Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

NATION: Not easy being Green …

*Pic: Tony Abbott, then PM, samples an onion (seriously …).

First published July 3

“It’s not that easy being green …” sings Kermit, the sage of Sesame Street, a truth NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon helps her party revisit in a wild week of backstabbing, slagging, poodle-poking and character assassination as our federal MPs let it all hang out in the bare-knuckle, free for all stoush that is our nation’s endless quest for effective, decorous and representative political leadership.

“When it comes to political white-anting, Lee is the Greens’ version of Tony Abbott,” says Bob Brown. Ouch.

In January, he bagged Rhiannon’s moves to challenge the party’s direction under Richard Di Natale’s leadership.

Rhiannon wants her mob to follow Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn and stress its left-wing policies on economic redistribution. She leads a debate between her “Eastern Bloc” on the party’s left and the more conservative environmentalists or “Tree Tories” who currently suck up to an anti-greenie government.

It’s a tough gig. Pilloried by MSM for her socialist parents, profiled by ASIO as a subversive revolutionary and attacked as a Leninist-Stalinist by News Corp’s Gerard Henderson – who also falsely accused her of being a communist, Rhiannon was asked by Bob Brown to quit the senate last July – just a month after being elected.

In response, the senator accuses her former leader of resenting that NSW preselected candidates are not his preferred nominees. Yet, in an open season of sniping and undermining, she is accused of betrayal. Brown says the rules provide for her to be expelled from the Greens’ Party Room and even to lose her party membership.

A case is building against her. Last week, all nine of her federal colleagues accused Rhiannon of undermining them over school funding negotiations after she distributed a leaflet in Sydney’s inner west against the deal.

The NSW Greens see Gonski 2:0 as a con. It’s neither needs-based nor sector blind. In fact, it guarantees 80 % of federal funds to the wealthy, private system. It has been imposed without state or public school consultation.

… they do make her a top scapegoat …

Rhiannon says the pamphlet is a local initiative. She has done nothing wrong. Her protests will, doubtless, come to little but they do make her a top scapegoat. Many teachers will see NSW as the only Greens to get it right.

Beneath all the fuss and alongside the left and right divisions, a grassroots party controlled by members struggles against the power imposed by few at the top in what John Passant calls a battle for the soul of The Greens.

An ugly public brawl ensues. Bugger consensus politics. Di Natale generously tells the Left Renewal faction their anti-capitalist rhetoric is ridiculous and that they should join another party. Critics accuse Di Natale of shaping The Greens into a potential coalition partner for the Liberals; point to his record of support for Coalition legislation.

Rhiannon is disappointed in Richard’s leadership, she tells Barrie Cassidy, on ABC Insiders, Sunday. Rather than explore the issue, Cassidy is keen to seek more details of the conflict but, like Kermit, the senator is philosophical.

“Sometimes democracy is messy”, says Rhiannon. She wins this week’s Golden Litotes for understatement of the week. Her thought is echoed and debased by Tony Abbott who proposes streamlining democracy to fix Senate obstructionism and resolve deadlock through a joint sitting of both houses to pass deadlocked bills.

Australia “increasingly resembles Italy”, facing chronic changes of PM and an inability to get things done, the MP whose career in and out of The Lodge is a byword for instability and policy paralysis Abbott explained straight-faced to a South Australian Young Liberals Federal Convention in Adelaide in February.

Or the UK. The young Libs may have lost a little sparkle as results filtered in at their UK Election champagne breakfast 9 June. Thank God guest speaker, nuclear lobbyist Haydon Manning was on hand to liven things up.

… leaders who fearlessly shirtfront the onion …

Manning is all too happy to help. Our nation’s politics is vastly enriched by an ever-growing army of lobbyists, think-tankers, bold ideas-men and women and former leaders who fearlessly shirtfront the onion of democracy.

