Laurie Oaks’ sob post.

Some time ago, I had this to say of Laurie Oaks:

“Laurie Oaks is one of the most respected and feared political journalists in Australia today. He is relatively bipartisan in his approach, and gives me the impression that he detests hypocrisy and loves exposing it. …”

Now he has turned around and written a rather lazy, mealy mouthed, diatribe on the strong opinions being expressed in the current row over the carbon tax.

Laurie, on one hand deplores what he refers to as politics with an unsavory feel with insults from both sides getting nastier and more personal, while on the other hand using the term “Teabagger” to describe Tea Party members. This expression is used by the left as a disparaging reference to these people. Laurie may be a bit old and staid to understand the meaning of the term and has been too lazy to look it up.

It’s a little difficult to be even handed while referring to the right, or elements of it with a term that is, shall we say, somewhat ‘vulgar and biological’ in origin. 🙂

Starting off with poor old Tony Windsor getting hate mail for putting Gillard in power and supporting a carbon tax, he fails to mention Tony’s claim to have received death threats which were widely publicized until they turned out to be some guy saying, “I hope you die, you bastard.” This may be intemperate and uncalled for, even a bad thing to wish for, but it is not a threat.

Windsor really needs to harden up a bit. 

His issue of Howard proposing a carbon-trading scheme is completely irrelevant as Howard is gone, and it is Gillard who is insisting on it now. Any reasonable person has a right to assume that a clear statement on the eve of the election that there would be no carbon tax means that this issue is off the agenda for the duration of the term. This includes other schemes and Gillard’s explanation is an exercise in semantics.

I am surprised that Oaks has fallen for the line about, “compensation for low-income households,” and claim it is better than Howard offered. To tax the nation on the basis of attaining lower carbon emissions by making energy prices higher, and then give a substantial proportion of the revenue to lower income earners turns it into a wealth redistribution scheme.

Political discourse has not changed to any great degree in the forty odd years I have been involved in it. Right back in the sixties the type of language that is occurring now was happening. Anyone who criticized the Nationals, Labor Party, and Liberals back then knows how vitriolic it could get. There was a rather nasty incident where a National Party supporter verbally abused the wife of our Progress Party candidate, and I copped a rather dirty whispering campaign from both sides.

The main difference these days is not the level of discourse, but is that owing to the net and better communications it is more visible.

12 thoughts on “Laurie Oaks’ sob post.

  1. The reason the US Tea Party is thought poorly of by a lot of Aussies has a lot to do with the section of the US media that get’s air time in Australia. My folks seemed to think the Tea Party was a racist group opposed to Obama because he is black. I suspect that Laurie Oaks, like the rest of us, is heavily influenced by the media.

    I think the Tea Party could do well in Australia. The media knows the name and will reel in horror if they see signs of it gaining traction here. It’s a self sustaining media bonanza waiting to happen. Media criticism of the Aussie tea party movement will simply make the movement stronger.

    If a tea party does kick off in Australia it’s important that it is broad based, decentralised, and unified on the issue of taxes being too high. I think that with the slightest of nudges the stop carbon tax rallies could become an Aussie tax revolt. I hope the LDP is asking to speak at these events.

  2. Precisely, Terje. The media and Democrats over there are playing the race card on a daily basis. Herman Cain quipped that after he saw the reports on a Tea Party meeting he addressed, he had a look in the mirror to see if he had missed something. I think that by Nov. 2012 it will be overplayed to the point that it has little impact.

    It will be essential that if it kicks off here, there is a concerted effort to keep it on track as well as to keep the loonies and imposters out. The Tea Party over there devote considerable resources to this and there have been efforts by lefties to infiltrate gatherings to try to garner unfavourable publicity.

  3. Jim – I used to think the tea party was an aberration that would lose momentum and die. If it turns into a centrally controlled, centrally branded outfit I suspect it will. However if it remains a loose low tax movement I think it could ebb, bubble and morph for decades.

  4. Re: Compensation to low income households. The objective of carbon pricing is to move technology to newer technologies with smaller carbon footprints. As I explained in my blog Carbon Tax,Answers to your FAQs carbon pricing is supposed to be income neutral. The whole idea is that the funds raised are redistributed to offset some of the price increase that carbon pricing causes. It has absolutely nothing to do with a wealth redistribution scheme.
    Wayne Swan has tried to explain that but his attempt was pathetic and so no one believed him.
    Most of the furore about carbon pricing stems from the fact that Julia Gillard’s introduction of the subject was amateurish at best. Unlike Howard, Julia just does not have what it takes to be a Prime Minister. She will not last.

