Cartoon: By Pickering.
Labor has always greeted any opposition with vitriol, any opponent of any policy or any part of a policy, no matter how minor, is an unmitigated, heretical, unethical, evil bastard who hates the poor, and deserves to be cast into the hottest, and deepest pits of hell. When that opposition is effective, they start to get nasty.
Few though, were prepared for the response to opposition from the mining industry to the carbon tax and the mineral resource rent tax. The brutal and savage attacks have though, only been directed at the Australian entrepreneurs, not the international companies:
The unedifying spectacle of the federal treasurer attacking the most profitable sector of the Australian economy for short term political gain is as cynical as it is unnecessary. But then Labor has perfected the art of zero sum politics.The reason for these tactics is probably much simpler than suggested by Quadrant, corporations tend to be large conglomerates and other than the odd leader, tend to be composed of enterprises and an amorphous group of people. The Australian entrepreneurs on the other hand are high profile individual people. With these three, Labor can put names to the enemy.
This unilateral class war, whose opening salvo was Swan’s contribution to The Monthly, The 0.01 per cent: the rising influence of vested interests in Australia, is aimed squarely at three persons: Gina Rinehart, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forest and Clive Palmer. To meet Swan’s exacting criteria for membership to the ‘vested interests’ club, a miner must be all of the following:
Curiously, no mention has been made of Xstrata, Rio Tinto or BHP Billiton as ‘vested interests’, despite their equal opposition to the Mineral Rent Resources Tax. This may be because these companies are Anglo-Australian or Anglo-Swiss owned, and not as culpable in the treasurer’s estimation as the treasonous Australian miners who dare to question the merits of the MRRT cash cow.
The strategy of demonising three successful Australian entrepreneurs lasted all of three months. That’s how long it took for Swan and Gillard’s excellent adventure to fall apart. The net result of all this pre-election trialling, focus group-driven chicanery is the fracturing of the Labor and Union alliance.
While Labor appears to have their election sloganeering and associated welfare stimuli all sorted out - ‘spreading the benefits of the boom’ and the Benefits of the Boom package; the ‘clean energy future’ and the Household Assistance package – they don’t appear to have run the class war through the appropriate channels; cleared first by the union powerbrokers, then cursorily run past the caucus at the last moment. …
Back in the 1930s a similar group of fascists were able to attack the Jews as a group, but by forcing them to wear a yellow Star of David with the word, ‘Juden’ on it, it was possible to put faces to the enemy.