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Death of the establishment

By Everald Compton - posted Wednesday, 24 February 2016

In recent weeks, I have watched with acute embarrassment the appalling spectacle of Bill Shorten scaring the hell out of us about a possible increase in the GST and Malcolm Turnbull doing likewise with negative gearing. They treated us all as idiots.

They could have shown some common sense by acknowledging that both issues have virtues, but that thought eluded them. After all, the GST does ensure that tax evaders do pay some tax and, if the elimination of negative gearing drives house prices down, this will help young Australians buy a house and Seniors buy a small affordable home.

Their dreadful performances finally made me realise that, in actual fact, the political establishment is now dead and the public have buried it under a huge pile of disrespect. Politicians will continue to play their games, but no one will seriously listen. They are now an irrelevance.


The demise of the establishment has been coming for a long time. It finally got up a head of steam when Abbott ran around for years trying to frighten us with ultra-childish nonsense about 'great big taxes'. Then, he constantly appeared with military generals surrounded by countless flags trying to convince us that terrorists were about to blow us up that very second. He got to look like a comic book character and dragged the Parliament down with him.

State politicians were not much better. They ran constant scare campaigns about the sale of government assets that were based on lies that were quite shameful.

As the death of the Establishment in Australia came rapidly closer, we became attuned to the fact that it was dying in most nations, particularly so in USA and UK.

British Labour elected a long term hack politician, Jeremy Corbyn, as their leader. He beat all the Establishment candidates by a landslide in the first round of voting by running on the platform that he was against everything and he now faithfully carries out that platform.

But, it goes further. There is a revolt in David Cameron's Cabinet against the deal he has made to stay in Europe. The rebels want to get rid of the European Establishment over in Brussels who are an overpaid incompetent rabble who deserve to be despatched. Cameron will probably lose.

Europe itself has reached a point of rebellion against Angela Merkel. In my view she is the world's best leader, but is steadily falling behind in the polls in Germany because she agreed to admit one million refugees without asking the voters. I reckon her decision was the right one, but most German voters don't.


The Trump saga rolls on in America. Frightening though he is, he is nevertheless a very competent self promoter who has tapped into a huge vein of political dissent against the Establishment. He represents everyone who is angry about anything and they want him to shaft everyone in the Establishment who has treated them like fools for years.

Bernie Sanders has gathered the support of the same people among the Democrats, but at least he has many more degrees of responsibility for his policies than Trump. He does know, however, that most voters reckon that Hilary Clinton is an Establishment figure and he works hard at ramming that home.

There can be no doubt that there is a Trump type vote in Australia. It will manifest itself in Australia in our 2016 Election. Just where is still to be defined, but Independents thinking of running should make their minds up quickly as 2016 is their year. They will thrive on the massive discontent that abounds among even the most responsible of voters

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About the Author

Everald Compton is Chairman of The Longevity Forum, a not for profit entity which is implementing The Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. He was a Founding Director of National Seniors Australia and served as its Chairman for 25 years. Subsequently , he was Chairman for three years of the Federal Government's Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing.

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