  5. There seem to be a number of organisations that appear to be coordinating things, none of which have any real control. It seems that the groups are to an extent, self policing owing to the membership being acutely aware of what genuine bad publicity could do to them.

    One group was forced to take down a sign by other groups who were critical of it. Numerous examples exist of people with inappropriate signs being ordered out by organisers.

    One group of black congressmen as well as Barney Frank claimed to have been spat on and called niggers by protesters, but despite a strong media presence and numerous recording devices present, there is no evidence that it actually happened. Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for video or audio of it happening, but nothing has surfaced.

    This seems to be like the alleged incident during the 08 election where a reporter claimed someone yelled “kill him” at an Obama function. Despite an investigation by local, and state police, and the secret service, the only person to hear it was the reporter.

  6. The idea of a carbon price is to pick winners. Moving to newer technologies with smaller carbon footprints is semantics. The government have made a decision that a small group of generating processes that are uneconomic without subsidies or competition restraint are preferable. You seem to think like the old Country Party on economics.

    If the government were in any way serious about low emission energy, they would allow nuclear, which can do the same job efficiently, cheaply, and without the need for subsidies or need for massive backup generation.

    Any tax which is redistributed to approved sections of the community is a redistribution of wealth scheme. The reason Wayne Swan’s attempt to explain that the tax was not a redistribution of wealth scheme ‘was pathetic and so no one believed him’ was because it is one.

    The idea that the poor should be ‘compensated’ for the effects of the tax is to assume that their use of energy is somehow more noble than other peoples. The reality is that a fair amount of the power generated by that great buzz word ‘big polluters’ is being produced to meet the demands of poor people. I would like to see a reason why those who earn less than whatever arbitry line in the sand the government chooses as the rich/poor people line, should be rewarded for their energy consumption.

    It is illogical to suggest that we all need to cut our energy consumption on one hand, and reward some segments for theirs.

  7. Er, just maybe the poor use energy because it is essential and the rich use some (more) of it as a luxury? Like swimming pool pumps or the wine fridge. To argue against carbon pricing refunds on the grounds that it is redistribution of wealth is to argue that the rich should pay less tax and that social security of any sort should be banned. Such an approach has totally blown the US economy, but otherwise is pretty rare. It is also stupid (not to put too fine a point on it).
    The only point on which we are likely to agree is that it is blatantly obvious that we should move to nuclear power.
    We also should have carbon pricing, or are you against providing an earth for the kids also?
    In passing I have not the first notion how the old Country Party thought on economics.

  8. Wow Peter, I am starting to see how it all comes together now after reading Gillards statement in todays Australian.

    She is going to punish the big emitters like power providers, and compensate the little fellers for the rise in prices. Those little fellers include low income households, Alcoa, BHP Billiton, Dow Chemicals, and other overseas companies with investments here.

    It sounds like:

    It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it. – Thomas Sowell.

    But you will be relieved to see it doesn’t include those selfish bastards with swimming pools or wine fridges. Looks like she can find a spot to include your class envy in all this.

  9. “Why should we do anything for posterity? After all, what has posterity ever done for us?” Wise words, though I forget who said them, Peter.
    I am not convinced that Carbon is killing the planet. And I would want children to grow up in a world safe from overregulation! Red-tape, the creeping menace engulfing the entire world! Let’s get our priorities straight!

  10. “The reason the US Tea Party is thought poorly of by a lot of Aussies has a lot to do with the section of the US media that get’s air time in Australia. My folks seemed to think the Tea Party was a racist group opposed to Obama because he is black”

    Right. Your parents are rationally ignorant, and could sort it out were it too their interests to spend the time.

    Then we have the post-graduate public servant slime-crawling types that expect us to fight for them or at least die. And they just get everything consistently wrong because they are belly-crawling vermin.

  11. Play nice Graham.

    It is worth bearing in mind that some of the older generation rely less on the net than on the Australian media for their information. I have seen little on our media that does not come from the more liberal media over there. Laurie probably goes to Huffington Post for his real news, and watches Chris Mathews for in depth opinion.

    The Australian a while ago editorialised on inflammatory language from the right. The contention was that Giffords was shot by a right wing Tea Party radicalised nutter who was influenced by the Palin target map.

    They at no stage corrected this when it turned out that the shooter was a left wing psychotic who had a personal grudge against her after she failed to take his conspiracy theory on grammar seriously.

    Those who rely on the local media are poorly informed.

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