And I haven't even touched yet on the parts that make him like a nut who we should rejoice lost his gun collection after the Howard government reforms:
What personally outraged Leyonhjelm was having to surrender much of his private collection, at first rifles and later some pistols, when the bans were extended. "I had lots of semi-automatic rifles," he says. "I had an M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, the AR-15, the FN FAL, a Rasheed semi-auto and a Norinco ... I had to relinquish them all.”
Prior to the compulsory federal buyback, he'd kept the cherished weapons in his attic and "every now and then I would take them out and pat them ... It was a big thing not being allowed to have them any more. It was no solace to know I was getting paid money [to hand them back]. It was an insult. There I was, being presumed to be unsafe because some nutter had got himself hold of a semi-auto in Tasmania.”
To this day, he won't attend a function if Howard is going to be in the room.
And does he not have enough sense to not talk about John Howard "deserving" to be shot? :
"All the people at [Sale that day] were the same as me," Leyonhjelm tells me, his light-blue eyes blazing. "Everyone of those people in that audience hated [Howard's] guts. Every one of them would have agreed he deserved to be shot. But not one of them would have shot him. Not one." He found it offensive, he adds, that Howard "genuinely thought he couldn't tell the difference between people who use guns for criminal purposes, and people like me".In the Financial Review this week, he went on a Right wing populist ramble about how the public service wastes money and has grown too big, and making reference to the state of Federal politics in 1927.
The fact is, we do not have a huge or inefficient public service by international standards, and while it is certainly possible that government is sometimes capable of doing things inefficiently and we can be vigilant about that, don't the 19th to 20th centuries gives us a good lesson in how social welfare and other services can be better run by government than by charity or private companies? Don't they show that the welfare state grew because of the failure of the previous system?
The great improvement in global wealth over those centuries has been accompanied by the increase in the welfare State; Libertarians would have you think that it's what's holding the world back because they live in a fantasy land that everything is better if unregulated. (It's like they all have a yearning to live either in the US or England in about 1830, as far as I can tell.)
It's interesting to note how the initial movement towards it was - apparently - at the instigation of conservatives who wanted to undermine socialists. Current libertarian/small government ideologues seek to cut off conservatives from what good, common sense they used to exercise. Of course, we see this in climate change too - where the truly devastating environmental vandals used to be the communist countries where economic theory overrode everything else. Now it's the Libertarian extremists who encourage governments to do nothing and trust that everything will turn out OK.