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One of the most spurious arguments mooted for the Carbon tax is the “need” of business to have certainty and it makes the rather shallow assumption that those in business are not well aware of how the machinations of the political process may affect the way that they do business into the future. A very good example of someone sprouting this line is from Wayne Swan:
“What this country needs is certainty, and certainty is provided by putting a price on carbon pollution so we can drive investments in the renewable energy of the future, drive the jobs and drive the wealth creation.
“He’s playing politics, he’s not interested in the long-term national interest,” Mr Swan said.
But this such a stupid piece of bullshit that it should not remain unchallenged. During my life time I have seen an almost endless succession of governments constantly changing one economic parameter after another, Now some of these have had good results and some have had rather less beneficial effects, some have been praised or demonized depending upon the ideology of those on the treasury benches or the opposition trenches. If there is one thing that anyone in business can be certain of it is that they can’t be certain of anything on the economic landscape being unchanging. Good business men accept this fact as part of the economic landscape and the ensure that their business model has enough flexibility to cope with the constant flux of the economic environment. To be entirely frank what Wayne Swan is inadvertently doing here is making a damn good argument against imposing a carbon tax or an ETS because the real certainty that business needs is the reassurance that they won’t have to pay a tax that is little more than lip service to an unprovable theory propagated by a millenarian cult, that they won’t be burdened by a “revenue neutral” scheme that is going to add billions to the deficit for no measurable effect on the climate.
Those men and women in business do in fact have certainty when it comes to this pernicious tax, and that is the certainty that it will be repealed by an incoming Coalition government and I think that there is little doubt that Nine Greens in the senate will not matter when it comes to passing the necessary legislation because I think that the ALP will be so chastened by the terrible drubbing that they will have received that they will quite cheerfully support the passage of the necessary legislation through the senate just so that they can put this whole shambles of a stupid “climate change ” policy into history where it would have been had Gillard the strength and courage to drive a harder bargain with Bob Brown in 2010.
Certain about that Comrades
As the year comes towards its inevitable end we are all drawn to consider a little bit of a look back and some thought of just how the world has changed for those of us who are politics junkies naturally consider the fortunes of those we consider to be the lead players in our soap operas of choice. As the 2010 season the Federal politics show winds up we have a big bang cliff hanger (The truly horrible Christmas Island tragedy) that will either make or break the Gillard government. I tend to think that it will not do the current government any good at all mainly because it exposes the government’s incompetence in failing to consider the real life consequences of what was quite simply a political sop to the far left who were drifting away from Labor. But then that is precisely this political culture of act now and think later that the Labor party is foundering on.
Cast your mind back to the week before last Christmas to see just how far Labor has fallen in 2010. The emissions trading scheme had swallowed up Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership and led to Abbott’s ascendancy. The Coalition had resorted to appealing to its base – a defensive posture. Labor was well ahead in the polls and had guided the country through the worst of the global financial crisis.
Six months later, by failing to stay true to his commitments on climate change policy and adhering to an absurd addiction to media exposure, Rudd had crippled his own leadership within the electorate and within the caucus. Labor’s only option was to dump him, but that emergency measure has left behind a problematic legacy: a jittery sensibility that could take the government years to lose, if it gets that chance.
Under Rudd, the government became risk-averse. Under Gillard, that has not changed in ways that are readily evident. On Monday, she will have had six months as Prime Minister – half of one of Labor’s worst years. Labor did secure a second term in 2010, but when Gillard deposed Rudd in June she said the government had lost its way. It’s still looking for the map and the compass.
Will Labor be able to revitalise their fortunes next year is the natural question that comes to mind after reading Carney’s piece I tend to think that Labor is in a terminal decline and as they are only alive politically because of some rather tenuous life support courtesy of the independent stooges and you have to ask just how long will “the machine that goes ping ” keep going for Gillard?
An interesting new season of “Federal Politics” looms in 2011…
A most delightful piece in today’s Fairfax press* in which Paul Sheehan goes through the problems with the greens in an entirely alphabetical manner.
A: ABCC. The Australian Building and Construction Commission was established to combat rampant corruption and intimidation in the building industry and has been highly effective. The main construction union, the CFMEU, has run a vociferous campaign to shut down the ABCC, which curbed the practice of building sites being threatened with industrial action unless they were ”paid up” with the union. The CFMEU has donated to the Greens. The Greens want the ABCC abolished.
B: Boat people. A left-wing obsession, thus the Greens send every possible green light to the people-smuggling trade under the argument that Australia has a moral obligation to absorb the world’s oppressed. No limit is ever set. No line is ever drawn. No hard decision is ever taken.
