Sometimes I wonder why something that I see as a simple idea isn’t being suggested by people in public office. You know, simple things like – given the shortage of workers in some industries – why don’t we double the amount that the unemployed could earn before they lose any of their benefits? It would enable them to take on some of the casual jobs in things like hospitality without the fear that they could suddenly be left high and dry if it didn’t work out. And when I think of ideas like this it worries me that I”m just another Matt “The Black Knight” Canavan who recently tweeted wondering what we’ll do in the future when we don’t have coal-fired power stations to bring back online to save the day, completely overlooking the fact that it’s the coal-fired power stations that aren’t working to capacity owing to the fact that they need maintenance.
Yes, some people are always asking what’s the plan when the sun doesn’t blow and the wind doesn’t shine, but nobody ever asks them what their plan is when coal runs out. It’s a finite resource after all, and sooner or later, it’s going to be all gone and what’s their plan then, eh? Ok, it’s too far in the future and we know their response will be something like: “Well, the sun won’t last forever either and if mankind is using solar, it’ll be in trouble when that happens…”
Lately, as I listen to the news bulletins, one thought repeatedly strikes me:
Couldn’t someone design a system where all the energy providers worked to provide as much energy as cheaply as possible?
Admittedly, it’d have to be centrally coordinated and there’d have to be regulations to stop generators from price-gouging and it would be big and bureaucratic and… there’s the problem. It’s starting to sound all socialist and full of red tape and we all know that privatisation is the way to go because, hey, hasn’t privatisation worked a treat with all the areas where governments have privatised.
I’m trying to think of a specific example here, but I guess my trouble must be that there are so many of them, that I’m finding it hard to focus.
Ah, Qantas. Once it used to be government-owned but now that it’s in private hands, they find your lost luggage much more efficiently because they’ve had so much experience at it…
All right, the Commonwealth Bank… Um, public transport?
Anyway, we know that it must be better because why else would governments keep selling off public assets to their mates?
Whatever the reasons behind the current crisis, I think we can all agree that it’s Labor’s problem and as Karen Andrews said, “And quite frankly, the Labor Government has had nine years in Opposition to prepare for the day that they’d be in government so there’s no excuse!” It’s hard to argue with that. After all, the Liberals have spent the last nine years preparing for the day that they’d be in Opposition by doing nothing but attacking Labor and the Greens, so now that they’ve found the role that Abbott moulded them for, they’re showing that they’re prepared to find a bipartisan solution for just about anything as long as Labor agree to do what they say.
Take nuclear power, for example, which is suddenly the answer. Way back in 2019 when someone mentioned it, the Coalition told everyone that it was just a scare campaign and that they had no intention of doing any such thing. But instead of treating that as a campaign promise and breaking it immediately, it’s now the solution to the energy emergency we face. I can see how it’s meant to work. We use the Scott Morrison strategy of announcing the solution to an immediate problem by telling the public about something that will happen a long time into the future and then brush off all questions about the present with: “We’ve dealt with that and the answer is at the end of the yellow brick road where Jen and I will meet the Wizard and if you just keep following all the words I’m saying which seem to be about what you asked but have absolutely nothing of substance in them and no to the follow-up question because I’ve already dealt with that…”
So I’m waiting for He Who Must Not Be Named to come out and tell us that the Liberals warned us that energy prices would go up under Labor and he warned us that they’d try to avoid a war with China and that the media would start reporting boat arrivals even when they don’t arrive, so we can’t say that we weren’t warned and it’s about time that Labor took some responsibility and realised that they’re the government and that they have to fix up the mess that they’ve created in the three weeks since they were sworn in.
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