Greg Bickley’s historic example an ironic choice

I refer to Liberal candidate for Bendigo Greg Bickley’s letter, “History must repeat itself to stand up against tax” (Letters, November 21).
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Bickley uses the example of the Sandhurst Red Ribbon Agitation to appeal to the downtrodden small businessmen and struggling working class families to rise up as one on the “modern battleground of excessive taxation” – the current carbon pricing legislation of the federal government.

In comparing the struggles of the 1853 goldfields miners to that of 2012 modern-day middle and working class families, however, Mr Bickley forgets to mention that, in fact, the Red Ribbon Agitation was a reaction to, and protest against, deliberately disproportionately high miners’ licence fees, which were intended to drive enterprising and independent-minded miners (small businessmen, as Mr Bickley would have it) back into servitude on the farms and workshops of the right kinds of people the day – the squatters and merchants of the ruling classes.

It is always with an acute sense of irony that I listen to members of the born-to-rule Liberal party loosely adapting the iconic historical struggles of the under classes against the tyranny of the ruling classes, to attack progressive, socially conscious and environmentally responsible modern-day government policy.

Mr Bickley reiterates his opposition to the carbon tax, without presenting any alternatives to mitigate dangerous climate change.

Climate change denial has no place in 21st century politics, serious public discourse or policy formulation – even the British Tories know this! A planet barely fit for human habitation within the space of several generations most certainly will not provide for Mr Bickley’s promised restoration of “hope, reward and opportunity across our communities”.

Once again I ask – Greg, do you accept the science and the fact of anthropogenically accelerated climate change?

Michelle Goldsmith,


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