Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says there’s “no point pretending there’s nothing to see here” on China, as a split opens between senior ministers over Andrew Hastie’s incendiary warning that Beijing poses a major threat to Australia.
In a strong defence of his colleague on Friday, Mr Dutton said the former SAS captain and chair of Parliament’s powerful intelligence and security committee is “privy to a lot of information and intelligence briefings that other members of Parliament aren’t” and was entitled to speak out.
…But Mr Dutton, the effective leader of the government’s conservative grouping, said Mr Hastie “deserves the respect of all people in Parliament”.
“I think he’s served his country with great distinction. I think he’s doing that in Parliament now through his work on the backbench committee and Andrew’s privy to a lot of information and intelligence briefings that other members of Parliament aren’t,” Mr Dutton told Sky News.
Bravo. Labor sent in Joel Fitzgibbon to hose off Hastie and Dutton, foolishly.
The ScoMo government is making the running for our national interest versus the encroachments of the tyrannical Communist Party of China. It looks to me like there may well be more policy to follow the build up of rhetoric and hawkish appointments across Canberra.
There is NO upside for Labor in resisting this.
Firstly, it is the right thing for the national interest as Cold War 2.0 advances.
Secondly, a lot of the rhetoric is not even aimed at China. It is for domestic consumption. Especially for those folks that voted for nationalist parties at the last election in QLD. They will lap it up.
Labor is supposed to be the party of history. Yet history is moving and Labor is falling on the wrong side of it.
It needs a foreign policy rethink fast.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.
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