NOAH’S RAINBOW SERPENT – observations by Ian MacDougall

A CRIT OF THE AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES’ MANIFESTO

Posted in Political Economy, Uncategorized by Ian MacDougall on December 6, 2017

 

See https://www.conservatives.org.au/our_policies

Below are extracts from the policy in plain type, as copied from the above AC website. My comments are in bold.

Ian MacDougall

 The AC policy statement includes the following items:

The ‘Canberra Bubble’ isolates politicians and the bureaucracy. Australian Conservatives believe there is a better way, where principles are put before politics, and policies are more important than personalities. We must bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to government.

[Hidden agenda: revive the old squabble between the burghers of the state capitals: mainly Sydney and Melbourne, which gave rise to Canberra in the first place.]

 Donations to political parties, candidates and associated political entities should only be made by individuals and capped at an annual amount. All contributions in excess of the disclosure threshold should be disclosed in ’real time’.

[Real agenda: defund the ALP. Why only ‘individuals’? This can be an excuse for the start of a witch-hunt against the trade unions. (Remember, the ALP historically was set up as a union party, by the unions after the failure of the 1891 shearing-maritime strike.) One obvious way round this provision is for companies and unions alike to pass their party donation through some chosen plausible wealthy individuals. And it will be far easier to find a plausible wealthy donor on the ‘conservative’ side of politics than on the Labor side.

Australian Conservatives support introducing a publicly available, easily searchable database of spending across the whole of government as a means of improving transparency and accountability of public spending.

[ QUESTION:  Does that include military and covert intelligence expenditure?]

 We will respect the division of responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the States in order to improve the efficiency, decision-making and accountability of government and reduce waste.

[Real agenda: stop any repeat of something like Gillard’s mining tax. The Gini C (Gini coefficient, not to be confused with Gina R.) must be held high!]

 We support the introduction of term limits for all politicians and restoring the principal role of the Senate as the States’ house. Australian Conservatives support Senate reform including: having Senators sit in State instead of party blocks, having no Senators form part of executive government and constitutional reform to resolve deadlocks without recourse to a double dissolution election.

[ON THE NOSE: Term limits for pollies simply generates more of them, and the overall cost of them in post-parliamentary entitlements; and such limits restrict the right of voters to elect whoever wins the favour of the electoral majority.]

 Tax bases should be broadened and the tax law streamlined to enable lower tax rates, less complexity and reduced accounting and legal costs.

[ Real agenda: pass more of the tax burden by ‘broadening’ to the poorer levels of the population, while relieving the richer side, with the usual justifications, of course: so they can invest, create jobs, etc, etc. (Competitive conspicuous consumption we need not mention.)]

Individuals are far better placed to decide how best to spend their own money than governments. Our economy will be far stronger and more responsive to changes in preferences and circumstances when taxation and regulation are as low and as efficient as possible.

[Real agenda again: widen income differentials and skew wealth distribution in favour of the rich; enhance the nation’s Gini coefficient.]

 We will streamline the taxation system and reduce the number of personal tax brackets. To support this, we will rationalise the number of tax offsets, rebates and deductions, as well as standardise them and limit their accessibility.

 [So those who qualify must jump ever higher hurdles. Real agenda again: enhance the nation’s Gini coefficient, as above. Nothing is said about the ‘reforms’ introduced in the Howard years by Peter Costello, which cost the individual taxpayer time and money to set up, thus keeping the average mug out of it, but once up and running such a scheme pretty well makes paying tax an optional activity for the deserving rich and upper echelons generally.]

 We will remove the tax-disparity between single income and dual income households with the same income levels.

[Real agenda: we will work this as a cover for increasing the tax paid by single-income people (eg single mothers) as against that paid by couples. Social agenda supported: reduce the number of single mothers by forcing them back into relationships they would prefer to be out of. ]

We will streamline regulation by adopting a one-in, two-out approach to remove the red and green [!] tape strangling business, investment and job creation. We support having an annual Regulation Repeal Day.

