Rooted in fantasy land

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Tim Hollo from Crikey blog Rooted is living in fantasy land:

The government’s hope of clinging to any remaining climate credibility relies on pretending that it was the Greens who were intractable, not them. This fits neatly with the Labor mythology of who the Greens are, but it contrasts dramatically with the actual behaviour of the Greens, as 12% of Australian voters now realise. The Greens’ positive approach to legislation such as the stimulus package and many other bills that would have been very different if the Greens were in power show this up as old Labor prejudice rather than fact.

Unfortunately, up to now it has only been Greens saying that Labor refused to negotiate and it is a next to impossible task to convince people with a “he-said she-said” argument, particularly up against the might of a government publicity machine and very strong party discipline.

But now, thanks to Paul Daley in the Fairfax Sundays, someone has squeaked and we have the smoking gun.

Daley quotes a Labor source saying “Kevin was crystal clear from the start – the Greens couldn’t be allowed any sort of ownership of the [emissions] trading scheme.”

This may not sound like much, but it entirely undermines the government’s claim to climate credibility. It was always Kevin Rudd’s political strategy to do a deal on an ETS with the opposition – whom he had consistently branded climate sceptics – so he could share any blame for higher prices with them and to shut the Greens out of any negotiations. The Greens would either have to sign up to a policy the party knew was completely unacceptable or vote against it and wear the orchestrated ALP attack.

The sheer creativity of this conspiracy-laden attack on Labor is amazing – demonstrating that Crikey, like many Larvatus Prodeo writers, is now little more than a mouthpiece for the Greens Party.

In the event that it is not published, I’ve reproduced my comment here:

Are you serious. This entire post is based on a single sentence from an unnamed Labor “insider” saying the “Greens can’t have any ownership over the ETS” – and from that you extrapolate a bizarre theory about Labor not negotiating with the Greens.

If this was true, surely there would have been a much bigger outcry from Christine Milne who was negotiating with Penny Wong.

The fact that an unnamed source said that Rudd didn’t want the Greens to have ownership over the ETS does not equate to “deliberately shutting out the Greens” from the ETS negotiations.

In fact, it means the opposite. The fact that they WERE in negotiations and didn’t want the Greens to gain political capital out of it is far more likely. How could the Greens possibly get ownership over the ETS if there were no negotiations?

This article is just a poor attempt to smear the ALP based on a very, very flimsy premise and an overactive imagination.


The Greens Party – and groups like Get Up – are obsessed with bashing Labor over the ETS and climate change. This is self-defeating and reactionary; the true enemy for climate activists must be climate change denier Tony Abbott and the Liberal-National party.

Seriously, what do the Greens Party want? Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. At least with Tony as opposition leader, there are real, tangible points of difference between Rudd and Abbott, especially on climate change.

Post-script 2:

The nonsense continues from John Hepburn at Crikey’s Rooted blog, where Hepburn attacks the Federal Budget over “lack of action” on climate change, the abandonment of the CPRS, and that the half a billion dollars spent on renewable energy is not enough. Clearly. We would be far better off if we had emissions trading.

An insightful commenter writes:

Folks, just remember who killed the CPRS … the backflip everyone wants to talk about all the time was the result of the Coalition and minor parties.

If they’d shown common sense we wouldn’t be having any of these discussions — lots more would be happening and green industry funding would be on its way.

Blaming the govt for being miserly is like saying “I stubbed my toe but you made it bleed!”

This is a good point. The Greens Party and the Liberal/National parties must face up to responsibility for blocking action on climate change.

The Greens Party in particular must face up to the fact that they handed climate deniers a massive symbolic victory on a platter, while dealing a massive defeat to the pro-action climate movement.

It is possibly the stupidest piece of opportunistic politics ever played by a minor political party, and has made real action on climate change almost impossible for the next few years as we waste time arguing with deniers whether it even exists.

If the Greens Party had shown some maturity, we would now be debating how we can increase and hasten action on climate change, rather than complaining about half a billion dollars being not enough for renewable energy.

The Greens Party and their supporters need to face up to their betrayal on climate change action.

4 responses to “Rooted in fantasy land”

  1. Andos Avatar

    You both miss the most important point: at no stage could negotiations with the Greens have delivered enough votes to pass the ETS through the Senate. Fact.

    With Fielding in the committed denialist camp, the Government had no choice but to negotiate with the Opposition, which eventually succeeded in producing a bill that would pass the Senate. Then we got Tony Abbott.

    1. alexjpwhite Avatar

      Hi Andy,

      I talk about the mathematics of the Senate here:

      The Greens Party supporters in the media/press/blogs often display a disturbing lack of understanding of how our Senate works.


  2. @chrisabruns Avatar

    Its simple really. They want to destroy the ALP's credibility on environment/CC issues among young voters and eventually supplant Labor as the main party on the centre left in Australian politics. What happens to the nation under an Abbott prime ministership is immaterial.

    1. alexjpwhite Avatar

      Hi Chris,

      Actually, I don't think the Greens Party have any intention of being the main party of the centre-left. Rather, they are happy playing as purist, holier-than-thou, inner-urbanites who never want to make a hard decision. Their focus on targeted inner-city areas, and their opportunistic voting with the Liberal Party in Victoria to grab a headline shows that they do not aspire to being a party of Government.


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