Back – and a letter to the SMH on carbon tax and hypocrisy

My blog hiatus is over after my recent run for a seat in the NSW parliament. See here for the results in the seat of Sydney. It was an extremely interesting experience.

One issue discussed in the media was the impact of the proposed federal carbon tax on voting in the NSW election. In my experience it was mentioned by only a few people – either for or against – it’s hard to know whether any votes were changed in the seat of Sydney.

However, the carbon tax did draw out one question pertinent to voters in the seat of Sydney, in which most voters would strongly support a price on carbon. Did Clover Moore, the sitting greenish-tinged Independent MP, support a carbon tax? She appears to have had little to say on issue, instead talking about the need for action on climate change and the City of Sydney’s proposed energy grid. It has been suggested that her silence reflects a desire to not lose part of her tripartisan constituency – Liberal, Green and Labor voters.

I highlighted this silence in a media release during the campaign, and also in the following letter to today’s SMH (which wasn’t published):

Dear editor,

It’s a bit much for Clover Moore to claim the moral high ground in relation to action on climate change (“Why the critics are wrong on cycle lanes”, April 6). As her Labor opponent for the seat of Sydney at the recent state election, I challenged her to state publically her position on a carbon tax. She failed to do and remains silent on this issue.

She hypocritically accuses the previous government of an unwillingness to take “action that would step on the toes of vested interests, or anger the shock jocks”, while refusing to take a position on a national carbon tax for fear of alienating part of her support base. Voters deserve better than naked populism from their local elected representative.

Sacha Blumen

Of course, we need (inter)national action to address climate change – local governments will not solve the problem. But Clover Moore has not addressed this issue.

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