My answer to the question is that he may be really lazy. He had a stellar education, but all he had really achieved was to be, at the time, known as the world's worst health minister, called out by Julia Gillard for his misogyny, a series of really embarrassing public gaffes, and a penchant for punishing physical exercise. He had a reputation as a Catholic warrior, and he was a climate science denier. Why not go along with a ready-made basket of policies, something put together by boffins, from a respectable conservative outfit. He could claim them as his own, and proceed into power.
How did that go?
It was disastrous. The list, translated into an actual budget, caused chaos. It was never anything but a 'boys' own fantasy', put together by three young men whose work histories consisted mainly of working for think tanks, or for politicians.
James Paterson was 24 years old in 2012, which suggests that he was a little inexperienced to be writing a grown-up country's political plan. Chris Berg is an academic, I think, of unknown age, who is an 'expert' in Block Chain Innovation. He is also a think tank veteran. John Roskam was 44 years of age when the plan was written, and he has worked for several politicians, and two think tanks. He also did PR for a mining company.
He has tried for Liberal Party pre-selection, but he has failed to win. One wonders why he would bother, considering he has an entire Government at his disposal. One thing he does well: He is very good at getting on the radio and television, and considering his seeming fear and loathing for the ABC, he has managed to obtain lots of exposure on the national broadcaster. Is that known as biting the hand that feeds you?
What are some of the things they succeeded in?
It is eerie to work one's way through this simple, simplistic shopping list, because so many of the items can be ticked off, as having been completed, or at least attempted. I would describe most, if not all of them, as reactionary, elitist and nasty. I can't say if that nastiness is intentional, or just not thought through.
- Repeal the carbon tax, and don't replace it
- Abolish the Dept of Climate Change
- Cease subsidising the car industry
- Repeal the mining tax
- Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
- Cease funding the Australia Network
- Privatise Medibank.
It seems like the sort of list that very young, privileged brats would produce, before they actually encountered some real life. Let us just say it is a work of stupendous lightness, and the Liberal Party has been captured by it for nearly eight years now. I have sometimes idly wondered where Abbott got such a witches' brew of pettiness for his 2014 budget.
I do not see one thing that would materially improve the life of a single citizen. All I see is self-aggrandisement writ large, with not a thought for the weak or the helpless. We have been blaming Abbott, Hockey, Cormann, Morrison and Dutton for a long time, but they are just dupes of three would-be intellectuals, who wouldn't know what the words mutual obligation meant.
So the IPA gave Abbott a plan for Australia. And he bought it!
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