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THE COURAGE TO CHANGE: Rudd was right to ditch the ETS and should be thanked for coming to his senses

wongwrong Kevin Rudd is spot on in his decision to ditch the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Federal Labor MPs tell VEXNEWS they “breathed a sigh of relief” when Rudd finally made it clear yesterday that the policy had shifted a very way down the list of government priorities.

“This needed to be killed, in full public gaze and Rudd’s done it. Good on him,” an MP not normally known for his Rudd-love told VEX.

If climate change is a global problem then it requires a global solution.

The disastrous Copenhagen conference last year demonstrated that there is no global consensus about the problem, let alone the possible ways of addressing it.

Last year, we argued that the government was making a huge mistake – a politically and economically catastrophic one with absolutely no real impact on the climate – by pursuing this policy while huge carbon emitters around the world showed no sign of adopting a similar approach.

The policy – manically pursued by the details-focused and politically ignorant Penny Wong – was going to cost Labor a lot of votes but even worse was going to cost a lot of jobs, purely by exporting them to countries that weren’t taxing carbon at all.

It was bad policy. It was really bad politics.

And Kevin Rudd showed great courage in ditching it.

The easy thing in life is never conceding error. Never acknowledging a mistake.

Real leadership is not about crashing through or crashing with mad lefty schemes that no-one wanted except for the Greens political party who wanted it but only in an even madder form.

Real leadership is listening. And taking action.

It is clear now that Kevin Rudd over-egged the omelette when he spoke of the “great moral challenge of our time being climate change.”

We can forgive him that because he’s ultimately done the right thing.

The only Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme that can – and should – ever pass our Parliament is one that is endorsed by both sides of politics and is in accord with similar schemes adopted around the world.

It wasn’t easy but the good guys won this argument. There were many sensible, worried and pragmatic people within the Rudd government who helped secure this victory. They should be congratulated for having the courage to stand up to a dominant paradigm that was far too inclined to attack opponents of the ETS on “moral” grounds.

And the Prime Minister should be congratulated for having the courage to change his mind.

If he hadn’t, he’d have done much to damage this country.

Those attacking from the right should accept their victory graciously. Something sadly beyond a few. If you don’t want to win policy arguments then perhaps you shouldn’t be in politics, might be something for some to ponder.

Tony Abbott – and his backers Nick Minchin and Kevin Andrews – should take a bow. They might have neutralised climate change as an election issue but they did the right thing by their country in a way that should be long remembered. Without them, Turnbull would still be leader, the policy would have passed, tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs would have been lost and the Liberals would have been slaughtered. They have done their party and their country great service.

But they can’t credibly complain now that Rudd has listened and accepted their arguments. Gloat, by all means. But we should all be careful what we wish for, because we might get it. (Perhaps this also applies to newly discovered radio talent but that’s another story)

Those monstering from the left – in the Greens political party – have only themselves to blame. They voted down the CPRS in coalition with the Liberals. As is so often the case with the extreme left, their extremism prevented them for achieving any part of their objectives. May it ever be thus.

Despite all the Copenhagen “friend of the chair” nonsense and a very messy approach to policy development on this issue, it’s now Kevin Rudd who looks like the sensible one. From where he started after the Copenhagen debacle and a whole 2009 wasted on climate change, that’s quite an achievement.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Landeryou, David Hutt and Asia Pacific Brief, vexnews. vexnews said: THE COURAGE TO CHANGE: Rudd was right to ditch the ETS and should be thanked for coming to his senses: Kevin Rudd… http://bit.ly/99OuuB […]

    Posted by Tweets that mention VEXNEWS 2010© | THE COURAGE TO CHANGE: Rudd was right to ditch the ETS and should be thanked for coming to his senses -- Topsy.com | April 28, 2010, 11:45
  2. Is courage the same thing as pragmatism?

    Posted by Tony | April 28, 2010, 12:20
  3. The unsung hero in all this has been Minchin. He saved Australia. A polly who acted with great integrity and who, at the time, took a huge personal risk.

    Posted by heinrich | April 28, 2010, 13:36
  4. What does Rudd stand for? I thought this was the greatest moral challenge of our time? Biggest backflip in 50 years as the Australian says is right.

    Where are the voting options for people that believe in climate change but think the Greens are wacky? (ie 80% of the population)

    Posted by Hopeless | April 28, 2010, 13:40
  5. Once there was a wicked witch
    In the lovely land of Oz
    And a wickeder, wickeder
    Wickeder witch that never,never was
    She filled the folks in munchkin land
    With terror and with dread
    Till one fine day from kansas way
    A cyclone caught a house
    That brought the wickeder, wickeder witcher dome
    At she was flying on her broom
    For the house fell on her head
    And the coroner pronounced her: dead
    And through the town the joyous news was spread

    Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
    Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
    Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
    Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead.
    She’s gone where the goblins go,
    Below – below – below. Yo-ho
    Let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
    Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
    Let them know
    The Wicked Witch is dead!

    She’s gone where the goblins go,
    Below – below – below. Yo-ho
    Let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
    Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
    Let them know
    That Wicked Witch…
    That Wicked Witch is dead!

