“Oh, hell—prophecy’s a thankless business, and history has a way of showing us what, in retrospect, are very logical solutions to awful messes.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano.
Well, I was going to write a piece about the way we’re being set up to allow fracking. Just as the Liberals have managed to demonise the reliability of renewables because South Australia had blackouts, while ignoring blackouts in states with very little reliance on renewables as being just one of those inevitable things, then we’ll soon have a campaign that suggests that those gas “shortages” will be solved by allowing lots and lots of gas companies to do lots and lots of onshore exploration. That should bring the price down! Of course, the argument is a bit like saying if we let companies drill for gold because there’s probably some under your house, then we don’t need to compensate you because you’ll benefit when the extra gold brings the price down for your next jewellery purchase. If companies do manage to get more access to gas through fracking, it won’t solve the “shortage” because the shortage is being caused by the fact that it’s being flogged off overseas, not because Australia doesn’t produce enough. I suspect that all the “extra” gas will still be flogged off to other countries for higher prices than we’ve traditionally paid.
But, as Kurt Vonnegut wrote in his rather prescient 50s novel, Player Piano, prophecy is a thankless business. If I’m right, people will say how obvious, but if I’m wrong, it’s something to hold over my head. However, in spite of the dangers, I’m prepared to give three reasons why Malcolm Turnbull will still be PM next week.
1. The first is that neither Scott Morrison nor Peter Dutton have the numbers to be sure that they’d win. True, they”d both have more votes than Turnbull if the spill happened, but each is trying to shore up just a little more support to ensure that they’re the one to emerge victor. Look at the shadow plays. Dutton tries to empire build with the proposed Department of Homeland Security. Morrison, on the other hand, starts talking about helping with housing affordability. Turnbull announces that he’ll have more to do with the Budget. So, it’s quite possible that there’d be a bit of argy-bargy before either of the terrible two was confident enough to challenge the Wet One.
2. Because of the general expectation that Labor will win in WA today, then the fallout from the loss may not be as bad for Turnbull as it could be. Should the Liberals just lose, we may even have Malcolm suggesting that it was a shame he was too busy to get over there in the last week, because his appearance may have just got them over the line. Ok, that may be delusional, and it’s probably more accurate to say that if Colin Barnett had been too busy to campaign that may have actually helped the Liberals, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Anyway, Labor need an enormous swing to actually form the government, and while it certainly looks likely, there’s a strong chance that the swing may not be as big as expected. When the Puppets of Pauline fail to get the twenty percent or so that some polls suggest, Malcolm may try to spin a small loss as an enormous victory for the sensible centre, in spite of the fact that in the past few months he’s said nothing either “sensible” or “centre”. Mind you, it also wouldn’t surprise me, if the Liberals are decimated in WA, which would create a lot of twitchy backbenchers in Canberra.
3. But my main reason for suggesting that I’m supremely confident that Malcolm will be PM next week is that Monday is the start of the week and there’s no way they’ll remove him before Tuesday at the earliest.
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