The animals looked from pigs to men, and men to pigs …

I was going to follow up my post on Labor’s tax and expenditure policies (effectively identical to LNP) with one on climate, pointing out the remaining difference – Labor’s 2019 proposal for a vehicle fuel efficiency target. Given that Morrison had tangled himself up with his backflip on electric vehicles after snarking about “abolishing the weekend” this seemed like one policy that would survive.

But Albanese never misses a chance to disappoint, and it’s been reported he’ll dump the policy. That leaves no room for any substantive difference between the parties. Labor will probably announce the 35 per cent emissions reduction target, already on track thanks to action by the states. Morrison wanted to do the same, but Barnaby Joyce vetoed an explicit target. However, the difference is purely symbolic.

11 thoughts on “The animals looked from pigs to men, and men to pigs …

  1. I agree. Labor have that skill, of both voting with the government, and failing to figure out a simple but clear message against a new government policy (via the enactment of bills). It leaves a sour taste in my mouth, for there are many things that Labor, and the ALP, could be fighting for, rather than ignoring, or simply accepting. Why not vote against bills that contradict your platform? Sure, they get passed anyway, but at least you have made the symbolic statement of opposition to the new law.

    Having a couple of minutes on the telly, saying you hate XYZ the gov is putting up as a bill, then voting *with* the government…how does that meet the most basic of messaging requirements? It tells me, and many others, that the public pronouncements by the Labor/ALP political group mean absolutely nothing. Nothing.

    Abbott was an atrocity, but he rode to power from refusal to support a single government initiative. Nothing; it was the razed ground he sought to have, and did. He got into power.

    I am not suggesting that the ALP should be so cynical as Abbott was, but gee, maybe taking a negative stance and sticking with it isn’t what’ll stop you getting into power; Abbott made it work.

    In other words, the ALP should be picking the fights that matter, and not wasting time on whether the immediate optics are good or bad. If you home in on things that really matter to people, and you stick by those things, then the worst that can happen is you don’t get enough votes to win office. That time around. But the next time, it could be very different…

    On the other hand, if you play this dance of waltzing on both sides of the street, people on both sides see you as a phony. Why vote in a phony? So, they recoil, and don’t vote for your party. How is that better than picking a set of issues and pushing a set of policies you believe could address those issues?

    Drives me nuts. This is why I do not keep much of an eye on the news, nowadays.

  2. Yesterday I travelled on the Tilt Train from Rockhampton to Cooroy.

    The train took 30 minutes longer than scheduled to run from Rockhampton to Gladstone, and this late running was not able to be made up during the rest of the journey.

    The reason for the late running between Rockhampton and Gladstone was that speed restrictions were placed on the train by the body that regulates rail traffic movements in the region. This body is (drum roll), Aurizon, the private corporation that also runs coal trains through the region to the port of Gladstone, and that invariably prioritises its own trains over the publicy owned passenger services that run on the same lines.

    Aurizon controls the rail network in the Rockhampton/Gladstone region due to a decision made by the Bligh Labor government at about the same time that it was blighting bus stops in Brisbane with advertising proclaiming “All this coal and gas. It’s the new sheep’s back.”.

    Anna Bligh used to be a star of the ALP Left, and right up to the defeat of her government in the 2012 State election there were those who were unable to kick the habit of barracking for her and finding excuses for every un-Labor, un-Left policy her government came up with.

  3. And right now Charmless Jim Chalmers is on ABC News Breakfast cheerfully explaining that the Labor party often votes with the Government on Bills in Federal Parliament.

  4. I wonder if this aversion to standing for anything has to do with the over-confidence built on misleading polling at the last election? Are the polls likely to be any more accurate this time? They did have too many policies at the last election (I’m still hearing retirees grumbling about the franking credits policy!!), but they have gone to the other extreme.

    It seems the ALP has given up hope of being able to convince the electorate of anything except that they won’t change any of the LNP’s policies? It will be interesting to see if the Greens make headway into more safe ALP seats.

  5. Back in the real world, Sweden passed a 50% share of EVs in new car sales in November – split evenly between PHEVs and BEVs, reasonably enough as it’s a big empty country. Norway and Iceland are well ahead already. Who’s going to be fourth to pass 50%? It’s a close race between the Netherlands (35% in October) and Switzerland, ahead of Germany in the high 20s. The energy transition is happening now, and will come to Australia whatever Australian politicians do. What is the payoff to the ALP of an unavowed ostrich policy? At least Morrison’s cargo cult is explicit.

  6. Please protect my annonimity you know who.

    I communicate occasionally with the secretary of a Federal Labor politician. I texted this  yesterday; 

    “I hope you show this to xxxxx. I’m just the messenger,  but am very sympathetic to…”However, the difference is purely symbolic”

    “The animals looked from pigs to men, and men to pigs …

    DECEMBER 1, 2021

    “If you dont know who John Quiggin is you are missing a fellow traveller with supportive academic works and philosophical correlates.””

    The reply was that the election hadn’t started, and Labor policies haven’t been announced. i wasn’t sure which way to take the reply.

    I am not sure you are still a felllow traveller JQ.

    All that is left (pun?) is hope. Today Labor has been told to stay in Cann’bra for their climate policy announcement. 

    The last hurrah for my vote. I am so glad my ideals do not rest on opinion polls and jockeying wedged policies to win. I assume that means I’d would not get elected. 

    And I normally vote for this long standing socially & culturally prigressive and supportive politician. My brain hurts thinking about Labor these days. Vassilating sums it up.

    If Labor gets a 1 seat majority in the next parliament as per this parliment, it will be all dog whistles and independents negotiating special interest deals for every piece of legislation supported by the news corp lobbying department.

    Labor’s support for tax cuts makes next term a wedge between surplus and austerity. Twiggy wont be selling so much iron ore. Gst will be on the block. NDIS shennanigans sends shivers down my spine. Powers legislated to a minister only, likewise.

    And education, APS gutting, climate, stealth privatization, health.

    JQ, you reckon the culture wars may be in decline. No chance for the next term. Culture & hip pockets all the way down.

    AMP is currently running national TV adverts indoctrinating “we are all investors now”!

    So … I don’t know what to do with my vote as yet. A very sticky wicket.

  7. You can’t deal with people like that or any neoliberals for that matter. They do not engage in good faith. They lie all the time. That their lies still get printed demonstrates the continuing conspiracy to enable the fossil fuel industry in its destruction of climate, environment and civilization. At some point, the destructive path we are on will get glaringly obvious except to the 5% of hard core deniers and lunatics. One would expect serious action at that point and the hard core deniers will get short shrift. I just hope that point isn’t too late to save the world, given the lags and amplifications inherent in climate change dynamics.

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