11/11/2010 - 00:00

Howard PM failed to fight the Greens

11/11/2010 - 00:00


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How ironic John Howard’s book is titled Lazarus Rising, when it was the former PM who brought the Liberal Party to its knees.

IT would have been more accurate had former prime minister John Howard’s 711-page autobiography been entitled ‘Smith Sinking’ rather than Lazarus Rising.

The former is more appropriate because it was Captain Edward Smith who went down with his ship, RMS Titanic, which is precisely what John Winston Howard did to the Liberal Party on November 24 2007.

Post-Howard Liberals couldn’t even beat Australia’s most wasteful Labor government, which so ignominiously dumped leader Kevin Rudd on election eve.

And a year earlier the Liberals dumped Howard favourite Malcolm Turnbull largely because he was moving to shred the party Sir Robert Menzies founded 64 years earlier.

That Mr Howard’s book takes its title from a New Testament miracle gravely misrepresents his decade as prime minister; in fact, an early 20th century disaster more aptly encapsulates the Howard-Liberal Party’s past.

It’s also helpful here to recall the words of pre-eminent American economist and political commentator, Thomas Sowell, who describes autobiographies as just another form of fiction.

Since State Scene fully concurs, I’ve told all my family members that under no circumstance should they consider buying Lazarus Rising as a Christmas gift since I don’t read fiction.

But if Lazarus Rising should reach my local library, I’ll undoubtedly scan parts to see how Howard justified so comprehensively laying the basis for the coming Julia Gillard-led Labor-Greens carbon dioxide gas tax, which will continue escalating electricity and other energy costs.

Mr Howard can blame others for this as much and for as long he likes, but the indisputable fact is that he introduced the increasingly costly Renewable Energy Target scheme that’s now forcing electricity providers to subsidise Australia’s growing number of uneconomic windmills, and thus charge consumers more.

It’s his RET scheme that’s led to proliferation of hundreds of thousands of uneconomic, and again forcibly subsidised, roof-top solar panels that are also boosting the cost of electricity for industry and domestic consumers.

It was also he who created the Australian Greenhouse Office, which has already cost taxpayers $1.5 billion.

And it was his government that, on the eve of it going under to Rudd-led Labor, passed the costly, anti-business National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act into law.

Under this, businesses of a set size must report the amount of CO2 they’re deemed to have emitted.

Companies and their CEOs can be fined for not complying by paying for costly annual audits.

The Howard NGER Act is the auditing basis of the CO2 tax the Gillard-led Labor-Greens government is about to set-up.

Now ask yourself, why did Mr Howard do all this laying of groundwork, the preparing of the basis, for the taxing of the essential flora nutrient, CO2?

The answer is simple – he was scared-stiff of the Greens propaganda that the current level of atmospheric CO2 is somehow causing global warming.

He was so scared of this pivotal unsubstantiated Greens claim that he did for them, between 1997 and 2007, what they couldn’t do because they weren’t in government.

Interestingly, during his media appearances to boost sales of his book, Mr Howard warned the Liberals to stop directing preferences to the Greens at elections.

He did this because it was Liberal Party preferences that ensured Greens and ex-Greens candidates, Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie respectively, won Labor-held seats.

“My side of politics has to be very careful about giving preferences to the Greens,” Mr Howard said.

“The Greens are fundamentally anti-free enterprise, they have terrible foreign policy attitudes and they have a lot of social policy attitudes that a lot of Labor people would find abhorrent.

“I think this is quite a serious issue.”

“In the end, when you are talking about preferences in our system, you have to look at the quality of policies.”

Now that’s a bit rich, coming from someone who, over his decade as PM: brought in the RET scheme that bankrolls Australia’s costly uneconomic windmills and solar panels boom; created the unneeded and permanently costly Greenhouse Office; and enacted the NGER Act, which forces business to audit CO2 emissions.

Those moves together have boosted costly regulations and controls over business, plus increased unnecessary public spending in a way no other prime minister has since the war.

Why didn’t he combat the Greens head-on from day one by showing up the centrepiece of their ideology – unsubstantiated climate panic – something they share with so many taxpayer-dependent scientists, obsequious Hollywood multi-millionaires, and power hungry globe-trotting United Nations bureaucrats?

All he needed to do was institute a scientific inquiry where all witnesses (even overseas experts and Greens crusaders) would be welcome as long as they were prepared to back their claims with scientific evidence, and under oath.

Maybe even one of the world’s leading solar and climate scientists, Dr Wei Hock Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, would have appeared.

Here’s Dr Soon’s answers to several questions recently put to him.

Q: What drives climate change on Earth?

Dr Soon: Most of the weather and climate variations we observed are essentially related to the sun and the changing seasons – not by CO2 radiative forcing and feedback. The climate system is constantly readjusting naturally in a large way – more than we would ever see from CO2. The CO2 kick [impact of CO2 emissions] is extremely small compared to what is happening in a natural way. Within the framework of a proper study of the sun-climate connection, you don’t need CO2 to explain anything.

Q: What is your opinion of the anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming theory?

Dr Soon: It’s never been about the science – even from the very beginning. It’s based on confusion and a mixture of ideology. We should deal only in the facts that we do know.

Q: What is your opinion of Al Gore?

Dr Soon: He’s somebody who needs to just shut-up and stop spreading nonsense. He has neither credibility on science nor moral standing.

Whenever assessing Mr Howard’s sinking of the Liberal Party, remember German General Kurt von Hammerstrein-Equord’s words: “I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid.

“Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities.

“Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments.

“Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy.

“The man who is clever and lazy, however, is for the very highest command; if he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations.

“But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately.”

An interesting exercise is to replace the word ‘officers’ for ‘politicians’ and ask into which category industrious Mr Howard fitted.

There’s no doubt he wasn’t lazy; after all he was politically active for 33 years.

But what was his other forte when surrendering to the Greens?

Remember, there are only two options left.

State Scene knows which is appropriate for the man who so feared the Greens that he did most of their work for them, and is now claiming that we, the voters, should view “quality of policies” as the pre-eminent benchmark.

Why didn’t he do precisely that between 1996 and 2007?



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