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According to media reports the abolition of the Climate commission will save the long suffering people about half a million bucks a year, almost chump change in the greater scheme of things but how it has upset the AGW luvvies, with many of them getting upset that the government should do precisely what they promised on the campaign trail would be right up there with getting new stationary by abolishing this useless quango. Some one should explain to the luvvies that if the Australian people want to find out about the subject they can do the same as everyone else and just use the internet. Because its always been the case that the likes of Flannery et al have NEVER produced a single instance of unique research all that they have ever done is to rehash the many papers and pseudo-scientific claims of impending doom as if they are some sort of holy writ. The fact that Flannery now claims that he and his fellow Profits of the Green religion are now going to carry on their “work” while begging for public support should make for an amusing aside to discussions of the topic. I just can’t help wondering if the AGW luvvies will dig deep enough to make up for Flannery’s now absent 180 grand a year stipend or if the cold hard reality of them having to spend their own money (rather than that of the taxpayer) is in action.
While we are on the subject of the internet who has not noticed that Malcolm Turnbull has got the NBN board to all fall on their swords? It both delights me to see the nincompoops who have done such a crappy job on Labor’s signature high-tech infrastructure project fired and to see that we now have a the prospect of the very necessary upgrading of our internet services in the hands of a minister who understands how to run something properly and that we may just have in prospect a change in the debate from the flights of of fantasy about what a warp drive will do on the electric super highway to what has to be done to properly deliver on the promise.
- Tim Flannery to relaunch scrapped Climate Commission as community-funded body (abc.net.au)
- Backers breathe life into axed climate body (theage.com.au)
- Tim Flannery sacked as Climate Commission is disbanded (sbs.com.au)
- New climate think tank backed (smh.com.au)
- Climateer Tim Flannery sacked in Oz (wattsupwiththat.com)
- Taking away the Climate Change gravy train (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Axed Climate Commission to be resurrected as Climate Council (theguardian.com)
- Malcolm Turnbull asks NBN Co board to resign after cost blowouts and delays (abc.net.au)
Those who complain about the Coalition’s “lack of policy” should be very pleased by their announcement of their broadband policy which was both well detailed well explained. As I have been saying for ages the average person does not need a Rolls-Royce and that is precisely the what that the presentation here is arguing.
Apart from one obnoxious journalist with a clear agenda the announcement was very well received
While I don’t support the concept of same sex marriage I do endorse the idea of civil unions so I found the conclusion to Malcolm Turnbull’s Michael Kirby Lecture delivered at Southern Cross University last night is worthy of note:
Let me now turn to the politics of the matter. The Labor Party has resolved that there will be a conscience vote on this issue, although the party’s policy is to support gay marriage. The Liberal Party has resolved not to have a conscience vote on this issue, and the party’s policy is to oppose gay marriage.
Many argue that the Liberals’ lack of a conscience vote means the gay marriage bills will not pass. I don’t think they have the numbers to pass, but I am far from convinced that in the present Parliament they would have the numbers even if a conscience vote were permitted.
So what is to be done? In my judgement, while the numbers are not there for gay marriage in this Parliament, they are certainly there for civil unions. We should not miss the opportunity to legislate for civil unions for same-sex couples in this Parliament. I recognise that will be seen by many as not good enough. But it is better than nothing and, as I said in the House last week on another issue, it is a great mistake to allow your conception of the perfect to be the enemy of the good.
It is said by the ”marriage or nothing” advocates that if the Parliament were to legislate for civil unions there would never be a move to marriage. On the contrary, it appears that most jurisdictions which have legislated for gay marriage have first provided for civil unions, including the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Canada. The United Kingdom and France, which recognise civil unions, are both proposing to legislate for marriage.
Personally I think that civil unions should be enough in their own right rather than changing the marriage act but that is just my position. However I suspect that as the zealots for this cause who have been banging the “all or nothing drum” with unseemly vigour for the last few years will find that they will end up with nothing.
Is this the beginning of the end for Abbott?
And an opportunity for Turnbull?
Iain hasn’t brought this up so I will: Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron has backed Julia Gillard’s carbon tax plan, striking a major blow to Tony Abbott’s negative campaign that he has been conducting – endlessly – all over the bloody country.
JULIA Gillard’s bid to impose a carbon tax in Australia has won a glowing endorsement from British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, undercutting a fierce campaign against the scheme by his conservative ally, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Mr Cameron praised the Australian Prime Minister’s carbon plan as bold, ambitious, and a spur to other nations. In May his government approved a binding 50 per cent cut to carbon emissions by 2025, while Australia’s non-binding target is a 5 per cent cut by 2020.
In a letter obtained by The Sunday Age, Mr Cameron says Ms Gillard’s policy ”will add momentum to those, in both the developed and developing world, who are serious about dealing with this urgent threat”.
”I was delighted to hear of the ambitious package of climate change policy measures you announced on 10 July and wanted to congratulate you on taking this bold step,” he writes.
Mr Cameron’s letter came as a surprise to Ms Gillard and her inner circle. She had met Mr Cameron at the G20 leaders summit and during a visit to London for the royal wedding in April, but the pair do not have an especially close relationship.
