Is the ‘liberal’ in the Liberal Party a case of false advertising?

By Noely Neate
March 2nd, 2013

When I was young I would see something I thought was unfair, have a rant about it  (obviously have not changed over the years)  and my dad would mutter under his breathe ‘bloody bleeding heart liberal’.  As a youngster I never really knew what that meant, though I did get the gist that my dad thought I was being soft.

Reading about the highly anticipated or dreaded Costello report , depending on how you feel about the future of Queensland,  it was pretty clear that the Atate I love is about to be parcelled up and sold to the highest bidder.  In a nutshell Mr Costello is telling his liberal mate Mr Campbell Newman to Sell assets and outsource health services.

So where does that leave the people?

Kay Rollison has expressed my concerns very well in her recent article: Privatisation: Coming to Public Schools and Hospitals Near You.  She  infers that the LNP Queensland Government is setting the blueprint for what an Abbott Federal Government is planning to do to the country as a whole.  I have a terrible feeling she may be right, and again I ask, what about the people?  The people who can’t afford private schools, the people who can’t afford a private hospital, the people who are already struggling to pay their ever increasing electricity bill. Are we destined to a future of the rich being wealthier, healthier and educated, whilst the less affluent become poorer, die waiting for a hospital bed and more ignorant due to poor public education standards?

Is this what a so-called Liberal party should be doing? Let’s see how the party so proud of it ‘Liberal Party Values’ stacks up against the definition of the word ‘liberal’.

Being an old fashioned sort of girl, I hit the dictionary for the definition of liberal and you know what, the political party does not seem to fit the definition that the trusty old Oxford Dictionary shows me.  Let’s see…

willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own

I don’t think so. The demonisation of asylum seekers is not liberal by definition.  Recent comments by Morrison and Abetz display exactly how ‘accepting’ the Liberal Party is. Personally I would prefer to be warned that Morrison or Abetz was living next to me than an asylum seeker trying to start a new life with the family.  (their words and views)

open to new ideas

Gee that is a funny one. I’m pretty sure that the LGBT Australians are pretty sure there will be no gay marriage under the Liberals. In fact, dialling back Civil Unions was on the top of the LNP’s list when they rocked into power last year.

favourable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms

Well if Mr Abbott has his way, women definitely do not have reproductive rights or freedoms?  Now get back in that kitchen and make your husbands dinner, unless of course you work for or are related to Mr Abbott, because you are obviously one of the ‘good’ women…

(in a political context) favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate political and social reform

Free Trade I will give them, hell, they will sell anything for a buck to the highest bidder and their focus on the economy and industrial relations.  Social reform not so much- hitting the poorest with lowering the tax threshold and whatever Mr Abbott renames ‘Work Choices’,  is not exactly socially caring or responsible. Unless they are using the term “social reform” literally and the reform is to make the poor poorer…

Theology regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change

Oh I am sitting here laughing again.  Climate Change Denial, no further explanation needed on that one.  Plenty of cash for chaplains in schools – don’t worry if the kid can’t afford lunch, they have a chaplain to understand how desperate their life is. But have to ensure that we stay white and Christian, so get that indoctrination in young. UGH!

(of education) concerned with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training

Ah, my personal favourite.  Well common education reform is ‘Gone-ski’ if Mr Abbott wins power, so again, maybe the Libs are only using this definition to broaden the ‘general knowledge’ of the rich, as they are the only ones who will be able to afford a quality education for their kids.  I won’t even start on how much money the previous Lib Govt ripped out of Universities.

(especially of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal

This may be the only part of the definition of liberal that this party truly subscribes to. They are very liberal with legalities, little things like it being OK for a liberal candidate to steal pages from a MP’s diary, not declare pecuniary interests and, my personal favourite, the use of the term ‘Illegal‘ for asylum seekers.

given, used, or occurring in generous amounts

I suppose they would get a 50% mark on this one, as we can see in Qld that the LNP is very generous to their donors, with quite a few are getting nice outsourcing contracts.  However taking away the School kids bonus from families already struggling is not exactly generous.  As long as you are rich you will still get your extra on Super and Private Medical, oh and the extra for your private school. So apologies, the liberals are very generous as long as you are already affluent.  The rest of the population…  yeah, sorry, stiff bikkies, no generosity for you.

a person of liberal views

The fact that Mr Abbott has backed what Morrison and Abetz have said wipes this one out and the fact that the charming Cory Bernardi is still in the Senate illustrates that Mr Abbott’s Liberals do not fit this part of the liberal definition.

Now maths is not my strong point, but according the definition of liberal in my old mate Oxford, I don’t think the Liberal Party of Australia even fit 25% of that definition. Is the naming of this party false advertising?

Then again, I am just a punter. Let me know what you think. Maybe you have some other examples for me – toss them below in the comments if you do :)

Noely @YaThinkN

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  1. Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  2. Good rant, Noely. I imagine there are humane, thoughtful Liberal Party members across this nation who must be horrified at the direction their political party has taken.

  3. “Liberal party’? Unquestionably false advertising. Conservative Party they certainly are and now the refuge of the free-marketeering, carpetbagging, ultra-conservatives solely intent in making us a facsimile of the worst of America and its tainted democracy!

  4. Noely, another fine piece, :grin: and well said.

    As far as the question of “Liberal” being false advertising, my answer would be a resounding … YES.

    Keep up the good work :cool:

    I have also covered the links between Abbott, Newman and Costello, as well as the privatisation issues in my post:

    Cheers :grin:

  5. Is the ‘liberal’ in the Liberal Party a case of false advertising?