Abbott: Renewables killing coal, just to "make world a bit colder" | RenewEconomy

Abbott: Renewables killing coal, just to “make world a bit colder”

Former PM says “obsession” with emissions will damage Australia’s economy, for what? Just to save the planet for the grandkids.


Energy politics in Australia laid the crazy on thick this week, with Josh Frydenberg’s intricate coal dance, the business lobby’s renewables ambush, and the federal Coalition’s en masse support of a One Nation motion to build new coal plant.

Not to be outdone, however, ex prime minster Tony Abbott put the sparklers on the cake on Friday morning, in an interview with 2GB’s Alan Jones.

Here’s what was said:

AJ: What are we being, quote unquote, guaranteed in the National Energy Guarantee?

TA: The only guarantee, as i read it, is that emissions will come down.

…(In the NEG policy documents) there’s a few lines on reducing price, there’s a few pages on boosting reliability, and there’s page after impenetrable page of the most appalling prose you’ve ever read, which is all about reducing emissions.

Now, I don’t mind reducing emissions, but not if it drives your cost of living through the roof, and not if it makes your job more precarious.

And this is the problem. We are damaging our economy in an attempt to save the planet in 100 years’ time.

And I don’t think our children will thank us if we damage their future in order to make the world a bit colder for our grandchildren.”

So there it is. And while wouldn’t usually bother dedicating an entire story to the increasingly unhinged musings of the former PM, it’s worth noting what we’re dealing with in Australia, on energy and climate policy.

This is the man who killed the carbon price, and for whom Malcolm Turnbull is doing a merry dance by proposing a NEG that does nothing – and he’s not even grateful for it.

In any case, Abbott’s wrong about the NEG: It won’t bring emissions down, because that target will largely be met by the RET, which he tried to scrap. There’s no reliability issue, and if he really wants to upset the grandchildren, then doing nothing about climate change should do the trick.

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  1. Alan S 2 years ago

    Some very disrespectful photos of a man who deserves……….

  2. George Darroch 2 years ago

    This furphy comes out every winter. It’s not clever or original.

    If Abbott or Frydenberg want to live somewhere warm, they can move to Darwin. It’s a balmy 31*C right now.

  3. DevMac 2 years ago

    If there’s any value in Alan Jones’ (and his ilk) being on-air, it’s the “comfortable space” it gives to the conservative crazies. When they’re in the company of friends, it breaks down somewhat of their public front and we get closer to what they actually think.

    It’s scary as hell, but I’d rather know the extent of the senility or denial or corruption (or the combination) of the ‘leaders’ of our country than not.

    • PLDD 2 years ago

      For some reason my FB page had a 2GB article/advert featuring Craig Kelly. The comments under the article were amazing, a couple of valiant souls were arguing the RE corner but 90% of the posts were amazing rubbish. The best – a women claiming wind turbines used coal to keep them working.

      • Cooma Doug 2 years ago

        The stand out scientific question I have had to deal with;
        When the wind blows back the other way, the turbines will draw power from the power lines. They make a lot more noise and people get sick.

        • Joe 2 years ago

          Best get the Abbott’s Wind Commissioner dude on the case. He hasn’t had much to do these last 2 years so wind blowing turbine blades the other way should keep the Wind Commissioner busy for a while.

          • Catprog 2 years ago

            Apparently the Commissioner has actually managed to accelerate the rollout of wind turbines.

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Hi Cat, yes I did read a report along those lines in previous pages of Renew Economy. I’m sure that was never the intention when the Abbott set up his Wind Commission which probably makes The Mad Monk even crazier if that is even possible.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            Did I not read on these fine pages that, unable to find any evidence to support claims of wind farm induced sickness, he went in to batt FOR wind, and has had success reassuring communities that wind is all good?

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Yep, Cat below, made a mention of that same outcome.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            Thanks Joe. Didn’t think I was dreaming.

  4. arne-nl 2 years ago

    “We are damaging our economy in an attempt to save the planet”

    Is this for real?

    • MaxG 2 years ago

      March 4th, 2014: “We don’t support, as a government and as a Coalition, further lockouts of our forests,” Mr Abbott said. “We have quite enough National Parks, we have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest.”

