Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Everyone has to grow up, don't they?

Garrett may well be a political liability for the Rudd government and he may grow tired of the humiliations. But, inadvertently, Garrett has already performed a great service for Australian public life. By his actions, he has issued a resounding warning to Midnight Oil fans and like-minded romanticists to abandon their childlike pieties and touching simplicities in favour of recognising that the world is a complex place where good policy depends on ministers having less passion and more rationality.
It doesn't excuse the fact that his idealism is, to a certain extent, what made him an electable commodity for the ALP when they popped him in to contest the seat he won.

Read more of Janet Albrechtsen's piece in the Australian here.


Mehaul said...

Another spot on article by JA. I believe that Garrett knew he was spruiking waffle in his golden singing days, and that he knowingly, cynically exploited the gullible wash that ran out and bought his records. To his limited credit he has moved on, whereas his old music mates continue to chip from the side lines with the same preppie mentality 20 years on. All this while they enter the greying years without another career in sight.

The real sadness in today's Australian is the article about the 4th teenage suicide at a Geelong school. Youth suicide is a major problem emanating from our secular society, single parenting and benign education standards, none of which build sufficient moral fibre to deal with life's issues when they arise. Terribly sad.

Egg said...

Interesting take, Mehaul; hopefully, Garrett is not as naive as he appears ...

Skeeter said...

Janet Albrechsten aptly points out the dangers to our culture from juvenile idealisation of idealism:
A passionate wish to improve the world is nowadays so often seen as honourable in itself, even if the change sought is patently unachievable or clearly undesirable.

In contrast, conservatives, by definition are:
1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc.
2. cautious or moderate.
3. traditional in style or manner.

In other words; if it ain't broke don't fix it.
What we need is fewer juvenile idealists and more mature conservatives.

WV: filymous.
Reminds me of my old granny's definition of dandy-grey russet:
The colour of a she-mouse's belly.

Stevo said...

hi skeeter

the term conservative irks me. it tends to be used as a term of derision applied to the liberal party here in oz. even though their closest counterpart in the uk is named the conservative party. both sides of politics here in oz are conservative in various policy areas. governments here tend to go conservative when they get their ways of governing and policy happening. i think the labor party policies on labour, employment, business, & some areas of the environment for example, are worse than conservative, they want to go back to older and wanting models. that would fall under number three of your definition, traditional in style or manner.

i have no problem with reformist governments. i think it is essential that governments continually change in a rapidly changing world. that's if they know what they're doing. to john howard's credit, he brought in the gst, work choices and worked on free trade agreements. i didn't find that conservative. but maybe my definition of conservative is different to everyone else.

idealism tends to be the preserve of the young, and those who haven't grown up. sounds great but not practical.

hey skeeter, i don't consider my self conservative, apart from who i vote for. i better read janet's article now ... i'm lazy too ... stevo

Stevo said...

btw ... here's my favourite oils track ... wedding cake island ... sans peter ... enjoy


Skeeter said...

Trouble is Stevo, all the political labels, even Liberal, are now tainted with pejorative overtones. As well, they have different values in different countries and in different historical times. The left-right labels are now almost useless because no one knows where the centre is.
The dictionary definition of "conservative" best fits my approach. For me, it does not preclude change or reform if such changes fit within the defined conservative characteristics.
But I agree that other people will have a different interpretation for many of the words in the definitions. "Traditional" for me probably goes back to the way it was when Australia's national anthem was God Save the King.
I don't want to take Australia back to the way it was for the first 30 years of my life, but I am convinced that a lot of the characteristics of our Aussie culture — as it was in those days — gave us a more benign way of life.
You didn't need wealth or ever expect to be wealthy. I was a working-class country boy and I had a great time.

You have aptly described your preferred policies and I agree with them, but getting all of that that into a one-word label presents difficulties.
Can you suggest a good label for a party that adopts our preferred policies?
The Australian Liberals may need a name change to get back into government in the near future.

Stevo said...

hi skeeter ... just got home, will reply in the next day or so, so keep an eye out ... appreciate your great response ... stevo