Category Archives: Politics & Government

Reconnecting climate change politics with reality

The Liberal party has changed leader, in part because of climate change, and are now proceeding with pretty much the final policy landed upon by Malcolm Turnbull, with a couple of significant twists. We now have a very explicit instruction that energy prices along with keeping the lights on are the main game, while emissions reductions can be safely put off to the never-never.

The Coalition government under Scott Morrison is now almost completely isolated on energy and climate change. Compared to adult countries we look completely foolish, The question remains whether the main actors, the states and the corporates investing in the system, can move forward regardless. Continue reading Reconnecting climate change politics with reality

Weekly salon 2/9

1. Washer’s lament – the end of deliberative democracy

Dr Mal Washer was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from October 1998 to August 2013. While he was there it is said he was doctor to the house, providing medical help and personal counselling to members of parliament.

When Waleed Aly and Scot Stevens spoke to Katharine Murphy about whether the Dutton insurrection was a symptom of how we do politics in Australia, she quoted Washer inter alia. She gave a three-part answer.

First, the major parties once represented stability to the electorate. Not any more. Rather the reverse. What happened is now hard-baked into the system. Continue reading Weekly salon 2/9

Care of strangers

Australian Border Force missed a Vietnamese boat, so now we have Dozens of migrants missing in crocodile-infested Daintree rainforest after boat sinks:

The boat containing irregular migrants that ran aground near the mouth of the Daintree River on Sunday 26 August 2018.

Steve Ciobo, newly minted Minister for Defence Industry, and a Queenslander from the Gold Coast, declared they should be taken to Nauru. Continue reading Care of strangers

Liberal Party shootout brings changing of the guard

Or does it?

The Betoota Advocate says:

    In breaking news out of the nation’s capital, a rich white dude from Sydney has replaced another rich white dude from Sydney as the Prime Minister.

And:

    in even more sensational news, a rich white woman has been replaced by a rich white man for the Deputy Prime Ministership, with Josh Frydenberg taking over from Julie Bishop.

Scott Morrison, the new rich dude, is selling himself as a generational change and it’s all about you, the voter. A 64 year-old and a 62 year-old have been replaced by a 50 year-old and a 47 year-old.

Certainly we dodged a bullet in what may have been Malcolm Turnbull’s finest hour in thwarting Peter Dutton’s rebellion. So where does that leave us, especially in relation to climate change? Continue reading Liberal Party shootout brings changing of the guard

A fight for the soul of the Liberal Party

    “This is a fight for the heart and the soul of the Liberal party,” says one moderate MP. “These people surrounding Dutton – these people are not Liberals, they are not conservatives, they are fucking reactionaries, and I have nothing but contempt for them.”

That comment came from the end of Katherine Murphy’s remarkable article Turnbull shows no mercy as warring Liberals tear out the party’s heart and soul. Continue reading A fight for the soul of the Liberal Party

CEOs recoil in horror at leadership spill

The headline in the AFR was Leadership spill: ‘Someone threw a grenade in the swamp’ – CEOs recoil, raising the spectre of capital flight.

APA Group chief executive Mick McCormack, whose company owns gas pipelines and is building wind and solar farms in Queensland and WA, said it was disappointing after the government secured “broad agreement” on the National Energy Guarantee to see “politics blow it up, destroy it, crush it”.

In fact:

    Ed McManus, chief executive of wind farm operator Kiwi-owned Meridian Energy Australia and its retail arm Powershop, raised the spectre of international capital flight in response to the chaos in Canberra.

Continue reading CEOs recoil in horror at leadership spill

‘Populate or perish’ still a strategic imperative

Last week we passed the 25 million population mark. (See the ABS media release and fact sheet.) Apparently early this century we were forecast to add an extra million every seven years. Now we are doing it every two and a half years. Earlier this century we were told we’d hit 25 million in 2051. We got there 33 years early, and are told we’ll be at 40 million by 2048.

Some people are uncomfortable with this, but defence specialist Andrew Carr says that few acts would do more to undermine our long-term national security than cutting the number of migrants we take in. ‘Populate or perish’, he says, is still a strategic imperative. Continue reading ‘Populate or perish’ still a strategic imperative

NEG policy disaster won’t fly

On the weekend Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg gently reminded the Coalsheviks in the LNP Coalition that they should not be flirting with the idea of coal-fired power, because

    we have to factor in a “carbon-constrained future”.

He warns that they may be investing in what will become ‘stranded assets’ before they wear out.

Why doesn’t he tell them like it really is? Tell them to look out the window.

The heatwave in Europe this year has been assessed as ‘five times’ more likely because of climate change. The northern summer’s heat is being recognised as the strongest climate signal yet. Wildfires have raced through neighborhoods in the western United States, Greece and as far north as the Arctic Circle. Drought is threatening food supplies: Continue reading NEG policy disaster won’t fly

Super-Saturday here at last

Looking forward to it being over.

I’m tired of hearing that voters are turned off by politics, that politicians don’t listen to them, that the big parties are both the same, promise everything, even the Loch Ness monster and deliver nothing.

Antony Green has the lowdown on each of the seats. Click on the icons and all is revealed. Continue reading Super-Saturday here at last

Arms and the man: what does the Second Amendment really mean?

FILE PHOTO: An exhibit booth for firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson is seen on display at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, Illinois, October 26, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo – RC11E7FED7A0

Many see the individual right to bear arms as a basic American human right secured by The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, from 1791 to 2008 the matter has been debated:

    by attorneys and senators, slave owners and freedmen, judges, Black Panthers, governors and lobbyists. For some, the militia was key; for others the right that shall not be infringed; for yet others, the question of states versus the federal government.

The case of District of Columbia v. Heller in the Supreme Court in 2008 appeared to settle the matter, although the decision was quite narrow and constrained. Now new information has come to light which demands a reconsideration. Continue reading Arms and the man: what does the Second Amendment really mean?