Abbott heads for the past as Labor contemplates the future

True to his word Abbott has revealed his plans to repeal the carbon ‘tax’ by releasing eight pieces of draft legislation and a consultation paper for comment.

Abbott_4918428-3x2-340x227Abbott claimed that the proposed action would save families an average of $550 per annum. The ABC fact-checked this claim when it was made at the Rooty Hill debate and found the saving to be $134 when compared to the then planned Labor early move to a trading scheme.

The legislation will be effective from 31 July 2014 even if passed later than that date.

Labor and The Greens are standing firm, so Abbott will have to try his luck with the new senate from July 2014. I believe there is a recount in progress in WA but in any case the LNP will only have 33 of the 39 votes it needs to pass the legislation. Since the Palmer United Party will control either three or four of the votes, dealing with them will be inevitable. Palmer wants to scrap the tax, but wants all the tax collected to be repaid. Then Abbott will need two or three of the other floating votes. Since repealing the tax is a high priority it would seem a perfect opportunity for the floaters to go hard.

Meanwhile Labor after Shorten announces his full team on Friday will have ample time to contemplate the future. Jungney said this last night:

Old Labor is justifiably hanging on in Australia as the political life world transitions from industrial age politics to genuinely post industrial politics. It is lost, bereft, studded with barnacles and obscene pre-modern accretions of belief which are a drag on rational practice.

The ALP, if it is to have any meaningful future, must change into a broad based party of inclusive liberal democracy focused on policies designed to further global ecological survival. This period for the ALP is the shakedown during which reform towards the goal of democracy, institutional democracy, as a good in and of itself, is won and lost. Global ecological survival, as a rational policy end, must be its natural project.

The democratisation of all institutions, public and private, and all spheres of life, public and private and spaces in between, built on the common interest of maintaining the material conditions for all life, is the radical project.

Now, the ALP is either part of that solution or it is part of the problem. I’d say recent changes are a positive sign, but we don’t have the luxury of time for an extended end game.

Geoff Gallop has a thoughtful piece at New Matilda. Rather than extract or summarise I’d urge you to read the whole article.

Tanya Plibersek outlined her focus to Fran Kelly yesterday with an interesting comment about refugees:

Ms Plibersek aims to pursue three primary tasks as deputy opposition leader, including defending the legacy of the Gillard-Rudd era, and describing Labor’s ‘alternate vision’ for Australia.

The third task she describes as, ‘healing the sort of [internal] divisions we’ve been talking about this morning’.

Ms Plibersek also responded to Mr Shorten’s claim that Labor is ‘pro-refugee’, emphasising the importance of Australia having a ‘strong humanitarian refugee intake’.

She said that the experience of her parents as Slovenian migrants gave her a ‘degree of compassion and sympathy for those who come to Australia’.

‘The difference with my parents is that they waited in refugee camps,’ she said.

Australia and the planet are waiting, and the prospect of a double dissolution looms.

73 thoughts on “Abbott heads for the past as Labor contemplates the future”

  1. The thing that seems to elude you Brian is the simple fact that as a response to “climate change” the carbon tax is a most ineffective instrument that just can not achieve its aim. More importantly it is utterly loathed by the ordinary people who have no faith in its effectiveness and the final nail in its coffin is that it is a lie made manifest and the reason that Labor was treated so harshly by the voters at the recent election .

    All of that adds up to a package that will eventually lead the labor party to eventually step out of the way of the inevitable repeal of this toxic tax. Oh its clear that the current leadership of the ALP want to talk tough now but in essence they are like a eunuch boasting about their sexual prowess when everyone knows the truth of their impotence.

  2. As I hear talk of a double dissolution, when Parliament has not even sat since the election, I am reminded that such a dissolution is granted by the Queen/ Governor-General on the request of the Prime Minister.
    Governors-General have, in recent history, declined to grant such a request particularly early in a parliamentary session: a dissolution is not something a Prime Minister can demand and always be given.
    It is possible that the current Governor-General may decline to receive Mr Abbott if he comes asking for a dissolution, because of her relations, and may instead refer him to the senior of those State Governors holding a dormant commission. In this case, he is even more likely NOT to be granted a dissolution.

  3. Iain Hall, just to make sure that we are all on the same page, this is the Labor party position that they took to the election and which they have restated several times:
    “The climate change spokesman, Mark Butler, said Labor “stands by its election commitment to support the termination of the carbon tax provided that a market-based mechanism that reduces carbon pollution is put in its place, along with a strong commitment to expanding renewable energy” “.

    The question is, what is the coalition’s policy and when will they deliver their draft legislation so that it can be evaluated by the senate. Anybody can draft legislation to repeal existing legislation, the challenge to Abbott and Hunt is to come up with a viable alternative that will reduce our carbon footprint.

