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Thirty pieces of silver

By Ad astra

Disappointment, disillusionment, disgust, desperation, desolation, despondency, and above all simmering anger – these are the emotions so many Australians have had, and still are experiencing when they reflect on Malcolm Turnbull’s period as prime minister. And this applies to many Labor supporters, who welcomed Turnbull’s overturning of Tony Abbott. Surely, they thought, nothing could be worse than the appalling Abbott.

Yet, despite Turnbull looking and speaking like a prime minister, in such stark contrast to the malevolent Abbott, with his reckless abandonment of the values and principles we all know Turnbull once embraced, in just over a year he has killed off any respect he initially had. We deplored so many of Abbott’s principles, but at least he stuck to them. Turnbull has turned out to be a shameful turncoat, ready to betray his beliefs for thirty pieces of silver.

We are astonished, dismayed and saddened.

This piece is a companion to the last published: Abbott’s legacy of destruction. It exposes the other side of the deeply tarnished Abbott/Turnbull coin. The two pieces need to be read in parallel.

Ten pieces of silver to abandon climate change action
Of all his fine principles, shall we ever forget Turnbull’s stand on climate change!

He supported Kevin Rudd’s push for an emissions trading scheme – even crossing the floor to do so! You will remember his much publicized proclamation:

I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.

What a tragedy it was that Rudd reneged on his promise to work with Turnbull to achieve bipartisanship to bring in an ETS. We could have had one many years ago. We now are as far away from an ETS as ever.

In December of last year, Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg was foolish enough to utter the words: “…we know there’s been a large number of bodies that have recommended an emissions intensity scheme, which is effectively a baseline and credit scheme”. Hard right-wingers Cory Bernardi and Craig Kelly went ballistic, Tony Abbott chimed in to repeat his longstanding opposition, and Murdoch’s Chris Kenny wrote a column in The Australian warning Turnbull that it was ‘political madness’ to re-consider an ETS.

Turnbull’s retreat was rapid. Within 24 hours he was insisting: “We will not be imposing a carbon tax and we will not be imposing an emissions trading scheme, however it is called, an emissions intensity scheme is an emissions trading scheme. That is just another name for it. That has been our policy for many years now.”

Suitably chastened, Frydenberg soon echoed Turnbull’s words, adding apologetically: “I have never advocated for a carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme; that is why the Government won’t proceed with one.” Ben Eltham, writing in New Matilda commented: Somewhere…a rooster crowed twice.

Although we all remember Turnbull’s 2009 proclamation, he has made many other utterances, from which he has retreated. They can be found in the archives. Some may surprise you. Take a look at them: You will find them here:

Here are a few of them:

“Climate change is a global problem. The planet is warming because of the growing level of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. If this trend continues, truly catastrophic consequences are likely to ensue from rising sea levels, to reduced water availability, to more heat waves and fires.

“I do not believe we can effectively move Australia to a lower emission economy, which is what we need to do if we’re going to make a contribution to a global reduction in greenhouse gases, without putting a price on carbon.”

“…some years from now if there’s a global emissions trading scheme agreement, as many have hoped for, then I’m sure Australia would be part of it.”

“The question of whether or to what extent human activities are causing global warming is not a matter of ideology, let alone of belief. The issue is simply one of risk management.”

“If Margaret Thatcher took climate change seriously and believed that we should take action to reduce global greenhouse emissions, then taking action and supporting and accepting the science can hardly be the mark of incipient Bolshevism.”

“We are already experiencing the symptoms of climate change, especially with a hotter and drier climate in southern Australia – the rush to construct desalination plants is an expensive testament to that.”

“Look at countries like China, they are determined to dominate all clean technology areas, putting lots of money into wind, solar, electric vehicles and battery storage. America’s political impotence, caused by their terrible partisanship, will see them left behind.”

“Many Liberals are rightly dismayed that on this vital issue of climate change we are not simply without a policy, without any prospect of having a credible policy but we are now without integrity. We have given our opponents the irrefutable, undeniable evidence that we cannot be trusted.”

“Direct Action is “a con, an environmental fig leaf to cover a determination to do nothing” and a “recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale”.

“First, let’s get this straight. You cannot cut emissions without a cost. To replace dirty coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired ones, or renewables like wind let alone nuclear power or even coal fired power with carbon capture and storage is all going to cost money. To get farmers to change the way they manage their land, or plant trees and vegetation all costs money. Somebody has to pay. So any suggestion that you can dramatically cut emissions without any cost is, to use a favourite term of Mr Abbott, “bullshit.” Moreover he knows it.”

