A lot of my comrades on the Left of politics are walking around as if the ascension of Tony Abbott is an early Christmas present, but I’m not so sure.

Banana republic: monarchist Tony Abbott campaigns for the no vote in the 1999 referendum.

While some see the rise of the Mad Monk as the Tory version of Latham’s 2004 election car crash, I think the risk is we are gearing up for a re-run of the 1999 Republic referendum.

That was the ballot where Abbott, as executive director of the ‘No’ vote managed to convince battlers to keep the Queen as Head of State because the alternative would be to have the nation run by a bunch of wankers - like Malcolm Turnbull. A decade later and the Left is still coming to terms with the anti-elite backlash that the Republic Referendum – and arguably the 2001 Tampa election – unleashed.

And my growing concern is that a similar dynamic is at play with the climate change debate, now chrystalised into a meaningless acronym, the ETS.
Take this exchange with a Labor-voting cabbie last week:

“Bloody Rudd and his ETS – all he’s going to do is increase power prices; the poor pensioners won’t be able to afford it. And who says we need to pay more? Bloody scientists, that’s who. What would they know – all they’ve ever done is gone to uni”.

These sentiments show the fertile ground an Abbott scare campaign on the ETS has to work with: not just the personal cost embodied in the mantra ‘a new tax’; but the backlash against people from uni telling us what to do.

While Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong refer to the expert advice; Abbott will not engage on the science – he will go after the scientific community as ideologically driven tossers working in league with the phoneys from Canberra.

And for those who want action, he will unleash the nuclear bogey – saying if you are serious about clean energy you will embrace a proven ‘clean energy’ source.

Again this will unleash a backlash from those (like me) who have spent decades opposing nuclear energy, which Abbott will anger dismiss as concerns of the latte drinking set (even though I’m a double mac man).

Can the Coalition prosecute a climate change campaign on ordinary folks verses the elites?

Polling conducted over the last week by Essential Research shows Abbott has a little to work with.

Q. Whose position on the ETS and tackling climate change do you most agree with?

By running the centre line, Rudd and Labor have failed to garner widespread support. In fact, given the choice between Labor’s ETS, the Greens coal denial approach and Abbott’s climate change denial, Abbott is the most popular – apart from the perennial winner in this debate ‘Don’t Know’

With the seismic shift in the political landscape, the big question now is how Labor will respond:

Option A would be to run an Australian Republic Movement style – ‘we know best’ – campaign, where scientific experts are lined up to stomp on the growing band of deniers. This approach will play into Abbott’s hands and could well be disastrous.

An Option B will be to take the time to explain the ETS and how it works (something that hadn’t happened to date) and show the economic benefits of moving first, especially around the creation of renewable industries. The problem is this requires patience and cut through in the face of sustained heckling,

Option C would be to match fear with fear – blame Abbott and Barnaby for the drought, for the destruction of the Barrier Reef, for every thunderstorm between now the next election. This story portrays the government as acting because the current economic base of carbon is unsustainable – ads like the coal mining union ran before the last federal lection illustrate how this can be done.

Finally Option D: would be to attack Abbott and the Tories head on and paraphrase the great Victor Richardson during the Bodyline series : “Which of you wankers are calling these wankers a wanker?” Under this scenario, Labor’s job would be to move the debate away from climate change and onto industrial relations, where Abbott’s determination to bring back WorkChoices clearly has him in the camp of the top-end of town.

Whichever path Labor takes, the Liberals have thrown the game wide open by appointing Tony Abbott leader – it’s now up to Labor to show the same diligent attitude to politics as they have been showing to policy over the past 12 months.

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70 comments

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    • paul says:

      05:23am | 08/12/09

      I’m a swinging voter and I can tell you if the Mad Monk wants to indulge in a lack of imagination and credible (understandable) policy, and recycles Howards Workchoices and faith based overpopulation without infrastructure etc, HE better get some butt protectors in his budgie smugglers and beware of the pointy end of my Chinese made Blundstone boot at the next election.

    • acker says:

      08:02am | 08/12/09

      @paul

      If Tony Abbott “The Mad Monk” as you refer to him actualy comes up with an ETS policy or negotiates an ETS outcome with the government that passes the senate next year, he will become a bloody liberal legend and may even pull off the next election.

      Imagine if Rudd re-introduces the ETS next year to parliament and Tony Abbott says we will agree if the amedments Wong and McFarlane nutted out are included.

