Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CRIKEY: Liberals losing the plot?

I joined Bankstown Young Liberals back in May or June 1993. Dr John Hewson had just snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the March 1993 federal election. I was attending meetings in which Party members and execs were blaming Dr Hewson for talking too much about dry economics, for trying to sell a new tax from opposition etc etc. In short, it was all Hewson’s fault.

Now, 15 years on, it’s great to see the Libs have progressed somewhat. This time around, they aren’t blaming Dr Hewson. Marvellous.

It seems that just about every election loss leads this supposedly individualistic party to always blame its leadership.

These days, Libs are placing John Howard and his ministers under the microscope, searching for that single political virus that made the Party look so sick last November.

What they seem to forget is that their own democratic structures enabled the Libs to get the leaders they wanted. And that they deserved. So as usual, they are looking for the answers outside themselves.

So don’t blame far-Right branch stackers. It’s got nothing to do with the Party’s sudden embrace of religious nutbags. And whatever you do, make sure you don’t blame the kind of political rhetoric that saw the Libs trying to destroy Pauline Hanson by looking and sounding like her.

Just point one finger at your former leaders and ignore the three fingers pointing back at yourselves.

With that kind of soul-searching, it’s obvious the Libs really have lost their soul.

(First published in the Crikey daily alert on 22 January 2008.)

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

Bookmark this on Delicious


Get Flocked