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 Why I joined the Libs by Amanda Stoker

12.10.19. Humanity and morality; that’s why I joined the Libs
My earliest political memory is of sitting on the kitchen lino, playing. Mum was on the phone to the bank, negotiating more time to manage the tension of the family budget with the burden of the 18 per cent interest rate on the family home and the obligations of Dad’s plumbing business. Mum negotiated because Dad worked seven days a week, as well as doing the council bin run at dawn. Mum squeezed in shifts as a retail assistant at a day-night chemist. I would’ve been about six.
Like so many Australians, my parents didn’t talk politics. But even then, as a child, I knew it wasn’t right that responsible ­people who worked so hard were struggling. That instinct was confirmed during the Howard years, when I saw my parents work in precisely the same way and flourish. I had to understand why.Although economic issues brought my attention to the role of government in setting the con­ditions for hardworking people to prosper, Robert Menzies built a Liberal Party that understood the human condition as a whole. A party that talks about and works on only the economy misses at least half of the picture. People aren’t mere economic units, and Menzies’ conception of the “home material”, “home human” and “home spiritual” reflected that balance. He knew a strong social fabric was a major determinant of the country’s prosperity.
Today, if you speak of moral matters in politics, you’re likely to be branded as judgmental. It’s safer to be a moral relativist. The consequence of shutting down speech on these matters is that many people don’t know classic liberalism is deeply moral. It’s the political tradition that delivered the abolition of slavery and child labour, and brought universal education, each being the manifestation of the beliefs of individual liberty and equality of oppor­tunity. Morality lies even with Liberal enthusiasm for capitalism: no system in history has lifted more people out of poverty. Liberalism thrives when we can con­fidently traverse the moral, social and cultural matters reflecting the lived experience of Australians.
The period of relative weakness from which the Liberal Party recently emerged was a symptom of an unwillingness to engage with questions of morality and culture across the past decade. Its resurgence under Scott Morrison corresponds with a willingness to again heed Menzies’ advice to notice the homes human and spiritual. Liberals are engaging with Australians’ concerns about their ability to provide for their families, to foster their mental resilience and to protect them from harm.
It’s offering a framework for understanding the confusing phenomena of mental illness, ­addiction, loneliness and hopelessness. It’s defending rights of free expression, religious freedom and pushback on the cultural cringe that says traditional views do not deserve to be heard.
There is a myth that Liberals are preoccupied with money and economics while “progressives” are about people and kindness. Actually, it’s the opposite. Socialism subordinates all considerations to material concerns, sifting people into economic classes and demanding they progress. Liberals look at a person and see an economic creature and a spiritual creature whose individuality, creativity and essence matter. Progressives talk of the needs of the common man and woman, but a Liberal knows Australians are not an undifferentiated mass. The ­aspirations, drive and ingenuity of uncommon men and women propel our society’s success. We are equal humans, but our human differences are our strength.
Liberals believe government is ill-equipped to promote happiness; that can come only from within the individual. It’s why small government delivers the most benefit to the most people. It is the most essential element to the development of humanity in its richest diversity; a deep appreciation of the varied skills and talents we bring to life, and the ways in which freedom allows us to develop and harness those gifts.
The legal frameworks of small government allow us to foster a culture in which we strive to be our best and give as much as we can to a neighbour in need. In contrast, heavy regulation turns the focus to what’s necessary to meet minimum requirements. These are the rich cultural gifts of Menzies’ Liberalism. Ultimately, the defining value is equality of opportunity; the right to aspire to be our best, economically and culturally.
The values of individual responsibility, support for aspiration and the equality of all human souls remain as relevant today as they were in 1944, when 18 non-Labor political parties were united as the Liberal Party of Australia. I didn’t have a name for them as a six-year-old; it took until I was a teenager to understand what I had observed from the kitchen floor.
This is when I became a Liberal.
Amanda Stoker is a senator for Queensland.
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Lorraine 12/10/2019, 7:10 am

    My Father, a Dairy Farmer and living in Victoria, he said it was the 26 years of Liberal rule , that allowed him to borrow, work and pay of the debt of the Farm. Both Parents worked the farm and my Father worked another job most of the time , and was a roustabout come shearing time . I have always believed in the Liberal Party, but turned away when Malcolm Turnbull, knifed Tony Abbott. My faith is still shattered when we remain in the Paris Agreement and the UN, but I did vote for SCOMO as the alternative was pure Hell on wheels.

