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Observations, Politics

Clive and the carbon tax – the stuff of nightmares

It’s Abbott Hour, when I settle down to the ironing and think about how much more it would cost to get it done commercially because something something carbon tax.

Australia’s Minister for Women would, I’m sure, be pleased to know that I use this time constructively. As a female citizen of this great nation I’ve been worrying, as instructed, about the soaring cost of lamb roasts and the fate of my friends and relations in Whyalla.

After years of all this ironing-induced anxiety I was expecting a huge burden to have lifted this week when I settled down to press the current Mr Baxter’s shirts but the carbon tax is still here and now I don’t know what to think. 

It appears that in fact the carbon tax has been so benign getting rid of it is not going to make a blind bit of difference to my grocery bills or forthcoming holiday in Whyalla. Even its impact on my power bills appears to have been overstated.

It turns out the nation’s nightmare is no longer the carbon tax but Clive Palmer who, according to the Daily Telegraph, has come in like a wrecking ball and disturbed what should have been a quiet celebration of grown-up government. What next? A cobra strike? A python squeeze?

Maybe it’s the fumes from the starch, but I’m a bit confused.

I take heart from the obvious fact that I’m not alone. Take Qantas, for example, which said on 3 March this year that the major issues it faced were not related to the carbon tax before changing its mind just two days later to describe it as a ‘significant challenge.’ Axing the tax will not apparently give me cheaper airfares, however.

If the national carrier can’t work it out, what hope for your Girl Reporter?

Clive Palmer has said he will only support axing the tax if the government makes sure I get my money back from all the businesses which have been forced to raise their prices because of it. But, faced with the prospect of passing on their savings once the tax has gone, Qantas, Virgin Australia and Woolworths, to name just a few, are now saying there won’t be any.

It’s almost as if clownish Clive and his gang of silly, inexperienced senators have fallen for some great big lie. But that can’t be right, can it? I read it in the Daily Telegraph, after all.

The great thing about ironing is that it gives the housewives of Australia – even part-time ones like your Girl Reporter – an opportunity for reflection. I’m sure that’s why our Minister for Women, ever sensitive to the feminine mind, recommended it as a good time for us to calm down and think about these important issues.

And thanks to his good advice, and Mr Baxter’s huge collection of shirts, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the disparity between the predictions of doom as a result of the carbon tax and the reality.

Like any good nightmare, the carbon tax seems so trivial in the clear light of day. It hasn’t wrecked the Baxter budget and even seems to be working quite well. If only someone in a position of authority could tell Clive that he’s tilting at windmills (offensive, but mostly harmless) and it was all some kind of mistake.

Perhaps the Minister for Women should take his own advice and indulge in a bit of ironing as he contemplates how to deal with Clive Palmer, who just as the carbon tax was supposed to, has been causing the government “pain from day one and it’s just going to get worse and worse and worse.”

Unfortunately, Clive Palmer is no fabricated nightmare to be dispelled with a spot of ironing and reflection. But that’s the trouble when you start manufacturing monsters – as any student of horror will tell you – once formed they can take on a life of their own and ultimately turn on their creator.

Further reading:

Qantas, Virgin Australia and Woolworths refuse to reduce prices once the carbon tax is ditched –Daily Telegraph 10 July, 2014

Groceries to carry the cost of carbon tax, supermarkets warn – News.com.au 1 March, 2011

Families feeling carbon tax as prices start to rise – Daily Telegraph 2 July 2012

Tony Abbott’s Karma moment– Laura Tingle, Australian Financial Review 11 July 2014

Greg Hunt gets his own carbon tax repeal law wrong, lawyer says– Lenore Taylor, Guardian Australia 11 July 2014

Power corrupts– Jess Hill, The Monthly July 2014

© Sally Baxter 2014

About Sally Baxter

Once I was a girl reporter, blogging as Sally Baxter. Now I'm writing under my name at www.mariaspackman.com covering the past, present and future of journalism and whatever else takes my fancy. All views my own.


2 thoughts on “Clive and the carbon tax – the stuff of nightmares

  1. I think Clive will nudge Barnaby Joyce for the “entertainment award” this year. I like BJ’s quirky comments and observations and Clive also has a unique sense of humour.

    Unfortunately, they’re very expensive entertainers, and their decisions can have serious consequences for Australia and our political scene.

    Carbon Tax. Who knows how it will turn out. Is it worth having and is it effective in reducing carbon emissions? It certainly hasn’t done anything to reduce Abbotts blood pressure.

    I enjoy the occasional political cartoon, here be one on pollution . . . . . . .




    Posted by cartoonmick | July 13, 2014, 1:06 pm
  2. Great cartoon! Just because we laugh doesn’t mean we don’t take it seriously. Thanks for the comment.


    Posted by Sally Baxter | July 13, 2014, 1:40 pm

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Your Girl Reporter is now filing as Maria Spackman at www.mariaspackman.com Same great content, whole new website. I’m leaving Sally Baxter up, as I can’t quite bring myself to let her go completely, but it’s time to honour my family name – and use it. Hope you’ll join me for the Further Adventures of a Girl Reporter. It’ll be fun.

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