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The only jobs the Nats are concerned about are their own

When you have a leader whose most memorable contribution has been a rather tragic Elvis impersonation, I guess it’s understandable that the natives might get restless. But in the last few weeks, the Nats have gone so far off reservation they seem to be occupying a totally different universe.

It took a workplace rape in a Minister’s office to get Parliament to sit up and take notice of the many women who have been complaining about the culture of sexism, intimidation, bullying and harassment that exists in the boys’ club in Canberra.

At the same time as numerous investigations and reviews are being undertaken, there is open conjecture about the return of Barnaby Joyce to the leadership of the Nationals.

This is the man who opposed marriage equality because of the “sanctity of the marriage vows between a man and a woman” yet he was having regular unprotected sex with a junior staff member resulting in an extramarital pregnancy.

But that’s not why he resigned.

He resigned because of a formal sexual harassment complaint against him, and rumours of several more women with similar allegations.

To get the numbers to stage yet another go at getting a payrise, Barnaby is wooing Craig Kelly to join the Nats. One of the reasons Kelly quit the Liberal Party was his refusal to sack an adviser that has numerous sexual harassment complaints against him from young women in Kelly’s office.

Is this the team to put together when their workplace is under investigation for the treatment of the women who work there?

Barnaby decided to move his own amendment in parliament to allow the CEFC’s grid reliability fund to invest in new coal-fired power plants. I’m not sure why Barnaby thinks they have party room meetings if you aren’t even going to run it by your own side first. Most likely it was designed to try to attract attention from someone other than Mike Bowers.

Not to be outdone, Sports-rorter Bridget McKenzie and Matt King Coal gathered their three newbie fellow backbenchers in the Senate to front the cameras and tell us that we must support nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.

Speaking to the ABC on Wednesday, Canavan said “I don’t think we should be heading down this – giving any credence to this net-zero emissions path, that would shut down large sections of rural Australia. It costs thousands of people their jobs in the agricultural and mining and manufacturing industries. They’re the lifeblood of our towns.”

Mirroring the Whyalla being wiped off the map line that Barnaby loved, Canavan added “You know, you won’t have towns like Moranbah if you don’t have a mining industry.”

Perhaps Matt is unaware of what the locals feel about the 100% FIFO workforce who have made housing unaffordable and filled the town with men. You also don’t have a mining industry if there is no demand for your product and it would probably be a good idea to prepare for that time.

A report by Beyond Zero Emissions, an energy and climate change thinktank, says practical projects to decarbonise the economy could create 1.78m “job years” over the next five years – on average, 355,000 people in work each year – while modernising Australian industry.

Maybe Matt doesn’t know that the members of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) voted in favour of “an aspirational economy-wide target of net carbon zero by 2050,” suggesting there is “huge potential for Australia to be a global leader in low-emissions agriculture.”

It seems farmers don’t want agriculture to be “carved out”, as the (at time of writing) Nationals leader had insisted. In fact, the red meat sector has a target of being carbon neutral by 2030 and is already making great headway on research and new technologies that will enable that transformation.

According to the Australian Energy Market Operator and the CSIRO, if the Nationals want cheap reliable power, they should be championing solar and wind with pumped hydro and batteries for storage, new transmission lines from renewable energy zones, and better links between states.

“At 90% renewable energy, the total cost [of generation, storage and transmission] is A$63/MWh. But that’s still cheaper than the cost of new coal and gas-fired electricity generation, which is in the range of A$70 to A$90/MWh (under ideal assumptions of low fuel pricing and no climate policy risk).”

Nuclear was the most expensive option examined. It also is not renewable (needing uranium fuel), produces radioactive waste, uses an enormous amount of water, and would take at least 15 years to come on line.

Carbon capture and storage is just a way to keep the fossil fuel industry going. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t really work and isn’t commercially viable (yet), it misses the point that we have to, as far as possible, stop adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Reducing how much we add isn’t good enough.

When Angus Taylor announced a parliamentary inquiry into establishing a nuclear industry, he may not have just been appeasing the Nats. As reported in the Guardian:

“At least in part, the minister seems to have been informed by the work of SMR Nuclear Technology, a company hoping to bring [small modular reactors] to Australia. Its directors include coal power plant owner and Coalition donor Trevor St Baker, who the company says has met Taylor on the issue.”

That’s the guy that Gladys Berejiklian sold Vales Point power station to for $1 million.

I will leave the final words to anti-corruption campaigner Tony Fitzgerald:

“Politics today is a clash of interests, not ideas. The established parties, which receive large sums of public money to finance their campaigns, are controlled by professional, “whatever it takes” politicians driven by self-interest and ideology and addicted to vested interest funding.

