Laboring divisions on coal

The Glass House couldn’t help noticing how eager various sections of the mainstream medicore were to play up supposed divisions within Labor on climate policy after the frontbench resignation of Joel “Call me Coal” Fitzgibbon.

Sadly, the ABC joined the throng in suggesting Jellyback Joe’s decision to go to the backbench exposed wide rifts in the ALP on carbon emission targets and the like.

You could almost sense the news outlets’ glee in trying to show that Labor is in just about as much trouble as the divided Liberals and Nationals are over even the existence of climate change.

Their apparent reasoning: the MSM strives for balance, and if the LNP’s climate change policies are fucked, then so should Labor’s.

Such theorising reminds us of the early days of last year’s federal election when the MSM, having decided poor Bill Shorten was clearly the front-runner, went hard at him in a bid to bring him back to the pack and create the level playing field so crucial to a fair election.

Remember how even the great Barrie Cassidy banged on for the first week of the campaign about some supposed major faux pas on Shorten’s part until Patricia Karvelas on Insiders basically told him to take his hand off it.

Now, The Glass House has no idea as to whether Labor is or is not rent with internal divisions over climate change policy, or is Jellyback Joel just a one-off fossil fool who never had the guts to tell thermal coal miners in his electorate their days are numbered and he would fight hard for proper help for their transition to other work.

The point is that none of the articles we’ve looked at address the issue of the extent, if any, of Labor frisson over the future of any type of coal.

Which brings us to today’s Sydney Morning Herald‘s News Review main feature article, Power Plays, by Nick O’Malley.

The yarn is largely about Jellyback Joel’s decision to quit shadow cabinet and the standfirst – Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon’s incendiary decision is a clear case that where there’s smoke, there’s ire… certainly hints at a wider yarn about whether Jellyback is a lone coalranger or does he have widespread coal-alition support?

We were drawn particularly to this paragraph of O’Malley’s: “In the Hunter, views of Fitzgibbon’s departure were mixed and they underscored what a terrible political problem climate change is for the valley, for Labor and for the world.”

But not the federal LNP government, Nick? See what we mean about how the MSM is so keen to bring Labor back to the pack on this thorny issue.

Oh, and if you are wondering whether O’Malley’s article addressed in any shape or form any supposed rifts within the wider Labor Party community over climate change policy…. nada, zero, zilcharoonie.


Stand-in presenter David Speers told his ABC News Breakfast audience on Wednesday morning that Scott Morrison had a “decisive” win in last year’s federal election.

Depending on which school you went to and how much attention you paid in maths class, the Morrison government has a one or two-seat majority in the House of Reps.

An “unexpected” or “surprise” win, for sure. But a “decisive” win?

Back to you for comment, Speersy.