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If anyone should go, it should be Joel Fitzgibbon

As Labor goes through yet another bout of self-destructive leadership undermining and internal dissent, and a shadow cabinet reshuffle is leaked to the press ahead of time, this morning’s news should be enough to show them the way.

Joe Biden’s new climate envoy, John Kerry, said this in Washington:

I think that unfortunately workers have been fed a false narrative … they have been fed the notion that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No, it’s not. What’s happening to them is happening because of other market forces that are already taking place.

Meanwhile, on Radio National, Joel Fitzgibbon has welcomed the yet-to-be officially announced removal of Mark Butler from the shadow climate portfolio, describing him as “somewhat over-enthusiastic in his response to climate change policy.”

I have great respect for Mark Butler but yes I believe this to be a good thing, I believe this to be a good start, it will send the right message to our traditional base, but it won’t be enough alone. We also have to both recalibrate our policy and our messaging to send the right message to the base that whilst we are serious about tackling climate change we won’t do so at the expense of their jobs.

Hmmm… it seems Joel has either swallowed, or is knowingly feeding the electorate, that false narrative Kerry spoke about.

Joel is one of those whatever-it-takes kinda guys.

He used that old line that Australia was only a small emitter on a global scale, adding that Australia should advocate for the big emitters to do more without, it seems, doing more itself. Someone should have texted him to wait up, he might want to listen to what Biden is doing.

And if we are such small fry, why are we spending hundreds of billions on weapons of war?

When Fran Kelly asked Fitzgibbon what he meant by remessaging, he said that Labor’s climate response should be about policy not politics. He then said that parties cannot implement policies from opposition, so the policies have to be something which help you get elected.

Ummmm… Joel… that sounds a lot like putting politics first and, dare I say, your personal re-election paramount in your thinking.

That would be fair enough if you weren’t throwing away the one area where Labor can really take the lead. Oh, and showing utter disdain for the health of the planet and our responsibility as global citizens to join the international effort to save it.

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67 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Heave ho, away we go ….. working to keep his seat in a coal mining electorate as a matter of paramount importance.

  2. Keitha Granville

    Everybody talks about managing climate change without damaging the livelihood of coal miners and others in the fossil fool workforce. For goodness sake, what the hell do they think they’re going to be doing when the planet is unliveable !!!!

    I am sure that horseshoe manufacturers and cartwheel makers were pretty annoyed at the motor car, it is the story of our existence.

    I agree, Joel Fitzgibbon is a liability. But honestly, Labor has no chance. This government is too clever by half at lies and misinformation.

  3. guest

    Joel wrote about his predicament back in November 20 last year. He knows coal is on the way out and that industry is investing in the technology of the future. What he and his friend “Woody” are concerned about what the workers are worried about – jobs, paying the mortgage and feeding the kids. What has been suggested is the need to transition workers from fossil fuels to other jobs, with retraining, payment to move house, if necessary, and what ever it takes to care for them. The Coalition is not talking about it, but neither is Labor. Joel is saying that a concentration on climate policy without a plan for the workers in transition is madness. Of course there are those who do not like the idea of special treatment. So Labor is stuck in limbo.

  4. Kerri

    Amen Kaye Lee! I have been shouting at Albo on the TV to sack Fitzgibbon for over a year now. He is Labor’s Tony Abbott. S**t stirring for a minority who vote for him. Albo should be very careful coz Fitzgibbon has form and is well likely to make a challenge or encourage another to challenge. Fitzgibbon needs to join the LNP.
    Besides Lbor will work to find or make jobs for those miners. Private industry will not!

  5. Kaye Lee

    They are only stuck in limbo because they choose to be. Because they have factional squabbles instead of focusing on what to do.

    There is an enormous amount of research been done into what is required to assist the transition for workers, communities, industries with no shortage of ideas, They should be reading it rather than consulting the marketing and polling people. Do what is right. Have a real plan for sustainable jobs and assistance in retraining, relocating, welfare. Start the new industries before the old ones phase out.

    No guts no glory.

  6. totaram

    Even Twiggy Forrest has jumped on Hydrogen as the way of the future (at least in words). There are all the extra jobs you need for the retrained coal-miners in the new Hydrogen economy, if anyone is listening.

