The Federal government is introducing its carbon tax legislation into the parliament and yet I argued it’s legitimate to ask why so many polluters are receiving such concessions. It’s an attempted political fix that hasn’t convinced many Australians. Simply put, many people are skeptical about the tax and even the science. That’s because hysteria has too often been associated with the debate over global warming. Climate change is clearly happening (hello Arctic!) but real leadership involves convincing the masses that reform is both necessary and vital to saving the environment. Personally, I remain far from convinced that the very weak carbon tax on offer will really make any difference to climate change.
The asylum seeker question continues to haunt both major sides of politics and Australia remains mired in a debate that sees politicians looking to be tough on the “people smuggler’s business model”. Human rights be damned. Off-shore processing is a sneaky way to take the “problem” somewhere else, causing untold mental misery. What Australia needs, without privatising the system with Serco, is to manage the relatively small refugee flow with speed and fairness.
Finally, the announcement of a media inquiry is welcome but it appears the main issue will be absent; an investigation into ownership and power of the moguls. It’s unsurprising that the Labor government is scared to seriously tackle the Murdoch thugocracy in Australia – why should one family control 70% of our print media? – but tickling around the edges may achieve window-dressing at best. A real democracy would want to encourage more diverse voices in our media landscape. That country isn’t Australia.