Since the day Malcolm Turnbull took the leadership from Tony Abbott a monumental battle has raged in the Liberal party membership base between the right and the left. Publicly Abbott and Turnbull have remained at war.
Up until yesterday Turnbull, who is accused of being a Labor-lite by many, has been kept controlled by the right factions within the party. He in turn on most things tied the line.
But it seems with Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation attracting so many from the right factions of the Liberals that Malcolm Turnbull has seen a golden opportunity to inflict a mortal blow on the ones who have dug their heals in and remained true to the Liberal party.
With the war of words heating up between Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, Turnbull took a huge and decisive swipe at the right, conservative and Christian factions of the party.
In London Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sent a clear message to the right and conservative base that the Liberal party was not a Conservative party and was never intended to be.
“In 1944 Menzies went to great pains not to call his new political party, consolidating the centre right of Australian politics, conservative, but rather the Liberal Party, which he firmly anchored in the centre of Australian politics,” Turnbull said.
What Turnbull said was true in many ways, he was in fact quoting the founder of the Liberal party but the key difference is Menzies had a vision to unite Conservatives, Liberals and all from the centre right under what the great former Liberal leader and Prime Minister John Howard referred to as the “Broad Church”.
Whereas Turnbull clearly wants to distance himself from the Conservatives and if possible send them packing. With the state of the party at the moment, to make such comments is a blunder of epic proportions. But Turnbull is an intelligent man and to think that his comments were nothing but calculated and designed to inflict a blow to the right of the party and further divide and alienate them would be misguided.
With the division in the party and the rise of what many see as viable alternatives Turnbull would have known his comments would send many into the waiting and eager arms of the Australian Conservatives and One Nation.
Both parties couldn’t believe their luck when Turnbull made the comments, with the marketing teams of both parties going into overdrive.
Cory Bernardi was quick to tweet “If you aren’t welcome in the Turnbull Liberal Team there is a credible and principled alternative” with the clever photo shown below reminding everyone that they are a Conservative party welcoming Conservatives home.
Pauline Hanson couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon with a post on Facebook saying “Have you heard the news? Malcolm Turnbull just confirmed what everyone already knew. One Nation is officially Australia’s largest conservative party!”
Any real conservative would be laughing at Pauline’s latest attempt to steal the limelight, to claim her party is conservative is absurd, protectionist or nationalist, yes, but conservative, not in a million years.
But this is exactly the response Turnbull was hoping for, I wonder just how many Liberal party members fell for its hook line and sinker.
Turnbull knows that not a single minor party on the right will ever provide more then a nuisance to the majors. This is a reality so many fail to see.
The Australian public as a collective is politically inept and won’t stray outside the major two parties. It’s a reality the politically active seems to not appreciate as they get caught up in their little vacuum of like minded people on their social media newsfeed, the blinkers go on and they get caught up in the euphoria of hope that parties like One Nation and the Australian Conservatives offer, only to be disappointed when they scrape home with just a senate spot or two.
It is time for the politically active to really stop and access the reality of the situation and to accept that reality instead of chasing fairytales of a miracle rise of a minor party. It’s never going to happen.
Even in Europe where people are a lot more politically active than Australia we still haven’t seen new parties on the right take majority power, this is despite all the hope and hype that this would occur.
Then there is Donald Trump’s win, but you still need to remember he was the leader of the Republicans not some new minor party .
The other big win the right claimed was Brexit, but that can’t simply be compared, it was a simple two question referendum, not a minor party breaking through and forming government.
So it’s time for those on the right to stop chasing phantom white knights and realise that they cannot enact change from outside of the bullpen. The Left have patiently over years stacked the Liberal party realising the painstakingly obvious reality that it will always be a two horse race between Liberal and Labor.
It is now time for the right to remove the blinkers and to stop thinking that a poll shared in like minded Facebook groups with 5000 responses showing Pauline Hanson as the preferred PM has any real substance in the real world.
The only way to enact change is to join the Liberal party or if your a member stay firmly entrenched and ensure you are active. The battle to regain control will be long and hard but there simply is no other choice.
The views enclosed herewith do not necessarily reflect the collective opinion of the Unshackled or those of its writers.