With Malcolm Turnbull fast receding from the national consciousness (readers may remember him primarily as being the father of that Twitter weirdo, Alex Turnbull), the Liberal/National Coalition is doing what it does best: not being the Labor Party.
As a result, good things are happening.
Very good things.
For a start, people are now voting for the Coalition. And given it is a political organisation, that’s important. Turnbull never seemed to grasp this fact.
Lo and behold, this small change was all it took for the Coalition to win an election, cueing celebrations all over this sunburnt land from ordinary Australians who had basically been threatened, hectored, bullied and intimidated into silence.
No one thought Scott Morrison would come up trumps. That’s hardly surprising. The voices venturing an opinion were all one-sided. Basically it has become an unwritten law that you’re not allowed to support conservative views in public lest your employment be terminated.
The only acceptable answer Australians felt they were allowed to utter when asked which way they would vote in the lead up to the election was to respond with, ‘how many times can I vote for Bill Shorten because Gillian Triggs says the other mob are war criminals plus my code of conduct means I will lose my job if I support them – and please don’t tell the HR department that my aunty lives in Queensland’.
But now the shackles have been unleashed, so much so that the Queensland Labor Premier even sports a twinkle in her eyes when tap-dancing around the Adani mine.
And this is where the really good things are happening.
Annastacia Palaszczuk’s beaming face in North Queensland yesterday may have been because she’s happy to support jobs. It may just have been that the sun was in her eyes. Or, perhaps, it was because her new-found pro-Adani stance also comes with an added benefit: super leftist Jackie Trad is likely to lose her seat at the next election as West End hippies switch from Labor to the Greens.
Let’s not beat around the bush.
Premier Palaszczuk has thrown her deputy under a bus in order to try and win the next election. She’s figured that Labor has more chance appealing to working class voters than the inner-city woke brigade.
And this is where Labor’s real dilemma lies.
Labor’s not just in a world of hurt because it lost the unlosable election. The real pain is yet to come: whatever path the party now takes will result in deep seated division.
Tony Abbott touched on this pain in his election night concession speech:
It’s clear that in what might be described as working seats [the Coalition is] doing so much better. It’s also clear that in at least some of what might be described as wealthy seats [the Coalition] is doing it tough and the Green-left is doing better.
Labor has retreated to the city where it is locked into battle with the Greens for the rich, university-educated PC vote. And it just cannot win elections with that plan.
So now Labor is faced with a choice.
It can keep appealing primarily to inner-city electorates by campaigning on policies that promote transgenderism to other people’s kids, place windmills in other people’s backyards and prioritise refugees from other people’s nations over those living here.
And it can do so knowing that it will never win government.
Or it can reassess and re-appeal to working class voters in the suburbs and regions who are focused on jobs and raising a family with an actual mum and dad and buying a house. Large numbers of these voters backed Sco Mo. Plenty more of them skipped entirely across the political divide and plumped their votes with Pauline and Clive.
And Labor can choose this path knowing that it will put at risk the seats it does hold in the middle of the capital cities.
There is no way that a 26 year old cis-dude majoring in gender studies, carrying an over-sized hemp bag with a buy-six-get-one-free couscous salad voucher will be able to publicly acknowledge his unconscious bias and white privilege while being seen to vote for a Labor Party dating ex-One Nation voters.
Those two things do not gel.
Steven the vegan will leave Labor and start hanging out Richard di Natale and that annoying, whingy lawyer with a posh voice from Melbourne while writing about the necessity for death taxes and euthanasia to speed the transfer of inter-generational wealth.
Good for him.
In the big scheme of things, there’s not that many Stevens in Australia. But there are enough of them to make it impossible to win the inner cities without their secular blessing.
And while they only make up about 10% of Australians, they account for approximately one in three potential Labor voters.
As the Coalition proved, if 10% of the nation hates you it’s not really a show-stopper when it comes to forming government. But if 30% of your own supporters turn their back on you things can get tricky, as Labor has found out.
The problem for Bill Shorten’s replacement is that ex-Labor voters have piled out on both sides of the wagon. Support is leaking to parties that want to ban Islamic immigration and to other parties that would happily chant allahu akbar if required to virtue signal their complete hatred of Western civilisation.
On the surface, this appears to be a bright opportunity for the Greens. But it’s not. This party has its own problems.
The hard thing about being woke as that you always run the risk of being out-woked by the latest fad.
And for the Greens, that’s the Animal Justice Party which has taken upper house seats off the Greens in recent elections in both Victoria and New South Wales.
When extreme is never enough, why settle for Richard di Natale when you can back a mob of avowed vegans who want to ban barbed-wire fences and who think a fun day out is storming the property of some poor dairy farmer?
The Greens are likely to lose just as many voters to their left as they gain from Labor over the next electoral cycle.
In this environment, Scott Morrison should talk about the Animal Justice Party as much as possible.
It would expose the insanity hiding in the Green left and radically divide both the Greens and Labor’s left.
The Animal Justice Party is orbiting crazy but the Greens have to match them if they want to stay relevant in places like St Kilda. And the left-wing of the Labor Party has to follow suit because the only seats it holds are also home to all the vegan cafes in Australia.
Of course, a Green left war over whether farms should be banned would also also make life difficult for the Annastacia Palaszczuks of this world. It’s hard to look like you are the premier and not a headless chook when you fly out to Adani to be greeted by questions about extreme green policies pushed by inner-city Labor MPs like Jackie Trad.
If Scott Morrison can focus attention on the Green left, expect a lot more of this in the not-too-distant future:
Clementine Anderson believes she’s one of many voters who will abandon Jackie Trad at the next state election if the Deputy Premier does not speak out against the Adani mine.
Ms Anderson, 23, who has lived all her life in Brisbane’s West End, went against her initial impulse to vote for the Greens in the 2017 election after she saw a tough-talking Ms Trad debating her opponent in a local hotel.
But she said she would revert to the Greens at the October 2020 election if the Treasurer and leader of Labor’s dominant Left faction “rolls over” on the Adani project.
Ms Trad, the leader of the dominant Left faction and the government’s chief Adani sceptic, denied she would try to roll Ms Palaszczuk for the premiership or shift into a safer seat ahead of next year’s state election.
Labor leadership chaos and division is just around the corner. Get the popcorn ready.