  4. I don’t think much eludes Brian at all actually. Just because your opinion differs Iain doesn’t mean that you are correct.

    People will get most upset when their compensation that outweighs any extra they pay for a ‘carbon tax’ is gone and their electricity bills continue to climb. What will the Coalition do then?

  5. Terry2

    The coalition is under absolutely no obligation to dance to Labor’s tune in the way that they repeal the carbon tax et al. To be frank I think that you confuse their current posturing with “real commitment” whcih I suspect is far from as firm as you seem to think . My guess is that this is not something that they will go to the wall for, that in the end they may just abstain from voting at all rather than against the bills.Thus they can save face and get the issue that has been toxic to them since 2007 quietly slip into the dustbin of history.

    First they have the sham “democratic process” that gives them a leader that most of their rank and file do not want and then they are going to go “all in” for the loathed failed carbon tax?

    Pull the other one because it plays jingle bells 🙄

    Then again they might be stupid enough to try it but do you really think that they would come out ahead from doing so?

  6. From Geoff Gallop’s essay, “For the Greens leader it means fighting hard to return environmental and climate change politics to the centre of their business, with a dose of pragmatism — as Bob Brown showed, by working within the cross-party Climate Change Committee.”
    That’s what I’ve been saying in blogs and two separate emails to the Greens.
    He goes on, “For their part the Greens need to recognise the limits of their authority and focus on a narrower range of practical ideas for the environment and society.”
    I would add – (authority) ‘and resources’. This doesn’t mean jettisoning policies, it means what it says, “focus”, front and centre, becoming the authority on, being the go-to people for and if they can be pragmatic as well could quite possibly stop turning so many people off.

  7. Look, I know Abbott is stupid. One just has to analyse his record carefully to realise its a mystery how he got a Rhodes Scholarship. But since he has the numbers to pass the abolition of the carbon tax in the new Senate, so far as I can work out, why on earth would he be so stupid as to threaten a double dissolution if Labor and the Greens block him before July 1 next year? Shorten would win a dd election against Abbott.
    My theory, of course is, that now he has the job of PM, Abbott has realised its beyond him, so he is setting himself up to be dumped.

  8. Paul Burns

    You are making the classic mistake of underestimating Tony Abbott Its what has brought Labor in particular and the left in general into the wilderness space that they now occupy.

    It is one thing to sprout the “Abbott is dumb” mantra so beloved of the far left only the foolish really believe it.

  9. The DD threats are bluff and bluster. The timing is out. It is too easy for the ALP or Greens to send the bills into committee and delay. Then there is the requirement to wait three months between defeat in the Senate and re presenting the bills in the HoR. It is not going to happen before July 1 next year.
    I’m yet to be convinced as to the reason for all this noise, but my instinct tells me that it is a warning to the rent seekers and IR activists to shut up, that the Conservative victory needs to be consolidated before the lollies can be handed out.

    Anne Towmey has a piece that lays it out. http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/cru/2013/09/from_simple_disillusion_to_dou_1.html

  10. That’s a very useful article, dylwah. I very much doubt there’ll be a double dissolution with this Senate in place. After that, the composition of the Senate is so bizzare, that it’s difficult to know what will happen.

  11. By pushing the carbon abolition and the threat of a double dissolution, Tony Abbott is running a risk of dividing the Liberal Party, at least those who favor emissions trading, as well as alienating support fromthe innovative and small scale businesses engaged in mitigation and energy efficiency. Perhaps he neither understands Climate Change as science, or risk management as policy. One gets a sense of disconnection, which is not limited to this area of public policy. If this is endemic to the political system, and not personal to Tony Abbott, “we have a problem, Houston”.

  12. Plibersek:

    The difference with my parents is that they waited in refugee camps,’ she said.

    Yes, that is what middle Australia cares about, and rightly so.

    I was intrigued to hear a Lebanese asylum seeker whose boat sunk in Indonesian waters complain on Dateline last night that he’d had to sell his $1,200 wide screen LCD telly to pay the people smugglers. Not cool, buddy.

  13. I don’t understand your problem Gollybloggles. Middle class people shouldn’t seek asylum if they are being persecuted?

  14. On the double dissolution, I’m assuming it won’t happen until perhaps some time early in 2015.

    It’s possible as Iaian Hall says that Labor may abstain and wave it through, but more likely, I think, that the would decide they must stand for something and be seen to stand for something.

    I don’t think the ‘tax’ is as toxic as Iain says. Rudd effectively defanged it.

    Also from it’s inception in July 2012 the Gillard government consistently rose in the polls from about 43/57 to a competitive 48/52 in four months. This trend was arrested largely by the despicable and spurious attacks led by Julie Bishop on the so-called AWU affair. Then the whole thing went pear-shaped for Gillard in 2013 for a variety of reasons, but not much to do with carbon pricing.

