I’m shocked – shocked: I had no idea things were this bad!

ALAN JONES: Look, it’s a harsh thing to say on these matters of carbon tax and global warming and carbon dioxide that your national government is telling you lies.

But The Australian newspaper leads today with a story that no major coal-producing country currently imposes a direct charge on greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines. Yet there was Wayne Swan announcing that a Productivity Commission report into international climate regimes would show that seven of Australia’s top 10 trading partners had adopted major policies to reduce pollution.

Well, the Australian Coal Association have had a gutful. They’re going to raise money to attack all of this argument by the government. And they are saying that not one of Australia’s top four competitors in the 13 key commodities – we’re talking about iron ore, gold, nickel, aluminium, coal – not one of them has a carbon pricing scheme except Poland which exempts emissions from coal mining processes.

But, you see, these people simply tell lies in order to try to win their case. They’re desperate.
Only the other night on television Wayne Swan was asked, what was the government’s greatest investment in productivity. He was rabbiting on about productivity. His answer: the National Broadband Network.
[Laughter]

It’ll be obsolete – yeah, people are just laughing here. It is laughable isn’t it? It’s laughable. It’ll be obsolete before it’s built. It’s a bureaucratic nightmare. It’s costing taxpayers a fortune. It’s become a gravy train to be exploited by greedy unions. It’ll hardly improve business efficiency beyond what could have been done for a fraction of the cost. And this is his greatest productivity reform.
He’ll also argue that the hopeless Fair Work Australia IR regime enhances productivity. I mean, Wayne Swan is a dope, but he doesn’t have to conspicuously prove it every time he opens his mouth.
Then you’ve got all these stooges of the government wherever you go. Ross Garnaut gushing away about global emissions and a carbon tax. Wayne Swan at the National Press Club yesterday, to what Janet Albrechtsen this morning rightly calls a bunch of insiders virtually telling us we’re going to be better off under a carbon tax when everybody knows it’s going to hurt our economy, when everybody knows other countries are not taxing carbon dioxide. And what everyone knows, that our emissions of carbon dioxide are almost beyond negligible.

But – and this is the but, this is the but – there’s something else going on in Canberra which we ought to be concerned about, and that is the utter politicisation of the bureaucracy.

Now, of course, Wayne Swan yesterday would spruik Treasury modelling in support of a carbon dioxide tax. Who is the secretary of the Treasury? Martin Parkinson. Where is all this climate change modelling coming from? Treasury. What was Martin Parkinson before he became secretary of the Treasury? Secretary of the Department of Climate Change.

We’ve never seen this in Australian politics. Even though the budget provided for another 200 staff members in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for Julia Gillard, she now brings back the former head of the federal Treasury, Ken Henry. Now, we find that Henry didn’t really leave Treasury at all; he was on extended leave taking, quote, a well deserved break after years of outstanding service, according to Julia Gillard.

Now, he’s going to come in as an adviser on a pro rata salary not far short of the half a million dollars he earned in his previous role.

Don Russell, who was a senior adviser to Paul Keating, he’s been brought back.

Everybody thought this bloke, Henry, had left. Suddenly, we’re told, no, he hadn’t left the public service, he was just on leave. Now, he’s going to be part of a special prime ministerial advisory body, and that office – his office – has been specially created and signed off by the Executive Council and the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.

But Henry’s replacement as Treasury secretary is the former boss of the Department of Climate Change. You can’t trust a word these people say.

Then you’ve got the poor battler out there worrying about how an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission can let Woolworths and Coles get away with murder. Well, Bob Hawke’s former principal economic adviser, Rod Sims, was last month named the new head of the Competition and Consumer Commission.

Then there’s a new Secretary to the Department of the Environment – the environment hey. Global warming, climate change. They can rabbit on about all that stuff. A bloke called Dr Paul Grimes who was previous Associate Secretary of Julia Gillard’s Department.

Well one of the all time greats – I’m embarrassing him by saying this, but it’s acknowledged by everybody as head of Treasury – is John Stone. A man of impressive scholarship, but more importantly uncompromising integrity and independence. I thought I’d have a word with him about what he thinks is going on in Canberra with the public service.

He’s on the line. John Stone, good morning.

