One of the consistent narratives over the past few years has been the Liberals’ demand that Labor tell us what their policies will cost. Sometimes asking about cost is entirely reasonable; other times it’s a little ridiculous.
To use a household budget – one of the Liberals’ favourite analogies – Mr and Mrs Smith are at the hospital waiting for news about their middle child when the doctor comes out to tell them that she needs their permission for an emergency operation. Does anyone think that the Smiths will say, “Hang on a minute, how much will this cost?” before telling the doctor that they’ve already worked out that the budget for his food and school fees threatens their surplus in the coming financial year, and well, this operation will put them into deficit?
Ok, that’s a silly analogy. How could parents be worried about cost when the lives of their child is at stake? No, it’s only when the lives of all children throughout the world are at stake that we want to know what the zero emission policy will cost.
Climate alarmism, eh? Yes, it’s a load of nonsense. A few years ago we were told that we’d have unusually severe weather events and look at what happened. There’s nothing unusual about them at all, we have severe weather events all the time now. There’s nothing unusual about having “once in a hundred years” rainfall several times in the space of a decade.
I guess the main thing that concerns me is that nobody in the media seems to be going: “Ah cost, that’s something we should consider, Mr Morrison what is the cost of your climate change policies?”
Ok, we all know how that would play out: Scottiie rejects the premise of the question. Quite right of him, too. The Liberals have no policies about from a general idea that they’re against too much climate change and that some action is needed so long as that action doesn’t result in any change to anything whatsoever.
As I’ve previously pointed out the hashtag “Scottyfrommarketing” is appropriate. (Although not as appropriate as #Scottysackedfrommarketing”!) Morrison seems to think that once he’s managed the spin at the press conference then the job’s over. Getting flack about this, then announce that. Getting flack because that didn’t happen, tell everyone you’re disappointed and you’ll look into it. That still not happening, tell everyone you’re very, very angry and you’ve appointed someone to have an inquiry which will report to you personally and you’ll let us know how it showed you weren’t at fault in any way.
And this is how he deals with urgent matters, so 2050 is someone else’s problem. All that matters is making sure that neither Labor nor The Greens sound like they have any decent ideas about anything. If a press conference goes in the wrong direction, you bring it back on track by telling the reporter that you weren’t aware of any report that said anything or that his premise is faulty or that it’s just gossip and people outside the Canberra bubble don’t care about large scale corruption.
Yes, just like in the election campaign where Shorten was asked for specific details about all his policies while Morrison was asked which of his baseball caps was his favourite, there seems no equivalency in the focus of the media’s attention. We need to know the precise cost of a net zero emissions policy by 2050 but rather than being compared with the cost of the Coalition’s emissions reduction policy the nearest we get is, “What’s the cost of doing nothing?”
Which, I’m sure many would argue, IS the Coalition’s policy.
However, it would be nice if that could be made explicit rather than forcing us all to infer it from the fact that we have Coalition spokespeople like Matt Canavan telling us that zero emissions = zero jobs and Prue McSween telling us that 2050 is only twenty years away and how could we swap to renewables in a mere twenty years. (Perhaps somebody should tell Prue that twenty years ago we didn’t have YouTube, Facebook, smartphones and Google was but a glint in the eyes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, so there can be a lot of change in a short time!).
At least then we can start saying that the choice is between a Labor Party who isn’t doing enough to fight climate change and a Coalition who seem to think that thoughts and prayers are enough for everything.
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