The push is on… apparently

Push? Really Leigh Sales? PUSH? Did you really say that on 7.30 last night?

Push is a powerful word, either as a verb or a noun. “Give us a push, mate.” He pushed the attacker aside. As dawn broke on the battlefront, it was clear the push was on.

Here’s some definitions of push as a noun.

And here’s how Ms Sales used it last night. Introducing a segment on climate change and whether emissions on farms and agriculture generally should be included in any plans to combat it, she said federal Nationals members of parliament were ….. wait for it! ….. “resisting the Prime Minister’s push for zero net emissions by 2050″.

This column has wondered before whether our friends in the mainstream media are watching a different PM to the one The Bug‘s journos and so many of their former colleagues have the misfortune to see. Some sort of Sliding Doors thing happening.

Which is why we’d love to know whether someone else wrote that intro or does Ms Sales really believe the PM is engaged in such a push. Is Ms Sales in the same camp as the likes of Peter Hartcher who reckons Morrison’s recent statements suggest he has moved to the winning centre of Australian politics.

Here’s what the coal-hugging, coal-lugging PM said a while ago and was replayed on last night’s program. “Our goal is to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible and preferably by 2050.”

We at the MGH didn’t read a lot into those words at the time. Even the reporter for last night’s segment, Dan Conifer, said this: “Scott Morrison is crab-walking towards [the zero target] but it’s not official yet unlike in most other countries…”

The Media Glass House has some simple advice for the likes of Sales, Hartcher and others who appear hellbent on interpreting weasel words as some significant policy shift on Morrison’s part.

We didn’t need to watch the parts of the segment where Nationals leader Michael McCormack and his predecessor Barnaby Joyce made it very clear what they though of any zero emissions target to know that when … ahem…push comes to shove … Morrison will not be engaging in any “push” to achieve net zero emissions.

Add widespread dissent in his own Liberal ranks and, trust us, Morrison is going to crabwalk quietly away from anything he scattered to the breeze a while back to hopefully get him invited to the next climate change talkfest for a photo op.

And we’ll make another brave prediction, When Morrison plops into a muddy mangrove hole and disappears from view over emissions targets, Hartcher and his ilk will stay schtum about it. There will be an election to help win, after all.

Morrison will only be interested in repeating the template he used successfully at the last federal election.

And an important part of that was, and will be again, to stay vague about the LNP’s own climate change goals to preserve the appearance of coalition unity and to be totally confident that the mainstream media – yes, that’s you, Ms Sales, Peter Hartcher and many, many others – will tear strips off Labor demanding to know the cost over almost 30 years of that zero-emissions target.

Don Gordon-Brown

PS: One for the “you couldn’t make this shit up if you tried” file. Here’s Barnaby Joyce, with a salient warning on the same segment for rural folk tempted to support the zero emissions target by 2050.