    During the election there was negligible talk about climate change. Abbott’s notion the election was a referendum on the carbon ‘tax’ is fanciful. In any case the senate has it’s own mandate, it’s not a rubber stamp.

    A question for me is how difficult PUP will be to budge. If the election system is changed they may have plenty to fear from a DD, and like the indies last time have a vested interest in seeing the government go full term. As Liz says it’s difficult to know.

  15. Mindy:

    I don’t understand your problem Gollybloggles. Middle class people shouldn’t seek asylum if they are being persecuted?

    The individual in question wasn’t being singled out for persecution, rather he wanted to escape the endemic intra-Muslim violence that exists in Lebanon. I don’t see why his money should give him privileges not available to persons in far worse situations, nor do I want the cultures that give rise to such conflict imported to Oz, thus threatening my own family’s security.

  16. A question for me is how difficult PUP will be to budge. If the election system is changed they may have plenty to fear from a DD, and like the indies last time have a vested interest in seeing the government go full term. As Liz says it’s difficult to know.

    Does a change in the election system for the Senate require a referendum?

    Gollybloggles – whilst its true that many refugees who have arrived in Australia first stayed in refugee camps, they faced much shorter wait times. Say 2-7 years post WWII. These days there’s a lot of refugee camps which are pretty much permanent so its not surprising that refugees will behave differently.

  17. Does a change in the election system for the Senate require a referendum?

    Chris, I really don’t know but I think changes like optional preferential voting only require legislation. If so all the major parties will want to make the changes before any DD.

  18. So apparently the rumblings are that the ALP is about to pre-emptively cave on the whole carbon tax thing, having learned nothing ever about anything.

  19. @Gollybloggles if he is trying to flee it I don’t see that he would be keen to start it up again here.

    As for using his money to fund his escape from that situation, would you do anything different if your family was threatened?

    @Nick – the Twitters are saying the same thing. Haven’t seen any reporting yet to know what the full story is.

  20. @Mindy, I think I’d believe literally any idiotically cowardly decision by the ALP now. Their addiction to disappointment and failure is quite exceptional.

  21. @Nick – can only find Abbott demanding that they do it. Apparently the compensation is staying and households will be paying $550 less per year on their electricity bills. Not sure who is paying for the compensation but I am sure Hockeynomics has the answers.

  22. ^ ^ Oh, joy, someone is introducing coloured blinking emoticons to LP. Because blogs and forums with blinking coloured emoticons are ALL CLASS and we needed that edge.

  23. Iain,

    In case I was less than perfectly Clear Terry2 I am suggesting that it is the ALP who will cave on this issue when it comes to the crunch

    I have no doubt the ALP will roll over too eventually but if they’ve got anything left in them they should try and show the public they actually stand for something, dig their heels in and call Abbott’s bluff for a DD.

    Abbott & the Libs just won an election on pure negativity, opposing, wrecking, talking down our economy etc so Labor know now that pure negativity can win you elections.

  24. I don’t think the ALP would gain much by abandoning the carbon price/tax, as Brian said the power went out of the scare campaign after the thing came into operation … and no one noticed. If they go soft on climate change they will just move more voters to the Greens.

  25. Iain Hall: Accepting that we are on the same page with both Labor and the coalition agreeing that the carbon pricing mechanism and ‘tax’ will be dismantled (Labor form 1 July 2014 and coalition by 30 June 2014) the only difference between the parties is that Labor want to then move to an ETS and the coalition have yet to flesh out their ‘Direct Action’ policy.

    As most informed commentators are saying, it is now for the coalition to put forward their alternative legislation: they have, after all, had six years to develop it.

  26. Mindy:

    @Gollybloggles if he is trying to flee it I don’t see that he would be keen to start it up again here.

    I do. Follow the links and read up on the particulars of the 330 convicted Brit perps. You are however not entirely wrong as it is the second generation that are the most bolshie according to most analyses, the 7/7 perps (bar one convert) being an example.

    The situation in France is probably even more frightening than that in Britain.

    Ultimately, you get what you pay for.

  27. I think you are ignoring a range of issues there Gollybloggles that lead to these situations and which make it less likely that these things would happen in Australia.

    But this is veering off topic.

  28. Terry2 @31

    It beggars belief that everyone who believes in AGW is so wedded to the ETS option which has always struck me as being a bizarre creature devised by a cocaine fueled derivatives trader who could see it as the perfect instrument for he and his fellow spivs to make money on. Around the globe there is no scheme that actually has any effect on the climate. Its an expensive and shallow conceit to think that it does. So the question the ALP has to ask is will any carbon tax or ETS make any measurable difference to the climate? If their answer is anything less than “a rock solid yes” then they can abandon the whole edifice in good conscience and rethink the whole issue in terms of what can be done by more direct methods like mandating energy efficiencies in our transport, power and industries. Thus we could meet that 5% target by 2020 and not burden our economy with a huge money churn.
    None the less its pointless to suggest that Rudd “abolished” anything because he put nothing into legislation all that he gave us was another of his famous thought bubbles filled with the same foul gases as so many other Labor promises.

