Gillard’s Dishonest New Ruse: “The Liberal Premiers Did It”

In the face of soaring domestic and commercial electricity bills across the country, Julia Gillard — with typically breathtaking audacity — has proclaimed the carbon tax has nothing to do with it, and that Liberal state governments are the root cause of the problem. What crap!

I know this is an issue from early in the week, and that I am playing catch-up; but regular readers will know that I am still working close to 100 hours each week on other things; I do apologise for the delayed post, but I am keen to resume the near-daily frequency of this column as soon as possible — alas, just not quite yet…

…anyhow…CLAIMS made by the Prime Minister earlier this week, in a speech to the Energy Policy Institute of Australia, are really extraordinary; in short, it seems, the rocketing price of electricity has nothing to do with the much-hated carbon tax.

In a remarkable piece of spin, Gillard has blamed state Liberal governments and the Premiers who lead them squarely for the increases in power bills. It’s outrageous, she says; it goes against every instinct of fairness and decency in the land. Only a Labor government, Gillard says, can resolve such a weighty issue as exorbitant electricity prices to the betterment of ordinary Australians.

If anyone thinks I’m mocking her, they’re right; but the truth is that Gillard’s words would almost be laughable if they weren’t predicated so thoroughly on such a frightfully abject piece of disinformation.

Yes, electricity assets and the supply of power is a state domain, which begs the question of what Gillard is doing wading into this issue at all.

But to the extent she does so, she is wrong: the carbon tax does impact power bills; by her own admission, 9% of every electricity bill is carbon tax, and “compensated” she may claim people are, they are neither insulated nor compensated for the spillover effects of the carbon tax into retail prices, nor compensated at all if they don’t fit inside the neat little box pigeonholed by the ALP as constituting “not being rich.”

The rest of the claims at the heart of Gillard’s “argument” (and I accord it the status of a cogent argument reluctantly) are easily checked off.

Have electricity prices become a major cost of living issue? Damn right they have.

Have prices gone up a long way, and quickly? She’s a bright girl, our PM.

Could Australians afford electricity price rises of 50% over the past four years? Of course not. And can they afford similar increases again in the next four years? Of course they can’t!

Gillard asserts that rising electricity prices are a threat to the economy, and a threat “to fairness in society.” Again, I can’t fault the logic.

Then comes the bold proclamation about the Labor Party’s historic qualifications and mission to solve “these kinds of problems” — followed directly by lobbing the whole issue into the faces of the Liberal state Premiers (no mention of the remaining ALP regimes in SA or Tasmania, of course) and a demand that these Premiers come up with solutions to the problem of rising electricity prices.

If the Liberal Premiers don’t do as she demands, Gillard says, there will be consequences.

She won’t say what they are just yet; doubtless she thinks it adequate merely to wave the big stick around at present — just so people can see she is carrying it — rather than move straight to whacking someone over the head with it.

Gillard does note, however, that over the past eight years, state governments have extracted a combined $32 billion out of their respective electricity generation and supply companies, and that this has directly impacted household and business bills by sending the price of electricity rocketing.

Again, who could argue?

But the problem Gillard has — and the very deliberate item of misinformation she is attempting to peddle — is that by and large, all of these state governments were Labor state governments.

In SA and in Tasmania they still are; and until very recently, the Labor Party was the party of government in Victoria, New South Wales, and in Queensland.

Even the Liberal government in WA hasn’t even served its first full term yet after following an eight-year Labor administration into office.

I think it’s well and good that Gillard professes concern over electricity prices. But she can hardly be taken seriously when her first act is to commit the sin of omission by denying the ALP’s complicity at state level in what she correctly identifies as a scandalous bread-and-butter issue facing millions of ordinary folk across the country.

And of course, her beloved carbon tax — reviled, it seems, by everyone else in Australia except the Communists Greens — has nothing to do with it.

Yet again, Gillard’s solemn-sounding, finger-wagging attempt to appear to studiously and sincerely address something that outrages voters has blown up in her face.

But then, if you are Gillard, you’ll blame anyone; last week it was Tony Abbott, and this week, it’s the Liberal Premiers.

I just wonder who Gillard’s scapegoat and patsy will be next week — when she is again purveying her dishonest excuses as to why her government is not responsible for precisely the agenda items it institutes itself.

