‘Stand Toe to Toe, Trade Blow for Blow’

‘Stand up and fight’, sang Husky Miller, dusky pugilist in Carmen Jones, Oscar Hammerstein’s film adaptation of Bizet’s opera Carmen. It’s a sentiment most in the Liberal Party could well ponder.

Stan’ up an’ fight until you hear de bell,
Stand toe to toe,
Trade blow fer blow,
Keep punchin’ till you make yer punches tell,
Show dat crowd watcher know!
Until you hear dat bell,
Dat final bell,
Stan, up an’ fight like hell!”

I have been struggling to find a reason to vote Coalition at the next Federal election, thinking that a spell in the wilderness might be a very good thing.  Unfortunately, it would need to be a long spell, which would necessitate at least two terms of a Labor/Greens government.  Of course, in the natural order of things, we are going to get that anyway, sooner rather than later.

Well, Morrison and his team have now given me one reason to vote Coalition, and it’s a pretty good one – to keep Peter Dutton at the helm in the Defence Department.   I have no doubt that he is the mastermind behind the recently announced AUKUS alliance and the promise of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.  As Defence Minister he is already head and shoulders above most of his predecessors and all of his potential successors, particularly those from the Labor side.

Morrison and his team do get great credit for this initiative and also for the way that the Prime Minister, in particular, has stood up against China.  That has cost us in the short term but, in the longer term, it has provided two benefits – a concerted effort to diversify our export base and a growing general recognition among the wider global community that China can never be trusted or appeased.

But China is not the only wolf at our door.  We are also under serious attack from the global elite that are determined to impose world government upon us, in the name of climate action.

It now seems almost certain that Morrison will crumble and promise (drumroll) Net Zero Emissions by 2050. Let’s call it The Pledge.  Call be cynical, brand me as terminally suspicious, but this has all the appearance of a  quid pro quo for the AUKUS deal, so we have to assess the value of the trade-off.

Chris Kenny recently appeared to be arguing that The Pledge is a meaningless gesture anyway, so why should the government not sign up to it as a political sop to remove at least one obstacle to re-election?  Kenny says 2050 is ten elections away.  There is some merit in this argument.  Ideally, we would make all the right noises in Glasgow and receive all the plaudits, then come away and do what almost every Pledger does – precisely nothing. 

The problem is that not all the Coalition members would accept this approach, given an increasing number are pushing to adopt The Pledge for its own sake.  That number will grow, and they will not be content with a Potemkin Pledge.  Whatever cynical or pragmatic motivation the Coalition leadership used to justify this step backwards, it would be yet another breach in the wall, exploited both from within and without.   It would be adopted with gusto by a future Labor/Greens government and the Opposition could then hardly use it as a differentiation.  

Of course, the next Labor government will sign up to it anyway. One way or another we are going to be stuck with it. 

So perhaps the Coalition could use it as a vehicle to start pushing the nuclear power option.  Morrison and the gang maintain that their emissions reduction strategy is based on technology not tax.  So why not make a virtue out of necessity and provide Australian voters with a clear differentiation on climate?  According to recent polling there is now a sizeable proportion of the population that supports nuclear power. And although the opponents will be vociferous and more than usually deceptive in campaigning against such a proposal, the technical arguments in support of modern modular rectors are almost unassailable. 

That’s where ‘stand up and fight’ comes in.  The inclusion of the nuclear option in our Pledge would probably swing my vote for the Liberals and, as I said, I’m on the verge of walking away from them.  It might just convince enough swinging voters to give them another term.

And if they can muster up the cojones for this, who knows what it might do to those currently weak spines in respect of other demands like pulling the ABC into line and insisting that ministers hold bureaucrats, such as those that infest Education departments, to account.

Order Peter O’Brien’s Bitter Harvest here

17 thoughts on “‘Stand Toe to Toe, Trade Blow for Blow’

  • ianl says:

    Agreed. *If* Morrison should choose to push for nuclear power stations as a desperate counter to insanity, one could choose to hope he meant it. But he is a career politician and will be satisfied with ersatz praise from the hollow people.

    Destroying the technical advance (reliable, affordable electricity) that underpins our civilisation needs a desperate counter. Examining the record of bureaucracies and career politicians reduces that hope, though. Double crossing the bulk of the population in return for a putative seat at the WEF table, replete with the triumphant cries of Halleluha ! from the despicable MSM, seems most likely.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    We also know that a vote against the Coalition is a vote for an effective ALP/Green coalition, and the experience of our idiocrisy here in the ACT ought to prove once and for all that there are fates worse than death.
    We know that the Morrison government are doing well. They have succeeded in annoying the “ghosts”, those political rejects whose narcissism is exceeded only by their demonstrated incompetence.

  • Tezza says:

    Neither a Potemkin pledge nor a nuclear powered one will work, because most of the green left advocates on both sides of politics are talking their own books. Malcolm Turnbull is a key example. They are heavily invested in subsidised renewables, batteries and the like, and they need those subsidies to continue and grow if they are not to do their dough. Reliable (if expensive) nuclear is the last thing they could put up with.

