Opinion

How the NSW Liberals and Nationals went woke (Part I)

While the Liberal Party agonises over the loss of seven Federal seats to Teal independents, a bigger question is being overlooked.

How did the Coalition parties go woke in the first place, legitimising the Teal attack on their seats with policies such as net-zero emissions and increased guaranteed funding for the ABC?

In voting for an independent in North Sydney, for instance, the local electors shifted to the right, dumping the extreme left-wing Liberal Trent Zimmerman.

How can we explain the rise of woke virtue-signalling in Australian politics, especially in the NSW Liberal and National Parties? This, for me, has been the great surprise of coming back into parliamentary life in Macquarie Street three years ago.

When I was in the Federal House of Representatives, conservatives like Howard and Abbott dominated the Liberal Party. The Nationals had a party room full of tough, no-nonsense farmers and businesspeople, who no more thought about gender-neutral pronouns and a net-zero economy than flying to Mars.

Today, in the NSW Parliament, this is mostly what the Coalition thinks about.

NSW has the fastest falling school academic results in the world, but at least the Cabinet is fully versed in the new ‘LGBTIQAP’ alphabet – a mish-mash of sexualities and gender types growing like Triffids, to the point where the publicly-funded activists who invented this nonsense are starting to run out of letters.

How did these parties of conservatives, in the space of a generation, become parties of woke?

How do Liberal Ministers like Matt Kean, Mark Speakman and Rob Stokes fit more readily into a Greens policy platform than mainstream liberalism or conservatism?

How, in the NSW Legislative Council recently, did it take the National Party Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor, four attempts to finally answer the question of what is a woman? Her earlier three attempts entertained the idea that a man can be a woman.

At the 2021 Upper House Budget Estimates, Attorney-General Speakman told me he thought NSW’s judicial officers suffered from “unconscious bias” against Aboriginal defendants and, in fact, he too also had these voices in his head telling him to discriminate. For anyone who thinks our society is still based on the values of the Enlightenment – the supremacy of rational, evidence-based observable truths – please think again.

The NSW Liberal Attorney-General openly admits that he has lost control of his faculties, that he is a victim of the wacky notion of “unconscious bias”.

This is typical of how the Coalition runs the NSW Public Service, with most workplaces subject to ‘LGBTIQAP’ hand-wringing committees, rainbow cake-cutting and rainbow flag raising ceremonies, and training modules in reconciliation, cultural sensitivity, critical race theory, ‘de-gendered’ language and wellbeing.

At a cost of $6 million, iCare established a thing called an “Imaginarium” in their office, where these clowns supposedly think about a better world and scribble their ideas on the walls.

The Department of Education has established a special ‘safe space’ or ‘Yarning Circle’ for its Indigenous staff, as if working at the Department’s Parramatta Head Office is dangerous – the bureaucratic equivalent of a Terminator movie.

The Department of Planning has established a Bruce Pascoe Book Club – fictional of course.

During the recent flood crisis, the senior executive team at Water Infrastructure NSW held a so-called wellbeing session called ‘Learning How To Laugh’, run by a paid comedian. It sounds about as funny as a burning orphanage.

In the real world, the poor taxpayer can’t stop crying about the waste and indulgence in having to fund this rubbish. None of it is of any use. None of it has anything to do with making the trains run on time, cutting hospital emergency waiting times or lifting school results.

At 4.52pm each day, having been on their woke courses, yarned in their circles, eaten their rainbow cake, imitated John Lennon in the “Imaginarium” and sorted out their gender pronouns for the day, the senior NSW public servants return to their real jobs, giving it a mighty burst of 8 minutes of effort. Getting their virtue-signalling politics right is a bigger priority than cost-efficient, reliable service delivery for the people of NSW.

There’s also a ‘God Complex’ to this approach to public administration, most notably in Matt Kean’s belief that, from a provincial government level in Australia, he’s saving the planet.

Kean is turning the NSW electricity grid upside down, running a serious risk of blackouts. He’s also spending $10 billion per annum on green energy programs.

For what net outcome in combating climate change?

Using data supplied by the Parliamentary Library, Kean’s ‘carbon abatement’ program will reduce global surface temperatures by 0.00055 degrees Celsius – over a century. That’s all: 0.00055 degrees by the year 2122. So, the policy outcome is so tiny, so insignificant, that it can barely be measured.

So-called ‘carbon abatement’ has become the new secular religion of the Liberal and National Parties as they race to the futility of net-zero, giving away Australia’s competitive advantages in resources and manufacturing – while exporting our coal, gas and uranium to Asian nations to make cheap energy and put Australia at an even worse competitive disadvantage. It’s the public policy equivalent of self-harm.

Clearly, Matt ‘Green’ is also hearing voices in his head. The loudest of which is Michael Photios, the head of the NSW Liberal moderates faction and prolific lobbyist for the rent-seeking renewables sector.

This helps to answer the question of how the Coalition parties turned woke. But it’s not the full story. Next week, I’ll look at how this political lunacy has been aided and abetted by corporates and bureaucrats who sing from the same hymn sheet.

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