Last few days before Australian climate madness takes effect


The Australian economy…

On Sunday 1 July 2012, the Labor/Green government’s carbon tax of $23 per tonne will finally take effect in Australia.

We’ve heard all the usual spin from Greg Combet about how other countries are taking similar action and Australia must “catch up”. It’s all bullshit as anyone with half a brain could work out. Unfortunately, Combet and Gillard and their Green mates don’t have half a brain between them, so they can’t work it out. In any case, it’s all Green blackmail anyway, to keep Gillard in power.

Coming at a time when:

  • the European economy could collapse at any moment thanks to any number of bankrupt states teetering on the brink of default,
  • economic confidence in the US is low, and
  • our own resources-run economy is feeling the pinch from decreased demand from China (even ignoring the punishing mining tax),

to legislate what is essentially the world’s highest carbon tax, when European carbon prices have been falling like a stone, and now stand around $10, is pure climate madness – and what originally gave this blog its name back in 2008.

And of course, it will do NOTHING for the climate. Our emissions will actually rise. And China and India’s emissions will rise several orders of magnitude more than any notional reduction here in Australia for decades to come.

Gillard believes that when the tax comes into effect, people won’t notice and she can crow “See, it wasn’t so bad after all!” Some hope. Electricity prices are already set to rise 18 – 20% next year and the additional costs of paying the tax will inevitably be passed on to consumers (or suppliers, who will eventually pass it on to consumers anyway). Prices of virtually everything will rise despite the almost childishly simplistic refrain of “it’s only the top 500 polluters who pay”. Yes, and who pays them?

The cost of living here in Australia is going through the roof and the economy is already stagnant. Uncertainty about a second GFC is forcing Australian families all over the country to tighten their belts, slash discretionary spending and sit tight in their bunkers until the next election, which they hope will deliver a majority government capable of action.

Thanks to the carbon tax, the next 15 months will be even worse than that. I foresee the economy shrinking, retailers going under, businesses failing and unemployment rising. The housing market will shrink and families will be stuck in the negative equity trap. There can be no other outcome.

The so-called “green economy” is a myth. It survives on a life support system of generous government handouts. Withdraw the feeding tube and death rapidly follows. Only when such alternative energies become genuinely competitive will they be able to survive without government crutches. It is not the panacea that will see us through this crisis.

We can only hope that something forces an early election and this pointless and damaging tax can be removed as soon as possible thereafter. Otherwise, we’re stuck with it until at least the second half of 2013, by which time, the Australian economy may be too broken to be saved – and it may take generations of hard times foisted upon our, quote, “children and grandchildren” to restore it.

Gillard facing 'carbon tax revolt'


Stop burning that money! It's bad for the climate!

By the law of averages, there had to be a few MPs in the Labor party who were smart enough to question the nonsensical reasoning behind the carbon tax (and possibly the futility of any kind of unilateral climate action).

The Sunday Telegraph reports that there may be rumblings on the back benches:

JULIA Gillard faces growing backbench unrest over the carbon tax with sceptics quietly planning to push for changes to the incoming tax – or the leadership.

Labor MPs have voiced concerns about the level of the July 1 fixed carbon price – $23 a tonne – and the timetable to transition to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.

A new caucus sub-committee, created to cool MPs’ anger over the government’s foreign-worker deal with mining magnate Gina Rinehart, is set to be a forum for sceptics to push for change, several Labor MPs suggested.

“I just hate the carbon tax. Never wanted it,” one Labor MP told The Sunday Telegraph.

‘We might have a few like-minded sceptics coming out. If I had my way we wouldn’t be having a carbon tax but that’s not possible.” (source)

Now this would be a fight I want ringside seats and a ton of popcorn for.

Australian Labor chaos: new Liberal advert


Remember Kevin O’Lemon? Now we have a new advert, just in time for Labor’s leadership ballot tomorrow morning at 10am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (11pm GMT): “Lemons never change their spots”:

[tube]4Cj6w83yueM[/tube]

All I am hoping for is that whoever wins will be so damaged that there will be a general election and the Coalition can dump the carbon tax.

Kevin Rudd resigns as Foreign Minister


Bitter enemies

Our dysfunctional Labor government limps from crisis to disaster and back to crisis again, as Kevin Rudd finally pulls the plug and resigns. Julia Gillard is expected to call a leadership ballot on Monday:

THE Gillard government faces days of uncertainty until Kevin Rudd declares whether he will challenge Julia Gillard for the Labor leadership, go to the parliamentary backbench or even resign from his Brisbane seat and force a by-election.

As government sources last night revealed the Prime Minister would today call a special caucus meeting for a leadership ballot on Monday, NSW independent Tony Windsor warned it was “more than likely” a change of leader would trigger a return to the polls.

And Wayne Swan launched an extraordinary attack on Mr Rudd, saying that “for too long, Kevin Rudd has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader labour movement and the country as a whole, and that needs to stop”.

Mr Rudd’s dramatic 1am resignation in Washington yesterday threw the parliamentary Labor Party into even more confusion and bitter recrimination as supporters of Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard blamed each other for the damaging events. (source)

Time’s up. A new election is required. This government has no credibility and no future.

Gillard finished as Australian Prime Minister?


Finished?

The governing Labor party is in turmoil. Polling shows an election now would sweep Tony Abbott’s conservative Coalition into power in a landslide. Julia Gillard has lost the trust of the public, and her own MPs, after a string of high profile embarrassments.

Labor really has nowhere to go. Some are talking of a return of Kevin Rudd, who was unceremoniously stabbed in the back in the mid-2010. But there is no obvious alternative candidate. If they dump Gillard, there will need to be an election. Australia may still dodge the bullet of the carbon tax, due to come into force in the middle of the year.

