The first rule of politics is to attain power, and the second rule is to retain it. I have never known a political party to throw government away purposefully. Well, except for the ALP, who in 1955 split into two parties; the ALP and the DLP (the Democratic Labour Party) and gave up any hope of government for many years to come. They took the high road and found that it was all uphill.
Power itself is a mesmerising thing that, once won, isn’t easily forfeited. The last thing Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce want to do is give up this, born to rule, self-entitlement. Both in their political history have displayed a willingness to attain power that goes beyond a desire to create a better society.
Both carry the baggage of alleged corruption, and most of the world’s problems stem from the fact that men have never really grown up. Too many take the wrong road.
Political power for conservatives is the ability to control the behaviour of people through the passage, approval, and implementation of laws and regulations.
Others lust over power for the influence it gives them or the control over people that satisfies them. Rarely do they crave power simply to improve the common good.
Both Morrison and Joyce know that if they are to retain the power they so obviously relish, they must give our delegation something to take to the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland that will validate our intentions to net zero emissions by 2050. If they cannot, then their ability to retain power will be significantly diminished.
The conservative party and the party representing country people met last Sunday. The party led by Scott Morrison handed over its plan to achieve this to the party led by Barnaby Joyce for their consideration. Remember, this is only happening now because, to be truthful, these things take time, and in nearly nine years in power, they haven’t yet procured a policy to satisfy those who want a road less travelled.
The Prime Minister finally ended another bad period when he eventually confirmed he would be going to the COP26 in Glasgow. The fact is by the time the week ended, every Tom, Dick and Harry was telling him he should, and even the corgis in the palace were barking mad.
His admission suggested at the time that it might be a done deal. He wouldn’t dare go without a deal that would meet with the approval of other more concerned world leaders, would he? Even if it was conditional on the bush being shown a few 44gallon tanks full of hard cash in return for net-zero emissions.
Otherwise, why use up a few more gallons of aviation kerosene, destroying the environment if all you had to talk about was “technology not taxes.” Our Chief bullshit robot, Angus, could do that without us being there.
The rise of narcissism and inequality and the demise of compassion illustrate the state of the man’s world.
As I write, the first of many meetings has been held, and Joyce’s crew are playing it tough. The Guardian reported that the Deputy Nationals leader, David Littleproud, walked out of the meeting and into the Sky News studio, saying there were more questions to be answered. “We are going to take our time to get it right,” he said. Yes, that’s what he said: “take our time.”
On reading the comments as reported in The Guardian, I must say I’m not imbued with any confidence that they are headed down the right path. The three-word slogan “technology not taxes” might sound trite in a marketing sense, but it only has currency if the technology is robust and proven.
The Coalition cannot do this, so after many years of deliberately barking up the wrong tree for nothing more than political advantage, the Coalition will be relying on carbon capture and storage together with whatever comes along with hydrogen. Sounds more like a wing and a prayer. Our taxes have been paying for the research into the technology for decades.
Littleproud went on to say:
“But from our perspective, we have already done much of the work. We are already on a trajectory of meeting much of our [national] commitments through technology.”
That to me sounds like a straight out lie, and it would not be so if one were to subtract the rebates from the Kyoto agreement and COVID-19 for shutting down industry.
My view is that both Morrison and Joyce will place the importance of the retention of power way ahead of any genuine concern for the environment.
What has happened so far gives me little confidence that (no matter what road we take) we will go to Glasgow with an ambitious 2030 target and a mid-century commitment. Nor will we have any sort of mechanism that ensures these commitments are actually met, let alone legislated.
I fear these meetings are less about saving the planet than how much money he might extract for regional revitalisation. That is their reputation; that is their history. Ask yourself what has the National Party ever done for its constituents.
This is a straightforward proposition as politics are played in Australia, but the Nats are hellbent on bleeding the conservatives for as much as they can get.
Some Nationals want Morrison’s to go to Glasgow with a worthwhile climate policy. However, most are conspiracy types who probably believe that climate change is a communist plot. Those types will expect a heavy price for Morrison’s anticipated capitulation, and if he wants to retain power, he will be generous.
The planning for Morrison’s trip to Bonnie Scotland and his surrender to a plan for 2050 has been meticulous. Murdoch came on board with the same comedians who promoted Abbott’s “axe the tax”, then Twiggy Forrest offered some excellent advice (really) and to top it off, the Royals gave their blessing. The only catch is the price; what is it worth to retain power.
To top it off, Barnaby Joyce sank a few with Twiggy Forrest, who then fronted up for breakfast with Bridget McKenzie. She then told the PM to put a bomb under them if he was fair dinkum about landing a net-zero agreement with a higher 2030 emissions reduction target.
Just because we are governed by clowns, it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.
Barrie Cassidy made an excellent point:
Hang on. Why has Joyce weakened Morrison? The PM overwhelmingly has the numbers in the parliament to go flat out on climate change. Why would he even contemplate using taxpayers money to buy Barnaby? https://t.co/8UNLEYZtTK
— Barrie Cassidy (@barriecassidy) October 17, 2021
And of course, as a further extension of this proposition, Morrison doesn’t need the Nationals. He has said all along that the Liberals, as the senior partner in the Coalition, has the “prerogative” to decide the policy. This is true, and the Cabinet can decide; no legislation is needed, and no one has to cross the floor.
Watching Twiggy Forrest at the National Press Club, one could only agree when he said:
“It is past time for any leader worthy of the title to consciously uncouple from the self-generated insanity of the climate wars.”
My thought for the day
Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it.
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