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Labor’s leadership quagmire

Labor confronts a tough choice

With a leadership ballot within the federal Labor Party now imminent, it is worth considering Labor’s options. As I see it, there are three options – and none of them are particularly desirable.

Option 1 – Stay with Julia Gillard

As I have previously noted, Gillard’s political judgement is appalling, and is also the main reason why Labor finds itself in such dire straits today. Whether it’s the broken promise on the carbon tax, having a formal alliance with the Greens, mishandling the boat people issue on numerous occasions, the Australia Day protests or her appearance on Four Corners, the PM has time and time again displayed a complete lack of political nous. She is a master of political disaster when political judgement is an essential requirement for being Prime Minister.

The only benefit from keeping Gillard is that Labor will almost certainly go full term. The Greens and independents Oakeshott and Windsor will continue to support the government, ensuring that the next federal election will be pushed well into 2013.

The disadvantage with this option is that Labor faces an eventual election rout of epic proportions. The voters who hate Gillard will punish Labor for keeping her, and the risk is that Labor will be reduced to little more than a cricket team in the House of Reps in the next parliament.

Option 2 – Replace Gillard with Rudd

The major advantage here is that Labor will immediately become more popular, as Gillard is responsible for the government’s current position. The electorate may even give Labor credit for righting what many see as the wrong in Rudd’s political execution in 2010.

The risks however are numerous. Firstly, Labor may not get as much of a bounce from this option as it expects. Secondly, Rudd’s popularity may fade very quickly and Labor may end up in a hardly better position than it was under Gillard. This is particularly the case when tricky political issues such as the carbon tax, boat people and the economy will need to be dealt with. Furthermore, voters could be soon enough reminded of what made them turn off Rudd in the first place.

The other risk is that the party will tear itself apart. Many MP’s hate Rudd. Cabinet processes could become centralised again and policy execution dysfunctional. There’s a small possibility that some MP’s could even bring down the government by pulling the pin in disgust.

Option 3 – Elect a third candidate

When Simon Crean realised in late 2003 his leadership was doomed, he stepped down and moved his support towards Mark Latham in order to prevent Kim Beazley, who had earlier challenged Crean regaining the leadership. It may well be that Gillard and her supporters will do the same when they see that Gillard’s leadership is coming to an end.

The first question that immediately arises is who such a third candidate would be? The three people that come to my mind are Bill Shorten, Stephen Smith and Crean.

The advantage from this option is that it may prevent the party from tearing itself apart if one of these men is elected as the compromise candidate from a caucus bitterly divided between Rudd and Gillard.

The risks however are numerous. Firstly, one of these men are particularly well known, and so the public may react adversely, particularly with the Coalition certain to liken it to the NSW Labor leadership revolving door.  Secondly, neither Smith nor Shorten have held leadership roles before, and it is unknown how any of them would fare. The Gillard experiment failed badly enough for many members of caucus to have second doubts about trying another experiment.

Conclusion

As the above analysis demonstrates, there are no easy options for Labor. I would love to hear from readers what their thoughts are.

What do you think Labor’s best option is?

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45 Comments

  1. GD says:

    Re Option 2:

    If Rudd is returned there will undoubtedly be a bounce in the polls for Labor. Unfortunately this bounce will be based on personality and charisma and not on past achievement. The rusted-on voters will always vote Labor, while the younger voters really have no idea of the incompetence of the Rudd government, all they see is a happy, smiling face.

    Unfortunately, Rudd could take such support through to the next election and score a narrow win. The unfortunate result of this is that the next government of Australia is elected on personality rather than its past performance.

    Can Australia really continue with such an inept, immature and agenda-led government for another three years?

    With Greg Combet and Billl Shorten taking industrial relations back to the seventies, a time neither of them would remember, it isn’t only Gillard who is at fault. Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek are merely decoration. Wong’s climate declarations were absurd. Plibersek’s focus on soft issues such as ‘same sex discrimination’ shows her to be a waste of cabinet space. Chris Bowen’s handling of the boat people issue is bumbling at best. What could you expect for a young bloke with only an economics degree from Sydney Uni.

    By voting for a Rudd led Labor government, we will be returning these economically illiterate, politically immature and agenda driven neophytes to decide our country’s future.

    Oh bugger, I forgot Stephen Conroy and his way over-priced, mostly unnecessary NBN. And his proposed internet filter.

    Yes, Shiny Rudd may get this motley crew over the line, but is that what we really want?

