There are lots of things going wrong with Australian government, resulting, for example in its failure to deal with climate change. One of these things is the membership of our political class. The problems are widespread but I’ll start with the National Party. The name itself is a problem, dating back to the brief delusion, encapsulated by the Joh for Canberra campaign in the 1980s, that the Country Party (as it then was) could become the dominant rightwing party. To the extent this idea had any substance, it was based on the success of various Country Party spivs in securing seats in the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
What we now have is the process in reverse – a string of upper class spivs posing as salt of the earth bushies, and being elected to rural seats. To take just a few examples:
Barnaby Joyce: an accountant, educated at Riverview
David Littleproud: a hereditary politician and agribusiness banker
Matt Canavan: born on the Gold Coast, UQ education, previously an executive at KPMG and an economist at the Productivity Commission
Bridget McKenzie: allegedly Bendigo-based Minister for Decentralisation, primary residence in the Melbourne suburb of Elwood
The current beleaguered leader, Michael McCormack will probably turn out to be the last National leader who could claim any real association with the land
Coming up: The Socialist Left