  7. Jack Cade

    If Fitzgibbon goes, so does the the seat. We may not like it, but the seat is based on workplaces that don’t gell with Green philosophies. If I was a potential Green voter, had four kids and worked in an industry that I hated but had no alternative, I’d swallow my principles and vote for my kids’ immediate futures.
    The ALP lost the last election because its position on Adani was not clear, but verging on ‘we’ll stop it’. Or so it appeared to me, in Adelaide.
    I will probably not vote ALP in the next federal election. It doesn’t know where its going and its leadership is dull and getting duller. I was telling my children about Whitlam and Dunstan the other day. They look at Dutton, Morrison, Gladys and Albo, and think I must be talking about another country.
    In a way, I was…

  8. Geoff Andrews

    Why does Joel waste money on house insurance when, statistically there’s about 1 in 200,000 chance it will burn down?

    He must believe there is no chance that, by the time his great grandchildren are his age, they won’t be saying ,”HE SAID & DID WHAT? BUT IT WAS OBVIOUS THEN, WHAT WAS HAPPENING” but,”THANKS TO OUR WISE GREAT GRANDPAPPY, WE LIVE IN A COOLER CLEANER WORLD THAN HIS,”

    If part of the insurance premium to insure against climate change is to stop diggin’ it up an’ shippin’ it out burnin’ it up, then he should be directing his efforts at getting the Opposition to start thinking about alternatives for his constituents. Why isn’t compensation, compulsory acquisition of houses, removal costs, job-seeker-keeper type payments based on last tax return or job slip etc part of Labor’s policy? It would resolve his homespun oxymoron “whilst we are serious about tackling climate change we won’t do so at the expense of their jobs.”, admitting that he can’t walk & chew gum at the same time. What humbug!

    And I’m waiting in ambush for some future comment about “debt and deficit”.

  9. Graham Albrey

    Absolutely correct Kaye Lee. “no guts, no glory”. NOW is the time for new leadership in the ALP. Someone with the balls to drag the party policies off the fence, and the where-withall to jump onto the Biden new clean energy band wagon. Albo is a great bloke but he is representative of the past 20years of the ALP. He does not have the balls or the awareness to sack Fitzgibbon and does not seem to be aware of the wind change now sweeping across global politics. As they say, “Faint heart never won fair maid”. NOW is the time for change and there will never be a better opportunity for a Chalmers/Plibersek ticket to grab this election by the throat and bring it home for Labor.

  10. Matters Not

    Re:

    If Fitzgibbon goes, so does the the seat

    Indeed. At least for Labor but not necessarily for Joel. So many voters like ‘independents’ that Joel would have a future wearing that hat. The first priority for ANY politician is to be re-elected. By fair means or foul.

    As for debt and deficit, it’s not dead and buried yet. The household analogy still resonates. Shouldn’t but does.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I would have thought that the first priority for ANY politician would be to listen and learn what the country needs, to prioritise, to identify risks and manage them, to clearly outline what they are doing and why and the information on which they are basing their decisions. If they do a good, honest job at that then they might be worthy of re-election.

    Did it ever occur to anyone that the swing against Fitzgibbon last election may have been because his electorate didn’t feel that HE was doing a good job? The Hunter also has some of the country’s best vineyards, best horse studs and richest beef cattle grazing areas. They aren’t all down pit. They might just be sick of the Fitzgibbon dynasty (his dad held the seat before him – been Fitzgibbon since 1984 – time for fresh blood?)

    Interestingly, the Nationals vote also went down in the Hunter last election. So they weren’t enamoured with the coal kings either.

  12. Michael Taylor

    This issue has snuck under my radar.

    I am guilty of focusing too much on US politics for the last few months – and apart from that dope Scott Morrison – I have been oblivious to what’s going on in my backyard.

    My bad.

  13. Matters Not

    KL – seems to me that you’re coming from an ought position. What ought to happen in an ideal world where self-interest takes second place; where altruism is lived and not just talked about.

    While the electoral figures presented are of interest, perhaps of greater interest, politically at least, is where the numbers finished up and why. In the previous election (2016), PHON didn’t run a candidate and therefore didn’t trouble the scorer. In the 2019 contest PHON endorsed Stuart Bonds. who (in his own words) worked at Glendell for the past 3 years and at Glencore’s sister mine Ravensworth for 5 years before that. By chance I was the last person to live on BOTH properties before the mines started. He went from zero to more than 20%. No wonder Joel is ‘concerned’.

    Miners will vote for a miner – as is evidenced by the Queensland experience. They don’t have to be articulate or even smart as long as they’re one of us. Bonds’ spiel resonated – in both the positive and negative sense – and his message resonates in coal mining communities across Australia.

    If they don’t burn our coal they will burn someone else’s. they are far better off burning our coal due to its low ash content and the ethnical methods used to extract it. … Glencore has very strict environmental practices around oil spills and contamination. Our dust control has a good record and our community complains are extremely low …

    More here. https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/submission/691496

  14. Brad Black

    Joel Fitzf..kingibbon is exactly the sort of pollie the Labor party don’t need – self serving, party before country w..ker who blames everyone else for almost unelectability! Look in the mirror if you want the problem, joel.
    And Albo continues to shrink as a potential PM.

