It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
he was never reasoned into. Jonathan Swift
There are some ideas so wrong that only
a very intelligent person could believe in them. George Orwell
It was a toss-up this week as to whether to think Jonathan Swift or George Orwell. Was this week something out of Gulliver’s Travels or Nineteen Eighty-Four? Were we in Lilliput or Oceania? Had Big Sister gone completely nuts, and lost it? Had those little Green men and women taken over completely? Were we about to enter the world of turning “cucumbers into sunbeams” or was it to be the concept that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal that others”?
Without doubt, Julia Gillard lost control of the government. It is now in the hands of the Greens and the environmentalists and it appears that all we can do is grin and bare it. We have entered a world where three politicians, Bob Brown, Christine Milne and a former lawyer from Slater and Gordon are now in control of the political agenda of this country. The once proud Labor Party has been reduced to a pip-squeak. Is this what all you ALP voters had in mind on August the 21st.
Me thinketh not!
Did you true-believers really imagine that the top priorities of the new 2010 parliament would be, in this order; Euthanasia, Gay Marriage, Poker Machines, upping the GST and a look at various schemes to increase the cost of electricity by 100%? Silly you! You thought the parliament might be trying to sort out various Rudd messes like waste in the school BER buildings debacle or sorting out the mysteries of the NBN. Perhaps even getting the issue of illegal migration into some sort of controllable order. Sorting out health issues? In your wildest dreams did you think that the government would be considering turning off the tap to ensure that about 20% of our food production would whither on the vine or shrivel in parched earth? Er, would that be the new Scorched Earth Policy?
The really big Orwellian idea that swung into operation this week was the Brown/Milne/Bandt Carbon Tax Committee. Trying to think of where I had heard of a place that had set up a scientific committee to examine an argument whereby only people who agreed to that argument were allowed to participate, I kept coming back the Academy in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The place where they were trying to solve a climate-change problem with cucumbers. Or did “computer modeling” by turning a handle in a box filled with random words. This is a government “scrabbling” for words — and ideas.
That Julia Gillard could fall for such a contrived notion was extraordinary. She tried a wedge by inviting the Coalition to nominate two members —conditional, on that they believed in climate change and a carbon tax. Now that’s Orwellian. Then she decided not to appoint Senator Nick Xenophon on instructions from Christine Milne. If nothing else, Senator Christine can spot a Trojan Horse in the Co2 atmosphere. But the notion of setting up a committee with only members who agree on a controversial proposal is a bit like selecting a jury with only members who believe the accused is guilty. Clever you, Julia and Christine. Sort of “the verdict is settled”, let’s get on with sentencing.
But the elephant/gorilla/pile-of-coal in the room is…the pile-of-coal! No economist or environmentalist — or Green pixie — has ever explained the Riddle of the Coal. Which is:
Why do we export millions of tons of carbon-producing coal to China and India, and billions of liters of carbo-producing LNG to Japan and Korea — which produces billions of tons of CO2 from these exports — but we only get excited by the fraction of this coal and gas that we use ourselves?
And, clever us, if we follow the Jillard/Milne/Brown/Bandt Carbon Tax proposal — we are going to tax ourselves senseless. Sounds a bit like the old fashioned self-flagellation. Or the relief of guilt — or the forgiveness of sins. As George Orwell said; “Double think means the power of hold two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
As Tony Abbott warned repeatedly the Gillard government is going to be a big taxing government. A really big, big taxing government. The Gillard/Green/ Independent parliament will be aiming at an increase in the GST, a mining tax, a carbon tax and a way to cover their health promises — upping the Medicare levy.
To paraphrase the John Paul Young song:
Tax is in the air, in the whisper of the trees,
Tax is in the air, in the rising of the Sun,
And I don’t know if I’m being foolish,
Don’t know if I’m being wise,
But it’s something that I must believe in,
And it’s there when I look in your eyes … Julia.
Hold on to your wallets, comrades!