Letter to The Editor - The Fifth Column Within the Coalition
to THE AUSTRALIAN
Paul Kelly comments that 'the Liberals face ruin on the right' ('Centrist message right, but PM loses on philosophy', 12/7), but so, perhaps, does Australia itself. If the two-party model is replaced by a three-party model (Liberals, ALP and One Nation/Australian Conservatives), there is a danger that the right will be permanently shut out of power at elections by a mutual exchange of preferences between the ALP and the ‘centrist’ liberals and by overall voter support of that arrangement.
For fifty years I have studied the behaviour of the Liberal-National Coalition and feel that it has always been a more uneasy community than its official spokesmen and most of its prominent supporters have admitted. Now the more leftish 'liberal' side, sensing power, as Christopher Pyne recently noted, is ready to ditch the 'conservatives', feeling that henceforth they can be kept on the outer (as has happened to the National Front in France).
One reason for the decay of power of the right within the coalition and the nation itself is the cowardice and dishonesty that has been shown towards individuals and groups on the so-called 'extreme right', some of whom are authentic conservatives. A policy designed to maximise votes, and placate financially powerful interests, has meant that the Coalition has been fighting for decades with one arm tied behind its back.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic