Australian news, and some related international items

Labor wavers back and forth on the Adani coal mine question.

Labor’s fence-sitting on Adani has become a double backflip, Guardian, 24 Feb 18 

The backflip is standard operating procedure in professional politics, we all know that, but the double backflip is a somewhat rarer event.

Yet under the cover of yet another seismic convulsion inside the Turnbull government, Bill Shorten looks to be lining up for the dubious double on the controversial Adani coal mine. After signalling quite clearly in late January that Labor would toughen its position on the project, the Labor leader has cooled off noticeably on that notion over the past week or so.

Just before David Feeney announced he would resign from parliament because he couldn’t prove he was eligible to sit in the lower house, triggering a byelection in his lower house seat of Batman, Shorten used an appearance at the National Press Club to telegraph a shift on the mine.

Climate groups had been active with Shorten over the summer break, trying to persuade him to adopt a legal option of stopping the mine. The Labor leader changed the working formulation on the project in late January, and backed in the putative shift in the weeks immediately following, suddenly revving up the negative environmental impacts of the project.

 With the pivot in full flight, Shorten jumped on a story by my Guardian Australia colleagues, Amy Remeikis and Michael Slezak, suggesting that Adani had submitted an altered laboratory report while appealing a fine for contaminating wetlands near the Great Barrier Reef. “If Adani is relying on false information, that mine doesn’t deserve to go ahead,” the Labor leader thundered………..

a few things will matter to Labor at the next federal election. One will be having a climate policy that appeals to progressive as well as traditional voters. Another will be having a leader who isn’t perceived by voters as a flip-flopper, or a climate warrior of convenience.

While Labor can’t and shouldn’t forget blue collar workers and succumb entirely to the post materialist sensibilities of its inner urban constituency, toughening its line on Adani represented an opportunity for Labor to try to unify the progressive left, which has engaged in poisonous recriminations as a consequence of the toxic climate wars which have divided Australian politics for more than a decade……..


February 26, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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