Home » Australian Politics » He thinks he can but we had better hope that he can’t

He thinks he can but we had better hope that he can’t

And there will of course be the damage to the budget, with a fall in the carbon price to $10 reducing revenues to 2016-17 by about $14bn. There must be a likelihood that loss will be partially offset by extending the scheme’s coverage, further cutting the diesel fuel rebate and slashing the number of free permits. But all of those amount to tax increases, imposing distortions of their own; and with mining and many other industries already reeling, how can those increases be justified?

Ultimately, the only certainty that emerges from this ever-moving fiasco is that the government’s climate change policy is anything but a “market mechanism”. After all, markets, to work effectively, require meaningful property rights and price signals that allow decision-makers to weigh the costs and benefits of alternative decisions. Having trashed those, the policy has degenerated into a random tax, liable to be changed at each turn of the polls and (through its dependence on the EU carbon price) captive to the follies of European politics.

No doubt, Rudd will brush all these issues aside. No doubt too, as in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, new modelling, showing massive gains, will be released; and as in Orwell’s Ministry of Plenty, the officials compiling those estimates will comfort themselves with the thought that it is “not even forgery: merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another”, as the adjustment to “the constantly changing party line” requires updating “statistics that were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version”.

Long forgotten is “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. And forgotten with it is the virtue of taking commitments seriously. Instead, all that remains is the truth Peter Garrett blurted out in 2007: “once we get in, we will just change it all.” Indeed they have, and indeed they will.

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Here at the Sandpit I have been entirely consistent in cynicism about any efforts to “change the climate”  because it strikes me as being utterly stupid and impossible  on a political level even if the alarmists are correct in their claims about the science, which is dubious enough to start with. When our new again Dear Leader announced that the much reviled carbon tax will be converted a year  earlier into a trading scheme  than originally planned  I could not help being very sadly amused. Its all straight from the empty promises play book.  In essence what the new dear leader is promising is to lessen a burdensome tax that his own ideology and party has itself imposed on a long suffering nation. Worse yet he expects to be lauded and to receive electoral advantage from this empty promise.

Further our new again Dear Leader seems to think that  the utter failure of  the overseas ponzi schemes to make a bind bit of positive  difference to the climate or economic  behavior (apart from encouraging scammers )  can be safely  ignored because there is still an aura of credibility to the notion that “market mechanisms” are the best way to address “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” . None the less it seems that the short memories of the voters is what our new again Dear leader is relying upon but I don’t think those memories will remain immune to the truth once the campaign proper from the coalition begins. Then the voters will be reminded that the negative  carbon tax  effects for which our new again Dear Leader is claiming credit are all a product of the devils alliance made by his own party under  Gillard and the Greens.

At present the “floating” price of emissions is between $6 and $10 a tonne  and the way that Europe’s economy is going there is no reason to believe that this is as low as it will go. To my mind the whole thing is pointless and that an honest government (the last thing that we can call the Labor administration) would just admit that indirect  economic “tools” like ” market mechanisms”  are a crock of shit  and they never work as their proponents claim. All the while we long suffering energy consumers are paying more for or electricity due to the Carbon Tax and nothing being offered by the new again Dear Leader will make certain that this unjust impost will be removed if the scheme is converted early to a trading scheme .

The politics of  the compensation package are interesting here and you just have to admire the political smarts of the opposition in deciding to continue the largess when they abolish the tax. Our new again Dear leader is thus forced to retain the compensation himself  even if the change to an ETS  lessens the raison detre  of the payments because he can not afford to look so mean to those on low incomes or government  benefits.   What the whole thing turns on is just how much our new again Dear Leader can be believed when he makes new promises and on that I think the coalition can make big dents in his credibility by reminding the voters just how wrong his calls in the past have been as they do in their new ads:

Add to that the calm sensible and dare I say it “Grown Up” tone of this ad:

