Liberal Party enters energy death throes

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.

Tim Blair:

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.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. climate change is not a partisan issue and making it one is suicidal;

    Oh, so, so true!

    A better understanding of motivation in this climate-change culture war comes from Tony Grey, who is also the author of four books and is a one-time corporate lawyer. He says the “underlying reason conservatives have a tendency to disagree with” the implementation of policies designed to combat climate change is that “the real purpose of progressives, who are promoting major changes concerning climate change, is to re-order society”.

    Framed in this manner, it makes it more understandable that the climate-change issue has been shoe-horned by party conservatives into the Liberal Party’s culture wars.

    Senate president and Liberal Party senator Scott Ryan, however, is one of the many Liberals – and many more Liberal supporters – who reject the climate-change denial mantra as a test for being a “true Liberal”.

    Liberal Party torn apart by climate change: ‘Not even Menzies could fix it’

      • I was pretty conservative once and I doubt the line has changed much. It comes down to a fear of communism/socialism. They believe climate science has been manipulated to further political goals of their adversaries. It uses the tenants of communism (the rich have everything, the poor nothing) and expands it to cover the entire globe (the wealthy nations have everything, the poor nations have nothing).

        The ideas feared are stuff like “Lets tax the hell out of wealthy nations and give breaks to developing nations” (ie wealth transfer) or “Wealthy nations must pay for 200 years of fossil fuel use, developing nations should get a pass because they had no choice” (Punish the rich).

        I hope things are getting better now, they at least moved from “it isnt happening” to “its happening but we didnt cause it”. Eventually we’ll reach “its happening, we caused it, and we’re willing to change to stop it”. Won’t be easy though because plenty of politicians really do approach the subject wrong. There really are people out there who would misuse any powerful movement for their own ends.

  2. The best thing that could happen for this country would be for the LNP to split into a moderate centre right party with attractive policies, and another party full of god botherers and corporate CEO fellaters. The latter party would then disappear into electoral oblivion over time.

    • I find myself in agreement with that. I was thinking much the same. This sort of internal division in a political party usually presages a split

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “The best thing that could happen for this country would be for the LNP to split into a moderate centre right party with attractive policies, and another party full of god botherers and corporate CEO fellaters”

      Its the Moderates who are the most enthusiastic CEO fellaters LSWCHP!
      Centre Right is the Domain of CEO fellaters,…just like Goldman Sachs man Turnbull was “Centre Right”.
      Centre right means Coporate Governance,…Christ! When it comes to matters economic the Labor Party is just as “Centre Right” as both factions of the Liberal party.

      Where are the calls for a left of centre, Welfare state supporting lower immigration party?
      Without one, the failure to negotiate a sustainable long term, lower immigration intake,….is guaranteed !

      Its bewildering to me that no one gets this.

      “Centre Right” parties are a dime per dozen!

  3. Whatever your stance on climate change is the fact that kids are raising their opinions and are engaging in the political process can only be described as a good thing. If they are wrong then it is a chance to start a conversation. Don’t get the antagonism against free speech in general especially from the so-called “liberal” party.

    • It’s about time young people stepped up and opened their mouths. We’ll all be gone (or very old) when the biggest turds hit the fan, post-2040. The young people are losing their future every minute this BAU approach continues

    • @AK “kids are raising their opinions and are engaging in the political process“ what load of crap… the only thing those kids are raising, are opinions that the adults put them up to. What an absolute beat up, as if those kids are engaging in the political process off their own bat, it was a stunt, a free day off school and a chance to get on TV. My concern is the teachers and people behind the scenes are using kids to push their agenda and then portray that the kids decided and thought up this stunt all by themselves, give me a break!

      • the kids decided and thought up this stunt all by themselves, give me a break!

        You think young people are incapable of thinking? Maybe talk to some and learn something. Many are deeply depressed and worried by what’s happening. Take off your blinkers

      • I guess you don’t have kids pal. Try having a chat with some and you may be surprised at how intelligent and unbiased their opinions can be.

