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Monday, 12 July 2021 23:33

The Dangerous Radicalism of the NSW Government

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The NSW Government is notionally liberal.  It doesn't even pretend to be conservative.  But on careful examination it is more than merely incompetent, factionalised and mushy-leftie.  We already know it to be all of these things.  The Government of the Unspellable Armenian is radical, and dangerous.

The NSW Government is notionally liberal.  It doesn't even pretend to be conservative.  But on careful examination it is more than merely incompetent, factionalised and mushy-leftie.  We already know it to be all of these things.  The Government of the Unspellable Armenian is radical, and dangerous.

 

The mild mannered and much (if oddly) admired Premier of New South Wales leads a dangerously radical government, driven by leftist factional players and behind-the-scenes power brokers most voters have never heard of.  Indeed, many Party members may well have never heard of them.  And, apparently, very few New South Welshpersons either recognise the radical agenda of the Government or care about it.  What these people are up to and how they have gotten away with it is a story for the ages.

State governments in Australia aren’t meant to do all that much, other than provide education, health and transport services.  And they aren’t meant to be radical.  The Covid madness, however, has given state governments a new lease of life – witness the authority appropriated by the states through the National Cabinet process and the various public health acts – and has shown all of us just how much power they can have over our lives.  Worse, Covid has shown them just what they can do, and get away with.  Not all the states have chosen to wield all their Covid weapons, or with equal intensity, of course.  The sheer thuggery of Victoria Police hasn’t been matched elsewhere, for example. 

But it isn’t just Covid that has provided state governments with opportunities for wielding power in far-reaching ways.  The NSW Government has been taking these opportunities for a decade now, in ways that will change the State forever.  Moreover, the Government’s radicalism is very cleverly hidden, both by luck and by management.  But it is hidden in plain sight.  Look carefully, and there is little pretence at even centrism, let alone conservatism.

It is hidden, first, because the state immediately to its south is ruled by nut-bag, leftist radicals that everyone knows about and which a majority of Victorians presumably endorse.  After all, they keep voting for them.  Every other government looks tame, in contrast. 

Second, the NSW Government’s radicalism is hidden by the ongoing Covid theatre.  Much can go on behind the curtain without the audience seeing when Covid is the only play on the stage.  And the Premier State has been seen to have done a “good job” on Covid.  The recently elected Labor Party leader – yet another one – Chris Minns, has stated that he thinks that the Premier has done a “fantastic job” with Covid.  Really.

A third reason the NSW Government’s radical agenda is hidden is because of the dizzying tsunami of infrastructure projects that have been completed or commissioned during its tenure.  The colour and movement on the transport front, some of it needed and welcome and some of it merely vanity projects, keeps the sense of an active government doing its day job and kicking goals.  The endless pictures of the Premier and ministers walking through tunnels in hard-hats creates a certain image, one that can easily become the story.

Fourth, the radical agenda of the NSW Government is hidden, ironically, by the history of incompetence, bungles and howlers that have characterised this Government.  Witness the flip-flops over greyhound racing and the Powerhouse Museum.  Witness the budget overruns on key projects, or the overall blowout in state debt of 400 per cent and counting.  Witness the sleaze of departed members and ministers.  One – Don Harwin – even bounced back almost before he had left the building.  Witness the farce of local council amalgamations.  When the punters see a goon show, they can easily miss the bigger, more dangerous game in play.

Fifth, isn’t the state of New South Wales run by the Liberal Party?  You know, the conservatives?  One of the greatest tricks of the leftist “moderates” who govern the NSW Liberals is to have driven its green left agenda through a program of privatisation, a policy platform traditionally designed to appeal to the Liberals’ base.  This has been a feint.  The Liberal Party in New South Wales is run by a cabal of left wingers.  This is seen by who is placed in key portfolios where the Government wishes to radically change the State.

The broad-church Liberal Party of the late twentieth century used to find ways to home both liberals and conservatives, whether through protecting their seats, through promotion or through policy compromise.  One traditional way of accommodating the wets was to give them portfolios where their leftism didn’t matter.  The “dry and warm” NSW Premier Nick Greiner of the late 1980s hid the radical environmentalism of Terry Metherell by giving him the education portfolio, where he proved to be a radical conservative firebrand who had been unleashed on The Blob.  (Before he was removed from Education, turned into an Independent, went totally off the deep end, and brought down the Greiner Government).  Exceptions prove the rule.  Two of Tony Abbott’s portfolio selection blunders were to give Greg Hunt Environment and Malcolm Turnbull the ABC.

The Liberal Party’s former insistence on accommodating all sides is no more.  Also gone now is the former conservative influence of the once great National Party, now a mere extension of the woke Liberal Party.  The Nats could find only two of their nineteen parliamentary members to vote against the recent infanticide-on-demand legislation.  One only has to see the rejection for Senate pre-selection of the conservative elder statesman, John Anderson, in favour of a former president of the Young Liberals, for heaven’s sake.

The NSW Government is radical in both personnel and policy intent.  To gauge the real agenda of the radicals who run the NSW Government, just look at its key movers and shakers.  Three stand out for their radicalism - Matt “we stared down Big Energy” Kean, Mark Speakman and Andrew Constance.  These men are not just factional puppets who enjoy the games that politicians play.  Nor are they simply playing to a woke demographic for presumed electoral benefit or the approval of the inner-city elites.  No, it isn’t just cynical virtue signalling.  They are genuinely left wing and they are intent on effecting radical, permanent change in New South Wales.  They represent “Modern Liberalism” in all of its elitist values and beliefs.  In its distance from the Party’s own supporter base and in its remoteness from the values of normal Australians.  And in its ultimate mediocrity.