  15. Terence Mills

    Interesting that the National Party want to start making things having been avid supporters of Abbott in ridding this country of the pesky automobile industry.

    Had we stuck with it or better still elected a Labor government we could by now have a fledgling electric vehicle components industry instead of which we now rely on imported internal combustion engines and pretend that the world isn’t changing.

    As of December 2020, China had the largest stock of highway plug-in electric passenger cars with 4.5 million units, 42% of the global fleet in use. China also dominates the plug-in light commercial vehicle and electric bus deployment, with its stock reaching over 500,000 buses in 2019, and 247,500 electric light commercial vehicles, 65% of the global fleet.

    Europe had about 3 million plug-in passenger cars at the end of 2020, accounting for 30% of the global stock. Europe also has the second largest electric light commercial vehicle stock, with over 115,000 units, 31% of the global stock in 2019. As of August 2020, the United States had 1.6 million plug-in cars, with California listed as the largest U.S. plug-in regional market with 796,500 plug-in EV’s.

    This is pathetic for Australia – Australia has 2,307public charging stations; 357 of these are fast public charging stations. In 2019 a total of 1,062,867 vehicles were sold in Australia of which 6718 were electric, less than
    1 percent .

    Australia has one of the lowest rates of electric car ownership in the OECD : Mathias Cormann is running to become the OECD secretary-general. I hope they don’t quiz him to carefully on his former government’s record on environmental matters – tip to Mathias, don’t hold up a lump of coal at the job interview, it’s a dead give away.

  16. guest

    Kaye Lee tells us that an enormous amount of time has been given to the transition of workers…and no shortage of ideas. What are are they? Why are they not being openly talked about?

    The Coalition has been spruiking their energy plan – which looks like a jumbled cake recipe which, if cooked, would not make a cake.

    So what do we do? We blame Fitzgibbon for not walking and chewing gum. He should not have to. He is part of a party – and it seems the Party is not listening to him. So we wonder if Joel is not doing his job because his support has fallen. He tells us – it is about Labor’s climate policy.

    Labor’s policy is on the right track despite the hopeless Murdoch criticism,but there is no support mentioned of support for workers. Labor is the workers’ party, is it not?

    And it is not just about Joel and the Hunter Valley. So many mining seats were lost in Queensland because Federal Labor was unclear about its position on Adani.

    As a number of people here are supporting the idea of a transition plan, if Labor cannot come up with something positive, no amount of shuffling of ministries or sacking of winning seat members is going to save the ship.

  17. Pete Petrass

    Fitzgibbon is a f%$kwit and actually belongs in the LNP. Obviously too stupid to even realise he is a die hard lieberal.

  18. guest

    And besides, the mining union is telling us as well.

  19. Florence Howarth

    Who would have thought the swing against Joel was because they were sick of him. Maybe hadn’t forgiven him for his earlier dealings with the Chinese. truth is, he has not been popular for a long time.

    After reading what seems to be an organise outcry today on Twitter & live Guardian, one could think Albanese might be doing the right thing. The wording of all very similar. No real misdeeds of the Opposition, just vague slurs, like he isn’t cutting through.

    I suspect a century ago there would have been many concerned about the replacement of the horse & cart with the new-fangled, horseless carriage. Many tears would have been shred for the loss of jobs.

    The Opposition leader was talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. Talking about building manufacturing. Not last century jobs. High paying, high skills jobs of this century. Not going back to the past, but to the future.

    The jobs will be created out of dealing with cutting carbon emissions. Not coal or gas. With clean, efficient & cheaper energy produced by renewals.

    This is what Labor is offering. Why do many say it is wrong?

  20. Florence Howarth

    One does realise Newcastle in the latter half of last century has gone from a steel town to a beautiful clean city. Coped with the loss of jobs in the progress. Has seen it coal workers decimated by automation. I am sure they will cope animatedly losing the few jobs left. Not only cope but see their economy grow with the new yours that come from energy produced from renewals.

  21. Kaye Lee

    What’s the plan?

    How about …

    Wind turbine and rooftop solar construction, installation, maintenance and recycling

    Construction and maintenance of transmission networks

    Pumped hydro and battery construction (and the mining that goes with the minerals necessary for batteries)

    Green hydrogen

    Mine rehabilitation

    Building the recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles

    Energy efficient buildings

    Health and homecare services

    In terms of occupations, there is overlap between coal and renewable energy. These include construction and project managers, engineers, electricians, mechanical trades, office managers and contract administrators and drivers.

