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Was Angus Taylor running dead, or was he not so bright?

Angus Taylor was the previous Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, and he is arguably one of the best educated people in our parliament, with degrees in Economics, and Law, and a Master of Philosophy (Economics) from Oxford. Each of these degrees is necessarily reliant on the use of facts, and figures, real evidence, and mature reasoning.

There is nothing as disappointing as the failure of clever people, because it signals one of two possible reasons for the failure: An inability to handle really difficult tasks because they are ‘clever’ in a bookish way, but when the going gets hard, they squib it, and come up short.

The other reason is when they are captured by ideology, and/or ambition, and they tailor their contribution so that they fail in their allotted task. This is a form of intellectual self-sabotage, for personal gain.

Morrison’s cabinet was grossly under-resourced, staffed by drones valued for their loyalty to Morrison, rather than for their ability. However, individuals like Greg Hunt, and Angus Taylor stood out, at first glance, as genuinely talented, and yet they both failed in their allotted tasks. Sadly they failed our climate, which later generations will not forgive.

Greg Hunt co-wrote a thesis at Yale titled “A Tax to Make the Polluter Pay“. It was apparently brilliant, and it made a very strong case for a ‘carbon tax’. I could not get past the first page, but it had a catchy message: “it (a carbon tax) better ensures that the polluter bears full responsibility for the cost of his or her conduct.” It seems that as soon as cabinet preferment beckoned, he threw his thesis out with the bathwater.

Similarly, Angus Taylor’s abject failure on reducing emissions came after a stellar education, “the best part of two decades in management consulting”, and yet on reaching parliament he devoted three years to undermining and (pardon the pun) gaslighting Australians on our progress to carbon neutrality.

He even stated, at a rally against wind power in 2013:

“I am not a climate sceptic. For 25 years, I have been concerned about how rising carbon dioxide emissions might have an impact on our climate. It remains a concern of mine today. I do not have a vendetta against renewables.”

His failure is so mysterious. Ben Potter from the Financial Review believes his opposition to wind power dates from when a wind farm was built next door to his family’s property in Cooma.

I can understand that may have annoyed the family, but this is a past Minister of the Crown with such an illogical and unreasoning hatred for a form of power generation that perhaps, instead of continuing to vandalise Australia’s response to climate heating, he should have engaged the services of a competent life coach.

The least he should have done was to step aside from his portfolio, and allow a competent person to step up and actually ‘do the job’. I know, we are talking about the former Coalition government, and there was not one competent person to put up.

Which brings us to his new job. He is now the Treasury spokesman. Considering his demonstrated difficulties with numbers, one wonders how competent he can be in such a position. The botched stitch-up on Clover Moore sends a message that he struggles with the basics, and he looks to be a poor match for Jim Chalmers.

On the matter of trust, in March 2022 Roy Morgan published the results on polling undertaken that placed Angus Taylor as the 7th least trusted politician in Australia, placing behind Dominic Perrottet (6th), Craig Kelly (5th), Pauline Hanson (4th), Barnaby Joyce (3rd), Peter Dutton (2nd) and Scott Morrison (1st).

He has struggled with public perceptions that he has put his own, and his family’s, interests before the public interest. We all know that Morrison has damaged the Liberal brand, possibly irrevocably. We know that Peter Dutton had a limited field from which to choose when allocating shadow portfolios.

That does not make Angus Taylor a hopeless choice, but it illustrates the lack of front bench talent, and the question to ask is, is Angus Taylor up to the task? Did he lack the ability to do his last job properly, or was he running dead, to sabotage the transition to renewables? That is the question we must ask ourselves.

As to the Coalition attempting to put together an alternative government, I would question whether Peter Dutton as alternative prime minister, and Angus Taylor as the alternative treasurer, really cuts it. I wouldn’t vote for them in a fit.

 

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17 comments

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  1. pierre wilkinson

    does it really matter? can Angus face an ICAC with impunity? or virtually anyone in opposition?
    they are all going to suffer from collective amnesia very soon, that is for sure

  2. Harry Lime

    Academic qualifications in no way guarantees wisdom,self interest almost always guarantees corruption,especially when it comes to politics.We look forward to an ICAC with a full set of dentures.Grassgate Gus should be shopping for kevlar underwear
    Pierre…AKA the Sinodinos Defence..

  3. Mark Buckley

    The victory of form over substance. Taylor proves the dictum to not judge a book by its cover.

  4. Arnd

    Each of these degrees [economics and law] is necessarily reliant on the use of facts, and figures, real evidence, and mature reasoning.