“I believe that politicians should speak the truth all the time. Invariably there will be occasions when you make statements that are factually incorrect due to an error.”

“I’ve been around in public life for a long time. I think people know what I stand for. They know that I have strong convictions, committed principles and I’m prepared to stand up for them.”

How laughable! Turnbull has shown over and again that he will not stand up for his principles when members of his rabid right wing stamp their feet and demand that he toe the line he agreed to get their votes to topple Abbott. We have seen that time and again, but nowhere more flagrantly than over the issue of climate change.

The man who so strongly supported an ETS now refuses to have a bar of one.

After Turnbull replaced Abbott, climate pundits were excited. Corporate advisor, Paul Gilding, insisted that there was great support from Malcolm Turnbull on renewable energy and climate change: “Turnbull actually supports climate action and has long understood the economic implications of the transition required. And rather than being fearful of those implications he embraces them – seeing the inherent opportunity in a transition away from coal and towards a technology-driven transformation of the renewable energy system. The influence of this over time, on the business community and on public attitudes will be long lasting and leave a legacy for a generation.” How disillusioned Gilding must be now!

But as we have seen in the last couple of months, ever since September when in South Australia a ‘once in fifty-year storm’ tore up transmission towers and blacked out the entire state, Turnbull has become a fierce critic of the targets set for the adoption of renewable energy, initially blaming the state’s dependence on renewable energy for the disaster, later capitulating in the face of undeniable evidence to the contrary.

He and his minders, having decided that ‘energy security’ will be the defining issue in the months ahead, have attacked Labor and the Greens relentlessly as ‘ideologically driven’ incompetents whose ‘utterly unrealistic renewable energy targets’ will not be achievable, and will drive energy prices skyward. Turnbull has ruthlessly abandoned his long-held principles in the pursuit of political gain, for himself and the LNP.

Turnbull castigates those who seek to transition to renewables rapidly, and now supports coal mining. He even allowed his Treasurer to bring a lump of coal into parliament to mock Labor. He now talks of ‘clean coal’ technology, as if it was an imminent and financially viable possibility, which experts in the field insist it is not. His behaviour is no different from that of Abbott who proclaimed that ‘coal is good for humanity’ and would be around as a major source of energy for many decades!

Image from

He is Abbott personified, but without a skerrick of principle left!

Now, a coalition of eighteen business, energy, investor, climate and welfare groups, including the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Council of Social Services, and the ACTU, has called for an end to partisan energy politics and urgent action on global warming in the knowledge of its devastating effects on business, investment in energy, agriculture, the environment, and indeed life on this planet. But Turnbull and his government are not listening!

This whole piece could be about Turnbull’s shameful retreat from the urgency of global warming, but let’s visit some other of Turnbull’s inglorious retreats.

Ten pieces of silver to ‘demolish the NBN’
Who will ever forget PM Abbott’s infamous instruction to his then Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull: Demolish the NBN? Abbott wanted it destroyed only because Labor had proposed and designed it, a groundbreaking Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) proposal that would have placed Australia at the forefront of modern Internet communications, and would have given it a competitive advantage over its neighbours and overseas’ rivals. After the Abbott intervention, thanks to the lily-livered, mendacious response of Turnbull, a tech-head who made his fortune in Internet communications with the sale of his OzEmail, we now rank a lowly 45th in the world for Internet speeds.

Although Turnbull knew full well that FTTP was the superior option, he messed around trying to convince us of the merits of a Multi Technology Mix (MTM) that included Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC), Fixed Wireless, and a Long Term Satellite Service, as well as Fibre to the Node (FTTN) where fibre was rolled out only to street corner boxes, with ageing copper wire making the connection to the premises. Turnbull’s selling spiel was that Labor’s FTTP was prohibitively expensive, too slow to roll out, and sotto voce unnecessary for Australia’s needs. FTTN, with its lower speeds, would be OK for this nation, which he continually implores to be ‘agile and innovative’.

The facts are that the FTTN rollout is arguably no faster than was planned for Labor’s FTTP, the speeds are poorer, and the cost is likely to be the same as for the FTTP, or higher. In other words, to placate the malevolent Abbott, Turnbull’s counterintuitive interference with the original FTTP plan has resulted in Australia gaining nothing, and we have lost a golden opportunity to be world leaders.

