Labor's tactical retreat


Back-pedalling?

Perhaps it’s finally dawning on them that a $23 a tonne carbon tax for three years, plus a $15 dollar floor price for the ETS after 2015 is economically and electorally suicidal, especially when the EU carbon price is currently under $10.

Could this be the first of a number of incremental tactical retreats? How far can they go before the Greens have a hissy fit? [Not very – Ed] Greg Combet would be delusional to believe that the carbon price will recover to Labor’s projected figure of $29, surely?

THE Gillard government will abandon the floor price for carbon from 2015 under a deal with the European Union to link the Australian and EU carbon trading schemes.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the move would not prompt a revision of federal budget figures, despite the low carbon price in Europe which has fluctuated between 3-10 Euros in recent times.

The budget figures rely on a $29 carbon price in 2015-16.

Mr Combet said the EU carbon price had been hit hard by the eurozone financial crisis, but it would recover.

“It is three years away,” Mr Combet said. “The treasury modelling is something we stand by.” (source)

Oh, he does. And he is.

All we need to do now is reduce the carbon tax from $23 a tonne down to maybe India’s level – $1.50 [actually 50 rupees, which is about 86 cents – thanks Andrew in the comments – Ed]?

On a serious note, however, if there are a number of small changes such as this, it may make it potentially more difficult for the Coalition to justify repeal if they win power. But while the fixed price remains at $23 a tonne for the best part of three more years, that won’t be a problem.

The government’s announcement is here.

No carbon tax bounce for Gillard


Is Gillard Australia’s worst PM ever?

The vultures are circling. Labor politicians are openly discussing the need for drastic action. Labor primary vote has sunk to 28%. And the carbon tax backflip has a lot to do with it, that and Labor’s desperate agreement with the extremist Greens to form a minority government:

A LABOR senator says today’s disastrous Newspoll should be a “clarion call” to the party to make dramatic changes or face a decade in the political wilderness.

Rudd supporter Mark Bishop said the poll, revealing a three point slump in Labor’s primary vote to 28 per cent, should be a wake-up call to the party to respond to the will of voters.

While stopping short of calling for Julia Gillard to stand down, the West Australian senator said it was clear there was now no prospect of a recovery under current circumstances.

“It is a very, very poor result,” Senator Bishop said.

“It can only be interpreted as a clarion call to Labor to get its house in order and be responsive to the now-firmly established views of the Australian community.

“We’ve now had almost 12 months of polls hanging around 30 per cent, sometimes a couple of points below, sometimes above.

“That pattern is now established. It won’t change. The Australian community are demanding change at a range of levels within the government, and it’s time for the government to heed that, otherwise the outcome will be the destruction not only of the government, but of the labour movement for the next 10 years.”

Despite showering middle Australia with billions of dollars in handouts, the party’s primary vote has fallen below 30 per cent for the first time in three months.

Labor trails the Coalition 44 to 56 on a two-party preferred basis.

Ms Gillard said she wasn’t interested in opinion polls.

“Government is about governing,” she told reporters in Sydney today. (source)

LOL. She can only keep up that kind of BS for so long…

Labor's shameful hypocrisy over Greens


Bunch of nut-jobs

The slow and painful disintegration of the Labor/Green alliance is a joy to watch – Labor’s chickens are all coming home to roost.

But at the same time it reveals the astonishing hypocrisy at the very heart of the ALP.

Back in 2010, Labor were only too happy to welcome the Greens into their fold, with friendly handshakes and smiles all round and Bob ‘n’ Julia signing their marriage pact before the assembled press.

Only later did we find out that a condition of the Greens’ support was “taking urgent action on climate”. So Julia, abandoning a pre-election promise not to introduce a carbon tax, announced that she would be doing precisely that.

Why did Labor MPs not protest back then at that cowardly surrender of principle? There was just a stony silence, because they had agreed to sell out their principles (such that they were) to stay in power at any cost (and what a cost it will turn out to be).

