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Will Boris’ Brexit gamble pay off?

Crikey readers on Boris Johnson, hydrogen energy and media monopolies.

Boris Johnson
(Image: AAP/David Crosling)

Guy Rundle wrote yesterday that UK PM Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue parliament was breathtakingly risky. Crikey readers were inclined to agree, but pointed out that if the (many) dangers can be avoided, the payoff could be huge for Johnson and the Conservative Party. Elsewhere, readers discussed the possibility of Australia’s hydrogen-powered future, and hacked into the country’s media monopolies.

On Boris’ Brexit gamble

Charles Richardson writes: “… If the Commons votes up a ‘humble petition’ … to ask the Queen to annul her own prorogation…” Well, yes, they can, but they don’t have to stop at petitioning. They can legislate to annul the prorogation before it takes effect, or abolish the power of prorogation altogether. Parliamentary sovereignty: if Johnson’s opponents really do have a solid majority (which is yet to be tested, but looks pretty good), they can do absolutely anything. And if they have to, they can do it quickly; there’s nothing to stop them putting a bill through all stages in an afternoon. If they don’t, it’ll be a lack of nerve, not lack of power.

Christopher Armstrong writes: This could work to Boris’ advantage. He’s spared the UK the embarrassment of another parliamentary session where the country’s leaders tear themselves apart without reaching an agreement on Brexit. Except maybe to delay it further. To those on the street, the whole thing looks like elite posturing instead of a realistic post-Brexit plan. It should have been remain, but the left will get no mileage arguing arcane constitutional arguments in favour of a prolonging debate the public are tired with.

On a hydrogen future

Mark Dunstone writes: What’s really disappointing is the lack of Australian industry supplying innovative new carbon replacing products for households, as opposed to pie-in-the-sky-big industry projects. For example, my solar panels and lithium batteries are Chinese; my solar powered reverse osmosis water maker from the USA. And there is a huge unfulfilled household market for low carbon domestic cooking and space heating/cooling for those of us who would like to quit the environmentally and politically dangerous dependence on big energy networks.

Mark E Smith writes: The various non-fossil energy storage and transport processes may well succeed fossil fuels in time but time is what we don’t have. We need an all-encompassing carbon tax now. This includes an imputed price on fossil energy sourced imports. Just the suggestion could cause Barnaby to explode. Imagine that.

Roger Clifton writes: Hydrogen production is potentially the essential intermittent consumer for wind’s intermittent supply. In the 1970s, hydrogen was found to be difficult or dangerous to pipe, store, compress, liquefy, combust or react with other chemicals. However it remained attractive as a short-term, intermediate storage of energy, better than any storage of electricity. Intermittently topping up a temporary store (such as a gasometer), it could then be used as a steady supply for a downstream process.

On media monopolies

Malcolm Burr writes: What about Brisbane and the “Courier Wail” (I use that name advisedly). We have to endure anti-Labor diatribes ad nauseum, with no way of refuting their bile. What is one to do? Cancel my subscription? It’s not an option for me as I am 80 and like to keep up with the obituary column to make sure I’m not in it.

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Peter Fray

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