Liberals should cut the crap on climate
I’m just trying to work something out here. Since December, the Rudd Labor Government has been under siege from the Abbott-led Liberals for pushing ahead with a “great big tax on everything” in the form of an ETS.
The Liberals blocked the ETS. The Liberals urged Kevin Rudd to drop it on the grounds that it was the wrong policy for Australia. The Liberals argued that the rest of the world wasn’t taking such drastic action on climate change and nor should we.
So today Kevin Rudd dumped the ETS, not just because of the political reality that he can’t pass it anyway, and noting also that the rest of the world wasn’t taking such drastic action on climate change. As a result of all this the Liberal Party is now attacking Kevin Rudd for breaking his promise. There are days when the adversarial nature of our effective two-party system delivers point-scoring so transparent and juvenile that it’s an insult to our collective intelligence, and today is such a day.
It was fair enough for Tony Abbott to make mileage out of public disquiet over the ETS as he seized the leadership. Kevin Rudd had done a rotten job of explaining the policy to the voters. He did this through the luxury of having an opponent in Malcolm Turnbull who supported the ETS. When Abbott rolled Turnbull, albeit by just one vote, he won a mandate from the Party Room to block the ETS and to campaign against the ETS.
Kevin Rudd has done more backflips than Nadia Comaneci in the past month, shamelessly reversing his position on everything from asylum seekers and the education stimulus to childcare centres to the insulation scheme. He deserves to be pilloried for all this, and has been.
But it is just absurd for Rudd to be attacked for shelving a policy which the Opposition and independents are determined to block anyway, and which in its current form would cost the Government and taxpayers several billion dollars, at a time when the rest of the world has taken a deep breath and baulked at such a radical response to the climate change challenge.
Rudd’s bombastic past rhetoric on climate change as “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” has left him open to some well-deserved ribbing. But it doesn’t provide the basis for the Liberals’ new-found illogical position where they denounce the PM for failing to re-introduce a bill which they will block, which they do not believe in, and which the rest of the world isn’t really up for anymore either.
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