The Centre for Independent Studies, for example, helped inspire Tony Abbott to cut the last two years of Gonski – for public schools, while continuing to fund the private system, a favouring of privilege continued in Gonski 2.0. Research Fellow Simon Cowan, one of its policy wonks, whipped up a nifty monograph on nuclear subs, too.

Then there’s “green lawfare”. An IPA and mining industry campaign against environmental groups raged under Abbott. It continues under Turnbull. What constitutes an “environmental organisation” will be redefined to strip such groups of their charitable status and is an “attack on Australian democracy”, warn legal experts.

The IPA would like to see environmental groups denied all government funding, a position they articulated in 2011. Their services to tidying up democracy, Abbott-style include selling the federal government the idea of imposing restrictions on advocacy, such as gag clauses and threats to curtail groups’ advocacy activities.

Emily Howie, a Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre warns:

“A thriving democracy needs an informed public debate with a range of voices. However, governments are making it clear to charities that work with families and communities doing it tough, that if they speak out about government policy, their ongoing funding will be put in jeopardy.”

Apart from the threat to free speech, the ban on advocacy adds another dimension; another layer of urgency to the Greens’ current existential struggle to maintain its own traditional social and environmental advocacy.

Greens’ harakiri or ritual disembowelment is just a warm-up act, however, to the hype, the trash-talk and the stare-downs of the World Championship Wrestling theatrics of our federal MPs who eye-gouge, hair pull and scissor-kick viciously in a desperate, no-holds-barred, last-ditch bid to upstage each other. Or worse.

… a self-promoting attention-seeker and professional wrecker …

Exterminate. Exterminate. Top of the bill is Dalek Abbott, a self-promoting attention-seeker and professional wrecker, programmed to destroy his nemesis Malcolm Turnbull in a fit of pathological hatred and payback.

A one-man opposition party, a self-described “whirling dervisher”, Abbo busts a gut this week to bag his nemesis Malcolm Turnbull, even if he has to destroy the Liberal Party in the process. He pulls out all the stops.

It’s a multi-faceted act. Upstage so far he’s in danger of being electrocuted by the footlights, Abbott promises to build new coal-fired power stations and freeze migration. A true-blue Rinehart Cowboy, he will Make Australia Work again by opening more mines, cutting government spending and scrapping his own renewable energy target. Best of all he dog whistles up our safety. No more known jihadists will run loose in our streets.

Wait. There’s more. Nuclear submarines. Raising the nation’s awareness of relevance deprivation disorder, wacky weirdo Abbott easily wins our public service award. His brave stand-up comic routine, Permission to Lower the Scope is fittingly staged by his loyal supporters at the Centre for Independent Studies, Thursday, in its leak-proof Sydney think tank. Tony goes off like a frog in a sock. The CIS love him. How he adds to the national conversation.

Tony’s all for nuclear submarines, all week, although Defence Minister, Marise Payne is unconvinced. She’s right. Abbott had ample time to declare himself a fan of floating reactors well before his prime ministership sank before the end of its maiden voyage. He just wants to scuttle Turnbull. Party-pooper Payne fires a salvo across his bows.

“We don’t have a civil nuclear industry, we don’t have the personnel or the experience or infrastructure, we don’t have the training facilities or regulatory systems that you would need to design to operate to construct a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines,” she says.

Apart from that, Tony, you know all this. You made the call. Remember. When you were briefly PM. Ouch again.

… gospel truth is those carefully prepared scripted remarks …

“What we are in fact doing is delivering the plan to acquire the plan that was set out and agreed by Tony Abbott and his team in 2015,” she says. It’s a forlorn appeal to a former PM who put the flip into flip flop commitment, the MP who warned Kerry O’Brien that he often lied – “gospel truth is those carefully prepared scripted remarks”

For Fairfax’s Jason Wilson, who builds a case that Abbott is a loose unit, “This was not only a blunder, but a revelation of the kind of confessional impulse that needs a national stage. After a while, you start to feel like a therapist, sitting in silence while Abbott regales us with his symptoms.”

