While I’m On A Roll Ranting About The Coalition Government…
She’s offered it only within the confines of the government, but word is Peta Credlin has some world-weary advice for rookie Labor leader Bill Shorten: if you’re serious about making Labor competitive again in 2016, you best swallow hard, take a deep breath, and turn your back on carbon pricing. And you best do it now.
It’s that simple. Or is it?
That Credlin is Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, is enough to provoke suspicion. Indeed, coming from the respected but highly partisan Credlin, such unsolicited advice is just as likely to make the ALP cling ever more determinedly to its carbon pricing commitments like the proverbial … to a blanket.
But some in Labor are beginning to question the longer-term implications of an automatic assumption of staying the course. Ever so quietly, they are whispering ”hold on, let’s just think about this”.
One of those is thought to be Shorten himself – the man Abbott described this week as ”nothing if not pragmatic”.
Abbott’s super-focused Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, agrees the term ”pragmatic” was a coded appeal to Shorten’s personal exceptionalism – his sense that, more so than his colleagues, he is a realist and will do the political maths pretty dispassionately when needed.
Credlin, of course, knows first hand about the wilderness Shorten has just entered.
As an adviser in the Howard government and then as chief of staff to a succession of leaders – Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull, and finally Abbott – she has seen her share of political failure.
Just for the record, Peta Credlin isn’t anywhere near being an elected representative of Australia’s constituency. Yet there she is offering unsolicited advice to the new Opposition Leader in the most patronising of ways. But basically she’s saying, roll over and play dead or you won’t have any shot at winning government. And she says this from her authority of having been chief of staff to Nelson, Turnbull, and Abbott – but hey is that a position you get voted in. Uh, didn’t think so.
It says she thinks the Coalition won government on its policy platform when in all likelihood the electorate rejected the riven and fractured ALP government. What’s worse is that the ALP allowed it self to be so riven and fractured just by having Tony Abbott saying a bunch of ridiculous things over and over again. But the main point is, if Peta Credlin thinks they won on the back of policies, she is so wrong it’s not funny. But this is a good thing because it means they’re willing to go to a Double Dissolution, because they really believe in their own bullshit. This is going to be really interesting if it gets to that point.
The Honorable Clive Palmer, Mouthbreather Patrician
It’s really difficult to watch Clive Palmer giving speeches because he’s such a mouth breather. He sounds like his nose is perpetually blocked, and you start to feel like you’re running out of breath, just listening to him.
Anyway, Clive is saying he won’t pass anything until he and his ragtag bunch of Climate Change Deniers gets treated like a major party. I guess he doesn’t have a problem being described as ‘entitled’. He’s playing brinkmanship with Tony Abbott knowing full well Tony Abbott needs the balancing block to repeal the “Carbon tax”. What’s even stranger is that he wants to be reimbursed the Carbon tax already paid by his company. Otherwise, Abbott won’t get to repeal the Carbon Tax after his Senators take up their positions in the Senate after June next year.
Now, I don’t know about you but this strikes me as a massive conflict of interest. You never saw the Australian democrats make this kind of demand when they had the balance of power – not in the most fey and feckless moments of Cheryl Kernot, or the closet-Liberal moments of Meg Lees, or for that matter the petulant and idiotic moments of Natasha the Stoat-Destrpoyer. Not even Bob Brown made demands like that. Cheryl or Meg or Natasha or Bob never said “I won’t pass this legislation unless I get a tax refund on a previously-legitimate tax that I paid.”
How is this not a massive conflict of interest? Forget for the moment Clive is saying he’s effectively going to block Tony Abbot from governing unless he gets what he wants which is Tea-bagging enough. Forget all those weird-ass expenses MPs have been racking up at the tax payers expense. Clive won’t say yes to anything unless he gets a refund for the Carbon Tax. He wants a freaking ransom!
Paul Keating was sure right about the Senate being unrepresentative swill. I sure as hell can’t believe how Australia saddled itself with such a crazy Senate.