23/09/2010 - 00:00

Taxing times may lead to Labor blackout

23/09/2010 - 00:00


Save articles for future reference.

The more things change, the more they remain the same for the federal government.

PUNDITS are likely to increasingly wonder if Julia Gillard has led electorally battered Labor into a dark cul de sac, rather than a broad political sunlit plain.

The reason she justified her midnight hour toppling of Kevin Rudd by claiming his government, in which she was second-in-command, had “lost its way”.

No one can argue that when governments do so, those at the helm should go, even if it means putting a vice-captain in charge, as occurred in the Rudd-Gillard change-over.

This, incidentally, is officially recognised by half a dozen American states that have constitutional provisions for such eventualities: a democratic procedure known as recall.

What this does is give voters the power to bring on early elections to remove unwittingly elected dunces, rather than having them ousted after dark by conspiring politicians.

That’s precisely what occurred in California in 2003, when Democrat governor Gray Davis was replaced by Hollywood muscle man, Arnold ‘Governator’ Schwarzenegger.

That October 7 recall and election ballot saw governor Davis ousted with 55.4 percent backing recall and Mr Schwarzenegger being elected under the second question.

Interestingly, a key reason for that recall was California’s ongoing power failures; invariably the death knell for western governments since electricity is integral to modern living.

Today most Australian homes don’t even have matches let alone candles or kerosene lamps.

Electricity is so crucial that a 1990s international survey of engineers saw respondents overwhelmingly claim that mankind’s greatest engineering legacy was discovery and commercialising of reliable and affordable electric power.

Thanks very much Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and Thomas Edison (1847-1931).

Why have so many, so quickly, seemingly forgotten what you both did for mankind?

Whenever politicians ignore this, as former governor Davis so evidently had, they’re likely to pay the ultimate political price.

Let’s therefore hope that the Greens’ endless demand for boosting reliance upon so-called renewable energy – meaning fickle windmills and solar rooftop panels that place so much unnecessary strain upon power grids – doesn’t end in blackouts.

For if that occurs and re-occurs, they’ll be saying bye-bye to their so far growing power and influence, which they’ve been extending by promoting the global heating hoax with backing of highly-paid New York-based United Nations bureaucrats and others with obvious vested money interests.

There’s little doubt that if this happens, Australians will react like the Californians did seven years ago.

These aren’t fanciful words.

Both major parties have shown themselves to be petrified of the unsubstantiated UN-backed global heating scare the Greens so avidly promote; to the point where those parties have enacted legislation setting a huge 20 per cent target for Australia’s generating capacity having to be sourced from renewable sources by 2020.

That means primarily from unreliable, costly and consumer-subsidised windmills and solar panels.

Now, from an engineering standpoint, which is what really counts, 20 per cent is a big ask.

Let’s hope it’s feasible throughout each coming year and over the longer term; another way of saying, start praying no vast and protracted man-made national or state-wide blackouts occur.

Remember if the blackouts ever arrive, they’ll be at the height of summer and/or depth of winter.

I most certainly wouldn’t envy the prime minister, premier or the party in power when understandably ferocious electors are looking for the culprits.

State Scene makes this point quite emphatically and unambiguously.

Already a number of electrical engineers are privately expressing concern over whether Australia’s electricity grids will be capable of accommodating wildly fluctuating power demands from the growing number of huge and exorbitantly costly wind farms in a decade’s time, which is just three federal elections away.

Time will tell.

True, Ms Gillard is likely to have departed politics by 2020. But the Labor Party, or remnants of it, will still be around.

And, of course, we’re still likely to have smug Greens politicians, who have never shown any appreciation of even the simpler and more obvious points of economical and reliable electricity provision.

But back to Ms Gillard.

Is she another Arnie, someone who can fix things?

Or is she perhaps destined to become another Gray Davis, even if in areas other than power generation?

The first thing that must be said is that she cleverly outwitted all in Canberra’s press corps by never specifically stating what it was Mr Rudd had done that was so terrible to warrant a humiliating unprecedented removal from the prime ministership.

Almost to a man and woman the press corps attributed the Gillard coup to the fact that he’d so suddenly collapsed in the polls.

Nothing more.

But Ms Gillard never said that. She simply contended his government had “lost its way”.

We’re therefore being asked to remain satisfied with a mystery, like those surrounding the fate of Ludwig Leichhardt and Harold Lasseter who vanished into the big brown yonder.

Ms Gillard in fact refused point blank, even at an open hall meeting, to disclose what occurred in Mr Rudd’s office on the night of her coup, reinforcing that stance by saying she’d never be revealing all.

Which leaves voters guessing.

Was it Mr Rudd’s proclivity to spout spin-speak?

Seemingly not according to long-time Canberra News Corporation editor-at-large Paul Kelly, who says of post-election Australia: “The nation is engulfed in a rhetoric about ‘new paradigms’, sunshine tests and an end to partisan bickering.

“Many Australians will dismiss this jargon as bulldust.

“The political system will soon be groaning under process, consultations, ambit claims and truckloads of ethical pomposity.”

Nothing appears to have therefore changed.

Was it the super tax on mining?

It can’t have been, because within a fortnight of the coup this was renegotiated with the three international mining giants – BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata – with some smaller miners to be compelled to accept the additional tax on top of normal corporate taxes.

Was the Gillard coup perhaps motivated by resistance to all that Rudd ballyhoo about taxing carbon dioxide, which he intended implementing from 2012?

Apparently not, because Ms Gillard says she favours taxing carbon dioxide emission, so will press ahead relying on costly wind farms and solar panels, which ensures gas-fired and coal-generated electricity becomes more expensive.

Nor has she changed the Rudd government’s failed stance of continuing to accept foreigners journeying to Australia by sailing to Christmas Island or radioing naval or other Australian ships off the Kimberley to be “intercepted”.

Quite frankly, it’s impossible to find any substantive difference between what the Rudd-Gillard government offered and what the Gillard-Wayne Swan plus Greens alliance says it’s planning.

That being so, elementary logic suggests Ms Gillard’s government continues heading down the same cul de sac that Mr Rudd had mapped out for Labor, but was denied the ordeal of crashing at its end.

That privilege, if that’s the appropriate word, has been left for Ms Gillard, since all she’s done to date is confirm that the more things change the more they remain the same, with Australia still led by someone who, to use her terminology, has lost their way.

However, if you’ve not noticed, things are significantly worse because a Gillard-led Labor even more closely resembles the big taxing Greens than when Mr Rudd led Labor.



Subscription Options