#TiserTosh June 8: OMG, Kenny killed me

There is an extraordinary piece today [not online that I could find] by Advertiser hack Mark Kenny – endless pejorative adjectives and nouns (“spat”, “mini-tantrum”) and attempts at humour so clumsy they make Benny Hill look like Dorothy Parker (“Massive sun-obscuring edifice of egos”? Is this what they teach at the Murdoch laughing academy these days?)
Kenny builds his, um, story, around the fact that the Greens and Independents on the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee were miffed that Treasurer Wayne Swan trailed bits of a Treasury report to the media rather than letting them see it first.
If the Liberals were on a committee (and remember, they turned down the MPCCC invite) and felt they were being rolled like this, then on such point of parliamentary procedure, does anyone doubt that Advertiser hacks would be told to fulminate about it and bang on the table? Normally Labour would cop a kicking for the use of spin (“parliament insulted” etc etc -), but on this occasion the desire to give the Greens and Indies a smack has trumped that. The enemy of my enemy and all that…

It’s also a bit alarming that the senior analyst at the Tiser seems unable to understand how parliamentary legislation comes into existence. He writes “A fait accompli on the carbon tax delivered by a committee elected by almost no one.”
Yes, that’s right – the MPCCC is going to produce its findings and then THE VERY NEXT DAY everyone’s 4WD is taken away and their children sold into white slavery to give Cate Blanchett a tax break for her next island hideaway. No legislation will introduced into parliament, debated and haggled and so on like, um, any other law.

Mr Kenny has an opportunity here. He could show us how transparency is done. He could invite MPCCC members to sit in on the editorial meetings of various Murdoch rags (and frankly, the Tiser barely rises to even that description), where decisions are being made by unelected Murdoch goons (two can play that game!). Decisions about what? Well, about which democratically elected politician who doesn’t support gerontocratic plutocrats (see how easy it is?) is going to get it in the neck on in the next day’s waste of dead tree.

UPDATE 8/6/2011. If you want to see how it could (and should) have been done, check out Laura Tingle, political editor of the Australian Financial Review. Taking the same basic events, she manages to explain what is going on, point to specific facts that help you understand the possible ramifications. Her piece, “Swan appeases as tempers flare” on page 16 of the AFR 8.6.2011, is sadly behind a paywall. It concludes “It appears the government is loading in as much wriggle room as it can ahead of difficult negotiations.”

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