Peter O’Brien: Angus Taylor – a disappointment

So much for Angus Taylor being the great hope of the side.  Promoted, ostensibly, as the Minister for Getting Power Prices Down, Taylor has shown himself to be just as mealy-mouthed as the rest of his second-rate Coalition government.

Here he is in a recent edition of The Australian:

Others say leaving the Paris Agreement will lead to a miraculous drop in prices. Wrong. Like it or not, we will reach a 26 per cent reduction in emissions in the NEM well ahead of time based on investment commitments already made. Paris won’t require new interventions and won’t create new price pressures.

I doubt that anything now gets my goat more than the insistence by Coalition MPs that the Paris Agreement is irrelevant.  As I have argued repeatedly on this site, and as commentators more prominent than me – such as Peta Credlin and Andrew Bolt – have argued repeatedly, the Paris Agreement covers the whole economy NOT just the energy sector as Taylor dishonestly implies above.  He repeated the same strawman argument on Credlin a week or so ago.   Nobody is saying that ‘leaving the Paris Agreement will lead to a miraculous drop in prices’.  What we are saying is that leaving the Paris Agreement will hopefully prevent the wider economy from suffering the devastation that has already been wrought upon the energy sector.

OK, let’s accept that Taylor is focussed only on the energy sector and that his remit does not cover the rest of the economy.  Let’s also accept that he has to toe the official party line on CAGW, whatever that is from one day to the next.   When faced with the embarrassing question of the Paris Agreement he could decline to comment, the matter being outside his portfolio.  But instead he chooses to pretend that if he achieves his objective of getting power prices down, we will still meet our Paris target.   This is just plain and infuriatingly dishonest.

And put in the context of the latest ambit claim from the IPCC – that existing pledges will be nowhere near enough to avert climate disaster – then the case to repudiate or, at the very least, re-evaluate the Paris Agreement is unarguable.

Any sensible Coalition government has two triggers for such an approach. The first is that we already know that most signatories will not meet their existing pledges and even if they do it will have no appreciable effect on overall emissions, which, following a short hiatus, are now rising again.

The second is the mounting evidence that, whatever is happening to the climate, it is nowhere near as dire as was predicted and that human contributions are a minor factor at best.

As PM Scott Morrison swans around Queensland selling himself, sounding more and more like Malcolm Turnbull in a baseball cap, I note that Sky News, hosting Morrison at a public forum at a brewery in Townsville has promoted the occasion with a special release of ‘ScoMo Pale Ale’, which prompted the thought that he is indeed nothing more than a pale imitation of his predecessor.  At the time I wondered if the ABC’s stretched finances would run to the production of a suitable beverage to mark the former PM’s appearance on a special edition of Q&A – ‘Turnbull Bitter’, perhaps? As it turned out, the claque of Turnbull groupies lobbing marshmallows at the smugly beaming jet-setter rendered it unnecessary for him to openly inject too much bile into his discourse -other than naming and, and in his mind shaming, his assassins including the impeccably loyal Mathias Cormann.

However, It’s not just Tony Jones who is asking why Turnbull was removed.  Commentators on both sides of the political spectrum are repeatedly asking the same question.why the Party dispensed with the services of our erstwhile PM.  As far as I am concerned paying him out for his own treachery and incompetence is justification enough but the question is apposite.

Is there not one single issue, even one, upon which Morrison and his Cabinet can bring themselves to part ways with Turnbull’s agenda?  And on the one issue where Turnbull did hold firm, illegal immigrants, there now appear to be cracks developing.

You would think climate policy would spring to mind as a potential game changer as it was this issue that terminated Turnbull’s first attempt at leadership and led to a landslide election victory under Tony Abbott.  There may be one of two reasons why this opportunity has not been grasped.  It may be that the large bulk of members really believe that CAGW is the greatest moral challenge of our generation – in which case why support such an intellectually bankrupt crew?  Or it may be that they think any push back on ‘climate’ policy is too hard a sell, particularly given the proximity of the next election.  If that is the case, if they are anxious to avoid the hard policy fights just in order to get re-elected, why support such a morally bankrupt crew?

As far as I am aware, Craig Kelly is the only Coalition MP who is prepared to speak the truth on CAGW.  The rest of them, including the much vaunted Taylor, are nothing more than a claque of time-serving, self-seeking, pusillanimous ….. I am trying to think of a suitable word ..…Got it!  …. politicians.

To hell with them.

