Rudd in deep strife

Five major policy backflips and counting…

The Herald Sun lays bare the problems for Kevin Rudd. He has the inverse midas touch at the moment, everything he touches turns to dust. Even his attacks on Tony Abbott’s “gaffe” have backfired, with public opinion solidly behind Abbott:

FOR the past three weeks, opinion polls have shown, decidedly and emphatically, that the prime ministership of Kevin Rudd is in dramatic decline.

The figures have come back with one clear thread – Australia’s very brief and intense love affair with Rudd has come to a screaming halt.

God only knows what sort of meltdown the PM experienced as he opened his newspapers. Unlike John Howard, who faced his executioners with a brave face each time the polls were released in his last year of power, Rudd went missing in action.

Like a bad loser, Rudd hates facing failure. There were no hospital visits on those three dark days after these polls. No hard hats, no slapping the workers’ backs, no door-stops outside the local church. Dead silence from the man who turned Channel 7’s Sunrise into his own marketing weapon during the last election campaign.

By hiding, and sending Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan out to do his dirty work, Rudd told us even more about himself than if he had held dozens of press conferences.

His prime ministership was built on populism. But his backflips on the ETS, immigration policy and on the roof insulation scheme proved to many of us who voted for him that Rudd does not stand for much at all.

If there is one thing Australians can’t stand, it is a fake.

Is it too much to hope that Rudd will be a one-termer?

Read it here.

UPDATED: The hypocrisy of Labor and the Labor-loving media

The media and Labor are all over Tony Abbott this morning after his “gaffe” on ABC’s 7.30 Report in which he rather too candidly admitted that politicians are susceptible to hyperbole in the heat of the moment. Well, knock me down with a feather. Tell me something I don’t know. But Labor are on to it, calling him Phoney Tony, trying to make cheap political capital out of it (always a sure sign of a government in deep trouble), and the media have all got collective “cat got the cream” expressions on their smug journalistic faces.

What short memories they have, and a truly impressive ability to forget instantly the lies, spin and deception of this bankrupt Labor government, which has executed more backflips than a gymnastics convention. Don’t know about Phoney Tony, but I sure know about Rudd the Dud.

Abbott simply told the truth about politics in the 21st century, and was rather too honest about it, but the hypocrisy it has received in response is nothing short of breathtaking.

UPDATE: Some of this simply has to be seen to be believed, as Labor ministers queue up to rubbish Abbott. Nicola Roxon (the worst health minister in living memory?) thinks Abbott is “cracking under pressure” and Penny Wong [who she? – Ed] thinks he “cannot be trusted” (see here). If those same standards were applied to the Government, there wouldn’t be a man or woman left standing. Andrew Robb calls the hypocrisy for what it is:

Those Government ministers who have been out all morning hyperventilating about Tony Abbott are hardly in a position to point a finger considering their appalling track record.

It is the pot calling the kettle black.

Kevin Rudd is the king of broken promises, back-flips and spin and when the going gets tough he goes into hiding, blames others and wheels out junior ministers to take the rap.

In stark contrast, Tony Abbott is a strong leader who is refreshingly authentic and who has the courage to get out there and take it on the chin.

Read it all.

Chris Uhlmann on Rudd's ETS about-turn


Chris Uhlmann is a rarity in ABC circles – a journalist who isn’t a global warming ecotard with an axe to grind. So it is refreshing to read his critique of Kevin Rudd’s volte face on climate change:

The nude ball is well known in cricket circles.

It’s a derogatory term applied to deliveries that don’t spin, swing or seam. With the bowler doing nothing to defeat the batsman nude balls usually disappear over the boundary and the fielding captain is forced to change the attack.

The Government’s defence for its new position on climate change is the nude ball of politics. After campaigning for three years on the urgent need for an emissions trading scheme as the central weapon for reducing Australia’s carbon footprint it abruptly shelved the idea because it all got too hard.

The argument for delay is that it couldn’t get agreement in the Senate, and that international progress is too slow.

The Prime Minister summed up the case for delay in his recent exchange with The 7:30 Report’s Kerry O’Brien. [See ACM’s comment on this here – Ed]

“We believe that an emissions trading scheme is the most effective and cheapest way of getting there, [Tony Abbott] has rejected that position despite the Liberal Party having formally embraced it,” Kevin Rudd said.

“I now have to confront the reality of that is what he’s done… the progress on global action has been slower than any of us would like. That is why we’ve announced a decision that we would not seek to reintroduce this legislation until the end of the Kyoto commitment period and on the basis that global action has been adequate.”

Abandoning the idea because of Senate obstructionism ignores the fact that the Prime Minister could seek to have both houses of Parliament dissolved and then put the matter to the people at an election. If he won that election he could then put his Carbon Pollution Reduction bill to the vote at a joint sitting.

It’s not something anyone would do lightly but it is something you would do if you believed that climate change was the great moral and economic challenge of our age.

Read it here.

Rudd loses it on 7.30 Report

Grim faced

As the Herald Sun puts it, channelling the spirit of Mark Latham. Well, what else can the poor chap do? He’s claimed climate change is the greatest moral challenge since the dawn of time, but then drops the ETS like a hot rock when it looks like the public don’t like it. Not content with that, he then pretends that climate change is still at the forefront of Labor policy. What a joke!