    Posted by chris | April 28, 2010, 14:21
  6. I doubt any ALP member talks to Vexnews … me thinkith you make this bit up. As for Minchin . pweh, spare me. If you think climate change isn’t real you are seriosuly deluded. Even Howard said as much – the debate is about how we retard the earth’s warming and to what extend pollution speeds up the natural warming (and cooling) of the earth.

    Honestly Heinrich, take a look at Maggie Thatcher in the 1970s – the champion of reducing emissions.

    I suspect in 50 years’ time, the Greens won’t look so ‘whacky’ …

    Posted by Wendy | April 28, 2010, 14:28
  7. The ETS was always electoral poison. Rudd embraced it when it was still cool pre-Copenhagen amongst the warm and fuzzy chattering classes but has worked out that it isn’t as big an issue in the mind of voters now so can get away with ditching it. Smart thing to do, although some might suggest that it highlights what is wrong with Rudd, that it is all about pragmatism and not policy or the strength of his convictions (aside from his commitment to getting reelected).

    Wong explaining the ETS – can you think of a more boring combination?

    Posted by Anonymous | April 28, 2010, 14:31
  8. It has only been temporarily ditched. Don’t thank Rudd too much.

    Posted by Meno's Slave | April 28, 2010, 14:37
  9. Seriously, the only way to do this in a way that will protect Australian jobs and drive behavioural change is an outright carbon tax.
    You could then apply a levy to imported goods, based on the amount of carbon required to produce them and bring them to market. Once the producing country can reliably demonstrate a scheme similar to our own, we drop the tarrif for free trade.
    Closer to home, it would drive up the price of coal fired electricity (especially the murky brown stuff we use in Victoria) to be more expensive than the alternatives. Start the tax out low and push it up until this point, driving the changes in behaviour. Rebates could go direct to the consumer, rather than the polluters.
    Of course, no politican on either side of the fence would have the balls to introduce such a policy which directtly uses the ‘T’ word, instead what we’ll end up with is a stupid trading scheme which will allow greedy brokers to skim government mandated profits at the consumers expense.
    I’m glad this ETS is gone, but I would like to see us put something in place to drive us into more sustainable ways of meeting our energy needs.

    Posted by wolf | April 28, 2010, 14:42
  10. I would hate this bloke as my CO in an Infantry Battalion. All over the place, changing horse in mid stream, disliked by his troops, disloyal to subordinates, poor tactical appreciations and failed strategy.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 28, 2010, 14:43
  11. I am extremely relieved that Rudd’s ETS is on the back burner until 2013, but just because I can happily breath a sigh of relief at Rudd’s failure to pass his great big new tax, doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to criticize him and it certainly doesn’t mean i will congratulate him for changing his mind.

    Just because I rejoice in the outcome doesn’t mean I forget the tactics he used to try and screw me, my family and every other Aussie.

    The lies, the emotional blackmail, the outright verbal abuse directed at skeptics.
    Rudd said: “No responsible government confronted with the evidence delivered by the 4000 scientists associated with the international panel could then in conscience choose not to act.”
    We have every right to question the character of a man who makes the outrageous claim that climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time and then does nothing about it.

    He has not admitted that man made climate change is nothing but a scam so until he does, we have every right to ask questions.
    Questions about his integrity.
    Questions about his gullibility.
    Questions about his hysterical claims.
    Questions about his courage.
    Questions about his ability to finish what he starts.
    Questions about his judgement.
    Questions about his leadership skills.

    Posted by Jenny | April 28, 2010, 15:08
  12. Minchin Sminchin, bitter twisted bastardo.

    Posted by Arther conan doyle | April 28, 2010, 15:11
  13. So wolf, you would support an immediate nation wide construction of 4th gen fission nuclear power plants to replace all carbon-based power capacity?

    This question cuts to the core of a greenie and sorts the apples from the watermelons.

    Posted by mick | April 28, 2010, 15:18
  14. Well Mick, as long as the emmissions from building the bloody thing doesnt outweigh the savings, and we have a plan to deal with the waste you can go ahead.
    I’ll even let you use some of the revenue from the carbon tax. The rest can go to compensating low income households, subsidising the installation of solar panels/wind turbines/geothermal on residential and commercial premises and anything left over goes into research.
    I would caution against putting all our eggs in the nuclear basket as we only have maybe 40 years of fissionables left in this country. A diverse approach would seem to offer better security long term.

    Posted by wolf | April 28, 2010, 15:23
  15. So ends the “greatest moral and economic challenge of our time.”

    Posted by Anonymous | April 28, 2010, 16:10
  16. Wheres Wendy?
    Had to giggle at Paul Kelly in the Horstralian today- from his tone a politician is supposed to push on regardless, ignoring what has been steadily growing IE the so called science unravelling before the eye, and bugger the country and the populace, just to satisfy a bunch of creepy journos.
    Enough of this eco-porn for a while but vigilance needs to be maintained for the next move of the eco loons.

