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Oakeshott: A Profile in Courage

July 25, 2011

Rob Oakeshott has got to be the most courageous independent to sit in a parliament in memory. No, the most courageous backbencher.

I thought the pressure would overwhelm him.

But today, in an interview on ABC Radio National he showed he knew what the stakes were. He said a carbon tax was inAustralia’s interest.

The science was conclusive and he was simply doing the right thing and living with the consequences:

This is now a policy contest, not a science contest and the question is how do we get to those targets in the best way possible…

And to the hysterics of the anti-tax protestors:

…[W]hat I do as an Independent… is weigh up all issues on their merits… and I won’t respond to the noisy mob of the moment.

…There is an attempt to try and play some broader political games whilst I am involved to try and get a genuine outcome in the national interest.

We’re told form time to time that there’s not enough difference between the parties, not enough substance in Australian politics. Here is someone prepared to sacrifice his seat in parliament taking a stand for the cause he believes is right.

He deserves more credit for doing it.

8 Comments
  1. Evan Williams permalink
    July 25, 2011 1:04 pm

    I sent this quote to the three independents who sided with the ALP and are as a result in trouble in their own seats.

    “A democracy cannot survive healthily without the example of individual leaders who dare all as individuals, and leave long after their failures are forgotten, the imprint of a great human being.”

    The quote was written by journalist Henry Fairlie after the notorious British Labor MP Aneurin Bevan died on July 6th, 1960.

    Didn’t get a reply from Oakeshott, regardless it seems like he is setting a decent example of an individual leader daring all as an individual.

    Good on him.

  2. July 25, 2011 1:33 pm

    Just because he thinks it is right, does not mean it is.
    He is there to represent the views and wishes of his constituents. He is in the House of Representatives. The key word is represent.
    He is not doing that.

    • Bob Carr permalink
      July 26, 2011 7:33 am

      They elected him to use his judgement.

      Read Burke’s address to his electors.

  3. Anthony Porter permalink
    July 25, 2011 11:40 pm

    Bob Katter could take a leaf out of Oakeshott’s book, but I doubt that Katter would have the spine or intellectual capacity to do it. Katter has demonstrated that he lacks the intellectual capacity to listen to or to try and understand what the science is saying about climate change.

  4. Anthony Porter permalink
    July 26, 2011 12:17 pm

    g, has a very narrow view of the role and responsibility of an elected member of House of Reps. I take it too, that g thinks the noisy mob represent the majority of Oakeshott’s constituents just because they’re making the most noise.

  5. Peter Pando permalink
    July 29, 2011 7:05 am

    Isn’t it interesting how people identify the influences on themselves? Only a short time ago the noisiest mob in politics was the Green lobby yelling about global warming and the unions yelling about Workchoices. Now there are others voicing opposition to those agendas and few can remember who yelled first. Surely what’s good for the Green-ALP geese is good for the LNP ganders – or don’t you believe in public debate?

  6. Evil Pundit permalink
    August 7, 2011 3:05 pm

    Pfft. Oakeshott isn’t brave. He knows he’s toast at the next election, for handing over government to this bunch of incompetents and liars. He’s got nothing to lose.

    • Andrew permalink
      August 7, 2011 10:00 pm

      Incompetents and liars? How so? I voted for my Liberal representative (for issues unrelated to this debate and specific to my electorate), but the notion that Labor lied to the electorate about a carbon tax and not having a mandate is ridiculous.

      1. It is not a carbon tax. If you read the policy, you’d understand it’s an ETS from day 1 simply with a fixed price on the carbon permits. This is incredibly different to a carbon tax. Why the Gillard Government chose to call it a tax is beyond me. If any insult fits for them, it’s “stupidity” for making their own jobs harder.

      2. Both major parties went into the 2007 election promising to put a price on carbon. Australians believe in climate change, or at least did before this ridiculous media campaign to demonise our scientists began.

      It’s people like you that have contributed to the degeneration of this debate. Sweeping generalisations of the current government, with our prime minister being called cute little insults coined by two-bit talkback radio jocks (‘Juliar’) and rejection of a concept there is consensus in the scientific community over.

      Isn’t it a downright disgraceful day for our country when snivelling tools line up behind aggressive radio hosts and big business interests to deride CSIRO scientists as corrupt liars and send death threats to the many great Australian scientists we have working in Australian universities.

      You people make me sick in the stomach. Oakeshott is standing behind policy he’s thoroughly investigated and taken a considered position on. If he loses the support of his electorate in the next election, history will cast them as morons.

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