      Abbott has delivered the main things the Lib ETS dissenters wanted, deferal of the ETS until after Copenhagen

      The Lib ETS dissenters have delivered Tony Abbott the main thing he wanted, leadership of the Liberal party. Now the main thing Tony Abbott wants is to be Prime Minister, and he knows while the ETS debate is still going that wont happen.

      He will hand out a few spoils of victory today, but he will most likely at some stage get an ETS bill passed through the senate.

      Even getting Barnaby Joyce out of the Senate and into the lower house is a masterstroke, because it weakens the reasons why some country living conservative voters would tick Nationa in there senate vote. Other than Barnaby the National Senate team looks very short on talent.

    • John A Neve says:

      01:42pm | 08/12/09

      Macon Pain,

      I am a little disappointed, I had hoped you’d define a “worker” for me or tell me the Liberals still supported small business.

      Ah well, I expected too much, I always do that.

    • what ever says:

      05:32am | 08/12/09

      Indeed,

      I can see some balls of sweat forming in Kevin’s forehead.

      He should have stuck to empty rhetoric and superficial jestures on climate change. Thats all most people want. Act concerned, meet some leaders, drive a Prius, knock out a few you-tube clips telling your staff to turn off their computer screens at night, ban some lightbubs, plant a veggie garded at the lodge, go hiking in Tassie, get some celebrity candidates.

      But….he got carried away and now an unloosable election is entirely loosable.

    • paul says:

      08:29am | 08/12/09

      @acker I appreciate you explaining the political machinations or drama but I still feel like I’m watching a sleight of hand magic show and all I’m really being sold by both parties is: another tax or a grand ‘green power scheme’ for energy companies to increase profit margins, and develop, I presume through massive public subsidies, nuclear power - which I’m against.

    • Luke says:

      06:33am | 08/12/09

      The ETS is probably the hard one for Abbott, wait until he attacks Health, Border Protection, Increased Population, Aboriginal Housing, and Debt, just to name a few other important issues which he hasn’t even started on yet.

    • Robert says:

      06:53am | 08/12/09

      Once again, the commentators are missing the point! This is not a single dimensional issue. I don’t recall reading anywhere that Abbott did not believe climate change was an issue or that there was no need to address rising carbon emissions. His position - and one held by a growing number of people in Australia - is that the ETS is NOT the right way to address the problem.

    • mcdazz says:

      08:37am | 08/12/09

      You also seem to forget that just a few weeks ago, Tony Abbott was declaring that Climate Change was false and that it was “crap”.

      And now he supports it?

      And as we have seen in the past few days, Abbott still has absolutely no idea how to act in regards to Climate Change.

      His proposal - the proposal he claimed wasn’t going to be a tax or cost money - has been estimated by Hockey to cost well over $50 billion.

      The fact is that it is impossible to bring in any policy about reducing carbon emissions (or any emissions) that won’t cost money - and there will always be a flow on effect to you and I.

      Tony Abbott really doesn’t have a clue - but he does have a lot of people fooled.

    • Muzz says:

      08:46am | 08/12/09

      I know mcdazz, isn’t it wonderful, Tony changed his view, and alot of people also have changed thier view. Great stuff I reckon, well done Tony.

    • mcdazz says:

      12:36pm | 08/12/09

      Like I said - “Tony Abbott really doesn’t have a clue - but he does have a lot of people fooled”.

    • Phil says:

      02:22pm | 08/12/09

      Mcdazz

      Tony Abbott has people fooled. Come on. As some one wrote here recently, if Kevin Rudd told you lot that shit was actually world saving chocolate, many of you would eat it by the bucket.

    • David says:

      06:53am | 08/12/09

      If Abbott has declared a war on wankers no wonder this author is worried!

      Apparently his side confers with scientists.

      Is “nuclear bogey” a scientific term then? He accuses Abbott of running fear campaigns!

      As at least he admits (sort of) if ETS is a meaningless acronym it is because Rudd’s supposedly “diligent” policy makers have not been explaining it.

      May this is because Rudd has been mostly overseas doing his diligent policy work?

      As if this government, the most spin-addicted or any federal government hasn’t been paying enough attention to the media message!

      The reason they have not explained the economic benefits of moving first on the ETS is because there are none.

      The places that have led in the way by becoming miracle Green jobs economies - Spain, Germany and California - have all discovered to their cost what an expensive job-destroying charade alternative energy sources are.