This entry was posted in Guest Post. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Peter O’Brien: Angus Taylor – a disappointment

  1. Mak Siccar

    Add the adjective ‘invertebrate’ and I couldn’t agree with you more strongly.

  2. Charles

    Got it in one, Scot Morrison is just Malcolm Turnbull with a better line of patter.
    It would also be great if the Libs could work out for themselves that having the Paris rules (subsidies and priority access to the grid for renewable energy) is the factor that renders thermal electricity generation uneconomic. While the Paris Accord is even present the current problem remains and nothing much can be done to bring prices down.

  3. jock

    Tend to agree. Taylor is also pushing divestment powers. This got right up me. Are they socialists for gods sake? Most of the assets purchased by agl and origin were overseen by the accc as well as various courts. They broke no laws buying them. Agl got dtung well and truly over ten years ago as its subsidiary ngc could not buy hedges. Consequently ngc nearly went broke. They learnt then that they needed to be covered. Ergo verical integration. When the price of electricity can go to $10 thousand dollarsper mw it rationalises minds wonderfully.
    Taylor should reduce subsidies and do away with allowing renewables first issue in the nem. They should only be allowed to sell despatchable guaranteed power. That would shake up the market.

  4. Delta

    Meanwhile, no matter what Angus Taylor tries or does, the government agencies responsible for electricity oversight and planning – AER, AEMC, AEMO and ESB are proceeding at a pace to design and build the “new” electricity system as recommended in the Finkel report. The master document for this is AEMO’s Integrated System Plan which requires establishing, identifying and connecting (so called) Renewable Energy Zones to the National Electricity Market. Remember Finkel was the warmist appointed by the piper (Turnbull) and his report no doubt pleased the piper so much so that the final legislation for the NEG (National Energy Guarantee that more correctly should have been called National Emissions Guarantee) was “a bill to set out national emissions intensity targets, and for related purposes”. It was this bill, first touted to the opposition for support before all government members had seen it, that resulted in Turnbull’s being dumped.

    And the whole process is aided and abetted by State governments. Today for example I received an email with advice about NSW “investing” in new transmission lines to connect the Renewable Energy Zones to the NEM.
    One link.
    Another link.

    So we are to be saddled with profligate waste for a system that will fail. Electricity prices will continue to rise and many businesses will close their doors. Until we have one or two major failures (a couple of good system blacks would be best) nothing will change as the bureaucrats continue working for the next Labor government in 6 months time. And if things are bad now, just wait until then.

  5. Art Vandelay

    Great stuff. The main things I couldn’t get over in Taylor’s article was that he (correctly) claimed Labor’s 50% RET would increase prices and push out cheaper coal and gas generators yet he infers that the Lib’s own RET target is somehow benign.

    Secondly, he shifts all the blame for high prices to energy companies. Sorry Angus, this disastrous mess is all due to government failure. You idiots in Canberra own this.

  6. When the lights go out, Labor will be in government Federally and Vic state (at the very least), so guess who will wear the blame. The libs meanwhile will be wondering which thumb should go up their arse and for how long.

  7. Baldrick

    Three words:
    Stupid.Fucking.Liberals

  8. David

    The Final Detailed Design of the NEG released on 1 August 2018 contained the following statement:
    “But without a specific policy commitment to achieve emissions reductions in the NEM, it is expected that cumulative emissions over the decade will not reduce enough for the NEM to meet its share of the national target (Chart 9).” (page 17)

    If, contrary to this conclusion, we accept that we will reduce electricity sector emissions 26% below 2005 levels, output from coal plants will have to be reduced below No Policy case levels modelled for the NEG which increases the risk of black outs.

    If you examine the modelling results you will discover that 78% of the projected emission reductions under the NEG required to meet the Paris Target relative to the No Policy case was due to an assumption about the extent of the demand-side response. The remaining 22% of the projected reduction in emissions was due to the addition of 1GW of additional renewable generating capacity in 2020-21 and a shift in the generation mix. Thus, like the Jacobs modelling for the Finkel Review, the modelling assumed the desired outcome!!

    What a pathetic basis for policy formation!!!

  9. Myrddin Seren

    Any sensible Coalition government……

    Everything after these four words is Politics Fan Fiction.

  10. Tezza

    Add Tony Abbott to Craig Kelly in the honourable mentions. Abbott’s Daring to Doubt speech remains a killer.

  11. A Lurker

    My theory is that a majority of Coalition MPs and Senators have invested serious personal or family money in the renewable energy industry, which would explain why they are so reluctant to abandon it, even in the face of logic and common sense.