      Mr Abbott said his government was pushing ahead to delist a world heritage listing of 74,000 hectares of forest in Tasmania. “Mr Abbott said the area – which was protected under Tasmania’s forest peace deal – was not pristine forest and was too degraded to be considered a sanctuary“.

    • Joe 2 years ago

      Hi Don’t Panic, I think it might be time to…’Start a Panic’. The dude has supporters in the government and with the polls as they are Turnbull could be headed for an exit as PM before election day.

      • Hettie 2 years ago

        Whoever comes after could only be worse.

        • Joe 2 years ago

          Worse maybe good if it wakes the punters up ( still 48% support The Coalition ) and vote this mob out.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            Only Abbott is guaranteed to lose. Even the Libs are not mad enough to get him back.
            Although after the byelections the old numbers in HoR are back to that 1 seat majority. If Turnbull is rolled, and resigns, the majority is gone, and it’s just possible that a no confidence vote could get up before a by election could be held for Wentworth. Which might go Greens anyway.

          • Joe 2 years ago

            A lovely thought, Turnbull gonza and taking ‘The Team’ down with him.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            You like that idea?
            It’s good to dream, but…

            What shall it profit a man, if he gain the top job, and lose his soul?
            Or a TA put it,
            Sell his arse.

    • JackD 2 years ago

      Unfortunately so, I’m afraid. This coming from that same person who used his Captains Pick to bestow a Knighthood on Prince Phillip (note, I have nothing against the Monarchy per se). Our federal government opinion leaders and concentrated media are obsessed with seemingly getting us back to the 1950s when coal generation was supreme, petrol was cheap and the economy was enjoying the post-war boom.

      However lets not all get so negative and fall into panic and despair. It just takes the weight of opinion to be shifted to realise that leaving the planet a better place for future generations, is an urgent yet honourable pursuit. Remember, the tide turned and the Berlin wall fell. Just who would have thought that would ever happen. The power of the crowd!!

      The Far-Right only have the megaphone because we let them.

      Time to work on and engage the more moderate so-called “Wet” Liberals and get them on-board. Also the Nationals should perhaps listen and pay attention to their farmer constituents more especially those who live through frequent and prolonged droughts or those have wind turbines or solar array installed on their land.

      Lets prove to the world that we’re far more than just a bunch of misinformed red-necks!!

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      How abut,
      “we are damaging the windscreen in our attempt to stop the car going over the cliff. Right now?”

  5. MaxG 2 years ago

    The “Slogans For Bogans” man at work…

    • Cooma Doug 2 years ago

      People in Manly vote for this man.

      • MaxG 2 years ago

        So? It doesn’t disqualify him from the nomination as ‘slogans for bogans’ man 🙂
        …no, the most half of Australia voted for the guy.

        • solarguy 2 years ago

          And that Max is the real concern. Do you ever get the feeling we have woken up in the nut house?

      • Joe 2 years ago

        …and he is set to go around again at the next election. The punters in his seat of Warringah can’t get enough of him…great bloke, doing top job, should be PM again…on it goes.

    • Joe 2 years ago

      I don’t know whether to keep laughing at Abbott’s complete nonsense words or to start crying. He has turned into a joke. This bloke has flip flopped on carbon pricing and emissions abatement for the best part of a decade and it goes back to before he knifed Turnbull in 2009 to become the then Opposition Leader. The flip flopping still continues these days after his latest salvo directed at his then bureaucrats for ‘lying’ to him about signing ‘The Paris…Aspiration’. That the drivel that always comes from his mouth these days goes largely unchallenged in the mainstream media is a mystery to me. Why aren’t the serious journos and news outlets doing their day jobs ( Rupert excluded as serious news outlet )? The man / the Abbott must be mentally ill, there can be no other rational reason for his latest musings with the Jones. Someone call the Doctor, the Abbott needs the help and fast. A Parliamentary retirement on medical grounds is in order before he does anymore harm to himself and the country.

      • MaxG 2 years ago

        I think I get you… it is not far from making you cry… there is utter disbelief such nonsense finds any ears… the only thing that saved my day, or gave me the answer I needed, was this article: — The 5 laws of stupidity. I could agree with the author’s assessment, since then shielding me from potential depression caused by it: stupidity.
        I read this article every time I quote it, just to re-enforce its teaching.

