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?”