Campbell Newman Joins ‘Coal Is Good For Humanity Club’ With Predictable Results

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The Can-Do’s very public dummy spit in favour of Big Coal went about as well as you might expect. Chris Graham explains.

In the political world, Campbell Newman is poison. An exceptionally popular Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Newman turned out to be desperately unpopular Premier of Queensland.

After arriving in a blaze of glory into state politics with a routing of Anna Bligh’s Labor government – Newman delivered a record 78 seats to the LNP in a parliament of just 89, reducing Labor to just seven seats (there’s more ministries than that) – four years of office saw Newman spectacularly reverse the LNP’s fortunes to deliver one of the most stunning defeats in Australian political history. Seriously, how do you blow a lead that big?

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As it turned out, ‘CanDo Campbell’ couldn’t… but now, almost three years after his defeat, it appears he still can’t cop the loss on the chin and move on.

Last week, Newman lost his shit on Twitter over the National Australia Bank’s recent (somewhat contestible) announcement that it would no longer finance new coal projects. Of course, it’ll continue to finance old coal projects, but that’s another story for another day.

Newman was outraged by the decision, describing it as “contemptible”. Here’s the tweet.

The key phrase here appears to be “leadership elite” … of which, it appears, Newman is still pissed that he is no longer a member. The other key phrase is ‘Lets (sic) turn our back on everything that has generated prosperity for 50 years’.

Wild exaggerations aside (we haven’t turned our back on solar, for example, an industry worth tens of billions in investments) it’s suspiciously close to Tony Abbott’s claim during his short-lived stint as Prime Minister that “coal is good for humanity”.

Coal arguably was good for some humanity, but as decades of climate science now tells us, coal is very, very bad for humanity. And it’s always been bad for poorer parts of humanity – in China in 2011 alone, coal cut short the lives of an estimated 300,000 people through air pollution. In 2012, air pollution globally caused around 7 million deaths, with coal responsible for the largest share.

Newman is already about as popular as cancer, so as you might imagine, the Twittersphere responded with fairly predictable results.

Campbell-tweet-coal

Newman’s disgust makes more sense when you under it was he who set the ball rolling on opening up the Carmichael Basin for coal mining by Adani, an Indian company of spectacularly ill-repute.

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It’s a project, notably, now being pushed through by his pre-decessor, Labor’s Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Actual cowardice (of Labor) aside, chalk this one up as another loss for Can-Do Campbell… arguably Australia’s most tragic modern political figure.

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Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. Chris has won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards for his reporting. He lives in Brisbane and splits his time between Stradbroke Island, where New Matilda is based, and the mainland.

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