        • Joe 2 years ago

          Wow, just read the article. It explains the Abbott then.

          • Gregory J. OLSEN Esq 2 years ago

            And the rest of the dolts, Joe! 😛

          • Joe 2 years ago

            It’s like a virus running rampant.

      • Nick Kemp 2 years ago

        “Abbott must be mentally ill, there can be no other rational reason for his latest musings with the Jones. ”

        Only if you ignore donations (bribes?) and cash for comments

      • david_fta 2 years ago

        “Abbott must be mentally ill” ? Yes he is, it’s called Chronic Traumatic Encelopathy, it’s the long slow neurodegenerative condition (essentially, accelerated dementia) that afflicts American grid-iron players decades after they’ve retired from the game.

        It’s due to repeated concussions while playing football; in the case of NFL players, although they wear helmets there’s nothing to stop their brains being repeatedly bruised when it collides with the inside of their skulls.

        In Abbott’s case, he was an enthusiastic Rugby Union prop-forward who never wore head protection and used his head as a battering ram. He followed that up with a few amateur boxing bouts without head protection, all the while drinking copious volumes of beer so that his brain never really had time to recover.

        • Joe 2 years ago

          Hi David. ‘CTE’, I think you might be onto something here. Surely then it can’t be too hard to find a Doctor to approve his medical retirement from Parliament. He is standing again in his seat of Warringah which is Boxing Blue Ribbon Liberal Heartland. The punters there love ‘their PM’. Looks like we are stuck with the dude for another 3 years in Canberra and another 3 years of nonsense coming from his mouth.

  6. Cooma Doug 2 years ago

    Wouldnt have to do much to turn this government behaviour into a ripper comedy. Austin Powers would do well.

  7. MaxG 2 years ago

    Well, let’s not forget: Abbott’s first budget intended to cut as many as 16,000 public sector jobs, increase medical fees, cut benefits for the under-30s, increase university fees, charge for ER meetings for minor injuries, impose three-year waits for Medicare-funded eye tests, freeze millions out of Private Health Insurance, eradicate all funding for Gonski schools, cut foreign aid by $7.9 billion, cut family and welfare pay by 2.6 billion over the next four years, and scrap all current family assistance payments for two years. Plus, the pension age will be progressively lifted over time to 70 — an unprecedented measure of any modern industrial country.
    What I said elsewhere: people have no idea what the neoliberal party actually stands for; any of their politicians is simply a soundboard for these inherent goals.

    • david_fta 2 years ago

      All that and Abbott’s not even a member of the Institute of Public Affairs? Crikey.

      • Joe 2 years ago

        Mitchy Fifield ( Communications Minister ) is a member of The IPA and look at his form in relation to ‘Our ABC’….The IPA are loving Mitchy’s work in dragging down ‘Our ABC’.

    • DevMac 2 years ago

      Abbott is the shining example of the conservative agenda of maintaining the power status quo of society. Private health insurance, welfare, family assistance and, above all, education are all systems that can enable “those without” to have better pathways to becoming “those with”.

      You’re not friend of the Aussie Battler with ideas like those listed above.

      Remember when Abbott came to power and one of the first things the Libs wanted to do was de-regulate the financial advice industry? *cough* BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION *cough* Holy cow!

  8. Ken Dyer 2 years ago

    Good to read that Abbott wants coal because renewables make the planet colder…..climate change anyone…….?

  9. MrMauricio 2 years ago

    That village in England is still missing its idiot!!

    • john 2 years ago

      Please take him back he is an English Man after all an will be welcomed as the village idiot please take him.

      • Paul Surguy 2 years ago

        Do we need to set up a go fund me page to help him on his way

        • Joe 2 years ago

          We can ask the Dutton to revoke Abbott’s naturalisation and send him back from whence he came.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            Dutton’s laws allow for dual citizens to be deported.
            British citizenship can be reinstated on request after renunciation, I have read. Recently, but no idea where.