Personally I think that the opposition are going for the right balance here reminding the voters of Labor’s very poor record and presenting the positives of their policies. Our new again Dear Leader certainly has the Kardassian factor at present  however like the feelings  that silly woman love can turn to hate in the blinking of an eye so do we really want our government chosen purely on the celebrity of its leader? During the course of the last three years Labor have stuffed up so much that they have to distance themselves form just about every action and policy  that they have enunciated so I want know;  just what are its policies?   We really have no idea at all apart from Rudd assuring us that he is all for “Positive politics”:

Of course its fine  to want see a plan but what Rudd is offering is no plan , its only a plan to get a plan which amounts to Fuck all in the real world sadly to quote a friend of mine says it all:

I simply observe that whilst you can’t polish a turd, you can roll it in glitter, and that is all Rudd is doing: it’s all bullshit, but covered in fairy dust and dressed up with a story, he’s betting just enough people might buy it.

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20 Comments

  1. GD says:

    its only a plan to get a plan which amounts to Fuck all in the real world sadly to quote a friend of mine says it all:
    I simply observe that whilst you can’t polish a turd, you can roll it in glitter, and that is all Rudd is doing: it’s all bullshit, but covered in fairy dust and dressed up with a story, he’s betting just enough people might buy it.

    That’s it Iain. That’s all Rudd has got. Ray reckoned when Rudd was reinstated that there would be ‘policy’ forthcoming.

    Of course there wasn’t. It’s just one talk-fest after another. A repeat of the 2007 brightest and best summit, when he asked for ideas. Not one friggen idea was implemented. Typical leftard Labor bullshit.

    Rudd has acquiesced to Indonesia’s demands re boat people. He has acquiesced to the EU over the ridiculous and pointless carbon tax or ETS.

    He has again become ‘Howard lite’ by attempting to reinstate an initiative to have PNG take some of the asylum seekers. This was a policy ridiculed by Labor in 2007.

    It’s funny how times change but asylum seekers don’t.

    Asylum seekers just want Australian welfare. And Laborites are bending over backwards to give it to them.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    GD
    While our welfare system is attractive I tend to think that what they want are the economic opportunities in a stable and well governed society like our own much more than they want the hand outs. even so we are under no moral obligation to open our doors to all and sundry, especially if it is to the determent of our own children making a place in the nation’s economy. I know its hard for the uncontrolled Growthists to see but this old hippy can see the writing on the wall and it is very plain to me that as technology “advances” there are less and less opportunities for young people to find and maintain meaningful work and believe it or not that worries me as a father so I don’t want the employment equation to swing too far into an oversupply of people that is inevitable in and open door Australia.

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    I don’t want the employment equation to swing too far into an oversupply of people that is inevitable in and open door Australia.

    Iain, putting asylum seekers aside, your children will have far less opportunity to find employment if we do not continue our present levels of immigration – we’ll go into recession. It’s not “open door” and it’s not “uncontrolled growth” that we have (and nor should we) but we need to continue immigration for the sake of our economy. We are just not at that critical level/mass of population that sustains itself yet. As for the mix, well, if we stopped taking asylum seekers (who make up less than one tenth), we’ll still take in the same numbers of immigrants.

    As for Rudd’s policies, it’s pretty hard to judge the seriousness and effectiveness of the changes he’s announced already in under 3 weeks back in the job. You might have made your minds up but it seems others are more prepared to trust and believe him. Keep watching those polls, boys!

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    As for Rudd’s policies, it’s pretty hard to judge the seriousness and effectiveness of the changes he’s announced already in under 3 weeks back in the job. You might have made your minds up but it seems others are more prepared to trust and believe him. Keep watching those polls, boys!

    You see after 6 years in office Labor should have more than a charismatic leader saying “trust me” and I’m GUNNA do this or that, they should be able to say that they have the runs on the board however they have nothing but a history of internal squabbling, mismanagement and panic for all of their ideas, programs and schemes.
    We are being asked to buy a product on the basis of a shiny salesman’s spiel but the product he is selling is a lemon.

    Just as a thought exercise imagine that it wasn’t your beloved Labor party who has the sad history of the last six years would you then still be so keen to see them returned at the next election even if they had a leader as popular and charming as the new again Dear Leader?

