Independent MP Rob Oakeshott woke up this morning to an email from Christopher Pyne and an atypical piece of agitprop from the Murdoch press, both urging him to support a no-confidence motion in the Federal Government.
I have spent the week in Canberra with him, and he made no mention of this issue. No MP from the LNP mentioned this issue. The only Confidence issue in Parliament this week was the Liberal National Party, including Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott, voting in support of the science of man-made climate change. I am pleased they expressed full confidence in the science community of Australia, and now openly accept man-made climate change as real and in need of a serious policy response.
This week, no journalist mentioned anything about a no-confidence motion from the LNP. This is despite conversations with The Australian newspaper’s Lauren Wilson about 6pm last night, where I indicated a view on the paper’s anti-NBN campaign that asbestos issues in pits and pipes are an issue for Telstra management and shareholders, and this is exactly why it would be madness to buy these pits and pipes as is current Liberal National Party policy on NBN. I note these comments didn’t make the paper.
Yesterday afternoon, I also spoke with Sid Maher from The Australian about another story. He has my personal number, and I am surprised he chose to run this No Confidence trick story from Chris Pyne, without checking facts or offering a right of reply. Only 12 hours earlier, he used my phone so he knows it works.
Chris Pyne also has my personal phone number, and at times he and Sid Maher have used it at their convenience. It is telling that neither chose to use it when designing a page one story that further destabilises Government based on the story alone.
Onto the guessing game of the substance of this letter from Chris Pyne – my first response is “how pathetic”.
If Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne, and his colleagues truly believe this to be the worst government in the history of the world, and their alternative option as the key to world peace, then I invite them to put their case on the floor of the Parliament. Grovelling to the crossbench, and giving letters to journalists before they are posted or emailed, and threatening to do something for week upon week upon week, builds the view that this is just the shallow tactics of destabilising, and has nothing to do with the substance of the most serious charge they are making.
If the no confidence motion is because of “the carbon tax”, then I ask Tony Abbott and Chris Pyne why they personally voted in full confidence in Parliament last week for the science of man-made climate change? Why would I now support a Coalition carbon tax that costs taxpayers more and does less?
If the no confidence motion is based on the budget, then we have that vote on Monday. There will be a vote on the Budget Bills on Monday, which are considered, in parliamentary terms, a confidence motion in Government.
If Chris Pyne and Tony Abbott are in any way serious about this tactic of theirs, they will back up their ongoing tactics and vote against the budget bills on Monday. I don’t think they will, and I will watch closely before replying to this newly received letter from Mr Pyne.
(You can read the original statement in full here.)
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