    As always, follow the money.

  12. jupes

    The main things I couldn’t get over in Taylor’s article was that he (correctly) claimed Labor’s 50% RET would increase prices and push out cheaper coal and gas generators yet he infers that the Lib’s own RET target is somehow benign.

    Spot on. This point is so obvious I am amazed that they can still trot it out.

    If only there was a section of society who were paid to ask politicians about the huge flaws in their logic.

  13. jupes

    Abbott’s Daring to Doubt speech remains a killer.

    Really?

    Too bad Abbott’s actions while PM also remain a killer … of his career.

  14. Senile Old Guy

    Add the adjective ‘invertebrate’ and I couldn’t agree with you more strongly.

    I must object! Invertebrates serve a useful function. The Liberal party does not.

  15. Three words:
    Stupid.Fucking.Liberals


    Stupid fucking ignorant voters who believe this socialist shit. The young ones are going to suffer badly into the future . Us oldies have seen the best and personally they can’t cause me any great grief unless the mussies start lopping heads here. I don’t give a rats arse about the type of world left to the future any more ,I have no grandkids and stuff the rest of them for having parents too stupid to be able to see through this shit. War cannot be far away now when you see the likes of the rabble in Europe.

  16. Cliamh Solais

    Notice also how all reference to implementing the ACCC recommendations have been dropped. They don’t want to antagonise the green rent-seekers who will never vote Liberal anyway.

  17. Ubique

    Taylor needs to focus on cost – benefit. And the benefit is nothing to do with the Paris Agreement or reduction in emissions. The benefit is supposed to be ameliorating climate change or more specifically reducing the extent to which the atmosphere and seas might warm. When viewed correctly in this fashion the Coalition policy comes at a stupefying large financial, economic and social cost for ZERO benefit.

  18. Dr Fred Lenin

    The moment they drink the political swamp water it corrodes decency and truth ,they start with idealistic fervour and in no time they are absorbed into the aparat . This is why the solutions are banning career politics ,political donations (bribes) and one year contracts for public servants ,ALL public servants then rule by referenda ,with mo preferences or compulsory voting .

  19. jupes

    When viewed correctly in this fashion the Coalition policy comes at a stupefying large financial, economic and social cost for ZERO benefit.

    Of course.

    But they don’t, which is why they must be destroyed.

  20. Dr Fred Lenin

    Reading thst coal shares are going gangbusters bet turnbull,soros and the other carpetbaggers are buying shares like crazy ,heads they win tails we lose,treasonous vermin .
    Aux barricades Citoyens !

  21. Rafe

    Oh for streets made of cobbles for the citoyens to throw!

  22. Herodotus

    Too bad Abbott’s actions while PM also remain a killer … of his career.

    Abbott tried to keep the “broad church” together, but it was more like a pack of USA Dems.
    He’s now in the wrong party, and probably needs to change parties in order to speak plainly again.
    Remember “Climate change is crap”?
    You can denigrate what he did subsequent to 2013, but do try to understand what the dynamics were.
    Now we have another group of people posting flyers to try and force him out of parliament.
    I’ve said before and will continue to say, the fear of this man on the left is palpable and that’s why he mustn’t be allowed to go.

  23. Disappointment ? Were you really expecting something better?

  24. manalive

    … Until we have one or two major failures (a couple of good system blacks would be best) nothing will change as the bureaucrats continue working for the next Labor government in 6 months time. And if things are bad now, just wait until then …

    Sadly I think that’s right but the guaranteed response from the future ALP Government will be we need more supply viz. more windmills and solar panels.

  25. Squirrel

    At this stage of the game, getting out of Paris is highly unlikely to save the Coalition (unless matched with bold and well-argued action in other areas), but at least then the subsequent Labor Government, which would promptly go back into Paris, would have zero political cover for all the nasties which Paris would visit upon the swing-voting punterariat of ‘Straya.

  26. Dr Fred Lenin

    Dont know why people expected a lot from Abbot, anybody who persecutes Hansen in to jail on charges ( later dropped,)at the behest of the suburban lawyer Howard ,has mo place in politics ,he never got over Bob Santamaria s influences ,basically a catholic socialist ,like the Argentinian pope,dont seem to be any liberals in the present day party. Its been thoroughly infiltrated and corrupted by the left,like everything else , Alinsky rules OK ?

  27. billie

    Agreed, nothing will happen unless the system collapses, which is sad really as a lot of people will suffer for the vanity of these fools.

