May 31, 2010

How to destroy good environmental policy by playing politics

Probably the nations best political commentator Paul Kelly analyses the destruction of the Federal Governments climate change policy by self interest and a desperate grab for popular support by the conservatives and the Greens, from an ever cynical electorate.

Former Premier Bob Carr once told me I was naive, not because I believed in good public policy, but believed good public policy would prevail over the vested interests and short term voter appeal promoted in the popular press.

If you measure political success by length of time as Labor leader, or by election results Bob Carr was certainly right.

Whilst I do not suggest Labor should commit political suicide, I honestly believe there is no point governing if one does not try to implement good public policy that one believes in, and believes is right.

I accept that circumstances change, and that sometimes one has to change one's mind.  However, when you are right, like the government was on its ETS legislation, it cannot be intimidated into a change of policy.  We all have to stand for something.

Kevin Rudd was right in describing climate change as the great moral imperative. Paul Kelly's analysis should give use all food for thought.

Kevin in the middle: a hotter place
by Paul Kelly, Editor at large, The Australian, May 29, 2010

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