[There is a ‘regulation’ that one must only drive on the left hand side of the road. Will that be one of those to go?

Real agenda: where there is conflict between the needs of developers and the natural environment, it will be the latter that has to yield. Or to put that another way: in any dispute over development, there has to be give-and-take. The environment rightly gives, and the developers just as rightly take.

Regulations are nasty, nasty! They should all be repealed!]

We support the removal of taxes and tariffs applying to new car imports, saving Australian motor vehicle purchasers over $1 billion a year.

[Real agenda: so that revenue shortfall can be passed on to those not in the imported new car market.]

By reducing the number of special tax categories, concessions and deductions, the tax law can be simplified and dead-weight accounting and legal costs can fall.

The extra revenue raised from such streamlining can be used to lower tax rates for all. By reducing distortions from taxes imposed, and freeing up resources for more productive uses, we can strengthen our economy.

[Real agenda: this again favours the rich, and enhancement of Gini (easily confused with Gina.) DEFINITELY ON THE NOSE.  Vide again COSTELLO REFORMS.]

We support the removal of all political indoctrination from the [education] curriculum.

(Depends on how one defines it. Real agenda: remove social critique of any kind from education. Teach kids to think critically and for themselves completely free of any examples of it. NB: this is exactly what they do in the Islamic world, with every Islamic country an economic basket case, without exception; and including those with oil money coming out their ears.]

Australian Conservatives support the return to tried and tested methods of teaching.

ON THE NOSE

[We live in an electronic age. Learners of all ages have to be able to search the Internet without landing on porn sites. Real agenda: education must not move with the times.]

 Educational institutions are now used as a way to channel political propaganda on our children (such as the discredited ‘Safe Schools’ and ‘Respectful Relationships’ programs). We believe such indoctrination is wholly inappropriate for a school environment and are committed to their removal.

[Real agenda: remove Left influence and indoctrination, including all social critique: but not the indoctrination of the Right, and of the Religious Right.]

We do not support any renewable energy targets.

We will remove all taxpayer and cross subsidies to electricity generation.

We will require all electricity supplied to the grid to be useable – that is, predictable and consistent in output (kWhrs) and synchronous (at the required 50 Hz range).

We will allow market forces to provide the most efficient power generation available.

We will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord

[This speaks for itself, without need for alteration.

We do not support any renewable energy targets, favouring coal.

We will remove all taxpayer and cross subsidies to electricity generation, favouring coal.

We will require all electricity supplied to the grid to be useable – that is, predictable and consistent in output (kWh) and synchronous (at the required 50 Hz range), favouring coal. 

 We will allow ‘market forces’ to provide the most efficient power generation available. [If renewables’ costs fall further, we will revise this.]

We will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.  [Where it suits us to be, we are anti-science].

 Real agenda: we support already heavily-subsidised coal-fired power, and the commercial interests involved in it, but not renewables.

 NB: This planet has a one-off, never-to-be-repeated or renewed store of fossil carbon. About the most short-sighted and bone-headed use of this is for furnace fuel in electricity generation: unless we expect that our descendants will all be flying helicopters or hovercraft over their unsealed roads.

Australia should have the cheapest and most reliable electricity in the world. We have world-scale and world-class coal, gas and uranium reserves. Yet our electricity sector no longer reflects that.

Australian Conservatives are open to any form of electricity generation, and will provide legislative certainty for the ongoing use of fossil fuels.  We will remove the barriers to building more dams for hydro-power and clear the way for nuclear power as well as a nuclear fuel cycle industry.

Real agenda: pass all the costs of it, as far as we can, to the mugs. Nuclear power is not ‘cheap’ when all the true costs, including long-term waste storage and clean-up after the inevitable Three-mile Islands, Chernobyls and Fukushimas is taken into account: which is why investment in nuclear power has all but ground to a halt.

 Australia should also have the cheapest and most reliable gas supply in the world.