In fact, as PM, Abbott ignored a sub submission from Australia’s peak defence industry group in May 2015. Australian Industry Group Defence Council chairman Chris Jenkins and Australian chief of French Industry giant Thales, told him to reconsider a nuclear option for replacing the ageing Collins class subs. It remains a great pitch.

No need to worry about having no local nuclear plant. New subs are so efficient they almost never require maintenance. No need to build if you don’t want to. Just lease a few of the bastards off the yanks. Trained crew? These babies practically steer themselves. What could possibly go wrong?

Now, torn by regret, lyrically, ever the tragic ham, Abbott cries. “Not more robustly challenging the nuclear no-go mindset is probably the biggest regret I have from my time as PM.” It’s pure, dramatic, poetry in a performance guaranteed to heighten anyone’s sense of the cruel suffering inflicted on those deprived of relevance.

His biggest regret? Even by Abbott’s yardstick, it’s an utterly incredible claim. But the CIS can’t get enough of him.

A powerful right wing lobby group which styles itself an Australian Libertarian think tank, the CIS is a big wheel in the oxymoron of Australian conservative politics. Tony’s no Tory; more of a radical ratbag with a grab bag of soundbite ideas. Some are socialist. Take state coal power. Yet his attention-seeking is a win-win for both parties.

… notoriously difficult to brief …

Like the IPA, which set most of the Abbott government’s agenda, the CIS also keeps its donors’ names secret but it will get great mileage out of publicising the former PM’s nuclear conversion as evidence of its capacity to influence even those of our political class, like Trump, who are notoriously difficult to brief in anything but sketch outlines.

In return, Abbott is able to strut his stuff, this week, in front of both IPA and CIS, Australia’s most conservative and influential think tanks. The exposure can do his campaign no harm. A successful spill is impossible, he has only a handful of backers, but his regular sniping and undermining helps Turnbull toward the magic 30 dud News Polls.

Showing off his capacity as a quick nuclear study is a bonus for Abbott. His game plan is to highlight Turnbull’s not so secret plan to convert to nuclear its diesel submarines from French builder DCNS, despite no conversion ever having been done. The hulls are shaped differently. Some experts doubt it can be done.

The first DCNS Shortfin Barracuda submarine is not scheduled until the 2030s. Whilst the late delivery gives plenty of time to work out a solution to the retrofitted nuclear propulsion problem, it also means that the Collins subs will have to remain in service until the 2040s, becoming less safe as they age and requiring expensive refits.

Technical issues alone mean the whole project is a huge blunder, according to Jon Stanford a director of Insight Economics and past head of the Industries Division in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“If you asked someone to devise a new submarine program with the highest risk factors at every stage, you could not have done a much better job. It will almost certainly end in tears and possibly a catastrophe,” a senior defence official told The Daily Telegraph in September last year.

Yet with a commitment to a drawing – “the development of a detailed design” – only at this stage, it is not too late to change course and Abbott knows this. He is also counting on causing maximum embarrassment to his PM.

Some unkind souls also interpret Abbott’s nuclear submarine proposal as revenge on Christopher Pyne, who, in a late night session at The Star Casino’s Cherry Bar has confirmed what the conservatives have always believed is Malcolm’s secret plan to turn the Liberal Party to the left. It’s all about legalising same-sex marriage. And more.

… the modern world is a leftist plot against them

Marriage equality has become the proxy for the struggle in the Liberal Party between right and left. It also acts to focus the fear and rage of those Liberals who instinctively retreat from change; those whose lack of adaptive capacity leaves them open to a rampant paranoia that the modern world is a leftist plot against them.

Pyne’s indiscreet comments assuring gay marriage supporters of a victory sooner than later are calculated to offend and enrage those conservatives who remain resolutely opposed to change and suspicious of Turnbull.

It also provides Abbott with a receptive host for his wormholes as he continues his white-anting of Turnbull.

