They’re crazy but as they see it only half as crazy as Labor

The PM, in today’s Oz:

Scott Morrison has said Labor’s 45 per cent emissions reduction target would lead to the closure of every coal-fired power station in Australia.

The Prime Minister said electricity prices were starting to drop and would continue to do so under the government’s policies.

“The alternative is Labor will put into law 45 per cent emissions reduction target, the target we have that has been the commitment of the government for many years now of 26 per cent, that won’t have a material impact on electricity prices, that is my advice,” Mr Morrison told 5AA radio.

“But to take it to 45 per cent would pretty much shut down every coal fired power station in the country, it would increase people’s power bills by about $1400 on average for every single household.”

Meanwhile, from someone self-identifying as the Minister for the Environment, promising to do what cannot be done:

One of my responsibilities as the new Minister for Environment is to ensure Australia remains on track to meet our international commitments.

To be clear on this, Australia will meet our Paris emissions target without compromising the economy. Our approach remains the best way to meet our 2030 target. No country in the world is relying on a single policy. This is the responsible approach to policy, as is reviewing your existing policies to ensure they are meeting your objectives.

The Emissions Reduction Fund — a $2.55 billion investment — is one of the tools we are using to reduce emissions. The ERF has contracted with farmers, landholders and indigenous communities to deliver practical investment in our helping regional communities while reducing emissions.

The message: we are only half as crazy as Labor.

This suicidal infighting is a madness

The Liberal Party left are like the left in general, lacking moral scruples, but with a will to power without a shred of policy sense. It’s not as if Malcolm were doing anything other than leading them to certain defeat on behalf of policies that should almost entirely be the province of the Labor Party. The open borders mentality of the left will almost by itself sink Australia as we know it into oblivion the moment they make it into government. And then there is global warming to push us down even more. But as big a fool as I have always thought of Malcolm, not to mention my disgust at his policy judgement, he was the leader of the non-Labor side of politics and that was that. Criticism of a leader is not seeking to sink the ship but drilling holes in the hull is. With the change of leader, the disgusting disloyalty to party and the party room’s decision by so many among the Liberals is repulsive.

Here are the issues of the moment. Any “Liberal” who finds these hard to accept in public are full-on leftists who found a sinecure in a party on the right but have no understanding of what is required if our way of life is to survive. Here’s a shortlist of what it requires for a party of the right to succeed in today’s political world:

  • strongest imaginable support for closed borders to self-selected migrants
  • defence of Western civilisation and our way of life
  • deep scepticism of man-made global warming as an issue of any substance
  • strong opposition to all efforts to ruin one’s own economy to fix the non-existent AGW non-problem
  • full and unequivocal support for free enterprise and opposition to crony capitalist ventures funded by governments
  • support for a strengthening of national defence against foreign aggression with maintenance of the American alliance the top priority.

A political party is filled with hatreds – diversity is seldom anyone’s strength. If there are policy differences, by all means discuss these and let us hear what they are. But this suicidal infighting is a madness that puts everything at risk

Going but not quite gone

This morning The Oz front page was about the PRESENT Prime Minister in communication with the FORMER Prime Minister: PM tells Turnbull: back off. Good, and whether it was “back off” or something similar, that is exactly right. In honour of this moment I have dredged up the post I wrote just after the last election: Australia’s Jonestown massacre. To save you the trouble of going to the link, this is what it said:

Do those political morons who led the coup really believe that the result we have actually had is better than the one we would have had if Tony had still been leader? And listening to the campaign speech delivered six hours after the polls had closed made me appreciate just what a guilty mind Malcolm obviously now has. Other than the brute fact of his steel-plated ego protector, he would have fallen on his sword tonight, instead of telling us what a genius he’d been in destroying a party structure and policy position that had been carefully crafted over those many years of opposition and then in the first year and a half of government. He has also created a Senate eminently workable for a Labor Government but one in which the Coalition will be hard pressed to get a single issue of substance legislated.

