“The Vibe”

When parliament is not sitting, one of my favourite activities is to drive around the state of South Australia talking to people about anything and everything. It is part of my commitment to spend time in at least 200 different communities between elections. I call it the “200 Town Tour”.

The depth and breadth of knowledge and the insights gleaned from my fellow ‘crow eaters’ is a fantastic way to stay in touch with mainstream Australia.

Over the past few months I have noticed a change in the attitude of many South Australians. Where previously there was an unprompted and vociferous hostility to the federal Labor Government, it seems to have now given way to a deep despair about the direction in which Australia is heading.

Less evident are the animated demands for an election. These seem to have been replaced with a resigned acceptance that we are going to have to endure many more months of a lacklustre government before it collapses under the weight of its own incompetence and the constitutional obligations of having to call an election.

But the unease is manifesting itself in myriad other ways. Business people continue to report that they are finding it harder to meet their payroll obligations every week. This inevitably means that jobs will continue to be lost until confidence returns.

Most business people also report that they are maintaining whatever financial buffers they can, rather than investing in the growth of their business because they are worried about the future.

An increasing number of workers are struggling to make ends meet and want to talk about the cost of living pressures that are growing almost daily. Rising utilities, food, rents and mortgages are extracting a heavy price from Australian families with little relief in sight.

But there is also that which goes unsaid because many struggle to put their finger on exactly what is troubling them. In some words reminiscent of that fantastic Australian movie The Castle, it’s ‘the vibe’.

There is simply a sense that Australia is changing for the worse – not just economically but socially and culturally. The doctrine of political correctness is limiting our freedom of speech, the poor leadership from our government is reducing the faith in one of our most important institutions and people see a literal assault on the cultural values and mores that have established our nation.

While the advocates for the social and political experiments will twist statistics and spin their tangled web to convince us that everything is going swimmingly, the Australian people are not fools. They know that they are being peddled a bunch of baloney by out-of-touch spruikers of self-interest.

In my opinion, the only thing that can shift the malaise is to end this farce of a government and restore hope, reward and opportunity by having an election.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Confidential Daily.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.