Mr Abbott travelled to Britain last October for the Conservative Party conference. He had a 15-minute formal meeting with Mr Cameron and sat next to him during dinner one evening.
The Tories have championed themselves as a party of strong climate action. Mr Cameron has vowed his government would be the ”greenest ever”.
As I’ve made clear before, I am an ALP supporter, which only means I support them like I support my football team, St Kilda – i.e. through thick & thin. And, just like my team, I realise that the ALP are not always the best, can put in some pretty ordinary performances and can sometimes lack leadership. The Saints presently have great leadership in coach Ross Lyon and captain Nick Riewoldt but, unfortunately, my political footy side, the ALP, has a leader who embarrasses me. PM Julia Gillard seems incapable of selling her proposal to introduce a price on carbon next year. She can’t explain the benefits or sell the positives in a way that gives the majority of people any confidence that this new, carbon-free economy is the way of the future. And she’s so wooden and uninspiring. In footy terms, she’s the equivalent of Melbourne’s coach Dean Bailey, a coach who came into the job with little if not zero AFL credentials, who has put no runs on the board and whose popularity stocks are at an all time low, especially after yesterday’s humiliating, near-AFL record 186 points thrashing at the hands of that country hick team Geelong.
Gillard has no real political future beyond this current term and it’s still no certainty she’ll lead the party to what seems like certain defeat at the 2013 election. She’s a goner and she doesn’t seem to care. I mean, anyone who is prepared to stand next to Christine Nixon & Jo Chandler to launch their disgraceful book this week, obviously has no intention of sticking around for the long haul.
But if Julia Gillard is the Dean Bailey of politics, what about Tony Abbott? I think he’s like a yapping dog barking at the government’s heels because, well, because he can. So maybe he’s the Jason Akermanis of politics, you know, always in your face but not someone to take very seriously and lacking any real substance in what he says. And, just like the Bulldogs got sick & tired of Akers’ constant harping and sacked him last year, maybe the Liberals will finally see the light too and rid itself of Abbott’s very negative, opposition-for-opposition’s-sake and no-real-direction style of leadership. Well, in light of the above news, if they don’t get with the program and start putting forward some viable alternatives, they may well hand Gillard a giant free kick right in front of goals. And maybe, just maybe, another term? Who knows?
Which brings me to Malcolm Turnbull. As we all know, the former Liberal leader Turnbull is a strong – very strong – supporter of putting a price on carbon. He actually supports Julia Gillard’s proposal, although obviously he can’t come out and say so in so many, direct words. Nonetheless, he’s come very close to endorsing it, much to Abbott’s displeasure. And, as we all know too, Turnbull’s support for a carbon tax and an ETS cost him the opposition leadership position when he was surprisingly dumped in favour of Abbott-the-head-kicker … by just one vote!
Maybe the time is right for Malcolm Turnbull to return to the job he probably shouldn’t have been dumped from in the first place. I’m not saying that he would have won last year’s election if he’d stayed and, in fact, I think Abbott was probably the right person to bridge the huge gap that existed between the Liberals and the then Kevin Rudd led government when Abbott took over and started up his very negative, in-your-face campaign. I’ll give him that – he did serve the Liberals well in the short-term.
But I reckon Abbott is approaching his use by date and may have even exceeded it. He might be polling okay at the moment but can you seriously see the electorate putting up with his I-wanna-be-PM-and-I-want-it-now style for another two years? I can’t. Maybe this latest news, that Gillard’s carbon tax is strongly supported by Abbott’s British counterpart, may well mark the beginning of the end for the yapping dog of Oz politics, Tony Abbott?
And maybe this will see the return of Malcolm Turnbull to the job he still craves as Opposition leader and (in his eyes) Prime Minister in waiting. To again use a footy analogy, I see Turnbull as the Chris Judd of the competition, which is very apt, as Judd is the lead-by-example captain of the silvertailed Carlton club, which has had strong links to the Liberals having had both John Elliot & Dick Pratt as its Presidents. I dislike Carlton as much as I dislike the Liberals but there’s no doubt that since crossing from West Coast a few years ago, captain-courageous Judd has almost single-handedly raised the stocks of the whole club, so much so that it almost makes you forget Carlton’s reputation as the club that cheated its way to several Premierships by illegally buying up top players from other clubs outside the salary cap system. Almost, but not quite. Hmm, Carlton, cheats, Liberals – peas in a pod?
If Turnbull were to be given another chance by the Liberals then they’d have to (finally) accept that the party requires a change of direction by moving more in line with his vision for the country’s future. I like Turnbull. I think he’s brilliant and visionary. And if he somehow does become PM in 2013 it would, for me, make the ALP’s certain demise at that poll a lot easier to take. But are the Liberal Party MPs clever enough to realise that Abbott has run his race and they should be looking at Turnbull as someone who can better lead them back into government? I’m not sure they are.
