It’s truly amazing how much can happen when I take a hiatus, and I’m pleased to see something positive happening.
In large part thanks to Climategate (which I’ll discuss separately as it really needs its own article), a large number of truly conservative politicians in the Liberal Party have found the courage to stand by the convictions and announce their (accurate) belief that man-made global warming is a crock, and that the Emission Trading Scheme (or Carbon Pollution [sic] Reduction Scheme, or whatever you want to call it) is a giant tax which will only lead to a massive redistribution of wealth, something which the Rudd government have effectively admitted.
From one day to the next we hear a different figure about how much the Everything Taxed Substantially (OK, sorry, couldn’t help myself) will cost per household per year, but we keep being assured that it’s all OK, because there will be subsidies for low-income households. In other words, we’ll tax everyone, but we’ll cancel out the tax for people who we declare to not be “rich”. We will redistribute wealth…we won’t fix the climate.
In fact, the ETS has nothing to do with the climate any more. Even the Greens, the great purveyors of climate doom, are not supporting the ETS in its current form. If the Greens won’t support it, how can it possibly have anything to do with the climate?
We are being fed lies by Kevin Rudd, Penny Wong et al about the climate and about the ETS. They want to have their ETS in place before the cHOPEnCHANGEn climate conference (Barack Obama is visiting the conference on his way to receiving his Nobel
Hope And Change Peace Prize) because they know that, with all of the publicity that the proposed climate treaty’s bizarre “one world government” junk has been getting, along with the Climategate emails, there is no chance of a treaty being signed, and that will kill off their attempts to pass an ETS once and for all.
The conservatives inside the Liberal Party know this. They know that man-made global warming is a fraud. They know that the ETS is a giant tax, and above all they know that agreeing to pass the ETS will result in them simply being a watered-down version of the Labor Party which will never attract enough Labor voters to form government. As strange as it may be, Malcolm Turnbull’s leftist reign over the Liberal party has done more for the conservative movement than it could ever have done for the left-wing movement if he had joined the Labor party.
So, the Liberal Party are faced with a choice on Tuesday morning. Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott or some other as yet unknown challenger. If Malcolm’s rhetoric this weekend is anything to by, he is not going to leave of his own accord, which effectively rules out Joe “I want to be anointed, not voted for” Hockey as leader. I have mixed feelings about this.
Joe Hockey is photogenic, for lack of a better word. To the majority of the electorate who are more interested in Tiger Woods’ marital problems than the state of the nation, Joe is a large, jolly, Santa Clause-esque figure who could easily attract the personality vote in the way Kevin Rudd (Kevin ’07) and Barack Obama (hope and change) did in their respective elections. To the same extent though, Joe believes that humans are causing global warming and is yet to rule out supporting the ETS. There is a huge risk that, with Joe as leader, the Liberal Party may remain fractured and the ETS may go through.
I thought that Julia Gillard made one good point during her excruciating ramble on ABC TV’s Insiders this morning, and that was that Joe Hockey visited John Howard for advice this weekend…John Howard, a man who, as much as I think he was a great Prime Minister, did jump on the global warming bandwagon towards the end of his tenure in an effort to regain the support of the electorate.
Joe is being referred to as a “consensus candidate” which is a description that I’m pretty sure the media have invented. Nobody can work out where this consensus comes from, and that’s because it doesn’t exist. The word that the media were actually looking for is “moderate”, the same word that we would use to describe 2008 Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. Not a conservative, but a moderate. A sort of “none of us quite agree with everything he says, but we can tolerate him more than a bloke from the other side of the political spectrum” internal Party mediator. The trouble with moderates is that they can never attract enough voters away from the other party, and ultimately fail because they don’t stand for anything.
I responded to Joe’s cry for help on Facebook the other day, informing him that if he opposes the ETS, he can regain my support. That support though, on reflection, can only go so far as a front bench position. Joe Hockey as leader is untenable, and would be slaughtered by Labor attack ads at the next election. I can see the ads already:
“This man said he believed the IPCC’s report in to climate change, now he says he doesn’t believe it. A vote for Joe Hockey is a vote for uncertainty. Vote 1 Kevin Rudd”.
