God give me energy, please.

God give me strength, indeed, to deal with the stupid factions in the Federal Liberal Party!

John Lord published this excellent piece on the energy vacuum in federal politics On Thursday 16-mar-2017.

John Lord

Day to Day Politics: God give me energy, please.

Thursday 16 March 2017

The sentence stood out like the proverbial dog’s balls:

”However, industry and environment groups were united in calling for the federal government to provide more certainty though a national energy policy.”

You mean we don’t have one I thought to myself. I read on.

”The federal government has charged Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, to review national energy security and he will report later this year.”

But of course the Prime Minister has categorically ruled out what all the major players believe is an obvious solution.They being the National Farmers Federation, Energy Networks Australia, the retailer Energy Australia, the electricity provider AGL, the Climate Change Authority, the Business Council of Australia and the CSIRO.

So the question arises that if all of these organisations want an ‘’emissions intensity scheme,’’ (EIS) agreeing it’s the logical way forward. Why has the Prime Minister ruled out such a scheme? I mean it’s rare to get a group of this ilk to agree on anything. So why tell them to stick it. Even the Federal Minister Josh Frydenberg agreed with them before the ultra-right pulled him into line.

It’s simple really. Some members of his party have told him that he would be sacked if he pursued that course of action. It’s a pity he didn’t have the courage and zeal of Gough Whitlam. He would confront the bastards. If he only could reinvent his former self. The Malcolm Turnbull who supported a tax on carbon and thought that direct action on Climate Change was a waste of the public’s money. Whatever happened to him. The man of innovation.

All of this can be viewed within a framework of inaction by a Coalition of a coal loving Government unable to look forward to a renewables future, but with a gargantuan capacity to blame others.

Our energy market has been screwed. Privatisation, deregulation, greedy companies and Government are all to blame.

It can be factually argued that inaction by the Federal Government in both the supply of energy and the reduction of emissions is responsible for the current crisis. It lawfully has power over the export of gas, the introduction of an emission’s trading scheme and a national energy policy.

It has now been in power since 2013 but has accomplished little in the way of ground breaking policy of any sort.

The South Australian government, in the absence of any national strategy, is attempting to go it alone. So are others while a dithering National Government sits on its backside waiting for a report from the Chief Scientist later in the year? What was Greg Hunt doing all those years other than telling lies? Of course it would be better if all the states came in under the umbrella of a national scheme for both emission’s and energy supply. However, all they get is abuse blame.

They must be sick of it.

Yesterday morning both Frydenberg and Turnbull were giving the states a serve of inappropriate bullying. Victoria had closed down the Gas industry. SA was bucking the system. Albeit a non existing one. We have enough Gas, that’s not the problem. The problem is that we haven’t saved enough for ourselves. Blame Howard, he did a deal that could only be described as giving it away.

It is bizarre that gas customers in Japan buy Australian gas more cheaply than Australians. Some of this gas is drilled in the Bass Strait, piped to Queensland, turned into liquid and shipped 6,700 kilometers to Japan but the Japanese still pay less than Victorians.

The SA response could well be described as simply trying to treat the symptoms of a non existent national energy policy. Of course they could all be part of the solution but with a government treating them like shit what would you expect.

With great enthusiasm they hand around a lump of coal in the parliament. It’s convenient to mock It and Weatherill every time the national power regulator fails, even if towers fall over, to keep the power on and to blame a massive storm on the SA government as an opportunity for a slogan, “Labor can’t keep the lights on”.

They are attempting to do what the federal government, with good will, and the common good in mind, could fix themselves. Just take the politics out of it, tell the denialist nutters where to go and problem resolved.

Penny Wong commented.

”The last bipartisanship we had on energy policy was in 2009 before Abbott tore down Turnbull. And it’s time Malcolm Turnbull rediscovered some of that, because a sensible long-term approach to this market that frankly the private sector is calling out for they are calling out for leadership.”

Matthew Warren, of the Australian Energy Council said.

”Many features of its (SA) energy plan would be made redundant by effective national energy policy reform,” Warren said. “This would be a win for all consumers and remains the fastest and cheapest way of fixing Australia’s energy crisis.”

The only thing standing in the way of a solution to our energy crisis is a select band of Coalition coal loving climate denialists led by Tony Abbott and a Prime Minister more in love with the stature of the Prime Ministership than doing what’s good for the country.

Nick Xenophon was promoting an energy intensity scheme to manage carbon emissions back in 2009, a policy now supported by everyone from the energy suppliers and the National Farmers’ Federation to the ALP.

Yesterday morning Malcolm Turnbull stood before the assembled members of the fourth estate, looking sartorially Prime Ministerial and said ”Good morning. Today I’m taking national leadership to resolve this gas crisis.” Where had it been all this time?

Rather reminded me of Tony Abbott’s declaration that ”Good government starts today”

When a leader all of a sudden announces he is going to lead, all sorts of other questions arise. The crisis may not be as bad as he makes out and could be resolved with leadership. It’s just that he is not the right one.

STOP PRESS.  Late Wednesday the Prime Minister predictably announces that the gas companies will supply whatever is required for Australia’s needs. In doing so he claims good leadership.  It’s just a pity that we don’t in all the Coalitions years in power have a National Energy Policy or an Emissions policy.  Shame, shame, shame.

On this day in 2016 I wrote the following:

Peter Dutton says that the $55 million that was spent on a resettlement deal with Cambodia for two refugees was “a good deal”.

He also thinks that if Labor were to win the next election the Stock Market would crash.

The economy would collapse and there would be an inevitable recession.

We are awaiting his thoughts on the potential for a budget surplus if the Coalition wins.

Did you know that in 2008, when new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations,  Dutton was the only coalition front bencher to abstain?

On 5 June 2015 Dutton categorically denied claims made by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young that she was spied on during a visit to Nauru.

On 11 September 2015, Dutton was overheard on an open microphone, prior to a community meeting on Syrian refugees, joking about the plight of Pacific Island nations facing rising seas from climate change.

Dutton also attempted to introduce a GP co payment of $7, but this proved highly unpopular with both the public and the medical profession, and the plan was dropped. Dutton was overwhelmingly ranked as the worst health minister in 35 years according to a poll run by Australian Doctor Magazine.

Then in 2016 News Corp Sunday political Editor Samantha Maiden wrote a column critical of Jamie Briggs and Dutton drafted a text message to Briggs describing Maiden as a ‘mad fucking witch’ but inadvertently sent it to Maiden herself.

Maiden accepted an apology from Dutton.

He has had five ministries and hasn’t lasted very long in any.

We deserve better.

My thought for the day.

“Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life and grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate empathy toward others. It is far better for those with these qualities to lead rather than follow. In fact it is incumbent on them”

John Lord


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