Our economy is lurching to the left, like a drunk staggering down the sidewalk, keys in hand, looking out for the cops..
Demonizing sections of the mining community as “poisonous” one minute yet calling the Greens “irresponsible” the next, fanning the flames of class envy whilst pretending to support democracy, pandering to conspiracy theories and promoting a massive redistribution of wealth through a dishonest tax, the Treasurer is tipping a toxic brew down the electorate’s throat.
In 2010, Swan and Gillard bought Bob Brown’s potent Tasmanian moonshine – the carbon tax –and downed it in one, untroubled by the fact that at $23 a tonne the tax contains a shot of pure hardcore leftism that will leave the economy reeling. Even Brown now admits the tax cannot achieve its stated aim, letting slip on the 7.30 report that “when… coal is burnt overseas, (it) puts greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which will completely cancel the carbon package we've just seen go through the Parliament.” Swan, of course, is canny enough to realize that the tax, whilst doing nothing to solve climate change, will bribe “working families” with frothy pints of “compensation” whilst their jobs disappear one by one, decimated by higher energy prices.
To ensure the success of this project, the “world’s greatest treasurer” (who says the Europeans don’t have a sense of humour?) decided to embark on the lowest political strategy of them all – to demonize the rich. How fortunate for Mr Swan that at least two of his greedy “vested interests”, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer, look like cartoon tycoons; all the easier to sneer at. Swan’s jittery, hyperventilating attack on mining magnates included such deceptive and provocative statements as “I can tell you there's a lot of unease in the Australian community about the activities of some of these people.” Really? Where? Or is it simply that the Labor Party can’t bear any form of criticism from those who have the funds to broadcast them?
Sweating over “the ranting of shock jocks,” Swan labels “insidious” those who “use enormous amounts of wealth to distort a public purpose openly and in full confrontation with government.”
Clearly confused about the purpose of a democracy – perhaps he should have attended one of Mark Steyn’s lectures (see page viii) – the Treasurer’s desire to silence those who disagree with him is the strongest warning yet about the dangers of Ray Finkelstein’s call for a government-appointed press regulator.
When challenged on Lateline by feisty Emma Alberici that his mining tax is “a watered-down version of (Rudd’s) original,” Swan’s thin-skinned and evasive answer belled the cat. “(That’s) yet another example of… that stuff that gets into the media and is exaggerated and (our italics) isn't subject to the serious scrutiny it ought to be.”
When the Treasurer sees personal vilification of wealth-creators as an acceptable strategy, combined with a desire to control adverse commentary, the guardians of our liberties are indeed on a bender, with a pounding economic headache awaiting us in the morning.