  10. Chris Griffiths 2 years ago

    Pays to remember some start points T Abbott knows Australia had massive Bias towards Coal Historically and most of the Coal Power stations were Built with Government Money and Gaurantees.
    T Abbott as a major part of the Howard government Expanded Australian Coal mining and Burning on a Large Scale. T Abbott agreed to a Very Low Emissions reduction Target for Australia, hence the Enviroment Bar was set Low for Australia. T Abbott knows there is Large Demand for Australian Coal in Asia and many Asians Countries don’t care about possible Climate Risks or Local Enviroment Damage. T Abbott is a big believer in Exports and We export a Huge Amount of Coal. T Abbott is concerned with our ability to Alter our Economy away from a Carbon Economy. T Abbott has little regard for Australiana which is Hugely at Risk of Extinction and Australian Coal Mining is part of that Enviromental and Ethical Problem.

    • JackD 2 years ago

      Does anyone want to start a print run of T-Shirts featuring that photo above and the slogan (for bogans) “You’re a D—head, Tony!!”?

      • Chris Griffiths 2 years ago

        Can’t agree with that JackD, perhaps a TeeShirt, “End Our Addiction to Burning”,
        Or maybe “Lets Find a Better Economy”, a little bit boring but it might work.

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      It seems you are trying to attribute some logical thinking to T Abbott, given a false original premise.
      Please don’t bother. His brain is totally scrambled from repeated minor head injuries. He is what used to be called “Punch drunk.”
      That’s the kindest explanation for behaviour that would otherwise be accounted for by xalling him a misogynistic, narcissistic, self entitled, corrupt, incompetent thug.

      • Chris Griffiths 2 years ago

        Interesting reply Hettie, but No I would Never call him a “Misogynistic, Narcissistic, Self Entitled, Corrupt, Incompetent Thug”. Further the Pro Enviroment, Pro Atmosphere people like you and I must be able to withstand Criticism and Scrutiny of the Changes we are Championing. Again as a Former PM he has Earnt Respect, even though I don’t agree with him on the Carbon Economy and the Big, Big Risks.
        Perhaps we can get him to Admit that Never before has there been So much Waste Gases pumped into the Atmosphere by Humans, this is a First Time Global Experiment by Our Governments and Tony Abbott is Partially Responsible, we all are.

        • Hettie 2 years ago

          Don’t be prissy. As Prime Minister he was a disgrace to the office. He deserves no respect at all. What he deserves is total disapprobation for his lies, his destruction of the economy, his removal of the carbon price, killing the car industry, killing the Climate Council (which refused to lie down, and is now funded by donation), defunding services for women trying to escape family violence, trying to cut all funding to young jobseekers, hiking university fees, canning apprenticeship support, attacking Medicare, attacking schools funding, sopporting Brown Bishop,
          The list is too long.
          A human wrecking ball.
          I stand by my description.

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Hello again young Hettie. Wrecking Ball, gald you mentioned it. There is a clip on YouTube ‘Tony Abbott – Wrecking Ball’ showing the Mad Monk in all of his the wrecking ball glory ( Not ). Not being computer savvy enough I can’t do the attachment / link thingy to make it easy for you / other followers. It is still there on the YouTube if you want it. .

          • Calamity_Jean 2 years ago

            Is it a cartoon? I think this might be it:

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Hi Calamity, yes indeed, that is the one. Not much has changed with ‘The Wrecker’

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            Fabulous! I hadn’t seen that before. Sums him up beautifully. Didn’t include the ABC in the victims, but still fabulous.
            Thank you, Jean and Joe.

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Our ABC has been reduced but still survives. Imma betting that ‘Our now reduced ABC’ outlasts ‘The Human Wrecking Ball’.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            Shorten has promised to restore the funding. By canning most of the tax cuts and Howard’s other crazy give aways, he will have plenty to do it.

  11. john 2 years ago

    The take out from the interview is>>>
    And this is the problem. We are damaging our economy in an attempt to save the planet in 100 years’ time.
    So Tones Clown Shoes believes doing nothing with the NEG is going to save the planet in a 100 years time.

    Just a little bit removed from reality Tones Clown Shoes the NEG will do NOTHING.
    Sorry for using uppercase but honestly this person is not exactly across the information as per usual, just remember he was in Government as head when they said the cost of a lamp chop side would be like $50 or some such rot.
    Or an by the way where is the refund that he said every one would get when they got rid of the Carbon Reduction Target or as they said it Carbon Tax.
    I may have the last sentence wrong.
    This person is a blight on sensible policy framework as seen when he was Prime Minister because of the Sovereign Risk caused by his Government a company building Wind turbine equipment closed down and there was a large curtailment in large scale implantation of RE type generation.