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    Yes, Shiny Rudd may get this motley crew over the line, but is that what we really want?

    Better that than Australia gets a man of Abbott’s lack of character as PM. Btw, GD, you sound positively shit frightened of Rudd’s ability to turn the tables on your precious Libs. Why, I can feel you shaking in your conservative boots from here. How’s the rain in Western Sydney? Looks pretty bloody bad on the radar – just like the Libs do.

  3. GD says:

    Ruddy could turn the tables, because of the rusted-ons like you and the ill-informed Gen Ys. As I asked, is that what you want? Is that the best for Australia?

    Abbott has exhibited excellent character, tenacity and proven performance over twenty years. Your Labor kiddies have stuffed up every day since 2007. Don’t try to suggest otherwise.

  4. GD says:

    Yes, the rain. If I remember correctly that was not supposed to happen, according to your Labor Party. Penny Wong said the science was settled. Joolia said the science was settled and appointed Flannery to tell us what would really happen. Eternal drought, no more water. I know you’ve seen Spooner’s Age cartoon.

    Somewhere along the way, the wheels fell off this pro-carbon tax scam, yet Labor is still pushing ahead with a useless carbon tax in July. And you reckon we should give these clowns another go?

    I know you’re only winding me up. No-one in their right mind could suggest another term of government by Labor would be good for the nation.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    Ruddy could turn the tables, because of the rusted-ons like you and the ill-informed Gen Ys

    No, GD, Rudd appeals to middle Australia and he’ll bring back voters who can’t stand Gillard and who are only swinging to Abbott by default – what a choice!

    is that what you want? Is that the best for Australia?

    I’ve answered that question before. Yes, I think a Rudd-led government is the better option to an Abbott-led one. He’s not a straight shooter, your Tony. Besides (and as I’ve also said before), I think Rudd’s entitled to another term.

    Abbott has exhibited excellent character, tenacity and proven performance over twenty years.

    L.M.A.O.

    No-one in their right mind could suggest another term of government by Labor would be good for the nation.

    I seem to recall answering that one before too, GD. Presently about 45% of Australians think (on a 2 party preferred) that Labor should get back. So, according to you, nearly half the population is not of ‘their right mind’. Everyone who doesn’t agree with your rusted on conservative views is an idiot, eh? That’s about the size of what you’ve said, GD.

  6. Simon says:

    I’m picking Robert McClelland. Part of Prime Minister Gillard’s problem has been that of playing the reluctant leader. Even if it’s true, which I suspect it is, it has left her perceived position as one of being placed in power by shadowy union representatives and holding the fort until the rightful heir either comes forward – or returns from exile.

    There’s a reason for putting deposed PMs on the back benches, despite their abilities and knowledge.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Great post Leon, despite what Ray says I doubt that I retreaded Rudd governemnt will have enough mileage in it to get past the next election, But I do agree that he is the most likely person put up a good show against Tony Abbott. I still think that after the Gillard debacle Labor has bugger all credibility left and that will see them decimated at the subsequent election no matter who leads them. Its not a matter of if they will lose but rather a matter of how badly they will lose.

  8. Interesting thoughts.

    I think GD underestimates young voters. I recall on a Q and A show in 2010 they had Kevin Rudd with Tony Jones and a bunch of senior secondary school schildren, who drilled Rudd for all his broken promises. This was before Rudd became unpopular. Rudd was clearly surprised that he was being challenged by such a young audience.

  9. Ray Dixon says:

    The Libs don’t have all that much credibility either, Iain. Abbott has no policies and no vision for Australia. Hockey as Treasurer would be a joke – that’s like putting a used car salesman in charge of the church collection plate. And as for the rest of them, geezus, have a look at the ‘talent’ – Pyne, Bishop, Mirabella, et al. Wow!

    The Liberal philosophy is to take money from the poor and give it to their rich mates. Great, just what we need. You guys complain about a carbon tax but the only way it can be reversed is to take away the planned tax breaks to the low paid. Even though I dislike the tax and agree it won’t reduce emissions, the fact is it will have no adverse impact on the economy. Rudd has plenty of time to right the ship and take the fight up to Abbott. I wouldn’t be putting any money on Abbott ever becoming PM if Rudd gets the leadership back – he’ll campaign fake Tony into the ground.

  10. Ray,

    Your statement that the carbon tax “will have no adverse impact on the economy” is incorrect.

