No moral compass

There was an odd little occurrence at the end of October, 2020. The ANZ Bank came out and stated that it was supporting the transition to a net zero emission economy by 20501. Indeed, the ANZ’s exit from coal was inevitable as it was the last of Australia’s big four banks to do so. It announced it would cease lending to existing coal-fired power stations and coal mines by 2030 in order to reduce the carbon footprint of its loan book. It said it would also immediately cease funding new projects, boost lending to the renewables sector and introduce emissions reduction goals for financing provided to its 100 largest customers2. This is what many banks, insurers and other lenders are doing these days, and it seems that weekly another large institution joins them3.

Upon hearing this statement, the fifth most senior minister in the Morrison Government, Agriculture Minister and Deputy National Party Leader David Littleproud threatened the ANZ bank with “every lever at the federal government’s disposal – including the availability of deposit guarantees”. Littleproud added that banks should not be “society’s moral compass”4. Nobody could ever accuse banks of being a moral compass, and for Littleproud to make this statement he seems to intimate that politicians should be. Given that this is the most corrupt government in living memory, such an suggestion is risible. Littleproud continued with a bizarre deflection, suggesting that farmers would suffer from this new policy: “We can’t let unelected, profit-driven financiers from Pitt St dictate to society how to produce food and fibre or how we run our economy”. However, the ANZ’s CEO Shayne Elliott soon put Littleproud is his place, stating that the suggestion ANZ would be shifting support away from farmers was “absolutely not the case” and that “ANZ’s climate change statement is focused on the top 100 carbon emitters, and will have no impact on the bank’s farm gate lending practices”4.

Littleproud’s suggestion that deposit guarantees could be not made available to the ANZ was seen as such a threat, that Former Reserve Bank of Australia governor Bernie Fraser said it was a “ludicrous way of linking those two things together,” and that it risks endangering the confidence depositors feel in leaving their funds in the bank. Fraser continued: “The deposit guarantee was put in to stop runs [on banks] during the financial crisis and stop depositors taking all their money out and putting it under their bed and sending the banks broke, as happened in so many other countries.”. An unnamed banking source said Mr Littleproud’s statement was “risky” during a recession when there was already so much economic uncertainty.

What Littleproud’s outburst has also demonstrated was that the statement “There is no dispute in this country about the issue of climate change, globally, and its effect on global weather patterns, and that includes how that impacts in Australia … I have to correct the record here, I have seen a number of people suggest that somehow the government does not make this connection. The government has always made this connection and that has never been in dispute” made by Scott Morrison earlier this year, was a lie. This is as you would expect from a person who seems to take his methodology from Donald Trump.




  • Jon says:

    Littleproud did manage to give thinking Australians one of the best laughs of covid 2020, which is saying something given some of the other gobsmackingly stupid statements from McCormack and co. Suggesting that the ANZ – or any bank – was taking over “moral” judgements of anything was laugh enough for many, but it pales into insignificance compared to his suggestion that this is the government’s domain. It should be, but unfortunately due to the moral flexibility and lack of integrity of many MPs and the appalling ministerial standards of the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments in particular that hasn’t been the case for many decades – if indeed it ever was. Federal conservative politicians would be right up there with Catholic church officials as far as “morality” and ethical standards are concerned. Hopefully Biden will do something to force this mob of culpable recalcitrants to adopt REAL greenhouse targets, through a notional carbon tax on Au exports if necessary.

    Nero fiddled, Trump golfed, Turbull kowtowed, Morrison holidayed.

    • admin says:

      Yep, these people are fannying about while the world heats up, the biota declines, and eventually we will decline. How badly depends on what we do now.

  • keryn booker says:

    I think you are right this is the most corrupt government we have had . as you have addressed, too many to list . its such great sadness to despair to see no concrete response to halting climate change. the labour qld goverment with all new mine approvals , the federal gov ducking and weaving , to do anything else , than to address this issue. Susan Ley in charge of environment is a disgrace. yet Australians left or right keep voting to do nothing .

    • admin says:

      I have been watching politics for 40 years, and it is only in the last 7 years that I have started shouting at the television almost constantly when politicians are on the news. As you no doubt can tell from many of the rants on the website. This is the reason I started this project. If I cannot do something to attempt to make the world a better place, then I am complicit in its destruction. Both Liberal and Labor parties are stealing our, our children’s, and their children’s futures, solely to appease their donors.

  • Russell says:

    I saw the article in a newspaper, a real one, not Murdoch rubbish, the day Littleproud came out with his self-inflating statement on the ANZ. It made me guffaw to think of this rather retarded brain threatening a huge bank, especially as there is nothing overly radical about the decision to recognise coal is an outmoded form of energy source, and as such will not much longer be a worthy investment or worth a loan to the nasty minerals millionaires who want to pollute our atmosphere forever with coal’s stygiian effects. Some of which involve toxic metals such as mercury and cyanide floating about to affect people living near power stations using this antiquated energy base. Anyhow, I have no brief for Littlemind: he proves every time his silly gob opens, what a semi-literate little personage he is. More astounding is that some foolish people deem him fit to hold an MP’s seat.
    However, this is a democracy, so-called, and any nutter or half wit can apply to be elected for a party. In this guy’s case the pathetically dumbest party in the nation, full of pompous, overpaid, time serving fat egos making abominable decisions that usually run counter to Australia’s true popular desires. Did I say we have a democracy? No, no, i meant a plutocracy run by a motley crew for which Littleproud sets the standard of capability. And who better to lead these bleeding mediocrities than the uninspired failed marketer, Scummo. There, I feel better having made that effusive praise of the Liberal Farty. Wait till I speak negatively of them!

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