Australia has ditched an incompetent Anglican for a Roman Catholic of promise
Australia has a new prime minister-elect: the people have ousted Labour in favour of a Liberal (ie a Conservative). They have also ditched an incompetent Anglican for a Roman Catholic of promise. Not even casting his vote in St Paul's Anglican Church, Brisbane, could save the dishonoured and dishonourable Kevin Rudd from the wrath of the people - the ultimate judgment in the democratic fray. The election was about trust, integrity, credibility and delivery. And Tony Abbott won hands down.
He will pursue the policies which are high on voter expressions of concern. So he intends to clamp down on the boat-loads of asylum seekers; reduce immigration; row back on all the global warming hysteria; cut taxes; reduce government; pursue free-market economics and family-friendly policies such as the paid parental leave scheme, which will encourage married couples to have children and spend more time nurturing them. His politics are informed by his theology; his theology is informed by Roman Catholic social doctrine - suffused with more than a hint of Thatcherite notions of individual responsibility and duty to family and community. As the Great Lady said:
Reading recently, I came across the starkly simple phrase: "Christianity is about spiritual redemption, not social reform". Sometimes the debate on these matters has become too polarised and given the impression that the two are quite separate. But most Christians would regard it as their personal Christian duty to help their fellow men and women. They would regard the lives of children as a precious trust. These duties come not from any secular legislation passed by Parliament, but from being a Christian.Tony Abbott understands this, and we may look to the Antipodes with a degree of envy. They have woken up to the corrosive effects of 'multiculturalism' on social cohesion, and how quickly divisive ghettos can become established and present threats to community harmony and national security. And yet, ever since Captain Cook set foot upon the land, it seems to have been a colony of diversity in search of an identity. It was only our accession to the EEC in 1973 which caused Australia to turn its eyes to Asia for its continuing economic existence. We made a clear mistake, and it is time to restore the foundations of the British family of nations.
Cook took possession of the land in the name of King George III in 1770. It was then little more than an open-air prison, but it developed over the ensuing century into a federal commonwealth with God at the heart of its constitution: 'Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland; and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agree to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established...'
The Australian States adopted and preserve foundational English statutes, including Magna Carta, The Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act, Bill of Rights (1688), the Act of Settlement and Succession to the Crown Act (1707). These are the basis of their liberties, as ours. We share a Head of State in the figure of Her Majesty the Queen, Defender of the Faith; and also the red, white and blue 'Union Jack' flag design - theirs adorned by a constellation of stars including the seven-pointed Commonwealth Star beneath St George's cross and St Andrew's saltire. Our historic ties are strong, if not unbreakable.
As Tony Abbott assumes leadership of his country, he does in an era which will see the United Kingdom reappraising its membership of the European Union. His language is ours; his culture is ours; his heritage of law is ours; his Christian faith is ours; his mission in the world is ours. The day is dawning when the Anglosphere may once again be a light to the world and bring glory to God.