Watching politics builds a high tolerance for hypocrisy and humbug, but even I am aghast at the Coalition’s antics this week – fondling a lump of coal in parliament while accusing the opposition of an “ideological approach to energy” and negligence in policy planning.
Seriously. There’s a long list of blame and shame for Australia’s threadbare climate and energy policy, and the failure to plan for an energy market crisis that experts have warned about for years. But Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition takes out first place.
Arguably all sides of politics have made mistakes or miscalculations to get us to this point of omni-failure – high prices, blackouts and an inability to reduce electricity sector emissions – and yes, ideology has played a part: mostly the climate-change denying, renewables-are-a-socialist-plot ideology espoused by sections of the Liberal and National parties that once upon a time, a long time ago, Turnbull also railed against.
Before we untether from reality entirely and drift off into a Trump-like universe where truth belongs to whoever delivers the best poll-driven lines or brings the dumbest prop to question time, let’s hammer down a few facts. Because we aren’t reviewing bad theatre here and when some commentators opine about whether Turnbull’s lines will “work”, or how funny the whole thing was, what they are really assessing is whether the prime minister can successfully, and in broad daylight, shift the blame for a monumental stuff-up, while apparently proposing solutions that will make it substantially worse in every regard.