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Clean Coal And “Delicate Flowers”!

Yes, it’s true that people are a mass of contradictions. You know the sort of thing. People who protest abortion on the grounds that it’s unforgivable because it’s the taking of a human life, who then tell us that they support the death penalty. Of course that one can be turned around the other way too, but the inherent contradiction isn’t quite as glaring. No, I don’t expect people to be consistent.

Neither do I expect politicians to keep their election promises. In fact, I don’t even think they should be called “promises”. I think “intentions” would be a much better word. Instead of thinking that it’s a promise when a politician says that they’ll solve the problem of traffic congestion, we should hear it as this is something they’d like to do and they’ll certainly give it more than a moment’s thought after the next election. Although in the case of the current bunch of bumpkins that call themselves the Coalition, intentions is too strong a word. Perhaps we should call them their pre-election statements, “hopes”. Or in some cases, “fantasies”. Rather than taking the statement, “We will get debt under control and we’ll deliver jobs and growth!” as a promise, we should just presume that they’re saying, “We dream that we’ll get debt under control and we imagine a future where jobs appear like mushrooms and, believe me, we have plenty of the stuff that helps mushrooms grow!”

Anyway, I couldn’t help but notice a couple of glaring contradictions in the statements of the conservative forces over the past few weeks. I’m pointing them out because I seem to be one of the few people with an attention span long enough to remember what happened before the previous commercial break. Of course, if you’re reading this, you probably fit into one of two categories: 1. You’re like me and wonder why the media don’t point out the inherent contradictions, or 2. You watch the ABC and can’t remember before the previous commercial break because there wasn’t one. Most LNP voters would have stopped reading by now, because I’ve moved past three words.

The first thing that strikes me is the strange juxtaposition of Barnaby Joyce and Matt Canavan yesterday. After weeks of Andrew Bolt telling how the “Yes” vote are bullies and upsetting Christians by saying things like: “We disagree” and “Gay people have rights too!”, we have Barnaby Joyce complaining about people being in his face with the “Yes” campaign and he’s sick of it. This was followed by Matt Canavan telling us that we should “all grow a spine and grow up? The debate hasn’t been that bad!”

Good god, I thought, he’s having a go at Barnaby. But no. He went on to say that people should stop being “delicate little flowers” and have a “proper debate”! I don’t know if his mum gave him permission to say this or not, but it did seem a bit strange coming on top of Barnaby’s concerns about people being in his face. One Coalition MP wants us to stop shouting at him, and the other wants us to stop being “flowers” and have a jolly good “debate” with the gloves off where people are free to say anything. Mm, given neither may be eligible to sit in the Parliament after the High Court rules, I can understand why they may be a bit confused at the moment given they don’t know what country to support come the World Cup!

But I thought a stranger contradiction was the way the government is behaving with AGL. No, I don’t mean all that stuff that they’ve fed us for years about letting the market decide, only to turn around and complain that they don’t like the market’s decision. Scott Morrison, for example, suggested that AGL may be closing Liddell to keep the prices high. Egad! A private company trying to maximise its profit? Outrageous. And that socialist Bill Shorten is probably responsible because he seems to be backing AGL. Bloody socialists – always in bed with large companies.

No, for me there’s an even stranger contradiction. We’re talking 2022 which is five years away. Ok, I know that five years isn’t all that long but, on the other hand, a week’s a long time in politics and an evening listening to Malcolm Turnbull speaking is an eternity. No, my confusion is that in all this they haven’t mentioned “clean coal” once. Remember how that was meant to be included in our clean energy targets? So, if clean coal is meant to be almost ready – as we were assured by so many Coalition MPs – why would we not be looking at building a clean coal station? Or at the very least, talking about transitioning Liddell into a clean coal station.

Or was clean coal, a bit like an election promise/fantasy: “Wouldn’t it be pretty if such a thing existed?”


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  1. iggy648

    Barnaby seems distressed by people “in his face” for five minutes. He might like to contemplate how it feels to be someone in a minority group who’s been vilified their whole life.