    Coal regions need industry development plans and investment to diversify their economies to other industries, including renewables.

  22. Geoff Andrews

    KL
    As far as energy efficient buildings is concerned, the Council should make it mandatory for every new house to be fitted with panels and a battery, just as it is compulsory to have a toilet.

  23. john ocallaghan

    Anyone relying on Biden or Kerry to save the planet will be disappointed, already he’s planning to send troops into Syria to prolong another useless US war…Oh and Wow! he’s rejoined the useless Paris Climate Accord,a sham organisation set up by the polluting rich countries to pretend their doing something about the climate.

  24. Kronomex

    john ocallaghan, please tell us where you got your “information” because if you can’t you will have tarred yourself with the conspiracy nutjob brush and can easily be ignored.

  25. guest

    KL, That is a list of jobs. It is not a plan for transitioning ex-coal miners, etc.

  26. Zathras

    What can Fitzgibbon possibly do when coal jobs inevitably start to dry up in his own electorate, especially from the position of a terminal backbencher?

    His electorate will be stuck somewhere in the 20th century while the rest of the world has moved on.

    By the way, how are those 10,000 Adani jobs going?

  27. Kaye Lee

    Glencore was forced to suspend operations at most of its coal mines in the Hunter Valley for between two and three weeks in November in a bid to curtail output in face of the falling demand.

    A spokesperson for Glencore said the Liddell and Integra mines were nearing the end of their so-called economic life of mine.

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/glencore-takes-axe-to-coal-targets-but-says-australia-will-be-spared-20201208-p56lmy.html

    guest,

    Industry diversification in the regions, retraining, assisted relocation, decentralisation, identifying future skills shortages and incentivising young people to study/train to fill them.

    Zathras,

    I think they are working (slowly) on the railway in the hope it will bring more exports through Abbott Point. (doubtful)

  28. James Cook

    I like that Labor has a Plan, but what is its Strategy to get its Message across? Scummo can lie, gaslight and mislead with impunity but when Albo outlines Labor’s plan the media concentrate on leadership challenges. How are the Labor Strategists [assuming they have such a beast] aiming to combat this? Does anyone have an answer?

  29. wam

    great read kaye,
    the man and his seat should have been targeted when gillard slapped him down and his white-anting .
    But zathras is spot on with jobs?
    The boys in longman and herbert were spooked about the 10000 new jobs plus the threat of losing the existing coal jobs, in the last days of oops sorry my prejudice against a senile old twit is showing.

  30. Matters Not

    Zathras re:

    What can Fitzgibbon possibly do when coal jobs inevitably start to dry up …

    Assuming he (Fitzgibbon) actually cares – after he’s retired? That he’s thinking that far ahead. Politicians tend to live for the here and now. The ‘tomorrow’ is someone else’s concern. Does anyone think that C Pyne really cares that the promised jobs for sub construction have not materialised?

    Policy platforms are like railway platforms – designed to get in from – to stand on – but certainly not to remain on. Are there any mechanisms that hold politicians accountable retrospectively? Any penalities for broken promises – apart from the threat of an election?

    Re – senile old twit. There’s a comedic line there but perhaps best not explored.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Penny Wong was asked about Fitzgibbon this morning….

    “Joel is a backbencher, just like Barnaby Joyce and just like Barnaby Joyce he engages in a bit of commentary. That’s up to him. But I’m not going to respond to all of his commentary.”

    Joel is yesterday’s man.

    And those who think future elections should be fought on coalmining jobs will join him.

    Zali Steggall is doing well.

  32. Matters Not

    Re Glencore and having to suspend operations. Might be worth pointing out:

    Australia’s largest coal producer, the secretive Swiss commodities trader, Glencore, topped our Top 40 Tax Dodgers chart last year. This year, it is not even on the list.

    What happened? Did it suddenly pay a lot of tax? No, tax payable was precisely $1,000 – a suspiciously round number which appears to be either a total fluke or a cheeky wave to yours truly. Total income for this one Glencore entity was almost $15 billion for the 2017 year alone

    Yep it paid $1 000 tax on a $15 billion income. A rounding error that wouldn’t put a dent in the nightly bar bill.

    Sneaky coal giant Glencore drops off the Top40 Tax Dodgers

  33. Kaye Lee

    The government are giving Labor a platform if only they will seize it.

    This morning, Peter Dutton (speaking about the vaccine rollout) said “The medical advice, the scientific advice in this country, is what we should heed.”

    I would be collecting those quotes and throwing them back at them re climate change and biodiversity.

