When George Brandis created a very high-paying job as a human rights commissioner to gift to Tim Wilson without any selection process, it raised many eyebrows, not least because Wilson, in his role at the IPA, had been calling for the abolition of the very organisation he was now to join.
But that conundrum pales into insignificance in comparison to freedom boy’s new found embrace of action on climate change – a change of heart that followed the shock loss in the Wentworth byelection.
Tim has now joined the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action group and is hitting the airwaves to tell us all about it.
“Some of us want sensible, sustainable policy that confronts Australia’s emissions challenge, focuses on technology and economic growth and doesn’t leave Australians behind,” he said.
Well, that’s terrific Tim, except, having a memory slightly longer than a goldfish, I recall what you said when you were Director of Climate Change Policy at the IPA.
Here is Tim in 2012 arguing for us to get out of Kyoto.
When covering the Copenhagen climate change talks in 2009, Tim was at his witty worst.
“for the first time in the ten year history of the Awards, the “Ray of the Day” Award was given out to Tuvalu for arguing for a binding, international treaty to cut global carbon dioxide emissions. If the event weren’t such a farce, it’d almost be funny.”
Or this enlightened appraisal…
“…there was a much greater presence of anti-capitalist sentiment amongst protestors today with placards and posters decrying “toxic capitalism” and “change the system, not the climate”.
But opposition to capitalism clearly only went so far with a little coffee stall where you could get a “green bean” coffee.
I presume the protestors turned a blind eye to the fact that beans were imported from the other side of the world by a carbon emitting shipping line and traded on globalised international markets.
But considering how cold it is in Copenhagen I can understand putting ideology to one side especially when the objective is to warm up. Oh, except when it is the climate.”
For Tim, it’s all about the money.
“For developed countries, the negotiations are about how much they have to give to that adaptation financing pool, and how much they’ll have to harm their economies and their competitive advantage against developing countries through emissions reduction as well.”
But if you think our economy is his major concern, you would be wrong. Tim is singularly focused on his own economy and there is not a principle he wouldn’t ditch in order to feather his own nest.
In a revealing interview in the SMH in 2014, Wilson explains his tactics.
He became heavily involved with student politics, eventually becoming president of the Student Union in 2001, thanks in part to his talent for favour-trading – plying opponents with “a whole bunch of delegateships” in return for their support. He also had “this really clever little trick”, using a digital camera, “which very few people had back then”, to take photos of himself at university club functions, several of which he would attend in a single night. He would then send the photos to the club magazines the next morning. “They didn’t have any photos, certainly not that immediately. So they’d run them, and of course, I was in half of them, and it made me look as if I was the centre of everything.”
The only thing that qualifies this dilettante to be a leader in our country is his overweening self-confidence, his shameless self-promotion, and his ability to brazenly claim that there is nothing inconsistent in his weathervane flip-flopping.
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