Originally published in Eureka Street on October 31, 2006

Giving free rein to the market very often leads to an erosion of moral values””the work we have done on youth and pornography and on the sexualisation of children is an illustration of that. So here’s a real contradiction in the heart of conservative politicians; it astonishes me that a moral hard-liner like Tony Abbott can resolutely refuse, time after time, to reign in the market forces that exacerbate the problems he complains about.
This contradiction in modern conservatism leaves a gaping political hole that must be filled. It must be said that there are contradictions in the Left too. While often being in favour of more regulation of the economy, including labour markets and income distribution, the Left has traditionally been strongly opposed to governments intervening in moral issues.

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