    Ha! If we were to be serious about searching for real evidence and applying mature reasoning to economics, we would long have replaced capitalism with socialism, and rights-based punitive and contractual law with a capabilities-based restorative regulatory regime.

    As yet, we have not!

    There is nothing as disappointing as the failure of clever people …

    …when they are captured by ideology, and/or ambition …

    Now read about The science literacy paradox: Why really smart people tend to have the most biased opinions. Then get back to me.

  5. New England Cocky

    Both Barnyard Beetrooter and Gassie Taylor best represent their own personal pecuniary interests at enormous cost to the Australian taxpayer ….. the reason is simple; for Beetrooter the women of Tamworth believe that an adulterous alcoholic misogynist can best represent their interests in returning to a 19th century situation where women are kept chattels remaining bare-foot, pregnant & in the kitchen.

    For Gassie Taylor we look forward to his evidence to the proposed Federal ICAC about his dealings with MDB water during the 2019 worst drought in living memory.

  6. Albos Elbow

    Angus Taylor acquired his University qualifications the same way he became a minister in Scummo’s government., by pulling down his pants, bending over and sucking dicks.

    Ranks as Australia’s greatest ever corrupt politician, second only to Scummo.

  7. Harry Lime

    The good news keeps on coming as that doyen of compassion and empathy,Eric Abetz has been duly unelected.His sage advice and incisive interrogation in Senate inquisitions will be sorely missed.It is rumoured an autobiography highlighting his achievements will be forthcoming as soon as he can locate a blank serviette.A series of voodoo dolls in his likeness is also mooted(BYO pins) Das ware ich los.

  8. L. S. Roberts

    Don’t get smug Comrades, Black Angus has been reading his own party room for some little time and has a bat-ton in his backpack.
    He was never convincing as energy minister because he was implementing someone else’s ideological dreams. ICAC probably won’t pull him on the Cayman watergate because of fudged paperwork. As slippery as an eel, anticipate him as the next face of New Liberal Pragmatism.

  9. totaram

    Harry Lime: I join you in celebration of the retirement of the said Herr Abetz. Schadenfreude for me as well!!
    LSR: I agree about the need for vigilance. There are many slippery eels around!!

  10. Andrew J. Smith

    One is quite cynical of ‘owned’ LNP MPs and Ministers where they seem more interested in serving the interests of corporate donors rather than their own constituents; example of how Australian politics, especially the LNP, have been hollowed out and used as policy delivery systems for donors.

    A case in point, along with much complacency, were those who lost their seats after years of relying upon centrlaised national media, advertising and PR but neglecting what the indies did, e.g. door knocking almost every household in electorates; actively showing interest in constituents.

  11. Albos Elbow

    The greed and corruption of the Ex-Minister for Burning Fossil Fuels and Scummo has fucked Australia’s energy systems and energy markets and it will take years just to get it working properly again.

    How could an energy rich country like Australia with an abundance of wind, sun and hydro be so short of energy, what is actually going on?

    Direct participation in electricity markets is dominated by few corporations, mainly foreign owned, including the Murdoch family’s Genie Energy, and a handful of them control pricing by manipulating the wholesale and retail markets by withholding supply.
    You can go to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s dashboard to look at the current energy fuel mix to get a feel for who’s driving things at any given moment.
    https://aemo.com.au/Energy-systems/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-NEM/Data-Dashboard-NEM

    There are about 9 million households buying electricity in the eastern states, and, according to the Clean Energy Regulator, we have installed 2.7 million solar energy generators and over 40 thousand batteries in our houses.

    Australian families have spent over $15 billion of their own personal capital, and aggregated generation capacity of 15 GW out of the total installed capacity of 68 GW in the eastern states.

    That is, Australian families have contributed to generating an average of 22% of all electricity in the Eastern States but have no say or control whatsoever in determining electricity prices or even the availability of their own energy. This is how corrupted the Australian energy market has become under the Ex-Minister for Burning Fossil Fuels and Scummo, who bent over and took it up the arse from corrupt fossil fuel billionaires, for their own personal benefit.

    The average Australian family should be able to control their own energy destiny and have a greater say in the market.

    The important thing is that we are in the middle of a profound change in the way we produce and consume energy.
    And this change is occurring faster than governments and existing energy companies can keep up with.
    Both the energy companies and consumers are being seriously challenged and will be for a few more years yet.

    So, in an environment of accelerating change and greedy, corrupt energy and fuel suppliers, is it really a surprise that tech billionaires are stalking incumbents, and many smaller retailers are paying their customers to go away rather than supply them energy at a loss?