    The carbon tax will harm the economy in the following ways:
    – by distorting the economy in favour of expensive renewable eneregy and against cheap coal theereby reducing allocatibe efficiency
    – by destroying more jobs in ‘carbon intensive’ industries
    – by making households that are worse off as a result of the tax spend less, thereby resulting in job losses in other industries (the industries that those households would otherwise spend their money on)
    – by creating a bureacracy that will have to implement the carbon tax and provide compensation. The money used to administer this scheme is basically dead money because it does not result in anything productive, just higher taxes for everyone.

    The carbon tax is extremely bad for the Australian economy. If it were not so, I wouldn’t be opposed to it.

  11. GD says:

    Abbott has no policies and no vision for Australia.

    Ray, that is bollocks. Check this link. Not only can you read, you can download pdf after pdf of Liberal Party policies. I’m sure you’d enjoy that. But don’t come the raw prawn about ‘no policies’.

    http://www.liberal.org.au/Policies.aspx

    As for the carbon tax, it will be difficult to dismantle precisely for the reason you have mentioned: compensation to lower income earners. Given that they will receive compensation from May 2012, and businesses are already factoring in the July tax, it will be difficult for the Libs to wind the tax back.

    However, considering that this is a completely pointless tax, as Leon has shown, it has to be done. Your defence of it, and the Labor administration, is bordering on the hysterical.

    Perhaps rather that going tit for tat re the shadow ministers, you could answer my claims about the Labor ministers who are in charge at the moment.

    I use ‘in charge’ loosely.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Leon,
    “The carbon tax will harm the economy… :
    … by distorting the economy in favour of expensive renewable eneregy and against cheap coal theereby reducing allocatibe efficiency”

    That’s gobblygook, Leon. If you mean it will encourage people to invest in renewables then, so what? Investment is investment = jobs.

    “by destroying more jobs in ‘carbon intensive’ industries”

    Which ones? My industry (tourism) is ‘carbon intensive’ in that we spend a shit load on coal-fuelled electricity, and I don’t see any alternative in the forseeable future. But I also don’t see the rising electricity costs causing a downturn. Tourism is more impacted by the high dollar. And think of it this way – when you stay at someone else’s place you actually save on your own household energy costs, so I don’t see carbon tax costing many jobs.

    “by making households that are worse off as a result of the tax spend less, thereby resulting in job losses in other industries (the industries that those households would otherwise spend their money on)”

    Huh? Which households will be worse off? You’ve heard about the tax reductions I take it. If your theory is correct then the GST (which added substantially to household bills and which came with no compensation whatsoever) should have sent us into a depression with mass unemployment. It didn’t, although the very poorly paid were really hit hard. The average income earner continued to spend .. and spend … and spend …..

    “by creating a bureacracy that will have to implement the carbon tax and provide compensation. The money used to administer this scheme is basically dead money because it does not result in anything productive, just higher taxes for everyone”

    You mean it will create some government jobs? What were you saying about it costing jobs?

    GD, “this is a completely pointless tax”.

    Name one that’s got a point. That’s what governments do, GD – they find new things to tax. This time it’s air. Your people taxed basic goods & services. Big deal.

  13. Ray,

    I think that its difficult to have a debate on economics between someone who has studied it a little and someone who has not studied it.

    The term allocative efficiency is not ‘gobblygook’. It is a term that is familiar to those who have studied basic economics. If you care to find out a bit about it, perhaps you should read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allocative_efficiency

    Likewise, you seem to be confused about my criticisms that the carbon tax will create some jobs but destroy others, and see this as contradictory. It’s not a contradiction however when you understand what allocative efficiency is, and when you can distinguish between productive jobs that are created by markets and less productive jobs that are created by governments.

    Perhaps you should also read about how government attempts to create ‘green jobs’ actually destroy more jobs than they create. This article is a good start:

    “Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created, while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create almost five jobs in the general economy. Wind and solar power have raised household energy prices by 7.5 percent in Germany, and Denmark has the highest electricity prices in the European Union. ”

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2011/04/28/green-jobs/

  14. Ray Dixon says:

    Leon, when you can produce an Economics degree and demonstrate extensive business experience (as I can), then I’ll bow to your greater worldly knowledge on this subject. Until then, I’ll just say you’re talking out your backside.

  15. GD says:

    Perhaps you should have taken a ‘Common Sense’ degree, Ray. Leon is quite correct in pointing out that green jobs created by governments have been at the cost of real jobs. The economic repercussions in Spain, Germany and California are but a precursor of what is to come for other countries foolish enough to follow the same path.

