Things are hotting up in politics downunder. The immovable force meets the polls. Twenty years of PR catches up on the PM who didn’t do her homework. As Tim Blair says: It’s a meltdown, Labor is seething. Bring Your PopCorn.
“There is evidence the public’s general confidence is being shaken by sudden policy shifts and uncertainty about a minority government; there is growing disquiet, even dismay, among business leaders that dealing with the government on the basis of compromise with a commercially viable outcome is being overtaken by ideological demands.” The Australian
Everything had the semblance of order until Julia Gillard announced the Carbon Tax. Sure the order was only superficial, and we knew dark forces of chaos ran underneath. The policies were based on corrupted science, self-interest ran amok, and the hung coalition was cobbled together with seats that would never have voted green. The government was running the knife edge.
It took 17 days deliberation to arrange the “deal” to form government, and it was said at the time that a hung parliament might be a poisoned chalice. If Julia Gillard promised the independents or greens that she would break her promise to the voters of “No Carbon Tax” then she reaps right now, what she sowed with deceit.
The blogs are alive downunder as the political landscape shifts. I’m not sure there is any coming back from a mistake as big as this. Not only did Julia Gillard break her word, it was on major legislation, a change that affects every transaction, every industry, and every citizen. There’s no pretending this was just another piece of spin. Worse, it was done clumsily, without party room approval. And it was on legislation almost the same as the tabled plans she apparently told Kevin Rudd to avoid, which, after he had played the “Greatest Moral Threat” trump-card, left him no where to go, and exposed him as the weak bluff, and the insincere hypocrite.
Falsities will always hurt
The toll is substantial: the big carbon scam scuppered the opposition leader in Nov 2009, the Prime Minister in mid 2010, came within a whisker of bringing down the Labor government in August, and now may bring down the fledgling PM. Independent, Rob Oakshotts career is shot too, dropping from 63% popular to -12% in recent polls.
Who would have thought Julia would step into the same quicksand? (Who would have thought she would leap in with both feet?)
The politically correct and the workers were never a stable mix. I said in late 2009 that the Labor Party would split over this issue. At the time they reigned supreme and the Liberals were in turmoil. The Labor Party is not torn apart yet, but the rot that started last week is spreading. Labor Party members are in revolt over the Green demands being foisted upon them.
It’s all been done before
On Andrew Bolt’s site, there is even speculation from Ray Evans of things that would have sounded utterly improbable mere weeks ago. He drew comparisons with the early 1930′s Labor Party and the way it split then, with the conservative faction making a big win.
James Scullin was elected in a landslide and became the Labor prime minister of Australia in 1929 – a mere 17 days before the Wall Street Crash. The depression forced savage spending cuts. The Labor Party split under the pressure into three splinter groups. Joseph Lyons led the more conservative faction, which joined with the Nationalist Party and formed the United Australia Party. Scullin’s faction was left on it’s own by the end of 1931, the other former Labor factions voting “no confidence” and forcing an election, which Lyons went on to win in a landslide.
Thus from the wreckage of a party that has lost it’s way, the center-of-the-road faction could still pull out a victory.
On Feb 18th I wrote: The simple truth the ALP don’t want to hear. It’s still true, though it’s not a door on Gillard path anymore. Perhaps someone in the Labor Party will be brave enough to ask for evidence, do a cost benefit analysis or an independent report.
The simple answer the ALP don’t want to hear
There is a way for Gillard and company to escape the vice. Strangely, the best tactic to neutralize the green threat and the conservatives at the same time, would be to audit the BOM and CSIRO, independently, and to fully investigate the IPCC claims. They could show how there are far bigger environmental problems than our carbon emissions, and prove thus, that she was guarding Australians from corrupted claims and exaggerated threats at the same time as using the best science to protect the environment. Perfect. We all know this isn’t going to happen, but if it did, the Greens would lose believers, and the workers would return to the Labor Party that once stood for them. The Liberals would look silly for having pandered to something they don’t believe in, but didn’t quite find the courage to stand against. It would be a Labor Party reborn. They would steal the rug from both sides.
Around the rest of the world the economic hard times are biting and they are waking up. The greens have been thrown out of Ireland. Today New Hampshire – Rejected Cap & Trade By A Veto-Proof Margin. The US republicans are threatening to turn off the spigott to the IPCC. There is hope.