The sacrifices one must make: Gillard has to go to save the existing climate policy framework

“Her finest hour, and her greatest legacy”

The continuing speculation over the leadership of the Labor party is a distraction to the many challenges Australia faces. Like many Australian’s I am tired – so sick and tired – of it. A plague upon the major political parties, Labor and Liberal alike.

The Kevin Rudd “Will or won’t he challenge” drama is also a sickening distraction.

That News Limited has run a ferociously anti-Labor and anti-Carbon tax campaign across its entire media empire cannot be disputed.

That News Limited has crippled the policy response to climate change by casting doubt on the science is undeniable.

That Julia Gillard could have been a great Prime Minister, with an actual vision cannot be denied.

That Julia Gillard has been subject to horrific attacks based on her gender, the sexuality of her partner and even the death of her father should sicken a civilised society.

Clearly Australia has cast aside whatever thin veneer of civilisation it pretended to have. We have revealed ourselves to be a braying mob of coal baron sycophants and moral pygmies.

That we are about to see the election of a party under Abbott that will dismantle the foundations of Australia’s response to climate change – the ETS – is also certain.

That they will defund and stifle climate science research is a given.

That they will expedite the opening of every new coal mine proposal that falls across the desk Greg Hunt or his LNP peers at the state level is undeniable.

That we have at best a few decades to avert a crisis is also undeniable.

This is the critical decade, not just for emissions.

This is the critical decade to put in place the necessary policy framework.

Australia taking a leading role in placing a price on carbon should be celebrated, an act of courage and moral leadership. That China is to follow soon with their own carbon price, acknowledging Australia’s lead is a wondrous thing.

But if Julia Gillard remains as PM, she will help usher in more than a decade of LNP domination at the federal level of government.

Once Abbott is in, he will try to break the Senate by calling a double dissolution election to grab control of both houses.

The LNP will strip every environmental protection they can see across all levels of government. They will reduce government to a rump, investing those savings in naval vessels to protect us from people fleeing for their lives by towing them back to their deaths.

The election is not about Julia, or Tony or Kevin. I detest the over inflated egos of these three “leaders” (and how I use that term with a heavy dose of irony).

What matters is the choices we make now.

It is about our response to climate change and whether we as a nation remain brave, or to turn away from the challenge.

If the Labor Party, the Independents or the Greens want to think about the future, then think of the following decades.

So you hate Kevin? Well suck it up.

You hate Julia; well suck that up as well.

What is in the best long-term interests of the nation in the context of climate change?

Firstly, not giving control of both houses to a party that not only dismisses the science, but would destroy the fragile foundations we have just begun to establish.

The great work of adaptation will begin very soon: we will be starting from an every lower base should the LNP control every level of government from the Senate to the State’s and Territories.

So I say this with a heavy heart.

Julia, do the honourable thing.

This issue is bigger than you, Kevin, and Tony. It is bigger than the future of Labor.

It is about the future of humanity. Help us save the foundations of the policy response to climate change.

Step aside with the same grace and dignity you have shown throughout your political career.

You have exercised a moral leadership that towers above the sh*t storm of hate that infects our national debate.

We all wanted much more for our first woman Primate Minister. It could have a moment of political maturity for our nation. And yet how Australia has been shown to be lacking in maturity. I feel nothing but a deep sadness for the face we have shown the world.

There are hard choices to be made: what needs to be saved?

Policies that will assist future generations.

The ETS is that thing that needs to be saved.

Abbott has said the very first thing he will do once elected is begin dismantling the ETS.

There are many kinds of leadership, and not all of them are associated with a title.

What matters more than the trappings of office is the legacy a leader leaves behind them.

Moral leadership requires no position or title.

Give Abbott and the LNP the Pyrrhic Victory of the Lodge, and all the challenges they will no doubt fail to address.

Claim the moral victory.

Julia, save the ETS and the foundations of our response to climate change by stepping aside.

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24 thoughts on “The sacrifices one must make: Gillard has to go to save the existing climate policy framework

  1. […] post on whether or not Julia Gillard should stand aside  as Prime Minister got a little attention. But it was not an easy thing to suggest, especially […]

  2. john byatt says:

    Baked Alaska: Unusual heat wave hits 49th state – ‘I’ve never seen a summer like this, ever’

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2013/06/baked-alaska-unusual-heat-wave-hits.html

  3. catweazle666 says:

    I see the G8 conference has dumped any reference to Climate Change…

  4. john byatt says:

    I would prefer Gillard to make climate change the election policy platform, Whether Gillard or Rudd the writing is on the wall. massive labor loss is inevitable. The infighting , the portent of their own demise.

    interesting comparison Gillard and Thatcher

    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/in-thatchers-shadow/1908902/

    When China introduces carbon trading under Abbott’s watch and without our own price in place the economic fallout may well be the nightmare of his own denial.

    once again i have no choice other than voting green

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Some good points John, and yes the ALP could have made climate central. See the recent Mark Latham Quarterly Essay on this issue. I don’t think Labor would win – it would be about lessoning the damage, and giving them a better position to regroup and come back.

  5. Rachel says:

    There’s a different system in New Zealand called MMP or mixed member proportional. I’ve grown to like it. It widens your voting choice slightly from just two major parties to however many there are fighting for your vote. Some people might argue that the downside of this is that minority crack-pot parties end up with too much power. There’s good and bad with everything I suppose but overall, I like the idea that I’m not restricted to just two main parties. It also means the party with the most votes will usually have to form some sort of coalition with one of the smaller parties in order to get a majority so there is a fair amount of compromise. Some people might say this is a bad thing, but it also means parties like Greens, if they are part of the coalition, get more say.

    Who do you think should replace Julia in the Labour party? From New Zealand, the treatment of Julia Gillard looks appalling. I don’t remember Helen Clarke ever having to put up with so much blatant sexism.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Rachel thanks for your commnets, good to know what is happening in NZ re the MMP. At least you don’t get duopolies. The treatment of Gillard is appalling – I think Australia has shamed itself on the world stage.

      Who that replacement is for her. I think you have to go where the numbers point: Rudd. Not that he is perfect, in fact far from it. I think Labor would still lose – but at least the margin would be less, and it would make Abbott blink when thinking about a double dissolution and trying to grab the Senate.

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