Labor politicians mourn in chorus, beating their breasts, about the divisions in the Labor Party being the cause of their election loss. And sure, I guess nobody can deny that this was a big part of that loss. But, wrapped up in those divisions was also the politics of influence, going on from 2010 and before then. Kevin Rudd came to power in 2007 with an enthusiasm for action on climate change – his enthusiasm shared by an Australian public, which had just experienced years of drought. When Kevin Rudd started to take action on climate change – the vested interests – the fossil fuel corporations – became alarmed.
Multinational fossil fuel corporations will be rejoicing at Tony Abbott’s election win. It will be a pity if we have to wait for history for Australians to wake up to the power of external influences on Australian governments.
In 1975, the USA – with its militaristic plans for Pine Gap – played a critical part in the removal of Australia’s Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. (Christopher Boyce disappeared to prison for revealing this)
In 2010 multinational mining companies were behind the push to remove Kevin Rudd, and his Mining Super Profits Tax. I don’t buy the argument that Kevin Rudd was such a difficult personality that Labor had to kick him out. I think that there were quite a few Australian MPs who saw, like the Liberals, where they could get influential and financial backing, for removing Rudd.
Anyway, Julia Gillard replaced Rudd’s mining tax with a weak as water mining tax. But the corporate powers still weren’t happy. As the Labor-Greens in government brought in more measures to promote renewable energy, well, polluting company supporters were frothing at the mouth , – and Liberal politicians saw where their support could come from.
How were these foreign owned companies, like BHP, able to prevail? Predominantly by promoting the message of climate change denial, mouthed so beautifully by the simplistic mantras of Tony Abbott – about the evils of the ‘Great Big New Carbon Tax’. And how did this message prevail in Australia, where in 2007, Kevin Rudd was swept to power on a wave of public enthusiasm for action on climate change?
Despite some well informed coverage on climate change, by the Fairfax media, the ABC and SBS, the denialist message, taken up by the right wing politicians and friends of polluting industries, was steadfastly pushed to the public by the Murdoch media, with its 70% ownership of Australian media. For a country with an educated citizenry, it is extraordinary that climate scepticism, and anxiety over “wind turbine syndrome” could become accepted by so many people. But they just got those messages bombarded to them regularly by Murdoch media
Abbott was an easy puppet waiting there for the polluting multinational corporations. And also, an easy script, delivered straight from USA’s Tea Party Tony Abbott has but one over-riding value – and that is To Be Topp. There might be a few very right-wing Catholic religious themes in Tony’s head – (ones which many Catholics would be ashamed of) But as for other trifling subjects like climate change, – well they don’t bother Tony Abbott, as he doesn’t understand them.
Climate change and its danger to Australia is a huge anxiety. But right now there is another, and urgent, anxiety. Nobody seems to notice the fact that Australia is now President of the United Nations Security Council. And the UN has not sanctioned an attack on Syria. But the USA might very well attack Syria unilaterally, without waiting fir the UN. And what will Australia do?
And how confident do you feel about all this, with the vacuous Tony Abbott at the helm of our ship?