Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

More of What Has Already Failed

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

More of What Has Already Failed

Article excerpt


Where now for the Federal Liberal party?

Obviously the party's non parliamentary political heavy weights don't know, or else the party would not be firmly in the hands of a man whose own daughter describes him as a lame gay churchie loser. The manner of election of Tony Abbot places the public perception of the Liberals squarely in the climate change denial camp. This is not the position they took to the last election but rather continues the do nothing attitude that helped the Howard government to defeat.

After the last federal election it was clear that Abbot, Costello, Downer, Turnbull and Bishop were stumbling blocks to any attempt at party renewal and redirection. Two party room spills later the team that Michael Kroger feared would be unable to resist behaving like a government in exile and refusing to accept the verdict of the electorate is firmly back in power.

A team that one of my liberal party friends, agreeing with Barry Jones of all people, described as vindictive, mean spirited and marginalising of dissent. He was of the view that the meanest spirited, most mendacious and vindictive bastards were the ones who had kept their seats

History seems to have proved him right.

June 20 this year I wrote that Hockey, Abbot and Bishop would run Turnbull through at the first opportunity. This has now come to fruition. I thought this to be stating the blindingly obvious, not a marvel of foresight. Ensconcing the embittered rump of a failed government in one's shadow front bench, particularly such an ill disciplined rump as Messrs Abbot et al, is like doing a hostile takeover and then appointing the old directors to the board as a peace offering. It never works. Two messy leadership battles later, one wonders if the party has taken that message on board.

That climate change brought this to a head is no surprise. Climate change is politically hard and involves an understanding of scientific method, something many politicians struggle with. Understanding the difference in value between a qualified peer reviewed investigation and some science teacher's spray in the Courier Mail is essential. Recognising scientists have limited qualifications to comment on fields outside their narrow expertise helps as well.

A geologist's opinions on jet propulsion are probably not worth a cracker. To assess the value of any contribution to the debate, one has to know the qualifications of the contributor, whether the input is from a peer reviewed paper or merely a personal pet hypothesis and if the opinion is in the minority, to what degree the bulk of his majority peers respect the capacities of the proponent.

Einstein was wrong on several speculations in the field of physics but none of his peers ever declared he was loopy. Some of the more fringy elements of both sides of the climate change debate are right up there with the breakfast cereal. …

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