  29. On past behaviour Abbott will use the carbon tax debate to divert attention from the weakness of his climate action policies. The reality is that the carbon tax as it stands is too low to have much effect and that Tony is definitely not going to raise the tax.
    The smart move for Labor would be to say that they will consider the tax repeal after Tony has put in place something that really is going to drive daon emissions.
    It is not a good look when Tony’s first action on climate change is the repeal of the carbon tax. Not action to do something about the LNP climate policies.

  30. The smart move for Labor would be to say that they will consider the tax repeal after Tony has put in place something that really is going to drive daon emissions.

    Isn’t that what they actually said tho?

  31. Jules, I think they actually said they would allow the carbon tax repeal if it was replaced by an emissions trading scheme. Pretty debateable whether that is “really going to drive down emissions” and is more specific than JohnD ‘s suggestion.

  32. John D, spot on. I was amazed to hear yesterday that Greg Hunt will be preparing a green paper on Direct Action and looking for input from business before even considering legislation; so all the hoo-ha about the superiority of Direct Action was just puff, the coalition haven’t even done the preliminary work on their proposal.
    I had naively assumed all along that the repeal of the Clean Energy Act (carbon tax, ETS etc.) for which Mr Abbott claimed a mandate, would go hand in hand with the introduction of the Direct Action legislation so that the community and the senate could at least evaluate both policies.

  33. Cheers SG. An ETS is only part of a range of measures we need to introduce isn’t it.

    Thats a great piece by Naomi Klein btw. We should be taking some note of it, cos Harper, when he was elected, made a big deal of acknowledging Howard and comparing himself – iirc he went about how Howard was his role model etc etc.

    Now with Abbott in power, its easy to imagine a similar thing happening here. It certainly seems Abbott is a one trick pony/mining company stooge.

    Terry 2 – yeah that was amazing. “We’ve got heaps of cash for you, tell us how you want to spend it.” Hunt is dodgy as. He is very misleading and can’t give a straight answer to reasonable questions like “how much will it cost and what will you do when you run out of cash?”

  34. Ian Hall @ 31.
    Shades of a parallel universe. Ex-Shell boss and now climate change warrior Ian Dunlop is chasing a spot on the BHP-Billiton board urging a paradigm shift in the big miner’s folio beginning with fossil fuels.
    If the shareholders vote him in – a very big ‘if’ – it could suggest the direction you advocate for the ALP on market responses to climate change. I agree with you that the current ‘action’ is patently ineffective.
    Even Ross Garnaut is calling for at least a 17 percent decline in CO2 by 2020.

  35. Jules, also note Abbott’s rush to free trade deals and Reith’s advice to labor to distance itself from the unions.
    Unions have the opportunity to make amends for supporting neoliberalism and to regain some relevance.

  36. Abbott’s support of the TPP really irks me. One on one fta’s are bad enough.

    Years ago there was a similar thing called the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. Negotiated under similar secrecy with even many Australian politicians unaware of it, and of its contents.

    IMo these things should be seen together. Attacks on unions, ftas, anti environmentalism and “austerity” or the craziness that just happened in the US – under the banner of fiscal responsibility.

    It all comes from the same people and it all seems to be aimed at privatising wealth and socialising costs.

  37. I Hall …

    If their answer is anything less than “a rock solid yes” then they can abandon the whole edifice in good conscience

    Given that the campiagned on the basis of protecting the carbon price against rescission, that’s not so. Imagine thinking you’d voted to protect “a price on carbon” only to find out you’d voted to strike it out.

    We Greens would say that they only adopted the measures under pressure from us, and that regardless of what the ALP said, the only way to be certain that the better ALP policies remained was to vote for us.

    It’s fair to say that at the current levels, carbon pricing is more symbolic than substantive, and as I’ve said before, we really need to be much more ambitious, but if a party can’t defend modest progress then really, it ought to make way for one that can.

  38. @1
    “All of that adds up to a package that will eventually lead the labor party to eventually step out of the way of the inevitable repeal of this toxic tax.”
    Which is possibly the worst advice since ‘Lets invade Poland’. Why would you want to do Abbott a favour and give him what he wants? There are a significant number of people who’ll be peed off if the ALP capitulates and an even larger number who will have forgotten about the whole thing by the time the next poll roles around. Abbott won’t want to deal with the PUP, that could get very embarrassing. He could of course negotiate with the ALP over an ETS, but again he loses considerable skin. Which ever way you cut it, the blood promise is an albatross around lazy Tony’s neck, something the ALP will take delight in I’m sure.