Posing as a conservative, he’s happy to coin a new breed of Liberal to make it clear that he’s making up a deficit in the current government. Not only is he self-sacrificing, he’s duty bound to continue indefinitely.

“I’m in no hurry to leave public life because we need strong Liberal conservative voices now, more than ever.”

For his part, Turnbull makes it clear that he is not going to hang around. Sunday he announces that he will leave parliament should he no longer be PM.

Some claim that Abbott’s strategy has all gone awry because his week of Turnbull-bashing has not led to a conservative uprising. If anything he’s been met with a chorus of put downs from those on the right.

Peter Dutton is wheeled out to claim “the Liberal Party operates at its optimum when we do have a broad church, when we do have people across the spectrum”, and that it was good to have a diversity of views in cabinet because “you have a more rounded discussion” and better decisions as a result.

Better decisions? Turnbull takes to listing his government’s achievements on social media. It’s a thin list which includes the Gonski 2.0 makeover boosted as a new plan for education funding and contentious visa reforms. “Plans for an intervention on gas exports” are counted as achievements. And of course there is that magic faraway tree of action on a second Sydney airport.

Dutton’s defence and Turnbull’s list are as unconvincing their own way as Abbott’s manifesto, a big bucket-list gig routine featuring a good half-dozen bad ideas, or flip-flops and snappy, empty platitudes and hollow slogans.

Other coalition members during the week do their best to bring the rogue to heel. Some point out his contradictions. His advocacy of things he never stood for before. None will succeed. The ultimate test of his case against Turnbull’s ineffectual and indecisive leadership lies in what he can get away with. He’s made it clear this week that he will continue as long as it takes to exact his revenge on the man who deposed him.

Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, tells Abbott he can’t reinvent the past. It’s a futile reproach. As a former follower of BA Santamaria, Wilson points out, Abbott is necessarily committed to living and thinking totally against the grain of the present, and dreaming of an impossible restoration of the past.

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

The Conversation: Note to Liberals: on the leadership front, best to keep calm and carry on

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Keith Antonysen

    July 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Some of the matters impacting on the Greens, LNP and other Political Parties are similar; though for different reasons. Abbott supports an extreme right wing ideology; more moderate forces are in control in NSW. Abbott says he wants to democratise the NSW LNP, apparently believing that those holding an extreme neo con ideology are discouraged from joining the Party.
    It could be seen as Branch stacking.

    The Greens formed out of various Environmental groups where decision making came broadly from the leadership, though all members shared similar goals. In NSW the Greens apparently formed from a more democratically based grouping of people.

    The leadership style appears till now to be the dominant way Parties operate. Whereas, having a democratic based Party gives a sense of members being involved in matters being legislated in Parliament.
    Arguably the two styles of Party are almost mutually exclusive.

    Membership of Parties comes from a broad group of people holding various views. Theoretically Political Parties hold a Philosophy which is endorsed by the membership.
    Even in Tasmania the issue between a democratised Party and a leadership type Party has come to the fore through a Parliamentary member having a spat with a group of Labor Party members.

    When nuanced negotiations are taking place between Political Parties it is not feasible to gain constant feed back from Political Party members. A problem increasing with the size of the Party.

    How to meld views of the membership of a Political Party with the day to day running within Parliament is a vexed matter for all Parties. Thrown into the mix are powerful lobby groups who provide huge donations with the clear expectation of decisions being made in their favour. Those lobby group decisions may go again democratic wishes of membership of a Party.

    In my view, Politicians need to have the ability to have a conscience vote, they also need to take into account views of members; though, how to juggle competing interests is almost impossible. Its a problem also faced by One Nation where an aggressive leadership style of operating is quite apparent causing fracturing between the leadership and members.

