The pond was forced to retrieve the above letter from the waste bin, where to it had been flung by the pond's partner, scrunched up and pulverised, and accompanied by a flurry of vile oaths about the liar Tony Abbott ...
By way of contrast, the pond had greeted the letter with a calm Zen wisdom, which on reflection might have been profoundly irritating to anyone who thinks politicians should say what they mean and mean what they say, rather than lie their way into power, and then live a life of lies ...
Suffice to say that for those who can't be bothered getting past the scrunched up nature of the document, it says that there will be an "estimated savings for an average New South Wales customer of $158 for electricity and $35 for gas over this 12 month period", with an * that explains this is an estimated difference between the old and new average residential tariffs, being a weighted average calculated across all tariff zones and average usage.
No matter the technicalities, it's a peculiar document, especially when put up against the documented lies of Tony Abbott, as at the ABC here quite recently on 7.30 (yes, yes, it's blighted by Chris Uhlmann and is currently unwatchable but we're talking June), in relation to the repeal of the carbon tax:
The Government has promised the move will save the average family $550 a year, but it's a hotly contested claim. So just how much can you expect to save? Political correspondent Sabra Lane has been crunching the numbers.
TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER (Aug '13): We will scrap the carbon tax so that your family will be $550 a year better off.
TONY ABBOTT (last week): It's a $550-a-year hit on the average household's costs.
TONY ABBOTT (Saturday): It's costing the average Australian families $550 a year. So it must go. SABRA LANE, REPORTER: It was the twin-sloganeering riff that partnered the promise to scrap the carbon tax: that average families could expect to save hundreds of dollars each year, up to $3,000 over six years when the tax was abolished.
Now the pond has always been poor at maths, but buggered if it can make $193 a year, on average, amount to $550.
Now the canniness in Abbott's pricing was that it included vague, unspecified amounts, not just for electricity and gas, but for other items such as food, but even at the time when the $550 figure was led by the consummate liar and breaker of promises to the Rooty Hill mob at a forum back in August 2013, it was fact-checked and judged to be "outdated", a polite ABC word for a politically convenient lie. (Tony Abbott's claim households will be $550 a year better off without the carbon tax is outdated).
In the meantime, the pond wonders how many will receive this letter and judge Abbott a liar and a picker of pockets?
That seemed to be behind Crikey publishing an SA letter from Energy Australia assuring average South Australian customers that they'd be receiving an average saving of $136 over the twelve month period (Tips and Rumours, here, paywall affected).
That leaves $414 still to go from the $550 that Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised we’d save when the tax was repealed. Is Energy Australia scrimping on passing on the full savings, or did Abbott overestimate the amount of cash we might save?
Did Abbott tell a porky, or is that a flying toaster?
Does any of it matter? Were there mugs who really believed Abbott?
Are there mugs who believe notorious climate sceptic Dick Warburton's report on the RET is an honest and balanced accounting of issues confronting the sector?
It was, of course, long ago that Sir Humphrey set up two key rules of government: never look into anything you don't have to, and never set up an inquiry unless you know in advance what its findings will be (and Jonathan Lynn has other quotes from the series here).
It reminded the pond of a wonderful moment when Warburton showed Jesuits and angels how to dance on the head of a pin:
NAOMI WOODLEY: In 2011 you told Lateline Business that you were a climate change sceptic, not a denier, but you did believe the science isn't settled, and that was why Australia shouldn't be pursuing a carbon tax. Do you still believe that the science isn't settled, and will that have an influence on the way that you conduct this review?
DICK WARBURTON: Yes, let's qualify the terms. I am not a denier, nor a sceptic actually, of climate change per se. What I am sceptical is the claims that man-made carbon dioxide is the major cause of global warming. I'm not a denier of that, but I am sceptical of that claim. (here)
Uh huh. I'm not a climate denier or a sceptic, I'm just a climate science denying sceptic.
In the old days in Tamworth tricky Dick would have been called a bullshit artist, which is to say a dissembler, too dishonest to say what he actually means and thinks because of his perception of the political fall out that would surround plain speaking ... but no doubt a perfect candidate for Sir Humphrey's world on reports and inquiries, and now it seems he has now produced the perfect Sir Humphrey report ...
Naturally the pond turned to the Murdoch press for an insight and accurate analysis of the devilish work of the denialist and his misleading aggregation of statistics - yes, in the manner of his master, Warburton has reduced his report to just one figure, reported over and over again, ad nauseam, $22 billion, $22 billion, like a sulphur-crested cockatoo, and never mind subtlety or nuance.