We will support landholders’ rights to allow gas production on their properties, and to a reasonable return for that access and extraction, to help ensure there are sufficient quantities available for our domestic and export markets.

Real agenda: incredible.

The GAB [Great Artesian Basin] underlies a large portion of the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) in northern NSW and southern Queensland…  It consists of layers of aquifers and aquitards [water-confining layers] ranging from 65 to 250 million years old, deposited in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods…

The GAB also overlies older geological basins, such as the Bowen Basin. These basins are deeper than the GAB and, in the case of the Bowen Basin, have a boundary that extends beyond the boundary of the GAB. The Bowen Basin contains older, deeper coal seams and the Fairview and Scotia gas fields.

https://gisera.csiro.au/more-information/frequently-asked-questions/the-great-artesian-basin-and-coal-seam-gas/

In other words, to get to the coal-seam gas, the drillers have to drill down through the aquifer and its aquitards, creating a serious possibility that sooner or later, the fracking chemicals and the groundwater will mix. The common assurance made is that the wells will be permanently sealed with reinforced concrete, preventing such contamination. However, Portland cement was only invented around 1820, so no concrete structure involving it can be older than about 200 years. [How many concrete structures can you think of that are say, a mere 100 years old?] But the gas wells will have to stay sealed as long as there is demand for artesian water: effectively, till the end of time.

By the time ‘concrete cancer’, natural acids in the groundwater, minor earth tremors and also major ones have weakened the concrete and made it porous, the coal-seam gas drillers will be long gone, and their descendants will likely be off overseas living the high life.

 So who will pick up the tab? Why, the descendants of those who were warned, but chose to do nothing about it, of course and as usual.

 Though there are a lot of hot contenders in this particularly tight field, this one has to take the gong as arguably the most short-sighted and brainless of all the AC policies.

Australia produces less than 1.5% of global CO2 emissions. Even if our emissions were reduced to zero, it would make no perceptible difference to the climate.

 [THIS ONE IS REALLY ON THE NOSE.]

Ideological obsessions with uneconomic renewable technologies to meet unrealistic emissions targets to prevent ‘climate change’ have made our energy unreliable and expensive.

 [Note the ‘scare quotes’. [And we may ask of course: Is that so? ]

 Targets and subsidies for renewable energy distort the market and disadvantage consumers. Australian Conservatives are open to renewable energy as an option for electricity generation but we oppose taxpayer and cross-subsidies to support it.

China produces 26% of global emissions, and it is the biggest GHG producer of all. So no country produces the ‘majority’ of GHG emissions. Australia’s 1.5% does not make “no perceptible difference to the climate”, even though it is refreshing to see AC’s and Bernardi’s admission there that there is climate change, and that CO2 and other GHG emissions are involved in it.

 The last time I checked, 1.5% did not equal 0%. Arguably, Australia thus produces 1.5% of the total world emissions, which is nothing trivial. Every emitting country, including China, at the top of the ladder with 26% of global emissions, can claim this sort of pseudo-trivial ‘minority’ status.

Australian Conservatives will scrap all taxpayer and cross-subsidies for electricity generation and allow market forces to determine the best outcomes for Australian consumers and business.

 [ON THE NOSE.]

[The above should read: Australian Conservatives will scrap all taxpayer and cross-subsidies for electricity generation (but not for fossil-fuel extraction) and allow market forces (and taxpayer-subsidy of outfits like Adani) to determine the best outcomes for Australian consumers and business, and to convert the fossil fuel reserves into harmless, non-global warming, plant-feeding CO2 as rapidly as possible.

 And what will our descendants use for road tar? Let them use cake, and eat it too.]

Migrants must be committed to making a positive contribution to Australia. Welfare payments will be limited in scope and duration to better encourage migrants to participate in our workforce, become a regular taxpayer and be self-sufficient. Those settled in Australia should contribute to our economy, not be welfare-dependent.

