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Josh Frydenberg And The “Invisible Hand” Of Energy Policy!

In Victoria yesterday, there were blackouts because the system couldn’t cope with the demand. The energy market operator cut power in a number of places to stop the grid shutting down.

Of course, this prompted the Federal Energy Minister to talk about the need for “reliability”, which is code for let’s build more coal-fired powers stations. This argument would be more persuasive were it not for the fact that Victoria’s problems were largely due to failures in two of the state’s three coal-fired power stations. Apparently, when coal-fired power stations break down, this is a reliable breakdown whereas solar or wind have unreliable breakdowns.

Still, I don’t see the need for the government to do anything about energy policy. After all, Josh Frydenberg gave a stirring speech about how his party believes in “the invisible hand” of capitalism while that Bill Shorten believes in the “dead hand of socialism”.

Now, I know a lot of you lack faith in things “invisible”, but let me explain in a way that you’ll understand. The phrase “the invisible hand” was first coined by Adam Smith a long time ago. So long ago that it was before Menzies was in short pants. Any phrase that’s been around for that long has something going for it, surely. And basically it means that like God, the forces of the market will move invisibly through the world and fix things. (Ok, you don’t have to believe in God to use this analogy. In fact, when you consider the plagues and striking down of the first born and various other retributions that religions have laid at God’s feet, it’s probably better for capitlism if you don’t!) For example, if I own all the food supply in a town and I charge too much, eventually the invisible hand will lead me to reduce my price because I’ll have starved so many people that the market drops because of all the dead people. If people were to lose faith in the “invisible hand” at such a time, the “dead hand of socailism” may take over leading to chaos when people storm my silos and take the food without paying the market price. I believe this is refered to as the dead hand because they will start distributng food to people who’ve done nothing to deserve it and therefore are kept alive when they should be dead.

Anyway, as we know from Josh’s stirring speech, the energy market would take care of itself if we’d just stop getting in the way of the invisible hand. Mind you, it isn’t easy to avoid an invisible hand, because, well, one can’t always see it and so one doesn’t know that one is actually in its way. In simple terms, when demand for energy is high, suppliers can charge more so it’s in the interests of the market to ensure that there isn’t too much supply or else they’d lack the capacity to price gouge when we have an extreme weather event. The Greens, Labor and all those on the left are trying to stop extreme weather events by joining international agreements to stop climate change, drastically reducing the opportunities for profit for the energy suppliers.

Mr Frydenberg went on to warn us about the gathering “storm clouds hanging over the global economy”. He then became rather confused by telling us that his party’s plan could bring about “growth, aspiration and budget repair”. A political party which plans to bring up such things sounds suspiciously like the “dead hand of socialism”. What if we doin’t want to aspire? Are we sent to re-education camps?

But more confusing was his pitch that his party would be a “steady hand” in such troubled times. If we’ve got an invisible hand, then surely that would be the right hand, making Josh’s party’s hand the left hand… which – given they have a plan for the economy – makes them the “dead hand of socialism”.

This is nearly as confusing as the “Australian of The Year Awards” taking place on January 25th. I mean, remember the furore when Triple J shifted their Hottest 100 to January 27th? Surely to hold the awards on any other day than the 26th is the same sort of lefty nonsense!

Speaking of awards, the award for “You’re Not Going To Ignore What I Did And Get Away With It!” has to go to Matthew Flinders. Dead and buried under a railway station, when Scott Morrison announces the replica of Cook’s ship will re-enact the voyage and go round the country, up pops Matthew more than two hundred years after his death to remind us all of his place in history. “Hey,” his bones seemed to be saying, “I’m generally acknowledged as the first person to circumnavigate Australia, even if I did have an indigenous person on my ship who the history books don’t bother to mention.”

Perhaps, we could have Flinder’s bones sent out here to accompany Cook’s ship and a replica of Cook as they make their way round the coast preaching reconciliation and the need for Australia Day to be forever 26th January because that was two days after the First Fleet landed at Botany Bay and the day that two French frigates sailed into the bay as the British were packing up to go to Port Jackson.