JOHN STONE: Good morning Alan.
ALAN JONES: Thank you for your time. The Secretary of Treasury. He’s the former head of the Department of Climate Change. Surely any advice he gives to the government will be cast in the language of the cheer squad?
JOHN STONE: Well I don’t suppose that follows logically but, in fact, I happen to think that Dr Parkinson has been, for some time, what I should say, politically committed. And I’m afraid that his appointment as Secretary to the Treasury, I found it deeply depressing and I’m finding it no less depressing today.
ALAN JONES: But Dr Henry is now taking a job as a special advisor to the Prime Minister. Does that not mean that he most probably was always committed to that side of politics and gave advice accordingly?
JOHN STONE: Well I, again, I can’t attest to the whole truth of that. But what I can say is I sent in a letter to The Australian a few days ago – last week – at his appointment, the one you’ve referred to, as a special advisor to the Prime Minister makes – marks a clear watershed, to my mind at least, in the role and status of the Commonwealth public service. And I went on to say yes, of course, in [indistinct] – so I thought he’d left the service, but he – he says – probably doesn’t seem to have done. In fact, he’ll take whatever job he likes. But – as long as the proper choice.

But the choice he’s now made, I said in that letter, means that there can no longer be any shadow of doubt as to the politicisation of his former role during his tenure of it.

I’m sure he had – and I make this point, because I went on to add a paragraph which the editor – for – no doubt for reasons of space omitted – I went on to say for years now Dr Henry’s behaviour as Secretary of the Treasury, has come under increasing public scrutiny. Throughout, and despite my own growing doubts, I have refrained from any public criticism of him. Indeed, in a March 2008 Quadrant article, I went out of my way to criticise his treatment by the Howard Government, over a particular incident in May 2007 – which you probably remember.
ALAN JONES: Yep.
JOHN STONE: I added in brackets – I have since to think that the government was right and I was in error.
ALAN JONES: Mmm.
JOHN STONE: All I’m saying is that I have not rushed to criticise Dr Henry and I’ve not, until this moment, criticised Dr Parkinson. But I have to say that the action by Dr Henry in accepting this appointment, and that – the appointment of his successor are, I think, deeply – well I was almost going to say tragic development.
ALAN JONES: John – John Stone, you were in Treasury when I worked for a Prime Minister and I can assure you though, you may not be aware, the building shook every day wondering what Stone was going to say, because Stone would be totally independent – will Stone sign off on this? Every person in government would argue that.

Now if you had been Secretary of Treasury, you would have demanded some economic modelling of the stimulus package. You would have demanded economic modelling of the pink batts. You would have demanded economic modelling of the Building the Education Revolution. You would have demanded economic modelling of the National Broadband Network. You would have demanding – demanded appropriate economic modelling of the mining tax. You would have demanded economic modelling of the carbon tax.

Now, how can the Treasury perform its function adequately when there’s no modelling on any of this?
JOHN STONE: Before I respond directly to that question, can I just mention something. After my letter appeared in The Australian, somebody sent me a little email. They said when you were in the Treasury, in the early 1970s, the Treasury dealt comprehensively with the nonsense being produced by that Club of Rome at that time. [Indistinct]
ALAN JONES: That’s right. That’s right, I remember that, yep.
JOHN STONE: …many similarities to what…
ALAN JONES: Yes.
JOHN STONE: …the ITC(*) has been doing. And…
ALAN JONES: [Laughs] That’s right.
JOHN STONE: …so unfortunately today the Treasury has been taken over by the Greens.
ALAN JONES: That’s it.
JOHN STONE: And I think there’s a great deal of truth in that. In fact, I know – I know there’s a great deal.

Now coming to your question about economic modelling. Actually I doubt very much why would have asked people to do economic modelling because, you see Alan, the fact is – and I’m just reading Wayne Swan’s speech that he made at the Press Club yesterday. In a number of places in that speech he says Treasury economic modelling shows et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Now the fact is Alan, that economic modelling shows nothing.
ALAN JONES: Yeah.
JOHN STONE: Evidence is required to show…
ALAN JONES: Evidence, yep. Yep.
JOHN STONE: …something. Economic modelling is not evidence.
ALAN JONES: Well that’s why you were the Secretary to Treasury and I wasn’t. See, that’s right.
JOHN STONE: It is a whole – it’s a whole set of [indistinct].
ALAN JONES: The clarity of John Stone’s thinking is to drive Prime Minister’s mad. But at least we had a filter there didn’t we? The nation had a fil… not just you – Sir Frederick Wheeler and others…
JOHN STONE: Oh, yes, oh, yes.
ALAN JONES: …operated in the same way.
JOHN STONE: Oh, yes, oh, yes, oh, yes. And a whole bunch of very – men of the highest probity, who headed Australian government departments in the days when I first joined the Treasury in 1954 and went on doing so for many, many years thereafter. But I believe, unfortunately, that the [indistinct] have been polluted. They talk about pollution – these people talk about pollution and they’re really talking about carbon dioxide which, as you’ve told your listeners many times, is an invisible gas.
ALAN JONES: Yes.
JOHN STONE: And the food of life. So…
ALAN JONES: What are the public to make of all of this, just finally…
JOHN STONE: Well…
ALAN JONES: …John Stone?
JOHN STONE: …what the public should make of it is they’re being consistently and comprehensively lied to. I’m sorry to say, but it’s fact.
ALAN JONES: Wonderful. Let’s leave it there.