  39. @9
    ” the wilderness space that they now occupy.”
    LOL, the space Ian occupies is obviously quite a distance from reality. Anyone would think that the LNP had a QLD like majority in the federal parliament. They have a comfortable majority in the house are by no means unassailable. They have real problems with the current and future Senate. And they have a very …ahem… relaxed attitude to governing that may not suit these troubled times. Ian really needs to lay off the juice.

  40. @36
    The only problem there is that the LNP simply doesn’t have the wherewithal to come up with an alternative plan that will drive down emissions. Save for harsh regulatory regime (largely out of favour these days) a market based solution appears to be the best option. And direct action isn’t a plan and it won’t happen.

  41. Fran

    abandon the whole edifice in good conscience

    Given that the (ALP?) campaigned on the basis of protecting the carbon price against rescission, that’s not so. Imagine thinking you’d voted to protect “a price on carbon” only to find out you’d voted to strike it out.

    They may have campaigned on that basis but they lost the election and so they are really obliged to accept the verdict of the people that the carbon tax/ETS being abolished is going to happen one way or another.

    We Greens would say that they only adopted the measures under pressure from us, and that regardless of what the ALP said, the only way to be certain that the better ALP policies remained was to vote for us.

    That is wishful thinking Fran because the greens have not acquitted themselves very well since they got into bed with Labor. In fact they have probably peaked as a result, certainly they have lost their warm and fuzzy public image in favour of being seen as inflexible zealots.

    It’s fair to say that at the current levels, carbon pricing is more symbolic than substantive, and as I’ve said before, we really need to be much more ambitious, but if a party can’t defend modest progress then really, it ought to make way for one that can.

    Here you identify the fundamental problem with such schemes while a vast tranche of the public express the desire to “do something” about the climate change issue they are less than keen on that something costing them every more money for no actual result to the climate.
    Patrickb

    @1
    “All of that adds up to a package that will eventually lead the labor party to eventually step out of the way of the inevitable repeal of this toxic tax.”
    Which is possibly the worst advice since ‘Lets invade Poland’. Why would you want to do Abbott a favour and give him what he wants?

    Its what the voters want Patrick so yes I would give Abbott what he wants.

    There are a significant number of people who’ll be peed off if the ALP capitulates and an even larger number who will have forgotten about the whole thing by the time the next poll roles around.

    To be entirely cynical I would say that in the end those who may be upset about Labor doing the sensible thing and respecting Abbott’s mandate to repeal the tax will get over it well before the next election, after all they are hardly likely to completely abandon Labor assuming that they are not Already greens voters (who preference Labor) what it will amount to is a zero sum game those votes will still remain with parties of the left.

    Abbott won’t want to deal with the PUP, that could get very embarrassing. He could of course negotiate with the ALP over an ETS, but again he loses considerable skin. Which ever way you cut it, the blood promise is an albatross around lazy Tony’s neck, something the ALP will take delight in I’m sure.

    Abbott will get the bills through one way or another. If he has to deal with Palmer he will but my guess is that Abbott won’t be the sort of pushover in negotiations that Gillard was

    @9
    ” the wilderness space that they now occupy.”

    LOL, the space Ian occupies is obviously quite a distance from reality. Anyone would think that the LNP had a QLD like majority in the federal parliament. They have a comfortable majority in the house are by no means unassailable. They have real problems with the current and future Senate. And they have a very …ahem… relaxed attitude to governing that may not suit these troubled times. Ian really needs to lay off the juice.

    Labor now occupy a wilderness space because they were so shambolic in government as the likes of Nicola Roxon’s recent speech enunciates Until they address these fundamental internal problems their commitment to climate issues will be entirely a moot point because they will remain unelectable.

    @36
    The only problem there is that the LNP simply doesn’t have the wherewithal to come up with an alternative plan that will drive down emissions. Save for harsh regulatory regime (largely out of favour these days) a market based solution appears to be the best option. And direct action isn’t a plan and it won’t happen.

    You are wrong again Pat, they just don’t have to do much about the climate at all, As Fran points out in her comment above most of the schemes to address climate change are more symbolic than efficacious. and to be honest I think that regulation that mandates better energy efficiency in industry power and transport would serve us better than any kind of ponzi scheme that masquerades as q ‘market based mechanism”. In any event there is no reason why using regulation has to be “harsh” and such actions have the potential to be beneficial even if we skeptics are on the money about the theory of AGW.

  42. I Hall

    They may have campaigned on that basis but they lost the election and so they are really obliged to accept the verdict of the people that the carbon tax/ETS being abolished is going to happen one way or another.