    Posted by screamin mee mees | April 28, 2010, 16:46
  17. Courage? FFS, just a few months ago he was sermonising about ‘the greatest moral challenge of our generation’!
    He went to Copenhagen to SAVE THE WORLD!

    Posted by Anonymous | April 28, 2010, 16:56
  18. @mick 4th generation nuclear doesn’t exist yet – doesn’t matter who you are, you would be out of your mind to start the immediate construction of one.

    I fail to see the logic in the claim that because Rudd has dropped the ETS, climate change is no longer the defining moral challenge of this generation. It doesn’t matter what Rudd does, climate change stays the same and the challenge remains the same.

    Posted by sg | April 28, 2010, 17:00
  19. Courage? It takes ‘courage’ to abandon the greatest moral etc etc?
    Have you forgotten all those sermons already, Andrew? Has it slipped your mind already that Rudd went to Copenhagen to SAVE THE WORLD?
    Courage, in this instance, would demand an admission of error and ditching of the Bill. Locking the ETS away until 2013 is the coward’s escape.
    Rudd has sycophants enough in the press gallery, Andrew. You can do better than that.

    Posted by Gregoryno6 | April 28, 2010, 17:09
  20. Rudd is only looking out for his own skin. He will happily ditch something if it means not losing any more votes or displaying the government’s incompetence (CPRS, foreign property ownership, fuelwatch, etc.).

    Posted by The Truth | April 28, 2010, 22:10
  21. “And Kevin Rudd showed great courage in ditching it.”

    Hmm. Rudd has ditched pretty much everything he ever tried to introduce. Seriously, would you like him to be in a trench with you during a battle? Can’t think of anyone worse.

    Posted by rech | April 28, 2010, 22:52
  22. thanks rudd the dudd, i’ll be thinking of you when i die knowing my children and their children will be living a very unpleasant life indeed, simply because you decided not to act until ‘everybody else does’ Nice one. Goodbye planet earth, hello venus.

    Posted by maureen | April 29, 2010, 9:48
  23. The real test of courage will be for the electorate to get rid of this disgraceful ALP Government after only one term.

    Posted by Anon | April 29, 2010, 10:01
  24. The Libs are acting like Republicans, torching everything they can get their hands on regardless of its merits.

    It’s disgusting.

    Posted by Anon | April 29, 2010, 12:00
  25. Rudd abandoned the tax on everything b/c of the opinion polls. Nothing brave about that. He is a coward for even promoting the cult of global warming and a culture of censorship, around free speech.

    Posted by Ben | April 29, 2010, 12:23
  26. rudds a fuckin fraud.

    Posted by labor mp | April 29, 2010, 13:58
  27. @ maureen 29th 2010

    Barring accidents, Maureen, you will die of natural causes and your children after their individual lives ditto, ‘cos it aint going to happen from imaginery fairy dust from hysterical nutters. I for one am not keen on living back in the dark ages waiting for something that is just not going to happen in the form that all the ill looking tofu munchers are hysterical about.

    Posted by the undertaker | April 29, 2010, 15:38
  28. One the one hand Rudd tries to dodge the hurt of a new tax….on the other he turns his back on the “greatest moral and economic challenge of our time.”

    In Rudd being the grand political guru he has shown Australia to be a man who believes in nothing except his own political survival. This will undo him. Unlike Howard, who pushed on with his plans, whether you liked them or not, Rudd hasn’t the substance to hold true to anything.

    A man of ideas he aint. A leader he is definitely not isn’t.

    Posted by noom | April 29, 2010, 15:52
  29. Rudd Federal Labour is fast shaping up to be the new “Guilty Party”

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 29, 2010, 16:41
  30. Look on the bright side!! We won’t have to put up with that dreadful, humourless automaton Penny Wong for at least 3 years!!

    Posted by Far rightie | April 29, 2010, 19:05
  31. Malcolm Turnbull will be vindicated by history on this one!!

    In 30 years time when nothing happens we’ll be thinking “God! we were stupid in not letting the visionary Mad Mal ruin our country!”.

    Climate Change is nothing more than nonsense propagated by the trendy left to sneak in socialism compensate for their life’s meaninglessness.

    Posted by Grover | April 29, 2010, 21:04
  32. Thank God for Nick and Tony who ensured the RS CP tax scheme failed by removing Malcontent Turncoat from the leadership in time to prevent a vote for it in the parliament.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | April 29, 2010, 21:41
  33. Minchin is a very cool guy

    Posted by blackmambo | April 29, 2010, 23:12
  34. At last we have conclusive scientific evidence.

    Earthworms really do have more spinal column than Rudd

    Posted by bill | April 30, 2010, 16:39
  35. Spineless worm Rudd is.

    Integrity none. Cannot be trusted anything to do this one.

    Hack souless empty is.

    For him vote once more?

    Way fucking no.

    Posted by Yoda | April 30, 2010, 20:25
  36. Speak the truth you do, Yoda.

    Posted by Gregoryno6 | May 1, 2010, 10:35
  37. Senator X – it is all your fault.

    Posted by Gobbler | May 1, 2010, 10:59


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