  34. Matters Not

    Dutton is very good at appealing to the emotions – whether it be fear of death via a pandemic or from terrorists who arrive by boat. And it works! Rationality is so yesterday. Just ask Trump, Boris et al.

  35. Consume Less

    Add tree planting/revegetation to that list of jobs.

  36. Henry Rodrigues

    Every era, horse and buggy, steam, petrol and now electric, will have its winners and losers. Some will take their redundancy packages and thank their stars and move on to other endeavours, others will relish the opportunity of entering the next succeeding industry with has many more decades to run. Renewables will be here for many more years. That has been the story for hundreds of years. Did Fitzgibbons express deep heartfelt anguish when the car industry shuttered it factories, and what happened to all those unionized highly skilled workers afterwards. I have been in electronic manufacturing for decades and have been made redundant 3 times. and I always found something else to do. Joel probably knows that too, but his ego and the lurks and perks he enjoys as an MP won’t be replaced if he goes. That’s why he bangs on about the coal industry, which employs far less workers than it did, 20, 30 years ago. Its all automated now. Labor should just read him his fortunes and tell him to go join the Liars party, he’s already got the necessary qualifications anyway.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Workers must be offered support, for example (from the closing car industry):

    Information on existing support services available and how to access them

    Career advice and local labour market information including jobs in growth areas

    Skills recognition and training support including financial assistance with training costs

    Resume, application, interview and job search assistance and job fairs

    Health and wellbeing support, including financial counselling

    The continuation of some services and support measures post closure

  38. guest

    Henry Rodrigues, The pile-on against Joel Fitzgibbon continues. “Lies’, is it? What, exactly? “Lurks and perks”? I would have thought that Joel could retire quite well after umpteen years in parliament. Some kind of envy here? An did he fight for the car industry? I do not know, but I do know many redundant car workers never worked again and many skills were lost.

    But he is fighting for the mine workers in the Hunter Valley. He says about coal (20/11/2020) “… coal generation now struggles to compete with renewable generation and the most recently constructed coal generator will be the last to be built.” He goes on to say that industry is investing in the technology of the future.

    Let me say something about the Hunter Valley. It is a coal mining place and a place of agriculture, famous for its wines. At the mouth of the Hunter is Newcastle, a port exporting coal. Near the north arm of the river is Stockton Beach Caravan Park. Tim Flannery explains what has happened in his book “The Climate Curse” (p77): “…an entire community is under siege from rising waters. In September 2019 Stockton Beach was closed…the cost of replacing 500,000 cubic metres of sand (500,000 truckloads) that has already been lost to coastal erosion at Stockton Beach would be between $5 and $10 million …”

    The rising sea is a result of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels. The coal-fired power station at Liddell burnt 6 million tonnes of coal a year! Joel knows that.

    “Wind and solar forms are popping up all over…”, he said. At Wellington, between Newcastle and Dubbo, and not far from the Upper Hunter, are large arrays of solar panels and along the ridges of the hills are rows of wind turbines.

    He is not lying and he has spoken up publicly because he wants to be heard. What about the mine workers and their families.? And the union is asking the same.

    And what is Morrison saying? “The carbon debate is over.” A great announcement, but no action.

  39. Kronomex

    While the current infighting is going on within Labor Saint Scotty of the Marketing and The Rupert (and the rest of the Main Sleaze Media for that matter) will be rubbing their hands in glee as they gather ammunition which will be used to rubbish and smear them in the months to come.

    I can also see Fitzgibbon doing a Mad Monk and continually white anting Albo, who seems to be almost a timid dormouse rather than a mouse who roars. In all honesty, they should replace him because he’s just not strong enough to put Fitzgibbon in his place AND beat the LNP at the next election. Here’s hoping that I’m proved wrong but…

  40. Henry Rodrigues

    Guest….. You’re making the same point as I and others have. The coal industry is what investors regard as’ stranded assets’. There is no sense to persist with an industry that has a very limited future. I was a member of a union too when Howard introduced work choices and it was not pleasant, but resilience and hard work never fails. The coal miners and their union have known about the need to restructure the energy production system in line with the rest of the world. If not now, then when.
    No one is advocating the immediate shutdown, but a gradual shift away to renewables. Look no further than the transition from horse and buggy, to steam, to petrol and now electric. And despite stupid Michaela Cash and her insane doom’s day scenario of tradies having no way to get to work except in their gas guzzling utes, its time to get real. By the way, all utes will go electric too.

    I’ll bet Gina Rheinart has installed numerous solar panels on her many mansions, and her mining operations use many many electric vehicles.

