Fighting Fund: 'They must think we are idiots'


"They must think we are all idiots", said an exasperated Friend of Green Left last week in response to the parliamentary debate about rising petrol prices.

A "FuelWatch" program that, at best, might save consumers one or two cents a litre, possible cuts to GST on petrol, were all missing the main point: society needs to take serious measures now to shift away from its dependence on fossil fuels.

Instead of serious investment into public transport and renewable energy as part of addressing the global warming crisis, we have a discussion about FuelWatch and cracking down on cabinet leaks!

Is Labor fiddling while Rome burns? No, it is worse.

Public transport systems, wilfully neglected for decades by Labor and Coalition neoliberal governments, are now groaning as this latest harbinger of "peak oil" forces more people to leave their cars at home.

"Sydney is not alone in feeling a public transport crunch from rising petrol prices stemming from peak oil", said Greens NSW MP Lee Rhiannon on May 30.

"Brisbane, Perth and the USA are all experiencing big surges in public transport use as people abandon their cars in search of cheaper ways of getting around.

"For a decade the NSW Labor government has been obsessed with building new motorways, which in the coming years will become white elephants as petrol prices grow.

"The obsession of the Premier's federal colleagues with petrol price tinkering will provide no relief for motorists in the long term."

Rhiannon added that we urgently need an expansion of public light and heavy rail, bus and ferry services in response to peak oil.

This latest round of petrol price rises has made people around the world sharply aware that we do face a global crisis. There is a new mood of fear and uncertainty that will only deepen as the full ramifications of the fuel price rises inevitably work their way through an economy already stressed by the global financial crisis.

Each of us is challenged to respond to this crisis. We are not the "idiots" the politicians seem to assume we are.

The above-mentioned exasperated friend was glad to be a part of the solution through his support for GLW. Friends of Green Left are those subscribers who commit to a regular donation to the newspaper. Indeed last week this friend was moved to make a $400 donation to our fighting fund on top of his regular monthly pledge.

Thanks, friend, and thanks to all the other donors and event organisers and patrons who raised $4420 for the GLW Fighting Fund last week, bringing the total we've collected this year to $89,818.

You too can become a Friend of Green left or make a one-off donation to: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992. Alternatively, send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia), or donate online at