Once more, Turnbull has sacrificed his ideals, abandoned his technical know-how, and deliberately deceived the public about the touted merits of the Coalition’s FTTN MTM hotchpotch, leaving us no better off financially or logistically, but much worse off technically with an already out-of-date NBN that will soon need expensive upgrades.

Moreover, he has tried to convince us that the fast 100Mbps speeds promised by FTTP are not necessary, as many taking up the NBN are choosing slower speeds. But what about business and industry that need to send large files around the world; what about farmers who need to be in rapid touch with world prices and trends? Turnbull seems to be channeling the tech-ignorant Abbott who said that the speeds needed only to be good enough to send an email, or for his daughters to download a movie!

Turnbull, who does know the technical facts better than anyone else in his party, has sold his principles and values simply to gain political advantage for himself and his party. He has lied.

In answer to a question about the Coalition’s NBN on Q&A last year Turnbull obfuscated. Writing about it in Delimiter Renai LeMay said:

“On last night’s episode of Q&A, Turnbull did nothing to address persistent criticism of the Coalition’s NBN policy. Neither did he address – at all – Labor’s reworked NBN vision.

“Instead, what we got was a repeat of the standardised set of talking points which virtually every Coalition MP has been parroting about the NBN for the past two to three years.

“I find this insulting, to say the least.

“Turnbull is clearly aware that the NBN debate has moved on and that the country is now having a nuanced discussion of how the NBN project should proceed over the next decade, incorporating technologies such as HFC cable, FTTP and perhaps even new models such as Fibre to the Distribution Point.

“The Prime Minister’s failure to address that debate in any way, shape or form shows his lack of respect for the public; and also his determination not to meaningfully engage on the matter of the NBN. The increasing likelihood that the Coalition will not refine its NBN policy for the election reinforces that impression.”

Once more Turnbull has recklessly sacrificed his ideals for a pottage of political advantage.

Ten pieces of silver to abandon marital equality
This piece is already long enough; so let’s conclude with Turnbull’s shameful retreat from his principles on this contentious matter.

Turnbull has always advocated marriage equality, and believes that a parliamentary vote would secure its legislative passage. Yet, despite public opinion strongly favoring marriage equality, and a majority in favour of a parliamentary vote to settle the matter, Turnbull will not budge from his commitment to the hard right of his party to have a plebiscite, which we all know was Abbott’s delaying mechanism that would give opponents the opportunity to disseminate emotive dissent, thereby creating doubt in voters’ minds, which the religious right hopes will result in a negative vote.

Turnbull has no religious, social or ideological objection to marriage equality – indeed the contrary is the case. Yet he is shamelessly sacrificing his long-held principles on the altar of political expediency, simply to placate the rabid religious right in his party, and thereby hang tenuously onto his prime ministership.

Do you need any more evidence that Turnbull has sold his political soul for thirty pieces of silver? On three crucial fronts: global warming, the NBN, and marriage equality, he has sold out so that he could grasp, and now cling doggedly onto leadership. There are many more of his values that he has sacrificed for silver: The Republic, Medicare, urban planning, and asylum seeker policy. But enough is enough.

What are voters feeling about him now, just eighteen months into his prime ministership?

Disappointment, disillusionment, disgust, disrespect, despair, despondency, desolation, and above all, intense anger.

What a political and personal price he has paid in return for his thirty pieces of silver!

What do you think?

What are your views about Malcolm Turnbull?

Have you other examples of how he has sold out his principles and values?


This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Robert Breinl

    I would like to see an analysis of who is raking in the moolah from Direct Action … how much of that is siphoned back into the LNP bank account …

  2. Lorraine Stansfiewld

    Malcolm Turnbull wanted to be PM at any cost. If he believed in any of the above his yearning for the position of PM got in the way of his beliefs. The saying “be careful what you wish for” for it may have unforeseen and unpleasant consequences could apply to you Mr Turnbull.

  3. Kaye Lee

    10 pieces of silver to abandon tax reform

    In 2005, Malcolm Turnbull described negative gearing as a ‘sheltering tax haven’ that is ‘skewing national investment away from wealth-creating pursuits, towards housing’ causing a ‘property bubble’

    Turnbull and Temple also favoured taxing capital gains at the same rate as income as well as ending concessions for work-related spending.

