Friday, 28 May 2010

Ageing politics

I was rather taken aback by commentary that Malcolm Fraser's departure from the Liberal Party (see an interesting British commentary here) would not be terribly consequential as most voters wouldn't even remember the Fraser years.
To me the heady events of 1975 seem like yesterday. But, I suppose it was 35 years ago. And he was replaced by Hawke in 1983. (27 years ago!!)
If I had nothing better to do then I would look up the age composition of the electorate, but I suspect that the observation is probably true...that many many people do not register Malcolm as a political figure of any moment any more.
However, it is laughable to read the Guardian begin its little piece by saying "Fraser has been slowly sliding to the left for the last twenty years!!"...if Malcolm is left then Gough Whitlam is more to the left than Lenin..(some people would believe this!)
No, I think it is much more that the Liberal Party under Howard, and it looks even more so under Abbott, has lurched to the right and then some. Followed not far behind by the Labor Party.
Fraser's obvious disgust with this has been apparent for years. It is clear he held Howard in disdain, and it's noteworthy that Howard only ever came into his own after Fraser had well and truly left the scene. The days of the small 'l' liberal are well and truly over.

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