I must admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude at the woes of the Labor/Green government. After having such a jolly time mocking the follies of the once and future king (Brother Number One) and then having an even jollier time since Juliar decided to emulate Brutus the depths to which they have fallen has actaully made me feel some sympathy for Labor supporters who now face the twin woes of defending the evident incompetence and coming to terms with a very long time for their party in the political wilderness. I very clearly remember the feeling of political despair when, as a Labor voter myself (at the time) I got through the Fraser years one day at a time. In fact the only way that I and many other true believers managed to cope was to hide political allegiances rather like it being “a love that dare not speak its name”. However I think that the current government has purchased a ticket that will take Labor so much deeper into the wilderness than Gough’s veterans ever visited. It may well be the case that the next Labor Prime Minister is still in primary school and as yet unaware of politics…
The thing is as things get more and more desperate pundits from the left are grasping at more distant and more scanty straws like the suggestion that Labor could possibly poach Malcolm Turnbull to repalce Juliar thus saving the party’s fortunes:
There are lots of reasons to just laugh at this piece of nonsense published in today’s Fairfax press not the least of which is that Malcolm is not silly enough to entertain it for longer than it takes to have a good belly laugh.
Lets just assume that Turnbull were to go for this madness the reality that he would face would be a party mired with incompetence and an unsaleable Carbon tax dog’s breakfast. The party faithful are hardly likely to warm to Turnbull and its careerists would be resentful of an outsider circumventing their ambitions. The public are hardly likely to think that a man who has betrayed the party he has once led is worthy of their support either. More importantly Labor’s woes won’t be cured by such a strategy and under even the best case scenario (in Labor terms) this would be a way for Labor to lose “less badly” which would hardly be an incentive for a man as politically ambitious as Turnbull. Lets hold the options in each hand and see how they balance out shall we?
In our left hand we hold the prospect of a short and ignoble period leading a doomed government which earns as much loathing from former friends and collogues as that enjoyed by Sir John Kerr, Vs the right hand prospect of being a senior minister in a multi-term Coalition government with a (slim) chance of fulfilling his leadership ambitions at some time in the future….
So do you really think he would choose to dance with such an unattractive partner?
Given the fact that the NBN was a deciding factor in the creation of the current government it makes good sense for Tony Abbott to appoint someone who both understands and “loves” the internet to prosecute the argument against this wasteful scheme.
The Government has revealed the first stage of the NBN rollout in Tasmania absorbed 90 per cent of the budget, but only connected fibre optic cable to 50 per cent of homes.
That is well below the Government’s take-up target of 80 per cent.
NBN Co says households that did not have fibre optic cable installed will have to pay to connect in the future.
Mr Turnbull told PM the Government has not been honest about the cost of the NBN rollout.
“It is quite extraordinary that they’re proposing to spend $43 billion of taxpayers’ money on a project they say will result in an asset worth $43 billion, and yet they have provided no evidence, no financial analysis, no business case, no financial models to justify that expenditure or to convince any of us that this isn’t going to be nothing other than a massive destruction of taxpayers’ money,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Every billion dollars that is wasted on this project – and I believe tens of billions of dollars will be wasted on this project if it goes ahead – is money that cannot be spent on fast rail, on public transport, on schools, on hospitals, on roads.
“What the Labor Government is doing here is something that no public company would ever be able to get away with.
“Any public company that said it was going to spend tens of billions of dollars on a new project would have to persuade and demonstrate to its shareholders that this was going to add value to the shareholders’ investment.”
But Mr Turnbull says he is not against broadband internet, quite the opposite.
“I am passionately in favour of broadband. I am a notorious internet junkie, and I love it,” he said.
“I’ve been involved in the internet since 1994 when we started OzEmail. So I’m very committed to it and I’m very committed to the amazing things that we can do with technology.
“But I’m also committed to not wasting tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.”
I would be delighted if all of the government propaganda about the NBN were true but I suspect that the hype far exceeds the reality and with someone like Malcolm in the trenches the Australian people will get the scrutiny of this expensive scheme that the Gillard government is less than enthusiastic about.
The question here is one of the cost vs the benefits and the fact is that the NBN has had no business case put for its existence. I am personally pleased to see Malcolm back into the front line in the ongoing fight against a bad government which we can expect to continue as it has over the last three years.
I’ll give Malcolm Turnbull the benefit of the doubt on his commitment to the Liberal party and his loyalty to the leader since his return to the fray and I will go even further and give him a hat tip for acknowledging that the direct action scheme has merit.
In a speech in Sydney last night, Mr Turnbull said that while he retained his preference for an ETS, Mr Abbott’s $3.2 billion plan for carbon abatement had potential to achieve the target of cutting emissions by 5 per cent by 2020.
“While the Coalition’s direct action plan is inferior in my view to a thorough, economy-wide market-based mechanism which puts a price on emissions, it is nonetheless superior to the Rudd government’s climate change policy vacuum following its abandonment of the ETS,” Mr Turnbull told a NSW Bar Association seminar in Sydney.
“It would seem that Kevin Rudd’s answer to ‘the greatest moral challenge of our times’ is no more than the greatest policy vacuum of our times.“
But I will give hum a very big thumbs up for the line in bold above it sums up beautifully the dimensions of Brother Number One’s lack of courage to follow through on the policy that he spent so much energy and so much rhetoric promoting.