Practical, principled common sense
4 March 2023
Just from his understanding of the issues that concern the rank and file and particularly from the common-sense solutions he offers, Mark Latham should be a serious contender to head the next New South Wales government.
But in NSW, as in other states, Liberal and Labor power brokers still have the game sewn up. Permanency, however, is not guaranteed.
Despite compulsory and preferential voting, millions extracted from taxpayers to pay for their election campaigns, (Labor indirectly extracting even more from workers’ superannuation savings), and a system which, more than in any comparable country, incentivises electoral malpractice, both parties are in deep trouble.
Their primary votes are now well below the electoral Plimsoll line.
The current leading issues in NSW and across the nation, are Latham’s ‘three E’s’, energy, education, and the economy. While the major parties speak in platitudes, their energy policies serve no other real purpose than to enrich Beijing and its cronies, while their bipartisan decision to ‘reform’ Naplan is clearly designed to hide the bad news about the catastrophic decline in Australian educational standards.
So, when I heard Mark Latham speak on energy and education in a 2GB radio advertisement, I pricked up my ears. Not only did he identify the problems, he offered real solutions, all in an average-length advertisement. And unlike the major parties, there were no taxpayer-funded bribes like the Nationals paying parents for driving their children to weekend sports or paying youths $5,000 to help buy newer, ‘safer’ and no doubt faster cars.
In a substantial interview in the series ‘Save the Nation’ posted to the free platform ADH TV, accessible by an app, Latham demonstrates a superb command of the real issues today as well as offering real solutions.
Without notes or autocue, he speaks easily, at length and in depth. He answers unexpected questions, including those on the Voice, ‘the’ republic, citizen-initiated referendums and even recall elections.
As to these, the Liberal party had pretended that, if found to be workable, they’d be introduced. But when a no doubt carefully selected expert committee surprisingly found them compatible with the Westminster system, their report was locked away to gather dust.
Incidentally, by putting himself before the people in the coming election, when he could have continued for four more years, Latham commendably recalled himself.
Another matter raised was the abuse by governments in making subordinate legislation or regulations without proper parliamentary scrutiny, a central feature of government mismanagement during Covid. The Berejiklian government even closed down the construction industry for weeks without health advice or other feasible explanation at a cost of around $2 billion.
Latham recalls the same government avoiding parliamentary scrutiny at the peak of the crisis by suspending all parliamentary sittings, even on Zoom. When the upper house rebelled, the government committed a constitutional outrage worthy of a banana republic. Using an obscure procedural standing order about the presence of a minister, the government just ensured none turned up. On a point of order, the President closed the meeting.
Latham agrees a solid royal commission should be held into government abuse during Covid. Both Labor and Liberals are united in ensuring this never take place.
As to the NSW energy situation, Latham cites a recent prediction by the Australian Energy Market Operator warning of a looming disaster, one in a mere two years’ time, with blackouts making factories, mines, offices, schools, hospitals, traffic lights and chargers unable to function. Latham says the problem is not, as Albanese claims, the result of the previous government not ‘investing’ in renewables. It’s insufficient backup power when ‘the winds don’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine’. This comes, Latham says, from closing down the world’s cheapest and most reliable electricity system and delays with backups from the gas-peaking plant at Kurri Kurri and Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘white elephant-in-waiting’, Snowy 2.0.
Asked about this in Budget Estimates, Perrotet replied, ‘Oh, I’d better take some advice.’ The opposition’s Chris Minns, Latham says, will only make matters worse by going further down ‘the renewables rabbit-hole’.
Asking the Parliamentary Library to do an analysis of the ‘whole box and dice’ of Liberal Treasurer Matt Kean’s vast, disruptive and monumentally expensive ‘clean green energy’ programme to achieve net zero, which the IPA warns will lead to 138,000 job losses just in NSW, the Library advised Latham that Kean’s programme would reduce global surface temperatures by 0.00055 degrees Celsius, and that over a century. In other words, it’s pointless.
Latham’s second major election issue is education, pointing out that NSW has ‘the fastest falling school academic results in the entire world’. Recalling schools’ policy has been researched ‘inside-out’ all over the world, with a ‘stack of reports’ on what works and doesn’t work, ‘so high, you couldn’t jump over it’, he asks how hard is it to find the evidence of what works in the classroom.
But, he says, under the Liberal-National party coalition, the policy since 2011 has been ‘you can just do whatever you like in the classroom’. Consequently, all the ‘leftist fads and experiments and political indoctrination’ have driven down results under the Coalition. One Nation’s policy, he says. is to ‘just get back to the evidence of what works in the classroom’, doing the things that ‘add high value to student learning and student outcomes’.
What shines throughout in this interview is Latham’s rare, practical and principled common sense, a not uncommon One Nation trait. Nevertheless, the mainstream media will probably ignore him and concentrate on the fake competition between the Coalition and Labor, both, it seems, equally determined to destroy the nation. The only question is, if we are foolish enough to let them, how soon they will make us the Argentina or even the Venezuela of the South Seas.