      Of the author’s preferred spin options so far I have seen C and D mostly in use.

      At least the author is alerting us to how free of substance they are.

    • Jeff from Meroo says:

      06:54am | 08/12/09

      How funny that even you admit that if Rudd were to go the Option A route, it would play right into Abbot’s hands.  If the global warming debate were a trial with the taxpayers (the Defense) vs the global warming advocates (the Prosecution), not only would they fail to prove the crime of humans warming the earth through carbon emissions happened, they’d be forced to pay court costs as any judge would throw them out for wasting everyone’s time.  Taking politics out of it, the biggest problem Rudd has is the mountain of evidence that shows that the earth isn’t warming (we all know the numbers, its been cooling since ‘98) and that human produced carbon has nothing to do with climate change (whether warming or cooling).

    • John A Neve says:

      07:02am | 08/12/09

      Tony Abbott is the man for the times, this is a last ditch stand of a dying party. Seeing as Labor and Liberal have closed the divide, why have two parties?  If the voter has to choose, we might pick the wrong one. Seeing as we blame “the government” for all our ills, we could all gang up on the one party. At least it would stop all the argument.

    • Macon Paine says:

      11:50am | 08/12/09

      Labour and Liberal have closed the divide? Thats nonsensical and only suits those on the far left, they get to claim some credibility they haven’t earned. But perhaps your onto something, as we saw at the 07 federal election the only way Labour could get elected federally was to become Liberal Lite and for Kevin to become John Howard Lite. We know now that was actually a pretty good idea for them but we also know that’s not an entirely accurate description for example just read Rudd’s essay in the monthly.

    • John A Neve says:

      12:43pm | 08/12/09

      Macon Paine @ 1250hrs.

      Firstly disagrees, then says I’m “onto something”.
      The fact is Liberals no longer support small business any more than Labor stands up for the workers.

      I’m not even sure how you define a “worker” these days, can someone help?

      What you have is two groups who go to the same tailor, went to the same school and totally agree when it cames to a pay increase!!

      No, I’m not surprised, only joking.

    • Macon Paine says:

      01:26pm | 08/12/09

      My point is Labour has done something nonsensical by claiming to be something they aren’t ie Liberal Lite. I know this is only an anecdote but in my experience the only people who make this claim that the two parties have closed the divide are on the far left, they are usually greens voters looking to paint everyone else as the same so it looks like they offer a real alternative.
      You said : What you have is two groups who go to the same tailor, went to the same school and totally agree when it cames to a pay increase!!
      Well said but that doesn’t mean they share the same ideology, perhaps they want the same outcome but have a different way of getting there.

    • John A Neve says:

      02:54pm | 08/12/09

      Macon Paine,
      I am a little disappointed, I had hoped you would define a"worker” for me, or tell me Liberals still supported small business.

      Ah well, I expect to much, I always do that.

    • Yolanda says:

      07:10am | 08/12/09

      Most people agree there is climate change. The “extremist’s” in this arguement are the people who want to blindly follow Kevin Rudd believing an ETS is the answer and there are no other options available. An ETS is extreme and the people saying there is no other way are extremist’s. Abbott wants to throw options on the table for debate, this should have been done 2 years ago. C’mon Mr Rudd, if this is such a moral issue and the country is so divided on how to tackle climate change then shouldn’t you have the guts at least to get out there and debate your ETS with Abbott. You say but Abbott doesn’t have any policy’s so you won’t. I would think then, this is a golden opportunity for you to put Abbott back in his box.

    • Ceebee says:

      09:18am | 08/12/09

      I think your characterisation of people who support an ETS scheme as ‘extremists’ is a little extreme in itself.

      Rudd and Labor ran the last election on a promise to introduce an ETS.  They were elected and now they’re trying to keep that promise.  Everyone would be baying for blood if they’d promised a tax cut and hadn’t tried to deliver it. 

      I’m all for hearing options and having a healthy debate - but saying that everyone who wants large-scale action on climate change are extremists is not contributing to that - it’s like saying everyone who doesn’t want this ETS is a climate change denier.  And as for Mr Abbott’s ‘options’ that he wants put on the table for debate - what exactly are those again?  Rudd’s policies are on the table so why can’t Mr Abbott afford him the same courtesy?

