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spilling the beans? « Previous | |Next »
April 6, 2011

I missed Q+A on Monday night where Kevin Rudd publicly acknowledged that he was wrong to pull the plug on the carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS) Well, not pulling the plug, it was delaying the CPRS two years until 2012.

One of the reasons he says that:

was alive in our mind at the time was we need a new senate. Following the next election there was no way the Coalition was going to maintain dominance in the senate, as it's proven. The Greens now control the senate as of 1 July this year. So a basis for delaying the implementation two years was mindful of the fact the senate would change.

Well, we knew that. So why didn't the ALP stand and fight? Differentiate itself from an Abbott-led Coalition?


Rudd acknowledges that there were other factors at play----the diversity of views within the Labor Party and in the cabinet at the time.

He says:

And so you had some folk who wanted to get rid of it altogether. That is kill the ETS as a future proposition for the country. I couldn't abide that. There were others who said we should stick to the existing timetable, apart from the fact that the senate couldn't deliver it. So I tried to find a way up the middle of all that. Preserve the unity of the government. On balance it was the wrong call because we should have simply tried to sail straight ahead. But you make mistakes in public life. That was a big one. I made it and I'm responsible for it.

What Rudd hinted at is that there was a big split in the cabinet---"a massive conflict of views within the government" which he describes thus:
People were concerned, to be fair to view that with the global financial crisis the ability and the uncertain employment prospects - we're talking about early 2010 where we still didn't know how far out of the woods we had come, that people were quite concerned about putting a price on carbon and its effect on family incomes at a time when a whole lot of people were under financial stress. So to be fair to that argument, that's what they were putting forward but, as I said, there are some who wanted to junk it. There were others who wanted to sail straight ahead, notwithstanding the fact we didn't control the senate. I tried to find a path up the middle of that. It didn't work. It failed.

He also stated that the ALP organisation is one where there still are are factional leaders who intimidate a lot of the rest of the party from getting on with the business of being an effective political force in the country--factional leaders who operate as factional thugsters who put themselves first.

It really was a 'show and tell.' The really sensitive issue for the ALP is not the past, but Rudd's factional thugsters claim.

The line will be that the ALP is not ruled by factions and that all political parties have factions.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:35 PM | | Comments (12)


Rudd doesn't seem to be aware that people lost confidence that Labor would do something real about the climate crisis prior to him ditching the CPRS. They had basically sold out to the polluters.

Labor's strategy was to refuse to negotiate with the Greens on the GPRS -they preferred to negotiate with the LIberals whom they said was the party of climate change sceptic!

Labor's strategy was flawed.

The Rudd/Wong CPRS set the targets so low it was embarrassing---it was 5%--and the industry compensation was outrageous. Garnaut disowned it.

He seems to being talking about Mar'n, amongst others- the entire anti enviro element within cabinet, perhaps.
What need of Howard, with some of these?
I was impressed at the time with the "confession", but now see it as a bit self serving, although I think there was a genuine impulse as well.
In the end, a right wing government riddled with scabs acting for vested economic and political interests- anybody but the people who elected them and pay their salaries.
As for Labor generally, we need God to come down and do a federal intervention, starting with the cultural wasteland of New South Wales and working down to the philistine cabal centred in Melbourne, who are environmental vandals of the first magnitude, throughout the south east of our country.

I agree with Nan. Ditching the policy was just the final straw. In the end it looked as though the whole CPRS was only ever intended to be a wedge for the coalition, never a serious climate change policy. They'd watered it down to the point where it was pointless and then tried to blame the Greens.

Watching Q and A I kept thinking how much better off they would have been if they hadn't taken all their advice from The Australian.

I wonder where the other posters in this thread have been living for the past month.... Down myend of the swamp Rudd's CPRS would have been political poison.

Nan says "...people lost confidence that Labor would do something real about the climate crisis.."

In fact almost everyone I know (in a subbornly Labor district) have lost confidence in the Labor govt because they fear it WILL do something about the climate crisis.

This are is almost entirely dependent on carbon-spewing heavy industry. The number of climate skeptics around here is amazing.... and their simplistic, twisted version of science is mind-boggling. Every day I hear the most ridiculous tales of denial and fear. It's a macabre Andrew Bolt clone hatchery.

Labor infighting is a moot point around these here parts... quite simply, the natives are hostile to ANY carbon reduction scheme.

Mars08 has me in recall of what happened in Tasmania during Latham's election campaign of 2004.
The mention of Latham's qualifying $800 million reconstruction package for Tasmania was studiously ignored by media and vested interests and we saw a sort of return to medieval fear and superstition in the populace, within this information vaccuum.
People just do not trust the system when it comes to an adjustment, that these compensation packages will work or are not eventually a rort for big business. In the past the promises of politicians have proved hollow too often.
People just don't want to be patsied.
That's why Rudd was so eager for Copenhagen to work, to remove the excuse that other countries weren't doing anything and we lose competitive advantage.
Of course, some other countries, often poorer than us like China, have also been trying to work some thing out, but the fear and loathing campaigns of the big corporations know where to strike; at people's some times irrational insecurities and fears.

"....the fear and loathing campaigns of the big corporations know where to strike..."

But that's the most frustrating thing , Paul!

As far as my working/middle class neighbours are concerned, the fear-mongering and hysteria is ALL coming from the "warmist" (ie. extremist) end of the swamp. My colleagues are in denial.

Yes, and the hatred that Labor has for the Greens, as evidence recently by Julia Gillard's appalling remarks, was clearly a factor for Kevin as well. As Christine Milne pointed out this week, Rudd was clearly happier to negotiate with his fellow god-botherer Fielding, and with the Liberals, than with the Greens, who could have helped get a decent scheme through. I also wonder whether Rudd's religious beliefs push him more towards the denier camp, but that is just an uninformed guess. But the presence of Martin Ferguson, minister for eternal coal mining, sure didn't help either.

Incidentally, lacking a contact point for this excellent site, could I express here my thanks for the steady trickle of visitors who stumble across to me from this site. But could I also ask if the link to The Watermelon Blog could be moved from its present location under "Environment links" to "Oz Blogs". Only a small part of what I write is directly environmental so that would be a more obvious home, but also Jennifer Marohasy is not a bedfellow I feel at all comfortable with!

Hope Tasmania is going well and you are getting some more great photos

I've done as you've requested re shifting the link to your The Watermelon Blog from under "Environment links" to being grouped under "Oz Blogs".

If you are interested you can access my Tasmanian photos on my Flickr stream; at my photoblog, Rhizomes 1; and on my poodlewalks blog.

David Horton's coments unfortunately ring true; just at Loewenstein's blog (I think?) where we learn that Rudd is firmly in the camp of the zionists and regards the Greens as mad. Just can't shake that MacCarthyite/DLP streak inbred into him.
Marohasy would probably pass muster as a "bedfellow", but I wouldn't trust her pronouncements on enviro further than I could throw them, some of them are brainless beyond belief.
A shill, if ever there was one.

I think people may be getting a little climate change/tax soaked. The footy is back and people are more concerned about basic issues. Interest,price of food/grog and keeping their jobs.