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Canberra Watch « Previous | |Next »
June 1, 2007

Parliament has a break for a week or so before it returns for the June sitting. So what happened in the last fortnight? I agree with Michell Grattin in The Age when she says that although Kevin Rudd and Julie Gillard have some serious problems with their IR policy they are not counting against them with the voters.

In contrast, Howard suffers from being seen as expedient. He looks all over the place because he is. He wants to appeal to voters as the leader who won't throw away jobs and growth for the sake of climate, while also sounding fair dinkum on an issue that is resonating.

Howard is also deeply troubled that he has not been able to get Rudd's measure, and that is affecting his performance.


The Howard Government is increasingly isolated at home and abroad in its inaction on the climate change. For 10 years it has blocked a national emissions trading scheme. However, as Peter Hartcher says in the Sydney Morning Herald it has grown harder and harder for the Howard Government to pretend that global warming is some sort of confected neo-socialist Eurocentric moral panic.

The Howard Government now faces its last chance to get it right and that the task group report that Howard received yesterday is the platform for his policy announcement. Hartcher observes that:

Unfortunately, the report seems designed to help Howard not in dealing with the environmental threat to civilisation but in beating back the political threat to the Government.The report gives the Government licence to procrastinate for another few years. While it does propose the essential policy tools for dealing with global warming - an emissions trading system and targets for cutting emissions - it suggests that Australia take four years in getting around to it.This is all designed to allow Howard to commit in principle to fixing the problem, but without committing to any specifics before the federal election. Why? To give him licence to portray Kevin Rudd, with his target of cutting emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, as an environmental fundamentalist who will wreak economic devastation.

The difficulty with this strategy is that informed people in the business world reckons that Howard need to do something about climate change to actually cut emissions.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:54 AM | | Comments (4)


A sleeper epitomising what the above discusses must be yet another gormless capitulation to the Indonesions. So much for "we will decide..." etc.
The above necessitated the inconvenient unpacking of
warehoused voter "uglies" like the Foreign Minister, Downer and Howard's seeming near-ally, Iemma.
Regarless of any petty lock picking violation of Indonesion privacy, many will instead think in terms of orchestrated Djakarta demonstrations and the usual grovelling by right wing politicians to Indonesia, against the backdrop of the unresolved Balibo atrocity.

I'm not sure that Howard as Spiderman is spinning an Indonesian web to trap Rudd.

If Howard has a foreign policy web then it is Iraq, but he has ensnarred himself on this--witness his very crazy remark that a victory for the Democrats would be a triumph for al-Qa'ida .

Yes, Nan.
And you know why, don't you?
Because it would mean a victory for Obama bin laden (not Ehud Barak!!).

Y'know, the Climate Change monika used as euphimism for Global Warming which itself has been subverted, contrary to its original purpose, to become actually a device of exclusion for a more holistic approach to environment/ecology/economy.
Yesterday, almost by example since it was buried on an inner page of the "Australian", was a (another) report on continued pressure from the oxymoronically-titled Environment Minister, Turnbull.this involved ramped-up pressure to railroad through the Gunns pulp mill, no doubt to avoid further scrutiny of this execrable proposal.
Deathly silence from coerced and compromised Garrett and Brown folows, and nothing on TV news services later.
Since ending deforestation is a means for maintaining geenhouse balance also, can one really take any of the major parties seriously, when it seems that all that will happen from the climate change/carbon trading conversation will be a softening-up of the public prior to costs being shifted to them.
Meanwhile yet again nothing is done to deal with the Neanderthal underlying vested interests that are the real causes of humanity's problems, including environment