Say no to the NEG
Dear Libs, it’s time to reject the PM’s futile, pointless and expensive con
Attention, Liberal MPs. Tomorrow is when you start fighting or slouch to defeat. It’s when you stand against idiocy or be forever damned as sheep. Tomorrow is when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calls a party room meeting to tell you what you will do about the National Energy Guarantee. But it must be the day when you turn the tables and say: enough.
Say no to this futile, pointless and expensive con — a global warming scheme to cut emissions that this government pretends is a scheme to cut electricity prices instead.
Dear Liberals, no one buys that spin. We know your scheme has targets for cutting emissions but none for cutting prices.
And no matter how brilliantly the Prime Minister thinks his government is playing the politics of your NEG — an acronym and plan not one in a 1000 voters understands — you and I know the truth.
Voters are telling every pollster they are furious about soaring electricity prices. Expecting them to admire your NEG is like expecting an AFL grand final crowd to clap you for staging a game of tennis instead. What on earth are you thinking? Even if this scheme made sense, it would not cut prices this side of next year’s election. You’d just be telling voters to trust you to cut prices when they have no reason to.
At best, you’d simply create a global warming scheme that the new Labor government will thank you for — and hang around your neck as one you wanted, too. How does that make political sense?
But let’s now talk about the national interest. Ask yourselves: why are you pushing a scheme to cut emissions when even Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, himself a warmist, admits we are so small the difference any cuts would make to the climate is “virtually nothing”? Why are you so determined to cut emissions when there has been next to no warming this century? Why are you so deterhelped mined to cut our tiny emissions under the Paris Agreement when the world’s three giants — China, the United States and India — have either pulled out or been allowed to ramp up their own emissions?
How do you explain your blind commitment to a Paris Agreement that under the best estimate — by Professor Bjorn Lomborg — would cut the world’s temperature by just 0.053C by 2100, and only if every nation met its promises, which most won’t?
How do you explain to voters why you push global warming schemes which have to close nine coal-fired power stations in six years, making power prices jump?
How do you explain to pensioners who cannot now afford to heat their homes that their sacrifice is worth it even though it makes no difference to the climate?
Why are you inflicting all this pain for zero gain? None of it makes sense.
Ministers argue that they need this compromise with Labor to finally give investors the “certainty” they need to invest again in more power stations, and invest with such added confidence that they take less in profits and pass on the savings to voters.
Dear me. Such naivety. Where is the “certainty” in a NEG that will actually make it easier for the next Labor government to demand even bigger cuts in our emissions — 50 per cent, if you please, with its Greens allies demanding 100 per cent?
Dear Liberal MPs, all this is madness and I bet almost every one of you knows it. So why go along with it?
Some of you tell me you must because rejecting this NEG would undermine your prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, a global warming fanatic.
But how can you undermine a dead man? I write this without knowing the results of today’s Newspoll, but you all know the weight of evidence suggests you have lost the election already. You must change course. If Turnbull can’t sell the kind of new policy you need — cutting electricity prices, not emissions — then find yourself a new leader who can. And if you lose the election anyway, at least you’ll be in better shape to fight the next. You can say “I told you so” as Labor makes power prices even worse.
But in the end the choice is basic: did you really get into politics to make Australians suffer for nothing?
Please, this is the time for serious Liberal men and women to say no to stupidity. Just because everyone around you has lost their head is no reason for you to lose your own.