Capitalism is dead in Australia. Long live capitalism.
The economic system that made the West rich has been defeated – by itself. It was the election of new awakened capital vs old lazy capital which saw the new kids win while the old ones slept.
Having recently watched the Greens take my local electorate for the second time, and faced with the clear prospect of the incumbent Coalition MP losing our federal seat from Ryan, I decided – in a moment of madness – to jump in the ring as a local MP. Liberal Democrat candidate.
Ryan is a huge constituency geographically. Shaped like a big banana, it meanders from Brisbane’s northwestern suburbs to its most southwestern edge, passing through the University of Queensland and some of the city’s most affluent (and woke) leafy neighborhoods. town.
I knew I had almost no chance of winning, but the incumbent – a 37-year-old Liberal Party career politician – was turning his campaign to ‘teal’, so someone had to play the crusty old Tory and take the fight straight with green vegetables.
The Greens have appointed an older professional architect who is wealthy and comes directly from the champagne socialist central cast. No Teal Independents ran in Queensland, but Elizabeth Watson-Brown was as close as it gets, and I felt she would win as soon as I saw her first flyer.
Unfortunately, I was right. She took the seat with a stunning 9% swing straight from the Coalition, becoming one of three new Green MPs from within Brisbane.
Capitalism has a bad press. We all know that. He is misunderstood, harassed, ignored, bullied, and never popular with cool kids. But as the years of history unfold, the robust business model constantly fades and – apart from a few market failures – survives by producing the best results.
Somewhere along the line, all bullying has become too much for the defenders of capitalism. As a result, capitalism in the West has developed a split personality. Part of it suddenly wanted to be cool and fit in with the hammer and sickle “free stuff” crowd. He was tired of being the biggest joke. Capitalism wanted be the cool kid.
And so it was that ‘awakened capital’ was born in our schools, universities, governments and corporate giants where ‘virtue’ could be incorporated as a type of currency.
The former capital was not sure how to react. Wasn’t this hybrid economic upstart just a passing novelty – an outlier like a Hollywood movie star or the latest pop music sensation? Woke capitalism would spend its day in the sun, sprout a few hollow slogans and disappear – right?
Nothing to see here friends. Pass me the wine list and another scotch on the rocks.
But while old capital slept lazily in the comfort of its heritage, woke capital has tightened its grip on the cultural agenda, the education system, Australia’s national broadcaster, media corporations and – most horribly of all – the control of the dominant political party preferred by capitalism and thought. of its corporate managerial class.
Terrified by the sudden power of the Awakened Capital (and a bit jealous of its popularity with the mob), the Ancient Capital surrendered. He didn’t even try to fight. It was a momentous capitulation with a predictable consequence…
Both major parties lost this election long before it started.
Their collective vote has never been so low in Australia’s recent history. All it would take is someone with a sharp marketing mind and a good sense of business strategy to step in and deliver the product to fill the void in the market, crying out for representation.
Many have tried.
There was the ‘untargeted capital’ party which amused itself by throwing money at billboards and broadcasters like a schoolboy throwing spit balls at the classroom clock, hoping in vain that some could stay.
And there was the “social capital” crowd – the Orange party conservatives; the nascent libertarian party; and classic liberals, like me, who somewhat uncomfortably tied their lost wagons to one or the other, hoping the wheels wouldn’t fall off before Election Day.
It was not a fair fight.
None of these minor capitals was as strategically sharp or organized as the kingmaker (sorry, “queenmaker”) of the political heart of the woke capital, Simon Holmes à Court.
Modern politics is not about corflutes, volunteers, letterbox deliveries or local issues – as the Liberal Party repeatedly insists at its endless peril. (Four direct losses on this strategy, right, ladies and gentlemen?)
Volunteers are essential, but putting a card explaining how to vote in the hands of tired voters in the last seconds is useless if it is not supported by a clear commercial strategy, simple and relevant brand positioning and exceptional marketing communications. Voters must want these how-to-vote cards before they were distributed, but without good air cover the volunteer troops stood no chance.
Campaigning in the 2020s is marketing, and all the same rules apply.
So, with a lot of poetic license and no direct insight (other than personal failure) to learn, let me outline the simple steps I think Simon Holmes à Court took to be the only real ‘winner’ in the election from 2022:
- Start early. He started in 2018 to win the 2022 elections.
- Identify the target market. He focused on downtown Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
- Understand market gaps. He correctly identified the disenfranchised liberal voter and the young centrist voters within this target market. Those who would not vote Green were unlikely to vote Labor but were left “unrepresented” by the coalition.
- Identify the top three specific issues that concern this market. Remember, being right plays no role here. The top three issues that should concern this market, and on which I campaigned, were: debt, national security, and the growing abuse of power by an ever-expanding government bureaucracy. Simon identified the three that matter to the target audience today: climate change, women’s issues and integrity in government.
- Feed and nurture those issues and that feeling for a few years. I don’t know how orchestrated it all was or what support came from outside, but these issues were highlighted and fanned throughout Scott Morrison’s tenure as Prime Minister.
- Provide the solution. Find candidates who correspond as closely as possible to the audience you are addressing and support them financially.
If you’re new to the game and an underage player, it’s worth avoiding the deliberately complex red tape provided by the AEC and other government agencies under laws designed to protect the party’s existing duopoly. Teal’s masterstroke was to avoid the administrative hassle of creating a real political party. By insisting that the candidates of the Climate200 organization were all “independent” and simply collectively and vaguely branded as “Teal”, the influence of Climate200 could be exerted without the burden of formal party registration.
Labor isn’t too bad at it, and the Greens are pretty masterful at it. Conservative parties, meanwhile, are playing 20th century strategy in the 21st century. Until they change, they will continue to lose.
Australian inner-city voters are deep left. It is not possible to ignore this fact and win. We need to see a strong cultural shift before it happens again at the ballot box. This change will take years, but classical conservatives and liberals must begin immediately. This brings me back to where we started: Awakened capital versus lazy old capital. Capitalism will die unless capital supports it. Currently, in Australian companies, it is the practice to make an equal donation to both sides of politics, or to drop the game so as not to put anyone out of the game. This must stop.
Capital built on free market liberalism must fight for free market liberal capitalism or it will most certainly die out. With workers, universities, the media and now woke capitalists supporting the left, capitalism is virtually doomed.
Climate200 may be the smartest kid on the block this month, but as a movement it’s certainly not the wisest when it comes to the long-term prosperity, freedom and security of the world. ‘Australia.
Damian Coory is a former Australian journalist (Network Ten, 3AW, 4BC) and Managing Director of global PR firm Edelman. He stood in the 2022 election in Ryan’s West Brisbane electorate as the Liberal Democrat candidate.
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