Tim Blair – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (04:07 am)
Once Australia’s carbon tax is in place, we’re stuck with it forever:
Government minister Brendan O’Connor questioned how the tax could be repealed if the coalition came to power after July 2012, saying the opposition was ‘kidding’ itself to believe it could be done.
‘I don’t think (it’s) even possible to unravel such a complex policy,’ he told Sky News.
The Gillard Government has confirmed there will be a “steady increase” in its carbon tax every year.
But not if the Greens can help it. They want the tax to start high, as Christine Milne affirms:
“I certainly recognise that you are going to need a price at $40 or more [per tonne] to shift from coal to gas and then a higher price still from gas to the renewables,” she said.
Hey, why only $40? Milne’s fellow economic destroyers are far more ambitious:
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young floated a $100 tax to encourage renewable energy.
“If we want to transition right through to renewables it’s going to have to be in the vicinity of you know,$100 a tonne – but that’s of course not on the table,” she told ABC News 24’s Capital Hill program.
Not yet it isn’t, possibly because a table mighty enough to support such a massively destructive policy is yet to be built.
You know who really loves a coercive and undemocratic carbon tax? The Age newspaper, now deep into its Labor-linked doom spiral:
We have argued previously for a carbon price to be set initially at the lower end of the range of what is necessary, and adjusted upwards later …
The purpose of the tax, it scarcely needs stating, is to change behaviour – to induce people to stop using highly polluting energy sources and to move to less polluting ones. A carbon tax held artificially too low to change behaviour – or weakened by excessive concessions to existing polluters – would be worse than useless.
The high rate of the carbon tax is just yet another hurdle Julia Gillard’s government has to surmount. So far she has not been deflected by bad polls or the populist anger directed at her. That is just as well. The only way she – and Labor – will survive is if they keep implementing necessary and effective policies.
Survival by suicide, in other words. The Age has become an economic death cult. This is interesting: solar panel maker Solahart is using carbon tax concern as a selling point, while Ford factory workers endorse Tony Abbott’s carbon tax rejection. They find themselves broadly aligned with Kerry Stokes, Stephen Lowy, the Minerals Council of Australia, Western Australian energy supplier New Synergy, the citizens of Illawarra, Hafda’s Butchery, Labor senator Doug Cameron’s working people, Rio Tinto, Alcoa, dairy farmers, barley growers, insurance companies, local councils, state governments, CFOs, food and grocery producers, miners, union members, Gerry Harvey, G&S Engineering, Sam Gadaleta, BHP, Queensland Labor members, the Noosa Chamber of Commerce, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Northern Territory parliament, Santos, the Australian Taxi Industry Association, Alumina Limited, an industrial group representing Amcor, Bluescope Steel, Boral, CSR, Sucrogen, Sugar Australia, Rheem, Vicpole and Dexion, Incitec, the Taxi Council of Queensland, the Australian Agricultural Company, the Australian Coal Association, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and the Federation of Automotive Product Manufacturers and Penrith’s Sun Masamune sake brewery. Paul Kelly reviews matters:
Let’s tell the truth about the past half decade. The green agenda has corrupted Labor values. It has seen Labor governments embrace fiscal irresponsibility, regressive income re-distribution and treat their supporters as too dumb to understand they were being played for mugs. For too long the idea that any green scheme was a good scheme was sanctified as a compliant media cheered such initiatives.
A correction is due.
Federal independent MP Rob Oakeshott says he is more preoccupied with getting a carbon price than with what the actual dollar figure on it ends up being.
Mr Oakeshott, who is part of the federal government’s multi-party climate committee which met in Canberra yesterday, said the group was ”negotiating like crazy” …
Well, they don’t really have a choice.
Tim Blair – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (03:32 am)
One or two friends at 2UE and 3AW won’t be too upset at the prospect of being sold off by Fairfax.
Tim Blair – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (03:23 am)
Our country is weak:
Australia has become a two-pedal nation as people increasingly shun manual cars and opt for automatics …
Compared with Britain, where just one new vehicle in five is an auto, 71 per cent of Australian buyers opted for one last year – up from 61 per cent a decade ago.