    Can you guess which country is about to have the highest carbon tax in the world?

  16. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s absurd to compare the economies of two economic basket cases (Spain & California) to Australia’s economy. What happens there is of no relevance. Good point about Germany though, GD. They’re doing very well, just like Australia.

    What “personal insinuations”, GD? The Chablis? That’s your own admission.

  17. Ray Dixon says:

    Btw, GD, it wasn’t a multiple-answer question for you. It was for me. I’ve given it some thought and added a fourth answer, which I think is the right one ….:

    Petulance.

  18. GD says:

    Thanks for that Ray. When you can’t win an argument you resort to personal insults. That was a comment made long ago, and yet you see fit to drag it out at every instance.

    When you are trying to win an argument with Leon you brandish your high school, I mean, under-grad degree obtained in the seventies. I’m sure Leon is awed by that.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    Um, no, GD, it’s you who seems to be getting personal (and petulant). What argument have I lost? It’s not like you or Leon have made any conclusive points. Nor have I. We are simply expressing our opinions -geddit? Anyway, as for Leon and my economics degree jibe, well, re-read his earlier response to me. If he wants to attack the opinion maker and not the opinion, then he’ll get it back. Comprehende?

  20. GD says:

    Personal? the chablis remark was yours, I made no remarks of a personal nature before that.
    As for Leon and I not making any conclusive points, I think that the fact that all other economies who have instigated massive green programs are now winding them back, or failing as a result thereof, is quite a conclusive point, especially given that Labor have belatedly taken us down this fool’s path.

  21. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, just to put your hissy fit on “personal remarks” to bed. You made a comment that all ALP candidates should be either:

    of, or with imagined, aboriginal heritage
    all races except Anglo-Saxons
    any sexual orientation other than heterosexual
    parenthood a plus as long as it’s IVF
    must be between the ages of 20-40
    and lastly, preference will be given to those on Centrelink benefits
    small business owners need not apply

    Which deserved nothing but mockery & derision. I responded by saying I wasn’t sure if it was offensive, juvenile or influenced by alcohol.

    Errr …. and you call that personal?

    As for Labor’s “Greening policies”, they are doing nothing but paying lip service to the namby pamby Greens party. You wait and see. If the ALP can somehow shed itself of the Green ‘lepers’, they’ll wind the CT right back. In the meantime (ie. between July 2012 and the next election) we’ll have to put up with it. My point is that, even though I think it’s unnecessary, I don’t see any draconian impacts from having it. It’s just another ‘give & take’ tax. The Greens didn’t foreshadow that the funds raised by a carbon tax would be given back to the taxpayers in the form of tax cuts – that’s the ALP’s softener. Don’t you see that?

  22. GD says:

    Ray said:

    You made a comment that all ALP candidates should be either:

    of, or with imagined, aboriginal heritage
    all races except Anglo-Saxons
    any sexual orientation other than heterosexual
    parenthood a plus as long as it’s IVF
    must be between the ages of 20-40
    and lastly, preference will be given to those on Centrelink benefits
    small business owners need not apply

    Which deserved nothing but mockery & derision.

    Ray that comment was mockery and derision, Labor deserves nothing less. Go have a lite beer or a cup of cocoa. I guess that’s personal. Sleep tight.

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    Yes, GD. Mockery & derision deserves mockery & derision. Thanks for confirming that water does indeed run downhill.

  24. Ray,

    Whilst I believe you when you say you have business experience I doubt very much that you have an economics degree.

    And I believe that I have made a very good point about renweable energy killing more jobs than it creates. Please refer to my previous comment with links to studies done on the subject.

  25. Ray Dixon says:

    I believe that I have made a very good point about renweable energy killing more jobs than it creates.

    No you haven’t Leon. You’ve referred to the experience in Spain & Italy, two countries whose economies are busted and who may need a bailout. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – pointing to what has happened in Europe is absolutely irrelevant to Australia. How many mines do they have in Italy? How many cars do they produce in Spain? The point is you are looking at weak economies versus a robust one.

  26. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    How many cars do they produce in Spain?

