Would you buy a carbon tax from this woman?

12 Jul

Back when we were friends

With a primary vote of 27% in today’s Newspoll, the ALP with Julia Gillard at the helm is sinking faster than a leaky SIEV. The poll was taken before the carbon tax roadshow began in earnest on Sunday, and we have yet to discover whether that will make things better or worse.

Gillard’s promise to keep on  explaining for as long as it takes struck terror into my heart, but when I remembered that I’m still the boss of the remote I felt better.

A new tax must be the hardest thing for any government to sell to the electorate, but when you’re a government with figures in the death zone, you’re well and truly up against it.

I watched a little of Q&A last night, with Gillard as the sole panelist. I did note that the PM appears to have taken some criticisms of her vocal style to heart: the trademark drone seemed less likely to induce narcolepsy in the listener, and that unfortunate habit of repeating a few words over and over and over and over and over and over…well, that wasn’t quite as in evidence, though I admit I only watched for ten minutes or so.

So with those improvements why did I still switch off?

There’s no logical answer to that. It’s visceral. I cannot listen to or watch this woman, anymore than I could listen to and watch that rabid anti pornographer Gail Dines, albeit for different reasons. Gillard come to us with a dark history, one that does not necessarily reflect on the substance of the current carbon tax, but one that seriously reflects on the morality (or lack of it) that has dogged this debate within the ALP. Then there’s the wider circumstances of Gillard’s ascension to the leadership.

Just how much this bloody history will interfere with Gillard’s selling of the carbon tax remains to be seen, but it’s not looking good. In what sounded a little too much like desperation, Bob Brown the other day acknowledged that the PM is a “brilliant negotiater.” This may well be so, but those skills are not evident in public, so aren’t going to do her much good. Selling is not negotiating, and requires a different skill set if it’s going to be successful.

Gillard hasn’t successfully sold herself as a credible leader. Her party didn’t manage a mandate. What she apparently does have in spades is a blind determination to keep going no matter what. This is not always a positive attribute. As the wise ones tells us, real wisdom is knowing when to fight and when to lay down arms and accept that it’s over. There is little more pathetic than someone who does not recognise when their time is up. John Howard is a good example of overstaying one’s welcome, when at the end of his reign he just would not go, no matter who begged him to bugger off.

Granted, for the ALP to change leaders again at this point would seem on the face of it suicidal. But perhaps it could just work, if Gillard co-operated and graciously stood down and no blood was spilt. What have they got to lose, one wonders? Gillard signifies nothing positive or good. And that’s the problem. What she signifies cannot be overcome by any amount of negotiating talent or selling skills.

All political parties should take note: short term measures that seem like a good idea at the time, such as dumping the PM overnight without warning anybody, can have long term and disastrous effects.

It is an elementary fallacy that to conclude that because in a democracy politicians represent the people therefore politicians are representative people. The closed-off life of the typical politician is much like life in a military caste, or in the Mafia, or in Kurosawa’s bandit gangs. One commences one’s career at the bottom of the ladder, running errands and spying; when one has proved one’s loyalty and obedience and readiness to endure ritual humiliations, one is blooded into the gang proper; thereafter one’s first duty is to the gang leader. J.M.Coetzee, Diary of a Bad Year.

Gillard is a politician and nothing else. She doesn’t represent anything non-politicians can identify with. We can’t connect with her in any real human way. This isn’t to say she isn’t human and humane, but those aspects of her character are obliterated by her carefully contrived  political persona. Hence the “real” Julia campaign, doomed to failure from the start because anyone who says they’re being real now when they weren’t before has a profound credibility problem that isn’t going to go away.

Gillard’s had a “closed-off life,” and she isn’t representative of anyone outside of the political arena. But where she so dramatically breaks away from Coetzee’s depressing assessment of politicians is that she abandoned her first duty to her gang leader and overthrew him. The combination of the closed-off life and treachery at that level is a killer. The childish wish to put those unfortunate events behind her and move forward has not been granted. No matter what else she does, she will always be remembered first for the night she took down Kevin Rudd.