  4. Kaye Lee

    10 pieces of silver to abandon Truth, Leadership & Responsibility

    “In case you think my call for a change of attitude and practice to truth in politics is just idealism – let me make a practical political point. It seems to me that we don’t simply have a financial deficit, we have a deficit of trust. We can argue for hours which side and which politicians, which journalists indeed, have contributed most to it. But it affects all of us and all of our institutions. The politicians and parties that can demonstrate they can be trusted, that they will not insult the people with weasel words and spin, that they will not promise more than they can deliver, that they will not dishonestly misrepresent either their own or their opponents’ policies – those politicians and parties will, I submit to you, deserve and receive electoral success.” – Malcolm Turnbull, George Winterton lecture 2012

    Malcolm Turnbull’s Speech On Republican Virtues: Truth, Leadership & Responsibility

  5. Barry

    I posted this on the Political Sword site as well so might as well bore everyone on here as well:
    “Once more, Turnbull has sacrificed his ideals, abandoned his technical know-how”, sorry to disagree with you on this one, he hasn’t any. The Malcolm Turnball (sic) we see is exactly what he is, a man that will throw any and all convictions out the window to hold onto power whatever it costs.
    “Moreover, he has tried to convince us that the fast 100Mbps speeds promised by FTTP are not necessary, as many taking up the NBN are choosing slower speeds”, the reason as I see it is people aren’t taking it up because of the cost. I’ve been on the NBN for about four months and it’s been a boondoggle from day one. For the most part comparable speeds to ADSL but at least with ADSL the landline phone didn’t drop out every other day requiring a reset of the modem or having to reset because the internet goes off to la la land. I had hopes of a change of direction after Abbott received the heave ho but alas, screwed again. I suppose I should add I’m a leftie socialist thingummy doodad as well (whatever that is).

  6. olddavey

    Malcolm Turnbull – Thirty pieces of SHITE!

  7. olddavey

    Barry @8:4
    “a boondoggle from day one. For the most part comparable speeds to ADSL but at least with ADSL the landline phone didn’t drop out every other day requiring a reset of the modem or having to reset because the internet goes off to la la land.”
    Same here, started our reasonably well but has been going downhill ever since. Still, we’ve now got Fifield looking after us, so I feel much more encouraged!

  8. 245179

    turnbull is all about turnbull…..period. Ok he paid 1.5 mill to tick his bucket list as “PM” australia. Small change when you’ve supposedly got 200 +, and apparently tucked away in a tax haven. He’s taken some yrs building his political profile ( all smoke and mirrors by the way ) but the end justifies the means is his thinkings. Voters were suckered by him, they bought his ” i care for the planet, i care for you”, he’s backflipped with double pike on everything that voters were waiting for to happen. He’s proven to be an absolute failure for average voters.
    Good riddance to him and his cohorts, a shocking period of unabashed lies.

  9. Michael

    30 pieces of silver cost $1.75M+ = who on the front bench could let us know how much each silver piece cost and how they got their answer?

    Put your hands up! …………

  10. astra5

    Robert Breinl
    So would I. In fact I’d like to know how ‘Direct Action’ is actually operating. It’s touted as great success. But what is it?

  11. astra5

    Lorraine Stansfiewld
    It is sad when a man thought to be principled sacrifices all. simply to stay in power.

  12. Barry

    Olddavey @8:52…Fifield? If I believed in sky fairies I’d be doing some serious praying. No offense to those that do believe.

  13. astra5

    Kaye Lee
    Thank you for adding more examples of Turnbull’s abandonment of principles we thought he espoused. We could write another piece just as long.

  14. astra5

    Here’s my reply to your post on The Political Sword:

    Of course you are right. It is all the more sad when someone thought to be a man of principle reveals that his prime ‘principle’ is to keep his job at any cost.

    I haven’t got the NBN, only ADSL2 here in Melbourne and in the country only a mobile service. The former is acceptable, but the latter is variable depending on whether it’s school holiday time at our coastal village, when the pace slows to a tedious crawl. The NBN is said to be close to us there, but tantalizingly slow coming. After reading your account of the NBN, I wonder how worthwhile it would be.

  15. astra5

    I see you are having the same trouble as Barry. So much for the much touted FTTN.

  16. astra5

    245179, Michael
    1.75 million divided by 30 = $58.333 for each piece of silver, very expensive insurance! But even that will not be enough to save him as his house of cards burns down.