The good news is that even with Malcolm leading the party, there is enough sanity left in the country to have kept Labor out. And it does seem possible that we have ended up with exactly the outcome I had hoped for. I wrote a post a week or so back on you don’t have to wait three years and an election cycle (or two). There I suggested:

The strategy has to be to get the Libs over the line and then see Malcolm turfed out before the year comes to an end. Whatever he may think, the Turnbull agenda is comprehensively dead.

The death of Turnbull’s agenda is even more apparent now than it was a week ago. But if the Libs do get over the line – which is more likely than not but by no means certain – he must go. He won’t want to because he never sees the slightest fault in himself in anything he does, but that’s the reality. I don’t know how it should be arranged but arranged it must be. The Party that drank the Turnbull Kool Aid must now find renewal which will not happen until Malcolm is finally gone.

With renewal there is hope. And I am truly pleased to see that the PM has steel in his resolve and understands what needs to be done.

Small mercies

No doubt we should be grateful for small mercies. Malcolm is gone, although not gone all that far, and that is something. Scott Morrison is a step up, but lacks either gravitas or the charismatic glow. Perhaps we will be surprised, but I won’t be surprised if we’re not surprised. But he can win the next election and I most assuredly hope he does.

But what has been the most disturbing part of the day’s events were the 40 votes cast against the spill. It is possible the number was made up to save a bit of face for Malcolm. On the other hand, it really may reflect the attitudes within the party room. It would mean near enough half the Liberal Party is made up of Keynesian central planners who think they can spend our money better than we can, and who see themselves at the centre of the economy by dispensing billions towards their favourite projects. These same people wonder why productivity growth has come to a stop. Economic illiterates, but then most economists are as well. No idea how a decentralised economy causes growth almost without effort. They did it themselves under Peter Costello who made the economy hum by savage cuts to public spending and the easing of some of the burdens placed on businesses by governments. You can see the same result in the US right now, but no one here or there sees the cause and effect relationship between freer markets and economic prosperity.

The 40 votes against the spill also suggest that a large part of the party accept that global warming is such a major and pressing problem that it is worth wrecking our economy and our productive base to do what they can to ward off this phantom catastrophe. For myself, anyone who entertains this possibility at this late date is a credulous fool of the highest order, basically a simpleton without a shred of common sense. We sell our coal which gets burned up in a far more polluting way than if we used “clean coal” ourselves. And whether or not we stopped selling coal in an act of suicidal idiocy, the CO2 levels will do whatever they will do with our sacrifice or without. Meanwhile more and more Australians will freeze in the dark as the power bills go up.

The Libs plus the Nats remain better than Labor, and Morrison does at least have form in having stopped the boats and does apparently want to cut back on public spending. And all those folk who think letting Labor have a go while the Libs rejig themselves are the worst fantasists of all.

We must all live in hope, but as they say, hope is not a policy. We shall see.

Tony Abbott for Prime Minister

I just spent the afternoon re-reading Tony Abbott’s outstanding Battlelines, his 2009 tract on political philosophy. It reads better now than when it was first published.

We are about to have a race between three mediocrities to replace a non-entity, with Tony standing on the sidelines. The Libs have a proven vote winner who was sandbagged from his first day in office by an incompetent Minister who wanted the job for himself, and when he had it, drove the party into the ground. Now there will be one more try to get it right.

Abbott understands the major policy issues of our time, and he stands on the right side of history. Not everyone will see this as a positive, but he is our Donald Trump. The left hates him, and rightly, because he sees through everything they have tried to do and wish to do. The left are the party of Venezuela, decay and ruin. Tony Abbott, with a cabinet onside with his fundamental liberal-conservative philosophy, is far and away the best hope we have for renewal, growth, prosperity and freedom.

Tony, please run. And as for the rest of you in the party, restore as your leader the only person in Parliament with the stature, the knowledge and now the deeper understanding of politics to lead.

