Posts Tagged ‘ The Greens ’

Will Labor wake up?


That question could well cover a number of current ALP policies – or lack there of – but let’s concentrate on their unholy alliance with the Greens for the moment.

With the Greens’ unwillingness to compromise on the asylum seeker issue last week apparently being the straw that broke the camel’s back, at least one Labor MP, former Defence Minister and chief government whip, Joel Fitzgibbon, says it’s time to take the Greens head-on.

Mr Fitzgibbon’s anger with the Greens echoes the frustration privately expressed with many Labor MPs who believe that Ms Gillard should tear up the agreement with them.

I don’t think that would save Labor the next election, but it might save them some future credibility.

Tim Blair on the Greens:

Too many observers treat the Greens as a political movement rather than as a political party. Until very recently, when the Greens’ senate balance of power made it unavoidable, the Greens have dodged the scorching cynicism commonly aimed at other parties and politicians.

In fact, the Greens may be the most cynical of all parties in the current parliament. They exploit public perceptions of them as caring and altruistic in order to pursue agendas that are economically destructive and, in the case of asylum seekers, cost lives.

Now that Bob Brown has left the scene, perhaps these prissy care-fakers will receive the examination they’ve well and truly earned. The next election should not be a judgment restricted to Labor and the coalition.

Indeed.

PS

With a number of Labor MPs unhappy with the Greens’ alliance, can we also infer they are unhappy with the carbon tax? After all, this was a tax the PM promised not to impose, only to do so after the election at the Greens’ insistence.

Good Riddance Bob Brown


Finally, he’s out of politics.

Andrew Bolt predicts a slow decline for the Greens.

Hope so. The Bob Brown cancer on Australian politics has metastasized enough.

The climate debate of 2011: round-up


Professor Bob Carter, a geologist, discusses “the the most important events which influenced the climate debate in 2011.”

2011, and the Unlucky Country finally gets a carbon dioxide tax

Australian voters entered 2011 with the pre-election commitment of Prime Minister Julia Gillard still sounding in their ears –

There will be no carbon [dioxide] tax under a government that I lead.

Nonetheless, cognitive dissonance had already arrived on the Canberra political scene, in the shape of the Multi-Party Committee on Climate Change (MPCCC) that was established in late 2010 in order to plan for the introduction of just such a tax.

Thereafter, the political year yielded a spectacular display of chicanery, scientific malfeasance, media bias and economic and social irresponsibility, all underpinned by a confusion of both purpose and morality and accompanied by an uncertainty of outcomes: and that’s just the global warming picture.

It is fitting, therefore, that the year should have ended shortly after the closure of the IPCC’s COP-17 climate conference in Durban, the outcome of which was a politically wonderful Clayton’s agreement regarding global warming – which is to say, it was the type of agreement that you have when there is in fact no agreement. As one commentator put it, the Durban partner nations’ statement appears to have agreed to an agreement to agree in future to an undefined agreement. Science magazine Naturecommented that “Despite the celebratory atmosphere, the platform represents an exercise in legalese that does little or nothing to reduce emissions, and defers action for almost a decade”.

Read on.

H/T & H/T

Oh, and why does a geologist’s opinion matter?

Carter’s view of climate science is profoundly influenced by the fact that he’s a geologist. He thinks in terms of geological time – eras and epochs. When compared to those timescales, 150 years of thermometer readings is a mere blink of an eye. As he writes in his accessible, well-argued book:

By overemphasizing the trivially short instrumental record, and greatly underemphasizing the varied changes that exist in geological records…the IPCC signals its failure to comprehend that climate change is as much a geological phenomenon as it is a meteorological one.

Meanwhile, as it becomes increasingly evident that drastic government measures to curb a problem that likely doesn’t exist will lead to so much pain with negligible gain, and as it becomes increasingly evident that alternative energy is outlandishly expensive and grossly inefficient, the Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown, continues to demonstrate his complete and utter lack of economic literacy.

This time he wants to make changes to our Super (i.e. increase taxes on it) that will hurt those worse off and punish those who want to contribute.

This once almost quaint quirk in Australian politics is weilding far, far too much influence for just one senator from a remote, sparsely populated region of the nation.

Labor pains


With the national ALP conference looming, Tom Quinn, a politics professor at La Trobe University, takes a look at why Labor is fast becoming a shadow of the party it once was.

Rock-bottom support. Plummeting membership. A broken structure. Labor is in trouble and its very existence is at stake. But if the hacks are serious about fixing the party at its national conference this weekend, they must deal with one issue underpinning all of Labor’s woes – the collapse of the party’s traditional base.

While opinion polls this year have hammered home the dire level of support for Labor, with its primary vote often wallowing in the 20s, the party’s main concern is the plummeting number of paid-up members. Official numbers are hard to come by, but insiders report that membership is now below 20,000, the lowest level in decades and half the number the party had as recently as 2007 when Kevin Rudd was elected. The swiftness of this loss is compounded by the changing nature of Australian society, presenting the question of whether numbers can be regained quickly or indeed ever.

The first part of the piece is quite good explaining the downsizing of Labor’s base – manual laborers – coupled with the realisation that the base’s core needs such as free healthcare and education have been met thus pushing those traditional core values towards the cliff of irrelevance.

There are a few sticking points with Quinn’s argument however.

Take Labor’s current approach to asylum seekers. Its strategy is centred on ”tough on refugees” posturing and playing up the threat to national security.