    It’s like someone has photos of them all doing something stupid, a ransom of blackmail victims (though victims is too kind for them)

    Is there some kingmaker they are beholden to, that they fear and do his or her bidding?

  28. Muddy

    Today is the only time that matters in politics. Why not go with the popular people when you will never, as a politician, have to bear the consequences of your choices?
    If the world crumbles … whatever. You’ve got your taxpayer-funded pension.
    I’ll be right, mate!

    No consequences. Ever.
    Who can apply consequences?
    We, the voters; the taxpayers; the raging, frothing mobs.

    Yeah but nah.
    Too hard, eh?

  29. Eddie of wollongong

    What about all the sobsidy dollars of our money that have been and are still being paid. Surely all this could have been used for health and education etc It is not only the increased electricity prices, but the forgone opportunity for other essential services to be better funded from OUR MONEY. No politician mentions this .

  30. min

    Herodotus, Abbott said the science of climate change is crap which agrees with Craig Kelly’s viewpoint. I thought Angus Taylor was of the same view also as he had done some study in the area , and was never for the removal of fossil based fuel. Seeing his Grandfather was also Sir William Hudson , Commissioner of the Snowy Scheme I don’t think he would believe in the pumped hydro model either.
    Party Unity the problem ,too many Photios mob who are CO 2 is the problem believers ,who have never heard of medieval warming and have to be kept happy.PM is also trying to keep Pacific Islanders happy considering how Chicom have moved in there. So a very fine balancing act . I see he is not giving them money but infrastructure. I am sure he has seen the latest aerial photos of Pacific Islands showing that they have grown bigger and not sinking . The Issue of signing up for the immigration compact is on the 10th December and leaving Paris the 12 th . LetUs see what he does.

  31. min

    PS I have spoken with Abbott , Kelly and Prof Ridd on climate change and given them some historical input.

  32. Crossie

    OK, let’s accept that Taylor is focussed only on the energy sector and that his remit does not cover the rest of the economy. Let’s also accept that he has to toe the official party line on CAGW, whatever that is from one day to the next.

    They all love their positions too much to give the country a second thought, what ScoMo wants ScoMo gets, just like Turnbull before him. It seems the only PM they all felt comfortable ignoring was Abbott.

    As for ScoMo, he is completely incompetent and only performed well when properly supervised. Now that he is the supervisor his shortcomings are becoming clearly visible.

    Turnbull, on the other hand, had no interest in governing, he only wanted to be the PM.

  33. Kneel

    “I must object! Invertebrates serve a useful function. The Liberal party does Politicians do not.”

    There. FIFY.

  34. Crossie

    However, It’s not just Tony Jones who is asking why Turnbull was removed. Commentators on both sides of the political spectrum are repeatedly asking the same question.why the Party dispensed with the services of our erstwhile PM. As far as I am concerned paying him out for his own treachery and incompetence is justification enough but the question is apposite.

    Because ScoMo wanted to be the PM but since Turnbull was first in line after getting rid of Abbott he had to wait his turn. ScoMo is the Liberals’ Shorten.

  35. Crossie

    A Lurker
    #2863390, posted on November 13, 2018 at 4:17 pm
    My theory is that a majority of Coalition MPs and Senators have invested serious personal or family money in the renewable energy industry, which would explain why they are so reluctant to abandon it, even in the face of logic and common sense.

    As always, follow the money.

    Carpetbaggers the lot of them.

  36. Percy Popinjay

    his disastrous mess is all due to government failure. You idiots in Canberra own this.

    Not quite. Drooling cretins such as Gerrymander Jay Weatherdildo and Dunderhead Dan of Victoriastan are equally culpable.

    In no way am I defending the federal liberals, who started who all this shit with li’l Johnny’s very own electrickery Frankenstein, aka the RET.

    Idiocy upon idiocy, epic failure upon epic failure. The collapse of the grid and the subsequent mass unemployment and collapse of the economy can’t come soon enough. By that time of course, the idiocy of this current federal government will be merely a series of rapidly fading bad memories. It’s labor that will end up owning it all, lock, stock, barrel and tumbril.

  37. Rossini

    Baldrick
    #2863377, posted on November 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm
    Three words:
    Stupid.Fucking.Liberals

    I will second that!

  38. Genghis

    Recent blog states that their are now 14,000 old wind turbines not working and no money to remove them – ‘towering symbols of stupidity’.
    When you look at the LCOE – Levelised cost of electricity Nuclear beats renewables hands down – but as usual politics gets in the way – and we are going to elect Labor Governments in Victoria and Canberra, God help us all.

