Renewable power struggles
SCOTT Morrison’s introduction of a scaled-up model of his heart to parliament elicited the hearty guffaws of a few frontbench drongos, but most recognised the vapid stunt for what it was.
A conspiratorial twinkle in the treasurer’s eye betrayed his intentions as he strutted up to the lectern, brandishing a whopping lump of carbon in his hand on Thursday.
“This is coal,” he announced, as great gelatinous beads of smugness trickled across his loose neck flesh. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared. “It’s coal, it was dug up by men and women who work and live in the electorates of those who sit opposite.”
Nobody was afraid, just perplexed about the bizarre dad joke the nation’s lead bean counter had unleashed on an unwitting public.
Morrison’s slack-jawed sketch had none of the high theatre Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull showed a day earlier when he skinned Bill Shorten alive with a venomous wit lacking from parliament for too long.
Thighs were slapped red-raw with hysterical sniggering as the prime minister labelled Shorten a “parasite” and a “social-climbing sycophant”. Paul Keating would be proud. The invective ambush was well de- served, with Shorten’s “Mr Harbourside Mansion” attacks over Turnbull’s $1.75 million to the Liberal Party completely ignoring the massive advantage Labor gets through union donations.
“He likes harbourside mansions, he is yearning for one, he is yearning to get into Kirribilli House — because somebody else pays for it,” Turnbull unleashed.
The Federal Government has clearly market-tested the full-frontal assault tactic over the Christmas break and decided savagely pulping the Opposition with verbal knuckledusters is the best way forward.
Morrison’s limp mimicry packed all the punch of an arthritic amputee.
The South Australia blackouts under Labor’s watch have been a godsend for climate change deniers who ignore that increasingly frequent heatwaves prompting households to amplify their aircons up to arctic frost level are a huge factor in power shortages.
The state runs on 40 per cent renewable energy, but backups are in place for lean times just like these.
Instead the Pelican Point gas-powered plant was not brought online because it was cheaper to unplug power to 40,000 arbitrarily chosen households than to switch on a backup source.
“Every South Australian has a right to be angry. We had spare capacity in the SA generation market and the market didn’t turn that generation on,” South Australia Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis explained to The Advertiser.
Disregarding overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change exists and is extremely likely to due to human activities (NASA will confirm, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts may not) does nobody any favours, and a gradual shift towards renewables with fail-safe protection measures in place makes sense. Malcolm Turnbull realises this. He lost the 2010 Liberal Party leadership spill after saying we needed “a situation where all or almost all of our energy comes from zero or very near zero-emission sources”.
How spectacularly he has pirouetted to join the ranks of right factional string-pullers, accusing Labor of the same “ideological” fetish for renewables he once held (and not-sosecretly must still).
At least there is one less rat in the ship, with turncoat senator Cory Bernardi defecting from the Coalition to pursue his chief political platform: ensuring no one is having more interesting sex than him.
Too gutless to stand for election on his own two feet, Bernardi went to the polls on the Liberal Party’s ticket and quit seven months into a six-year term. How’s that for job security?
Former partymate Warren Entsch – a seventh-term MP who this week railed against cutting the lifetime gold travel pass for parliamentarians who serve seven terms – famously attacked Bernardi in 2014 for his “worrying” obsession with gay people.
Nothing has changed in the ensuing three years.
Bernardi still seems tormented by anything more than a monthly, mechanical form of how’s-ya-father and voters will be subjected to hearing about it for the next five-and-ahalf years.
DIGGING DEEP: Treasurer Scott Morrison with a piece of coal.