Tea Break or Mad Hatter's Tea Party?

By Hyde, John | Review - Institute of Public Affairs, December 2002 | Go to article overview

Tea Break or Mad Hatter's Tea Party?


Hyde, John, Review - Institute of Public Affairs


IT is not entirely clear whether anti-globalization protestors are bent on building the backlash against economic reform, convincing the legislators that it is bigger than it really is, or having fun. Nevertheless, since their apparent success by any of the three measures in Seattle in 1999 and certainly since the 1980s:

* fewer people are defending economic reform with consistent arguments;

* the determination of Australian governments to reform their respective economies has abated;

* the big-spending and big-taxing Howard Government has become prone to appeasing vested interests; and

* the ALP and the minor parties in the Senate are blocking reforms that the Hawke Government would once have championed.

Again persuaded more by noisy minorities and less by economic principle, our politicians have, as New Zealand's David Lange once put it, taken a `tea break' from reform. Australian economic reform has, to date, been overwhelmingly successful, more is needed, and they justify their break about as convincingly as the Mad Hatter justified his tea party to Alice.

The Liberals and Labor have clearly been scared by the minor parties, but their response does not seem to address the principal grievance of the voters who deserted them. When, following the 1983 election Labor (then in Government) and the Coalition (then in Opposition) began taking advice from conventional sources more seriously than before, One Nation, the Democrats and the Greens continued to offer the policies which economic theory and budgetary arithmetic disallow. A 1998 IPA Backgrounder showed that the minor parties were, for practical purposes, as one on foreign ownership, trade protection, re-regulating the financial sector, opposition to privatization, labour market regulation and reduced immigration-all areas where Labor or the Liberals were closer to each other than to the minors. The minors played 'catch' with the populist and protest vote, adding it to their core of genuine ideological support which, in the case of One Nation, was temporarily so considerable that something visceral was needed to account for it.

A little of the something was no doubt race, but if other upper bluecollar and rural electorates are like the one that I represented, only very little. Epithets such as `red neck' and 'racist' hurt these electors, and both Labor and the Coalition fostered the attitudes that caused them to be so abused. But there was, I believe, something even more fundamental than that. I am reasonably confident that a feeling that their opinions did not count with officials who insisted on 'do's' and 'don'ts' that trivialized their values and disdained their protests explains more-good old Marxian alienation! It was evident in the rural parts of my electorate even before I lost it in 1983. Many of these disenchanted people would have tolerated, some even welcomed, disagreement, but not the politically correct injunctions that denied their opinions a hearing.

My unstructured observations are borne out by a survey conducted by Katherine Betts. She identified resentment at the `cosmopolitan agenda' with a tendency to vote against the proposed Republic. If the antipathy was strong enough to cause people to vote against a proposal that was but a small part of that 'agenda', it was surely sufficient to cause them to register a protest against the perceived perpetrators of it. A Parliamentary Library Research Paper quoting a study showing that the Hanson constituency was `disenchanted and feels disenfranchised' also supported my opinion. If feeling alienated were not enough, when Hanson's meetings were broken up by violent protests (some of which were televised), tens of thousands of voters must have turned to her in sympathy, protested against such behaviour or both. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tea Break or Mad Hatter's Tea Party?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.