In fact, with Joe Hockey as leader, I fear that we will see a mass exodus from the Liberal Party over to the National Party. The coalition will dissolve. The Liberal party will become a truly “liberal” party, vying with Labor and the Greens for the left-wing vote, whilst the Nationals will expand their existing role as the true conservative party of the country and run candidate everywhere. It would be short-term turmoil and it would make for a very unpredictable election next year. In the long-run though, it could be precisely what the country needs, and even if the Nationals didn’t win the next election, they would probably hold enough seats, along with the Climate Sceptics party who must surely be in a stronger position thanks to Climategate, to kill off the ETS.
But that is long-term, and I am yet to find a politician who thinks far enough in to the future to risk running as a candidate for a different party in the next election…and besides, as I mentioned earlier, Joe doesn’t want to challenge, he wants the leadership handed to him in the same way that Peter Costello wanted the leadership handed to him.
That leaves Tony Abbott. What can I say? Tony’s a conservative through-and-through and (thankfully) opposes the ETS. I like Tony, but I’d much rather have Barnaby Joyce (I know, wrong party) simply because Barnaby, apart from being a conservative, actually has a noticeable personality. There are times when I wonder if Tony Abbott has left a cardboard cut-out of himself and a voice actor in Canberra and gone on a holiday. Tony would make a great Prime Minister, but I’m not convinced that he will be able to attract voters to the Liberal party…at least, not on his personality…but that might not be such a problem this time around.
Kevin Rudd can’t go to the next election of his personality again, because people know that he doesn’t have one. He has to go to the next election on policies, and with the ETS very likely to be delayed, the main point of the next election will be climate change. Unlike the global financial crisis, Kevin Rudd can’t bribe everyone with $900 and hope that they don’t notice that he has no idea what’s going on. This time he is proposing a massive new tax on everyone and everything. All that Tony Abbot and the Liberal party need to do in order to defeat that, is seize on the Climategate emails and the real data which shows that Australia and the planet have not warmed in the last decade, and show the ETS for what it is: a giant tax, and an instrument of socialism.
The polls already show that 60% of Australians oppose the ETS , so a “no ETS” stance backed up by the facts (or lack thereof) of global warming, plus information about how damaging the ETS is, should be enough to get a conservative party across the line, regardless of their leader’s lack of personality.
A quick side-note. Please don’t get me wrong here. I think Tony Abbott has a great sense of humour, I just don’t think he knows how to show it outside of the parliamentary chamber…and the majority of the country ignore the chamber.
There are two things which must be done in the coming two days. Firstly, people must continue (and start if you haven’t already) contact your Senators and urge them to oppose the ETS. I have contacted Gary Humphries’ office about this which, given Gary’s stance may have been a waste of my time, but also may help to make him oppose an ETS in any form, and I will contact Kate Lundy’s office, although I’m sure that contacting her Senatorialism will be a waste of time given her stance on the ETS, and the fact that I have previously written her a letter offering her an ancient Chinese curse. None-the-less, it must be done.
Secondly, the Liberal Party must appoint Tony Abbott or another true conservative as leader on Tuesday morning. If they fail to do this, then the conservatives must maintain their opposition to the ETS, block it, and break away to the National Party immediately. Failure to do so will result in the imposition of “the great green tax” (as Andrew Bolt put it on Insiders this morning) on the nation, and our utter collapse.
This is not a time for compromises, consensuses, moderation, or whatever you want to call it. This is a time for action based on what one knows to be true and just. This is a time for all politicians, not just conservatives, to stand up for the future of the country and oppose the ETS, and it is beholden on all of us out here in the public to ensure that our elected representatives know that we do not want, nor do we need, a huge climate tax that will not achieve a darn thing, except the collapse of our great nation.
The ETS must be opposed at all costs.