    Hardly. We have a pluralist rather than winner takes all/tyranny of the majority system here. The parliament, in theory, represents the diversity of views of the public on public policy. The ALP is bound to do as it promised before the election. It seems to me that even the LNP might, if they were consistent, argue that.

    In fact they have probably peaked as a result, certainly they have lost their warm and fuzzy public image in favour of being seen as inflexible zealots.

    I don’t accept your multiple strawmen of course, but a ‘zealot’ is at least a known cultural and political quality — so you seem to be conceding my claim here.

    while a vast tranche of the public express the desire to “do something” about the climate change issue they are less than keen on that something costing them ever more money for no actual result to the climate.

    The problem for us is that the largely symbolic measures the ALP adopted are nearly as costly as measures that would be more substantive, but cowardice has kicked in. I suspect that those who are a little leery would in many cases like to see bolder measures. It’s the minimalism that subverts the case for change.

  43. @49
    Sorry Ian but you’re so far off the mark it’d take too much effort to explain why. Indicative of this is you estmation of Abbott’s negotition skills. Can you point to any actual evidence in this regard?

  44. Hall, perhaps you can explain to us how a “market based mechanism” is a ponzi scheme, because I am sure you cannot explain it.

    You also said earlier about spivs and shysters, who are these spivs and shysters who are ripping off the system, again I do not think you even know.

  45. Abbott’s negotiating skills did him good after the last election, could not even negotiate with former liberal and national party members to form a government.

  46. Fran Barlow

    I Hall

    They may have campaigned on that basis but they lost the election and so they are really obliged to accept the verdict of the people that the carbon tax/ETS being abolished is going to happen one way or another.

    Hardly. We have a pluralist rather than winner takes all/tyranny of the majority system here. The parliament, in theory, represents the diversity of views of the public on public policy. The ALP is bound to do as it promised before the election. It seems to me that even the LNP might, if they were consistent, argue that.

    Hmm Given the fact that we have a very different and much diminished ALP now sitting on the opposition benches can you really say that they are obliged to “fight to the death” for the policies that led them to their current rather sorry circumstance? I tend to think that the sort of election defeat that they suffered relieves them of the burden of continuing to support or endorse policies rejected by the people.

    In fact they have probably peaked as a result, certainly they have lost their warm and fuzzy public image in favour of being seen as inflexible zealots.

    I don’t accept your multiple strawmen of course, but a ‘zealot’ is at least a known cultural and political quality — so you seem to be conceding my claim here.

    No Fran I think that the Greens may have been considered a safe electoral haven for those inclined towards the left but that they are now more suspect.

    while a vast tranche of the public express the desire to “do something” about the climate change issue they are less than keen on that something costing them ever more money for no actual result to the climate.

    The problem for us is that the largely symbolic measures the ALP adopted are nearly as costly as measures that would be more substantive, but cowardice has kicked in. I suspect that those who are a little leery would in many cases like to see bolder measures. It’s the minimalism that subverts the case for change.

    Maybe Fran but thank you for conceding that the only way that “bolder” measures would be acceptable would be if they could have demonstrated effectiveness and be very good “bang for our Buck” especially in the face of the impossibility of effective international efforts to do the same.

    Patrickb

    @49
    Sorry Ian but you’re so far off the mark it’d take too much effort to explain why. Indicative of this is you estimation of Abbott’s negotiation skills. Can you point to any actual evidence in this regard?

    Two words Pat: COP OUT!
    Paul

    Hall, perhaps you can explain to us how a “market based mechanism” is a ponzi scheme, because I am sure you cannot explain it.

    You also said earlier about spivs and shysters, who are these spivs and shysters who are ripping off the system, again I do not think you even know.

    Oh Paul why are you so desperate to attack me personally?

    By definition a Ponzi scheme sells an imaginary commodity to an marketplace on the promise of great returns to investors what could be a greater return than the salvation of humanity? Market based mechanisms do precisely this and the experience with the European ETS shows that they can fall from grace very quickly indeed.

    Abbott’s negotiating skills did him good after the last election, could not even negotiate with former liberal and national party members to form a government.

    How shallow your thought processes must be if you really believe this. The simple fact is that minority government at the pleasure of those loopy greens and independents was far from a blessing for Gillard and to be frank I think that demonstrates that when you “win” such a deal what you have won is not worth the price. The price for Gillard was the carbon tax and it proved to be the undoing of Labor at the last election. Thus Abbott’s negotiating skills are vindicated because he knew how much the commodity was worth and he offered no more than that but Gillard paid way more to the loopies and lost her political soul in the process.
    Who is PM now eh?

    Abbott played a longer game and I expect that he will be in office far longer than either Rudd or Gillard were.

