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Paul Kelly makes some typically clear and concise remarks about the budget, and the options now open to both Labor and Liberal leaders.

Budget details often obscure the bigger picture, but Australia is heading into a serious downturn followed by a grim recovery. Swan’s budget shows a $77 billion turnaround for next year leading to a $58 billion deficit and projects government debt to peak at $188 billion by 2012-13 compared with the $96 billion debt that John Howard inherited in 1996 and took a decade to eliminate. ..

Malcolm Turnbull sounded effective when he put the brand of “higher debt, higher unemployment and higher deficits” on Labor, and asked: “How many years, how many decades will it take us to pay off hundreds of billions of dollars of Rudd Labor debt?”

But Kelly loses the plot completely when it comes to how he believes the Liberals should respond to Rudd’s beyond crazy Emission Trading Scheme and other climate control measures.

The Liberals need to retreat from their madness in threatening to block the carbon emission scheme bills, a manifest act of political suicide. This will become the decisive test of Turnbull’s leadership; he must carry the party on this path towards responsibility based on a recognition that the true interests of the Liberal Party are a full-term parliament with an election on the economy at the end.

Kelly’s concern is that blocking the ETS scheme could be used to justify a double dissolution. This would mean an early election, one Kelly believes the Liberals could not win, in part because Labor would then paint them as a bunch of ignorant climate change sceptics.

If the Liberals were able to block the ETS, Labor might indeed use this as an excuse for a double dissolution. They would certainly then paint the Liberals as a bunch of ignorant climate sceptics.

But blocking the ETS is the right thing to do. The scheme has no basis in science.

It tries to stop human induced global warming. Global warming stopped ten years ago. There was never any evidence whatever that the modest rise in average temperature of less than one degree over the last 100 years was any other than entirely natural.

The ETS tries to stop this imaginary bogeyman at an appalling cost to industry and energy production, and consequently to the well-being of every Australian.

Kelly is right about this: it is a decisive test of Turnbull’s leadership. Will he do what is right, and do everything he can to stop the most damaging legislation ever introduced into Australian parliament?  Or will he take the easy way, and go with the flow?

I fear it could be the latter. But if Turnbull does take a stand on this, I doubt very much it will be the political suicide Kelly suggests. More and more well known scientists are publicly saying they believe global warming is junk science, and more and more of the public agree with them.

Give voters real information about the fraud of global warming ‘science,’ and the costs of the ETS and other nonsensical schemes, and this could be one time when doing the right thing is rewarded at the ballot box.

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