On March 12, I joined concerned citizens outside Julia Gillard's electorate office in Werribee, Victoria, where Liberal Victorian senators Mitch Fifield and Scott Ryan spoke. The message: No carbon tax.
We came from all walks of life: farmers and city folk, women and men, young and old, black and white. Yes, even in Victoria the debate, and therefore democracy, isn't over, much to Gore's dismay.
The chattering classes just can't seem to gag us. But why? Unlike government-endorsed protesters, people on my side are more willing to serve our PM critical-thinking questions.
Take the Sydney-based Werribee boy Tim Blair: "By how much will your carbon dioxide tax reduce Australia's temperature?" And: "If after five years there has been no recorded decline in temperature, will the tax be abandoned?"
These are questions every critical thinker is more willing to ask, because he is more in touch with the common man, or because he is the common man. So, for example, when elites assure us that Julia will help the poor through the carbon dioxide tax, we simply don't buy it. After all, we're aware that Julia isn't looking after struggling families now, so why would we trust her later?
Besides, many people want less government, not more government. They want to be left alone.
They're also tired of the end-of-the-world global warming campaigns sold by frequent flyer Al Gore and cashed up Hollywood celebs. Western suburbs MP Bernie Finn who addressed the anti-tax rally, has written,"The former vice-president of the United States has a carbon footprint that spreads nonsense wherever he goes. As we know, there is no global warming -- but if there was, it would possibly be caused by Mr Gore's propensity to spout hot air wherever he travels in his jumbo jet." And yet, the views of beach house-loving stars are treated like a sacred science today.
As well, we're commanded to embrace Noah-like prophecies.
Noteworthy also are reports that the anti-homelessness green activist, Kevin Rudd, alsopurchaseda 3.1 million holiday home at Castaways Beach, near Noosa. In the Labor era, Joe Average is encouraged to scale down, while politicians live it up. Their beach houses grow bigger; while increasingly unaffordable working class units shrink. They travel in energy-hungry jets; while the commoners struggle to run their cars. And so, perhaps the superannuation millionaire Bob Brown isn't so daft, after all.
"No to Carbon Tax"organising member Randal Killip assertsthat the "protest group will also commence further community action to raise awareness with the government MPs so they are aware that people will not accept this tax, and that if these members wish to remain in government that they need to reverse this policy immediately" – meaning that Julia has a fight on her hands.
Not lost either is the fact that conservatives aren't known as protesters, so when you witness a rally in Werribee, aka Labor country, 32 km south-west from Melbourne's central business district, you're witnessing a significant event. This was not a city get-together with professional activists.
I lost count of all the drivers in Julia territory giving protestors the thumbs up, or the young men tooting their horns in solidarity. But I haven't lost my faith in the ability of Australians to demand a fair go. Like the much maligned Tea Party that didn't go away, I also found that our smug newspapers were sitting on the wrong side of history.
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