The crime, if you want to call it that, was not the fact she was looking to do it.
I mean, if we held a poll and the question was “Do you think Julie-Anne Genter would be keen to ban combustion engines from this country forever”, my guess is well in-excess of 80 per cent would have said yes.
No, the crime was the surreptitious nature of it all.
Only through the Official Information Act did we find this scurrilous little piece of work out. The OIA, by the way, is under increasing fire and concern is growing as to how it’s used or not used, maintained and administered, or not as the case may be. But if you ever want an example of its value, this is it.
See, I don't mind people with ludicrous ideas and wacky agendas. No, the ones to worry about are the ones who do it in the dark, who know full well what they are doing or thinking or planning is going to be controversial, if not in this case, politically suicidal. They use the element of surprise to ply their trade.
Where was the loudly-shouted policy from Julie-Anne that all combustion-engined cars were going to be banned? There wasn’t one, of course, and in that is the danger. Do you reckon back in 2017, in the election campaign, if she had wandered round telling us she wanted cars banned, she might have damaged her parties vote? Yes, she would have.
Hence, she didn’t say anything. The advantage, of course, now that she has been flushed out, is that we can make sure it's not policy or anywhere close to it for next year because if it is, watch the Greens' vote sink below five per cent.
Why? Because this country loves cars.
We have a lot of cars, more cars per head of population than just about anywhere on earth. Now you can argue about footprints and carbon and fossil fuels all you want. But fact is fact, proof is proof, this country has a love affair with cars and it's not only not ending anytime soon, its not even showing any signs of diminishing.
New car sales have been at record levels each and every year for years now. This year will be slightly slower, not due to climate change, but economic change. Sales of second hand cars same story.
The point is Julie-Anne is hopelessly out of step with the vast majority of the rest of us. She hates what we love. It's an unsalable proposition, and that’s before you get to the simple practicalities around changing our habits. Even if we wanted to move to EVs, it's unaffordable. For many, unappealing and unaffordable.
And Julie-Anne making the Nissan Leaf 52 grand instead of 60 doesn’t solve that problem. Her ilk is dangerous. The time-honoured concept of political buy-in, is not part of their agenda. They want to force it all on us, drag us kicking and screaming, and they plan under the cover of secrecy.
They don’t want it, the maths doesn’t work, and that’s before you get to the danger to the economy. They're wreckers driven by blind ideology. Thanks though to the OIA, forewarned is at least fore-armed.