Jul 17, 2014

Rundle: inside the bloody red chamber as time disappears

The carbon tax was repealed at 11.14, but there's still a long way to go for this sitting of Senate.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


As the universe speeds up and heads towards heat death, everything speeds up and happens closer together until eventually everything is simultaneous and there is no time. So too in the flaming bloody red of the Senate chamber, which is supposed to adjourn today. By late morning, the carbon tax repeal, the bill intended to go through with a flourish last Monday week, was still being debated and tick-tacked, and there were half a dozen other bills racked up and waiting to land. The Senate is going to sit until 11 tonight if necessary, and is being threatened with sitting all the way through the weekend, although I suspect arson would take place before that occurred, given the current mood. And, as a kiss of the whip, Senator Cory Bernardi will be addressing the National Press Club today. With the debate exhausted, the bill passed to an end game, going through endless divisions to draw it out as far as possible. With the deal thoroughly done, the PUP/micro/independent crossbenches installed themselves on the government side -- including Ricky Muir, whose favoured cause, ARENA, the renewable energy agency, is being gutted financially by the bill. By now, the Coalition was getting seriously bubbly, as were some of the crossbenchers, with Jacqui Lambie yelling out an "oh yeah". The lean and hungry Bernardi leaned over the benches to exchange yuk yuks with the equally elongated Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. They looked like two greyhounds enjoying the sun. Senator Ian Macdonald kept up the inflamed-prostate grumpy old man act, hurling interjections about "democracy" through final Greens and Labor speeches. Thus did it pass at 11.14, the abolition of one big signature bill of the Gillard era, which now seems distant indeed. A pallid round of applause saw it out, after a parting valedictory by Greens Leader Christine Milne, aimed as squarely at PUP as it was at the Coalition. And after a half-beat, we started on the Asset Recycling Bill. With only the mining tax, Qantas ownership and land transport infrastructure to go. No worries. We’ve got a whole half-day to go ...

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4 thoughts on “Rundle: inside the bloody red chamber as time disappears

  1. tonyfunnywalker

    The Senate today resembed ” The last supper” with the passing of the “judas vote” on the carbon tax — the final betrayal of the Australian people for even less ( 50 cents a day ) than the infamous “10 pieces of sliver”
    It was no triumph for the LNP and the cross benches it was the ultimate in stupidity.
    To endorse the PM’s 5 year long mendacious campaign defies reason and responsible policy making. It was Abbott’s obsession – but to allow the betrayal of society based on often demented denialist mythology reduces good government in Australia to a farce.
    The rejoicing of the PUP was sickening as it is their constituents who will suffer most from the repeal.
    I am sure Tasmanians will not be saying ” oh yeah” as their cheap power economy falters with the inevitable loss of jobs and their ” clean and green ” agriculture loses market positioning — trashed by PUP and the LNP — no wonder Christine Milne was angry.
    Keating’s ” unrepresentative swill” resonates well with the electorate tonight.
    When the Senators go home tomorrow there will be no Celebration but like Judas before them – they become the focus of ridicule and vilification for destroying the ” Good” in preference for the ” Bad”.
    They did not even leave the ” insurance policy ” intact– you can thank Muir for that.
    Even Judas did better than the average householder– I am sure that 10 pieces of silver was worth more than 50 cents a day (if you are lucky).

  2. AR

    TFW – I’m sure you know that the Gethsemane Gdns betrayak was for 30 pieces of silver so I’m trying to figure the devaluation rate.
    This was the nastiest, dirtiest and most Pyrrhic of all political decisions since the island of Oz was removed from the nation’s Immigration Zone.

  3. fractious

    “Australia is a lucky country, run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.” (Donald Horne)

    And when it’s not second-rate people, the joint is run by fifth-rate apologists for Rand, and the hell with the future.

  4. CML

    I hope this lot live long enough to see the disaster they have caused for future generations.
    As someone said elsewhere today, Crikey needs to publish a list of the Senators who voted, for and against , the repeal of the carbon tax. It is looking likely that the Senate will not vote for direct action, which is useless anyway, thus leaving the country with no effective action on climate change.
    All those responsible for this abominable state of affairs will have blood on their hands in the not too distant future. That’s why we need the list, Crikey, so we can know those responsible for the inevitable deaths from catastrophic bush-fires, floods, heatwaves and other severe climate events.
    We will not have long to wait!

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