Originally published in Crikey on May 7, 2012

If the mining industry was a political party, it would make the current federal government look like a success story. The miners are internally divided, running entirely contradictory messages and are increasingly unpopular in the published opinion polls. But luckily for the miners, it is far easier to make billions of dollars selling resources you paid very little for than it is to run the country. And in turn, it is far easier for the miners to exploit the differences between state and federal governments than it has been for Julia Gillard to exploit the differences between the miners. The Minerals Council of Australia is currently running full-page advertisements complaining about the tax they already pay and sounding the alarm about the giant new mining tax coming their way. But at the same time, Twiggy Forrest is popping up in virtually every media outlet he can find proudly declaring that he, one of the wealthiest mining magnates in the country, won’t be paying it!

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