Cartoon: By Nicholson.
It has to be assumed that there are a significant number of voters out there who only listen to the party line for the latest Labor smear to be based on any sort of market research. While there may be a few people like this, most would be amazed at the spin used to make an attack on Abbott’s statement equating the carbon tax to the effect of the flood on Queensland coalmines.
Abbott said in his speech to the LNP annual convention, "The flood-related shutdown of the Queensland coal industry had a significant effect on the national economy and a dramatic effect on the Queensland economy," "A permanent contraction of the coal industry, as threatened by the carbon tax, would be a very serious problem for Australia and a disaster for Queensland."
The Gillard government, desperate for anything that might give them some traction, is spinning this by claiming that he is engaging in heartless political point-scoring after using the tragic spectre of the Queensland floods to fuel his carbon tax attack.
This is obviously alluding to the 35 confirmed deaths across the state, including a heavy toll in the Lockyer Valley, as well as the devastation in flooded areas. It is reasonable to speculate on how long these people spend rehearsing and getting into character in order to make such a convincing display of mock outrage. There is no chance that they actually believe what they are saying; it just makes no sense.
Treasurer, Wayne Swan seems to be fronting this:
Lockyer Valley residents and the Gillard Government yesterday rounded on the Opposition Leader after he compared the impact of Labor's climate change policy on Queensland to the devastating summer disasters.
But Mr. Abbott hit back and accused Labor of playing politics itself by attacking him, saying it was a sign of a desperate Government trying to distract voters from a broken promise.
As Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan demanded Mr. Abbott apologize for the remarks, Grantham woman Karen Howie said it was "ridiculous" to make the comparison, even on an economic basis, because so many human lives had been lost.
"It's very heartless to say that," Ms Howie said. "No thought for anybody's feelings. We lost human lives. "Politicians will turn anything into political point-scoring."
Visiting Cairns, Mr. Swan, who has previously explained Budget problems by referencing the disasters, labeled the comments a "despicable new low" in Mr. Abbott's scare campaign.
"The suffering of Queenslanders should not be used by Mr. Abbott as a cheap political tool," he said.
"Mr. Abbott should apologize to the people of Queensland and in particular those whose lives were hit by the floods for trying to rope them into his shabby political scare campaign."
Gillard and Swan were nowhere near as shocked at the worst attempt to politicize the human misery that resulted from the floods. On that occasion it was their puppet master, Greens leader, Bob Brown who tried to blame the coalminers for the whole crisis in an effort to have them taxed for it.