    Some thoughts after reading about how the Republican Party has been taken over by orchestrated social engineering in the community.
    This is the latest example of a process begun decades ago, not just by religious groups:

    https://www.autostraddle.com/i-was-trained-for-the-culture-wars-in-home-school-awaiting-someone-like-mike-pence-as-a-messiah-367057/amp/

  2. Claire Gilmour

    July 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Perhaps the 1st of July should become the National divide and bag the political party day!?

    Apparently the Tasmanian Labor Party doesn’t want to be left out of the internal conflict frenzy.

    Seemingly the public is supposed to vote for the party – not the individual representative!?!

    Why then does not the ballot paper say simply vote 1 for the particular party and do away with individual representatives … I’m sure the party chiefs would love that!

    Without an individual representative conscience there is no democracy.

    The internal divisions, recriminations, scapegoating in nearly all political parties in the last few years has shown the disarray – how the political party structure is a failure for democratic representation. They are consuming themselves and the people they are supposed to represent.

    ….

    Motion moved at ALP state conference to punish MPs who vote against the party platform

    BLAIR RICHARDS, Mercury

    July 2, 2017 9:24pm

    INTERNAL tensions have marred this weekend’s ALP state conference at George Town after a motion was moved calling for Labor MPs to be punished if they vote against the party platform.

    The move has been viewed as an attempt by the Tasmanian party’s dominant Left faction to berate state MPs who voted against euthanasia during a recent conscience debate in State Parliament.

    Members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly recently took part in the conscience debate on a new voluntary assisted dying Bill co-sponsored by Labor MP Lara Giddings and Greens leader Cassy O’Connor.

    Right-faction Labor MPs Madeleine Ogilvie and David Llewellyn and new Braddon MP Shane Broad voted against the Bill on conscience.

    However, a motion on Labor’s state conference agenda by the party’s Left-aligned Macquarie branch said the National Constitution of the Party was the sole determinant of whether an issue could be the subject of a conscience vote, with the only two issues being abortion and marriage.

    This weekend’s motion, approved by the Left’s overwhelming numbers at the conference, called for “appropriate disciplinary action” to be taken against MPs who did not vote along party lines on issues such as euthanasia in the future.

    Disciplinary action could include expulsion from the party.

    Opposition leader Rebecca White said before the conference she was confident Labor MPs had been entitled to a conscience vote on the euthanasia Bill.

    Premier Will Hodgman described attempts by some inside Labor to force elected members to toe the Left’s line on sensitive issues as “disturbing”.

    “They are talking about three sitting Labor MPs who voted against voluntary euthanasia in our Parliament, as is their right, but the Labor Party machine says if you do it again we are likely to expel you. That demonstrates Labor aren’t a team, that they will not allow freedom of expression,” Mr Hodgman said.

    Vitriol against Ms Ogilvie in particular spilt over on to social media, with United Voice unionist Jannette Armstrong disputing Ms Ogilvie’s statement that she has a right to vote the way she chooses in Parliament having been elected by the people.

    “This statement is the antithesis of what it means to be Labor,” Ms Armstrong posted.

    She said it was the party that got candidates elected, not the individual candidates themselves.

    Federal Bass MP Ross Hart agreed, posting: “I’m elected by the policies Labor puts forward and the hard work of countless volunteers.”

    Ms Ogilvie declined to comment yesterday.

    Comments

    Leveller
    Day one, and it’s on! Labor’s Right V The Unions. Aahh well, nothing’s changed and at least we know what we’re getting when we vote Labor.

    Sarah
    The Premier would probably be best advised to keep quiet, given his own party’s record in the Federal forum on the equally “sensitive issue” of marriage equality.

    Nicholas
    Ah this is great. Straight from Stalinist central planning. No dissent or out the back and a bullet is put through the back of the neck by the party commissar.
    Makes me quite nostalgic for the old days….

    NoelP
    Just why cannot people vote in parliament the way that they want to or the way that their constituents want them to rather than having to vote as per some determined party line. Seems that the party is divided anyway. This is school yard bullying stuff by some. I come from a long time Labor family but I’m not a Labor [nor Liberal and definitely not Green] supporter any more as the major parties have simply lost their way and are no longer about the people but rather about what they can get and who they can bully into submission. Crazy stuff but what about the real people the voters….. Who looks after them certainly not the main party people that’s for sure.

