Ok, you probably noticed something about the Monash Forum in the media…
But just in case you haven’t, basically, the Monash Forum is a group of backbench Liberals which includes Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Craig Kelly and a number of others who are even more irrelevant than the aforementioned trio. Their aim is to stop the “demonisation” of coal.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Coal has been demonised by a handful of Christians linking it to the fires of Hell and therefore it’s been associated with demons in much the same way that Matthew Guy has been linked to underworld figures just because he has the occasional lobster with a mobster. Totally unfair.
As is the suggestion that many of us heard as kids that Santa would leave lumps of coal in our stocking if we were naughty. How innaccurate! Clearly it’s only the very best children who’d be given lumps of that good-for-humanity coal stuff!
So anyway, this Monash Forum has the intention to remind us all how absolutely necessary coal is for cheap power. It takes his name from John Monash, a man who, while once very useful, is now – like coal – dead.
There have been suggestions that the group has evolved from the so-called “Monkey Pod”. Although the suggestion about evolution has angered some in the group because they don’t support evolution in any shape or form.
George Christensen has encouraged various Nationals to also join the group, prompting one Nationals senator, John Williams, to tell the media that while he’d yet to see the group’s pledge or manifesto, he’d texted back saying that he was keen to join because anything pro-coal was just fine by him. He further added that if AGL didn’t want to sell the Liddell power station, then the Government should compulsorily acquire it and run it. After all, it’s not like that would be socialism or subsiding an inefficient industry.
Anyway, the group is also suggesting that the Government should intervene and build Hazelwood 2.0 because well, it just should, because spending $4,000,000,000 on a new power station is no problem, just so long as it’s a coal-fired one and not one of these new-fangled renewable ones.
Josh Frydenberg told us that the Government and the Monash group wanted the same thing. As far as I can ascertain, nobody in the media asked him if that were the case, why did the group feel the need to form. I mean, it’s not like there’s a sub-group of Liberal backbenchers forming to press the case for company tax cuts.
Whatever, the group is assuring us that coal has a future and that there’ll always be a need for it. While some silly greenies believe that coal and oil will one day run out, it’s clear that the Monash Forum believe that there are sufficient fossils in the Liberal Party itself to provide coal in the future.
Yep, like I said, you just have to admire some of these Liberals. In spite of all the opposition from people who know what they’re talking about, they bravely go on, insisting that coal is the way to go. No, the scientists don’t know what they’re talking about. No, the industry experts are wrong too. And AGL, why on earth would you shut Liddell when just a few hundred million dollars will make it as good as new? Better even. The free market just doesn’t work sometimes because it doesn’t deliver the outcomes we want, and then we need to tweak it so that our biggest donors get the money in their pockets, so that they can continue to be our biggest donors… How many other people could go on in the face of so much opposition and continue to deny reality like that? I’m sure I couldn’t.
And no, this isn’t a threat to Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. Of course not! Didn’t Malcolm once say that he could never lead a party that wasn’t as serious about climate change as he was. While some of you have taken this to mean that all his talk about climate change was just empty, populist rhetoric from a man who makes the characters from film “La La Land” look complex, I would argue that this is a promise he’s certainly kept.
There’s no way anyone could consider that Turnbull has led the party in any sense of the word.