What once was the Greatest Moral Challenge, has now been downgraded. Not because the evidence shows it is futile, but because of the polls. It’s democracy in action, working through the fog of ulterior motives, and the inefficiency of lazy journalists informing distracted voters or not, polled with non-specific questions. But somehow, through the haze, the public realizes they are getting a bad deal, and finally Rudd realizes there is no rescuing The Carbon Pox that voters didn’t vote for.
We were told we needed a price on carbon specifically to increase our electricity prices, reduce emissions, and to cool global temperatures by zero degrees. Now, apparently the cost of living is too high — even though that was entirely predictable and indeed a mark of the tax’s “success”. Instead of admitting it was a mistake, we’re “moving forward” and now we need to copy a trading scheme that hasn’t worked, and which is called “free” but is fixed by EU bureaucrats that neither we nor even Europeans can vote for. The New Zealanders are ahead of us.
Australia – a non-voting non-member of the EU?
Thus the Australian economy is now partly dependent on decisions made in the EU, which is where the price on carbon (sic) is set. A bit over a week ago the EU voted to cut the number of carbon permits to push up the price. How much do we suppose they were considering the effect on the Australian economies — zero or none?
As I’ve said before, a tax is still better than a trading scheme — it can be removed, and there are not so many middle-men creaming money out of the money-go-round and holding onto long-lived property rights. A trading scheme can’t be unwound without paying compensation.
The spinners in the ALP are now claiming they will save Australians $150 a year of power bills and we are supposed to thank them, as if they were not the reason the bills got expensive in the first place. ‘…the Prime Minister will announce the plan to “ease cost of living pressures for families”.’
At least the Greens are calling him a “fake” on climate. ““It is cowardly,” [Christine Milne] told ABC’s Insiders program.”
Rudd could have changed the game
In a perfect world, if Rudd had the honesty and balls to admit that the climate scare had been exaggerated and that he now realized a price on CO2 was premature and ineffective, he would have trounced the opposition completely. He could have said “the evidence has changed”. He could have announced a new climate research centre, loaded with engineers and astronomers who can actually solve the climate puzzle.
Rudd would have proved he really had changed. The opposition would have been left looking silly and weak, with a policy to reduce carbon, caught still meekly caving in to bullies who call anyone a denier who doesn’t toe the line. The Greens would have been apoplectic, but Rudd would gain more votes from the centre than he would lose at the far left. By speaking the truth bravely, the media would have been flummoxed. The Green journalists would have come out on fire, but the left leaning, centrist and right leaning media would either agree and applaud Rudd, or at least tone down the worst of their name-calling. It would be easier for Rudd to pull the pin on the charade than Abbott, because he would carry more of the media.
Rudd could have been a leader, he could have moved the national debate. Instead he has picked a solution which pays lip service to Greens, but is completely at odds with his earlier passion but with no adequate explanation for the change of heart, and one that helps bankers make profits and does nothing for the environment. In trying to be all things to all people, he serves no one.
Does he think the people who saw through the spin will ignore the character defects on display?
Do the media think their readers won’t notice that this is a major backdown?
Andrew Bolt is gobsmacked:
I’m watching Treasurer Chris Bowen on Meet the Press telling us the carbon tax should go to meet “cost of living” pressures. Telling us that switching to world prices – now just under $6 a tonne – will cut our power bills, and that this is good.
I’m gobsmacked by the utter gall. Astonished that the reporters just nod at the latest version of wisdom from Labor.