  • Tezza says:

    I should add that a policy to do something with zero prospect of achieving its stated object (altering the path of the global climate) is a waste, whether it be totally unworkable and ruinously expensive (renewables) or merely uneconomic (nuclear).

    Most likely is that a Morrison will seek to demonstrate his net zero ‘vision’ with a ‘plan’, probably featuring green, blue or possibly unicorn-coloured hydrogen.

    We are about to calibrate Adam Smith’s proposition that ‘there’s a lot of ruin in a country’. ‘A lot’ will prove less ruin that Morrison will inflict. Whether Labor and the Greens would impose more or less ruin than that is impossible to forecast.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    This month was the 700th anniversary of the death of author of The Divine Comedy. I hope someone is working on a satirical version, The Carbon Comedy.
    Could there be anything more fanciful – or absurd – than claiming Net Zero “commitments” today will produce “climate stability” and Goldilocks weather – presumably forever and for everyone – decades ahead; or more Machiavellian and fraudulent than monetising the atmosphere,, brainwashing the young and using their hysteria to dupe the public and finally achieve your wealth-redistribution goals?
    As for voting, take a moment to reflect on Mencken’s Laws before putting pen to paper:

    Mencken’s Laws, n., four insights last century by H L Mencken, an American satirist, critic and scholar, relevant to the politicisation of climate change this century. See hobgoblin.
    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. (March, 1922)
    The most dangerous person to any government is the person who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable. (1926)
    The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind. (1949)
    Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong. (16 November, 1917)
    (From The Devil’s Dictionary of Climate Change, George Lexicon, 2018)

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    Much as nuclear power makes sense for Australia, being the only emissions-free baseload power provider which could replace hydrocarbons, this will never happen. Indeed a guarantee that it would not happen was one of three made to secure ALP support for AUKUS and nuclear powered subs. As the subs could be cancelled any time in the next decade by any government that is elected, the guarantee is good until then at least.
    Much like the floating exchange rate, nuclear power would probably have to be introduced by a Labor government to stick, but that would require a statesman with an eye on the national good, and Labor hasn’t had one of those for a generation. What they have instead are parochial politicians with an eye on partisan advantage and a fear of votes bleeding to the Greens.
    Sadly the Libs aren’t much better with the Turnbull-Photios-Kean cabal in NSW with an eye on the trough of renewables subsidies available. MBT was certainly quick off the mark today to rubbish the whole deal, just in case someone (Peter O’Brien for example) came out and suggested if we’re going to get nuclear subs why not also get nuclear power instead of unreliable renewables and put all those subsidies at risk. How such an obviously vain, venal and vindictive politician became a Liberal Prime Minister I’ll never know.

  • pgang says:

    I don’t understand the fixation with nuclear power. More money flushed down the toilet. Electricity is the same no matter what generates it.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    pgang, agreed. My support for nuclear is as a least-bad option if we are intent on replacing fossil fuels. Ideally, we would be sticking with coal.

    Also, I am mystified at all this talk about how hard it would be for us to establish a nuclear energy industry. We import the reactors and the staff.
    Ditto re manning nuclear subs – other than recruiting the numbers required. In terms of everything other than engineering, what is different?

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Thanks Peter,good piece. My own view is that there should be no caving in on something that is based on corrupt science, be it the fallaceous theory that too much CO2 drives the climate,or can even a major factor, and manipulated computer models….all extreme left, politically driven things. Coal, be it black or lignite is our cheapest and best baseload power source and we’ve got hundreds of years supply, without even looking for more. If we can get a nuclear industry going as well that would be good but it’s coal we have to stick with and make no pledges to the contrary. The Prime Minister has some lefties around him who will pressure him to cave in to the false global warming theory, with Minister Hunt the longest running of these I think. As for quid pro quo agreements with Labour I wouldn’t place much store on that. Just remember all the agreements given personally that they’ve all broken…eg between Mr Keating and Hawke and Mr Morrison and the man who appointed him Mr Abbott to take two, albeit anecdotal, instances. Best to stick firmly to the truth and the right thing to do and my advice to PM Morrison would simply be to start surrounding himself with dry conservatives, i.e. right… not wet i.e. left… and don’t get mired in too many tangled webs of deception.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Thanks Peter Marriott,

    my point is that the quid pro quo is to the US and UK, not to Labor

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    Those who argue that nuclear is too expensive for Australia need only to look at France, which made the national transition to about 80% nuclear electricity a few decades ago.
    There is a lot of mental confusion between what is technically possible, what is economically possible and what is politically possible. Back to basics, for Australia to go nuclear is a nothing burger unless you are active in influencing political decisions to satisfy some agenda. Geoff S

  • Daffy says:

    The very concerning sadness of the greenist alarm is the damage it does to the quality of life of those on lower incomes, and its complete disregard for the welfare of the truly poor both here and abroad. The cruelty is compounded by church groups. I read a manifesto of one previously conservative (theologically) denomination that parroted the trash talk of modern eco-socialism with not a crumb of critical evaluation or response. It was the blind being led by the blind, rather than critical analysis of the fundamentals to seek the truth. Something that the church used to have as a value.