So what say you Daily Terror?
Sob, so that's the way the world ends, not with a bang but a foo whimper ... hmm, how's that business plan working out for them?
You had to go elsewhere to get a heading which explained how the country had been Warburtoned, a sub-genre of Abbotted, a polite way of saying fucked:
Of course the bottom line to all this is that the RET is useless and expensive, direct action is a useless and inexpensive Soviet-style boondoggle, and the carbon tax or any sort of price on carbon is an outrage, and now we're shod of it, the price of electricity will plummet, except it won't, and we're taking climate science terribly seriously, and doing everything we can to help the planet, except what was that problem again?
And what's behind this farrago which in the good old days meant either a student rage or Latin for mixed cattle fodder?
What's the inspiration? Well you just have to tip the hat and wink the nod to Tony "climate change is crap" Abbott ...
But life is going to get ugly for the government because more promises will be broken, as shown by the feud that has erupted around the quisling Greg Hunt:
"After the election, promise after promise broken, million solar roofs gone, the RET he wants abolished - he and Joe Hockey are working hard for that outcome.
"Moderate voices like [Environment Minister] Greg Hunt have been sidelined in the Cabinet.
"This is just not what the people were voting for, and certainly not what they want."
Greg Hunt a moderate, as opposed to a seat warmer, a time server and a forelock tugger and a facilitator for denialists and reef wreckers?
Kind words indeed.
But as the feud proceeds, seats are being targeted, and things will get ugly, and hey, after the stoush Grimes v Hunt reported in Australian Solar Council attacks Prime Minister's 'broken promises' on renewable energy support Hunt wasn't sounding like such a moderate voice, but more like an angry, dissembling fop:
"Mr Grimes should be utterly ashamed of himself today - he is somebody who says one thing in private and another thing in public.
"We are committed to the long-term future of renewable energy in Australia."
Which left Grimes with an obvious retort, which the pond feels obliged to provide for him:
"Mr Hunt should be utterly ashamed of himself today - he is somebody who says one thing in public and another thing in public.
And never mind the lies, the broken promises, the hypocrisy and the inconsistencies involved ...
Meanwhile, even the reptiles, always busy scribbling hagiographies and knob polishing, could see trouble ahead, as noted by that quintessential reptile environmentalist Graham Lloyd in Bad news for renewable power (behind the paywall because if you really think Lloyd contributes to an understanding of climate science, you really should be made to pay for your silliness):
Big wind and solar projects will find little comfort in a scheme that extends new permits on a year-by-year basis depending on increases in electricity demand.
As a result, the $15 billion pipeline claimed by industry for big new wind and solar projects will remain blocked.
Yep and Jolly Joe won't have to be offended by the sight of more wind mills being built on the road to Canberra. Now there's a real plus for the planet.
But do go on:
The review did not buy the argument of sunrise industry employment. It said renewable energy jobs cost jobs elsewhere. This will be a hot-button issue for vocal lobby groups.
But the more dangerous retail politics is likely to come from the army of rooftop solar users being assembled into a vocal grassroots campaign force.
Recent meetings in marginal electorates has shown people are prepared to speak out for the green energy revolution that is transforming suburbia. The RET review has effectively told the Abbott government to close up shop on subsidising rooftop solar and solar water heaters through small-scale renewable energy certificates.
Uh huh. And right now people are getting letters explaining they've been sold a dud (it's hard to say sold a pup these days, given all the PUPs doing the rounds) about electricity price savings and the carbon tax, and any chance of making genuine savings by embracing solar energy will be dudded by the Abbott government, acting on the advice of a climate sceptic too afraid to admit he's a denialist ...
Oh it's wonderful times, great days indeed.
Who could imagine a government so incompetent and inept that it followed Yes Minister's advice and got the answer to the enquiry that they expected, only to discover that the answer was guaranteed to get them into solar hot water and an ongoing feud with a substantial section of the community? With more charges of broken promises and lies and hypocrisies, and not even a fig leaf for a cover when it comes to a response to climate science, except overt and explicit denialism ...
You couldn't make stuff like this up, except that by living in the Abbott era, we now see what happens to people who make stuff up all the time, along with promises destined to be broken...
As usual, the pond has to turn to David Pope for insight (and more Pope here).
Eek, Dave, what have you done?
Tony Abbott as Rhett Butler? Tony Abbott as Clark Gable? That seared the pond's eyeballs like a savage splash of citric acid. Quick, waiter, bring help and a soothing image ...
That's better, but please, Dave, no more eyeball terrorism. There's only so much the pond can take.