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November 27th 2009 print

David Flint

Rudd-Turnbull Coalition collapses

With the collapse of the Rudd-Turnbull coalition, the Liberal Party must choose a new leader from Liberals of principle, not another deputy to Kevin Rudd.  

The Rudd-Turnbull coalition is dead – don’t revive it 

The Rudd-Turnbull Coalition has collapsed. Malcolm Turnbull went far too far with his claim that the party room supported rushing through the ETS to make Rudd look good at Copenhagen. Clearly they had not.

The story that he had commissioned a Frontier Economics report which demonstrated the cost of the ETS would be more than the government claimed, and did not show it to his backbench but to the government, has to be answered.

Everyone knows that the ETS will have absolutely no effect on the climate. The Liberal Party’s rank and file and its supporters were outraged and let MPs and senators know. The argument that the Liberals should be frightened by the prospect of an ETS double dissolution or indeed election was universally judged unworthy.

Alan Jones, more than anyone else, speaks for conservative Australia – including good number of Labor voters. As Paul Kelly said many years ago, his three and a half hour breakfast programme on Sydney radio 2GB is required listening for anyone wanting to understand politics in Australia. It is also the highest rating such programme in the nation. He discusses – in well researched in depth and robust analyses – issues the mainstream media are too frightened or too politically correct to raise.

Unusually, Alan Jones put an online poll on his Sydney radio 2GB site on Friday 27 November. The question was "Should the federal Opposition be supporting the government’s ETS legislation?" The result was 97% NO and 3% YES. But within minutes the site – for the first time – crashed. Despite attempts to restore service, it continued to collapse. The reason is obvious. There were far too many people wanting to register their outrage against the machinations of the Rudd-Turnbull coalition.

In the meantime the tide is turning against the global warming extremists, as demonstrated in the recent Morgan Poll and the Newspoll of marginal Queensland seats. The reasons are at least two.

First, thanks to the hackers who broke into a leading anthropogenic global warming science research centre in the UK, we know they have been engaged in the most appalling practices which one Australian scientist MP, Dr Jensen, says may lead to some going to gaol.

From the emails we have confirmation that the climate is just not behaving as the multimillion – perhaps multi billion dollar computer modelling had predicted. Rather than reveal this, they engaged in a series of conspiracies to hide the truth, and to ensure that honest scientists were denied access to scientific forums. 

Instead of reporting this in much of the mainstream media or debating it in the Parliament, we still have politicians and commentators talking about “the science” and ridiculing anyone who has the temerity to require normal standards of scientific inquiry. "The science" indeed. This recalls the Lysenko scandal in Russia when Stalin and the communists enforced an entirely fraudulent scientific thesis. In the meantime a paper by an Australian scientist not endorsing the official line which the CSIRO tried to ban has been tabled in the Senate.

The second reason for the downturn in support for an ETS is that some in the media are beginning to tell the public that this will personally cost voters enormously with no benefit whatsoever – except for the usual carpet baggers. For the first time, on 25 November, the front page of the high circulating Sydney newspaper the Daily Telegraph revealed the massive out of pocket costs of the ETS. But many Australians still do not know how it will impoverish future generations of Australians. They would in any election. Even the campaigning global warming media could not stop that.

The ALP should not feel superior to the Liberal Party in its plight. As ALP pollster Rod Cameron warns, once the electorate realises the cost – to say nothing of the total lack of benefits – support will evaporate. Indeed Alan Jones revealed information that ALP MP’s were being inundated with protests against the ETS too.    

The important thing is the Liberals in the Senate follow the lead of those courageous shadow ministers and others who have resigned their offices in the Coalition. Supporting a government motion to guillotine the ETS through would be seen as unforgivable treachery. 

The only way the Liberal party can do what the rank and file demand is choose a leader who will allow the Party to do its clear duty- at least delay the bills if not reject them altogether. On his own word that can no longer be Malcolm Turnbull. Joe Hockey would be an unwise choice- he is too inclined to be some sort of deputy to Kevin Rudd.

The choice for the Liberals of a new leader lies between those principled Liberals who have resigned as well as one senator who was in fact dismissed by Malcolm Turnbull, Senator Bernardi. Doing otherwise will only ensure a continuation of what Malcolm Turnbull has offered, a de facto coalition with the Rudd government.

In any election, the electors would treat such an opposition with contempt.