    Deplorable removed from reality frankly.

    I would not give any credence to any spoken words from this man as he has zero credibility.

    • Chris Griffiths 2 years ago

      John, To a certain degree he is Actually Criticising Turnbull and Frydenberg. Abbott knows they carry the responsibility to Explain Our Energy Policy and Explain the Need for Change. Abbott knows Coal is also used for Metals production and the Broader Community is Confused about the Two main uses of Coal. So we do need more Confidence about what we are doing from PM Turnbull, Minister Frydenberg.
      Personally I think we Accelerate away from Coal Power, which means Much More Renewables but it may also Mean a Safe Nuclear Power Station in South Australia.
      We can easily do a SNPS, more easily than has been admitted, this would give Confidence of Electricity Supply and Reduce Carbon and Enviromental damage. We are in a Period of Horses for Courses and we should get going on all of this.

      • john 2 years ago

        The only problem with putting in place say a 1.3 GW Nuclear Generator is that it would be hideously expensive for the outcome of the power it produces.
        Should we look at the clean up costs?
        Just like coal mines they declare bankruptcy so can not clean up their mess.
        Or not bankrupt they just sell the mine for $1 yes One dollar and stupid Tax Payers pick up the bill.
        So lets build this large Nuclear Generator and its needed price of power it produces is what exactly about $120 to $140 per mWh can they get that?

        NO only for a few hours per day.

        Is it viable absolutely not.

        Just look at the figures from England from the Hinkley Nuclear generator totally dismal.
        The British Energy users will pay for this idiot idea for years then pay to clean up the mess left behind.

        • Chris Griffiths 2 years ago

          1.3 GW Safe Nuclear is probably too Small for Replacement of 100% Coal Generation, Tarong alone is about this size. John forget about the British and the Russians with Chernobyl. We have to be Fair Dinkum about making a Positive difference to Our Climate, keep in mind we Export Most of Our Coal and this doesn’t get Calculated on Our Emissions. A Safe Nuclear facility near Our Uranium Mine will have Efficiency and Cost advantages over many Overseas Facilities. There will also be reduced Demand for Electricity because you are not Burning Coal and Diesel to Mine the Coal for Generation. Obviously the Clean up costs are not worrying France or the USA much. Yes you can pay too much for anything, but there is a Reasonable amount of Competition in the Nuclear Sector so costs should not be too high. Also you are planning around a Transitional Period hence you do the Maths on all this and maybe you are only doing Nuclear 50 to 100 years. You definitely Continue Expanding Solar and some Wind and Storage. The Safe Nuclear Power Generation gives you Fast Positive Impact on Enviroment and climate. We can make a Real Difference, at 26% reductions we are Underachieving on a Big Scale. Another big advantage is we need the Metals hence Coal has to be Burnt for that, therefore we remove Coal from Generation because we have these other Easy Options and Yes some are Concerned about the Costs.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            What part of the arguments against Nuclear power in Australia do you not understand?
            1. It is prohibited by law.
            2. We have a climate emergency, and repealing laws, selecting a site, negotiating with traditional land owners, completing environmental impact studies, getting all necessary permits, then design and build, could take 25 years. With costs going up all the time.
            Wind and solar projects less than 5 years. Sometimes as little as two.
            3. Price agreements on new renewable projects in Australia are being signed for around $50/mWh, and less.
            Nuclear would be at the very minimum $140, $150 to cover costs. Nukes are going bust everywhere except where government pays. Like China and North Korea.
            On an open market, who will pay $140 for what they can buy for $50 or less?

            Do you need more convicing? Note that I have not mentioned safety.

          • Mike Westerman 2 years ago

            Hettie – to say nothing of putting a 2GW nuke in SA where that would mean significant curtailment of the solar and wind already installed there, because of the constraints on Heywood! Maybe You Should Have Made Every Word Capitalised So As To Get Your Point Across?