But Britain too is falling, led by the likes of apostate Rory Sutherland:
I may be the first person in any British publication to make this assertion.
You see, I truly believe that automatic transmission in cars is much, much better than manual transmission. And not only better for the owner of the car, but for other road users and pedestrians too. In fact, I think, rather like guns, manual transmission should be outlawed in urban areas.
For this, clutch-foot amputation is the mandated punishment. Use it or lose it, Sutherland. Happily, synchromeshia law is upheld by our US allies at Car & Driver:
(Via Currency Lad)
UPDATE. Grant B. emails:
As a proud R32 pilot on the back-roads of Europe (see pic), can you please outline how the ‘Save the Manuals’ movement views DSG gearboxes?
Essentially semi-automatic manuals, they shift fast and furiously and require little or no effort as compared to an actual manual. Devil’s gearbox or wave of the future? What say you?
DSGs are gateway gearboxes, inevitably leading to full automatics.
Tim Blair – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (01:26 am)
Now that Wikileaks has leaked all the shocking surprise stuff (the Saudis are duplicitous snakes! Berlusconi has an eye for the ladies! the Pope is Catholic!) they’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel. The other day I myself turned up in their latest hold-the-foot-of-page-37 stunning revelation.
Do read on to discover the guest star’s identity – and the awesome list of errors in this particular WikiLeaks leak.
Tim Blair – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (01:07 am)
John Nolte on Andrew Sullivan’s enduring Trig fixation:
I don’t believe for a second Sullivan thinks anyone but Sarah Palin is Trig’s mother. This is not a dumb man we’re talking about here, just an uncommonly cruel one. For going on three years now, Sullivan has consciously used this silly conspiracy theory as a partisan stalking horse in an attempt to viciously pound away at a political foe’s family. Because a direct attack against a politician’s family simply wouldn’t work, Sullivan created Trig Trutherism as a toxin delivery device that attempts to turn — through the most malicious and sadistic kind of rumor-mongering — a very normal and attractive family into some sort of freak show.
Moreover, what Sullivan is practicing is a form of “critical theory,” where you intentionally and ruthlessly de-legitimize something with a relentless stream of questions. And so, effectively, what Sullivan is attempting is to delegitimize is an American family, to toxify them into a political negative.
After September 11 and before Trig, Sullivan exhibited moments of clarity. They must have terrified him.
(Via Currency Lad)
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (07:56 am)
Has any previous group of immigratnst demanded so much, with the threat that otherwise it will not fit in?
AUSTRALIA’S top Muslim organisation wants taxpayers to finance the expansion of Islamic schools and halal food outlets into mainstream suburbs…
In a submission to a federal inquiry into multiculturalism, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils said Muslims were forced to live in enclaves near Islamic schools, mosques and halal food outlets.
“The Government should invest in expanding services like halal and kosher meat and food outlets as well as faith-based schools,” it said.
At such a price, is Muslim immigation worth the hassle?
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (07:50 am)
ABC dole bludger Julian Morrow speaks to Kara Greiner on ABC News 24’s The Drum last Thursday:Morrow: There’s a tendency for people to become reliant on rebates and think that is part of their entitlement. I think this is a problem across the board. And at some point this is going to have to stop.
Greiner: Isn’t your entire income coming from public funding through the ABC?
Morrow: Yeah, and I don’t want a cap.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (06:52 am)
The ABC publishes this fantasy by green lobbyist Dan Cass, proving that basic fact-checking is not applied by the editor of The Drum to the wildest Leftist rants:
The issue of hate speech and violence crystallised early this year, after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. On 8 January 2011 a rightwing assassin shot Congresswoman Giffords in the head, killed 6 people, and injured another 13. Giffords is hated for being Jewish, pro-choice and supporting community solar energy (and despite her relatively conservative positions on immigration and in support of gun rights).
The untruths in those three sentences are as follows:
- there is not the slightest evidence the shooter, Jared Loughner, a mentally disturbed man, was affected by or even listened to any “hate speech”. A friend said he did not watch TV or listen to political radio.