    • ibbit 13/10/2019, 10:02 am

      Lorraine, Your experience echoes my own. I grew up on a farm – a large mixed farm which later took on a dairy heard, too. A lot of work, but a wonderful way of life. I still remember my father complaining about the inane policies of politicians and how little they benefited farmers.However, you could rely on the milk tanker to
      collect your output and there was a floor price, a bit different to now. I can also still hear him saying to other farmers in response to a question of, say, buying a new car – this may have been a good season, but you have to bank against the bad ones, which are never far away. He was wise, loved the land and had no trust in or respect for politicians of any colour. I wonder how he would have reacted to Barnaby’s suggestion of getting off the land if you had not turned a profit for some time. He would have done and did, have to work off farm to earn more income at times and that was hard manual work. I know the answer would be unprintable.

  • Cliff 12/10/2019, 7:13 am

    This lady comes across as very smart on her regular appearances on Sky. If I found myself in court, I’d like to have her as my solicitor, which I suppose is about as high a compliment I could pay her.

    I sincerely hope the Libs find her a safe Lower House seat and get her onto the Front Bench without delay, for there aren’t too many of her calibre on their current Front Bench.

    …which is why they’ll probably leave her where she is or even do a Jim Molan on her and slide her down their Senate ticket to an unwinnable #6.

  • luk1955 12/10/2019, 7:40 am

    She is wrong on one point. Socialism does not allow progress. Socialism demands subordination and handing over one’s freedom to the state, to benefit the few at the top of the pyramid. Socialism is only to remove other people’s money and control from their being, and demanding worship of the elite as the gods they think themselves to be but they are really evil people.

  • Penguinite 12/10/2019, 8:27 am

    Socialism, Communism, Marxism are all destructive to individual achievement.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
    You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
    You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
    You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
    You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
    You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

    by William J. H. Boetcker

  • Captain Outrageous 12/10/2019, 9:10 am

    She forgot to mention that when she gets elected she can fill her pockets with free stuff like all the other parasites. Oh, and btw I agree with luk1955 100%.

  • JK. 12/10/2019, 9:52 am

    And she might like to explain why her great liberal party has and is trying to pass more laws to deliver the people of this country into the hands of the banks, it’s not doing too much for working people at the moment, mind you Labor is not much better once the snouts are in the trough.

  • DT 12/10/2019, 11:57 am

    Very intelligent and smart operator.

  • Margaret 12/10/2019, 12:28 pm

    I have a lot of respect for Amanda Stoker but the Liberal Party has a long way to go. They have become totally disconnected from the people. Hence to rise of the minor parties.

    I would like to see the government denounce the whole globalisation/ New World Order, reduce red tape/green tape, reduce taxes, reduce the number of laws, reduce the size of bureaucracy, stop subsidising global warming hysteria, stop political correctness, focus on education of our children not propaganda, be honest and truthful, allow free speech, drain the swamp of corruption…along the lines of President Trump.
    Wishful thinking, I know but we have got to start somewhere.

  • Aktosplatz 12/10/2019, 12:48 pm

    ‘Why I joined the Liberal Party’.

    Which one?

    • DT 12/10/2019, 1:11 pm

      There is only one Liberal Party of Australia, unfortunately it was infiltrated by a person declaring to his then new Wentworth Electorate constituents that he is;

      Malcolm Bligh Turnbull
      Harbourside Mansion
      Sydney Harbour

      Mr Mansion was on a mission and with a number of objectives, a high on the list priority appears to have been to wreck the Liberal Party and National Party and create a single all powerful always to govern party including Labor and Greens with his LINO BHF MPs.

      He and his BHF faction, associates of union movement donation recipient GetUp, have now left Parliament, but a few malingerers remain in the NSW Branch I understand.

      • Aktosplatz 12/10/2019, 1:45 pm

        Agreed, DT, but the average punter doesn’t know this. I can never reconcile how these ‘opposites be in the same political party.’

        The Liberals are generally believed to be equivalent to the UK Conservative Party, and look how Brexit has exposed the division, which has alarmed the voters.

        As you know we have our Liberal-In-Named-Only (LINOs), I personally think it is very deceitful.

        If I vote for Tony Abbott, I don’t expect to be paying Turnbull’s wages.

  • Graham Richards 13/10/2019, 7:59 am

    Have a good look at the Tory debacle in U.K. for a preview of what left wing Turnbullesque politics will reduce the Liberal / National coalition to.
    Much of the fault lies with the electorate who are somehow convinced that socialism in small doses will ease the pain in their wallets.
    Be careful people voting down the Socialist path will lose your wallet altogether.

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