Peter Hartcher

There’s a “backfire” pun here somewhere

Malcolm Turnbull’s tenacious UteGate attacks were a serious miscalculation. It seems that it’s not a case of the public “not caring” about the issue – but rather caring that they had to continue putting up with an issue that nobody but Turnbull cared about.

He’s now a less popular leader than Costello (who has announced his retirement) and Joe Hockey. As usual, Peter Hartcher’s SMH analysis is worth a read.

Devine intervention

Miranda Devine sparked controversy by pre-emptively blaming green policy for the fires in the SMH last week. There was an outcry. I even wrote about it. I started following a fake Miranda Devine on Twitter (there’s also a fake Andrew Bolt) – but I can’t link to them because Twitter is down again.

The same venerated publication has another scribe – who leans more to the left – Elizabeth Farrelly. She fired this verbiage seemingly in the direction of her colleague in her take on events.

“Cut the trees! Burn the undergrowth! Hunt the sharks! Lynch the greens! Reprise, repay, repel. But in truth, to swim fish-filled, murky waters at twilight is to tattoo a big ‘BAIT’ sign on your behind. And to inhabit the bush, especially as climate change takes hold, is to make yourself fuel.

Certainly, we should feel compassion. And certainly, there should be regulations. Quite probably there should be more assiduous back-burning. But to blame green policies – to cull already endangered shark species, to reduce tree cover – is to blame nature for human folly.”

Now all the Herald’s big guns (except Annabel Crabb and Peter Hartcher who both write exclusively about politics) have had their say on the matter.

A good analogy

I know Ben hates analogies. This will annoy him. But if Annabel Crabb is my Herald pin up girl then Peter Hartcher is a close second as far as his writing is concerned.

“Rudd has grown attached to his description of the crisis as a result of “extreme capitalism”. That’s akin to saying the Titanic sank because of “extreme sailing”. The US economy and financial markets collapsed not because of the doctrine of capitalism, any more than the Titanic sank because of the practice of international shipping. The cause of the calamity was bad policy, just as the cause of the Titanic’s fate was bad navigating.”

Both Rudd and Turnbull cop a tongue lashing in the piece. Well worth reading.

“Why does it matter what Rudd calls it? Because from the diagnosis comes the cure. The fault was not capitalism, extreme or lame. It was bad policy.

As for Malcolm Turnbull, he has made some sensible suggestions on how the Government should respond to the crisis, but the one he made this week is not one of them. Turnbull claims the Government must not allow a budget deficit. Already, Rudd has used half the projected budget surplus for this fiscal year as apackage to stimulate growth.”

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