  17. Barry

    Astra5 here’s my reply to your reply to my reply on The political Sword….bugga …it’s sounding like a bad Monty Python sketch

    Ad Astra, my advice is stay on ADSL2 until you absolutely have no other choice. On a different tack but pertaining somewhat to your article. Bill shorten is receiving an absolute caning over his comments about the FWC decision. I don’t know about the rest of the country but he is the sort of pollie I like unfortunately he hasn’t put it in the way I would I.E “I screwed it up and I’m sorry. Now how do we fix it so it doesn’t happen again?” and yes I did that quite a few times in my working life and why I’d like to hear just ONE politician say that but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  18. Henry Rodrigues

    The title of this article is deliciously apt and timely, coming in the season where historical betrayals for pieces of silver are mulled over for meaning and effect.What really and truly stuck in the craw of many, was the sight and sound, on all the evening news bulletins, of this unrepentant, unprincipled spiv, strolling about in a solar farm in Queensland, seemly giving his unadulterated approval for renewable. energy, hoping that his previous weeks stance in parliament against renewables would conveniently be erased from our collective memories.

    Even Judas suffered remorse and jumped over a cliff. Will this crass hypocrite have enough personal shame, to do likewise ??

  19. astra5

    I won’t go round again – we might get dizzy!

  20. astra5

    Henry Rodrigues
    I doubt if Turnbull has the insight of Judas. So obsessed is he with clinging to office, no price is too big for him to pay. Remorse is not permitted.

    He is now behaving like a barrister, where winning is far more important than exposing the truth. He still imagines he’s on the ‘Spycatcher’ case. Just watch him in QT where he volubly harangues Bill Shorten, just as a barrister does with an adverse witness. While he accuses Shorten of hypocrisy, it flows like a torrent from his own mendacious lips. So far has he abandoned his once-held principles that hypocrisy is all that’s left.

  21. helvityni

    astra5, a spot on assessment of Turnbull, indeed shades of Spycatcher…!

  22. Harquebus

    An ETS will do nothing except punish the poor.

    A FTTN NBN has advantages such as flexibility and adaptability when incorporating new and old technologies and could have been done cheaper and could have provided a basic internet service to every phone line for free but, the Coalition considers it to be business to be flogged off at some future date and not as a vital infrastructure providing an essential public service. FTTN does not prohibit those wanting FTTP from having it.
    Design constraints imposed by capitalist ideology has given us another dog’s breakfast.


  23. Neil Aitchison

    Homosexual marriage is the tail-end of the 60’s sexual revolution of free love (more accurately, “free lust”) which dismissed marriage as prohibitive to freedom to have sex with anybody and anyone at anytime – then along came the pill and legal abortion which took away the consequences. What has replaced traditional marriage – between one man and one woman for life – are the fake substitutes and token “marriages” based on convenience and self-gratification. The great damage is plain to see in a myriad of ways, especially with children (eg. the children of broken marriages are deprived of a parent and the innocent, unborn children who are aborted get the worst treatment of all – they die). Homosexual marriage is simply trying to make homosexuality look acceptable, but in the process, it takes the fallouts to a whole new level with even greater impacts on children and greater sexualisation of society away from the age-old concepts of morality and decency – it is uncharted territory. The history of the Institution of Marriage is quite clear: it was designed to unite a male and a female and provide a secure environment for raising the resultant children. The current Marriage Act makes mention of children for this very reason. I’m waiting to see how the definition and function of marriage has supposedly “changed” even though promiscuity and decadency has become acceptable and poisoned nearly every facet of society.

    If marriages break up, that is not the fault of the Institution of Marriage, but rather married people not keeping their marriage vows. And even if there are half the marriages ending up in divorce, what about the other half that have good marriages?….can’t their be recognition that a marriage CAN work if the spouses want it to?….But no, instead of bolstering the Institution of Marriage to make it stronger (and it definitely needs bolstering), the homosexuals activists say that marriage is already being trashed alot today so who cares if we trash it even further by redefining it into a love/lust/sex-based marriage (ie. “if it feels good, do it” marriage) away from the millennia-old biological parenthood-based marriage. Our children are now living in this environment with an aggressively targeted campaign in schools designed to groom them into as extreme perverse sexualisation as possible from a very young age with no awareness of true marriage or it’s benefits. This means that when they become adults, they will have no desire to marry or even be aware of what true marriage means. Marriage is therefore constantly being undermined leading to frivolous commitments, lack of role-model marriages in media, music or the entertainment industry (which is why most celebrities back SSM because their own multiple marriages have all failed and they can get more money out of backing the latest trend even if it ruins the marriage bedrock of society) and higher levels of divorce – mainly due to the “no-fault” divorce laws that also contributed to the trashing of marriage over the past few decades. No fault divorce along with these other changes have brought enormous social harm, reducing marriage to an optional and disposable arrangement rather than the core institution for family formation and raising children….a pillar of successful civilisations.