    • Valery says:

      09:36am | 08/12/09

      Rudd has labeled anyone who doesn’t agree with his ETS as extremist’s, that was Rudds buzz word he invented 2 weeks ago. But thats OK I suppose? Rudd should debate with Abbott if he wants to have a go at him about not having a policy, Abbott has given him a chance to attack him about policy, whats Rudd affraid of?

    • DWest says:

      07:10am | 08/12/09

      I would dearly love to send Rudd a shakeup but the issue for me is: the media & Libs can bang on about taking the fight up to Rudd about a green tax but what about us having to currently pay up to 10% ‘duopoly tax’ on fuel and food because Rudd ,like Howard before him, has some warped and schizophrenic ideas and policies about market competition and convenient denial of the national-scale destructive nature of anticompetition. Has Abbott got enough package in those Speedo’s to take on the major corporations? Surprise me. (I doubt it.) Equally, the Right should beware of Tony Abbott easily losing the War on Wankers through being a hypocritical Wanker.

    • Diamantina Dick says:

      10:16am | 08/12/09

      If you are looking for hypocritical wankers and are concerned about the ‘duopoly tax’ then you should be looking for the guy who proposed and then dumped “GroceryWatch” and FuelWatch”

    • DWest says:

      02:17pm | 08/12/09

      @diamantina dick I think I made my views clear above that Rudd was as gutless and hypocriticaL as Howard as Abbott will be? Howard set up the foundations for these duopolies. Fact. Correct me if I’m wrong but the Libs don’t even have policy on the issue.

    • Pete from Sydney says:

      07:20am | 08/12/09

      The Mad Monk is a two faced political opportunist…and he’ll screw up royally between now and the election. 

      The Rudster has to hold the line, and not weaken…

    • Mel says:

      07:48am | 08/12/09

      Well Pete that is yet to be seen, it’s only early days for Abbott. Talking about “screwing up royally” Rudds done a good job of that hinself over the last two years.

    • Margaret says:

      07:35am | 08/12/09

      well he WOULD have a war on “wankers” wouldn’t he?  The Catholic church believes that masturbation is sinful…& Tony is first & foremost a conservative Catholic…..could we just have an honest debate?

    • Paul says:

      09:10am | 08/12/09

      Option A would be to run an Australian Republic Movement style – ‘we know best’ – campaign, where scientific experts are lined up to stomp on the growing band of deniers. This approach will play into Abbott’s hands and could well be disastrous.

      Now why would that be disastrous.  Would that be because of this
      31,486 American scientists have signed this petition against global warming including 9,029 with PhDs
      http://www.petitionproject.org/

    • Realist says:

      10:56am | 08/12/09

      Um, Kevin Rudd is catholic, you nitwit….

    • Drew(Darlinghurst) says:

      08:24am | 08/12/09

      TONY ABBOTT is a POLICY LIGHT WEIGHT

      the question we should ask is ...“Where’s the Beef?”

      The sad UGLY reality of the LIBERAL PARTY is that it has moved to the EXTREME RIGHT…..these views cannot win you a federal election.

    • Darren says:

      08:48am | 08/12/09

      if Tony is against wankers then is he in favour of prostrate cancer? -
      A 2004 prospective study of follow-up survey data conducted between 1992 and 2000 found that a history of high ejaculation frequency — = 21 ejaculations per month — was related to a decreased risk of total and organ-confined prostate cancer.  Each incremental increase of three ejaculations per week throughout a lifetime was associated with a 15-percent decrease in the risk of prostate cancer.  Study authors speculate that this relationship could be a result of ejaculations flushing potential carcinogenic substances from the prostate, or that the stress relief associated with ejaculation reduces central sympathetic nervous system activity that can cause cellular division (Leitzmann et al., 2004).

    • Mrs Palmer says:

      09:51am | 08/12/09

      It sounds like you have done alot of research on this issue Darren

    • acker says:

      08:48am | 08/12/09

      @paul 9.29am

      Whats wrong with Nuclear ?
      Australia is a huge country, I live in the Riverina which is fairly central to Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide.
      Some small towns out here would probably be interested

      Deniliquin
      Hay
      Narrandera
      Leeton
      Balranald

      To name a few

    • Portia says:

      10:00am | 08/12/09

      Apart from safe long-term storage of waste, nuclear requires large amounts of water, does it not? All of the locations you name have enough problems ensuring sufficient water for agricultural purposes.  Where would the extra water for nuclear come from?
      What’s wrong with every household in Australia harvesting both water and solar power?