    Collectively, individuals can drive the change, by having a seat at the table where policy is made, we can benefit from direct participation in the wholesale market and access the suppliers and consumers directly.

    This is where community based energy companies that can buy wholesale electricity, like Localvolts comes in. They give individuals a collective voice and opportunities to not only save money, but they and their communities will profit in this changing environment.

    For those of you who produce and inject excess energy into the grid, Localvolts gives you the ability to buy energy at wholesale prices and also sell directly into the wholesale market, and/or to sell directly to other consumers. You can also share or donate your energy with community groups and family or friends you care for, to give them a helping hand.

    Even for those of you who consume energy, but don’t have solar panels or battery storage, Localvolts gives you the ability to directly buy from the wholesale market, from other producers in your community, or connected peer-to-peer to your community or beyond. You can also prioritise your preferred suppliers in order of choice. Open and direct access to the wholesale market and to the multitude of buyers and sellers in your community will give us all the best outcomes and bypass a corrupted retail energy market.

    Choose to work with community based energy companies like Localvolts to do your own thing in energy.

    If you have any questions, or would like more information, simply visit the localvolts.com website or email info@localvolts.com or joe@localvolts.com.

  12. Patricia

    Albos Elbow: fully agree, I sell my excess energy to the grid for a measly $0.067 and buy it back at $0.276.

    Not only are the privateers gouging electricity users they are stealing from those thousands of Australians who have put their hands in their pockets and forked out millions to reduce their electricity bills and make a little bit of difference to their carbon footprint.

    Thanks for the heads up on Localvolts. I will have a look at it.

  13. Michael Taylor

    We have 23 or 24 solar panels and two solar batteries, yet our power bills were suspiciously high. With a few phone calls I found out that our provider (I think it was AGL) was charging us a penalty for feeding into the grid (or whatever).

    The bastards will always find a way to get you.

    We’re now with Tango Energy and saving a small fortune.

  14. Albos Elbow

    Australian families have invested over $15 billion and generate 22% of the electricity consumed in eastern states and what do we get in return? Ripped off by retail energy companies.

    Yes its a good time to shop around for energy.

    Get in touch with localvolts, you will save even more money buying renewable energy at wholesale prices in the market.

    The average cost of wholesale energy in Victoria so far in 2022 is 5.4 cents a KWh, beat that!
    https://www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/wholesale-statistics/annual-volume-weighted-average-30-minute-prices-regions

    You can sell it or even share your excess solar power with friends, family, community groups and make a difference in so many ways.

  15. Albos Elbow

    If you choose to donate your excess solar electricity to the local footy club that your kids or grandkids play with, to help them buy more equipment, install solar panels on the roof or whatever project they like, then its tax deductible as well.

    “Are donations to local sporting clubs tax deductible?
    The Sports Foundations’ specific listing in the Income Tax Assessment Act (1997) (Subdivision 30-B, s30-90) means donations of $2 or more in support of your club or project are tax deductible – a valuable incentive for potential donors or supporters.”

  16. Shane

    On Economics. It could be a science but large portions of it are merely faith based invention.
    It is well documented that economists of the past wanted, lusted after, a mathematically based and predictive system just like the physicists had. SO they stole the physicists equations and just changed the names of the variables. That this sham is over 100 hundred years old … I guess it would make it that much more embarrassing to admit.

    It must also be hard for those whose profession it is to fess up to these obviously unscientific assumptions and appropriations. No one likes to undermine their own belief system.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-economist-has-no-clothes/

    Economics has some insights. With a huge emphasis on the word SOME.

  17. Williambtm

    There is far too much intervention into our former high standards of federal governance; it began with the corporate Scorpions preying on Australia’s people.
    In turn, they are paid-up members of the Global Network of corporate control.

    Corporations as a business entity have no benefit to society or a code of ethics other than profits before all else.
    Look what was happening to Australia’s Banks under the blind obedience of the Abbott-led L/N party; they were quite keen on permitting the Australian
    Big 4 Banks leaving them to run their overblown costs racket & thefts from their client base.

    As for Australia’s energy resources, Howard allowed Chevron to take control of Australia’s Gas Assets, leave a bit for West Australia, & then bugger
    the rest of Australia, as our gas is no longer ours, now our gas has become their major export commodity.
    Bad enough, they pay no income tax; even worse, they ignore Australia’s Mineral Resource Rental Tax.
    Given the corporate glut-greed of Chevron, their business operations should be liquidated by this current new government, & then Chevron then told to get out of Australia.

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