From top to bottom, the Coalition vertical identity state is descending into energy chaos. At the political level the party is riven, via New Daily:
In an extraordinary intervention, Malcolm Turnbull has slammed as ‘weak’ Scott Morrison’s attempt to prevent another embarrassing defection by rescuing rebel MP Craig Kelly from preselection defeat.
The New Daily confirmed that earlier on Sunday Mr Morrison’s lieutenants warned, via a phone hook up, that Mr Kelly would “bring down the government” if he lost preselection.
On that phone call were Kent Johns, Mr Kelly’s preselection challenger, and a cabinet minister, Families Minister Paul Fletcher, NSW federal MP Trent Zimmerman and NSW state government minister Matt Kean.
Mr Fletcher and Mr Zimmerman warned the government could not have another Liberal MP follow the lead of Julia Banks and quit the Liberal Party. They insisted the threat could be imminent, and urged the use of emergency powers to endorse all sitting MPs to save Mr Kelly.
The tactics sparked an extraordinary intervention by Mr Turnbull, who described the move as “the worst and weakest response”.
“It has been put to me that Mr Kelly has threatened to go to the cross bench and ‘bring down the government’. If indeed he has made that threat, it is not one that should result in a capitulation. Indeed it would be the worst and weakest response to such a threat,” Mr Turnbull said on Twitter on Sunday night.
Kelly is, of course, the Coalition’s number one climate change troglodyte and coal champion.
At the media level the self-flagellation is equally tortuous. The climate troglodytes have gone mad, beating up on kids. Andrew Bolt:
The children who showed such guts and brains during last week’s student’s strike for “action” on global warming should be admired. That’s the vast majority who stayed at school. The ones who didn’t need to learn the facts.
Ridicule not praise would be a better response to the school-children skipping study to protest an issue for which they clearly have little understanding. Tthe adults at Friday’s demonstrations seemed even less well-informed than the kids.
At the policy level the maelstrom is swirling out of control, via the AFR:
A High Court challenge is being prepared over the federal government’s threat to break up energy companies if they don’t drop power prices, with leading competition lawyers saying any move to bypass the courts would be unconstitutional.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he wants to introduce the legislation and its “big stick” powers to Parliament before it rises at the end of the week for 2018.
…The court challenge comes as leading energy company CEOs and a group of six powerful business and industry lobbies step up their opposition to the divestment laws. Industry is arguing the new laws expose Australia to “deep and genuine sovereign risk”.
And there is this, also at the AFR:
Unscientific onshore gas restrictions in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania have left the three states battling it out with Venezuela and Yemen for the bottom spots in a closely watched annual international ranking of attractiveness for oil and gas investment in a further deterioration from last year’s poor showing.
The three have sunk to number among the 10 worst laggards on the Canadian-based Fraser Institute’s 80-strong overall list, alongside also Libya and Iraq. They also occupy the last three places in the specific ranking on environmental regulations, lower even than New Zealand which has banned the award of new offshore exploration permits.
It is wall-to-wall lunacy:
- climate change is not a partisan issue and making it one is suicidal;
- government intervention is necessary given the energy markets have failed but, desperate for pre-election price falls, the Government has attacked the downstream energy market when the problem is upstream. The divestment powers and price controls are needed for gas, which is the key driver of price rises for all utilities, and
- ditto for more fracking. There’s no point unless the gas cartel that is driving up prices is broken.
It’s obvious that the vertical identity state of the Liberal Party is now so riven by personal enmities and ideological division around energy that it is more than likely doomed as a entity.