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Green Liberals Re-engineering Morrison’s Policy Agenda

Mark LathamMay 10, 2022

The first one of these statements is well known. 

Labor is relying on a preference swap with the Greens to win this election and in a hung parliament, Green MPs would automatically opt for an Albanese Government. 

For 26 years Anthony Albanese has held his left-wing inner-Sydney seat of Grayndler by telling the locals he’s no less green than the Greens. 

He might have fooled naïve journalists like Joe Hildebrand that he’s no longer woke, but for his entire adult life Albanese has been a Leftie from central casting; advocating tax-and-spend economics, open borders, radical climate change action and divisive identity politics. 

If he told the public what he truly believed in, he would be unelectable. 

So, he has opted for a small-target strategy instead. 

He is no more a mainstream politician than he was an “economic policy advisor to the Hawke Government” (a claim he made early in the campaign when, in fact, he was an electorate officer to Tom Uren based in Granville). 

If he were a racehorse, Albanese would be swabbed for irregularities in his system. 

We all know that voting Labor means getting the Greens.  

But what about the other side of politics?  

How do we explain the curious way in which Scott Morrison seems to have forgotten how he won the last election? 

In 2019, Morrison appealed to the suburbs and regions with a distinctly pro-jobs, anti-carbon abatement, anti-woke agenda. 

He said he had always believed in miracles and he got one on election night, seemingly putting the soft progressivism of the Malcolm Turnbull years behind him. 

Yet over the last three years he has steadily slipped back to many of the policies Turnbull was pushing. 

Morrison has embraced net zero carbon emissions, for instance, beating his chest with the ‘save the planet’ brigade at the UN Glasgow Climate Change Conference. 

Our lasting image of this fiasco was the extraordinary number of private jets lined up, bumper-to-bumper, at Glasgow airport – the greatest exercise in political hypocrisy since Kevin Rudd declared himself to be a fiscal conservative. 

Australia has just 1.3 percent of the world’s emissions. 

In his 2021 Quarterly Essay, the renewables guru and immediate past Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, admitted that reducing Australia’s emissions to zero will have “virtually no impact” on climate change. 

Follow the science, as they say. 

In NSW, the ultra-woke green Liberal, Matt Kean, is turning the NSW electricity grid upside down, running a serious risk of blackouts.  

He is also spending $10 billion per annum on green energy programs. 

For what net outcome in combating climate change? 

Using data supplied by the Parliamentary Library, Kean’s carbon abatement program will reduce global surface temperatures by 0.00055 degrees Celsius – over a century! 

That’s all: 0.00055 degrees by the year 2122. 

So basically, the policy outcome is so tiny, so insignificant, it can barely be measured. 

Under Morrison and Barnaby Joyce, carbon abatement has become the new secular religion of the Liberal and National Parties as they race to the futility of net zero, giving away Australia’s competitive advantages in resources and manufacturing – while exporting our coal, gas and uranium to Asian nations to make cheap energy and put Australia at an even worse competitive disadvantage. 

It’s the public policy equivalent of self-harm. 

If this wasn’t strange enough, Morrison has also failed to attack Labor’s climate change policy, known as the Safeguard Mechanism. 

This was released in December, targeting 215 big employers with a combined workforce of 50,000 jobs. 

For every tonne of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent they emit over 100,000 per annum, Labor’s policy will force these companies to purchase carbon credits (priced between $40 and $55 each) as compensation. 

For BlueScope manufacturing steel at Port Kembla, it’s an extra financial impost of $250 million per annum. 

This is an international company that can get its electricity at half the NSW price in the United States, where it already has steel plants poised for expansion.  

How long will it stay in Australia if it’s subjected to Labor’s new carbon levy? 

With no steelmaking in Australia many other forms of manufacturing will collapse. 

Fifty coal mines are also badly affected by the Safeguard Mechanism, along with iron ore mines, aluminium smelters, gas plants, oil refineries, cement making, fertiliser factories and transport companies. 

The Morrison of 2019 should be going door-to-door, factory-to-factory highlighting the folly of Labor’s carbon job-killing policy. 

Why hasn’t he? Why has he gone quiet, while also signing up to his own version of net zero? 

The Prime Minister has squibbed it because of the threat of the so-called ‘teal’ climate change Independents in seats like Wentworth, North Sydney, Kooyong, Goldstein and Higgins. 

They are all white wealthy women. John Howard called them “anti-Liberal groupies” but, in fact, they are more like madams running the Liberal Party’s public policy bordello. 

Morrison has reached an agreement with MPs like Josh Frydenberg and Dave Sharma to neutralise the teal threat by soft-pedalling on climate change. 

He has thrown away the Government’s political advantage in the outer suburbs and regions to protect the Liberal Party’s well-healed ‘doctors’ wives’ seats in inner-Sydney and Melbourne. 

Whenever climate change comes up in the campaign, Frydenberg is straight on the phone to Morrison telling him to lie doggo. 

Senior Government figures are incredulous that Morrison has forgotten how he won three years ago and now cares more about woke inner-city politics than working people in blue-collar electorates. 

It’s not just on climate change. The same thing has happened with a series of other teal-inspired issues, such as Morrison’s decision to: 

Give more money to the ABC, with a new $3.3 billion guaranteed funding agreement. This is despite a vicious four year ABC campaign against Morrison, trying to destroy him personally;

Give Liberal MPs a conscience vote on the Claire Chandler bill protecting women in sport when the policy issue at stake (amending the Sex Discrimination Act) should be a government bill binding on government MPs; and 

Concede ground to Labor and the Greens for ending exemptions for non-government schools under the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act. Shamefully, this would give left-wing gender activists the power to harass religious schools and drag them before human rights tribunals. It was a major Morrison concession to LGBTIQAP alphabet politics that led to the junking of the Government’s Religious Freedom Bill earlier this year. 

Electorally, it’s nonsensical to surrender on these mainstream issues, as anyone wanting the real teal will vote Independent, not Liberal. 

Frydenberg’s management of the economy must be so weak that the wealthy Liberal elites of Kooyong no longer trust him to protect their wealth in a seat made famous by Menzies. 

He sees his pathway to re-election as combining Liberal blue with environmental green and coming up with teal. But his opponents have already beaten him to it. 

These Independents have Frydenberg, Sharma et al in a permanent state of panic, to the point of re-engineering the Prime Minister’s policy agenda away from genuine job protection in the suburbs and regions. 

On May 21, we know a vote for Labor is a vote for the Greens. 

But it’s also a case of ‘Vote Liberal, Get Teal’. 

Either way, working people can’t win with the major parties. 

This is why the minor party vote is growing and One Nation stands out as the best pro-jobs, anti-woke option.

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