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Newsletter 412

Published October 29, 2021
Barnaby Joyce gets ready for some climate policy negotiation

With the Glasgow Climate Summit less than two weeks away, the Coalition is speeding towards a climate policy! Having been in government for the past eight years they’ve never actually thought much about it before – it was just one of those things that got the lefties and greenies excited. Until now it’s been easy to ignore the issue, knowing that big business and the Daily Telegraph is on your side. So what went wrong?

One couldn’t make up a more ridiculous scenario for a TV political satire than the Liberal Party, knowing the clock is ticking, desperateiy trying to appease five or six troglodytes in the National Party, who refuse to believe in climate change because… well because they just don’t like it! Never have the Nats been more pitifuly exposed as the party for a few big miners. Any former allegiance with the farmers – who are taking a more sensible view of climate change – has long gone.

After his recent rubbing-of-shoulders with world leaders in the USA, Scummo seems to have seen the light. While he’s been diligently pursuing his usual do-nothing approach (it seems to work just fine), the USA, the UK, the EU, and most other places have committed to Net Zero by 2050, and ambitious totals by 2030.

He did his best to weasel out of going to Glasgow, saying he didn’t fancy another two weeks in quarantine, but the new NSW Premier, Dom Perroquet, grandly decided that overseas arrivals wouldn’t have to quarantine any more. If only Jen or the girls had been having a birthday he could’ve argued that, as a great family man, he was obliged to stay home. Alas, those dates didn’t work out. Now he’s stuck, and is scrambling to find some spin that will convince the rest of the world of his good intentions. Of course he only has to convince them for a couple of weeks, then all bets are off.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, out of the blue, big business, the farmers and even – gasp, shudder – the Murdoch Press, have begun chanting the Green gospel. Why, it’s an out & out betrayal! Imagine all those poor right-wing columnists left hanging out to dry.

The only option is to go into damage control and come up with some sort of policy, ASAP. Luckily there’s still a few more days up the old sleeve, if only Matt Caravan and the gang could get a move on with their ransom demands… Surely our leader is missing a beat here because all the nations of the world have failed to meet the commitments and targets they made after the Paris conference. Given his standard view that words speak louder than actions, one imagines Scummo would simply promise the earth, take the applause in Glasgow and do nothing. He can rely on business, the farmers, the states and the general population to keep reducing emissions and claim the credit for it himself (as he’s already doing). The problem is that he can’t signal this duplicitous intention to his climate change-denying constituents who might foolishly believe he’s on the level – athough by now everybody pretty much understands that when he says “up” he means “down”, and “forward” means “backwards”.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, locals who worked for the Australians are being executed while they wait to receive the voluminous immigration forms that might bring them to Australia. But it’s not all go-slow, as the government is eager to bring in starving refugees from Silicon Valley to help with the infamous skills shortage. Good to know they’ve got their priorities sorted out. I mean, how useful is an Afghan interpreter in Australia anyway? There are only so many jobs to go round at SBS.

Having established that the country is in safe hands I can turn to this week’s column, which is a gallery round-up, which seemed only appropriate now that people in Sydney can actually go to galleries again.

The movie being reviewed is Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, the first big Hollywood picture to be released post-lockdown. In a long career Scott has made some brilliant films and a few ordinary ones, but he is one of the super professionals of the cinema. The Last Duel, with Matt Damon and Adam Driver in the lead roles, is his best for a long time. Set in the late 14th century, it tells of a dispute between former friends that is resolved by a duel to the death. It might be good way of sorting out the deadlock in the Coalition party room.