  41. Henry Rodrigues

    Kaye lee….. all those conditions you’ve listed, are what I and my redundant co workers received and we were very grateful for it too. The The miners should receive the same assistance, without exception..

  42. Kaye Lee

    guest,

    If we want to talk about how Joel Fitzgibbon obfuscates the truth, here’s an example.

    He penned a schmaltzy piece for The Australian about his mate Woody (how very LNP of him).

    “Like the rest of the world, Australia must take meaningful action on climate change and we are, as the numbers I shared with Woody show.”

    Fitzy told Woody that “the official National Greenhouse Gas Inventory tells us that in the year to September last year, Australia’s emissions per capita were 40.4 per cent lower than they were in 1990.”

    What he neglected to tell Woody was that the population increased by 48.6% during that time.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/industry-shows-way-on-climate/news-story/451330a04f9bf3d507ae15f49a6a21f6

  43. guest

    Thanks, Kaye Lee. You are the great researcher. So, I ask. Why does Joel not know these details about redundancy? Why not the miners themselves”? Why not the union? Why not Mark Kenny, from whom I first learnt of his plan for the transition mine workers.

    It seems to me there is too much going around in circles, mired in misinformation and lack of information. Why is that?

    In theconversation.com today, Mark Kenny tells us that Joel has made “unusually public attacks on the Left-aligned Butler’, that the Hunter-based MP is trenchantly pro-coal and anti-progressive”, and he blames Labor’s obsession with climate change for everything”.

    But from what Joel has said (20/11’2020) he knows that coal is losing out to renewables and that there is a limited time line for mining workers. He has been asking what will happen to them.

    On this same day and at the same site, Michelle Grattan – for the benefit of those who say Albanese is not doing enough – that the pandemic “sucked the politics out of politics, infecting the opposition with a fever of despair.”

    OK, so Morrison, having achieved the end of the Carbon debate, what will we get after the next election if Morrison wins?

    And Henry Rodrigues, I beg to differ about your assertion that I am merely repeating what others say. I was deliberately countering your claim that Joel is a liar qualified to join the Liberal party.

  44. Kaye Lee

    guest.

    This was written by a coal miner at the same time as Fitzgibbon was writing his look-at-me propaganda last November

    “The writing is on the wall. A transition is clearly happening. Coal miners should not be left out of this shift. They should have a voice in developing plans and be in a position to understand the changes, so they can make the best decision for their future.

    That seems obvious, but it is not happening. Coal miners, including employees in fickle arrangements with labour hire companies, and the coal communities that they are a part of, deserve a properly planned and implemented transition which is just and fair.

    To make that happen politicians need to be honest and tell the truth. Australia is fed up with waffle and denial. The Prime Minister should make a clear, empathic statement about the causes and effects of climate change and develop a clear and constructive plan for our transition to a zero-carbon economy. If we can’t get that from the Prime Minister then we could at least get it from Fitzgibbon, a person who wants to back blue-collar workers.

    My understanding about Australia is that it endorses leadership and innovation over self-interest and mediocrity. What Australians, including coal miners, don’t need are politicians who try to distract and delay the inevitable.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-m-a-coal-miner-and-i-can-t-see-how-fitzgibbon-represents-me-20201119-p56g73.html

  45. Kaye Lee

    Sorry to hog the comments but this is another thing Joel said that pissed me off

    “Left combatants see advantage in overstating the threat”

    According to all credible scientists, we are hugely understating the threat. I guess it comes naturally for Joel to see everything through the prism of strategic “advantage” for factions. That’s all he does.

  46. Michael Taylor

    He’s a dead-set fool if that’s his opinion of us lefties. That’s not the lefties I know.

  47. Brozza

    The main problem with the Fed. Labor party is it’s leadership and politicians, (whoever they are), and their policies, whatever they are this week.
    No wonder the lying/nazi party is having such an easy time of it all, with no effective opposition at all to question their sh*tfcukery.

  48. Brozza

    totaram – I thought ‘The Shovel’ was meant to be satire not fact.

  49. Trish Corry

    Joel Fitzgibbon has legitimate arguments about the impending changes to industry and work in his region and all that affects. When he says leftists he means enviro left or post materialism left. The left that don’t need to worry about food on the table. Who don’t place workers at the centre of arguments about change. If Labor can’t find middle ground to combat the issue of workers and local economies and climate change they may as well pack up and go home. If the punters are going to mock anyone who raises issues about workers in regions of highly concentrated industry in the firing line for radical change, you may as well put a Morrison corflute in your front yard, because traditional leftism is dead and these communities feel abandoned. When the global shift no longer needs coal, and the people who have silenced the concerns of workers, see more Liberal Govts, the Liberals will kill coal and invest in renewables faster than what the Greens could hope for, leaving absolutely nothing for workers and families in these regions.

