Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howse (inset) and angry protesters at a demonstration against the proposed carbon tax. Courtesy The Courier Mail.
The politics of the left is usually divisive, given that it is based on envy and class warfare. Generally the idea is to get hold of power by persuading the workers that the middle class and the wealthy are ripping them off, that they are being exploited and they need strong socialism to set things right.
Extra votes are gained by middle class welfare, and favors to big business as well as playing the class guilt game. Basically though the name of the game is divide and conquer.
It is surprising therefore to see the way Gillard has managed to bring large groupings of differing interests together and unite them in a common cause, opposition, anger, and angst over her carbon tax.
The stated purpose of the tax is to reduce the nations carbon emissions by 5% by 2020. As we only produce about 1.5% of world human emissions this is a miniscule amount. Given that India, China, and other developing economies have probably each increased theirs by more than that amount since the target was set, means that it is really nothing more than a pointless gesture, albeit an expensive one.
It was reported today that the UN has removed the item with the nice map that predicted fifty million climate refugees by 2010. Apparently it looked a bit tatty seeing it hasn’t happened. This is simply the latest of a long line of scare tactics by the climate frantics that has come unstuck. This is one of the reasons that there is already a solid base of people who are skeptical of the whole thing.
The base of opposition to the tax was mostly skeptics, the LNP, people who noticed they were being bullshitted to, and libertarians who realize that the government has no competence to manage the climate. Following the announcement, these were joined by a large section of the population who were outraged at being lied to before the election by Gillard.
Now we are seeing more joiners. A large section of business has started to realize just what the cost will be. The actual figures are not out yet but even at the lowest proposed figure of 20% per ton they add up to a high figure.
Now the AWU, a union that backed the Gillard ascension has attacked the tax. Gillard has played this down while her ally Green Bob Brown attacked him as an economic illiterate and conceding that the switch to a low-carbon economy would cost jobs. Just love that subtlety, Bob.
The CEOs of BlueScope and Onesteel, have come out with the argument that they will be destroyed by companies in China and other countries not affected by the tax.
Building and transport unions have joined in.
Now the government is proposing to compensate the ‘big polluters’ who export to the world:
THE Gillard Government is considering further compensation for high-polluting export industries hit by its carbon tax, including steel manufacturers.
Labor faces demands for a series of handouts for industries after a number of large unions warned the carbon tax could cost jobs.
But the Greens, whose support Labor needs to pass the tax, called for a tougher tax and demanded the Government set a carbon price higher than the $20 a tonne figure it is leaning towards.
The powerful Australian Workers Union yesterday dumped its previous support for the carbon tax to apply to the steel industry.
The move, which was backed by the rival Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, means the government now faces a joint industry and union push to exclude steel makers and possibly other large polluters from the tax.
Truck drivers also want special assistance under the carbon tax to allow them to bill clients for added fuel costs if transport is affected, the Transport Workers Union said.Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? The idea seems to be, tax the shit out of people, give some back to those who can help you stay in power, and spend the rest on feel good measures. Barnaby Joyce was correct when he said:
“What is the point of taking money off people, spinning it around a bureaucracy and giving people back a bit of their own money and expecting be thanked for it? Why don’t you just let people keep their own money and go away?”