The New Conservatism in Australia
OUP, 290 pp, $25 hb
Those who have hopes or fears of a Reagan–Thatcher hardline conservatism arising in Australia can forget it, if this newest attempt by the local ‘right’ to define itself is any guide. For a major topic, it is a listless, sickly growth from Australia’s whiggish soil that struggles – mostly unsuccessfully – for anything new to say.
Familiar old war-horses are trotted out saying predictable things, almost entirely in the spirit of left-bashing rather than of a constructive conservatism. Far from these being any glimmer of arguments for recession cures, smaller government or constructive critique of the Liberal Party, such subjects are not touched on.