To them, political ethics is merely an amusing oxymoron. Power provides a rich opportunity for personal and political advantage: cronyism, the sale of access and influence and the misuse of public money are now scandalous.

The “winning is all that matters” conduct from politicians affects community attitudes. Australian society is gradually becoming less egalitarian and more cynical and self-centered as economic policies redistribute wealth upwards, widening the gap between “haves” and “have-nots” and producing a largely powerless underclass.

Our boasted commitment to a “fair go” for all sits uneasily with social realities: multibillion-dollar fortunes and mega-mansions while there are homeless children on the streets, Indigenous children living in broken communities and children who’ve been detained and traumatised because they asked for refuge; meagre pensions and generous middle-class welfare; a paltry minimum wage, low wages even for essential services workers and executives who are paid a lifetime’s income in a year; tax deductions to enable investors to purchase multiple properties to rent to families who can’t afford to buy homes because of the investors’ tax advantages; economic trickle-down mumbo-jumbo justifying tax cuts for imaginary rich altruists who seek more wealth only to create jobs for the poor; the rejection of environmental realities so that plutomaniacs can increase their pointless, unspendable fortunes and disturbingly little concern for the interests of future generations.

In the circumstances, community unrest and political instability are inevitable, as is the eruption of disruptive ultra-nationalist groups which promote sham nostalgia, foster prejudice, rebrand ignorance as common sense, encourage resentment toward an educated, progressive “elite” and mislead the gullible with crazy theories and empty promises.”

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  1. Phil Pryor

    The vomit bowl that is national’s politics is all turded up with old country party attitudes, chop, hack, scrape, root, rort, whine, bludge, ask, demand, lobby, get a hold of any tariff, bounty, concession, incentive scheme, discount, award, write off, write down, application, dodge, steal, lurk. Absolutely no morals or ethics will be tolerated.., tough MEN (a few female imitators) for tough times.., and you must HATE everything you don’t comprehend, a long list, past Mars.., plus do it all AGAIN!! No Brains.., no gains, all pains, a curse on the nation.

  2. New England Cocky

    Ejecting these federal Nazional$ from their publicly funded political sinecures is dependent upon the education of urban regional voters to want better government facilities. Too may persons involved in agricultural enterprises believe that Menzies ”Reds are under our Beds” mythology despite over 60 years hunting that has proved the myth wrong!!

    In Federal politics, removing Barnyard Joke from New England means changing the preferences of Tamworth women from adulterous, alcoholic, bigoted, conceited, corrupt, deceitful, egotistical, fornicating, hypocritical, harassing misogynists who vote for their wives despite women having the vote in NSW since 1901.

    At a NSW level it becomes easier. There are eight (8) electorates west of the gGeat Dividing Range with 4/8 having representatives of the Nazional$ which form part of the present COALition misgovernment.

    The Nazional$ incumbents prefer to ignore the growing demand for adequate adult & juvenile mental health facilities, adequate hospital services by natural person medical staff rather than computers, proper metropolitan standard teachers staffing the stupid mega-school policy being used to claim that the Nazional$ are putting money into their electorates, sufficient police numbers to handle domestic violence incidents, and adequate government funding of public infrastructure especially RFS and Emergency Services, roads and railways.

    By replacing these four (4) representatives of the Nazional$ with credible local persons nominated for Civic Office and supported into office, the balance of power may be shifted to Independent and SFF politicians who are demonstrating how an urban regional electorate should be represented.

  3. Gangstas Paradise

    I guess the Nats could best be described as “sober, god fearing farmers, freedom loving, law abiding rugged individualists who hold that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism. They advocate thrift and hard work and disapprove of loose woman/men who turn them down. their speciality is growing crops, or not growing crops whichever got the most subsidy from the govt. Many have been known to spring out of bed at the crack of noon everyday.”

    “The Nats love a leader who sit the Libs down and explain that “the lord gave us good farmers two strong hands so that we could take as much as we could grab with both of them.”. Adding “that if the lord didn’t want us to take as much as we could get, he wouldn’t have given us two good hands to take it with” ……. this usually gets an “amen” from the PM.

    The Nats have “faith in predestination and can perceive distinctly how everyone’s misfortunes but their own are expressions of gods will.”.

    Apologies for plagiarism of Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22”.

    Some of it are excerpts from Major Major Major Major’s chapter and the rest is my poorly performed inserts.

    Quite happily recommend reading Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22” ….. or as is my case, revisiting after 55 years.