C: China. So great is the scale of power plant construction in China alone that even if Australia enforced a policy of zero greenhouse gas emissions, it would make almost no difference to global emissions. Thus Green urgency is based on principle rather than practical outcomes.
It is at once both shocking and amazingly funny that one minor party should have a vice for every letter of the alphabet.
With thanks to a Leon Bertrand who pointed out this piece to me
* Maybe even Fairfax is “over ” the Greens…..
Well this is a turn up for the books, and one that must play at least a small part in deciding who has the moral authority to form government.
Yesterday, as the independents converged on Canberra for formal talks, counting showed the Coalition edging ahead of Labor on the two-party-preferred count.
By 10.30pm last night, with more than 80 per cent counted, the Coalition was ahead by 1909 votes after the AEC removed eight seats from its two-party count on the basis that the major parties did not run first and second.
In a stunning measure of the closeness of the election, the Australian Electoral Commission website had the parties locked at 50.01 per cent for the Coalition to 49.99 per cent for Labor with close to 11 million votes counted.
Its looking more and more like the next resident in the lodge may just be someone who is keen on an early morning bike ride rather than a pie with free sauce
Hmm I wonder why Lynot has been so quiet lately????
The other day one of my regular commentators (Sax) suggested that it was time for another post about climate change, at the time with the election in full swing I though otherwise. However now that we are in the nether world awaiting the declaration of the polls and the result of the subsequent argy bargy with the three gentlemen it is perhaps time to consider not the minutia of the AGW argument but the calibre of those “useful idiots” who so vehemently advocate for the cause. Like the ones protesting against of all things the Royal bank of Scotland.
The term “useful idiots”, most commonly attributed to Lenin to describe Soviet sympathisers in the West, has never been more appropriate this morning than in describing those who give public support to the hooligans causing criminal damage in Edinburgh in the cause, they claim, of averting climate change.
Supporting a malign cause in the mistaken belief that it is a force for good when common sense should suggest the opposite is a common feature of the deluded in our midst and nowhere is this better demonstrated than when the words “climate change” are mentioned. Simply uttering them apparently justifies any action, no matter how daft or how violent.
Yesterday, and in no particular order, saw some nutters – although they prefer the term “activists” – superglue themselves to the car park at Royal Bank of Scotland offices, whilst others climbed onto the roof of Forth Energy’s HQ, and two chained themselves to the front of the building. Windows had been previously smashed at RBS’s head office at Gogarburn, which has seen a Climate Camp – so-called – installed outside for several days now.
An “oil slick”, using molasses, was created outside Cairn Energy’s office in Lothian Road and similar, but much more dangerous, slicks were also poured onto the main A720 and A8 roads. And a Clydesdale Bank branch was spray-painted.
Whilst superglue was also used to stick protestors together on a bridge over the A8 , at the Port of Leith and at other RBS premises near the Gyle Shopping Centre, the mystery to me was why the police bothered to remove them. The nights are fair drawing in and I’m sure our committed friends would have been happy to stick it out as the winds of autumn arrive.
There is no doubt that these sorts of earnest “eco-warriors” are all rather seriously deluded, not to mention the fact that these modern day Luddites are the very definition of hypocrisy. You can lay very good odds that most of these protesters did not walk to the protests, that they are wearing clothing that is made of modern oil derived synthetics, that they live in houses heated with fossil fuelled energy and I think that it is also a pretty good bet that the majority of them are more than happy to get on a jet plane to travel to the sunny places of Europe for indulgent holidays.
Yet our very own Antipodean “useful idiots” are wildly celebrating the fact that they have convinced enough of our voters to endorse them for the senate so that they will hold the balance of power after next June but the one thing that they don’t realise is that once they have to deliver outcomes rather than just making pious platitudes to Gaia is the moment that their road begins to get rather more rocky. Its very easy to enthuse the young and naive , to get them to chant the idiotic slogans (or even to believe them) but its oh so much harder to make their policies actually work.
The disconnect between reality and Greens policy is so well demonstrated by the claims made by Bob Brown the other day when questioned about his desire to impose a carbon tax. The Liberals and all sensible people realise that if you levy a tax on energy that it will be the consumers who end up paying that tax through increased energy prices. But we were shown Bob Brown insisting that it would only be “the big polluters” who will pay as if any increase in costs from a new tax would not be passed on. The sad thing is that I think that Brown actually believes his own propaganda.
Sadly so do the voters who have delivered the balance of power in our senate to these”useful idiots” but I expect that time will do to the Greens precisely what it did to the Democrats, but I suspect that it won’t take anywhere near as long as it did for that other ill fated minor party.