    Gay marriage will be the final nail in the coffin, diminishing it completely and robbing it of any idea that it is about children In fact, same sex marriage only now seems plausible because the true purpose of marriage has eroded so much that it doesn’t matter what you do, you can redefine any sex act to be called marriage to try and make it “acceptable”. But in the history of mankind, homosexual marriage (and now the slippery slop of “gender-diverse marriage” being added to the list of marriage options – with more on the way as time passes) has never been deemed acceptable. The reason for this is simple: SSM and gender-diverse marriages (plus any other marriage options) are “sex-based” instead of “family-based”. All this pulling down of marriage makes marriage look worthless, when in fact, it is not the institution of marriage that is at fault, but rather the way it is being used – people who divorce are simply not honouring their marriage vows. Plus, technology has advanced to manipulate procreation using artificial reproduction techniques for baby creation to match the artificial homosexual/gender-bender families….this means that homosexual “marriage” now seems viable extended to having a confected “family” where designer children who miss out on either a father or a mother. Biology is thrown out the window

  24. Henry Rodrigues

    Astra5……..Everytime this fake PM stands up in parliament to give the world a demonstration of his vocabulary, delivery and articulation it only leaves people wondering more about his inability or disability, to answer any question put him. It just re- establishes the truth that he is evading the questions. Poor sod, promised so much and delivered so very little. The poll numbers don’t lie,55:45 to Labor.

  25. Paolo Soprani

    THEY don’t want us to have a world class NBN. The powers that be don’t want thoughtful, intelligent, informed people who might glean enough information from technology and sit around a table discussing with similar intelligent people that they are being totally screwed over by the anonymous powers that be who really run the country. Look at the prices we pay for energy, health insurance, aged care, toll roads, commercial in confidence, big development that flies in the face of regulation etc etc. They’ve come for weekend penalty rates now and they’ll probably get them, then they’ll move on your pension! They want it all! Have you ever heard of anyone in government railing about the growing divide between rich and poor? No, because they don’t give a shit about us.

  26. astra5

    Ingrained habits die slowly, as Turnbull exhibits every day in QT.

  27. astra5

    Paolo Soprani
    You are likely quite right. Keeping the masses uninformed, and indoctrinated only by its ideology and its set of beliefs, seems to be the Coalition’s objective. Shades of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four. The congruence between that prophetic novel and present day events is striking. This is the subject of a piece I am writing that will be published in the next week or so.

  28. jimhaz

    [THEY don’t want us to have a world class NBN.]

    Rubbish. They do – but they want to make sure private companies get an unfair share from consumers for connection to the home.

    [No, because they don’t give a shit about us]

    True. They have nothing but scorn for us. Unfortunately though one expects it from the LNP, I sense the same in Shorten and his dep to a lesser extent.

  29. jimhaz

    @ Not on your Neilie,

    [robbing it of any idea that it is about children]

    I doubt it ever was “about children”. I means just look at how they were treated in centuries past – chattel and slaves.

    To me it was about males protecting the prized females from other males. It was a symbol of male ownership. It was also a formalised way of passing on inheritances to male children.

  30. astra5

    Turnbull’s about faces on climate change (there are several), are becoming more embarrassing by the week, as others shift their ground towards an ETS, while Turnbull remains leg-roped to the ‘do-nothing’ gatepost by his radical right.

    Writing today in Crikey, Bernard Keane says: “… there’s widespread consensus among economists about the effectiveness of an emission intensity scheme for finding the most efficient way to transition to renewable energy, but it’s been shelved by the Liberals as a tool for political reasons.

    “Problematically, however, the policy ground is shifting under the government.

    “Not merely has the energy industry rejected “clean coal” out of hand, big power generators EnergyAustralia and AGL Energy have both called for an emissions intensity scheme, as has BHP.

    “And while big business in Australia has a track record of “supporting” climate action but bagging whatever mechanism governments come up with, now the National Farmers Federation has called for one as well.

    “The government’s ruling out of an EIS in December is now looking very Canute-like.”

    Turnbull and the LNP run the risk of being mugged by the hard-nosed business community that sees the folly of the denialist right’s determination to do nothing.

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