The Bolter points to something that I've thought for awhile now - Paul Kelly is not quite the sage he's made out to be:
Paul Kelly in 2007:
Paul Kelly in 2008:
Any prudent Australian government should move to put an emissions trading scheme in place. Both Rudd and (Opposition Leader Brendan) Nelson remain committed to this concept… Emissions trading looms as Nelson’s ultimate test: it is either the path to a stronger Coalition performance or the issue on which it blows out its political brains.
Paul Kelly in 2009:
By that I mean that I believe that the (Liberal) party room will endorse a series of amendments (to the Government’s emissions trading scheme) which will be the basis for negotiation with the Rudd Government. I mean frankly if they oppose that, that would be signing their own political death warrant… This raises the prospect that the legislation won’t pass and that the election next year will see climate change as a frontline issue. Now this will be a mortal political threat to the Opposition.
Paul Kelly in 2010:
The pivotal question, inconceivable a few months ago, is unavoidable: does Rudd stay the path with a double dissolution on his emissions trading scheme, or does he search for a fall-back to avoid the wild and populist confrontation that awaits his government.
Senior Labor figures are divided on the best tactic, an ominous sign. Labor’s policy is in trouble. It is exposed by a rapidly shifting electoral sentiment; and it faces in Tony Abbott a re-energised Coalition machine capable, for the first time since the 2007 poll, of hurting Rudd Labor.
Beware the conventional wisdom on anything. Oh, and about Kelly’s claim that it was “inconceivable” until a few months ago that Rudd would be in such strife with his scheme, I respectfully point out that it was indeed both conceivable years ago - and conceived.