  3. William Boeder

    July 2, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Surely there is some strong personality type that dwells in the midst of their “only for their rich and the corporate sector wealthy) that could advise the irrepressible Tony, in the hope that he can convince ‘this assassin within their financial donor recipient party’ that he’s not of their stamp any more, simply because his actual relevance is little more than a waste of good oxygen for he is of no further benefit to Australian society.
    On the other hand the scarcity of news that should see the media push for a far better Australia, instead of this corporate media species are blindly following up on the doggerel of how Abbott might (with his contradictory and constant own little micro style of blathering) be the cause preventing any hope of progress toward a better Australia.
    The Liberals clinging to their government leadership role (as anything other than a begging money conduit to reap all available largesse to feed its no-longer-democratic-fat-cat-party) should invent an ambassadorial role for the noisome Tony then provide a posting to a small island republic on the other side of the World far distant from Australia.

  4. Robert LePage

    July 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    I imagine that the “brains ” in the Lib party are in a backroom somewhere, frantically working out how to use the fleet of submarines that are going to soak up all the spare cash for years, to kill ISIS members.
    One school of thought is to dig canals across Iraq and into Syria to allow the subs to steam across the badlands and shoot their torpedoes as they go.
    The apposing idea is to put them on a large boat trailer and drag them around till they find the enemy.
    Whichever way they go they will not get a lot of help from the “new” F-35 Turkeys that are going to become available by the end of the century.
    They are already so out of date that they are being divided up amongst the museums of the world.

  5. john Hayward

    July 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Some may have dropped their jaws at Laura Tingle declaration that Trump is no conservative. I have the same reaction to hearing Tony described as no Tory.

    Isn’t the defining trait of political conservatism, not a hidebound if oportunistic conventionality, but a generally ruthless impulse to impose one’s own interests on others, even if it often entails breathtaking hypocrisy? Were Pol Pot, Mussolini, Stalin and the IS leadership not ultra- conservatives?

    I’m convinced our Tony’s a real conservative, and could well be an ultra if given more freedom, opportunity, and straight rights to the head.

    John Hayward

  6. Claire Gilmour

    July 3, 2017 at 1:17 am

    The question needs to be asked …

    What and Who do You Vote For?

    A Party?
    A Policy(s)?
    A Representative?

    Perhaps it is time those who stand for election outline their own policy direction/agendas?

    Perhaps there needs to be a questionnaire that each of those standing for election should be made to answer so that constituents actually know what it is these people are standing for?

    Political parties rely on confusion – deliberately try to confound the masses with one hand says this, one hand does that, all the while hoping that a key word/line will resonate in the argy bargy to the people to get enough winning votes for the party. Biggest advertising scam ever!

    http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/tanya-plibersek-will-not-back-nsw-labor-motion-to-recognise-palestine/ar-BBDDUVw?ocid=spartanntp

  7. Chris

    July 3, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Tony will get the terrorists off the street, will he publish pictures of the?
    Do they all have red hair and handflap?
    Publish or be dammed !

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    July 3, 2017 at 2:01 am

    There is no doubt in my mind Tony Abbott is doing some “ultra critical” and absolutely essential politicing for the Liberals to ensure that the Turnbull government goes to the next election with a worthy and nationally acceptable energy direction across the nation!

    “Coal plants cheaper than Renewables bill”.
    The construction of a new high efficiency low emissions coal fired power station, being considered by the Turnbull government would cost $2.2bn– considerably less than the $3bn of subsidies handed out to renewable projects each year, a new technical study shows.

    With Australians facing massive hikes in their electricity and gas bills following moves by energy companies over the weekend to increase bills by up to 20 per cent, Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure to deliver relief for households, small businesses and manufacturers.