But now, barely a week after the introduction of the carbon tax, Labor has apparently and suddenly rediscovered those principles that it so hastily rejected in 2010, and is now desperately trying to distance itself from the extreme-Left party of environmental headbangers with which it chose to share a bed. It’s nothing short of pathetic.

And the most pathetic figure in all of this is Greg Combet, climate change minister, who, despite having relied on the Greens to get his disastrous carbon tax through Parliament, now lines up to criticise the Greens with the rest of his Labor mates – breathtaking.

SENIOR Labor Left figures have backed calls for the party to take a tougher line against the Greens as members of all factions lashed the minor party for its stance on offshore processing and contempt for blue-collar workers.

As the NSW Nationals yesterday revealed they expected to preference the Greens last at the next election, Labor Left faction convenor Stephen Jones said he expected that NSW general secretary Sam Dastyari’s motion to take a tough line on Greens preferences would pass the state conference.

“When the asylum-seeker legislation was in the Senate, the Greens had the choice between being a protest movement or a parliamentary party,” Mr Jones said. “They chose to continue to be a protest movement.”

Senior left-aligned minister, Greg Combet, distanced the government from the Greens, declaring Labor did not share the same values.

“We (Labor) have different values and different policies, and we certainly distinguish from them (Greens),” the Climate Change Minister said. (source)

Double standards, Greg. You only have different values and policies when it suits you. When you need the Greens, those policies and values are abandoned in an instant. Because you have no principles other than staying in power. Shameful.

Labor rushes to dump Greens, but it's all too late


Bunch of nut-jobs

Evidence emerges that Labor is beginning to realise its huge mistake in ever forming a government with a bunch of extremist ecotards, otherwise known as the Green party.

Are they perhaps starting to twig that they aren’t a bunch of harmless tree-huggers, but are in fact a fanatical group of fundamentalist, anti-human Marxists?

Yesterday, the “faceless men” of Labor suggest preferencing the Greens last at the next federal election, and today union leader Paul Howes exposes them for what they are – a party of dangerous extremists who have no place in a democratic Australia.

But it’s too late – Labor has sacrificed itself on the extreme environmental altar and implemented a pointless carbon tax which was a condition of support from the Greens. Core Labor voters won’t forget the betrayal, and the party will be punished without mercy at the next election.

LABOR should consider preferencing the Greens last at the federal election, the party’s NSW secretary Sam Dastyari says in a declaration of war on Julia Gillard’s alliance partner made without consulting the Prime Minister.

Mr Dastyari, who described the Greens as “extremists not unlike One Nation”, said Labor must “stop treating them like they are part of our family … Where it is in the Labor Party’s interest to do so, we should consider placing (the Greens) last – just like we did with One Nation,” he said. 

The state secretary will move a motion at next weekend’s NSW party conference calling on Labor to “no longer provide the Greens party automatic preferential treatment in any future preference negotiations”, and hopes other state branches will follow suit.

The motion also declares that “extreme elements” of the Greens’ social and economic agenda “are at odds with the values and needs of many Labor voters”. (source)

And Paul Howes of the AWU finally (finally!) works it out as well:

If the Greens had their way, I doubt NSW would ever win the State of Origin.

There probably wouldn’t even be a State of Origin – we’d just sit around with Queenslanders and play pass the parcel. After all, the Greens in NSW have a policy of promoting “non-competitive sports” such as yoga, dance, trampolining and tai chi over the traditional sports that Australian children enjoy playing.

As their policy explains, the Greens “believe too much emphasis is placed on full body contact sports often causing unnecessary physical damage and confining opportunities for participation to the athletic elite.”

Sorry kids – no more rugby, no more Aussie rules, no more hockey or netball. Let’s all go meditate instead.

I’m not sure if the Greens who wrote this ridiculous policy have kids, or ever were children themselves, but expecting children not be competitive is just bizarre.

Children will find a way to turn just about anything into a competition – and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

In the blissful Green world-view, competition is bad, therefore winning is bad. No one can stand out, so we should all be brought down to the lowest common denominator.