For Gillard, like so many of our politicians on all sides,it’s all about them and it’s all about their party allegiances. It’s not about us. It’s not about the people they’re elected to represent. Coetzee’s right. Representative democracy is an elementary fallacy, and nobody demonstrates that as well as Julia Gillard.




18 Responses to “Would you buy a carbon tax from this woman?”

  1. gerard oosterman July 12, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Yes, I would buy carbon tax from her and I predict that she will win the next election. She will win because new technology and progress always wins.
    The alternative from Mr Abbott and his staunch belief in wooden carts and horses is without hope or future
    . Of course it will cost and of course we will pay. Remember the Swedish Government was returned last time with the promise NOT to lower tax.
    Australia is creaking at the seams with a third world infrastructure, thanks to following the US in forever promising to lower the tax and reward the 1 % of the wealthy. The result is sleeping in the streets for thousands and the mentally ill in jails. Take your pick!
    The carbon tax will at least give revenue that might eventually spread to better education, health and a renewel of the ‘ horse and carriage’ infrasructure of public transport, electricity supply, better pensions, etc


    • Marilyn July 13, 2011 at 4:06 am #

      I can’t stand her, she is not humane, nor decent and she is barely human in real life.

      She once told the lawyer of an homosexual man in Woomera driven insane that just because he was going to be stoned to death if he was sent home that did not make him a refugee because being killed did not qualify as persecution.

      I almost tore every phoney red hair off her miserable skull.

      But “selling” the carbon tax has already been done, now she needs to shut the hell up and learn something from the Mayor of Lampedusa.


  2. Steve at the Pub July 12, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    I wouldn’t buy any tax from anybody. Goes without saying I won’t buy a carbon tax from her, or anybody else.


  3. Sam Jandwich July 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Just get rid of your TV. As well as engendering a feeling of unsullied peace, harmony, and well-being into your everyday life, you will find you have greater amounts of time for same.

    Sam Jandwich*

    *clean as of July 2010 – one year and counting!


  4. paul walter July 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Jennifer, not this time. I’ve become utterly nauseated at interviews with yuppies on a couple of hundred k a year whining about how carbon amelioration is the end of life as we know it, for no better reason than the purchase of the new Beamer of 4 Wheel Drive, or club med swingers holiday has to be postponed for a few months.
    The response to the carbon tax is motivated more by the sort of tight-assed meaness that typifies the attitude toward asylum seekers, than any real concern withthe ethics of it.
    No, the bloody thing isn’t a silver bullet, is crammed with unresolved anomalies and contradictions and won’t work except as part of a first step taken in concert with other countries, including ones far more influential than us. But at least its an acknowledgement, that there might be a problem.
    You dont get an acknowledgement from Abbott, for even a possibility of trouble on climate and enviro, only anal denial, so where’s the alternative, anyway?


    • Jennifer Wilson July 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

      There isn’t an alternative which is why I want the ALP to lift their bloody game because if they lose the next election that’s the end of what little bit we’ve even got.

      No point in introducing a carbon tax if you can’t get re-elected to see it through. Abbott will simply rescind any legislation, and the ALP with Gillard as it’s most unpopular leader ever will go to the next election like the world’s biggest losers, and it’s all their own bloody fault!!


  5. paul walter July 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    I’d have thought that the resolution, even in the current imperfect form, would have been cause for celebration in the wider public.
    At least we have, at last, the problem acknowledged by someone in authority. All we get instead is a big long litany of caviling from- 73%?- of the population at the thought of making even the slightest adjustments to their way of life.
    Just a replay of the aussies-as-refugees doco a month ago, we’ve lost the capacity to adapt to change because we are relatively well off and too lazy to scratch ourselves.
    A People gets the government it deserves?
    I can’t think of a People more deserving of Abbott, than Australians as currently constituted.
    if Australians want to put their collective toe inside a chaff-cutter next election, that’ll be their problem and the writer wouldn’t blame the current government and its supporters in the least, for walking away with a clear conscience and healthy contempt for the intestinal fortitude of Australians.


