As the Coalition capitulated on climate today, the last of a long-line of plain-speaking Queensland Nats swam up-stream. Possibly for the last time.
The Coalition’s capitulation on climate was complete today.
The party room overwhelmingly endorsed Malcolm Turnbull’s so-called National Energy Guarantee.
This locks Australia into the UN’s Paris agreement on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
If the modelling is right, our sky-high electricity bills will start to come down in the years beyond 2020.
Pigs might fly.
For power to get cheaper and more reliable under the NEG, we would have to pull off something no other country has done with renewables.
As Tony Abbott pointed out to Leigh Sales last night, the modelling on the closure of the giant Hazlewood coal-fired power station in Victoria was wrong.
Its demise sent electricity prices through the roof.
Hundreds of years of supply of coal sits un-touched in the ground of the LaTrobe Valley. In Central Queensland too.
We are about to close Liddell in the Hunter Valley.
Solutions to reliability of electricity supply going forward involve industry rationing its electricity useage.
Poor fellow, my country.
As former Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson said, we are risking the further deindustrialisation of our nation.
As Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi said, the Coalition like sheep have run to genuflect to the green gods of the UN.
And oh how Australian Labor and the Greens love it.
They now have the mechanism, when next in government, to dial up even further emission reductions.
All this control delivered to them on a platter by a supposedly conservative government.
Whether it is social policy like same-sex marriage or euthanasia or economic policy like energy, the hard-green left are in the winners’ circle thanks to the Coalition’s enabling.
It’s easier to give in to naughty children than to say no. It’s even easier to do so without sustaining an argument in the public square.
Like unused muscles, the political potency of the Coalition has atrophied.
The political landscape is now the Labor-Green-Left plus a large cohort of Coalition MPs verses the Conservatives.
Even our chief scientist, Alan Finkle, says cutting all of Australia’s carbon dioxide would make virtually no difference to the temperature of the planet.
Yet our biggest export earner is coal we ship to be burned in someone else’s country.
We would actually lower our emissions if we stopped exporting coal and only burned here what Australia needed.
But hey, that would be too logical.
Late to this latest climate stoush, Tony Abbott mounted valiant last ditch resistance.
But alas, his political capital is diminished and only a rump followed.
Importantly that rump included Andrew Hastie, the up-and-coming member for Canning in Western Australia.
No fool, Hastie will have weighed the evidence.
If only more in the Coalition had this capability.
This brings me to the good Senator from Queensland, Barry O’Sullivan.
When Senator Bernardi today moved a motion calling on Australia to withdraw from the Paris agreement, Senator O’Sullivan crossed the floor to back Bernardi.
Dumped from a winnable spot on the LNP’s Senate ticket, cynics might say he had nothing to lose in joining Bernardi on the other side of the red chamber.
But O’Sullivan is his own man. Remember, he was prepared to push Turnbull all the way to help get the banking Royal Commission established.
But come the next election Senator O’Sullivan will be gone. Dumped by a party organisation that once prided itself in sending Senators to disrupt the Canberra status quo.
Now like dead fish they go with the flow.
With Ron Boswell retired and Barnaby Joyce now in the green chamber, Queensland has perhaps seen the last of this rare, plain-speaking breed of Senator.
It’s the end of an era.
This is why I believe the Conservative Party’s time has come.
Yes, I would say that.
But how else can we turn our country around?
The Coalition’s capitulation is complete today.
Now the fight begins in earnest.
Next year’s election might be our last chance.