:: Saturday, 3 October 2009 ::
Malcolm Turnbull, Leader of the Opposition in Oz, a nice man, a clever man, family man, says something like "I won't be a leader of a party with nothing to say about climate change".
Lordy that's infuriating. 'Nothing to say'? Gi Fa.
What he means is, if you're not prepared to acknowledge as a starting point that manmade greenhouse emissions, specially carbon, have to be taxed to stop weather he's not prepared to listen to you.
To say, as I believe, that 'climate change' as a political policy, based on greenhouse gas emissions and particularly man-made carbon emissions, is full of shit is most definitely not not having something to say. It very definitely is saying something. It's saying 'stop lying, stop buying crap IPCC modelling bollocks about how the world works, stop and think before you tax the crap out of us for just doing what we're doing and costing us our jobs, stop barrelling ahead into a tax that won't achieve anything to make the environment better, start crediting the anxious citizenry with some sense. Stop pointing to the fucking polar bears and crying. Acknowledge Gore is an imbecile and Stern is no better. Start making changes to water use rules and architecture and farming proesses, start tax relief for businesses that reuse their waste or sell it on for use elsewhere, start encouraging postivity and betterness instead of focussing on lies about man's perfidy and focussing always on chicken little negativity'.
Barack Obama, POTUS, ... ummm, well, a good family man, says something like "I am happy to hear arguments about health care but not criticism."
What he means is if you're not prepared to acknowledge as a starting point that govt health care is required right now then he's not prepared to listen to you.
I got nothing to say about American health care. You want it you buy you don't want it, you don't buy it, you take a chance. You get covered anyways and maybe stuck with a bill. O. Mi. Go. Whatever.
Both men are lawyers.
Both men are conducting contract negotiations, cos that's what these two issues are all about. Politicians pitching legislation to an anxious citizenry, represented by the politicians in over and their respective oppositions, yeah?
But they're not doing a great job. They're deeply invested in winning their side of the argument but they're rushing to get 'agreement' on the threshold issue of introducing a carbon tax/introducing mandatory health care, right now and that's okellydokelly cos that's their view but any contract negotiator recognises this and the appropriate response at the first contract negotiation meeting is, 'Wait just a minute, Mr Look So Good! Why are we here?'.
There's nothing like taking a negotiation right back to bare bones first principles to really shake up the other side - the unspoken "I don't need this deal as much as you do, buddy" is very very effective tactic. Puts the other side on the back foot from the word go cos they understand that they won't get their deal at all if they don't give up stuff.
That's why there's so much shirtiness in Barack's attitude. And so much in PM Rudd's too and Turnbull's. They haven't actually won the threshold argument yet cos they haven't thought it through.
But they need to be on the back foot. Cos they're talking about tax. New tax for something that hasn't been taxed before. This is kinda like the GST, a whole new tax in Oz, but Howard, a lawyer, understood basic negotiation. He won that threshold argument by saying a) we need to collect revenue cos surpluses mean better spending, b) we need to collect revenue from the black market/cash economy cos right now they're not contributing to revenue and a GST on every transaction will do this, c) we can't just add a new tax without taking off some stupid other stuff cos that would be painful for the economy, not a benefit at all and people will get the shits, so d) all GST revenue goes to the states for spending (which were Labour govts as it happens) so they can get rid of their silly sundry taxes (not that they got rid of stamp duty, the swine) and every transaction will be neutral - some times you pay GST some times you get a credit.
Why do we need a carbon tax again? Poley bears? Cos the IPCC says so? Falling at the first hurdle.
Why do Yanks need compulsory govt health care again? Because Obama says so? So he's falling at the first hurdle too. [See a and b above re GST. Silly Obama can't get to c and d though. He's just not that good a lawyer.]
:: WB 3:19 p.m. [link+] ::