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09 November 2009 @ 08:58 pm
Politics, both good and bad  
Twenty years since the Wall fell – it feels like just yesterday. I remember the time well: between 9/11/89 and a point some time after the release of Mandela, it felt as though the world was at least growing up and nations were acting better. Nice work, Gorby, you were a class act, as were so many others at that time.

On the bad side, I am watching a TV special on the Australian conservative parties negotiating their response to climate change, and I have my smacking trousers on again for many of them. Ian MacFarlane, you and I don't agree, but I respect your pragmatism and willingness to have your mind changed based on science, so you will not be smacked. Tony Abbott, on the other hand ...

Tony Abbott is a man who, propelled by his absolute Catholicism, used his position in parliament to attempt to restrict Australian women's access to abortion (a legal procedure) again and again during his party's time in power. Nevertheless, he has the audacity to declare that climate change scientists are 'evagenlical' in their zeal, and to imply that the science is full of holes. 'If you look at the figures,' he says, 'you will find that the Earth has actually been cooling since the late 1990s.' Well, yes, because 1998 was the hottest year on record.

So, what he is saying is that since the hottest year on record, things have not been quite as hot. This is true (well, largely, figures are still being collated and 1998 may be bopped off as the hottest year soon). Nevertheless, the last decade has been hot well beyond what we consider 'normal'. Take a look at the first graph on this page to see the Australian figures alone. To give an analogy, since July 1998, my right foot has had lowered pain levels. This is because in that month, I shattered my foot and then spent a week hopping around on a pair of crutches with just a bandage on it thanks to a mis-read X-ray. My foot is still manky and it still bloody well hurts, which it did not before that date. Such a smacking for you, Tony!

Barnaby Joyce is in for one hell of a smack. He is a National, the Australian rural party, and believes that work to stop climate change must be stopped at all costs. Not only is he damning his constituency to continued drought, increased catastrophic bushfire, and no work in planning to shift agriculture to a lower-carbon-emitting system (something which represents LESS of a change than the Green Revolution of the 1950s), but he is destabilising his own party in a bid to have his own way.

I am reminded of the words of Gough Whitlam, a former Australian Prime Minister of chequered legacy, but good quotes.

When a Joyce-like figure stood up in Whitlam's parliament and declared: 'I am a country member!', Whitlam's sonorous tones rang out, saying: 'Oh, we remember.'

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prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on November 9th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
*snorts* Gough does give good quotes, doesn't he?
You may borrow my enormous wooden spoon for use on Tony Abbot, if you like. Perhaps Barnaby Joyce's punishment should be lending his name to a HP fanfic character. It would suit a low-ranking Ministy official, or a bungling sub-editor for the Prophet...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 9th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
Wooden spoon, please!

And yes, I do rather like that idea! And I know someone working on Hols fic who might require a low-level wanker ;-)
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on November 9th, 2009 10:50 am (UTC)
Nope, no low-level Ministry wankers in my fic! And not because I haven't written it yet (I have actually written the bulk of it, but I need to fiddle and clean it up a bit, and hopefully not give it to you full of embarassingly basic mistakes). I grovelled and begged and bribed my way into an extension, btw
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 9th, 2009 10:55 am (UTC)
Toilet cleaner? Shoe polish salesman?
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on November 9th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
*head asplodes* Oh, I know who can borrow his name, it's much better than the one I made up! Won't comment further, as it will make it pathetically easy to guess my fic (although it appears to be pathetically easy to spot my writing anyway!)
Meredyth: Draco's Not Impressedmeredyth_13 on November 9th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
Oh man, given that I am melting here in an early November that's looking to break the record, don't get me started. I am beginning to understand what might make a person go a little trigger happy with the odd semi-automatic.

I've been expending my energy in grammar ranting, which may have cited you as an authority figure. Go figure. :D

Today I have remained quiet and tentatively relaxed. I can feel it seeping out through my pores, and being backfilled with rage and angst.

Bah, and humbug!
wemyss: CofETorywemyss on November 9th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
You know, it's quite remarkable.
So many people are banging on about the Wall's coming down.

And so few bother to mention Reagan and Thatcher.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 9th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Re: You know, it's quite remarkable.
Not at all, it was Ronald's finest hour and he has received blanket news coverage in Aus, to the point that I mentioned Gorby specifically because I felt he was being left out, poor lad. Maggie was never as exciting on the topic as the two Glasnostians, from where I stood.
wemyss: CofETorywemyss on November 9th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it.
Auntie seems to have forgotten he was involved at all.

Wishful thinking, if I know the Beeb - and for my sins, I do.
the source of all heresiesms_worplesdon on November 9th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Ahhh. The idiots who don't understand that the debate is *why* it's warming, not whether or not it's happening in the first place. They're the worst. :(
feralcheryl on November 9th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Barnaby Joyce needs to be marooned in Indonesian waters on the Oceanic Viking for the next 70 years.
pingridpingrid on November 9th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
When a Joyce-like figure stood up in Whitlam's parliament and declared: 'I am a country member!', Whitlam's sonorous tones rang out, saying: 'Oh, we remember.'

AHAHAHAHAH! :D I think I may be in love.

As for the others, do you think maybe beating with a giant dildo Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels style could be a fitting punishment?
Welcome to Ant Country: xkcd.comant_queen on November 9th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
I watched Four Corners last night as well. I swore at the tv on several occasions. Much smacking required. Probably even a fonging.

Barnaby shits me the most for being more of an outright arrogant wanker than the others. I loved the reporter asking "The Australian Farmers Federation wants you to the support the ETS, aren't they your core constituents?" and Barnaby replies "Not when they say that". So he represents aussie farmers but only when they agree with him.

I hate the whole "we found a couple of scientists who disagree with the IPCC report therefore the IPCC is wrong" approach. I hate the complete lack of risk assessment. I hate climate change arguments that are made on the basis of beliefs instead of the science.

Tony Abbottt needs to be smacked for calling the IPCC report "alrmist", when it is probably the most conservative document out there.

Nick Minchin needs a slap for whinging about "climate change indoctrination in schools" and "make my little girl upset that the world might melt". Gah!

I agree that Ian MacFarlane is actually the sanest of the lot of them. And I feel for Malcolm who I believe has always been in favour of an ETS (probably because unlike his colleagues, he can do the math and knows it is better to act sooner than later to get in to the market).

But yes, much smackage all round. Maybe we should wander around Canberra offering buckets of sand for them to put their heads in, then we wouldn't need to listen to their tripe.
Welcome to Ant Country: xkcd.comant_queen on November 9th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
Oh and let's not forget the comment that climate change is an invention of the Left that they created after the fall of communism to push their anti-industrialisation agenda.
&helena;uminohikari on November 10th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
Is his name really Barnaby?!