In our Newsletters this year we have covered everything from the Voice bomb to the atom bomb, from Israel to industrial relations, from Gough to the Gulags, from federalism to forgiveness, from taxation to Truman, and from housing to Hamlet – and a whole lot more in between.
With so many highs and lows this year – regrettably, mostly lows – how should we end the year?
Let’s start with a couple of anecdotes.
In 2006, I was heading to a Liberal Party function at the Adelaide Hilton and pulled into the then brand-new Grote Street Car Park in the city only to be confronted by a ‘CAR PARK FULL’ sign.
Not wanting to be late for the event, I stopped my car in front of the sign and wound down my window to speak to a burly-looking guy in a high-vis vest who was sitting on a stool nearby.
“No parks?”, I called out.
“Are you disabled?”, he shouted back.
I said, “I’m with the Liberal Party!”
“That’s close enough”, he said. “Park over there.”
Shortly after, Andrew Evans rang me and invited me to join Family First.
The second anecdote concerns the Spanish patriot leader Navarez who, on his deathbed, was asked by the priest if he had forgiven his enemies. “I don’t have any enemies”, said Navarez, “I shot them all.”
They say that everything rises and falls on leadership. It is the greatest need in the world today.
Leadership. We hear a lot about it, but what is it? How does one become a leader in a particular field? Do you have to shoot all your competitors to become one?
Former Western Australian MP John Hyde used to say, “Any lightweight can lead kids into a lolly shop, but it takes real leadership to lead them out.”
Bob Hawke was a good leader. As was John Howard. Not so, Anthony Albanese.
A recent poll showed confidence in political leadership was at an all-time low. The carpark attendant’s reaction shows that little has changed.
As we contemplate the events of 2023, we ask ourselves, What went right? What went wrong? Where are Australia and the world heading?
The world needs leaders who, like the ancient men of Issachar, “understood the times, and what needed to be done”.
Admitting more than 500,000 migrants into Australia this year – up from an average of 100,000 per annum in the early 2000s – but building only 175,000 houses; billions of dollars spent on renewable energy for no discernible change in either the world’s CO2 emissions or the world’s temperature; substantial increases in grocery prices and other cost-of-living measures – a promised $275 decrease in electricity bills has become a $1,000 increase; the newly-introduced Digital ID legislation – your driver’s licence, passport, medicare card, birth certificate and other personal IDs all rolled into one to ‘bring together government and industry’; and in a country having one of the shortest parliamentary terms in the developed world (three years), the Albanese government spent half of its first term obsessed with a referendum that everyone knew was never going to pass, leaving no time to fix any of the nation’s real problems.
That is not good leadership.
All these and more lie ahead to be addressed in 2024 and beyond.
And then there were none …
In our previous post we discussed Santos, the last remaining ‘Top 100’ listed company based in Adelaide. Well, guess what? It is about to be taken over by WA-based giant Woodside. All gone.
So, about 2024.
I want to keep churning out these Newsletters, as I think the topics we discuss are extremely important and very few, if anyone, is covering them.
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To all our members and supporters, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and thank you again for your support throughout 2023.