    One factor that makes me question a Lib government is the complete absence of criticism from the Libs of Andrews’ thuggish handling of demonstrations by desperate people on ordinary incomes who are watching their lives and livelihoods crumble. The amount of police brutality, the unjustifiable attacks on unarmed demonstrators, and pure contempt for their right to demonstrate is arguably completely unlawful and a national shame that so few politicians have criticised Andrews.

  • joe.moharich says:

    I fear the first couple of rounds may already have been lost.
    The focus on “emissions “ shows that the majority of the Western population has succumbed to the hoax that co2 is a pollutant, rather than a gas essential for life on earth.The zealots no longer acknowledge there is a difference between the gas co2, and carbon, that solid black stuff.
    My federal member (LNP -never had a job outside politics) acknowledges he doesn’t care about the science; he is just representing his constituents and what they believe. The career politician’s prime and principal objective is to retain his seat.In the hope of climbing the party ladder , he will not express a view which might in any way divergent from the party line.
    Instead of focussing on the level of “emissions “ greater efforts must be made to prove that carbon dioxide has no effect on climate. The science is not settled

  • joe.moharich says:

    With both the right and left of the political device having now succumbed to the man made climate change hoax, w I believe I am , what Janet Albrechtson has described as one of the “ politically homeless”
    Even local governments/councils, , whose job is to take care of “ roads & rubbish “ are wasting ratepayers’ money on climate change programs. We realists are a powerless minority.

  • John Cook says:

    I agree with Peter – we will be forced, eventually, to commit to the Pledge. Morrison should do it now & deny the Left the kudos. He should also use it as an opportunity to introduce a nuclear industry.

  • gilmay97 says:

    The climate has never stopped changing and never will — it’s part of natural cosmic cycles of life on earth.
    Is it possible to ask our politicians or someone to explain the thermodynamics of how CO2 changes the climate as it is obvious to many people the percentage of CO2 at 0.04% (400 ppm) is just too minute to have any effect — like trying to melt steel with a match.
    ‘IF’ Manmade CO2 causes climate change — what caused the climate changes for millennia before man’s industrialisation?
    Those who believe CO2 is the cause, should you tell us how — we cannot find any supportive science to the theory.
    In 1915, 104 years ago the Murray River dried up—it has never done that since.
    Explorer, Charles Sturt’s Records show 191 years ago in 1828 it was a blistering 53.9 °C. In January 1896 a savage blast “like a furnace” stretched across Australia from east to west and lasted for weeks. The death toll reached 437 people in the eastern states. Newspaper reports showed that in Bourke the heat approached 48.9°C on three days—long before industrialisation.
    During the Australian Federation Drought 124 years ago from 1895 – 1903 nearly half the nation’s livestock died. Australia experienced 27 drought years between 1788 and 1860, and at least 10 major droughts between 1860 and 2000.
    A 100-year drought destroyed the Mayan empire.
    The Great Drought 144 years ago, and subsequent Global Famine between 1875 and 1878, ravaged India, China and parts of Africa and South America, killed an estimated 50 million people — twice the population of Australia.
    It was warm in Siberia 11,000 years ago, where large herds of animals and mammoths grazed.
    When Eric-the-Red settled Greenland in the Middle Ages much of the continent was ice-free and he called it ‘Greenland’ to encourage Viking migration, southwest Greenland was extensively cultivated for 400 years from 950 until 1425 when farms were suddenly overrun by permafrost 600 years ago. The current ice thawing is revealing frozen farm buildings.
    In 1421 – 598 years ago, a Chinese Imperial Navy squadron sailed right around the Artic and found no ice anywhere.
    North Africa and central Australia once had forests, lakes, and rivers — what caused the climate change? These historic events demonstrate higher natural global temperatures than now. Science teaches that for 30 million years CO2 was 1,200 ppm where life flourished as CO2 is critical plant food, fossils show during that period leaves were larger than now. Will politicians please explain their knowledge of how plants rely on uptake of CO2 to grow.
    No industrialisation or CO2 emissions other than natural earth and volcanic emissions existed back in time, so what caused those climate changes. Would the politicians who are spending billions on this belief please explain their research and present their models to prove their hypothesis — currently there are serious questions being asked about political intelligence.
    Someone must explain how the minute amount of 0.04% (400ppm) in the atmosphere causes climate-change or admit it being a false nonsense — the percentage is just too minute to have any effect — like trying to melt steel with a match.

    The atmosphere consists of Nitrogen at 78%. Oxygen at 21%, Argon at 0.93%, with trace amounts of Neon, Helium, Methane, Krypton and Hydrogen these are not greenhouse gases, and they total 99.9%, leaving 0.1% for the greenhouse gases methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor clouds (H2O).

  • johnflynne says:

    Why not say as the States have signed up we shall adopt China’s proposal at that will allow us time to but all the panels sand turbines from China .lt could even help improve our relations with them.

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