By P’oed Pete
Trying to make sense of Australia’s conservative and right wings politics is a real Chinese puzzle as there are strange bedfellows, faceless lobby groups and political agendas.
Nevertheless, this quagmire can be made a bit easier if like a criminal investigation one follows the money.
In short one can make some sense of the conservatives seemingly reactionary policies and often policy inaction by asking yourself who is benefitting from them. A good example are the current Government’s economic, energy, tax and housing policies.
Let’s look at their economic (or lack of) policies first. Their big lynch pin and really only major vision is to offer generous and unnecessary tax cuts to big companies and transnationals. The very same ones who by clever accounting pay little tax here. All in the vain hope this will stimulate job growth. Classic trickledown Thatherism/Reagnaism economics. It did not work then and will not work now. This at the same time the Government have chased like rabid bloodhounds the most vulnerable whom have been accused of social security fraud.
Add to this the Government’s energy policies. (Putting aside the shameful way that they blamed South Australia’s energy blackouts on wind energy when independent reports proportioned blame to the energy provider who were not prepared to generate energy from the Torrens Island plant as the price that day was not high enough for their shareholders and bottom line.) It is obvious who are puppet masters here pulling the Government’s strings – the Coal Industry. The conservatives blinkered opposition to all carbon pricing, the removal of the mining tax and their crazy support of the doomed and unviable Adani Coal proposal all make sense when you appreciate whose interests they are trying to serve.
The support for the Adani coal mine proposal is nonsensical as there has been a worldwide decline in coal and the Indian energy minister claimed last week that it is India’s aim to be coal energy free by 2025. Not to mention the potential tenfold increase in sea traffic through our threatened Great Barrier Reef and our meeting the Paris Agreement.
Another example that reveals the Government’s slavish servitude to the big end of town are their pathetic efforts in trying to improve housing affordability. A part from dusting off some old Labor policies that were deemed unworthy back in 2014 by the Abbott government Scomo and co have done little and have ignored the proverbial elephant in the room – negative gearing and capital gains tax. All of this fiddling around the edges and not doing the bloody obvious only makes sense again when you consider whose interests are being served – investor buyers outbidding young and aspiring first home buyers adding to their portfolio.
The Government’s inaction and reluctance to hold a royal commission in the behaviour of the big banks add to this sorry polemic.
I will leave the Government’s flirting with One Nation and the far right by demonising and making false allegations against genuine asylum seekers and their over the top reaction to Yassmin Abdel-Magled’s lest we forget comments, to their refusal to allow a free vote on marriage equality, for another time.