Craig Kelly MP is the member for Hughes1 in southwestern Sydney. The electorate extends from Chipping Norton and Warwick Farm in the North, to the Georges River in the West, Engadine in the South and Illawong in the East. Kelly has been in parliament since the 2010 federal election.
Kelly is renowned for using his mouth long before his brain, such as it is, is in gear. He is a climate change denier2 and was strongly against same-sex marriage. As part of the former group, he is a member of the libellously misnamed Monash Forum3, a group of mostly religious right wing nutters, that is in part designed to protect the coal industry and in part to destroy Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership.
Kelly is on record as saying that renewable energy would kill people during the winter of 2017, because “one-in-four Australian households this winter will be frightened to turn the heater on because of the price of electricity”. Of course, Kelly laid the high price of electricity at the feet of the government’s Renewable Energy Target. Strangely, Kelly stated that the supposed $3 billion going to subsidising renewable energy, “pushes up the price of electricity to the consumer”. How this happens seems to be known only to Kelly4. Kelly also fails to note that the Australian government subsidises coal production to the tune of about $1.8 billion per annum. Using Kelly’s ‘logic’ that must also be increasing electricity prices. Also, given that only 38% of households use electricity for heating5, Kelly’s statistic would mean that nearly two thirds of people who use electricity for heating were afraid to use it. Fortunately, Kelly’s great Winter die-off failed to materialise.
I am not alone in thinking Kelly may be the dumbest parliamentarian, with Joe Aston, in the Financial Review calling Kelly “outlandishly talentless”, the Coalition’s “dopiest MP” and a “prize idiot”. These were all in a story about Kelly railing against a non-existent plan to subsidise the spread of electric cars in Australia. In his diatribe, Kelly actually stated that electric cars “created more carbon dioxide pollution than petrol vehicles”7. Kelly is seemingly unaware that this would only be the case if coal generated most of our grid electricity. This is rapidly decreasing, as renewables increase their percentage of generating capacity, and this is not only because geriatric coal-fired power stations are being closed, but because they are unreliable, and because renewables are rapidly decreasing in cost.
Kelly’s latest idiocy is in response to visiting French President Emanuel Macron’s vain plea for Malcolm Turnbull to show some leadership regarding climate change policy. Believe it or not, Kelly stated that the sea level at Fort Denison on photographs from 150 years ago is about the same as it is today8. The fact that Kelly could say this without being aware of whether it was high or low tide or in-between when the 150 year old photograph was taken, clearly demonstrates his limited intellect. There are multiple sources of data which shows that sea level is rising and is doing so at about 3 millimetres per annum9. To say otherwise, as Kelly did, simply demonstrates his inability to distinguish between what he wants to believe, and reality. That is very, very stupid.