priority on border security, supports globalism and leans towards socialism.
It believes the government must take the lead in lifting the poor.
Those pushing this vision are led by the Greens and include all of Labor. Sadly a handful of those on the conservative side of politics support key aspects of it.
Even “conservatives” like UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have signed up to some of the more radical climate measures, announcing this week Britain will work towards outlawing the selling of new petrol and diesel cars within 15 years.
It’s a nice idea but anyone who thinks electric cars will be powered by wind or solar is kidding themselves.
In the UK’s electricity system, it will be French nuclear power via the cable under the English Channel which keeps them running when there’s not enough wind or sunlight.
No battery exists to power a modern economy. The biggest battery in the world, the Tesler battery in South Australia, can keep the lights on in that tiny State for just five minutes. Not five hours, not five days. Five minutes.
It plays a role in evening out the fluctuations caused by wind and solar but the idea we can store wind and solar energy to provide base load power is a long way from reality.
The mainstream media, with exceptions in the Murdoch press and Sky News, follow and promote the Left’s vision. Relentlessly.
This view of the world has also captured our universities.
So what does the Centre Right believe?
It sees a society that recognises the truth about gender, sees unborn babies as worthy of human rights protections, believes the natural family should be encouraged in public policy and sees freedom of speech as paramount.
On economic policy, mining, manufacturing and farming are favoured as good for the nation because they produce jobs and wealth which flow from the regions right back into the cities. Infrastructure to support this should be allowed with less red and green tape.
Affordable and reliable electricity is valued and guarded. There is a healthy scepticism of climate alarmism and the claims that human-induced Carbon Dioxide is over-heating the planet, requiring radical economy-harming action.
It wants more debate on whether or not it is even possible to dial down the earth’s temperature and whether or not adaption, as proposed by Danish environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, is a better approach.
The Centre Right favours the nation state over globalist instruments like the UN, is committed to a just and compassionate free market and believes the organisations of civil society should take the lead in lifting the poor locally, everywhere.
Of course there are people of good will on both sides whose views and actions smudge these lines – but broadly this is where the political battlelines are drawn.
Sadly, those who hold the later vision are pilloried by the media and cultural elites as “bigots” and “deniers”.
Sensible debate is not allowed.
Many on the Centre Right fight back without grace. While a necessary disruptor to the march of the Left, Donald Trump is the main offender.
There’s nothing wrong with robust debate and all too often the Left feigns offence in order to shut down debate.
However, Trumpian-style insults in return are unhelpful.
We are polarised and getting good public policy is becoming harder.
All too often compromises are brokered and these inevitably are not in the public interest.
While some on the Right are angry and sometimes ugly angry, it is the Left that is doubling down on suppressing free speech.
It is using the law and its fellow travellers in big corporations are using their power to shut down free speech and force conformity.
Look at the treatment of Israel Folau and how clauses in anti-discrimination that criminalise giving offence are used as weapons.
There are no surprises which side I’m on. I believe Australians need to make choices about what vision they support because the chasm between Left and Right has grown wide.
The days of our consensus on traditional social policy and free market economics are gone.
Addressing the economic debate, Senator Matt Canavan wrote on Facebook:
“Our wealth producing industries, like farming, mining and manufacturing, have never been under greater attack. Farmers have had their land rights stripped off them, dams are stopped because of some snail or frog and mines get sabotaged by rich, city-based whingers who threaten and bully law abiding businesses.”
The same is true about our primary social cohesion-producing institutions. Families and schools are under attack like never before from radical sexual activists. Parents have had their rights to protect their children from age-inappropriate concepts and gender fluid indoctrination at school stripped from them. Civil society’s great project of raising well-adjusted children has been sabotaged by a toxic sexualised and gender-confused culture.
Canavan’s fellow LNP Senator Amanda Stoker has been showing welcome and unusual courage in recent weeks pushing back on the gender activists.
She told 2GB’s Ben Fordham this week:
“I support the lives of adults to live however they want to, so long as they don’t harm anyone else. And if that means they want to be living as a transgender person, that’s fine.
“But when we are talking about doing life-changing, irreversible medical procedures on children who don’t have the capacity to fully understand what they’re doing… we should hesitate and we should wait before we start handing out hormone drugs that can permanently sterilise a child.”
Well said, Senator.
Let’s hope the Queensland Labor Government, which has a bill before the Parliament to criminalise doctors and health counsellors who decline to point kids in this direction, is listening.
How we came to this place is a function of neglect of the political system by mainstream Australians.
The political forces tearing at our economic and social structures cannot be appeased.
Clarity of vision is needed along with courage to speak.
We have to choose the direction of our nation. At the moment, that choice is being made by the Green-Left.
Too many of us are clueless and are going along for the ride.