    • acker says:

      10:54am | 08/12/09

      @Portia…...firstly it probably takes a lot less water to run a Nuclear power station than grow a large cotton or rice crop

      4 of the locations I mentioned are on the Murrumbidgee River which although it has probably overallocated it’s irrigation available water continues to flow, the other location Deniliquin is on the Edward River

      Speaking about possible sites near waterways I’ll throw up Cubbie station as well, its very flat and a large area can contain water.

      It may be a good option for non coal fired power for SE Queensland and Nth Coast NSW.

    • Portia says:

      11:08am | 08/12/09

      Thanks for the clarifications acker. If your suggestion for a non coal fired power is intended to refer to nuclear and Cubbie Station is being costed as an option, buying the water allocation would have to be factored in.  Others may be better informed, but I do not recall any of the spruikers for the cost efficiency of nuclear including the cost of water.

    • acker says:

      11:13am | 08/12/09

      @Portia

      As well as access to water Cubbie station and the area around Hay NSW are extremely flat and non irrigated land is fairly cheap.
      Perhaps a Nuclear Power Station and a Large Solar Facility could run in tandem in those locations.
      Example
      Establish a Solar facility to help power the build the Nuclear facility then the Nuclear facility continues to power the expanding Solar facility.
      In the end the Nuclear facility just maintains a baseline power supply.
      With the ready access to power along these waterways, the viability of pumping more water through pipes to the lower lake area of South Australia may also become more realistic.

      Please dont close your brain to how Nuclear could actualy enhance the environment

    • stephen says:

      01:03pm | 08/12/09

      Yeah yer right. You live in the nicest part of the country, and yer may need Nuclear Power to maintain industry in the country. We’re drying up, and the ground will soon not support produce.

    • paul says:

      01:37pm | 08/12/09

      @acker Read up on BHP’s self admission that they don’t have enough water to control radioactive dust in their new SA uranium mine, across thousands of acres of mining operation. Makes the Simpsons look like a documentary. Nuclear ‘science’ in Australia reminds me of the Mad Monk - wacky and faith based.

    • acker says:

      03:23pm | 08/12/09

      @stephen & @paul

      The places I mentioned as possible Nuclear sites Cubbie and Hay both have rivers running past them

      Your notion of the South Australian desert or parched non irrigated pastoral country is ignorantly well off the mark

      People ski at Cubbie Stn and Hay

    • Noel Preston says:

      08:48am | 08/12/09

      Jumping the gun a bit I would think, we shall see.

    • H of SA says:

      08:49am | 08/12/09

      Makes me think of Stephen Cobbert’s brave sattire about the propensity of the right to look things up in their gut as oppossed to using a book.

      Australia isn’t as bogan as 2001 (I hope) and anyone thinking of voting against people on the basis of the fact they are educated is probably too busy voting for Australian Idol contestants to care whats going on in politics

    • Paddy says:

      08:53am | 08/12/09

      Everybody talks about ETS as being a fix all. It is not. Instead of quoting it as the messiah perhaps somebody could simply explain what it is supposed to do, how it will be measured, what competitive advantage it has over alternatives (by the way what are the alternatives), the cost / benefit, what the performance measurements are to be and where the accountability will rest. On the latter point, please refrain from saying it is the ballot box as once a scheme comes in it is not reversed by an election.
      I read an article by John Hewson in the Fin Review, he is on the ETS bandwagon, where he ststes carbon capture and sequestration will be an answer. So I lloked up the technology, its stage of development and it is all theory. A bit like a cake I suppose. get the ingredients and the theory is, it will work.
      There will be a lot of hands out for money, salaries will be enormous and all living off the public purse. If it fails then you liquidate and move on. Totally unaccountable yet the public is paying via increased costs with nothing to show other than a highway littered with dead bodies and empty pockets.
      If the Govt obtains similar security to banks plus personal guarantees then we might end up with decent proposals. After all it is taxpayer money, not the politicians.
      May be a little bit of honesty will go a long way. The approach to date has the Labor party with its hand out for donations, investment banks and superfunds all buying carbon credits and the Australian households like rabbits in a spotlight. It can only end in tears for households as the Govt and hangers on all seek unpaid wealth transfers and super profits.
      Managed Investment Scemes have ended in tears as it combined Ponzi techniques, greed, political donations and investment banks/superfunds/finance, tax incentives moving into agriculture. Th size of he ETS is thousands the time the size of the MIS and rather than being optional they are mandatory for households (we only have around 7million of which 5.9million are above the poverty line) so go figure how much it will cost. Divide the annual estimated cost by 5.9 million and work it out yourself. Remember business will pass costs on via prices (all of which have a GST attached).
      So can somebody explain the ins and outs, the costs, the benefits of ETS? So far Rudd, Wong and Combet have simply said trust us, leave the fine print to us. At the same time they accept donations to the ALP from groups seeking handouts outs or to make money. Last time I looked our newspapers informed us Indonesia is corrupt, how are we different?

