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Day to Day Politics: A powerless, gutless government.

Monday 7 August 2017

1 As this strange winter of our discontent continues its bleak contempt for humanity’s need for energy at a reasonable price, the Prime Minister has, in a show of see-through public relations, summoned the energy companies to Canberra for a dressing down.

The assumption being that it’s their entire fault and that’s all the public needs to know. Create a perception of fault. Life is about perception. Not what is, but what we perceive it to be. Not so long ago the perception created by the Coalition was that it was all the fault of Labor introducing a ‘carbon tax’. They are good at deception, at conning people.

“Australia is blessed with abundant energy so it is simply not good enough that some families and businesses cannot always afford to turn on their lights, heating and equipment,” said the PM.

The Prime Minister – as Chair of the meeting – might just pause and explain firstly why, just a short time ago in the government’s view the sole reason for energy prices soaring was Labor’s tax on carbon yet now it seems to be the energy companies.

And secondly, why the Finkel Report that has the support of every business group, the opposition, environment groups and anyone else you care to name isn’t being implemented in full. Including a renewable energy target.

Thirdly, he might like to explain how Australia’s carbon emissions continue to rise despite the Government’s assurances to the contrary. He might also like to tell his fellow Australians just why Greg Hunt had been lying during his tenure as Environment Minister.

He could also tell us why Josh Frydenberg continues with the same deception.

He might also like to explain why after years in power Australia doesn’t, despite the importance of the matter, have an ‘energy policy’.

Without a clearly stated policy to reduce carbon emissions the nation will fall well short of its Paris climate change targets of reducing emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent by 2030.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions:

… are rising to the highest figures seen in years, according to official government figures, increasing 1.6 per cent in the last quarter and 1 per cent the past year.

The country’s emissions in the year to March 2017 are the highest on record at 550.3m tonnes of CO2 equivalent when emissions from land use change are excluded – a sector where the government says its figures have a high degree of uncertainty.

There seems to be a complete lack of government direction, in the wake of the Coalition’s Direct Action policy failure. It’s almost as though Turnbull has conceded defeat to the deniers in the coalition.

The necessity for an emissions intensity scheme (an approach that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ruled as being a strong option to reduce emissions and to keep electricity prices low because the conservative members of his party won’t accept it).

The Finkel Report was overwhelmingly received as a good compromise but Turnbull cannot accept lest he lose his job.

2 How extraordinary it is that the dear old Commonwealth Bank (formerly known as the people’s bank) is being sued by Australia’s financial intelligence agency for 53,700 breaches of laws, which it accuses of failing to report properly on $77m worth of suspicious transactions.

The bank stands accused of money laundering and terrorism-financing breaches.

On top of all the other misdemeanors committed by the major banks they are making an exceptional case for a Royal Commission. The only conflicting issues being the difficulty of raising one while legal proceedings are taking place.

3 Looking forward to a testing time in politics this week.

My thought for the day

“Luck is when enthusiasm meets opportunity.”


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  1. Möbius Ecko

    The MSM as one are lauding the latest Newspoll for Turnbull as he has highest approval rating this year, way ahead of Shorten. The 2PP is mostly being ignored as it’s same same with Labor six points ahead. One outlet didn’t mention the 2PP at all, only triumphalist over Turnbull’s preferred PM figure.

    This poll illustrates the great snow job the MSM has been able to perpetrate in covering Turnbull’s blatant lies and attempted deceit on the US asylum seeker swap.

  2. kristapet

    Thank you, John Lord, for calling the government out for its energy failures, including, cost and inaction, and blame game. in clear and defined terms
    I agree, this is truly “powerless gutless government”, led by a gutless, weak, prime minister, and recalcitrant bunch of blinkered, ministers, who are doing nothing for the majority of its un-moneyed, citizens, and only catering for the wealthier members of our society and their greedy friends

  3. Terry2

    The disturbing thing with the Commbank issue is that warnings were being sounded from frontline branch personnel who could see what was happening and they were ignored by senior management.