  39. a reader

    There are certainly things you can criticise both Credlin & Bolt over but it’s good that they prominently hold the line on this issue.

  40. Art Vandelay

    Not quite. Drooling cretins such as Gerrymander Jay Weatherdildo and Dunderhead Dan of Victoriastan are equally culpable.

    True. That being said, Weatherill claimed (so take this with a grain of salt) that no SA government subsidies were paid to renewables generators. All the state government did was to set an aspirational 50% target and relax planning laws to allow turbines to be built more easily. (Of course, they also were more than happy when coal plants were shut down.) All subsidies were provided for under the RET and the federal funding bodies such as ARENA.

    Dan deserves more blame for the tripling of coal royalties which put Hazelwood out of business.

  41. who to vote for?

    What does it matter the public service socialist swamp runs the country no matter what politicians think or do. Politicians might have policies but it appears most are just yes men to the real power of the left wing bureaucracy. Drain the swamp.

  42. None

    Well said, Peter.

    No consequences. Ever.
    Who can apply consequences?
    We, the voters; the taxpayers; the raging, frothing mobs.

    Well that’s the problem isn’t it – yes it’s up to us to get rid of this shite but here’s the deal. We are very near the point where we have more pie eaters than pie makers meaning we will very soon have more people sucking off the public teat – public servants pensioners, welfare Junkies, multi generational refo scum – than actually creating wealth. That also means that the chances of draining the Canberra swamp virtually zero. You’re better off hoping for some great big old style Christian Revival coupled with mass conversions and wholescale repentance.

  43. DaveR

    If people have to ask why Turnbull had to go, they really dont understand at all how far Coalition policy had been moved to the left, and how many Center-Right coalition voters were disenfranchised by it. Add to that Turnbull’s imperial rule, regularly bypassing the cabinet process, and you have a complete mess at odds with traditional Liberal-national policy traditions. And the Liberal wets still dont understand, or dont want to, that the May Federal election can be won simply by reuniting previous coalition voters, which means re-engaging the right.

  44. None

    Recent blog states that their are now 14,000 old wind turbines not working and no money to remove them – ‘towering symbols of stupidity’.

    yep and vision of those would make a great election ad.

  45. Confused Old Misfit

    There is no end to this insanity.
    CBA has figured out another way to get your tax dollar out of your pocket and into theirs.

    Commonwealth Bank will get 65 per cent of its energy from renewables starting in January after signing an agreement with the largest wind farm in New South Wales

  46. H B Bear

    I find it extraordinary that people are still being disappointed by anyone from the modern (read post Father of Middle Class Welfare) Lieboral Party. This is the new reality.

  47. Manalive:

    … Until we have one or two major failures (a couple of good system blacks would be best) nothing will change as the bureaucrats continue working for the next Labor government in 6 months time. And if things are bad now, just wait until then …

    Sadly I think that’s right but the guaranteed response from the future ALP Government will be we need more supply viz. more windmills and solar panels.

    When that happens, the government will state “There weren’t enough windmills in different areas for when the wind didn’t blow.” They will then search for areas to put another twenty billion dollars worth of bird shredders.

  48. Muddy:

    No consequences. Ever.
    Who can apply consequences?
    We, the voters; the taxpayers; the raging, frothing mobs.

    Yeah but nah.
    Too hard, eh?

    Ever seen a dog turn around and bite when it’s been kicked once too often? It’s usually a hell of a surprise to the bitten and destructive to the relationship between the biter and the bitee.
    The middle classes have been getting a damn good kicking since ’75, and even my family who have been Labor voters all their lives, are getting jack of it.

  49. Pickles

    billie
    #2863447, posted on November 13, 2018 at 6:03 pm
    Agreed, nothing will happen unless the system collapses, which is sad really as a lot of people will suffer for the vanity of these fools.
    It’s like someone has photos of them all doing something stupid, a ransom of blackmail victims (though victims is too kind for them)
    Is there some kingmaker they are beholden to, that they fear and do his or her bidding?

    This is the question that is at the front of my mind these days. These people are supposedly intelligent and ought be alive to the issues of the day. Why are they doing it?

  50. Leo G

    The rest of them, including the much vaunted Taylor, are nothing more than a claque of time-serving, self-seeking, pusillanimous ….. I am trying to think of a suitable word ..…Got it! …. politicians.

    Think of two words: “unprincipled wafflers”.

Comments are closed.