THE PM has been accused of petulance and likened to Mark Latham after a fiery outburst during a television interview last night.

Some of his political opponents compared the prime minister’s performance on ABC Television’s 7.30 Report with former failed Labor leader Mark Latham.

“He’s starting to lose it,” opposition frontbencher Andrew Robb said.

The night before, a visibly angry Mr Rudd dismissed a suggestion he had shown political cowardice on climate change by deferring his carbon pollution reduction scheme until at least 2013.

“(Climate Change Minister) Penny Wong and I sat up for three days and three nights [so what? – Ed] with 20 leaders from around the world to try and frame a global agreement,” he said.

Mr Rudd’s deputy Julia Gillard defended her boss saying he was passionate about climate change action.

“You’re seeing the prime minister articulate the policy but also the passion and enthusiasm to deal with this question of climate change in that interview.”

Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne dismissed that description of the interview, saying Mr Rudd was “just petulant”.

His colleague Greg Hunt went further: “He is making wildly erratic decisions and morphing into Mark Latham, but without the conviction.

“It appears that under the slightest pressure the prime minister is looking increasingly out of control.

Read it (and watch an extract) here.

Backflip backfires

Rudd's gymnastics coach demonstrates the back flip

Kevin Rudd (he who has no political convictions whatsoever) thought that by dumping the ETS he would avoid having to be beaten repeatedly round the ears in the run up to an election by an Opposition wielding a stick bearing the words “Great big new tax”. Unfortunately, his political cowardice in not forcing a double dissolution on climate change, which is what he should have done if he truly believed it to be the greatest moral challenge of our time, is backfiring, as the public realise that he is a spineless and gutless prime minister. As The Australian reports:

THE Labor government has lost its position as the leader on climate change for the first time, following Kevin Rudd’s decision to dump plans for an emissions trading scheme.

Having always led the Coalition, at times by a margin of more than two to one on the question of which party would be best able to handle the issue of climate change, the Labor government is now equal to the Coalition opposition and, essentially, the Greens.

The Prime Minister’s sudden decision to push off any attempt to get the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme through this parliament and possibly not until after the election after next has led to a dramatic slump in support for Labor on climate change.

Under pressure from Tony Abbott’s political campaign against the ETS as a “great big tax” and faced with Coalition and Greens opposition in the Senate, Mr Rudd declared last week that the timetable for implementation of any CPRS would be “extended” until 2013 at least.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Of course, the warmist media is trying to spin this story as demonstrating that the Australian people really, really wanted a huge tax on everything for no environmental benefit whatsoever, and they are deserting Rudd because he isn’t giving them one… Believe that at your peril.

Fallout from ETS dumping continues

The whole landscape has shifted, and the climate debate in Australia has changed overnight. Climate change as a political issue is off the agenda, and it will sink down in public consciousness again, only emerging briefly when there is some pointless UN gabfest on (like Mexico at the end of the year). Nobody really cares, as more and more people (including politicians) realise that there are more urgent and pressing things to worry about, like huge oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, massive eruptions of volcanoes in Iceland that cripple air transport for days, economic crises that threaten to tear apart the EU… the list goes on.

The only ones that are still bleating are the liberal left intelligentsia, spluttering “But, but, but, how can you dump climate change? We need to save the planet!” The Sydney Moonbat Herald carries a good example:

Climate change does not need faith or trust any more, just the ability to read.

Now most of us cannot really understand the economics of the Emissions Trading Scheme so that too relies on faith. Perhaps the ETS might give way to something more straightforward such as a carbon tax. Governments around the world have made a pig’s breakfast of explaining how these complicated ETS schemes work and so faith is again required. Economists and politicians must now step up, like the scientists have, to explain what ETS means to the community. Only then will the ETS stand a chance against the warriors of ignorance.

And what has this all to do with Godlessness and religion??? Well sometimes those old foes, religion and science have similar epistemological (the theory of knowledge) challenges. I once argued that climate change science is one area where I would happily proclaim – ”KEEP THE FAITH!”

I now assert that faith is not needed. The data is in. The deniers will go down, like Neville Chamberlain, as the deluded and cynical fools of history. We shall remember them. Lest we forget. (source)

Unfortunately, we will see denial all around us, not from the climate realists, but from the true believers who cannot come to terms with the fact that their precious faith has just been abandoned by KRudd & Co. Funnily enough, as one commentator noted, if Howard had been voted back at the last election in 2007, there probably would be an ETS by now! Oh, the sweet irony of it all!

The delay may of course encourage the alarmists, desperate to keep the bandwagon going, to resort to even more desperate, dangerous and undemocratic means to get their way. However, with so many broken promises from Labor, how can we even trust this last announcement? As Andrew Robb said, is this just an electioneering smoke screen? Only time will tell.

Rudd the weathervane

Twisting in the wind...