There we are. That is a man, I mean, of incredible, incredible capacity application and scholarship. I said to him just then, what are the public to make of all of this – the advice of Henry and Parkinson and the bureaucracy. They are being consistently lied to.

John Stone.

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Labor Outsider
Labor Outsider
10 years ago

I take it Jones didn’t see the irony in questioning Henry’s independence with a man, Stone, that wound up as a National Party Senator!!

paul walter
paul walter
10 years ago

what grubs they are!
At least we know now that Parkinson is just a closet residual hippy- should’ve guessed, by the funny smokey smell coming from his office, the photoof the Dalai Lama and the Statuette of the Goddess on the desk, behind all the cucumber and mung beans. And the peace sign he threw me, with a silly grin, as I walked past- what A sign!
Ah wait… he’s leaving now, for the daily conference with the wee folk down bottom of the garden, with his Hendrix headband on, or is that just to water his plant.. ah well.

trackback

[…] line is a comment on the thread following Nicholas Gruen’s post on Club Troppo today. The post is a poker-faced transcript of Alan Jones combining the time warp with climate […]

Dave
Dave
10 years ago

I don’t think it is that Henry supports Labor policy so much as that Labor supports Henry policy. He is incredibly influential.

murph the surf.
murph the surf.
10 years ago

agree with the concept at 4 – this governement has to get policy from someone!

Lloyd
Lloyd
10 years ago
Rafe
10 years ago

I know that Alan Jones goes OT on his favorite issues but can you seriously suggest that he should be censored?

John J
John J
10 years ago

No, of course Jones should not be censored. If numbskulls want to listen to this propagandist then that is their right. But it does make me laugh whenever I hear conservatives moaning about the left’s domination of the media. With shock jocks, Murdoch’s newspaper and cable empire, current affairs reporting on commercial channels, and the tamed ABC, the populist right has far more influence on the average voter than the dreaded lefties.

john
john
10 years ago

Ms Farrelly referenced this

paul walter
paul walter
10 years ago

#&7, too late now. The error came shortly after his birth, with the refusal of a hessian sack and acompanying exile to the bottom of the local pond.
Talk about hippies.. what would happen if Jones actually got out and got a real job and contributed some thing contructive, as he exhorts everyone else to do from his bully-pulpit, instead of just trying to drag human beings back toward a restored dark ages tutelage?

rog
rog
10 years ago

Jones churns out his junk by the cubic metre, I would have thought that it had limited to no appeal to most people and is appealing to the emotional side of his rusted on listeners, who are most likely senior citizens who are feeling left out.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

He coached the Wallabies with some success, amongst other things, pw. Also that comment is clearly OTT – I would have thought that you would aspire to distinguish yourself positively from Jones, not negatively.

paul walter
paul walter
10 years ago

Well, he should have stuck to sport- some thing he did know something about. We don’t have bakers running hospitals and we don’t need bigots interfering with ideas generation and social information and discourse in a society trying to adapt to the challenges of the twenty first century, for absolutely the shabbiest, most ignoble of motives.
No, he can’t be banned, but he and his bosses, who pay him a grossly inflated income for deliberating undermining civilisation, obstructing progress and slandering real people, can be seen through and condemned on the specifics of their given bigotries on a given day.
Any way, Media Watch, et al, have demonstrated what ethically bankrupt creatures these are via antics like Cash for Comments- you do remember cash for comments, don’t you Patrick?

Dave
Dave
10 years ago

We already have censorship of radio current affairs programs. Didn’t you know? Eg

In the preparation and presentation of current affairs programs, a licensee must use reasonable efforts to ensure that:
(a) factual material is reasonably supportable as being accurate; and
(b) substantial errors of fact are corrected at the earliest possible opportunity.

observa
observa
10 years ago

No doubt Alan Jones needs to get himself into perspective-
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/08/huge-auroral-display-tonight-and-tomorrow/#more-41344
but then he’s not the only one full of themselves by all accounts-
http://www.klimaskeptik.cz/news/interview-with-dr-ivanka-charvatova-csc-from-gfu/
a girl scout story to warm the cockles of any free man’s heart eh?
To be contd..

observa
observa
10 years ago

Our girl scout Ivanka would no doubt appreciate a bit of Tolstoy-

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

observa
observa
10 years ago

But perhaps like Darwin little Ivanka had to suffer exclusion from the troupe-
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/08/alarmist-climate-science-and-the-principle-of-exclusion/#more-41294