  2. Photontrace

    Interesting thought about discarding the term “election promise”. I think “intention” and “fantasy” are both too strong to apply to what the politicians put out there when they want votes. “Lure” might be too strongly pejorative and implies a hunter’s intelligence that might apply to (some of) their minders, not them.

    Think about the term “advertising puff”. The praise that a merchant heaps upon their own products and services to attract customers, which if not grossly misleading or criminally intended, is usually tolerated by the law. After all, we do have a buyer beware culture. In elections, some voters throw caution to the winds when they hear the promises, as if we lived in a “buyer and merchant, both, play fair!” commercial culture (I wish we did). The civic trappings of election time affect them, I think.

    So, “election puff” to replace “election promise”. How does that sound?

  3. jimhaz

    [Scott Morrison, for example, suggested that AGL may be closing Liddell to keep the prices high]

    Note the LNP chooses to do nothing about changing the rules.

    Garnaut slams AEMC move to delay 5-minute settlement switch

    “The Queensland government was the first to open up about the bidding practices, and was in a position to do something because it actually owns the generation companies. A direction to change bidding practices has seen wholesale electricity prices fall in that state by around one-third”

    Big utilities about to pay price of saying no to coal and COALition

  4. Chris2017

    Iggy, with respect, you haven’t or appear not to have worked in the country. The city/country divide is frequently reflected by city and town dwellers, “looking for something” who treat their experience as visiting another planet. Or perhaps, calling in on the hicks. I was vilified for many of my most productive years: it didn’t please people that I was white and well-educated. In its day “fxxking Pom,…etc. etc cut like a knife and bruised like being hit for 15 rounds by Mohamed Ali. Hanging on to all insults wastes your life and diminishes your self-worth.

  5. Frank Smith

    The diagram portraying AGL’s “intensions” to support energy supply and security that Vasey released after being bullied by Turnbull, Frydenberg and that red-faced New Zealander yesterday afternoon contains a very interesting project – spend $250 million on a LNG import terminal at Crib Point. It would seem that AGL may feel that it will be cheaper to supplement their gas supply by importing from the Gulf States than use Australian LNG. Perhaps AGL really want to convert the old Liddell plant into a gas peaking generator using cheaper imported gas. Rossleigh, it strikes me that there just might be something wrong with the Australian gas market.

  6. helvityni

    Italian mammas treat their sons like ‘delicate flowers’, I’m sure Mrs Canavan did too. When little Matt started school, he was teased by his classmates and he was called Mummy’s boy, and indeed a delicate flower…

    Now he’s giving back for his early suffering…poor darling.

    I too have been wondering what happened to the mythical clean coal…don’t tell me the same will happen to the healing powers of the Snowy Mountain Hydro scheme…?

  7. Max Gross

    It’s really very simple. There are no contradictions in LNP groupspeak. There are LIES! Lie first, lie again, then lie about lying. Pure LNP!

  8. helvityni

    …and the Catholics amongst the LNP can always go to a Confessional, and be forgiven for lying.

  9. Vikingduk

    Heard from a FIFO this morning, a man who is working at LNG plant off WA coast. His job is to maintain some very expensive valves ($1 million a piece) that are an integral part of CO2 capture and injection back into earth. In his words these things are f#cked, very few working, so plan b it is your time: a very tall stack belching CO2 into the atmosphere.

    I think we urgently need a revolution in thought, particularly what we accept. Obviously, the evil clowns of Canberra are traitors to us and future generations, with no ability or will to provide intelligent governance.

    We need to change our ways, our thoughts, our acceptance. Urgently. Nature’s warnings become more strident, more intense, more in ya face. Do we listen, do we ignore, do we care? How do we get from this shitty situation to one offering hope?

  10. Andreas Wagner

    The photo tells it all: Who is the Boss here?
    Unless this vile “marriage” of political parties gets dissolved pronto, this country AUS is truly stuffed.
    Mr Turnbull, you know it, we know it and you have got nothing to lose (winning the next election is a pipe dream), so for once in your life show some backbone, be a man and confront these bullies head-on. Do what you know is right. That way you could salvage at least some personal standing for posterity.

