Unilateral action on climate change without demanding similar changes from our global competitors has always worried us. The best argument â€“ and it is a stretch â€“ is that the world is inevitably shifting towards a lower carbon emission environment and that Australia should be ahead of the game. But of course exporting the jobs of our carbon-emission intensive industries â€“ often in manufacturing â€“ or increasing our energy costs while other countries donâ€™t take action is a big potential problem. So youâ€™d think we have some sympathy for the feisty oldies and young Tories who headed down to Canberra for the No Carbon Tax rally.
There are loyal and true members of the famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit involved in the campaign itself and we wish them the best. But the judgment of rally organisers must be questioned after yesterdayâ€™s rally in Canberra. And I hope this criticism is taken as constructive criticism.
Their Melbourne one had Les Twentyman speaking. Enough said. We thought about arranging a recording of his oration and then thought the world was probably better off not hearing or seeing it. â€œLaughableâ€ was a description from a Liberal in the crowd.
The Canberra rally, a much bigger deal, was successful in its way (gaining national attention) but was all but completely undermined by the presence of lunatic League of Rights folks and other idiots who should have had their signs and odious T-shirts hidden by those in charge.
The organisers â€“ unlike the more astute people in the US involved in the Tea Party â€“ have clearly not read or paid attention to â€˜Rules for Radicalsâ€™ a book written by Saul Alinsky as a guide for activism.
His teachings are essential reading, especially for right-wingers unused to mobilising people power.
He told his dirty unwashed hippy comrades of the far-left to clean up, to dress up, to reach out, to provoke enemies into doing stupid things while appearing as reasonable as possible. He was as cunning as a rat. His message wasnâ€™t especially mainstream but he wanted it to look that way. His book was used by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and now the Tea Party to guide their public protests.
Based on those shrewd teachings, those with placards declaring the Prime Minister of Australia is a â€œwitchâ€ or â€œbitchâ€ or â€œfrumpâ€ or whatever should have been told to go home or dump the signs.
Based on any commonsense, those who had Adolf Hitler on the same T-shirt as Julia Gillard (with her Photoshopped doing a Hitler salute) should probably have been referred to a medical practitioner.
We are sympathetic to those who question the proposed carbon tax, dispute it will serve its stated purpose and question the certainties of often left-wing, occasionally propagandising and in some cases deceitful scientists or those pretending to be experts, who are variously economists or paleontologists or Al Gore.
We have seen in America that the cost of excitable rhetoric when mixed with volatile and troubled souls can be very high.
Not only do the anti-tax brigade they have every right to protest and to help promote their favoured Coalition onto victory at the next election, they have good arguments when they say the PM broke a pretty crucial promise, when they point out that a local unilateral solution to a supposedly global crisis wonâ€™t make a difference, when they say they feel duped when key parts of the climate change doomsday brigade are exposed as fabricators or serial exaggerators.
They make good arguments. They donâ€™t need loons.
LOSE THE LOONS, WIN THE FIGHT
Their champion Tony Abbott has staked everything, his entire political career on these arguments and their successful prosecution. From zero after the 2007 election when he was complaining about his salary cut and his shadow portfolio to hero of the Coalition, bringing them back from nowhere to near victory.
And no-one on Abbottâ€™s staff will appreciate those at the rally putting up signs behind their guy chock-full of hate-speech that actually attracts sympathy for his opponent and makes him look lies heâ€™s in bed with scum.
His success on this carbon tax issue is not assured.
It will be undermined by associating with those who belong outside the mainstream of politics. People who donâ€™t just oppose the Prime Minister but hate her. Abbott needs them like he needs a hole in the head.
ABBOTT HAS A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB
It could be undermined by how he handles the incredible complexity of rolling back a tax and carbon emissions trading system.and repealing substantial welfare payment increases and income tax cuts. Potentially the Coalition will be going into the next federal election proposing substantial income-tax increases and welfare payment cuts in addition to advocating the dumping of the carbon tax.
It has very tough – as we have argued – before to run a scare campaign on tax policy once it has already been enacted. Indeed, it will be much easier for the government to run a scare campaign on the effects of reversing it and all the uncertainties and inconveniences associated with that.
Abbott needs help not Hitler T-shirts.
Abbott needs help not Hitler T-shirts. Heâ€™s in a fight for his political life.
We love the drama of politics, perhaps too much. We engage in more than a bit of aggressive name-calling ourselves. Because a Greens militant was wielding a broomstick in a brilliant pic taken by a VEXNEWS Investigator the other day, while she was attempting to rip down opponents signs in the battle for Marrickville, we succumbed to the temptation of repeating a localâ€™s joking claim she was a â€˜witch with a broomstickâ€™. We should have judiciously censored this assertion and not repeated it in a large witchly typeface. We thought about taking it down but then decided you should witness our folly and make up your own mind about whether we are the pot calling the kettle black.
We have seen in America that the cost of excitable rhetoric when mixed with volatile and troubled souls can be very high. Naturally, the VEXNEWS audience is full of sensible and good folk who can discount hyperbole and process it for what it is.
We want the Greens defeated and we really object to their views but we donâ€™t hate them. And nor should anyone else. Lifeâ€™s too short. We should always ensure our rhetoric reflects that world-view.
And those who oppose the carbon tax ought be able to throw every bit of passion and drama at it without baselessly comparing the Prime Minister with Adolf Hitler. Itâ€™s outrageous. And in this case, by coincidence, we also ripped into a Green for perpetrating a boycott of Jewish commerce in a manner chillingly reminiscent of his policies. In that case, we make no apology for the comparison. Fiona Byrne may not be genocidal but make no mistake that her policy of boycotting, divesting and punishing Israel is calculated at undermining the viability of the Jewish state in a manner that is just as vile and worrying. If she acts like a disgrace the
n she shall be so labelled.
So our criticism comes from someone in the slagging business, well-versed as we are in sometimes overly excitable rhetoric. It comes from someone who is deeply suspicious – not of climate science but – of left-wing climate scientists who lie. It comes from someone who knows that 99% of those who gave up their day to travel down to Canberra to campaign for a cause are good people with sincerely held views and some powerful arguments. If weâ€™re deeply uncomfortable about some of what went on then we suspect much of middle Australia is quietly offended too. If the purpose of the rally isnâ€™t exclusively about winning support for the cause, then itâ€™s just mad indulgence of the kind we so frequently laugh at in the ultra-left. We didnâ€™t like the Howard-haters (and said so at the time loudly) and we know that those with maniacal Gillard-grudge are just the opposite side of exactly the same coin.
The good people who want to oppose a tax thatâ€™s a breach of a campaign promise that will not really achieve much other than aiding the warm inner-glow of a few enviro-whiners should be free to exercise their political rights in loud and proud form but they also need to shake off the lice of those who get off on calling our first female Prime Minister a â€œbitchâ€, a â€œfrumpâ€, a â€œwitchâ€, a â€œwhoreâ€ and Adolf Hitler.