JULIA Gillard faced a revolt last night by marginal seat MPs who publicly called for her to resign as Prime Minister.

For the first time, marginal seat MPs including Victoria’s Darren Cheeseman went public with a demand she quit to save the party.

“There’s no doubt about it: Julia Gillard can’t take the party forward. The community has made its mind up on her,” he told the Sunday Herald Sun.

“Certainly, it would be in the interests of the party for Julia to stand down and allow (the) Government to select a strong candidate.”

One of Ms Gillard’s senior ministers also urged her to “resign now”, as Cabinet erupted into open warfare over a leadership showdown.

“For the good of the party, for the good of the Government, she should stand down,” the senior minister, who declined to be named, said.

Some supporters predicted yesterday the Prime Minister might yet be forced to spill the leadership and fight, but this was ruled a high-risk strategy because it would expose Kevin Rudd’s support levels.

But the Gillard camp has not ruled out sacking Mr Rudd as the Foreign Affairs Minister.

The Gillard camp maintains she has more than 65 votes in the 103-person ALP caucus, but even her supporters concede a ballot is high-risk because it is likely to show that more than a third of MPs want her gone.

Her supporters say Mr Rudd has between 30 and 34 votes, while six are unknown.

A Labor powerbroker warned Mr Rudd was destroying the party, driving down the primary vote with relentless destabilisation.

“He’s taken ALP caucus hostage,” they said. 

“His message is, ‘I’ll shoot the Prime Minister if you don’t give me the job’.

But both sides believe Ms Gillard will not resign. (source)

And while Labor fiddles with its own internal wrangling, Australia burns – no direction, no focus, no plan for the future. Time for a grown-up government again.

Australian politics update


Parliament House, Canberra

Primarily for our international readers, I thought it might be useful to review the current political situation in Australia. Why? Because if the present government loses power, our famous (or should I say, infamous) carbon tax will go too.

In August 2010, the general election was so close that it came down to three independents holding the balance of power to determine which party formed government. In the end, the independents sided with Julia Gillard’s Labor party, with two of them, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, betraying their naturally conservative electorates.

Gillard signed a deal with the Greens, effectively buying their support with a promise to take urgent action on climate change. As a result, the carbon tax legislation was enacted and is due to come into force later this year.

Gillard also came to an arrangement with another independent MP, Andrew Wilkie, promising to introduce “pre-commitment” technology on the country’s many “pokies” or slot machines as they are known elsewhere.

However, in the past few months a number of events have occurred which have put Gillard’s minority government on even shakier ground.

Firstly, Labor MP Craig Thomson has been embroiled in a rather unsavoury saga involving allegations concerning the use of a union-funded credit card to procure the services of prostitutes. More of this later.

Secondly, Gillard welched on the pokie deal with Andrew Wilkie, who has withdrawn his support for the Gillard government. Gillard would never have been able to force the legislation through, since pokies are essential to the survival of many Labor-dominated workers clubs in the suburbs. Maybe Gillard forgot this obvious fact when she signed the agreement with Wilkie…

Thirdly, at the end of last year Gillard poached maverick Liberal MP Peter Slipper to take on the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives (a position formerly held by a Labor MP, Harry Jenkins). This added an extra vote to Gillard’s numbers. However, “Slippery Pete” (as he’s affectionately known in the media) has a few issues himself, having been accused of making excessive claims for travel expenses. See Andrew Bolt here for more on this subject.

As for Craig Thomson, allegations are flying that Labor has been involved in delaying the inquiry into Thomson’s actions in order to protect the tiny majority on which it operates. I predict this is going to blow up spectacularly in the next few weeks. Again, Bolt has more here.

Finally, many of you will have seen the appalling pictures of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott being herded out of a restaurant in Canberra by security staff, after a demonstration by occupiers of the “Tent Embassy”, who are protesting for aboriginal rights (and have been for 40 years).

It transpires that one of Gillard’s own staff tipped off the embassy occupiers (indirectly) that Tony Abbott was in a particular restaurant, fanning the flames by claiming that Abbott said the embassy should be removed. What he actually said was that those at the embassy should “move on” from the 1970s mindset, given that so much has been done to improve the lives of aborigines since then.

Gillard (as always) pleads ignorance (she does however sack the staffer concerned), and the Labor spin machine grinds into action with its default response: blame Abbott. No apology, no remorse, just vicious attacks. Except this time it’s not working, and the few conservative journalists we have here are digging deeper and deeper into this sordid little episode.

So the upshot of this is that Gillard’s wafer thin majority may be compromised from a number of directions in the near future. If there were to be an election now, the Liberals (in coalition with the Nationals) would romp home. Currently the two party preferred lead is 54% to 46%, which is huge. Labor is so desperate that there is even talk of bringing back Kevin Rudd, who Gillard knifed in 2010 to steal the leadership!

Tony Abbott has vowed to repeal the carbon tax in government. There may still be hope for Australia.

Interesting times!

 

TONIGHT: 7 News to run exclusive on Gillard's climate policy


UPDATE: Brian Wilshire on 2GB last night said:

“I’m told that Channel 7 at 6.00 tomorrow night in their news will have an exposé of what the government… has done and shouldn’t have done regarding the illusion of global warming, what they sometimes like to call climate change. They are letting the cat out of the bag tomorrow night, so I am told. I don’t have the details but I will be watching in anticipation.”

[Download the podcast for iTunes here, and skip to 1 hr 5 min 30 secs.]

7 News have just confirmed that they will be running an exclusive on Julia Gillard’s climate policy:

Fingers crossed…

Be sure to tune in!

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