    • Rus says:

      08:54am | 08/12/09

      Abbott has proven his capabilities many times over.  He speaks plainly.  People are confused by Rudd’s ets and don’t trust the big bureaucracy and financial infrastructure involved.  Rudd has alienated the Chinese, made a hash of border security and adopted a religious attitude to population growth.  Abbott’s big weakness is his religious attitude to copulation.  Therein lies the dilemna.

    • Paul says:

      09:13am | 08/12/09

      Russ,

      that would be the same attitude as Rudd’s, so what is the dilemma there

    • Michael says:

      09:11am | 08/12/09

      Umm, silly argument I feel. Rudd formost is also a conservative Catholic, and well debate?? Rudd doesn’t like to debate, he just refused Abbott on a debate, because Abbott doesn’t have a policy. I would have thought that should be a good reason to debate him. Although it would probably be suicide for Rudd to debate because he wouldn’t have a pre-arranged script and a list of the questions first.

    • Auman says:

      09:56am | 08/12/09

      @michael, I agree. Mr. Rudd is the leader of our nation, his job is to instigate the policies which the nation voted him in for. His policies should be debated and ensured to be of benefit to Australia (and then the wider world community).

      It is not up to the Liberals to tell what their policies will be in the future because right now, it is Mr. Rudd’s time.

      To say no to a debate because you have not shown me yours is terribly like a spoilt child, unintelligent and lacks leadership. If Mr. Rudd’s ideas and policies stand up he gets voted in again, if they don’t he loses or is he hoping for more turmoil in Liberal ranks for another term…. maybe just like all the other leaders out there which sadly makes him no different.

      Have strength of conviction Mr. Rudd, let Australia know your intent, the warts and all.

    • Fazal says:

      09:45am | 08/12/09

      “it’s now up to Labor to show the same diligent attitude to politics as they have been showing to policy over the past 12 months”  - Please tell me you had tongue-in-cheek when you made that last statement??

    • D'oh says:

      10:03am | 08/12/09

      Peter Lewis, I do believe you are running scared!  So you should be, your glorious government’s response on so many issues has been less than lack lustre and this ETS farce has been a shining example.  Most of your “tactics” loosely resemble a rearguard action.

      At least you are willing to admit that Labor are actually in trouble over this.

    • CJ says:

      10:09am | 08/12/09

      Imagine if it was the Mad Monk we were sending to Copenhagen… *shudders*

      You say he will take it to the people Peter? Remember this is Tony “People Skills” Abbott we are talking about…. He may have fertile ground to play with, but he’s sure to make a monk-ery of it.

    • adam macleod says:

      10:13am | 08/12/09

      I think Malcolm Turnbull summed it up nicely yesterday.  The coalition is now run by Climate Change Sceptics, and their environmental policy is bullshit.

    • Carol says:

      10:34am | 08/12/09

      Who’s Malcolm Turnbull?

    • Jason says:

      11:45am | 08/12/09

      Ah yes - Malcolm Turnbull was that guy that nobody liked (see polls) and he lost his job because he failed to listen to his team.  I’d trust his opinion.

    • Jeremy C Browne says:

      10:37am | 08/12/09

      Abbott should tell Rudd they’ll be happy to pass the ETS the second Rudd tells Australians how much extra a $10.00 birthday cake will cost under the ETS.  Of course, the final retail price on virtually everything will depend on market manipulators in the carbon market.  Prices will rise and fall because financial sector cowboys will try to maximise their profits and couldn’t care less about what ordinary Aussies pay.

      The ETS is just another excuse for Rudd to rip off Australians.  If you turn on a light and buy groceries the ETS WILL punish you.  How can you compensate people when you don’t know how much the price of anything will rise under the Extra Tax Scheme???

