Hollowmen and shallow decisions
It’s fairly clear to anyone who watched Kevin Rudd on the ABC’s Q & A this week that a group of young Australians very succinctly exposed the shallowness and symbolism that underpins much of Labor’s “policy” argument.
These young people displayed a healthy scepticism and an ability to see through polly-speak that many of our national journalists could learn a thing or two from. Indeed, in the aftermath, some journalists seem almost shocked by Rudd’s inability to clearly answer a question which isn’t scripted and for which he has not been briefed.
(Despite the embarrassing prelude of the “Ask the PM” Sunrise questions, which saw Rudd floundering.)
I’m sure host Tony Jones didn’t expect the format, which deviated from the normally combative model of a panel allowing differing opinions, to produce such a clearly uncomfortable and less-than-flattering experience for the once-golden boy.
But despite all the exposure of the Q & A grilling, there was another decision this week which really laid bare the extent to which Labor has plumbed the depths of shallowness and symbolism.
I am talking about Climate Change Minister Penny Wong’s rejection of a feral camel cull, simply because it won’t earn her brownie points in the Kyoto tally.
Yes, because only domestic and not feral camels are included when calculating a nation’s carbon footprint, then these carbon-producing monsters are free to continue to emit unchecked.
And emit they do. Apparently, culling Australia’s 1 million feral camel population would be equivalent to taking some 300,000 cars of our roads.
If Labor were serious about the environment and reducing carbon, surely a cull would be a sensible proposal? If it’s really about environmental outcomes, then why would they reject such a practical step out of hand?
Because it’s all about symbolism. If it doesn’t earn us Kyoto-credit, it’s not done. Forget about whether it will benefit the environment.
So much for Rudd’s “greatest moral challenge of our time”. Apparently we only need to be “moral” if the world is watching us and if we get recognition for our actions.
Perhaps even more telling has been the deafening silence from dark-green environmental activists and organisations that continually lecture about the evil of cars and for whom the removal of 300,000 cars from Australian roads would be the ultimate dream-come-true.
We are talking about the exact same environmental outcome here guys, where are your voices of outrage? Where are your calls for action? OK, I’d settle for even just a small press release pointing out the environmental hypocrisy of Labor’s decision to turn a blind eye to a carbon emitting problem that’s within their realm to fix.
Nothing. Not a peep.
Come on all you dark green warriors out there – if it really is about environmental outcomes, you can’t allow such blatantly hollow political decisions to go unchecked.
It’s clear from Rudd’s Q & A experience that young Australians are beginning to call-out such hypocrisy and expose the absurdity of shallow political decisions like this. They’re wary of empty rhetoric and sceptical of broken promises.
And they sure as hell know that environmental decisions should be made based on practical outcomes – not whether or not they allow the Government to score political brownie-points on international protocols.
Don’t miss: Get The Punch in your inbox every day
Get The Punch on Facebook
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…