It’s not workers vs the elite anymore; it’s environment vs business greed.
What with temperatures rising, taps running dry, food becoming a valuable commodity – all coupled with peak oil – the economy, the environment and the voters are about to cop a serious body blow. It could be too late for changing governments priorities via voter awareness, but if Rudd knows which side his bread is buttered, he won’t kowtow to the coal and logging industries like Howard did.
With the collapse of global trade beginning and the US about to go into meltdown, it will be a rough round for Rudd to referee. Business will be screaming for more assistance and access to resources, while the voters and the environment will become even more poverty stricken from decades of neglect. On top of this, climate chaos will hit us like a steam train. So any government that allows greasy corporate donors to keep writing their policies behind the scenes, might be on the path to extinction.
Tackling these problems will mean depression-style frugality and belt tightening across the country. The ALP could go green or it could just pretend to. The Greens could be outpolling the LibNats in the next couple of elections. Some are saying the 2007 election was the start of the extinction of the Liberal Party.
Will Rudd cast off his conservative pro-pulpmill persona and begin to take real action now he’s been elected? Or will he fill us all with spin? (Howard employed 627 spin doctors throughout his government). Concern for the planet’s health hasn’t translated into political pressure in the past, but now that the temperature is rising, self-interest is kicking in. We can hope that public awareness and politics start to take a different course. I think Bob Brown recently said that when the Environment Minister is held in higher regard than the Treasurer, we know they’ll be taking the planet seriously.