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            Always happy to be endorsed, Mike. Thank you. The problem , of course, is that ideologues read only one sentence, then switch off.
            “I’m not going to read any of that nasty heretical filth, thank you.”
            Still, keep it simple, and the unsure may read it and think, “That makes sense.”
            The physics and engineering is beyond me. The arithmetic, common sense and politics, not so much.

          • Chris Griffiths 2 years ago

            Hettie, it is a Lot easier than you Suggest. But you have to remember the Goal, Break the Endless Burning of Fossil Fuels for at Least One Hundred Years, Heed the Warnings of the Scientists on Climate.
            Change the Law.
            Don’t put Nuclear on Aboriginal Land without Their Permission and Include them in the Benefits.
            Costs Almost don’t matter because you are Dealing with a Global Risk and Enormous Global Consumption of Fossil Fuels, the Costs come down over Time.
            Acknowledge that some of the Intermittent Criticism of Renewables is Correct.
            Commit Nuclear to a Transition period Only, 50-100 years.
            Realise how Lucky we are to be able to Take advantage of Overseas developed Proven Nuclear Technology and the Fact that we have many Stable Locations for a Nuclear Facility.
            Realise that without Past and Current Global Nuclear Facilities the World would be under Severe Climate Change right now.
            Yes Hettie we Must mention Safety and we can achieve this Safely.
            Cap the amount of Coal we Mine at current levels, encourage China, India, Africa to do better, Build Electric Vehicles.
            Finally this though is part of making an Excellent Effort on Our Emissions as opposed to a Mediocre effort. As to Old Arguments against Nuclear for Energy, Nothing Stands still Hettie. If we cap our Coal, then Indonesia can continue to mine Coal, they Prosper, Africa can Develop further, it is all about Global Care.

          • Hettie 2 years ago

            THE. SUMS. DON’T. WORK.
            End of.

          • Chris Jones 2 years ago

            The only places that would be vaguely logical to put a Nuclear Power Plant would be Port Augusta (but where would you get the large amount of cooling (fresh) water and you couldn’t put it too close to the gulf due to SLR), or on the Nepean close-ish to the Badgerys Creek airport site (close to the biggest population).

            It (they) would take at least 7 years to build and SA would otherwise be 85% RE by then, half of it firmed. Even NSW could have 30% firmed RE by then. Don’t think the cost for all the firmed RE would be any more either…than ONE nuke plant let alone two.

            And a Badgerys Creek site would provoke vigorous demonstrations…

      • Hettie 2 years ago

        And Sanjeeve Gupta will be using renewables to power the revitalised Whyalla Steel works.
        An electron is an electron. The steel doesn’t care where it comes from. Subject it to the heat generated by enough of them, and it will melt.

  12. solarguy 2 years ago

    How the hell does this prick blink and breath at the same time. A new mental disease has been discovered Abbotziemers!

    • Joe 2 years ago

      No known cure?

  13. Chris Drongers 2 years ago

    The Monash Group and Tony continue to demonstrate their desire to stay behind world best practice in limiting climate change.
    I await Abbott’s response to the move by the European common market to include climate change and sustainability in to the next Australia-Europe trade agreement

    Australia would remain CO2 limitation free but then have fewer markets to trade in.

    Climate change watchers and bloggers have long anticipated that carbon limitation would become a tool/weapon/issue in trade agreements. And so it is coming to pass.

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      Pay wall. Can’t read , and refuse to pay.

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      And a good thing too, if it forces denialist regimes like Australia and USA to face reality.
      When all else fails, money wins.

  14. Treadly 2 years ago

    Reneweconomy debases itself by publishing the nonsense of this idiot.

    • Hettie 2 years ago

      Mmmm, it does no harm to remind us of the “forces of evil” that are fighting the realities of climate change.
      Otherwise, this forum degenerates into an echo chamber.

  15. Bernard Finucane 2 years ago

    As an American, my first urge is to make a smug remark about dumb Australian voters. But the truth is that this is the result of a media strategy to get voters to make bad decisions and destroy democracy.

    • Calamity_Jean 2 years ago

      We Americans (I’m one too) can’t say thing one about dumb voters; look who is the President. Both the US and Australia seem to have had “stupid electorate” outbreaks. It might have something to do with Rupert Murdoch being active in both nations. He is a malign influence everywhere he operates.

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