Excuse me, but just how is Labor “tough” on asylum seekers? What? Tough like a shiatsu massage? Just how is closing the offshore processing centres we had that reduced illegal boat arrivals to almost zero which led to a gargantuan spike in arrivals (and deaths at sea) considered “tough”? How is quickly processing illegal arrivals and releasing them on welfare into the community “tough”?

Next, Quinn argues that mirroring the Liberal party won’t bear fruit.

Why choose Liberal-lite when you can vote for the real thing?

Memo to Tom: Kevin Rudd won the 2007 federal election for the ALP precisely by portraying himself as Howard-lite.

Labor is consistently missing the opportunity to build community support for a more progressive Australia, primarily because it no longer understands its former base.

An odd line. I would argue Labor is wallowing in the polls and losing its base precisely because it has become too progressive since winning the 2007 (and 2010) election; Greens-lite if you will.

You can see where this going, right? Just in case “politics academic” didn’t toll the warning bells…

As the impacts of climate change accelerate…

Don’tcha just love how in so many circles, the above phrase is so casually bandied about and accepted without the slightest hint of critique.

Never mind that it hasn’t warmed in about 15 years, and that on average 2011 has been colder than all the other years this century and even cooler that 1988.

Never mind parts of the world experienced their coldest winter in a decade last year.

Never mind sea level rises are actually decelerating from the normal 3mm per year we’ve seen since the end of the little ice age to a mere 1.8mm at the moment.

Never mind the intensity and frequency on average of hurricanes and the like has actually decreased over the past three decades.

Never mind the “endangered” polar bear has seen its numbers increase five-fold, from 5000 to 25,000 since the 1950s and that there are so many now, hunting season is open again.

Never mind changes in the sun’s thermal output.

Never mind the Climategate 1.0 and 2.0 emails.

Never mind reality vs innaccurate models, just repeat the man-made global warming mantra; brainwash the kids with it to the point where you can say “as the impacts of climate change accelerate”, and not an eyelid is batted.

Argh!

But let’s move on to the final fisk…

Trapped between parties of fear and vision, Labor is being squeezed into irrelevance.

So the Liberals are a party of “fear” and the Greens are a party of “vision”. Have I got that right, Tom?

I guess “fear” must be scary stuff like balancing the budget and lowering taxes.

I guess “vision” must entail such luminous ideas taking away freedom of the press and scrapping Australia’s sovereignty by means of a one world undemocratic government.

UPDATE

‘Nuff said.

Tom Quinn has worked for the Green Building Council of Australia for a number of years…

Interesting


Certainly seems cosy if nothing else…

GREENS Leader Bob Brown faces a possible investigation by the Senate’s powerful privileges committee over an allegation he used his parliamentary position to advance the interests of a major political donor.

Remember that woodchip mill that was bought by a Greens donor – a donor to the tune of $1.6 mil – who said he’d shut it down after a bit?

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Two of Australia’s wealthiest entrepreneurs have bought a Tasmanian woodchip mill, throwing the future of the state’s forest industry into doubt.

Wotif creator and Australian Greens donor Graeme Wood and Kathmandu clothing founder Jan Cameron signed the contracts to buy Gunns’ Triabunna mill today.

They’re paying $10 million for the operation. They say they’ll continue to run it as a woodchipping facility, but for the term of the current contract.

Their long-term aim is to make Triabunna a mecca for tourism on Tasmania’s east coast.

Bob Brown (from the Greens website):

Tourism contributes 5 times more to the Tasmanian economy than the native-forest logging industry“, said Senator Bob Brown today at the release of a discussion paper on tourism.

Would’ve been nice if Bob had provided a link to that because the info is – let’s just say – not that easy to find.

Makes you wonder; if his claim is so legit, then why is it so hard to verify?

Seriously, I’ve been scouring the internet, budget papers, links, all kinds of key word search entries, going through page after page of search results for about two hours now.

Nadda.

Wouldn’t it be in Bob Brown’s interest, if said claims are true, to provide ready access to verifiable links?

Dirty deals done dir… er, expensively


So in the dead of night, at 3:30am this morning, the Mineral Resource Rental Tax (MRRT) was finally passed.

But what a price did Labor have to pay? A cool $100 mil in a secret deal to the Greens.

THE Federal Government today revealed details of an extraordinary multi-million dollar pact with the Greens that secured Parliamentary support for a new law.

The deal means the Government will defer concessions for foreign banks to get $20 million a year in revenue the Greens want spent on public facilities.

Today’s announcement ended 12 hours of secrecy in which the Greens and Labor kept from Parliament and voters details of the deal to get the Mineral Resource Rental Tax (MRRT) through the House of Representatives early this morning.

Greens leader Bob Brown said today his party wanted the deal made public last night.

The tax on mining super profits will raise about $11 billion over four years.

But will it? Continue reading

The carbon tax that saved the planet (and the man who wanted it destroyed)


We were lucky.

As you are most surely well aware, Opposition leader Tony Abbott had been planning to redirect a giant asteroid, the size of an aircraft carrier, into planet Earth, and most likely Australia’s eastern seaboard.

The damage done, had he gotten away with his wicked plan, would have been immeasurable.

Fortunately, with the help of the righteous Greens, our gallant PM Julia Gillard was able to avert the disaster thanks to the quick passage of the carbon tax bills through the Senate yesterday.

Barely hours old, the carbon tax was so effective that it managed to push the giant asteroid a full 1.38 million kilometres away – barely a hair’s breadth in galactic terms, but enough nonetheless.

Already we are witness to the immeasurable difference the carbon tax has had, and will have on the earth.

Foiled: carbon tax saves humanity from deadly Abbott death rock

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