    And besides that it will give you something to do now that Guardian Australia is sitting at the Murdoch table raking in the extorted money from Google while at the same time removing your ability to Comment on politics in Australia ….. a win/win for the Murdoch’s and the Morrison govt.

  4. Kerri

    Power is a huge aphrodisiac!
    The scandals and general rampant mistreatment of women in the parliament underscores that power and that sexual arousal.
    Can anyone seriously imagine that a certain conversation or two with an american tech titan didn’t cause rumblings in the loins of the most inept person who manages our finances??

  5. New England Cocky

    @Phil Pryor: Oh Phil ….. you must have lived in the country region(s) for a long time …

    @Gangstas Paradise: Are you the fresh philosophical air that the Nazional$ have been gasping for during the past 100 years?

    @Kerri: You are an optimist if you think anything can move Friedeggburger.

  6. Phil Pryor

    Old Cocky, I was in the bush for c. seventeen years, the Doug Anthony brainless days, when waste replaced progress, and self delusion and a grin did the job. Dairying in the North Coast went from over 2, 300 farms to well under a thousand in the Anthony days (daze), and I personally saw his abuses, overusing commonwealth cars, photo shots in floods, (while I loaded fodder in a flood rescue boat for a friend’s stranded dairy cattle), the rotten bludger. One old colleague even quietly reported an anecdotal yarn of another teaching colleague, that Doug, at the local primary until sent off for polishing at secondary private, was tested at an I Q of…98. If only he’d remained a young dairy worker…his real level. The old country party types included lovely old solid types, hard working, but.., collectively abusing the environment and ruining the land, with floods, droughts, pests, erosion, weeds, all guaranteed.

  7. David Jennings

    If we used Modular Molten Salt reactors, most of the objections to nuclear cease to be an issue & they can be actually reduce the amount of waste by using it for fuel.

  8. wam

    I cannot imagine any intelligent being being in favour of nuclear fission power stations. Equally not being in favour of nuclear production of power through fusion is hard to understand. ps Phil, in my experience, the only people, with an intelligence quotient above dismal dougie, who vote against socialism, get a benefit from the coalition or are concerned they will lose something eg the share retirees.

  9. Kaye Lee

    The CSIRO and AEMO publish a yearly report called GenCost. They look at the cost of all forms of generation. It does recognise the potential for small nuclear reactors in certain scenarios, but these are heavily qualified: they are at least a decade away, and would still deliver a levellised cost of energy at least twice that of wind and solar and storage.

  10. ajogrady

    For the life of me I do not understand why the Greens do not have more candidates in rural seats. The Greens are a natural fit ( pun intended). The National are no longer the party that represent country folks. They are the party of Multi national miners.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Trouble is the inherited vote. Country people voted for the Country Party. Why anyone would vote for the National Party is completely beyond me. They represent no-one but themselves – there is no way this bunch of clowns could get a job as well paid as a politician with all the perks and no responsibility plus free booze, transport and accommodation. Hell, ya don’t even have to turn up to work. Ask the member for Manila.

  12. New England Cocky

    @ajogrady: The Nazional$ are too slowly being replaced by competent caring Independents or hard working Shooters Fishers & Farmers representatives. Check out the websites of Roy Butler (Barwon), Helen Dalton (Murray), Phil Donato (Orange), Joe McGirr (Wagga Wagga) and see what electorates having representatives of the Nazional$ Party are missing out on.

    In Armidale NSW we have the local representative of the Nazional$ Party doing dirty water deals for the benefit of future ‘political donations” AKA ”political bribes” for allowing almost free access to Armidale drinking water in Malpas Dam via a taxpayer funded about $13 MILLION pipeline directly into the Tomato Farm, rather than demand that Costa build their own water storage like every other agricultural enterprise in New England. Oh, and the ‘purchase price” for agricultural water is heavily discounted @ $2.60/KL while ratepayers pay $4.20/KL.

    The representative of the Nazional$ in Northern Tablelands is also the Minister for Agriculture ….. now what quantum of future ”political donations” are purchased by such government largess??

  13. wam

    The joke about fusion energy is that it’s 30 years away and always will be. But significant recent advances in fusion science and technology could potentially put the first fusion power on the grid as soon as the 2040 Abundant energy: Fusing atoms together in a controlled way releases nearly four million times more energy than a chemical reaction such as the burning of coal, oil or gas and four times as much as nuclear fission reactions (at equal mass).
    spot on NRC extremists oops responsible gun citizens and katters will replace the nats but whomever will still be a loooong way from boobbies mob

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