    New analysis, compiled by power and energy sector specialists GHD and Solistice Development Services, reveals it would cost $2.2bn to build a 1000MW Ultra-Supercritical (USC) coal power plant and that it would deliver the cheapest electricity on the market.

    All Australians should realise by now the nation faces an energy crisis due to governments’ inaction to replace older dated coal fired BASE LOAD plants with newer plants that can provide for a stable electricity market!

    As far as I know there has been no attempt for suitable replacement plants to replace Hazelwood in Victoria and Northern in South Australia!
    Renewables support under these circumstances is misleading and undermines energy supply integrity.

  9. Keith Antonysen

    July 3, 2017 at 11:21 am

    “Clean coal” or (Carbon Capture and Storage or Ultra-Supercritical) is being sold as a technology that has been established. Carbon Capture and Storage had been discussed in the last IPCC Report though no plants had been built.

    From one of emails received today:

    Mississippi Power is about to scrap a “clean coal” plant”.

    Quote:

    “Further, Southern warned that it may record a $3.4 billion loss for the project in the second quarter of 2017, depending on how negotiations with state utility regulators unfold.”

    Also:

    “Plans for the Kemper project were first announced by Southern Co. in December, 2006. Over a decade later, the power plant is still not fully up and running and its price tag has spiked from $1.8 billion then to $7.5 billion now – making it one of the most expensive power plants per megawatt ever built in the U.S.”

    The article displays real experience, not thought bubbles.

    https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/06/28/breaking-southern-co-officially-yanks-plug-kemper-clean-coal-power-plant-warns-it-may-recognize-loss-3-4-billion?utm_source=dsb newsletter

  10. Lynne Newington

    July 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Whether acknowledged as such or not, one jewel in the Green’s crown deserving plaudits is NSW MP David Shoebridge. Between himself, Walkely Award winner Joanne McCarthy and Det.Peter Fox…… David’s last public statement wouldn’t be welcome to many.http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4745417/schools-breached-gravest-contracts-of-all/

  11. TGC

    July 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    So often we hear- and certainly read on TT- that parliamentarians are elected to represent the views of the people who elect them.
    The recent (July 1-3) Labor Party Conference – demonstrated the difficulty of putting that into practice. On the one hand ‘ bound by the Party’ – on the other ‘free to express a conscience vote’
    And anger at that Conference showed a significant number in the Labor Party are reluctant/opposed to ‘consciennce voting’
    Whither, therefore, ‘representing (all) their constituents?
    As it happens I prefer the structure of ‘Party’ pollies and will accept- even if sometimes very reluctantly- that their ‘vote’ won’t represent my view.
    But I oppose the idea of a Party that handcuffs the elected representatives of (all) the people in an electorate to it’s straight-jacket policies.

  12. Lynne Newington

    July 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    @11. If Catholics it wouldn’t be surprising, theirs are supposed to be formed and well informed according to the authority of the church as a moral teacher and former/informer of conscience.
    Conscience more than a GPS: Bishop Fisher

    That’s why it took an atheist prime minister to call for the Royal Commission……
    And Tony Abbott?

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-criticised-for-supporting-priest-20130324-2gnjm.html

  13. O'Brien

    July 4, 2017 at 11:10 am

    methinks it get harder & harder to find objective words. Here’s a link to a recent Jimmy Carter audience;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhebmG148Zo

  14. Lynne Newington

    July 4, 2017 at 9:11 pm

  15. Keith Antonysen

    July 8, 2017 at 1:04 am

    A coal CEO has acknowledged that “clean coal” or carbon capture and storage is far more expensive than other forms of energy.

    ““Carbon capture and sequestration does not work. It’s a pseudonym for ‘no coal,’” the CEO of Murray Energy, the country’s largest privately held coal-mining company, told E&E News.”

    https://thinkprogress.org/clean-coal-isnt-real-eda3e2841060

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