  50. Stuart Tomlinson

    Totally and absolutely agree Trish with your outstanding comment.

  51. Joe Carli

    Trish…unfortunately you are shouting into a wind of soft-left, warm-fuzzy rhetoric more intent on pointing to its “environmental credentials” (as impotent as The Greens are) worn on its sleeve than a humanist perspective hidden in its underwear…Labor principles in their opinion ought to be like stretching one’s neck out on the electoral chopping-block so the executioner can get a clean strike! If we look to the opening sentence of this piece, we see the common thread put out by the Murdoch MSM of ..: ” As Labor goes through yet another bout of self-destructive leadership undermining and internal dissent . . . ” taken up as an accepted talisman of truth and phrophesy….and it all procedes from that one point..Where the critical theory, I ask…where the acknowledgement of the day-in day-out of labouring to pay the bills..sure, there will be change and it can’t come soon enough…we ALL know THAT…even the most damn-blasted dumbo of a coal worker knows that!…but hey…you go tell the bank that you want a moritorium on mortgage payments until the Greens and the LNP combine to bring about a carbon price..heavens knows Labor tried several times to do it, even in the last election that was foiled by a gob-smacking stupid maneuver of the Adani convoy! Show the coal workers and fossil fuel workers the money!…they got kids..just like the rest of us..they got bills just like the rest of us..but unfortunately, they do not yet have the self-funded retirement packages/benefits like so many of the now so vocal middle-class soft-left have….unlike so many of us retired workers on the true left lack.

  52. Joe Carli

    And I would further suggest that those who need their “leftish convictions” to be validated by outside or populist opinion lack such conviction anyway and are aweepings there to be gathered up, like dropped Autumn leaves, by the first demagogue that catches their ear!
    I say ; “Know who you are and what class you are from and what political party best represents you and yours…”

  53. Kaye Lee

    I have read several articles by Joel (not easy to do because he prefers to publish stuff in the Murdoch press which I refuse to pay for).

    I have not seen one suggestion from him about looking after workers.

    His articles are just full of crap like “the theological-like approach [to climate change], once the modus operandi of the Greens, has alienated Labor’s traditional base.”

    There is nothing theological about tackling climate change.

    He says carbon-pricing is a “20th century solution” whereas all the economists say it is the cheapest way to reduce emissions.

    He insists there should be no medium term target for emissions reduction.

    His idea is do nothing and technology will fix it all on its own – the Angus Taylor approach.

    If you can point me to where he has articulated any sort of plan for workers and communities in the inevitable transition I would appreciate it because, from what I’ve read, he’s got nothing.

  54. Henry Rodrigues

    Trish….. Morrison and Rupert and the IPA are standing at the sidelines, grinning from ear to ear, watching, stoking dissent and disagreement amongst Labor, the left and the Greens about the future of coal and fossil based fuels. The coal workers are rightly worried and concerned about their futures and they must be part of the solution and they can, if they understand that change will come, whatever happens. Its time to shed the siege mentality and become more assertive and positive about their futures and that of their children, who be the inheritors of the next carbon free world economy.

  55. Roswell

    Trish…unfortunately you are shouting into a wind of soft-left, warm-fuzzy rhetoric…

    Can’t help yourself, can you, Joe?

    Anyway, it’s good to see an article that’s not calling for Albo’s head, at least.

  56. Joe Carli

    Yes, Roswell…I can help myself…as your “moderation” has witnessed in my many articles and stories drawing att’n to my opinions on the matter…replete with outrageous opinions from yourself and other detractors…yes, I can help myself…thanks all the same for your concern, Roswell..I appreciate it..

  57. Kaye Lee

    Sigh….

    The Philosophy of STOP!

    What Joel fails to understand is that, if you set targets and policies/support to achieve them, investment and diversification will come.

  58. wam

    trish you should call it, as monkeyfits is too gutless to do, the extremists ie ‘the loonies’.

    You are spot on, kaye, he has nothing to offer Australia except the seat his arse fills.
    He is blunt to richo’s philby, latham’s burgess and a few macleans

  59. guest

    Kaye, First of all, I do not know whether Joel is ignorant of “setting targets and policies/support to achieve them”, but now that you mention such solutions, I am wondering if the Labor Party itself knows about them. It is the workers’ Party, is it not?

    You are right to mention it. Just as you are right to mention current or recent plans to aid redundant workers, which no one seems to know anything about, let alone bring to the table. The first I heard of plans was when Mark Kenny wrote about the idea in the SMH. And you are right, Joel does not mention such a plan in the 20/11/2020 Murdoch article Joel wrote (more of that later).

