Just what are Liberal values these days?

Matt GoldingCredit: .

Liberal values?
For quite some time, it has been clear that the ″⁣broad church″⁣ of the federal Liberal Party has two quite different wings – the conservatives and the small ″⁣l″⁣ liberals. Robert Menzies founded the Liberal Party with ideals embracing small ″⁣l″⁣ liberal values – not those of the current dominant ruling conservative wing. Some commentators have suggested that Menzies would find it almost impossible to be part of today’s federal party. Many of the best small ″⁣l″⁣ liberals lost their seats to the teals in the last federal election.
On mainland Australia, the Liberals have been wiped from the map in all states as well. If the Liberals are to be a force again, they will need to move back towards the centre. The only way this can happen is if the remaining small ″⁣l″⁣ liberals listen to their conscience and split from the conservatives. Otherwise, Labor will be laughing all the way to the next election.

Peter Philipp, Toorak

Dutton is history
The striking thing about Peter Dutton’s announcement about actively campaigning against the Voice is that after virtually no input from his party to the process, I have heard his lone voice loudly say ″⁣no″⁣ on behalf of the whole Liberal Party in a way where there is no graceful way back to be recorded in Australia’s political history. His political outcome is sealed it seems to me.

Bruce Watson, Clifton Springs

The wrong voice
The term ″⁣Canberra Voice″⁣ sounds like a slogan Peter Dutton made up with the help of Tony Abbott. It is a slogan totally devoid of any truth or reality.

Garry Meller, Bentleigh

Please, enlighten us
Peter Dutton, Simon Birmingham, Dan Tehan et al talk constantly about the Liberal Party having good values that people know about. What exactly are these good values and how they have they manifested themselves in the past? Robo-debt? No to the Voice? Tax policies that favour the wealthy (and old)? Cutting public services, including public broadcasting to the bone? Vilifying certain groups in the community?
None of these seem to me to reflect ″⁣good″⁣ values, but rather the opposite. Perhaps the leaders of the Coalition could enlighten us.

Leonie Millar, Ripponlea

Tax benefits
The budget is going to end the tax offset that benefits the low- and middle-income earners but retain the stage three tax cuts that favours the well off. Is this a Labor government? If the Liberals were smart they would outflank Labor by arguing to keep the tax offset, thus positioning themselves as a friend of the working class.

Barry Lizmore, Ocean Grove

Limited storage
We cannot store carbon emissions, or radioactive waste for that matter, forever. There is a limit. So doing that now, instead of neutralising the problems as they arise, is the equivalent of sticking our heads in the sand and bequeathing our problems to future generations. Let’s not go down that path.

Margaret Callinan, Hawthorn

Economy oil change
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s article (8/4) on ″⁣Big Oil’s″⁣ attempts to maintain an economically viable oil industry in the face of declining demand caused by the inevitable and unstoppable shift to EVs highlights an industry’s death throes.
How will the OPEC and other oil rich countries re-tune their economies without oil revenue and what effect will it have on international politics and the dynamics of economic relations? Will some of the richest countries struggle in the post-fossil fuel era?
Those attempting to prop up oil demand and prices are short-sighted. Now is the time for planning for strong economies without revenue from fossil fuels. Only time will tell how economies will shift towards carbon neutral but the shift is inevitable and should not be ignored.

Graeme Lechte,
Brunswick West

Don’t bottle it
Your correspondent (Letters, 8/4) is right that the Positive Education craze is a side-issue for teachers and the least of their concerns. But how refreshing it is to hear somebody questioning the entrenched and bogus idea that we need to be cheerful all the time in order to do or be our best.
To paraphrase Aristotle, it’s OK and indeed one ought to be grumpy occasionally; you just have to be grumpy at the right time, for the right reason, and to the right degree.

Lindsay Zoch, Mildura

Family and society
In my lifetime we have moved from a society where a single-income family could own a home with one parent at home with the children, to one where “Childcare critical to productivity” (8/4) and two-income families can hardly afford a rental (“City centre rents rocket by 47pc”). Did this change come about because that is what we all wanted, has it just snuck up on us, or has it been quietly forced upon us?

Keith Wilson, Rye

Take a leaf from this
Once again Melbourne’s autumn weekends are made hideous by the noise of leaf blowers.
They are invariably operated by men who, I assume, have never used a vacuum cleaner or broom – because if they had, they would know that you cannot efficiently clean a room by trying to blow the dust out the door.

Paul Perry, Fitzroy North

What a joy, still only 19
″⁣Don’t write us off″⁣ writes Christopher Bantick (Comment, 2/4). Withered I might have been, but I learnt to play bridge, purist croquet, have taken part in a half-marathon, still ride my bike, have created a garden, taken visitors on heritage walks in our town, broadcast the local news for the vision impaired, and have flown over Antarctica and will return by sea.
The most joyous discovery?
The passion you felt at 19 is still there.
What a gift life is and has been.

Margaret Skeen, Pt Lonsdale

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