Saturday 11 March 2017
1 There is no doubt in my mind that the greatest impediment to the future prosperity of Australia is our political system. In particular, conservative politicians. I say conservative because they are more attached to the system of capitalism than those of the left. And might I add, pre-disposed to the wacky idealism of the extreme right. Having said that, I include all political parties in my statement.
Nothing backs my argument more than the history of our political parties’ attempt to deal with the subject of Climate Change over the past ten years. I could have included other policies like the NBN but for the purposes of this piece I will stick with the environment.
Barry Jones, as Science Minister in the Hawke government, first alerted us to the danger of Climate Change and man-made emissions over twenty years ago. No one took much notice back then. It has only been over the last decade that the problem has been taken seriously. Well not so seriously if you look at the calamitous attempts Australia’s highly educated, highly paid but never the less incompetent politicians have made to put in place Climate Change and energy policy.
And you don’t need to digest my words, it’s easily evidenced and traceable.
Did it have to come to the point where rising prices, rising emissions and a national grid that falls over for any reason, but mostly from a decade of calamitous, unconscionable inaction from our politicians? We have witnessed a decade of public policy failure.
It’s not just the current politicians, although their incompetence is surely worthy of public contempt. It can be traced back to Rudd who in 2009 put Turnbull in a corner, got an agreement, but when the crunch came didn’t have the balls to act. Then the Greens voted down a Carbon Trading Scheme believing polluters were sympathetically treated.
But if anyone should take the prize for destroying, what has now proved to be a correct decision, it has to be the ultra-conservative face of Tony Abbott. For years in opposition he exposed the voter’s gullibility to propaganda.
His former Chief of Staff recently admitted on Sky News that his scare campaign was essentially a political rouse that had nothing to do with Climate Change.
“It wasn’t a carbon tax, as you know. It was many other things in nomenclature terms but we made it a carbon tax.”
“We made it a fight about the hip pocket and not about the environment. That was brutal retail politics and it took Abbott about six months to cut through and, when he cut through, Gillard was gone.”
His alternative policy of direct action was just an attempt to show the public they were doing something when in fact it was doing nothing.
If it were possible he should be charged with crimes against the environment.
He had in fact used climate policy to steal the leadership from Turnbull. The devious cunning gutter politician then began his ”axe the tax” campaign with all the political brutality he could muster cumulating with the repeal of the tax and self-congratulations on the floor of the parliament.
A decision now proven wrong. The price of electricity has doubled since its repeal.
Now we are faced with fixing the problem but who do we turn to fix it. Well the same people who caused it of course. Our inept, bungling, ineffectual politicians who when seeking a solution will put aside the national interest in favour of self-survival or self-interest.
A cohort of interested parties are collectively pleading with the government that they want an emissions trading scheme. The whole of the Energy and big users are wanting to get into the headstrong government of climate deniers and make them understand just what is wrong and how to fix it.
This is where they run into a brick wall. The government, for purely political reasons, will rule out any form of carbon pricing. Turnbull would lose his job if he agreed.
The Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has been asked to come up with a solution without a price on carbon but it’s a bit like asking a captain to save a ship that’s already on its way to the bottom.
Turnbull is to have a meeting a meeting of east coast gas company chief executives and other stake holders and in the meantime is blaming them. I hope they bring some hand grenades to throw at him.
Their collective view would be that the fault is of the governments making. The lack of a cohesive bipartisan policy framework. The writing has been on the wall for a generation. Coal-fired power stations do have a lifespan after all. Investment went on strike and we have ended up in a mess of our politicians making.
On top of all this we have a gas market seemingly out of control. We have an abundance of the stuff but we export most of it for profit and have little left over for ourselves and what is left we have to buy at world parity.
With the government poring scorn over renewable energy and wanting to lower our RET, the whole thing has become a political dogs breakfast of political making. The can never act on the advice of experts because the advice is usually contrary to conservative ideology.
The world will not collapse if they show the grace of admitting they were wrong and take the advice of the industry who want certainty for investment and secure energy. Turnbull being captive to the moronic denialists of the far right doesn’t help either, nor does the avalanche of lies they continue to tell..
2 On this day in 2016 I wrote:
I have been writing daily about Malcolm Turnbull’s takeover of the Liberal Party leadership. Anyone who follows my writing will attest to me at first embracing him as a new light on the hill. I said that Australians would be eternally grateful to him for removing the greatest liar of a politician the country had endured. He would bring a new era of reasoned political discourse.
For the ensuring five months it became apparent that despite his eloquent, articulate and grandiose statements, he had no plan, no economic reform agenda and his only motive has been one of self-interest. There was nothing to reasonably debate.
Some said I was overreacting and he just needed more time. Well I’m pleased that yesterday one of their own in former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett said it like it is.
Jeff, whether you liked him or not could never be accused of holding back. I got to ask him a question at a function many years ago. I asked him why he was going to an election when there was no reason to do so. His answer was a lie but forcefully put.
Anyhow this is what he had to say about Malcolm Turnbull during a 2UE radio interview on Wednesday.
”When they changed leaders, I thought we were in for a period of government, a period of stability, a period in which policy was going to be enunciated.”
”This talk about an early election is an indication, sadly, that the government does not have a plan for the future of the country and they are trying, I think, to use this talk of a double dissolution, an early election, simply to cover up their own failings.”
Mr Kennett said the Prime Minister ”did not have any plan at all’ when he took the leadership for his own self-interest”.
He added that Turnbull had received much public goodwill in taking over the leadership but had squandered it with his failure to create a narrative when the public was ‘craving good leadership’.
”What they can’t stand is vacillation where politicians don’t have the courage, in this case in my opinion, to put the interests of the country well before their own and their own party”.
He went on to say that he had failed to stand by his beliefs on negative gearing and same-sex marriage.
”We don’t need a plebiscite on this. We don’t need to waste another $139 million on a vote.” If Malcolm had any courage, he would have simply stood up and said ”I’m going to put this through the Parliament.” What he’s saying now. ”This decision, this policy position was decided by Tony Abbott and we’re going to stay with it,” he said.
There’s a good example of where Malcolm set himself apart from Tony Abbott and yet, when he took on the leadership, he hid behind Tony’s clothes and did not have the courage of his conviction and that applies right across the board.
Nothing different in all that than what I have been saying for some time. At the risk of repeating myself the fact is that he never had any policy to bring to the table, nor the conviction of his own beliefs. We have a yes man, a hypocrite doing what he is told to by the extremists in his party.
My thought for the day.
”Substantial and worthwhile change often comes with short-term controversy but the pain is worth it for long-term prosperity”.