    • 6c legs says:

      11:26am | 08/12/09

      Abbott’s at war with Wankers?

      Now I know he’s nutz - who goes to war against themselves?!

      (oh man, did we Remembered Ozzies dodge a canon blast on the 16th November!)

    • acker says:

      11:37am | 08/12/09

      If Abbott wants to stay above the mire in his war on wankers, he might also want to sack the person who coined the phrase .......“Ordinary Families”....in todays press conference….chances Labor will make a sound bite election ad with this probably 80-90%

      “Ordinary Families” sounds like single marriage families, and isolates most who come from something different or divorced families.

      I know “Working Families” has been taken by you know who in glasses

      Perhaps the phrase “Our Australian Families” or “Australian Families” might serve him better.

    • N says:

      11:53am | 08/12/09

      Mr Abbott, if your looking for some more ammunition, I’m sure you’ll find some in the stock portfolio holdings of Mr Turnbull and similar elk. Frankly the way Turnbull is carrying on and given his past; it would seem to me he’s haemorrhaging money by not getting this ETS through.

    • Steve of Cornubia says:

      12:22pm | 08/12/09

      Could you explain please Peter, why it is that warning of a new tax is a ‘scare campaign’, yet warning that horrific bushfires will increase, sea levels will drown our cities, the ice caps will melt, millions of people will starve and polar bears will become extinct somehow isn’t?

    • Wee Willy Winky says:

      12:43pm | 08/12/09

      An Option B will be to take the time to explain the ETS and how it works (something that hadn’t happened to date)

      thats exactly right,

      I have had my ear close to the ground on this and I getting lost in the Governments ETS logic. The opposition and indis have been asking some pretty reasonable questions. Not alot have been answered. I am all for a scheme to reduce carbon, climate change is going to be one of the main influencing factors on out life in the next century.  I cannot agree on deals that payout the major polluters or subsidise. Whilst the Mad Monk maybe mad, I glad that there is now a opposition that will come out swinging, hopefully getting the Government to go away and do a better job. Rudd and Wong have to do better. I dont think the oppostion are totally opposed to a scheme to reduce carbon, I just dont think they liked the latest slapped together tax

    • William says:

      01:43pm | 08/12/09

      I am sure Tony Abbott is trembling in his own Chinese-made Blundstone boots. However, are you sure you are a swinging voter? Your response is so typical of the Left: someone holds a different view to you and you threaten them with violence.

    • BULMKT says:

      02:43pm | 08/12/09

      And there is Option E: Wait for an actual outcome from Copenhagen. If the true climate change alarmists are right and manage to get the US to commit, then the ALP has something solid to continue to run with but they still have to explain the ETS to the Australian People. If on the other hand, nothing comes out of Copenhagen (which is what I think will happen), then I think the ALP has truly painted themselves into a RED Corner.

    • pc says:

      05:41pm | 08/12/09

      Hi Pete,

      Im not sure which option I would choose. There are just so many. I think that while the Ruddbott is in Copenhagen teaching everybody to party, we should be planning our own party for the new year. Not sure about the tunes yet but because I dont like dancing to the same songs over and over again I though we might recap some of the stuff we’re tired of hearing.

      1. The politicians cant do it on their own. No, and we cant do it without them either. I think we should get the names of every senator that voted against the ets so that we can send them love letters.

      2. The coalition hasnt been this unified behind a leader since Malcolm Turnbull. In fact someone said Tony Abbotts the leader. No $hit and Bj is shadow finance. \

      While we are on the subject of BJ I saw him on lateline on 2/12/09 and he’s really keen on a debate between Pilmer and someone else. Or at least a debate between scientists, because as he said to Tony Jones, “neither of us are scientists” I commend you on your perspecacity BJ, we have to give you top marks for at least knowing the names of certain jobs. Sure my nephew can do that “He’s an astronout.” “Shes a firefighter.” But he’s five, so its not surprising hes ahead of BJ.

      The problem with a debate between scientists, if we are not scientists, is that we’d need a scientist to tell us who won. Wed need some more scientists to debate the scientific debate. Great thinking BJ, no wonder Tony Abbott likes you. You make him look like a statesmen.

      3. Tony Abbott cant admit hes wrong because hes a rhodes scholar. He says to himself. “Im a rhodes scholar. People should be telling me Im smart because Im smart enough to believe in a sky god but too smart to believe the scientists.”

