Saturday, 14 July 2012

Reality's Green bias annoys Liberal National Party convention

When I was growing up in Canberra, Queensland had a reputation problem. It was seen as Australia's equivalent of the US south, complete with backward hicks, fundamentalist religious nuts, and spectacular political corruption. Queensland was the Redneck State.

A long period of Labor Government improved things a lot, and by the time I moved here in 2000 the state's image had improved markedly. In particular, Peter Beattie deserves a lot of credit for the improved image of Queenslanders, although I still think Sunshine State beats Smart State as a slogan. Sheddding the Bjelke-Petersen and National Party stain was important for the state's image.

The most recent state election saw the conservatives back in power, albeit with the relatively moderate Campbell Newman at the helm of the Liberal National Party government. Under Newman I at least have some hope that we would not backtrack too far. Other elements within the LNP make me less hopeful.

The Liberal National Party Conference 2012 is under way, and the Sydney Morning Herald reports:
LNP delegates at the party's state conference passed a motion yesterday calling on Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek to stop the teaching of ''environmental propaganda material, in particular post-normal science about climate change''.

The mover of the motion, Noosa LNP member Richard Pearson, attacked ''false prophets who would poison the minds of our children in our schools''.

''Few people understand that the so-called science of climate change is really what can be defined as post-normal science,'' he said, arguing it went beyond traditional understanding of science. The motion was passed with overwhelming support.

Fortunately the LNP government is not bound by the resolution, so hopefully the Parliament will ignore it and let our science curriculum be science-based. Parliamentarians will, however, continue to come under a lot of pressure from a base inspired by tactics of social and economic right wing in the US. In addition to attacks on climate science, there will probably be attempts to downplay evolution in schools, to enforce abortion laws more strictly, and to restrict gay rights.

I hope Campbell Newman will have the courage to keep Queensland in the 21st Century.

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