That’s the title of my latest column in Independent Australia, which came out on Thursday. The news has just come in that Morrison is to curtail his trip and return home. Strikingly, it was the lead headline on news outlets, including the ABC, Guardian, and Fairfax/Nine that failed to report Morrison’s absence for days, then buried the news in stories leading with other topics.
All of that led me to some ill-tempered Twitter exchanges (the usual kind of Twitter exchange, I guess) with a variety of journos, including Lenore Taylor and Katharine Murphy, who gave equivocal denials that the PM’s Office had ordered their papers not to report to the trip, before closing the discussion, and declining further comment.
The core of the problem, I think, is that I’ve given up on Labor. Hoping for the Greens to replace them as the major left party may be forlorn, but it’s more likely, in my view, than that Labor will propose a policy remotely appropriate to the crisis we face.
But that’s not a tenable position of you want to be a political correspondent for a major newspaper. You can back one or other of the major parties, or be neutral between them, but you can’t suggest an alternative to the existing system. This piece by Katharine Murphy makes the best of the case for pushing Labor to improve, but it doesn’t convince me.
It’s already been stated that Labor won’t proposed anything to limit coal exports, which are Australia’s biggest contribution to the global climate disaster. Even achieving a 45 per cent reduction on 2005 emissions, as proposed in the last campaign will require much sharper policies than could have been applied if Labor had won, especially if we rule out accounting cheats.
A hypothetical Albanese government will be starting in 2022, with three more years of rising emissions outside the electricity sector. We’ll need organised shutdown of coal-fired power, a massive investment in renewables, reforestation of land cleared under Coalition lawa a government-driven electrification of the coal fleet. Does that sound like Albo to you.
About the only way this could happen is if the Greens somehow give Labor such a scare that they stop worrying about a handful of seats in coal-mining areas and start worrying about losing the great mass of their supporters. Giving Labor the benefit of the doubt is the worst thing we can do,