“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.