“I told myself it was beneath my dignity to arrest a man for pilfering firewood. But nothing ordered by the party is beneath the dignity of any man, and the party was right: One man desperate for a bit of fuel is pathetic. Five million people desperate for fuel will destroy a city.’’
Communist General Yevgraf Zhivago, Dr Zhivago, (film), 1965
One of my favourite movies of all time is the classic Dr Zhivago set against the backdrop of the turmoil of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.
And I’ve always been haunted by the scene where Yuri – played by Omar Sharif – returns home from work early and admonishes his wife for not keeping the heating on. His wife then breaks down in tears telling Yuri they have no fuel to keep it alight.
Later that evening Yuri sneaks out into the night scavenging for wood to take home and burn to heat his home and keep his family warm. In the darkness of night, Yuri rips off a few wooden planks from a fence which he hides under his heavy overcoat, while his half-brother, Communist General Yevgraf Zhivago watches from the shadows.
However, not being able to heat one’s home in winter, and scavenging the streets looking for a few pieces of wood to burn for a little warmth is not something restricted to chaos and confusion of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.
Here in modern-day Australia, one of most energy-rich nations in the world, last financial year a total of 109,000 households had their electricity disconnected, unable to afford their electricity bills inflated by over $3 billion in subsidies for Chinese made solar panels and wind turbines.
And add to those 109,000 homes where the electricity was cut-off, a further 100,000 plus more homes are on electricity hardship programs, plus the millions of Australians that this winter won’t turn their heaters on for fear of being unable to afford what is now almost the most expensive electricity in the world — and we to have many people scavenging the streets looking for pieces of wood to burn to try and keep their homes warm.
Recently, I’ve heard stories of people stealing wooden pallets from industrial areas to take home to burn for a little warmth. I also constantly hear stories people going in bushland to fill the boot of their car with firewood because they can’t afford electricity. And we’ve even had examples of people resorting to burning barbecue heat beads indoors to try and heat their homes – only to be poisoned by noxious gasses emitted.
But to the climate change zealots, having hundreds of thousands of their fellow Australians unable to heat their homes in winter is simply a necessary sacrifice in their virtue-signalling against “global warming’’.
As Yuri Zhivago says to Bolshevik commander upon finding an old Russian peasant suffering from starvation and lack of warmth; “It would give me satisfaction for to hear them admit it”.
Craig Kelly is the Liberal Member for Hughes.
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