Speaking of ships, Michael Keenan has decided to join Kelly O’Dwyer and spend more time with his family. One wonders if the candidate who replaces them will announce that they are standing because they wish to spend less time with their family! In other circles, this phrase is a euphemism for “Everyone now knows that I’m incompetent or dishonest but we figured it would be better to try and hide it rather than publicly sacking me!” However, in this case, I find it completely plausible that they really are choosing to spend more time with their family than spending more time with Uncle Scottie, Craig Kelly, Tony and the rest of the merry men in Canberra.

Of course, Jane Hume’s announcement that she wouldn’t be contesting Higgins because she was “enjoying being a Senator” begs the question, “Compared to what?” In this case, I believe that she has looked at the internal polling and realised that the seat is no certainty, even on a margin of ten percent and that she enjoys being a senator much, much more than being a failed lower house candidate. Or possibly she’s heard the rumour that certain people are trying to get Costello to stand so that he can be Opposition Leader come June. Whatever, I have it on good authority that the Liberals internal pollling suggests that when it comes to campaigning in the Victorian seats where they still have a chance, then they should throw all their resources into the other states.

Peter, I believe, wants to spend more time with his family, but we’ll wait and see what happens.

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  1. AJ O'Grady

    How good is privatisation going?

  2. Matters Not

    Now Nigel Scullion’s boarded the departure bus.

    Seems like some irresponsible Minister shouted – Fire! Fire! – in the ministerial wing and there’s been a mad scramble for the exit. Will the Future Fund be able to cope? Will there be a sharp rise in the divorce rate as many households experience unknown intruders? How many new lobby firms are likely to emerge? Will Aboriginal communities declare a day of celebration? Will Scullion migrate south?

  3. helvityni

    It’s all Labor’s fault…

  4. Ill fares the land

    One of many reasons I look forward to the next election is that I will no longer have to:
    1) Look at O’Dwyer (shallow this may be, but I find her less than splendorous to gaze upon);
    2) Listen to her mindless, robotoc “LNP slogan or thought for the day” drivel. I swear that for 2 years, she could not answer any question without including the words “Labor’s debt and deficiti disaster”. She only stopped when it became undeniable that the Coalition’s debt and deficit disaster was of even greater proportions and made Labor look parsimonious by comparison.
    3) Witness Morrison’s jingoistic and simplistic ideas (which he is convinced are all brilliant and the mark of his genius) – the man is a buffoon who has achieved status and a pay grade, way, way beyond his ability level, but, as befits an incompetent who has achieved power without commanding respect, he has convinced himself that he is the best person to be PM and he was chosen for that reason and no other – isn’t the power of the brain to allow a delusions to become reality extraordinary.
    4) Witness Frydeggberg’s nonsensical attempts at defending the Coalition’s economic management and performace on climate change and energy policy – the defense of the indefensible.

  5. Henry Rodrigues

    Best Australia day I’ve seen in a long time, a conga line of useless dickheads leaving the the sinking ship captained by the most useless dickhead of all.

    C’mon Jules its your turn now to join the queue, there’s only so much space on the lifeboat. Even the lying rodent’s pep talks aren’t going to be enough to stir the troops. Uncle Rupert will no doubt do his bit for the crooks but even his efforts won’t be enough.

    Scummo, the handwriting is on the wall, get the hell out and take your mob of dickheads with you.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Could I also point out that today, January 26th, is not a public holiday – hubby is at work as we speak.. We will get Monday off instead because we ALL know it is the holiday that is more important than the date.

  7. Yvonne Robertson

    Is it possible that all this ‘ship jumping’ heralds the announcement of an election sooner rather than later? Scottie’s fickle finger of fate may need to point out a few more clowns, that may or may not be women but possibly are rats they owe favours to, in order to fill the void created by all those lower house seats without ‘current sitting members’. Step right up girls and boys – it is a fair dinkum circus!

  8. Frank Smith

    Certainly appears to be a contagion of rats abandoning the sinking ship “Gummint”. It must be getting towards time that Julie Bishop also jumped or all those “jobs for the boys (and girls)” will be taken up. After all, the Libs and Nats seem to be scraping the bottom of the “jobs” barrel when they resorted to appointing David Bushby to the lowly (but lucrative no doubt) “job” of consul-general to Chicago. Bushby, Dwyer, Keenan and now Scullion, all in the first few weeks of 2019! Better jump into the line quickly, Julie or you will miss out. No, surely you don’t want to have “Leader of the Opposition” on your CV – and its going to be very lonely as a Coalition woman in Canberra, so take the leap.

