Why Tony Abbott is failing Australia
By Christopher J Tipler
As a management advisor I have seldom publicly expressed any views on the politics of the day; indeed, I am essentially apolitical and I believe that good government is mainly about good policy, whoever contrives it.
Yet I am completely dismayed at the cynical way in which Tony Abbott and his Liberals are whipping up and exploiting community fears over the carbon tax issue.
The carbon tax is fundamentally good policy. We need to set the Australian economy on a more sustainable path and pricing mechanisms are a well-proven way of effecting broad-scale changes in behaviour. The Gillard package, in my assessment, is well balanced and not particularly radical. Indeed, from a sustainability perspective it is cautious and, arguably, insufficient. It will not cause any calamitous outcomes but will, at least, usher in a new period of long term innovation and significant job creation around renewable energy. All good.
Yet, the policy is being used ruthlessly by Tony Abbott to engender widespread fear of change and pull the Gillard government down. This is not leadership and it is the antithesis of what Australia needs right now.
We need to confront the great challenges around climate change, water, food security, loss of biodiversity, health, education, new technologies (such as internet broadband) and our incredibly unbalanced ‘two-speed’ economy. I suspect that I echo the thoughts of many others when I say that I want our government to responsibly grasp the nettle on these issues and take us into the twenty first century, not back to the last century.
The Gillard team seems to be doing this and, accordingly, is deserving of much more respect and support than it is currently receiving from the community or from business leaders.
Today, anyone who claims the right to lead Australia must do so from a positive, policy-driven, platform that is imaginative, courageous and practical. Tony Abbott is failing these tests dismally and both he and the Liberal party risk becoming an irrelevant force. They are also putting our future, and our children’s future, at risk. In this context Abbott is as much turkey as he is Chicken Little.
Christopher Tipler is a Melbourne-based management advisor and author of Corpus RIOS – The how and what of business strategy. His web site corpusrios.com contains more material on this and related topics.