  11. guest

    The Right-wing scribblers are out to get Bil Shorten. So we have Cormann calling Bill a “socialist”.The attack is taken up by Nick Cater, CEO of the Menzies Institute when he scribbles:

    “The experiment that split central Europe in half, imposing socialism on one side and allowing free markets to flourish on the other, produced conclusive results. When the Berlin Wall came down four decades later, they were driving Audis and BMWs on one side and Ladas and Trabants on the other.”

    This is part of Cater’s selective version of history. Notice how Cater measures economy in terms of the cars driven, but omits to say that there are socialist countries in Western Europe doing very well, thank you, and driving Audis, BMWs and Volvos.

    Besides that, what does he mean by socialism. In the USA some on the Right call Obamacare “socialism”. Is that why the Coalition has its eyes on Medicare?

    And government intervention in energy prices – is that command economy “socialism” too? Or buying a railway line for some foreign mining company – also socialism? Or any form of “safety net” to aid the disabled, the unemployed and the aged, for example, is all that socialism?

    Is any Government activity which is not of the free market also socialism? You know, such as the ABC?

    In fact, every argument put forward by the Right lately is unbelievably irrational. Take for example the cry against Yes advocates of the postal plebiscite described as “loud-mouthed rainbow fascists” – and they wonder why LGBTIQ people get angry after centuries of abuse and marginalisation.

  12. Rossleigh

    Yes, guest, according to the government today, Shorten was demonstrating his “socialist” tendencies by running a “protection racket” for mega-rich energy companies! Seems another contradiction to me…

  13. Jagger

    You know the LNP haven’t a clue on energy when they outsource finding the solution to AGL, honestly you couldn’t make this shit up.

  14. Rossleigh

    Yes, Jagger. I stopped “making shit up” because just reporting what they said was funnier!
    But only if you don’t stop to think how much damage that they’re doing to people’s lives. Then it’s just not funny at all. Sort of like when you remember that Trump has access to the nuclear codes…
    Although I have heard an unsubstantiated rumour that the red button has been doctored so that if the current POTUS presses it will just give him a mild electric shock. Of course, this is probably not true. It’s probably set up to give him cardiac arrest!

  15. Shogan

    “So, “election puff” to replace “election promise”. How does that sound?”

    Well Photontrace, I think “Election Bait” or even “Election Carrot” would be closer to the mark!!

  16. Mhoira White

    Barnaby’s call to “get out of his face” is his own fault & that of the Coalition. If this law had been passed in Parliament this issue would not have dragged on for months . It would have been over & done with by now & probably forgotten about. they have wasted so much time & money on SSM & everyone is tired of hearing about & it’s not over yet.

  17. Rossleigh

    Yes, Mhoira, it does seem rather strange that Mr Joyce is complaining by telling us that he knows how he’ll vote and that won’t change… Which sort of begs the question, exactly why are we having this expensive survey. Well, because they “promised” at the last election that we’d have a plebiscite. Now that we can’t have a plebiscite, they’ve decided that they can’t just have a vote in Parliament we need to have a survey instead because that keeps their “promise”…. No, not promise, “intention”, well not so much intention, more like fantasy.

  18. Rossleigh

    Btw, I did notice that Maloclm said something about “clean coal” yesterday. Is he reading my stuff?

  19. Photontrace

    Election bait. A tempting one, Shogan, but I fear it has similar problem to lure. Election carrot, that has some promise… ooops!
    Maybe election corn syrup, so to say the sugar’s on the table but its a substitute variety, could be switched again for some other substitute after the election.

  20. stephengb2014

    Puff ? No.

    It’s “Puffery”

    And it has a legal definition,

    Definition of Puffery

    Undeserved or exaggerated praise; publicity consisting of such praise.

    1892 English Court of Appeal (first use in a legal context)

    S G B

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