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I agree with a lot of what you’ve said – we are indeed being asked to take Rudd on his word. We’re also being asked to take Abbott on his word and, so far, that’s looking equally risky.

    No, I wouldn’t want the Govt back if Gillard were still leader but I’m prepared to give Rudd the second term he should have had in 2010. You refer to his first term as a failure but you forget it was interrupted (and violently so) by the GFC less than one year in. By any measure, his programs (rushed, faulty & costly as they were) worked and he would have won in 2010 in his own right (without the Greens or Independents), for sure.

    The polls suggest that a lot of people agree with me on that and that they don’t trust Abbott, Iain. It’s still going to be close but I think there’s little between the parties on their claims to govern and, in that case, the incumbency may just be the one to stick with.

    It’ll still be a miracle if Rudd wins (greatest comeback since Lazarus) but what it would do is (1) cement the reforms to the ALP he’s announced (2) force the Liberals to finally modrnise and reform themselves. In short, an ALP win would actually be better for the country’s future. The Coalition under Abbott are not ready to return to government. Not yet.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    Iain, I agree with a lot of what you’ve said – we are indeed being asked to take Rudd on his word. We’re also being asked to take Abbott on his word and, so far, that’s looking equally risky.

    As leaders both Abbott and Rudd have to rely a great deal on the quality of the teams that they lead and the strength of the endorsement they enjoy from the party that they lead and on that measure Rudd is a great deal more shaky that Abbott who may have only won the leadership by the slimiest of margins but he enjoyed consistent endorsement from his party ever since, Rudd on the other hand has lost the love of his party and only after his replacement imploded politically has be been reselected out of desperation rather than any innate ability in the man.

    No, I wouldn’t want the Govt back if Gillard were still leader but I’m prepared to give Rudd the second term he should have had in 2010. You refer to his first term as a failure but you forget it was interrupted (and violently so) by the GFC less than one year in. By any measure, his programs (rushed, faulty & costly as they were) worked and he would have won in 2010 in his own right (without the Greens or Independents), for sure.

    The GFC was very much an artefact of poor financial regulation (something that was never an issue here) and I still have my doubts about Rudd’s responses,which even with the benefit of hindsight do not seem as efficacious as Labor apologists keep claiming. I still think that the underlying soundness of our financial governance and the lack of debt had more to do with us travelling well than any of Rudd’s responses.

    The polls suggest that a lot of people agree with me on that and that they don’t trust Abbott, Iain. It’s still going to be close but I think there’s little between the parties on their claims to govern and, in that case, the incumbency may just be the one to stick with.

    No the Pools suggest that some people don’t “like” Abbott as much as they “Like” Rudd that is not a measure of trust. and in politics trust is more important than being liked. Labor are not trusted to be truthful and Rudd is burdened almost as much as Gillard was by the back-flips bad decisions and backtracking on things like the carbon tax and asylum seekers so I would not be too keen to trust the honeymoon polling he Rudd is basking in at present.

    It’ll still be a miracle if Rudd wins (greatest comeback since Lazarus) but what it would do is (1) cement the reforms to the ALP he’s announced (2) force the Liberals to finally modernise and reform themselves. In short, an ALP win would actually be better for the country’s future. The Coalition under Abbott are not ready to return to government. Not yet.

    Yes but they would not be governing until after the next election :) The thing is that even though the Labor party have held government for the last six years they will be marked down for the fact taht they have NO good works to boast about at the coming election.

  7. Richard Ryan says:

    Poor Abbott——his three word slogans are just like a “soft penis”! The brush he tarred Gillard with, is in turn tarring him. Really could you lot imagine this Rhodes Cretin in charge of this continent—–an ugly man with an ugly wife.

  8. Richard Ryan says:

    I will take that back about his wife——she is 50/50, pretty ugly.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    Richard
    Having seen a picture of your spouse I would not be judging the appearance of the wives of other men if I were you.