The Australian’s Cut & Paste section exposes Rudd’s blatant hypocrisy by helpfully collecting together all of Kevin Rudd’s previous spin on climate change into one handy cut-out-and-keep guide for your wallet:

As Kevin Rudd once said, there are only two stark choices: action or inaction

Monday, November 4, 2006 on The 7:30 Report:

Kerry O’Brien: Kevin Rudd , what is the one thing more, than anything else, that will define your leadership?

Rudd : We’ll have a clear alternative on climate change.

Kevin Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong at the UN, New York, September 23 last year:

EVERY time a nation delays, every time a nation puts up its hand and says, “It’s all too hard”, it’s a further excuse to put off the measures we need to take to deal with the challenges for climate change for Australia.

The PM on November 6 last year, at the Lowy Institute in Sydney:

WHEN you strip away all the political rhetoric, all the political excuses, there are two stark choices: action or inaction. We choose action, and we do so because Australia’s fundamental economic and environmental interests lie in action. Action now. Not action delayed. Now the Liberals and Nationals have said wait for Copenhagen and for President [Barack] Obama’s scheme.What absolute political cowardice. What an absolute failure of leadership. What an absolute failure of logic.

The PM in Copenhagen on December 17 last year:

THE time has come for a grand bargain between the past and the future. Each and every one of us here will be judged as individuals. For what we say. For what we do. And for what we fail to do. Words without deeds are a dead letter. There have been millions of words spoken here, but as one of our colleagues said, it is time to stop talking and start working.

Rudd yesterday:

The rest of the world has been slow to act, or slower to act on appropriate action on international climate change. The real deadline facing us is the expiration of the current Kyoto commitment period, which concludes at the end of 2012.

Rudd is just a political weathervane, blowing this way and that, following the winds of public opinion, and all the time having no genuine policy convictions whatsoever. More spin than a launderette.

Read it here.

ETS shelved "until at least 2013"

Interrupting work on my other current climate project to bring you the news that the Rudd government has put the “greatest moral challenge since the dawn of time” firmly on the back burner. As the ABC reports:

It was once a centrepiece of the Federal Government’s election strategy, but now the emissions trading scheme (ETS) has been relegated to the shelf until at least 2013.

Delaying the scheme means the Government could save $2.5 billion from its budget over the next three years, because it would not be paying compensation to households and industries.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd recently said climate change remained a fundamental economic, environmental and moral challenge, whether it was popular or not.

But Government sources say it was decided last week to remove the scheme from next month’s budget, bowing to the political reality that the Senate is unlikely to pass the ETS any time soon.

The Upper House has already blocked the ETS legislation twice.

The bills are before the Parliament again but the Senate has delayed the debate while it examines the deal that Mr Rudd struck with former Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull.

The bottom line is that neither the Opposition, now led by Tony Abbott, nor the Greens like the amended legislation, so it remains in limbo. (source)

And the Sydney Morning Herald readers will all be choking on their skinny lattes:

The decision means the government is likely to take its ETS legislation off the table until after an election, expected later this year.

It also means Labor will not use its latest legislation as a double-dissolution trigger, nor its original bills twice rejected by the upper house last year.

The Senate was expected to vote on the legislation when parliament resumes sitting in May.

“The prime minister clearly has no commitment to climate change,” Mr Hunt said, adding the ETS was a tool to get Mr Rudd through an election.

“And he’s dropped it the moment it’s become inconvenient.” (source)

Just goes to show that Rudd will do whatever it takes to get re-elected in November, even as much as scrapping his centrepiece policy.

At least the Australian taxpayers have dodged the bullet for the time being. But it also means that the Opposition will not have the ETS stick to beat the government with, which will make winning this year’s election even harder.

Obama cites healthcare to avoid the toxic bore

Look, Obama needs to have a credible sounding reason for cancelling his trip to Australia. And “pushing the healthcare bill through” sounds pretty good, but we all know the real reason, don’t we?

Rudd’s like the nerdy kid in the playground who hangs around the cool kids, but the cool kids wish he would just go away…

NSW electricity bills to rise 60% in 3 years

Shocking price rises

And well over a third of that increase will be thanks to the government’s pointless ETS (if it ever gets through):

NSW residents will be slapped with a 60 per cent electricity price hike over three years, to be announced today, more than a third of which will be to pay for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme.

The power price rise will add at least $100 to the average annual bill for households in Sydney. [If you live in a box with a single 60w lightbulb perhaps, but for average homes, a 60% increase is going to be way more than this – it’s so wrong I wonder if this is a typo? – Ed]

Country residents will be hit even harder, with the annual power bill for homes expected to increase by $170-$200 a year. [Again, this seems ridiculously small – Ed]

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal will release its final determination into NSW power pricing this morning.

It has told the State Government that to pay for the anticipated climate change policy of the Federal Government, charges need to be increased in NSW by significantly more than they otherwise would have been.

And in a surprise move by the independent regulator, the price rises are due to come into effect as early as July 1 this year.

The report, details of which have been provided to The Daily Telegraph, states that a third of the increase was directly attributable to CPRS.

“It is to pay for the fact that the country is so heavily reliant on coal,” a source in the energy industry said.

Yet again, we find the effect of the Rudd ETS is completely at variance with the spin and misrepresentations coming from the government.

Read it here.

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