Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Alex Deane: Report from the Aussie Election 1

This is the first blog from Alex Deane, ex chief of staff to David Cameron, who is 'Down Under' helping the Liberal Party in the Australian Election campaign. He will be posting here regularly during the campaign.

CAMPAIGN DAY 2: The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has made much of a recent report by Sydney University academic John Buchanan which sticks it to the Howard Government’s industrial relations reforms. The hiccup for the ALP is that The Australian has revealed Mr Buchanan to be far from impartial – rather, he is a self-declared socialist who turns to Mao for his inspiration – most recently, after the return of the Howard government at the last election in 2004, when he was so upset (or in his words, “traumatised”) that he couldn’t talk to his friends for some weeks. Indeed, Buchanan is now engaged in possible legal disputes with the relevant government ministers with regard to allegations about his (im)partiality. The issue now is that, despite all this, the ALP keeps referencing the report as a supposedly independent source for anti-Howard attack lines – and nobody in the MSM seems interested in hauling them up for it. This is no anomaly. This government has been in office for 11 ½ years. It is profoundly at odds with a leftist Australian media establishment (there are some particularly bad offenders) and if, it is to be returned once more, it will be in the teeth of the MSM’s dogged opposition. This will sound familiar to Iain’s readers and indeed to purveyors of ConservativeHome – but on balance, I’d say that it’s even worse here than in the UK.

In other news, the Government continues to trail in the national polls – uphill stuff, but we’re still optimistic.


David Lindsay said...

The world will soon be rid of John Howard. Rejoice!

The incoming Australian Government will no doubt hold another referendum on abolishing the monarchy (any party has to appease certain interests), but will no doubt endure another No vote.

After all, by rejecting Howard, Australians will have rejected every anti-monarchist argument, not least "meritocracy" (that those with wealth and paper qualifications should determine merit, on the basis of wealth and paper qualifications), globalisation (with its erosion of national and local differences), and, within that, enforced conformity to the culture (in a horribly debased form) and to the geopolitical interests of the United States.

Nothing could better encapsulate that rejection than another vote to retain the institution that, across so many Realms and Territories, stands for and embodies something so much better, so much nobler, so much more humane. God Save The Queen!

Man in a Shed said...

Great idea - looking forward to reading the dispatches from Aus.

Anonymous said...

The ALP are riff raff and the political equivalent of a bikie gang.The Liberal party should try to get Julia Gillard and her dodgey hair on the box as much as possible and the Liberals will win for sure.

gadgie in oz

Mr Eugenides said...

I see you haven't got any prettier, Deano.

It will be fascinating to see if Howard can possibly pull it off. The contrast with Gordon Brown's lack of courage, bottling out of calling an election, is instructive.

Anonymous said...

The ALP are riff raff

Yes, full of Catholics and Irish - is that what you mean? ha ha loser.

Old BE said...

Do the Liberals have authoritarians in their ranks like the Tories do? Or are they actually liberals?

Australia is a land of aspiration and opportunity. I'd like some of that instead of the doom and gloom we have here.

David Lindsay said...

Ed, they have Malcolm Turnbull in them. Of the Australian Republic Movement, harbingers of "meritocracy", globalisation and Americanisation as, with logical inevitability, applied to constitutional matters. Is that "liberal" enough for you, either there or here?

After all, the Tories won't always be led by the Queen's cousin, who doesn't like to talk about it, presumably because he doesn't want other Bullingdon Boys to know that he is related to nouveaux riches immigrants.

Old BE said...

I am in favour of meritocracy and globalisation. I am also in favour of ladders of opportunity. But when I say liberal I generally mean the state leaving individuals alone to live their lives as they see fit rather than try and impose some moral framework on them which increasingly the Labour government seeks to do and unfortunately many in the Tories do too.

David Lindsay said...

"I am in favour of meritocracy and globalisation."

Well, Ed, you must be in favour of Americanisation and the abolition of the monarchy, if you think things through. Perhaps you should join the Australian Liberal Party, or the proto-Blairite Keatingist faction of the Australian Labor Party?

Still, if you are a member or supporter of any of Britain's three parties today, then you are already there.

Old BE said...

I never quite know what you stand for DL you just come on here and attack other people.

I am pro-market, pro-freedom, pro-democracy, pro-self improvement, pro-opportunity.

I can't quite work out why you are banging on about the Queen, she doesn't have any sway over policy making. The fact that our system is broken has nothing to do with her presence and getting rid of her would not improve things on its own.

What are you pro?

David Lindsay said...

Edi, I am pro the monarchy as intimately related to the British model of social democracy (aopted across the Old Commonwealth), and as binding together numerous Realms and Territories in several parts of the world, including four of the five longest-standing democracies on earth (one of which is Australia.

As to other things that I am pro, see:






and http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.com daily.

Marco Biagi said...

Is this post implying that the UK has a leftist media establishment? Really?

The UK has a rightist media establishment that for largely inexplicable reasons frequently seems to decide to endorse the more left of the two main parties.

Anonymous said...

Why do you and Alex Deane feel the need to use a flashy job title like "Chief of Staff"? If the MPs - David Davis and David Cameron had staff of hundreds like on the West Wing then it is legitimate but when the only other staff are the intern and the secretary, its is a bit egotistical surely?

Anonymous said...

It's presumably a ghey thang.

Anonymous said...


Don't be so silly. John Howard has always been pro-monarchy.

AS to those who hate JoHO, I've never understood it. His Government has delivered economic stability and success, and the country has gor better and better under his watch. What does the Oppsition offer? Qangos and committees.

David Lindsay said...

But the logic of his position (as held in both parties), like that of comparable elements (in all three parties) here, is anti-monarchist, whereas the Old Commonwealth, British-derived tradition of social democracy is anything but.

If the Australian electorate rejects Howard's ideology at the ballot box, then it will have rejected every anti-monarchist argument not held by some Marxist rump (other than the neocon Marxist rump, of course, which has its own anti-monarchist arguments). Here's hoping.

The anti-British aspect of neoconservatism is largely ignored, but it is hugely important. A vote against the neocons in Australia would be as important in that as in any other light.

Daniel said...

Lovely, you've got reports from a Tory hack going down to Aus to repeat weeks old Liberal Party talking-points. Can't wait for his report on the 25th of November...

Daniel said...

Oh, and Eugo: Howard had to call the election sometime between now and 19/1/08, and 24/11 was almost as close as politically possible to the wire - it'd be insanity of the highest to have an election campaign over the summer holidays, a period for barbies, beaches, cricket and cracking on that chick from accounts at the office christmas party. Sacred.

Howard has been under constant pressure to name a date, and that he took this long in the year to do so (there's only been one election held later than this) is indicative of his desperation - he'd love Gordon's polls at the moment, say nothing of date leeway.