[Really? So the money not spent on their welfare payments can be spent on boosting the police forces in order to fight the inevitable increase in crime resulting from this half-thought and half-brained policy.]

 Australian Conservatives recognise the importance of the National Broadcaster to many Australians, particularly those located in rural and remote communities.

[ ! ]

We also recognise that a diversified and financially sustainable media industry is important for all Australians.

Australian Conservatives will merge the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

We will require the new, merged broadcaster to strictly adhere to enhanced charter obligations of balance and a diversity of views.

We will ensure that it puts a greater emphasis on rural and regional broadcasting and alleviating other important gaps in commercial media coverage.

[ON THE NOSE]  Real agenda:  ruralise and de-urbanise the ABC. So no more programs like Four Corners or Chris Masters’ demolition of the Bjelke-Petersen gerrymandered crony regime in Queensland: thus being truly ‘conservative’ of existing arrangements, no matter how shonky, antidemocratic and dodgy.

 The media sector in Australia and around the world is undergoing significant disruption and national, taxpayer-funded broadcasting cannot be insulated from these changes.

Australian Conservatives will merge the ABC and SBS into a single, consolidated broadcaster saving taxpayers over $1 billion per year with the savings dedicated to debt reduction.

 [Read debt and program reduction.

Real agenda: gradually defund the ABC and SBS, prior to selling what is left of them both off to the highest bidder, probably based overseas. A certain name springs to mind.]

 Australian Conservatives will give the consolidated broadcaster a greater rural and regional focus – to ensure that the few remaining gaps in the Australian media landscape, including providing critical information during natural disasters and emergencies, are well-covered.

[More of the same: See above.]

 We will reform the board arrangements and Charter of the current ABC and ensure that the consolidated broadcaster is truly impartial, unbiased and presents a diversity of views representative of the Australian nation.

 [TRANSLATION:  we will censor it, by tying it up in the same red tape we make a big noise about cutting. Real agenda: So goodbye to Four Corners, and anything anyone to the left of Genghis Khan might object to. ]

 Australian Conservatives will limit the consolidated broadcaster to two TV stations – covering news, current affairs, drama and entertainment.

[Real agenda:  that’s for starters: we will prune them on from there.]

 We will limit the consolidated broadcaster to two radio stations available nationally with local and national content.

Further, Australian Conservatives will limit the provision of online services by the consolidated broadcaster to on-demand viewing of the local news, entertainment and current affairs programs produced by the broadcaster.

[ON THE NOSE. Real agenda: deny the Australian people the right to read and publicly comment on current affairs on the widely read ABC online site. Confine such to the ‘proper channels’ such as Federal Parliament, through us politicians. And constituents’ letters thereto, which we are masters at brushing aside and filing in the Parliamentary Rubbish Bin.]

These changes will save taxpayers over $1 billion per annum which will be used to repay national debt. They will further strengthen the diversity of the media market by limiting the size, scope and reach of government funded broadcasting. 

 [ And generally dumbing it down.]

[ON THE NOSE: Incredibly, Senator Cory Bernardi or whoever wrote this for him, cannot see the self-contradiction in the above: we will increase the diversity of the media market by pulling one of the main players out of it.]

 The West is under a significant threat from ideologies that seek to undermine our way of life.  The gradual dismantling of Western culture in other areas of the world has left a vacuum into which alternate cultures have expanded and taken root. We will stand up for Australian values in the face of these threats, and will ensure that our heritage and way of life are strengthened and retained.

[Add: despite the similarities of our policies to those of the most benighted regimes in the Islamic world.]

 We will abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission. Rather than defending or upholding key Western liberties, rights and freedoms of the individual, this institution has become an expensive agent for their undermining, suppression and destruction, often in the pursuit of identity politics and political correctness.

[But on the bright side, it has provided highly-paid careers for ex-politicians and IPA urgers.]

 https://gisera.csiro.au/more-information/frequently-asked-questions/the-great-artesian-basin-and-coal-seam-gas/

END OF STORY

 

 

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