THEY WON’T LEARN; Christine Milne has responded to hints that Labor may allow Tony Abbott’s carbon tax repeal bills to pass with a predictable tirade, ranting that Labor should stop thinking of itself. For once, the ALP may be coming to its senses. The same can hardly be said of the Greens.
The word “mandate” — just to be clear — would have to be one of the most misused, overused and abused words in the Australian political lexicon.
Yet if there is one thing Tony Abbott and his government have a mandate for it is the repeal of the Gillard government’s carbon tax, conceived in a shotgun policy tryst with the Greens, in direct contravention of an explicit election pledge in 2010.
For a party whose demands hijacked the Gillard government’s legislative agenda to the point it virtually destroyed the ALP’s political prospects,
Communist Party Greens leader Christine Milne has too much to say given the time has come for the excesses of her party’s policy demands to be obliterated.
But the Greens — like lemmings — will never learn.
The Fairfax press yesterday carried an article (you can read it here) detailing an extraordinary attack on the ALP by Milne, in which she accused the ALP of putting “power ahead of future generations” as it contemplates allowing the carbon tax repeal bills to pass the Senate.
I find Milne and the rubbish she spouts tiring, and this is no exception; for once I am not going to dissect her mad ramblings in infinitesimal detail.
After all, we all know what the Greens really are: a mad, bad bunch of hardcore socialists, whose policy prescriptions mostly amount — figuratively speaking — to a turd rolled in glitter (to bastardise a phrase popular in the vernacular at present).
Amid all of the hotly contested science around climate change (or, more importantly, the resultant raging debate over whether humans cause it, or whether it’s part of a natural cycle) one thing is patently clear: Australians refuse to pay a carbon tax.
In fact, it’s doubtful whether Australians will ever consent to emissions abatement measures that entail monetary imposts on them after the Green/Gillard carbon tax debacle; the impact of the tax has been to turn gas and electricity into luxury items that some households have had to prioritise above food.
It’s ominous (and a warning to voters) that the carbon tax is mild indeed compared with the more savage blow to household budgets the Greens would prefer to have seen inflicted.
Labor lost last month’s election in a landslide, and has serious structural issues to tackle if it is to retrieve its standing.
But the pious, sanctimonious Greens — under their pious, sanctimonious leader — lost a quarter of their electoral support, and despite maintaining a record 9 Senators from 1 July (on account of the staggered terms of the Senate) will see that fall to just six if this year’s result is repeated in three years’ time.
Yet the Greens simply don’t get it. They’ll never learn.
Far from beating a speedy retreat to their bolt hole to analyse the reasons for their poor electoral showing this year, the Greens — if such a thing were possible — are increasing the belligerence of their rhetoric.
Unsurprisingly, though — having lost the politics of the carbon tax — their arguments are now infused with the sort of heartstring-pulling claptrap that really is the last resort of an outfit with nothing better to say.
Think of the children! Think of the future! Think of the planet!
If only the Greens heeded their own edicts. We’ll come back to that shortly.
But Labor has a responsibility, which we’ll call objectively: that obligation is to its members, its sponsors in the union movement and elsewhere, to its supporters, and to those who for whatever reason opt to exercise a vote for Labor on the basis of the platform the ALP takes to the people whenever an election is held.
The ALP is in no way obliged to consult, acquiesce to or satisfy the Greens in its efforts to discharge that responsibility.
Indeed, the terminal mistake committed by Julia Gillard in the aftermath of the 2010 election was to enter into a formal coalition with a Greens regime that was never, never, going to side with the Liberal Party over Labor in determining an election outcome.
Just as the Liberals under Abbott have won government on a platform designed to both satisfy their core constituency and attract floating voters, so too must the Labor Party embark on the long and arduous process of formulating its own manifesto with which to win government back at some point.
The tenor of the Greens’ fury with Labor reflects their newfound impotence: there is nobody to hold hostage any more who might inflict, in their own name, the lunatic socialist policies of the Greens on an unwilling and resentful voting public.
Those close to me — and many readers — will have often heard me say that whilst there are many ways to skin a cat, there must first be a cat to skin, and the issue of carbon taxes and the like neatly fit the analogy.
The carbon tax doesn’t and won’t cut it with the public; it’s a reality the Liberals have long known and which the ALP seems to be coming to accept.
I think it’s also likely that a market-based mechanism — read, an ETS — making similar imposts on consumers will ultimately face a similar judgement, but time will tell.
If the Greens really are serious about environmental outcomes, and in this case reducing emissions — as opposed to simply engineering a high-taxing socialist utopia that few normal people would want to live in — it must consider alternative options.
Not the alternatives that fill its manifesto of Communist policies, but real alternatives.
It is usually forgotten now that Milne’s predecessor — 30 years ago — was a devout advocate of a radical and exponential expansion of the mining and use of coal in Australia.
Why? Because it was central to his fight against the dam on the Franklin River.
If Brown can advocate for coal — bearing in mind that it represents virtually everything the Greens now oppose — from necessity, expediency and practicality, perhaps it’s time Milne and her band of fruit cakes embraced nuclear power as the clean, cheap, green path to steep emissions cuts globally, and a cleaner and healthier environment locally.
They won’t of course; more’s the pity, as more billions will be wasted on costly and inefficient so-called “renewables” that don’t and can’t replace the capacity to generate cheap and reliable baseload power that nuclear energy can.
But whether they ever do or not, outbursts and tantrums of the kind Milne indulged herself with yesterday will achieve nothing.
They do, however, allow her to blame someone else. There’s nothing new in that.