      4. Peter Van Onselen doesnt like dogs. (Sorry Pete couldnt help it)

      5. Julie Bishop is just a tool. Exactly for whom no one can say. Not even Julie.

      6. The one song Ive heard enough is the theme song to Mission Impossible. Many have suggested the failure of Malcolm Turnbull to get his party to support the ets was because he failed to persuade them of his case. By extension, they argue, the same goes for the Ruddbott. The public can be convinced, they want to be persuaded. Its not only possible its probable. Not so for those still rejecting the science or the dangers. They are going to try to block any action, anywhere. No amount of science, evidence or argument is going to persuade them. So arguments, science, the truth, is not enough. The melody we need is politics.

    • Bruce says:

      07:45pm | 08/12/09

      Did Tony Abbott really say he did not believe in climate change. I must be reading the wrong newspapers and websights. Can someone elude me to the article which says he does not believe in any form of “climate change”. I really thought he was about providing an alternative lower cost ETS. God, am I stupid !!

    • Lisa says:

      08:01pm | 08/12/09

      Even the Workchoices fear comapign looks like dying in the **** , the federal awards just came in, and our industry got a pay cut.
      As did childcare workers ( a completely different industry to mine)  they got a whacking $92 a week paycut!
      So much for the union fear campaign on Work choices!
      Actually, I’m in human resources, so I’m relieved, the recentralisation of our industry has kind of taken the steam out of the pay-rise pressure we were getting under Howard.
      To add insult to injury,child care is set to create enemies all over the place for Labor, as their new ‘quality control’ laws will drive the cost of childcare through the roof!
      Stand by for the lobbying for increased subsidies for childcare!

    • Joe says:

      11:16pm | 08/12/09

      Finally a Liberal to run the Liberal party. Rudd must be getting worried. Abbott will do a good job.

    • Ben says:

      01:05pm | 09/12/09

      As Peter points out, Abbott’s opportunity is partly created by Rudd’s refusal to communicate his message in a way that can be readily understood by the majority of the community. Effective leadership surely involves ensuring people understand what is being proposed and why.
      The climate change debate has also been conducted in Australia in extremist ‘apocolyptic’ terms. Either you are a ‘climate change denier’ and portrayed as callously disbelieving that there has been any climate change at all or you are a ‘climate change zealot’ portrayed as wanting some Malthusian cull of humanity in order to save the planet.
      What an election will do is force a change is this situation because as Peter’s taxi driver’s comments show, Australians are willing to accept climate change exists, are willing to concede that massive human population growth has had some impact on the planet in conjunction with historic heating and cooling trends, but are unwilling to accept that we should immediately go back to year zero to ameliorate the impact.
      Abbott has a golden opportunity to paint Rudd as like Keating in the last days of his manchu court, out of touch and speaking above the rest of us a to select and elite group of officianados.

    • Graham says:

      07:12am | 10/12/09

      Amazed at the vitriol at Abbott’s religion. So he has some convictions, is that a crime? It seems to me he has them in check. Just a feeling that if he was a Muslim with devout principles, not one of these lefties would have the guts to say a word.
      Abbott is the result of Turnbull’s leadership style, just could not quite make the transition from the boardroom, and a good look into his personal situation will undoubtedly bring up some items of interest. His behaviour at the moment is frankly embarassing (might be a bit of the wanker Latham in all of us I guess?).
      At least we now have someone forcing some debate over not just this ‘biggest moral challenge of our times’ (whats with morals if we are a secular society that can do what we want?) but a multitude of other issues that had ‘war’ declared on them by this little man of the robust language, and who has yet to attain a victory, or even a status quo. He has certainly been found wanting over many issues and this has not been given enough attention at all. Wake up people, we are in the red by billions and we are still not through the first term. Forget climate change for a second, these incompetents have not achieved a thing apart from symbolic bullshit and the never ending parade of sorry days. Frankly, does anyone really believe they are doing a good job??

    • James says:

      08:50pm | 15/12/09

      Abbott is going to be a great Opposition leader.  Finally, we have someone who will hold Rudd to account.

      Rudd can spin all he likes, but if he keeps being asked direct questions the glass-jawed nerd is going to crumble.

      Abbott is Rudd’s nemesis and I think Rudd knows it.

    • Dave says:

      03:18am | 16/12/09

      Free straight-jackets for the Labor supporters. That’s a policy I’d support.

 

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