The Emporer’s Copenhagen cloak: a fairy tale
Copenhagen certainly was the right place to hold the biggest cocktail party of the 21st century - otherwise known as the Climate Summit.
After all it was the home of Hans Christian Andersen who wrote “The Emperor’s New Clothes” in 1837. It is truly a suitable parable.
In the story we had swindlers posing as weavers and convincing the Emperor that they could “manufacture the finest cloth to be imagined ……but the clothes made of their material possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.”
The swindlers in the Andersen Tale demanded large sums of money in advance and asked for (and got) “the finest silk and the most precious gold cloth” and worked at empty looms until late at night.
In Copenhagen the attendees certainly got lots of money in advance and lived in great luxury.
The Emperor sent his most senior minister to check on the progress of the material. Shock, horror, the minister could see nothing – but the minister knew that all believed only those unfit for office or stupid could not see the material. So the minister stated the material was wonderful.
The swindlers asked for and got more money.
Finally the Emperor went to receive the suit made from this wonderful material. He too could see nothing, but fearful of being labelled unfit for office or unpardonably stupid, he allowed himself to be undressed and “clothed” in the new suit and then parade before the people with a retinue in his wake. The Emperor exclaimed “Does not my suit fit me marvellously?”
As the Emperor marched in the procession before the people they too marvelled at the suit for no-one wished to be seen as unfit for office or stupid.
But suddenly a child, unencumbered by the knowledge that he may be judged unfit for office or stupid (or perhaps he did not care) cried out “But he has nothing on at all.” And then quietly, one whispered to another and the “the whole people” cried, at last, “he has nothing on at all.”
At the conference there were plenty of spin doctors weaving glorious tales.
Dare I say we certainly had more than one Emperor strutting their stuff, like the Emperor who liked “to drive out and show a new suit of clothes”.
Many at the conference liked to clothe themselves in the latest tale of terror of global warming and parade on stage.
And our senior minister (Wong) praised our Emperor’s environmental material in the form of an ETS Tax.
This is indeed a parable for all – the vanity of the Emperor distracted him from caring for his people and they were lured into voicing their approval for a lie.
The moral is – once a voice is prepared to wear opprobrium, it is heard and the people will not be fooled. But the Emperor, whoever he might be, will, in the words of Hans Christen Andersen no doubt be forced to endure saying to himself, “now I must bear up to the end” and indeed “the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train (of his garment) which did not exist.”
And so it will be, Emperor Rudd will re-introduce the Great ETS Tax Bill in February bearing up to the end with his Minsters carrying his non-existent train.
One hundred and fourteen Australian ‘guests’ attended the Great Cocktail Party, led by the friend of the Chair, Prime Minister Rudd. He who had hoped to make an international splash to enhance his ego by foisting on the Australian people a brand new year tax of $1100 per household per year and rising.
At five minutes to midnight this catastrophe was avoided with a change in Liberal leadership and the offending ETS Tax legislation being voted down.
With would- be attendees freezing outside in the cold, in the snow and ice because there was no room inside, the rest of the 45,000 people attending squabbled and bickered belying all the claims that anything in this climate debate is settled.
But back to matters taxing –the Head of Treasury, Ken Henry has delivered his much anticipated report to Government on so called Tax Reform.
With this thought in mind, may I wish you a Happy New Year.
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