Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A breach of faith

A further thought on Labour's two-faced attempt to roll back the offshore oil exploration ban by stealth. I've already said that this is where the Greens should put their foot down and threaten to topple the government, but there's another reason for why they need to do so: because Megan Woods' dirty little plan to keep the oil industry around rather than ending it has undermined the very basis of the coalition itself.

When the government said it was ending offshore exploration, it was very clear that current permit holders would keep their existing rights. That's the sort of compromise you get in coalitions, and its one that all three parties apparently agreed to. Woods' dirty little deal to grant polluters additional rights violates this agreement. And it represents a fundamental breach of faith with the Greens.

Workable coalitions depend on good faith between the parties, on a mutual trust that the other parties aren't going to go behind your back and undermine the agreed-upon policies. And that's recognised in the Labour-Green confidence and supply agreement with an explicit clause to "work together in good faith and with no surprises". Labour has just pissed on this. And in doing so, they've demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to keep their word on issues of fundamental importance to their partners.

There can be no trust under such circumstances. There can be no coalition under such circumstances. the Greens need to make that crystal clear to Labour, and tell them to reverse Woods' dirty little deal, or they will pull the plug.