      • Good luck to you young Jack. I’m guessing you don’t have much to do with teenagers. ” the only thing those kids are raising, are opinions that the adults put them up to” yeah, that’s really funny. Which adults? their teachers? LOL their parents?? LOLMAO

      • Totally agree — well spoken & spot on. Those “kids” are just regurgitating what simple Simons’ told them.
        Yes it’s a warm phase – nothing to see here–Its a rinse & repeat Planet production on going for billions of years.

      • If the “kids” were protesting against high taxes or some other pet issue, Jones et al would be falling all over themselves with orgasmic praise.

  4. HadronCollisionMEMBER

    There’s no point unless the gas cartel that is driving up prices is broken.

    There’s no point to it (fracking)

    Fixed it for you. Lemme know when you’re happy to have some fracking right near door to you polluting your water and air cheerrrz

    • So you disagree with the article’s thesis? How so?

      And you don’t think that the LNP implosion and policy vacuum on energy has economic implications? Wow, you sure have some unusual ideas, McBoyah!

      You do have ideas, don’t you? Please share them

      • You are a bit of a plonker aren’t you. Can’t we just stick to economic arguments and leave the politics alone?

      • Only a true plonker would deny that there is a huge intersection between politics and economics.

        If the cap fits, wear it, plonker.

  5. Gosh the Fraser Institute doesn’t all sound like a PR exercise able to be bought by interested bidders for a pittance, not at all.

    If you are a frothy type that eats at Prime for lunch and watches Sky After Dark seriously, please don’t reply with your bizarrely firm beliefs that NSW, Vic etc are worse than Iraq and Libya, where one needs armed guards to avoid being flayed alive by bearded militants, or Venezuela, where the ears of foreign oil middle managers regularly find their way into the postal system.

    What an absolute load of nonsense.

  6. FYI.

    Nothing about the Liberal party has changed – society has moved on.

    If you are shocked at the LIBS total lack of awareness and basic stupidity – remember that they have always been like this – but its you who has finally woken up.

    The reality is that the right wing of politics has never, and never will be in any way “correct”. Its entirely driven by fear, greed, and hatred and has almost no basis in governance for society or the people it represents.

    Being a conservative, an LNP supporter is a gigantic red flag in your life that you are not as smart as you think you are – and everyone around knows it – its just one of those things you hope to wake up to before you die, and then spend the remnants regretting those lost years of unfounded arrogance built upon deep ignorance and over-estimating your own intellect enabled by a deep disregard for the capability and intellect of those around you.

    Conservatism and supporting the LNP is a deep mental dysfunction.

    Don’t take my word for it – studies have shown it over and over and over again.

    The raging debate right now about religion being an evolutionary construct rather than a sociological one sums it up nicely. Its genetics which drives people to being conservative and thus LNP – pure genetics.

    Its a fact of science – an unalterable truth – conservatism, LNP, is a genetic condition rather than one of intelligent rational thought – backed by the brightest minds from the best universities in the US.


  7. Bit confused but don’t think this issue has anything to do with global warming: Scott Morrison is trying to put forth a “special powers motion” to endorse sitting MP’s including Craig Kelly…..and Turnbull is trying to unravel the motion because on Twitter he said “We shall force Scott to an earlier election because all he’s about is keeping his arse on C1 (C1 being the PM’s car with C1 on the number plates)”.
    Why isn’t Turnbull (head globalist of Auz, protecting his tens of millions in his tax havens) expelled immediately from the party? What sort of whimps run the Liberal Party? Even the ALP wouldn’t allow him entry and here’s why: Turnbull is a globalist, chief supporter of the current corrupt central bank monetary system, an open boarders man for global corporates and large scale immigration giving greater powers to globalist institutions such as the UNHCR. Turnbull is happy to reek havoc on Australia’s political system because he deliberately wants to weaken it to allow more global powers to control Australia. NOW YOU WHIMPS….expell Turnbull!

  8. The “facts” Bolt refers to are “isn’t real’, “can’t do anything effective”, and “it’s too late now”.

    • All of which opinions not surprisingly coincide with the financial interests of his chief sponsor, Gino Rhinofart.

  9. rob barrattMEMBER

    Well the LNP will self-detonate and, at last, we’ll be ruled by the CFMEU, outwardly visible as the worker’s yellow vest wearing puppet – Bill..
    Thank God, we’re saved! Out of the frying pan! But wait, what’s that hot bright roaring thing ahead??