  10. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain,
    It’s no longer about ‘endorsement from the party’, it’s about who the electorate see as the better leader. I think you entirely misunderstand (or deny) the meaning of the polls that put Rudd well ahead in the ‘preferred PM’ stakes. He’s always been the people’s choice, even when he was 3 years in exile, and now that he’s back the people are just glad that the wrongs of 2010 have been corrected.

    History tells us that no opposition leader has won an election without first leading the preferred PM opinion polls. I guess that’s why Abbott and his party (and you) are looking and sounding a tad nervous.

  11. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    History tells us that no opposition leader has won an election without first leading the preferred PM opinion polls. I guess that’s why Abbott and his party (and you) are looking and sounding a tad nervous.

    Do you have a source for this claim Ray? because it does not sound right to me

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Insiders.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    When was that and who said it please?

  14. Richard Ryan says:

    Would not worry about Abbott, Turnbull is lurking in the back-ground, waiting for the call, it won’t be long now.

  15. Iain Hall says:

    Its only minions of the far left like you who worry about Abbott Richard.

  16. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I think it was on Sunday the 7th. It was quite clear – no Opposition leader has won govt without being ‘the preferred PM’ according to opinion polls.

    Recent Opposition leaders to win an election are Hawke (83), Howard (96) & Rudd (07). In all cases, the opposition leaders were also ahead in the ‘preferred PM’ stakes.

    However, Opposition leaders who lost (Peacock 84, Howard 87, Peacock 90, Hewson 93, Beazley 98 & 01, Latham 04 & Abbott 10) all trailed in the ‘preferred PM’ polls.

    It looks like a pattern.

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    given the situation we have now is not in any way comparable because of the “Gillard factor”
    negating any Prime Ministerial gravitas I think that we can safely discount the importance of the preferred PM polling, especially as Labor have not lead in the polls for three years.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    That might be wishful thinking on your part, Iain. The fact is that voters have a history of not throwing out a government when the PM is more ‘preferred’ or ‘popular’ or ‘liked’ (call what you will) than the opposition leader. And in this case the gap between Rudd & Abbott is quite large. Given the two-party-preferred is still at 50/50, Rudd’s popularity just might give him the edge in a close contest.

    Again, I preface that by saying it would still be a miracle if the ALP wins …. but it’s now possible.

  19. GD says:

    it would still be a miracle if the ALP wins …. but it’s now possible.

    For the sake of the nation I hope not.

    Another three years of ever increasing deficits, no end to the barrage of supposed asylum seekers jumping the legitimate humanitarian queue and no end to the resultant cost to taxpayers.

    At the minute it’s some $2.9 billion just to provide for supposed refugees’ housing and welfare.

    Then let’s add Rudd’s latest thought bubble. Instead of collecting a ‘carbon tax’, which went straight back into the government’s coffers, Rudd now reckons we should collect a ‘give Australia’s money away to any country who wants it’ tax. This is also known as an ETS.

    If Nigeria can stump up some bits of paper showing they have grown some trees, our Milky Bar Kid will gladly send them billions, instead of allocating it to our homeless, our hospital system and our beleaguered manufacturing industries.

    It won’t be a miracle if the ALP wins, it will be a disaster.

    For a government to be elected purely on the charisma of its leader, despite six years of errors and failed policies, is surely a travesty of the electoral system.

  20. Tony says:

    Whatever fairy dust the milky bar kid, and his propaganda machine use this time GD, the public aren’t buying it.
    Currently, he is still in his honeymoon phase.
    Wait until the liberal machine start with the ads, that will remind us of the last six years ?
    Six years of nothing but racking up debt for us all to pay back, with nothing to show for it. Even the carbon tax, pretty much all they can hang their hat on, is out ?
    Logging still continuing in old growth forests, the mining tax bringing next to zero to a broke federal bank account.
    Looks like pretty normal labor governing to me.

    Even the dumbest voter is seeing through the shiny mirrors, hence the reason as to why an election date has not been announced. Labor is waiting for a miracle to happen. It won’t, and even more importantly, there won’t be any Greens elected to get them out of the sh*tter either.

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