The Government’s progressive social and environmental policy agenda matches the strategic placement of its key personnel.  It is being implemented under the cover of Covid management competence and economic centrism, and the plaudits the Government gains from these.  It is also granted cover by the Murdoch press, as always keen to forgive what they seem merely to regard as Liberal Party blips and missteps.  For these useful idiots, the alternative would be worse.

The radical nature of the NSW Liberal Party is mainly seen in five areas – the destruction of the State’s physical heritage through the radical new urbanism philosophy, with its twin gods of light rail and the construction of endless residential tower blocks; the achievement of abortion on demand, with euthanasia, no doubt, soon to follow; the fantasy of becoming a “clean energy superpower” on the back of mandated and worshipped wind and solar projects; the electrification of transport with the ultimate goal of killing off fossil fuels, about which NSW Ministers routinely lie; and the affirmative consent sexual agenda.

Two recent developments highlight the Government’s far-reaching agenda.  The NSW Budget of 2021 is spending half a billion dollars to nudge the State’s drivers down the path of electric cars.  With tax breaks and with free charging ports all over the State.  None of this greenie largesse is needed or wanted by the people.  It responds to no public pressure whatsoever.  It can only be explained by the fact that two of the chief architects of the proposal, Kean and Constance, are rabid climate change alarmists who wish to see the coal industry disarmed and ultimately crushed.  Andrew Constance even writes articles in The Guardian about it.  Here he said:

We can’t spend any more time, or expend any more energy, debating climate change. We need to take action now.

Malcom Turnbull would be proud of him.  So would Greta Thunberg and Al Gore.

Then there is the proposed “affirmative consent” legislation, whereby you will have to have your sexual partner’s express permission, no longer just implied permission, to engage in any sexual activity whatsoever.  As Margaret Cunneen SC has said, the NSW Government is about to “barge through your bedroom doors”, to criminalise a whole range of sexual acts, to turn what wasn’t rape last year into rape next year.  All on the back of a moral panic.  The NSW Attorney General, sadly touted (by some) as a future premier, calls complainants “victims”, heeds “growing calls” for change, and wants to “send a message”, presumably to evil males.  This is precisely the path of Victoria’s revolutionary judicial changes of the early 2000s that have, in effect, embedded radical feminist #MeTooism in the judiciary and in law enforcement, reversed the onus of proof and ditched the bedrock legal maxim “innocent until proven guilty”, already on extremely shaky ground in most jurisdictions across the country.  Accepted, venerable legal theory is being upended by the current NSW Government.  The truly appalling Mark Speakman has said that even if the accused is found not guilty, this doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.  So, there is no presumption of innocence now, even after the event.  As the barrister Stephen Odgers has stated, the NSW Government’s radical proposals “criminalise consensual behaviour”.

Where is the NSW Liberal Party Right faction in all this, one might ask?  Ideological pushback requires clear-headed beliefs and spine.  The NSW Liberal Party’s so-called Right has neither.  Nor does it have stand-out leadership.  Can anyone even name a conservative politician in the NSW parliament except an ex-leader of the Labor Party, doing good work in the State’s Upper House?  The so-called conservatives within the Government simply make up the numbers and do deals with the left in order to keep their perks and their jobs.  They are sell-out careerists.  The only real resistance to the elites who govern the State comes from the Christian Democrats, One Nation and, occasionally, from The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

The Liberal backbenchers who appeared to be standing up to the Liberal powerbrokers over the radical abortion agenda simply rolled over when pressured.  Worse, they pretended to their followers to have gained “concessions”.  They had not.  The long march through the bureaucracy and the education system continues unabated, barely touched by conservative influences within the Government.  Witness the egregious propaganda rolled out every day by cultural institutions supposedly controlled by the NSW Government, like the Australian and Maritime Museums.

The NSW Government is out of control, and it is beyond time that it be called to account.  Judith Sloan in The Spectator calls them “mushy lefties”.  Indeed, they are.  She also says, “don’t cheer for them”.  This is too passive, for mine.  I advocate far firmer action.  They must be resisted actively at every turn, then they must be thrown out of office at the earliest opportunity.

Read 67 times Last modified on Monday, 12 July 2021 23:44
Paul Collits

Paul Collits is a freelance writer and independent researcher who lives in Lismore New South Wales.  
 
He has worked in government, industry and the university sector, and has taught at tertiary level in three different disciplines - politics, geography and planning and business studies.  He spent over 25 years working in economic development and has published widely in Australian and international peer reviewed and other journals.  He has been a keynote speaker internationally on topics such as rural development, regional policy, entrepreneurship and innovation.  Much of his academic writing is available at https://independent.academia.edu/PaulCollits
 
His recent writings on ideology, conservatism, politics, religion, culture, education and police corruption have been published in such journals as Quadrant, News Weekly and The Spectator Australia.
 
He has BA Hons and MA degrees in political science from the Australian National University and a PhD in geography and planning from the University of New England.  He currently has an adjunct Associate Professor position at a New Zealand Polytechnic.