Friday 17 February 2017
1 When asked what a government’s first duty is most would say that it is to look after the most vulnerable of its citizens. Others might say it’s the protection of all its citizens.
Both are obvious answers but in the broader consideration doesn’t the government have a duty of care to all the citizens of Australia? The young, the old and those not yet considered. Even if it’s not indelibly written into the statutes or the constitution.
This is on my mind when I read the confession of former Prime Minister Mr Abbott’s then chief of staff, Peta Credlin, now a commentator on Sky, that the Coalition’s campaign against a carbon price was entirely political.
The reason I use the word confession, rather than admission for example, is that in this instance the word best illustrates the fact that Abbott and his government, purely for political purposes, deliberately chose to ignore the best scientific advice on the subject of Climate Change. In doing so they also ignored their duty of care to all Australians and the yet to be born. They should really be found guilty of a crime against humanity.
Now, if hospital staff deliberately ignored the best available science in the treatment of a patient, they would face multiple law suites.
”That was brutal retail politics and it took Abbott six months to cut through and when he did cut through Gillard was gone,” Ms Credlin told Sky News on Sunday.
Now I’m sure that this revelation doesn’t come as any surprise to the reader. We all thought that was the case. But for a former Chief of Staff to confess that they created a deliberate scare campaign contrary to the best scientific advice in the world, should condemn Abbott and his entire party for what it is. And it should be of concern to every Australian.
Not content with lying about the benefits of an emissions’ trading scheme, they have all of a sudden invented power supply as a political scapegoat targeted at Labor when it is, in fact, their responsibility.
Adam Morten in the SMH said.
”The Turnbull government has been sitting on advice that an emissions intensity scheme – the carbon policy it put on the table only to rule out just 36 hours later – would save households and businesses up to $15 billion in electricity bills over a decade.
While Malcolm Turnbull has rejected this sort of scheme by claiming it would push up prices, analysis in an Australian Electricity Market Commission report handed to the government months ago finds it would actually cost consumers far less than other approaches, including doing nothing.”
Then prior to Christmas a government discussion paper recommending a price mechanism for carbon emissions intensity was quickly given the boot from the political agenda at the insistence of Abbott supporters within the Coalition party room.
Again they have rejected the best available advice based on ideology alone. What a way to conduct government. Lies, lies, lies, from Abbott to Turnbull. There should be a way in which the people can sue members of parliament, indeed the party itself, responsible for making extreme policy decisions counter to categorical scientific, peer-reviewed, evidence.
”Science has made in my lifetime, the most staggering achievements and they are embraced, recognised and enjoyed by all sections of society. The only areas that I can think of where science is questioned is in the religious fever of climate change doubters, conservative politics and unconventional religious belief.”
We need some avenue by which the members of parliament who oppose vital legislation such as Climate Policy be given the opportunity to present contrary evidence. The public has the right to, not only know who they are, but also what evidence they have.
The fact that we have a Prime Minister who once championed a tax on carbon and now in order to keep his job is willing to put in jeopardy the future of our children makes him and his government criminals. Or if there were a law around deliberate policy misadventure, they certainly would be.
In a speech in 2011 Malcolm Turnbull said this.
“It is undoubtedly correct that there has been a very effective campaign against the science of climate change by those opposed to taking action to cut emissions, mainly because it does not suit their own financial interests, and this has played into the carbon tax debate,” he said.
“Normally, in our consideration of scientific issues, we rely on expert advice [and] agencies like CSIRO or the Australian Academy of Science, are listened to with respect.
“Yet on this issue there appears to be a licence to reject our best scientists both here and abroad and rely instead on much less reliable views.
“So in the storm of this debate about carbon tax, direct action and what the right approach to climate change should be, do not fall into the trap of abandoning the science.”
Greg Jericho put it this way in the Guardian.
”The government has clearly decided that electricity prices is its key message for the next three years – and as a result the prime minister has ensured the policy debate will be biased towards climate change denial and will continue to treat Australians as idiots.”
John Menadue said this.
‘‘The rest of Australia’s leaders, in particular the CEOs of our largest companies, should declare now that enough is enough, and pull these idiots into line.
Let’s be clear, the Coalition and particularly the Liberal Party and Malcolm Turnbull are responsible for the current mess and impasse on electricity prices and reliability and supply. This is the result of years of policy and political failure. We are now seeing the dreadful consequences.”
2. Peter Dutton was the only MP not in attendance when Kevin Rudd made his now historic ‘’Apology’’ speech. On Tuesday he chose not to sit with the front bench when his leader gave an update on the Bridging the Gap policy. You be the judge.
”Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, is the best way of providing solutions to human problems”
3. The damage that can be done by false news. You might recall at the height of the immigration influx into European countries, there was a report of immigrants assaulting women on New Year’s Eve in Frankfurt, Germany. Well it has now been exposed as “baseless” after investigation by police.
The publication, Bild, that originally printed the story has retracted and has apologised for what it said was a “false report”, which was based on the now disputed claims of a pub owner and some of their staff.
What damage they do.
4. Can I remind you that the next Budget is due to be presented in May, but a few weeks away? It’s probably a good time to remind the Government that they are actually in charge. Not Labor! How a party who has only governed for six of the last 20 years can be blamed for so much, is an ongoing fascination.
5 I have to say that the performance of Jacqui Lambie in trying to belittle Yassmin Abdel-Magied over sharia law was, to say the least, unpleasant. The best I can say is that one seemed to know what Sharia law is and the other didn’t.
”If you have a point of view, feel free to express it. However, do so with civility. Then your point of view is laced with a degree of dignity.”
On this day in 2016 I wrote.
”Malcolm Turnbull still has a handsome lead over Bill Shorten in the preferred Prime Minister stakes but yesterday’s Fairfax-Ipsos showed a growing disquiet about his Governments performance. Opinion polls, especially so far out from an election, are but a guide to people’s thinking and not an indication of how they might vote. Trends are what we look for and recent polling suggests one is taking shape.
Crickey’s Poll Bludger says.
‘The latest Poll is another weaker result for the Coalition, whose two-party lead of 52-48 compares with 56-44 at the previous such poll in mid-November. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down four points to 44%, Labor is up three to 32% and the Greens are up two to 15%. Malcolm Turnbull takes a solid hit on his still very strong personal ratings, with approval down seven to 62% and disapproval up eight to 24%. Bill Shorten is little changed on 30% approval (up one) and 55% disapproval (down two), and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed slightly, from 69-18 to 64-19. The poll was conducted Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1403.”
Who said this?
”It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards. Nothing could be more calculated to bring our democracy into disrepute and alienate the citizenry of Australia from their government than if governments were to establish by precedent that they could say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards.”
My thought for the day.
”I am often staggered with the vigour American atheists use to confront religion. However when one examines the conduct of religious institutions in that country I cannot say I am the least surprised”
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