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Is this Australia’s Tea-Party Moment?

Tomorrow, a road convoy will set off from Port Hedland in Western Australia for a journey across the country. Two more convoys will leave Perth and Cairns on Thursday. By the end of this week, 11 convoys will be in motion, all heading to a single convergence point next Monday. This is the ”convoy of no confidence”.  [SMH]

Finally, the mainstream media has realized the Convoy of No Confidence is historic, real, and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.  Monday, the news was front page of The Australian (Mass convoy to make ‘real’ voices heard), and thanks to Paul Sheehan, was featured by The Sydney Morning Herald too (Cattlemen driven to desperation by Canberra).

FOR some it’s climate change alarmism; for others too much wasted taxpayers’ money on boatpeople, school halls, or pink batts; and for others still it’s the importation of Chinese apples, the temporary ban on the live cattle trade, or same-sex couples rearing children.

But the common thread in what is emerging as a national Tea Party-style revolt in the form of a “Convoy of No Confidence” to Canberra is a burning conviction that politicians of all persuasions have lost touch with the real-life needs of the common man and woman they are supposed to represent.

What began as a truckies protest against the carbon tax has grown into a mass alliance of those outside the urban elites who feel they have lost their voice.

It’s an amalgam of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers who are mad as hell and not going to take it any more. [Australian]

These are good stories, well written and capturing some of the spirit of the moment, albeit, weeks after the news broke on the new media.

When is enough enough?

Today the editors of The  Australian (Convoy of Discontent Rolls On) claim “There is no justification for the early election its organisers want”, but what would be justification for an early election? Do people have to wait for the businesses to go broke before asking? Do they need to wait for the government to legislate a major transformation of the economy that it promised it wouldn’t do? When is government failure big enough to warrant a new election?
The email from within the convoy loop listed the Top 50 Points (see below) just for starters. In any democracy, at any time, if enough people feel compelled to spend thousands of dollars and weeks of their time in order to ask for an election there is a point when that request has legitimacy. And if worst came to worst, in a real democracy, how bad could it get? If the protesters did not have the weight of the country behind them, the same government would get reelected. Net waste: Millions of dollars. That’s bad. But compared to the billions that have been wasted, and the billions that are requested from the people, it’s not an unreasonable request. Can the country afford an election-it-might-not-need? More than it can afford a $60-billion-NBN-that-might-be-a-white-elephant. And remember, on current polls, an election right now, would wipe out about half the government seats.
The email list doing the rounds:

Top 50 Gillard/Rudd/Swan Policy Failures

1.  Carbon Tax – “There will be no carbon tax under the Government I lead.”

2   Livestock export ban to Indonesia – near destroyed the economy of one third of the land mass of Australia

3. Malaysia ‘solution’ – WHAT A JOKE IT IS

4. Murray Darling Basin Plan – back to the drawing board

5.  Future food, Overseas buy up of farms, Prime cropping lands lost to urbanization, mining & gas – no attempt at to address this issue

6.  Continuation of restrictive environmental regulation on private property without compensation to landowners

7.  Indigenous Housing Program – way behind schedule

8. Mining Tax – Continuing uncertainty for our miners

9. NBN – $50 billion but no cost-benefit analysis

10.  Building the Education Revolution – The school halls fiasco

11. Home Insulation Plan (Pink Batts) – Dumped

12.  Detention Centers – Riots & cost blow-outs

13.   East Timor ‘solution’ – Announced before agreed, then Manus Island on, off & now on again

14.  Cutting Red Tape – 12,835 new regulations, only 58 repealed

15.  Take a “meat axe”‘ to the Public Service – 24,000 more public servants and growing!

16 – 49. Other examples like Green Cars Fund, Fuel Watch, Green Loans, Hospital reform….

50. Debt limit to be increased to $250 billion – to pay for all of the above and much more by us.”

More stories: Adelaide Now, Canberra braces for season of protests over Julia Gillard’s carbon tax. The Herald Sun could only manage a short snippet: Truck Convoy for Canberra Protest.

The Thompsons’ refusal to give in is making waves

Both of the two leading articles feature interviews with our Matt and Janet Thompson, the beef farmers who face bankruptcy and are suing the West Australian Department of Environment as I have repeatedly covered. They spoke out against the Great-Carbon-Dogma and faced a rash of new impossible license conditions that drove them out of business, by suddenly cutting their stock allowance in half after they had signed large contracts for water and feed. Paddocks were called “water courses”, the Thompsons broke no law, complied, helped, have the support of their town, but were told they could only do business if they do not offend anyone anywhere, a rule that would immediately halt most airports, factories, and farms.
Tyranny: How to destroy a business with environmental red tape
Posts on The Thompsons
From the JustGrounds site – the links that matter:

Details for each of the convoys are now available – click on the following links for your convoy:  Convoy #1Convoy #2Convoy #3Convoy #4Convoy #5Convoy #6Convoy #7Convoy #8Convoy #9Convoy #10Convoy #11

For the original Convoy announcement, go HERE.  For the subsequent Routes announcement, go HERE.  To RSVP, go HERE.  For what YOU can do, go HERE.  For MSM mentions, go HERE.

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