  9. Yes Minister

    Whilst I wholeheartedly concur with those who are eagerly awaiting the exit of SCUMMO, I have absolutely no confidence whatever that the weaker than water Shorten is any more competent. Same goes for the various rats and mice parties, (ESPECIALLY OneNotion) all of which are significantly less appealing than root-canal therapy. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the two major parties are merely different sides of the same coin, and both of them are under the thumb of the bureaucracy which is in turn under the thumb of the multinationals.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Yes Minister.

    Labor policies are better. They understand climate change and whilst they are ambivalent about Adani, they won’t approve new coal fired power stations. They acknowledge that emissions must be reduced so will be less obstructive to change. There are people within the party who will insist that a solution be found for the people on Manus and Nauru (I hope). Their tax policies are much better, reducing concessions for the wealthy and not reducing the tax for big business – though they really need to tighten up the laws there too – and giving higher income tax cuts to low and middle income earners which will help stimulate the economy and create jobs because it will be spent. They are thinking about employment for regional areas though I am not yet sure about the ‘hydrogen hub’. I am disappointed that they are not increasing unemployment benefits but I believe they will in conjunction with other changes. Hopefully they will revitalise the TAFE system.

    I have historic reservations about Bill but I think he campaigns well, he knows his stuff, and there are strong women in the party. It remains to be seen if power corrupts but as the only alternative option they are miles ahead. In fact, they must win or we are stuffed.

  11. David Bruce

    It is a long bow to draw when you say “They understand climate change…”

    Even the climate scientists would agree that we are still learning about climate on Planet Earth and all the other planets in our Solar System. Even their climate models can only predict probabilities based on statistical analysis. Sensitivity analysis and all that.

    Climate scientists have no answers for the unprecedented mass of hot air over most of central and southern parts of the Australian continent. We are still feeling the effects of obscene temperatures and worsening of drought conditions. Some climate scientists are now suggesting we might be in for many more years of drought in Australia.

    As one former Murray Darling Basin dairy farmer said, Australia will soon have to import Milk Powder.

    We have about the same probability of stopping climate change as King Canute the Dane had in stopping the tide coming in.
    Different strategies will be needed for survival, when the tide comes in…

  12. terence mills

    To lose one minister may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose three looks like carelessness.

    Isn’t it a pity that “the invisible hand of capitalism” can’t give a few other hangers-on a slap………looking at you Abbott, Dutton, Joyce, Kelly……… there really is quite a list.

  13. Robin

    So Bill Shorten is a socialist is he?.. Josh fluffy weird haired thing.

    I bet if Roskam knew that,he wouldn’t have asked his good mate Red Bill to be best man at his wedding.

    Best man. I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

    Meanwhile in Venezuela,Syria etc etc…

    We need to stay distracted or RUSSIA!!

  14. Florence Howarth

    “It is all Labor’s fault”. Sadly it is not. They have bought it all on themselves.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Even when they were making the announcements of Ministers leaving they kept saying people have left Labor too. They cannot say a sentence without Labor or Bill Shorten in it.

  16. Rhonda

    Oh I hate the invisible hand. It has the sharpest & stingiest slap, sometimes it punches me in the face, too.
    I’m eagerly waiting for good(er) government to start – post-haste on speed pls!

  17. paul walter

    Yes, no telling the mischief the invisible hand gets up to.

    Speaking of the side effects of the invisible hand I see Kelly ODwyer has been mentioned, but Frydenberg strikes me as a real problem. This arrogant, deceitful individual really needs to keep his invisible hand off such things that a young gentleman should not be tampering with.

    Stop it Josh, or you’ll go blind.

    The government will be defeated but the destructiveness will remain because there is no change in attitude. The next question could be how long will the ALP last and will it accomplish much against the corrupting and thuggish influence of big business, or will it buckle to unworthy practices for relief also.

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