    Quite a few actually

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    Thanks for answering my question, Iain. Yeah, the Seat: “By 2000 annual production peaked at over 500,000 units”. That’s not a lot of jobs for Spain, Iain. My point is they have a weak manufacturing industry and it’s only natural that job losses will occur following the imposition of a new tax. It won’t happen in Australia, despite your doom & gloom forecasts. Just like GST didn’t stop the economy, neither will a carbon tax. That said (and I repeat) I do not support the carbon tax, which I regard as unnecessary tokenism to placate the Greens. But given that it also gives back, I don’t see how it will have any negative impact. WHATSOEVER.

  28. Craigy says:

    “I have made a very good point about renewable energy killing more jobs than it creates”.

    So Leon, we should stop automated checkouts at supermarkets and remove all computers with word processors and go back to the typing pool?

    Not everything has to be about jobs Leon, someone with an economics degree would know that.

    The word ‘renewable’ is a clue Leon, have a think about it young fella….

  29. Iain Hall says:

    When it comes to automated Checkouts I refuse to use them because they are bound to lead to fewer people working in the stores which is not such a good thing for the public in the long run

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, do you also:

    *Refuse to get your news online and, instead, drive down to buy your copy of The Australian and the Courier Mail just so it keeps people employed at the general store?

    *Refuse to fill your car(s) at a self-serve petrol station and, instead, look for one with a driveway attendant who will keep you waiting 3 or 4 times as long?

    *Refuse to put your rubbish out in a wheelie bin where one contractor collects it with a robot arm, instead of 3 or 4 council garbos hanging off the back of a truck?

    *Refuse to drive through an automated boom gate and, instead, drive around until you find a rail crossing still attended by some bloke with a fag hanging out his mouth?

    *Refuse to use a bridge and, instead, drive around until you find a ferry operated by a bloke who looks like he came out of Deliverance?

    You get the gist? You’re not saving jobs by refusing to use new technology.

  31. Craigy says:

    Yes Ray, it’s like the mining tax, it will cost jobs, and the compassionate owners of the mines are only concerned with jobs…..

    What about more money for free education and hospital care you ask? No, Jobs are the most important thing…… Until their profits fall a bit – then it’s ‘5000 jobs to go!’

    The ‘renewable energy will cost jobs’ attack from the likes of Leon is a classic distraction from the real need to find alternatives to fossil fuels.

    These finite resources are getting more expensive for reasons that have very little to do with Green policies and everything to do with the bottom line of the large mining and oil companies, as the products they sell get harder to find and exploit. The instability in oil producing countries due to the recent oil wars hasn’t helped either.

    We should be embracing new technologies, especially if they are sustainable in the long term.

    Economics tells us that once we have built a large amount of solar and wind capacity, along with other emerging energy technologies, the price of energy will begin to drop as the infrastructure is paid for, giving us cheaper prices into the future. The source of the power is free and endless.

    The only way for fossil fuel prices to go is up and up and up. This of course, is no problem for those with very large investments in profits from oil, but it will eventually mean that only the very rich can use electricity.

    But our super is invested in these companies!!! Well my super allows me to invest in ethical and green companies, which have actually done better than normal super over the last 15 years….

    Whenever you look at the alarmist view of moving to alternative energy, you find a lot of hogwash. A lot like the denialist movement.

  32. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    I don’t know about You but I like chatting to the “checkout chicks” when I do the shopping,you know having some social contact while I buy the necessities of life because I don’t think that automating the checkouts in supermarkets is a socially beneficial thing at all nor is automating the checkout of your local library. and if we keep accepting the destruction of the jobs that can be automated what pray tell are the people who do those jobs going to do with their lives?

    *Refuse to get your news online and, instead, drive down to buy your copy of The Australian and the Courier Mail just so it keeps people employed at the general store?

    Nup I read most of may news on line

    *Refuse to fill your car(s) at a self-serve petrol station and, instead, look for one with a driveway attendant who will keep you waiting 3 or 4 times as long?

    Are you really in that much of a hurry Ray?

    *Refuse to put your rubbish out in a wheelie bin where one contractor collects it with a robot arm, instead of 3 or 4 council garbos hanging off the back of a truck?

    Its been more than twenty years since I lived anywhere that collected my rubbish, so that is a no brainer fro me.

    *Refuse to drive through an automated boom gate and, instead, drive around until you find a rail crossing still attended by some bloke with a fag hanging out his mouth?

    That never was the way in this country Ray it used to just be signs warning you to watch out for trains

    *Refuse to use a bridge and, instead, drive around until you find a ferry operated by a bloke who looks like he came out of Deliverance?