    • Jennifer Wilson July 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

      And that’s the key word, Paul – authority – they haven’t bloody got any, they’ve thrown it all away.
      All the disgraceful shenanigans that preceded this carbon tax undermined all of the moral authority and respect the ALP needed to have if they were going to have a hope of selling it.
      Now we have a despised government with the most unpopular leader in history trying to flog a tax – like, that’s going to work.
      And it wasn’t the carbon tax that got them into this big dark hole.


      • Marilyn July 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

        Sure wasn’t, it is the abuse of human rights that got them into this hole that we thought we had been dug out of.


  6. gerard oosterman July 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Of course they have to introduce the carbon tax, no matter what the consequences. We are the worlds biggest polluters and the biggest laggards in doing something about it. The whole of Europe has some form of carbon tax/trading with some having introduced it fifteen years ago.
    In two years time no government would rescind a carbon tax as the tide in favour of doing so would prohibit a turning back.
    Abbott is a failed Jesuit turned into a non- believer in climate change. Heaven knows how he got his Rhodes Scholarship. Perhaps from a packet of corn-flakes? Then again women were excluded from that club till the seventies.
    Even if it costs everyone $500,- a year; turn of your lights, drive a smaller car, or walk, stop chewing your cud at food courts slurping giant cokes, change to instantaneous gas hot water, don’t bloody shower so often. Don’t use under arm insecticide or fumigate your ‘nether’ regions.
    That’s apart from, as Paul pointed out, drive 4 wheel (black) double decker killer monsterous cars with bazookas trained on your neighbours, who by the way, cark it with no-one knowing for nine years., Club Med swinger clubs with botox infused Bieber lovers.
    JUst calm down and catch the bus.


  7. Jennifer Wilson July 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Of course the way out of all this angst is to get Malcolm Turnbull back as Coalition leader. He wouldn’t rescind a Carbon Tax.

    If Abbott won next time and did try to rescind it you realise there’d be a double dissolution and if I’m remembering right, a double diss means all senate seats are up for re-election which could well mean the end of a Green majority.

    I have to stop scaring myself like this.


  8. paul walter July 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Well, Turnbull is another victim of the obstructionism you talk of.
    He tried to lead the coalition into the twentieth (let alone the twenty first) century and was kneecapped straightaway by Minchin, Abbott and the other antediluvians, first after Howard’s departure and then courtesy of the Gretch affair, where I’m inclined to think internal rivals set him up for, as a relative tyro. We have the Marn’s and Bowens with Labor and similar types like Morrison and Mirabella with the Tories and these inherit the earth, not us, for it is written,
    ” The vain and souffle-like will inherit the earth, not ye honest dupes- 4 legs good, two legs bad”.
    They will vote in Abbott and he WILL rescind it because 73% of the population, urged on by Murdoch, Fairfax, ACA and so forth, are consequently so stupid as to identify it as a revenue tax rather than a necessary carbon amelioration scheme to begin dealing with an increasing real world problem.
    THEN, they can bring back SerfChoices and we’ll have a REAL laugh, when its more than a few bob of tax they lose.


  9. gerard oosterman July 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    I would rather buy the carbon tax than the The Australian or The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail etc.
    Go back where you came from Mr Murdoch! Oh sorry, that’s here, isn’t it?


  10. paul walter July 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Yes Gerard, the Carbon scheme points to the future, an investment. But buying tabloid, well, you may as well go out and by an ice pick and lobotomise yourself on the spot- that’s all tabloid press and media will do for you.


  11. Juan February 8, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Nem vou perguntar quem e9 a banaca nem o que quer dizer precisamente a frase em azul, porque je1 sei que ne3o vou obter resposta. E tambe9m je1 me habituei e0 ideia de que certas coisas ne3o se3o do entendimento de imigrantes. Vou mas’e9 ver o Tour de France, que e9 bem mais giro – sobretudo este ano – e este1 mais ao meu alcance…


  12. bfutmnhqruh February 10, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    CZHDza vmmqyfotovnv



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