The leader of the National Party, Senator Barnaby Joyce, held and anti-carbon tax rally at Wollongong’s Crown St Mall on July 13. The self-professed climate change denier drew quite a crowd, but not the kind he was hoping for.
A small number of his supporters, perhaps 30, were present. But more than half the crowd noisily protested against Joyce.
They included Socialist Alliance activists, several Greens members and people from various trade unions. The placards of Greens, Socialist Alliance and unionists visually dominated the scene.
Other speakers included Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and Liberal candidates in the last state election John Dorahy and Michelle Blicavs. Blicavs read a letter from NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.
The letter and all the speakers spoke a lot, but did not really say anything.
Most of what they said was inflammatory rhetoric, mixed with some hypocrisy here and there.
All made claims that they were concerned for the workers of the Illawarra region. When one considers the never ending barrage of attacks against the rights of workers made by the Liberals and Nationals you can’t help but shake your head.
Joyce said that if the carbon tax gets through, Prime Minister Julia Gillard would be present every time you put the kettle on for a cup of tea and every time you use an electric blanket.
His goal was to liken the carbon tax to something that would give the government the authority to have you under constant surveillance.
While Joyce wore a smug, self-satisfied smile, the biggest winners were the counter-protester, whose actions dominated the media’s coverage and dealt a blow to the climate deniers' campaign.