    Nup

  33. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, many railway gates were manually operated in Melbourne well into the second half of the 20th Century. And there was one in Brighton that was manually operated until recent years. Anyway, while you’ve conceded that you do accept advances in the way we do things, you haven’t addressed the main point – being that we don’t save jobs by standing still or winding the clock back.

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    Economics tells us that once we have built a large amount of solar and wind capacity, along with other emerging energy technologies, the price of energy will begin to drop as the infrastructure is paid for, giving us cheaper prices into the future. The source of the power is free and endless.

    Actually, Craigy, I don’t accept that theory either. Solar & wind is never going to (a) be cheap (b) meet our energy needs. I actually believe that the source we will use as an alternative hasn’t even been invented (or developed) yet and that, until it is, we shouldn’t get all panicky about carbon emissions from fossil fuels and the dwindling supply of them (although I understand we have enough brown coal to keep us going for at least 50 years).

    My objection to Leon’s argument is that he cites the carbon tax as a reason for throwing out the ALP when, in my opinion, it’s almost revenue neutral and will not harm the economy.

  35. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    as long as you are willing to accept that more people will be on some sort of welfare then lets entirely automate everything!
    Change is not of necessity always good for society and in a world of more and more people we do actaully need things for them to do. As not everyone has a superb intellect we actaully need a certain number of the less challenging jobs to remain even if they could be automated. Now I’m no fan of soviet style employment practices, but I’m not so keen on the eliminate all need for them in busineses either.
    We need a ballance and a certain consideration of the social good of so called reforms before we accept them without question.

  36. Ray Dixon says:

    as long as you are willing to accept that more people will be on some sort of welfare then lets entirely automate everything!

    There were more people on welfare in the early 70s, the early 80s and the early 90s than what there’s been in the last 20 years, Iain. And we had far less automation and/or self serve then. In Australia at least. The reality is that as we’ve eliminated jobs by technology, advances in other technology have created more than we’ve lost. Ergo, the carbon tax will not “kill more jobs” than are created elsewhere. There actually doesn’t seem to be a correlation between automation & new technology being adapted and unemployment (except in the reverse way).

  37. GD says:

    Given that the technologies aren’t yet invented, just how will penalising industry create more jobs? Maybe more bureaucratic jobs administering the damn carbon tax.

  38. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, can you name one company that has sacked workers as a result of the carbon tax (or is likely to)? Meanwhile the $10 billion invested in renewables will create more jobs, while the $10 billion given out in tax cuts will do likewise. Oh yeah, and then there’s jobs to administer it. It’s simply a redistribution, GD.

    Btw, I didn’t say the money invested in new research would not lead to important discoveries – it might. Who knows, maybe a carbon-tax funded scientist will find the new resource. Nothing invested, nothing gained.

  39. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    In the seventies they used to count the number of people in real full time jobs but in more recent times they count anyone who has one hour of work a week as employed, so comparing then with now is actually something of a false comparison.
    secondly the carbon tax is about to kill Alcoa in Victoria and we will see lots of other jobs and their industries exported to other countries that don’t have a carbon tax, further any new jobs created in “renewables” are all predicated upon continuing government subsidies either directly or through subsidised tariffs to sell energy back to the grid, its just not economically sustainable.
    While I don’t disagree with the notion that we should seek alternatives for fossil fuels what I do object to is the governemnt making energy artificially more expensive to encourage the move. Its a bit like the old tariff barriers that just encouraged inefficiencies.

  40. Iain Hall says:

    Rudd has resigned as foreign minister

    Its ON!!!!!!!!

  41. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, Alcoa have been emphatic that the (not yet implemented) carbon tax has nothing to do with their problems. It’s well documented and for you to use that as your sole example is just disingenuous.

    As for the news about Rudd, didn’t that break about 3pm * your time? Anyway, he will win. If not on Monday certainly within a few months.

    (* correction, it broke at 4.22 pm Qld time. You were only 2 and a half hours late with your announcement, Iain)

  42. GD says:

    Give off, Ray. Iain had just stated to Craigy that he was waiting for the next dose of his painkillers. Everybody heard the announcement earlier. Cheap shot.

  43. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, what is it with you and late night over-reactions? It was a friendly dig, not a cheap shot. Sheez.

  44. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    I posted about it when I heard the news having spent the afternoon watching a movie on the box but besides that I just picked that example off the top of may head because as GD points out I am not firing on all cylinders at present.

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