  47. Abbot may get two terms – but we live in much more unstable times than did Howard, particularly unstable economic times. It really is hard to see what the government stands for – we know what they are against but at a certain point you can’t keep being against the government if you are the government.

    On the issue of carbon pricing – we know very well that market prices affect behaviour – that’s how and why markets work – they not only influence consumption they can drive technological innovation. It is indeed one of the great paradoxes of the past few years that the Greens, supposedly a party of the left, was the only party prepared to use orthodox market mechanisms to tackle a really and pressing ecological issue – there you go

  48. Hall, considering Abbott said he would not form a minority government, why has he done so now, with the National Party and the the LNP of QLD.

  49. Just read brandt’s tweet – he is correct obviously and some of the grubs that criticise him need to take a long hard look at themselves.

    Abbott will bear some responsibility for every bush fire in the next 50 years, cos his policies will make them worse.

  50. @54
    “Can you point to any actual evidence in this regard?”
    Well Iain? A couple of us have asked for some actually evidence, will any be forth coming? Or will you continue to make unsupportable assertions that only Fran, bless her, has the patience to refute. I expect …. crickets… btw, that’s Iain’s usual form. It’s actually interesting to speculate what it must be like to work with someone who is so absolutely certain of everything. No options, no plan B, put it all on red 11 and damn the torpedoes. An interesting if somewhat nerve wracking way to operate.

  51. “The simple fact is that minority government at the pleasure of those loopy greens and independents was far from a blessing for Gillard”
    I take it that the implication here is that this demonstrates Abbott’s negotiating genius. Once again Iain is ignorant of history for as we all know Abbott would all but sell his arse to convince Windsor et al to support him.

  52. Didn’t Abbott say he wanted to go to an early election, within six months, even if he did form government with Windsor and co, Hall forgets these little things

  53. So Hall is now stating that carbon is an imaginary commodity, if it is an imaginary commodity, why then are other countries dealing in carbon pricing to deal with climate change, imposing a carbon tax or an ETS, are all these countries loopy as well.

  54. Patrickb

    “The simple fact is that minority government at the pleasure of those loopy greens and independents was far from a blessing for Gillard”
    I take it that the implication here is that this demonstrates Abbott’s negotiating genius. Once again Iain is ignorant of history for as we all know Abbott would all but sell his arse to convince Windsor et al to support him.

    No I did not mean that in particular at all, rather I just meant precisely what I said, Namely it has bean Labor in general and Gillard in particular who have been vastly diminished by the experience of the last minority government, it proved to be a poisoned chalice and as such Abbott actually did well not “win” the negotiation.

    Paul

    Didn’t Abbott say he wanted to go to an early election, within six months, even if he did form government with Windsor and co, Hall forgets these little things

    I don’t think he ever said such a thing and that you are confusing media speculation with what Abbott actually said [personal comment redacted ~ Mod].

    So Hall is now stating that carbon is an imaginary commodity, if it is an imaginary commodity, why then are other countries dealing in carbon pricing to deal with climate change, imposing a carbon tax or an ETS, are all these countries loopy as well.

    [personal comment redacted ~ Mod]
    What percentage of the global economy is participating in some sort of ETS scheme Paul?

  55. Hall, u might want to read this link concerning Abbott on the 2010 negotiations with Windsor and Co.

    17 excruciating days after the election, Windsor says the Liberal leader lost him because the formation of government seemed to come a clear second to Abbott’s rush to get back to the polls and re-run the August 21 election.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/39886.html

    Here are some facts for u Hall,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_tax#Support

    Now Hall, can you prove to us that climate change is not happening, this time bring some actual facts along with you. not the usual BS.

    Also noticed that you comments were moderated, wonder why.

  56. Paul

    Hall, u might want to read this link concerning Abbott on the 2010 negotiations with Windsor and Co.

    Well I read the piece in question and it contains no actual quote from Abbott at all, as I said earlier Abbott never said such a thing and all you have is speculation from self serving sources like Windsor.

    Here are some facts for u Hall,

    Now Hall, can you prove to us that climate change is not happening, this time bring some actual facts along with you. not the usual BS.

    Oh dear, the best you can offer is Wikipedia? 🙄

    The simple fact is that I am not even trying to argue that “climate change is not happening” my point here is that even if the most rabid AGW enthusiasts are correct the carbon tax or an ETS are both very poor instruments to deal with the issue. They are expensive to the global economy, open to massive fraud from rent seekers and most importantly have negligible effect on global emission rates.

    I suggest that you read some Bjorn Lomborg, a chap who is very much a true believer in the AGW theory but who makes the very purposeful argument that it is adaptation that should be our focus for the future rather than futile pursuit on ineffectual “market based mechanisms”, his point is simply that if we waste money on such schemes that can not work then we are going to have less resources for the adaptation that we will have to do regardless. Its an argument that even a skeptic like myself can respect.