They have got away with their grab-bag of loopy and out-there policies for years. They’ve got away with it by being passed off as a group of eccentric but basically harmless hippies.

People assumed that the Greens might have some weird ideas, but they are never going to run the show, so we don’t need to worry about them.

Well, we can no longer afford to be so complacent. (source)

Read it all.

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.

Abbott will call double dissolution on carbon tax


Double dissolution?

Glad to see this spelt out clearly. If Abbott wins the election next year, and the Senate refuses to pass his legislation repealing the carbon tax, he will not hesitate to call a double dissolution.

For our overseas readers, under the Australian constitution, if the Senate votes down a government bill twice, the government may call an election in which both houses of Parliament (Senate and House of Representatives) are dissolved and re-elected. See here for more information on this procedure.

The issue for a potential incoming Abbott government is that the Senate would still be controlled by the Labor/Greens, who are likely to resist any attempt to repeal the carbon tax:

Australians will head quickly back to the polls if the Coalition wins the next federal election but fails to persuade the Senate to repeal the carbon tax, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott warned yesterday.

A jubilant Mr Abbott said the carbon tax had played a role in the Liberal National Party’s overwhelming victory at the Queensland election which saw Labor’s presence in the state Parliament reduced to about seven MPs.

Outgoing Queensland premier Anna Bligh and her predecessor Peter Beattie insisted the election had been fought on state issues but both urged their interstate and federal Labor colleagues to quickly learn from the humiliating defeat.

Mr Abbott said the carbon tax had been one of the issues which had contributed to former Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman’s election success. He said a federal Coalition government would do whatever was necessary to repeal the carbon tax, including calling a double dissolution election.

But Mr Abbott doubted a Labor opposition would ”commit suicide twice” by supporting the tax in the Senate. [I wouldn’t bet on it, Tony, given their record of incompetence and stupidity – Ed]

”If I’m wrong, if an incoming Coalition government can’t get its carbon tax repeal legislation through the Senate, well, we will not hesitate to go to a double dissolution,’‘ he told Sky News. (source)

It’s hilarious how Labor and Bligh are desperately portraying this defeat as a minor local difficulty, without any federal ramifications, especially when a survey of Queensland voters put “energy prices” at the top of their list of concerns – something directly influenced by mad green climate policies pursued by Labor at a federal level.

Oh well, let them go on believing that if they wish – the last thing we want is for them to come to their senses.

Government climate change staff 'miserable and disengaged'


DCCEE worker?

So the government has spent another $175,000 of your money to cheer them up:

THEY are responsible for some of the government’s most important policies – but staff at the Department of Energy and Climate Change are too ashamed to admit where they work.

Staff morale is so low the government has spent almost $175,000 on consultants to lift staff’s flagging spirits.

A negative public image of the department, changing environmental policies and lack of internal support had left them feeling miserable and disengaged, an internal report has found.

The report was conducted by consultants Right Management in July 2010 when the department was under the responsibility of Finance and Deregulation Minister Penny Wong.

The portfolio has since been taken over by Greg Combet.

The department is responsible for carrying out some of the government’s most critical and controversial policies, including those relating to global warming, carbon emission reduction and promoting energy efficiency.

The findings of the report are so damning the government only released it nine months after it was first requested by the Opposition under Freedom of Information laws.

The report, which also includes a survey of 788 people, found the department to have “low levels” of employee engagement. Staff held a poor view of the department, felt a lack of purpose, were uninformed about changes to policies and procedures, and worried about their future employment. [And so they should be. Come election day on 2013, they’ll be for the chop – Ed]

“Many reported having to think about whether they would tell people where they worked because of the department’s negative image,” the report said.

Opposition Climate Action, Environment and Heritage spokesman Greg Hunt said the report exposed the level of incompetence within the department. (source)

Maybe they secretly realise that their department is an utter waste of money, whose actions will make not the slightest bit of difference to the climate? And just piss people off.

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