    Money laundering is a critical issue for crime syndicates and we know that they use the casino industry for this purpose but,for them to be openly using the Australian banking industry to move money – frequently drug money – offshore requires at minimum a Royal Commission : the banking industry is a cartel where the practices of one will be known and copied by the others.

  4. Ross Cornwill

    If I still had shares with the Commonwealth I would be trying to sell them off as soon as possible. But are the shares still trading I wonder.

  5. Joseph Carli

    I thought laundering money was an actual crime..I thought stealing water from the Murray was a crime, I thought trying to coerce parliamentarians by threat or bribe to change their vote was a crime…I guess I was wrong!

  6. Johno

    Maybe Mal could have a flick through Tony Oposa’s new book. Plenty of good ideas re carbon reduction for the coalition to implement.

    MANILA, Philippines – This is not a book,” says Tony Oposa, author of Shooting Stars and Dancing Fish. “It is an invitation to take a walk to the world we want.”
    “Turn around the road system 180 degrees. Make the roads more narrow,” Oposa proposes. “This is not a joke. Smaller roads lead to wiser use.” He calls it “road sharing.” The principle is expressed in Executive Order No. 774, which states that “Those who have less in wheels must have more in roads.” The formula is simple: divide the road in half. Half will be for motorized vehicles moving efficiently; an entire lane will be dedicated to public transportation.

    “The car is the enemy,” he says. “If the public transportation system is good, you don’t have to buy a car.”

    The other half of the road will then be free “for people to walk, bike, and plant food gardens.”

    Which brings us to the other thing that Oposa says will change the world: edible landscaping and rain gardens. “In scarcity, people steal. In abundance, people share,” he says. “We’ve monetized food. We’ve forgotten that food comes from the land. We say there is no land but there is so much land. We just cemented them and made them parking lots.”

  7. Kaye Lee

    Wendy Squires wrote a great column about how lobbyists, publicists, and politicians, sell their soul to spin a pack of lies.

    “Lobbyists are still out there defending such atrocities as the church’s systematic and sanctioned sexual abuse of children, anti-abortion organisations, white supremacy hate groups, climate change deniers, the whaling industry, anti-immigration, Islamophobia … the list goes on.

    Malcolm Turnbull too is having his strings pulled by those behind him and words placed in his mouth. He is spinning bull and it is pathetic to watch.

    Just listen this week, when he said he still believed in a plebiscite on gay marriage, despite polls saying Australians want it legalised – like yesterday! And despite being openly pro-equal rights for all regardless of their sexual preference.

    t makes me recoil and cringe at his sanctioning of the cruel conservative collective he fronts, actively imprisoning innocents in UN-law-breaking concentration camps; stifling renewable and sustainable energy initiatives in favour of the big business coal; stalling on vital childcare reform; stripping the budgets of hospitals, schools and women’s shelters; prohibiting the education of children on gender differences; perpetuating the atrocious death rates of our Indigenous population (including children tortured in custody); giving tax cuts to the rich and little or no hope to our youth … the list goes on. And on.

    Yep, if Scaramucci and Spicer are looking at alternate gigs, I strongly suggest they stop spinning for politicians and become one themselves. They have the skill set – an ability to lie, to have no conscience or morals, and to kowtow to those with the most money. Turnbull can show them the way.”–ours-are-just-as-bad-20170803-gxonjs.html

  8. Terry2

    Turnbull has painted himself into a corner on airport security which inevitably will lead to an Australia Card with photo ID.

    Until now, it has been possible to buy an airline ticket online, print off your own boarding pass and then just hand it to somebody else who can travel without disclosing their ID. So, as part of this security clamp down, it is likely that the government will introduce a pre-boarding photo ID for all domestic flights. Currently the favoured photo ID is a driving licence but, of course, some people don’t drive and apart from a current passport other photo ID’s are easy to fake.

    So, a new Australia card with photo ID seems inevitable.

  9. helvityni

    Our PM has been caught lying, he has shown that he does not care about the lives of refugees, gays, aborigines, homeless…yet his rating has gone up; what would Keating say?