  57. Hall, it is more than what u offer, and by what you are saying then, that climate change is happening, that cannot be right, especially coming from you.

    Now Hall, care to prove everything that you have said, that an ETS and carbon pricing do not work, that’s the same argument that Abbott is using and he has not proved it is not working either, and his direct action, where is that.

    And I would trust Windsor and Co over the Abbott any day

  58. Paul

    Hall, it is more than what u (you) offer, and by what you are saying then, that climate change is happening, that cannot be right, especially coming from you.

    I have never said that the climate is fixed and unchanging, and its very clear that you don’t know very much at all about the subject, in fact I think that you have only one thing upon which you base your argument and that is an unshakable faith in the doomsayers who preach about a climate apocalypse.

    Now Hall, care to prove everything that you have said, that an ETS and carbon pricing do not work, that’s the same argument that Abbott is using and he has not proved it is not working either, and his direct action, where is that.

    There have been various schemes operating at various parts of the planet for some time and what has happened to global emissions since they began? Yep that’s right those emissions have just kept increasing which makes it obvious that such schemes are failing to make a speck of difference.

    And I would trust Windsor and Co over the Abbott any day

    The point is you were insisting that ABBOTT was the one who said that he would have go to the polls at the first opportunity. While I am happy to concede that he MIGHT have done so he did NOT ever make a statement to that effect so you are wrong to suggest that the opinion of Windsor is enough to override the objective truth that Abbott’s own words do not support the speculations of others.

  59. Hall, you have proved nothing with that argument, that is like saying the pope is jewish.

    There have been various schemes operating at various parts of the planet for some time and what has happened to global emissions since they began? Yep that’s right those emissions have just kept increasing which makes it obvious that such schemes are failing to make a speck of difference.

    Hall, all you have done is dig the hole bigger for yourself to get out of. What are these schemes, or is it just your word, (sic). Why then are countries around the world implementing a price on carbon.

    Maybe these countries should give you a call, then you can put them straight.

    And Hall, everyone knows the Abbott is a liar, he said so himself on national TV to Kerry O’Brien.

  60. Hall, if I am out of my depth, why have you not proved that the carbon tax is not working around the world, because you cannot.

    Hall, I do know the reasons why the carbon tax, an ETS or carbon price are not working, it is because the Govt’s around the world do not have the guts to do it right, they have to appease to the people, spend to much money, then you get the people offside, not enough money and then people complain they are not doing enough, the thing is Hall, you cannot please everyone.

    If you are so smart, why don’t you tell us why the government has not put its Direct action legislation up to be debated in parliament with the legislation to drop the carbon tax. is it because Abbott and his clowns know it will not work, and yes I know, you do not like the Govt’s Direct action Policy, just like over 50% of the population.

    as well Hall, what should we be doing, nothing. In your eyes we should just let nature takes its course, and yes, you have said that on many occasions. Just look at your own web site, it reads like a Denialists handbook.

  61. [Moderator note: comment redacted. Paul and Iain, you seem to be bringing a stoush you've been having elsewhere here, splashing it across LP for no good reason, and making it unnecessarily personalised. Cut it out.]

  62. All I am doing is arguing Hall’s points.

    [Moderator note: you were not doing that in the comment that was disemvoweled above. The last 10 comments on this thread have been a dialogue between the two of you only. We prefer that others get a chance to express themselves too. You two may take your badminton game to the latest Overflow thread if you wish, but stop dominating this thread.]

  63. We are two years out from the UNFCCC COP 21 climate summit in Paris. Countries have agreed that Paris in 2015 is the time and place to finally sign an international treaty requiring all nations to begin reducing carbon emissions by 2020, supplanting the Kyoto Protocol. This is the last roll of the dice if runaway global warming is to be avoided. On September 28 The Guardian summarized the core message of the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC as follows:

    “If people continue to emit greenhouse gases at current rates, the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere could mean that within as little as two to three decades the world will face nearly inevitable warming of more than 2C, resulting in rising sea levels, heatwaves, droughts and more extreme weather.”

    The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has calculated that, to keep global warming less than 2ºC above pre-industrial temperature (which still may not be safe) with a probability of 67%, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would have to peak by 2020 and reach zero by 2040.

    The WBGU have charted a tough but manageable course to achieving this goal that stays just on the right side of total economic collapse. An ESSENTIAL component of this course of action is a global emissions trading scheme in which the Group 1 nations that includes Australia purchase emissions credits from the low emitting Group 3 nations.

    Australia will arrive at the Paris Conference having just dismantled our emissions trading apparatus as the rest of the world scrambles to establish a global scheme. What exquisite timing by the fools we have elected. How dearly we will pay for this stupidity.

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