- Loughner is not a Right-winger. In fact, he was said by his school friends to be ”Left-wing, quite liberal”. He was not Christian, opposed the war in Iraq, thought the Constitution was full of “treasonous laws”, and cited as his favourite video one showing a US flag being burned.
- Giffords was not shot because she is Jewish, “pro-choice” or in favor of solar energy (yes, really). Loughner disliked Giffords ever since 2007, when she answered in Spanish to his odd question: ”How do you know words mean anything?”. Loughner was also angry about bad grammar, thought control, “conscience dreaming” and a “third currency”.
The most perfunctory check by the ABC should have alerted it to the fact that it was publishing falsehoods, not the truth. Propaganda, not a reasoned argument.
(Thanks to reader Christophe.)
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (06:30 am)
He does say the risk is low, even if the consequences would be enormous:
TREASURY chief Martin Parkinson has raised the spectre of China’s boom turning to bust - with devastating consequences for Australia - if Beijing persists with manipulating its exchange rate and spreading inflation throughout the world.
Dr Parkinson said moves by the Chinese to clamp down on domestic inflation could slash demand for Australia’s minerals…
Dr Parkinson told business economists in Sydney that the government’s budget faced serious risks from the global economy, and it would have been unwise to add to them by imposing tougher spending cuts, which could derail the economy’s growth.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (06:27 am)
ONLY one thing saves Julia Gillard from being knifed as she knifed Kevin Rudd. It’s that poor Labor doesn’t have an obvious alternative.
And, perhaps worse, its harder heads are going soft.
The powerbrokers, in despair at Gillard’s performance, don’t realise it still wasn’t a mistake to make her Prime Minister then - and won’t be a mistake to replace her now.
The fact is it’s now too obvious to ignore what I first noted here two months ago: that Gillard is finished.
The polls this week tell the story. Newspoll has Labor at just 46 per cent of the preferred vote, to the Coalition’s 54. Nielsen calls it 44-56.
And there is little to hope for. Gillard’s credibility is shattered, authority destroyed and judgment appalling.
She’s so shrunk in the job, that she took a football to her first White House meeting with the US President.
More importantly, what she’s selling at home is poison and voters have stopped listening, anyway.
They’ve literally switched off. When the ABC’s political chat show Insiders had a once-prized interview with Gillard on Sunday, it scored its second lowest ratings for the year.
The tale of her amazing fall is now well known. Breaking her promise not to introduce a carbon dioxide tax - “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” - was of itself probably fatal.
But what’s made her Government an object of ridicule has been her catastrophic judgment.
Has any prime minister made so many promises in a single year that have become standing jokes?
Think of her cash-for-clunkers policy to buy old cars and crush them - a promise so stupid it was itself crushed before it started.
Her promise to build a detention centre in East Timor, without asking if the locals approved, was also too brainless to fly.
Likewise the Citizens Assembly she was going to drag off the street to advise her on global warming.
Now there’s her five-for-one swap of boat people with Malaysia, announced even before any deal was signed.
What drives smarter Labor MPs mad is that Gillard seems unable to learn even from the Government’s most devastating mistakes.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (06:26 am)
There are actually two questions. First, how high will the carbon dioxide tax be when it’s introduced, given Labor can’t afford to upset the voters?
Second, how how will it later go, since the whole idea is to hurt voters badly enough to force them off cheap coal-fired power?
And so we hear this frantic debate, which leaves voters with just one certainty - that whatever the tax starts it, it will rise:
But it is giving no details on whether the compensation package it says will make some people “better off” will rise in step with the tax increases....
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet insisted the tax would start ”well south of $40 a tonne” while Greens deputy Christine Milne pushed for a higher figure.
“I certainly recognise that you are going to need a price at $40 or more to shift from coal to gas and then a higher price still from gas to the renewables,” she said.
Fellow Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young floated a $100 tax to encourage renewable energy.
“If we want to transition right through to renewables it’s going to have to be in the vicinity of you know, $100 a tonne - but that’s of course not on the table,” she told ABC News 24’s Capital Hill program.
