I Hate to Say It, But…

Sometimes the most obvious consequences of actions are lost on even the most skilled of analysts. This often allows those who apply common sense and a sense of history to foresee problems that others cannot.

In politics, too few apply such an approach to the critical examination of policies. Some of this is no doubt related to the increasingly short media cycle and the assumption that the electorate has a very short attention span with a focus on today rather than the risks of tomorrow.

Unfortunately, such an approach builds towards potentially catastrophic consequences that could have been prevented had more consideration for the long-term been taken. In essence, this is what I see as the difference between the ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ approach to public policy.

The progressives simply want to do things with scant regard for the long-term consequences of their actions. Whether it be in social policy (like immigration, border protection or abortion); economic policy (increased taxation or expanding the welfare state); or even freedom of speech which is limited through the disastrous doctrine of political correctness.

The consequences of progressive policies in these areas have all met with bad outcomes.

Who could imagine the circumstance where giving money to people with a poor savings history to buy overpriced houses while interest rates were at record lows would result in mortgage arrears and mortgage stress?

Who could have foreseen when abortion on demand was effectively legalised in 1969 that it would lead to an estimated 100,000 unborn baby terminations every year, despite the advent of birth control that promised to empower women to take control of their own fertility?

Who would have thought that softening the ‘inhumane’ border protection policies would result in an armada of illegal boats with riots, loss of life, home made bombs and the blossoming industry of detention centres?

What were the chances that anyone could have concluded that unfettered immigration results in higher welfare dependency and an expansion of the welfare state?

Who knew that excessive government borrowing inevitably results in higher inflation, higher interest rates and demand for new and higher taxes?

Who could have predicted that defending the rights of minority groups to not be offended by any real or perceived criticism would see people in court for exercising their own right to free speech?

The answer to all these questions (and many others) is that ‘conservatives’ could.

Any person who was prepared to apply conservative principles and examine the lessons of history could have foreseen all of these consequences and more.

Through this blog and other forums, over the past three years I have warned of the danger of rising interest rates, the stupidity of expanding the first home owner grant, the inevitability of inflationary pressure, the folly of the border protection policies, the shutting down of free speech, the problems associated with mass immigration and multiculturalism, and I have railed against new taxes and defended the need to preserve Australian culture.

At the time, many in the media and the parliament mocked or derided these concerns – choosing to characterise them as ‘extreme’ and ‘alarmist’.

I don’t write my comments to be vindicated from attacks but to try and get people to apply common sense and a conservative perspective to contemporary issues. This means seeing the potential long-term impact of short-term populism.

It is this short-term approach to modern politics that is damaging political credibility and advocacy in this country. It is also fast having an impact on our current quality of life and threatening to change the future direction of our nation.

At almost every election the voters lament a ‘vision for the future’ and yet too many of the players and commentators in the political sphere use the immediacy of the moment to deride those that actually put one forward. For Australia’s sake, that needs to change.

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