Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised not to introduce a carbon tax just prior to the last general election. My staff believed her and voted for her anyway, even though they thought that a carbon tax was necessary. In the event of course she needed the support of the Australian Greens and a couple of sane conservative independents to hold on to power. While being on the same side of politics as the opposition Liberal/National Party Coalition led by Tony Abbott, they clearly agreed with my staff who thought him to be as unstable as a Japanese nuclear plant. I believe it was the Greens who twisted Julia's arm and told her that if she wanted their support she would have to introduce a carbon tax. Well, that's the way politics works isn't it?
Mr Abbott whinged and whined about Ms Gillard lying to the Australian people and conveniently forgot that he was part of the John Howard government who said that they would not introduce a Good and Services Tax. Which is exactly what he did the next time he was elected. Not to mention all the "core and non-core" promises. According to Mr Howard and Mr Abbott, "non-core" promises are not promises at all. Mr A also embarked upon a campaign to scare the living bush chocolate out of the great Australian unwashed by telling them that this "carbon tax" would be the end of the world as we know it, and that we might as well start filling in all the mining holes now because the miners producing Australia's current wealth will all go to Greece to mine feta or to Spain to dig sangria wells, thus saving those economies from ruin and buggering ours up completely.
In the event of course, Ms Gillard did NOT introduce a carbon tax. What she introduced was a carbon trading scheme. Australia's worst polluting companies will be charged twenty three dollars per tonne of carbon that they release into the earth's atmosphere. This is no more a tax than speeding fines are a tax on driving. If you don't want to pay then stop polluting. Mr Abbott has managed to convince half the population that they will be paying the tax directly, maybe he believes it himself. The polluting companies will of course pass the cost of their pollution on to the general public, who by and large are being over compensated in the form of substantial tax cuts and extra family allowance benefits.
Now then. If you really want a tax, here is what Mr Abbott is proposing. In the event (God forbid.) that he becomes Prime Minister he will repeal Ms Gillard's carbon trading legislation, take back the tax cuts and family benefits and pay the polluters not to pollute. Trouble is he'll pay them while they are still polluting, so they'll take their own sweet time in reducing the amount of carbon they're pumping out. Where will these funds come from? The Australian taxpayer - to the tune of approximately one thousand three hundred dollars per tax payer per year. To paraphrase that great alleged tax evader Paul Hogan (aka Crocodile Dundee) "That's not a tax. This is a tax." Mr Abbott has always said that Australia should not be the first to introduce a carbon trading scheme. Well get your head out of your budgie smugglers Tony. Several other nations and some states in the USA already have such schemes that are working very well. And in any case even if Australia was the first, as the planet's worst polluter per head of population we have a responsibility to lead the way.
The amount of hatred that Mr Abbott has stirred up against Ms Gillard is as extraordinary as it is personal. Anti-carbon tax protests have horribly offensive, anti-women sentiments scrawled on placards. "Ditch the Witch" is one of the least obnoxious ones that I can recall. She's been called a Marxist, by people who wouldn't know a Marxist if one kicked them up their bottom passage. She's no more a Marxist that John Howard, Tony Blair or George Dubya, though admittedly George probably thinks a Marxist is a fan of Groucho.
Is this man a Groucho Marxist?
The press are not innocent in this either, particularly the Murdoch sector. Like Tony Abbott, they've chosen to ignore all the respected, reputable scientists who warn us that climate change is real, scientists who use long term data and trends to reach their conclusions. Instead they choose to rely on peculiar rants by "Mr Cash for Comments" Alan Jones, the talk-back radio shock jock and the nutty Lord Monckton. Now of course Mr "Climate change is crap" Abbott is putting forward his own climate change policy. Is he admitting that there is a problem and that humans are damaging our environment? Who knows? One of his positions must be a lie. But then it can't be can it? Ms Gillard is the only politician who tells lies.
Lord Monckton. Tony Abbott's chief climate change adviser
I think the main problem here is that Julia's Australian Labor Party still employs the same PR people who almost lost them the last general election. Who the hell advised her to call the carbon trading scheme a tax?
Look Julia, we have pretty much full employment here in Australia at the moment. Give these fools the sack. They'll soon find a more suitable position - flipping burgers at McDonald's for example. Naturally I will send a copy of this blog post to both Mr Abbott and Ms Gillard, but I don't expect either of them will be interested in the ravings of a fat, furry guinea pig. Even their work experience boys and girls will be too busy emptying wastepaper bins to read it. Still you never know.
Incidentally, it's started already. Brumby's - a major bakery chain here in Australia has been caught telling it's shop managers to bump up the price of bread and to blame to on the carbon tax regardless. To help Mr Abbott here is a further list of things that can be blamed on the carbon tax.
1. The Christchurch earthquake.
2. Australia losing the Ashes cricket series.
3 . Barnaby Joyce
4. Swine flu
5. Clive Palmer's waistline.
Clive Palmer's waistline. Caused by the carbon tax?
Don't say you weren't warmed that this wouldn't be funny.
I think global warming is crap too. My feet are always cold.