The Horror Of Craig Emerson: Idiot Of The Week!

One of the most bizarre — and ridiculous — press conferences of recent times took place in Canberra today; this cretinous, toe-curling, blood-curdling horror movie makes Craig Emerson The Red And The Blue‘s Idiot Of The Week. And it’s only Monday!

Readers will, I’m sure, excuse this indulgence; as most of you know I am too time-challenged at present to post as regularly or as comprehensively as I would like.

Nonetheless, there is still time to dish it out to morons like the Minister for Trade and “Competitiveness.”

Watch this, with thanks to Brisbane’s Courier-Mail (it’s better than any YouTube clip I could have chosen).

There’s nothing spontaneous about a stage-managed stunt; by the same token, there’s nothing effective or hard-hitting about something as contrived as this.

The music doesn’t cue for several excruciating seconds; and when it does, Emerson contorts into one of the most ridiculous “dance” routines seen this side of a prepubescent disco — imbecilic grin at the lips — and proceeds to “sing,” out of sync and out of key, an abominable bastardisation of the lyrics from “Horror Movie” by 1970s group Skyhooks.

“This is the mood in Whyalla,” Emerson states as he waits for his carefully rehearsed (and painstakingly mangled) little choreography act to kick off to the music.

There might not be a “Whyalla wipeout right there on the TV” but the temptation — for the poor suffering journalist — to wipe the smirk off Emerson’s face must have been almost irresistible.

Politics is politics, and both sides in Canberra are playing theirs pretty hard at present; it’s obvious who is more effective at it, judged by the huge lead the Liberals currently hold in the polls.

And is it any wonder, when this is the sort of thing the ALP serves up as a serious contribution to debate.

Whatever linguistic atrocities may be served up in political debate at present — and an asseveration that Whyalla might be “wiped off the map” if a carbon tax is implemented certainly qualifies (sorry Tony) — these pale into insignificance beside juvenile and puerile japes such as that performed for national TV by Dr Emerson.

As a senior cabinet minister, he should know better; as a member of the Prime Minister’s inner circle, he should have had more brains. And as an MP defending a marginal seat likely to be lost to the LNP in next year’s landslide, he should have thought twice before making himself a laughing-stock so publicly.

If I lived in Whyalla — even if I thought Tony Abbott was full of the proverbial and that the present government was the best thing since The Wombles — I’d be at least moderately disgusted by this performance.

And not least, to put it bluntly, because Emerson has now forever tarred the fine town of Whyalla with the mentally retarded stupidity of his antics.

No, Craig, it’s not funny. It isn’t a joke. But you certainly are.

Dr Craig Emerson, folks: Idiot Of The Week!

What a dickhead…

AND ANOTHER THING: This all comes in the same breath as reports that former New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally feels “hurt and distress” at being compared with reality TV starlet Kim Kardashian due to Kardashian’s “negative reputation.”

Such was the substance of a complaint made by Keneally’s husband to the Australian Press Council (which dismissed the complaint), citing among other things the sex tape Kardashian once notoriously made with her boyfriend which catapulted her to international stardom.

Kristina Keneally is a highly capable and — by all reports — exceedingly charming woman. She is reputed to be a very tough operator. Coincidentally, she is also very attractive.

For all that shrewd toughness, something rings hollow — especially when the targets of the Keneally complaint just happen to be a former Liberal Party staffer and, indirectly, the Liberal Premier of NSW.

Blessed with her renowned resilience and astute mien, perhaps the pretty lady could have deployed a more subtle weapon: feminine guile.

After all, she has been compared to arguably one of the most beautiful women on the planet in Kardashian, the apparent lack of brains on the part of the latter notwithstanding; how much more effective (and so very deflating for her opponents) to smile, laugh, and accept “a well-earned compliment.”

A generation ago, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used a mix of female charm and dominance to steamroll the most implacable of male opponents; there was nothing gratuitous, demeaning or tokenistic about it — after all, it was Thatcher who was the perpetrator.

She showed women in public life the world over how to beat men at their game; and in this case, it may have been far more effective for Kristina Keneally to channel the spirit of a Thatcher than the letter of an ambit complaint.