    When are the Costa Ricans arriving? If arriving by plane instead of by boat makes you more suitable, why aren’t we simply telling the Syrians to do just that….fly.

    My seven year old grandson asked : Why are planes better than boats, I like boats….and if our government is not telling the truth,can I too start lying…what’s clean coal, is it white….?

  10. Kronomex

    No doubt the gummint, if this idiocy goes ahead, will assure us and GUARANTEE that it won’t be rorted. It’s going to be non-binding so why waste millions of dollars having it? Oh yes, it looks good but inevitably stinks dead fish and will keep Il Duttonuci onside.

    Turnbull is now trying to portray himself as a tough no-nonsense leader, with a spine of jelly. Of course we all know who is really at fault here for all these problems – I.A.L.F. and the LNP is the self-professed cure to all our woes and sickness.

    Commonwealth Bank: someone lower down the chain will cop the blame, they’ll pay a fine or three and then it’s back to business as usual because the boys at the top won’t even have to sully their Italian hankies let alone be charged. The LNP will crow about it and then bury it. Royal Commission? Pull the other leg, it plays music!

  11. Keitha Granville

    Bring on an Australian ID card – then we can finally stop all the nonsense trying to open accounts with 100 point of ID.

    It constantly astounds me that the massive number of people in this country illegally (NOT refugees as they are legal) are overstays on legit visas, who all arrived by plane. Spend money finding all of them: I suspect many many more than the number of genuine refugees on Manus and Nauru. Now THAT would a worthwhile swap.

  12. Kaye Lee

    “A Senate committee has heard as of June 30 there was an estimated 64,600 visa overstayers in the country and of the 12,966 located last financial year, more than 1750 were found to be working without the required authorisation.

    more than 11,000 have overstayed between two and five years and 6600 between 15 and 20 years.

    A further 12,080 are believed to have stayed illegally for 20 years or longer.”

    Turnbull himself said it – come by plane on a tourist visa and stay as long as you like. Flee war and persecution by boat and you can rot in hell.

  13. Zathras

    Ah, the Good Old Australia Card – proposed by Bob Hawke years ago but shot down in flames by the Liberals.who saw it as a potential invasion of privacy and another step closer to total State control (but more a way of being caught out doing bad things – centralisation was always their biggest fear).

    If ever proposed it would be just more karma coming back to bite Malcolm and his cronies.

  14. Harquebus

    Diminishing returns on energy and other resources and renewable energy is contributing less returns therefore, less is available for the general economy and decreasingly so for a growing community.
    This is the physical reality that is being reflected as low growth and stagnant wages.

    This is not an attempt to hijack. I am just stating the underlying causes which, I am not going to argue so, don’t bother asking me any questions. Others here have all the answers. Ask them why, if mine is not the case, your energy costs keep rising and will continue to.

  15. jimhaz

    [Ask them why, if mine is not the case, your energy costs keep rising and will continue to]

    It is primarily price gouging, although the coal price trend has been up since 2003 it is still only double what it was in 1980.

  16. crypt0

    CBA money laundering for groups who are undoubtedly the enemies of every honest Australian, the bare-faced theft of billions of $ worth of water from the Murray, and the price gouging in electricity prices are but three reasons why Australia needs a federal ICAC.
    There is just one thing standing in the way …
    And that is the Australian LieNP “government”.
    Allegedly representing all Australians … haha … now THAT is a joke!

  17. LOVO

    cryptO, the billions of litres ($) came out of the Darling…..though I’m sure the same things going on on the Murray.
    One wonders whats, also, been going on in Barnaby’s old seat of St. George, mm! ?

  18. Kronomex

    Sayeth The Corminator, in part, when asked about the SSM debacle, on Lateline last night, “”If it the vote is in favour we will facilitate the consideration of a private members bill, and…”” meaning it won’t happen while we’re in power. They will waffle and side-step and find far more important things to do before they “facilitate the consideration” for the SSM rights. Now you don’t need to think about whether or not you want to have a crap when you get up, you can “facilitate the consideration” of “Will I have a crap in the morning or leave it until later?” the night before.

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