Greens leader Bob Brown declined to say what carbon price he wanted.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (05:54 am)
The green agenda has corrupted Labor values. It has seen Labor governments embrace fiscal irresponsibility, regressive income re-distribution and treat their supporters as too dumb to understand they were being played for mugs. For too long the idea that any green scheme was a good scheme was sanctified as a compliant media cheered such initiatives… Climate change, once Labor’s dream issue, has become the nightmare issue on which Labor has wedged itself.
What Kelly doesn’t address in this fine article is that the compliant media once included Kelly himself. Here’s Kelly in 2008:
Any prudent Australian government should move to put an emissions trading scheme in place.Both Rudd and (Opposition Leader Brendan) Nelson remain committed to this concept… Emissions trading looms as Nelson’s ultimate test: it is either the path to a stronger Coalition performance or the issue on which it blows out its political brains.
By that I mean that I believe that the (Liberal) party room will endorse a series of amendments (to the Government’s emissions trading scheme) which will be the basis for negotiation with the Rudd Government. I mean frankly if they oppose that, that would be signing their own political death warrant… This raises the prospect that the legislation won’t pass and that the election next year will see climate change as a frontline issue. Now this will be a mortal political threat to the Opposition.
It is astonishing how fast the certainties of the media/politcal class have been overturned. But many in the media remain preachers of the faith, although there’s now a note of panic in their voice. Here’s the Sydney Morning Herald, demanding Labor push ahead with a carbon dioixde tax set higher than voters expected or will tolerate - and which will not budge the world’s temperature by a flicker:
We have argued previously for a carbon price to be set initially at the lower end of the range of what is necessary, and adjusted upwards later. From the report of the (government) consultants’ findings, though, it appears the price would have to rise quickly if the tax is to have any effect. That makes the government’s task all the harder. Yet it would be the worst of all worlds to introduce a necessary measure such as this but keep it ineffective…
The high rate of the carbon tax is just yet another hurdle Julia Gillard’s government has to surmount. So far she has not been deflected by bad polls or the populist anger directed at her. That is just as well. The only way she - and Labor - will survive is if they keep implementing necessary and effective policies.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (12:11 am)
IT IS no secret that Labor governments have stacked the courts with Left-wing judges.
Nowhere has that been done so aggressively as in Victoria, Australia’s reddest mainland state, and the rest of the country may have noted one of the astonishing results on Monday night.
In Victoria, the former Bracks-Brumby government appointed four officials from the far-Left “human rights” group, Liberty Victoria, to the bench.
An astonishing coincidence, no?
One was Felicity Hampel, appointed to the County Court and on Monday appointed also by the ABC to the panel of its Q&A show to air a few of her political views.
Now, you may argue that a judge just follows the law and never her personal inclinations or ideological beliefs.
In a perfect world, that might even be true.
You may also console yourself with the thought that there is a long tradition that once someone becomes a judge, that person tries particularly hard not just to be politically neutral, but to seem so, too.
Not so Hampel, though. Not on Q&A, where she appeared very fashionably dressed and very fashionably earnest.
Here are some of the opinions she delivered.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (12:06 am)
The Gillard Government’s five-for-one deal with Malaysia shows no sign yet of working, with the third boat arriving in just four days:
Another boat carrying asylum seekers has been intercepted in Australian waters.
The Australian Government says the 20 people on board will be taken to Christmas Island before they are sent to another country.
That makes 107 of the 800 boat people Malaysia has tentatively agreed to take in exchange for 4000 of theirs.
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 18, 11 (12:05 am)
Oh, dear. I don’t think Greens leader Bob Brown did well under the questioning of Chris Uhlmann. He is exposed as a shonky salesman of economic nonsense and deceptive flim-flam with no understanding of what it takes to keep the economy ticking over.
He cannot explain what he’d do to make up for the loss of the $50 billion he’d cost by closing our coal industry. He cannot quantify the cost of withdrawing incentives to businesses to invest. He is grossly, grossly irresponsible - and that is putting it as its mildest.
(Click video icon at top right of page. UPDATE: Video here.)