    Next, you quote from a coal miner’s comments around the time of Joel’s 20/11/2020 article I mentioned. It is a revealing statement because it shows Joel is sitting on the fence: he is trying to support the miners with words at least, but he is not completely telling the truth.

    Joel first of all is concerned about the workers and their jobs. He knows about the decline of coal and the rise of renewables. He can see all of that in the Hunter Valley. What he seems to be afraid of is that Labor will be so much more fixed on mitigating climate change than the Coalition is, then Labor will lose seats – and we see that has happened in the last election. He is of course afraid of losing his own seat and finding himself unable to represent them at all. There has been a move to have replaced by a miner.

    But while Joel might be having a bit each way, the uncertainty of the Labor Party and its seeming lack of concern for the miners – the union is not happy – that uncertainty and lack of clarity is not helping.

    Meanwhile, Morrison is claiming he has fixed the carbon debate and Murdoch media continues its denialism, so that the muddle in the wider community continues.

    But things are happening. The public is more and more on the side of climate action. Industry is doing more to implement climate mitigation and the technology of the future. Joel knows this. What is missing is assurance for the miners when their jobs go. It is not good enough to say go find another one.

  60. Joseph Carli

    It is well and good for those whose definition of “work alternatives” is merely a shifting of grammatical application from 1st person singular to 3rd. person research…to be flippant about “diversification”, but tell that to one whose physique, hand-skills and psyche has been moulded from a very young age “to fit” one particular occupation to just drop it and take up aged care or sumfin…

  61. Kaye Lee

    I certainly understand that concern Joe. (you can leave out the veiled jibe)

    The majority of people involved in coalmining are apparently under the age of 40. That already means they have grown up with a different range of skills than people our age. The younger generations are also more used to changing jobs where we were used to sticking to one job for a lifetime.

    I assure you, I am not being flippant about this. I am trying to help make suggestions (unlike anything I have seen from Fitzgibbon)

    There will still be some jobs in coal mining in the medium term future so we are really talking about planning for a new direction before the closures.

    Of course, retraining, reskilling, relocating, may not be an option for some. I mentioned a few things the car industry offered as support for workers above.

  62. David Tennant

    As a lifetime Labor voter living in the Hunter, I am being forced to vote Greens in the next election thanks to this selfish cretin.

  63. wam

    why david?
    Better to give your money to a deserving independent and give the loonies cash gathering a miss.

  64. Geoff Andrews

    What? STILL whinging about the money, wam?
    is that all you people think about?
    Talk about biting the hand….. you’re happy to accept 70% – 80% of Greens preferences and don’t thank them (expect it), for supporting you in a hung parliament.
    And you wonder why David has moved away. But he hasn’t gone far – I’m sure he put a lower number on the ballot paper beside Joel than that of the LNP candidate but we got the money (evil laughter).

  65. wam

    haha geoff andrews what me whinging? Is there any other way of reading the machinating twits who believe they deserve more seats than the nationals who win them legitimately?
    This little laborite is just sadly reiterating a fact unknown to most voting loonies and ignored by most of labor.
    I must congratulate your ‘cackling’ as it fits with the modern green being a scheming pragmatist and far from the grassroot ‘loonies’. The dilunbransimkims are patient enough for the LNP to win government and open to anything for their long term goal including shagging their principle believers(the loonies). and back dooring of labor at every possibility Still if you think the experienced blackmailer brandt was ‘helping’ anyone but himself and big noting himself to the melbourne simpletons, I will be surprised but good luck what ever you think.
    Any rationalising that christine voted unlimited cash for the rabbott through altruism or for the good of the country rather than for ??? is as welcome and believable as christine’s insistence the greens got nothing for their votes. With the help margaret, rupert and boobby gave scummo they deserved a gong as a reward. Wonder what boobby did to be overlooked?

  66. Joseph Carli

    I reiterate my saying that IF the LNP back-room honchos AREN’T sending largesse through to The Greens via a fake set-up NGO so as to finance their continued attacks on Labor, then they are missing a few political brain cells…because it must be obvious to the most obtuse political hack by now that the only people The Greens attack in an election are Labor people…and Labor policies..and as for Green support on some policies or preferences, that is just a variation of the old “sucker-bet” where one is allowed to “win” a few rounds so as to get overconfident, then the rug is pulled out at just the moment when the stakes are highest.
    Listen…The Greens have been sloping around Parliament for over 20 years now, selling themselves as an “alternative”.. and they haven’t increased either their percantage to any winning point, nor their political influence to any relevence…you figure it out.

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