Politics & art of war

Abalinx 6 February 2021 Peter Adamis

Sun Tzu stated that War is a skill very important to any nation if it is survive destruction. To achieve success in battle, Sun Tzu advised that one must study the philosophy of one’s opponent, the climate, the ground, the leadership’s issues and the methodologies to be used. Politics on the other hand is not much different, for it is a battle between two ideologically opposed philosophies and how to best manage the nation’s resources for the common good.

In the political arena, each side considers the ground upon which the battle is to be fought, what assets are available, the geopolitical and cultural aspects, the candidate or politicians skills, knowledge and character and last of all what methodologies or paradigms can be best used to win the hearts and minds of the people. 

In Australia we have two major political parties who have consistently fought each other to govern Australia and its people.  The Liberal Party and the Labor Party!  Each party structure is such that on the surface it appears that any member can reach the dizzy heights of power and yet time and time again that structure appears fragmented. Why is a question that is on every members mind at an election loss?

Successful political parties are those that can accept criticism without seeking the above negative political adjectives, identify their faults and make amends, implement organisational structures that are simple to follow and not afraid to test political paradigms of a bygone era. I therefore beg the question whether Australians have ever been blessed with good governance.  I would say yes, and select the Menzies, Hawke, Howard and the Morrison governments to be in my opinion at the top of the governance tree.

Today, the Australian people are subjected to a variety of influences from political parties, ethnic minorities, corporations, representations from groups such as religious, gender, non government organisations, climate change, charities and of course United Nations and other groups that Australia is a signatory to. All of which have a common denominator, the media. The media in Australia has much to answer for and is responsible for spreading information far and wide using technologies that one unheard of. The internet and social media come to mind.

Having been a political activist for the past 31 years, I have been fortunate and unfortunate to witness many of the above negative adjectives within my own sphere of political influence. I have been both delighted and appalled by the behaviour of individuals who have used their roles for the good of mankind and for the worst.  I will go to my grave with all the political skeletons, the secrets, the negative aspects of people’s behaviour, the corruption, misuse of power and destructive power of character assassination. 

My mentors and political guides have been Michael Kroger, Frank Hangan, and Harold Eather (Deceased) at the top of the tree. I can unashamedly add Sandra Mercer Moore (Deceased), Giuseppe De Simone and Vi Hurley as positive political influences. I found Petro Georgiou and Peter Poggioli as the best State Directors I have ever met.  That is not to say that the others were not any good, but rather that to state that Petro Georgiou and Peter Poggioli were exceptional.

The best Premiers in my opinion were Henry Bolte and Jeff Kennet who was supported by Joy Howley, both of whom I admired but did not always agree with the manner in which they conducted themselves at times. The most admired State President in my time has always been Michael Kroger of which I must confess is a very biased opinion on my part. This brings me to State and Federal politicians of which there are many to choose of whom and that many of them will  have no idea that I think and thought well of them over the years.

Peter McLellan, a Vietnam veteran who was not afraid to call a spade a spade. Senator Arthur Sinonidis – (Now Ambassador to the USA), Senator Judith Troeth – once a Patron Senator of the Scullin electorate, ‘Black’ Jack McEwen, Senator James Patterson, an excellent representation of the next generation, John Curtin and Scott Morrison for guiding Australia through a difficult time, Maria Vamvakinou and Inga Puelich for their tenacity and political wisdom, Vin Heffernan for his grasp of small business and finally Tim Fischer a Vietnam Veteran and deputy Prime Minister. 

Having said the above, I am of the opinion that disunity and the erosion of Liberal Party has its origins in the split between Michael Kroger and Peter Costello. The rift between these two once great friends and partnerships enabled the minor players and influencers to fill in the vacuum caused by this public rift. We all took sides and the erosion began to take its toll on members. That Peter Costello was at fault has in my opinion been established and the friendship has never been rekindled despite numerous attempts over the years. 

Since that time the negative political adjectives mentioned above have played an enormous role in dividing the Liberal party in Victoria. Successive Administrative Committees, Parliamentary parties have demonstrated that they lacked the leadership necessary to bring about change to meet a future that was still in the making an yet no one had the political wisdom to grasp the bull by the horns and take it.

Those that did risk all were condemned and forced to resign for the good of the party.  In their place now sit individuals who lack the political wisdom to unite the party and the political skills to win government. Sooner or later judgement day comes and they too will find the political wilderness a very harsh environment indeed.

That is one good reason why we must take a leaf out of Harold Eather and Peter McLellan’s books and ask questions of those elected to positions of responsibility, make political critical appraisals, call out those who are causing political erosion,  become involved in intelligent political debates, write articles to the media and leadership and make known ones displeasure. If these individuals are censored, isolated and subjected to investigations and witch hunts then we in the Victorian Liberal party are doomed to remain in obscurity. Never have fear as a companion and always fight the good fight the Australian way.

In conclusion, I must add that in my opinion, the Liberal party in Victoria is supposed to have room for all and yet, I still chuckle over Malcolm Turnbull’s foolish remark that “There are no factions in the Liberal party”. Had he asked me, I would have told him that we have extreme left wing socialists, left of centre conservatives, centre (moderates), right of centre (conservatives) and extreme right wing members all with their own agenda and political mission.

Let the games begin.

Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational, Environmental & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum.  He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com