The Liberal Party’s position on the break-up of Telstra appears to be best summarised as “nope, no way, forgeddaboutit, get out of here”.

Negotiations are proceeding apace with the cross-benches on whether that position will be adjusted to “let’s a wait a few months” followed by “nope, no way, forgeddaboutit, get out of here”.

It’s understandable that, as the Frankenstein to Telstra’s Monster, the Liberals are reluctant to see their creation destroyed, not matter how destructive and unnatural, no matter how much havoc it wreaks across the Australian information technology landscape.

What’s a little harder to comprehend is why they haven’t at least offered some way of curbing the immense damage it inflicts on the telecommunications industry as an alternative to the Government’s strategy. Senior Coalition figures know from experience just how dangerous Telstra in its current form is. But all we’ve seen from them is denial and delay. It takes a lot to make Barnaby Joyce look like the voice of reason, but they’ve managed it.

In a way it’s symbolic of the Opposition’s problems these days. Trapped by the legacy of their own time in Government, hopelessly divided among themselves, very sure of what they’re against but with no idea of what they’re for.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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