The purity wing of the political right

Here’s how it is. The only president on our side of the fence is Donald Trump, just as the only Prime Minister on the Liberal side is Malcolm Turnbull. All present alternatives from other political parties are worse, much worse.

With Donald Trump, thus far he has not tried to do anything I disagree with. He gets it on open borders, public spending, climate change, the Middle East, China, our Nato allies, Brexit and just about everything else. I am not even in the slightest concerned with his personal style, and I love his twitter feed which is a wonderful addition to public discourse. The only reservation I have had was that he was concerned about rising interest rates, but this is a technical thing, and about which in my own view higher rates will stimulate growth since it will reduce the proportion of our savings going towards unproductive projects. On this I am not going to make a fuss, and about everything else I am with him 100%. On tariffs, I am generally in favour of free trade, but only among nations in which cheating on their obligations is not the rule but the exception. I am also pleased to see trade issues being used to achieve foreign policy outcomes, such as the pressure being put on North Korea and its allies to get rid of its nuclear weapons.

About Malcolm I have had my doubts in the past but he is the PM and he leads a party who are generally speaking on my side of things, far more than the people anywhere else. I wish him success, and in that I wish even more success to those members of the party holding their cattle prods to induce the PM to do the right thing. His instincts are generally terrible, but he seems pretty sound on stopping the boats, and seems to be getting the message about population growth. He even seems to be seeing the light about coal-driven power stations. I want him to win the next election, and my preference is not marginal but overwhelming. Lots of things I don’t like about Lib-Nat policies at the moment, but while selling the pass in some areas they are still well in front so far as my own agendas are concerned. I just wish they would become more of a entrepreneurial party – cut down their own spending and reduce business regs much much more than they have, but you can’t always get everything you want.

At Freedomfest I met up with many many people with whom I could agree on things almost totally across the board, a very rare experience but an immense pleasure. But the minute I walked out of the conference venue, there I was in the middle of Las Vegas among people for whom none of that would be true. Not that they wouldn’t necessarily agree with me if they thought about things. But that they never think about these things so don’t agree with my views mostly because CNN got to them first and with better production values.

I am not and never have been a member of the purity wing of the right side of the political divide. I worked in policy far too long to even begin to hope to see things done as I would wish most of the time. Democrats and socialists are a lost cause, same again with the #NeverTrump wing of the so-called right. They are political fools and a danger to us all. On our side there are many points of view, even people who think climate change is a genuine issue that needs urgent attention.

But I do have to say that if you do not see the virtues in the miraculous election of Donald Trump as president, you are a political fool of the highest order. Your opinions are dead to me since as far as I am concerned, you are as big a political dimwit as I can possibly imagine.

The wages of waste

Personally, I care not at all about the headline issue: At $528,000 a year, Turnbull’s pay is highest of any leader in OECD. PDT is not taking any salary at all so the price mechanism doesn’t always reflect relative value in any absolute sense. But this is what interests me:

The figures come as the Reserve Bank warns Australians to expect historically low levels of wage growth for some time yet, setting up a policy showdown with Labor before the next election over efforts to tackle the rising cost of living.

Both are trying to ameliorate the impact of torpid wage growth through offering billions of dollars in income tax cuts.

Workers have been starved of pay rises in real terms, with wage growth stuck at the rising cost of living for the past year. Inflation hit 1.9 per cent in March and private sector wages have barely kept up at the same rate but public sector workers have done better, lifting the rate to 2.1 per cent Australia-wide.

The reality is that both parties are deeply into Keynesian idiocies with some kind of belief that public spending makes an economy grow. I am not all that fussed about the deficit as such, but am very much concerned with the level of public spending which is almost invariably wasted. For every dollar spent, you get less than a dollar’s worth of value, often much less. That is why real wages don’t rise, and until that changes, real wages won’t either.

PDT understands that. Does anyone else?