Business elite tremble at the feet of Drew Pavlou

Feel the fear:

I note that for Mr Pavlou to be a martyr he must first die. I shouldn’t put ideas in UQ’s head. The story says!

Before he was dubbed the world’s most famous undergraduate, Drew Pavlou was merely a “particularly annoying” student making life hell for the University of Queensland over its close relationship with China.

Now, with Pavlou predicting he will be expelled on Friday, the 20-year-old university senator is in danger of becoming a martyr to free speech, academic freedom, and the right of undergraduates to act like court jesters.

The anti-Chinese Communist Party activist’s formal troubles began after a jokey comment on social media directed at the campus Confucius Institute, a cultural and languages studies centre that is part of a global network funded by the Chinese government.

The piece shoots pretty straight despite a disapproving tone. But it’s one of those headlines that illustrates part of the problem, the capturing of business interest by China, such that greed comes before freedom.

Thankfully, with Australia’s sharp turn to negative in its views about China, these voices no longer matter. What does is the people and their rag where the tone is altogether different! At the Herald Sun:

When he’s not a “fire-breathing ­activist” taking on the insidious influence of China’s Communist Party in Australia, Drew Pavlou loves his two dachshunds Max and Luna, reading Shakespeare and chilling with his mates.

Becoming one of the world’s best-known student activists overnight after he took on one of Australia’s leading universities for its links to the Asian superpower, he said people often expected him to be serious like Greta Thunberg.

“I’m a human rights campaigner but I have never been a serious person. I love humour and satire,” the 20-year-old University of Queensland student said yesterday.

Scummo got the memo, at Seven:

Taking questions after delivering a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday, the prime minister was asked if Australian businesses might consider investment with China to be a riskier prospect, given events of the past few weeks.

“I think that’s a judgement Australian businesses can only make,” he said.

“Like any business, they have to weigh up the security of the markets in which they sell to, and the risks that are associated with those.

“And those risks will move, from time to time. They’ll ebb and flow.”

Morrison said it was not the government’s role to make trading decisions for agriculture and resources exporters, or those providing China with aged care services and education.

“Businesses have got to weigh up those risks and make those assessments themselves,” he said.

“Australia has a very bright trading future, and businesses will make their judgements about how they participate in that.”

Hardly a ringing endorsement.

Meanwhile, other bribed Australians continue to take a pounding, at The Australian:

Self-proclaimed government influencer Jean Dong has praised China’s handling of the corona­virus, saying everyone could see the Asian superpower was ­“solving” the global pandemic.

The pro-China entrepreneur, who lobbied the Victorian government to sign on to the country’s controversial Belt and Road Initiativ­e, also said Chinese President Xi Jinping was “providing confidence and directions for the global fight over the epidemic and economic growth”.

In an interview with the Chin­ese Communist Party’s official newspaper, Guangming Daily, first published on March 27, Ms Dong praised Mr Xi’s “ four-point initiative”, saying it was obvious China had taken the lead in the fight against the coronavirus.

…The Australian can also reveal the Andrews Labor ­government paid Ms Dong’s Melbourne-based Australia-China Belt and Road Initiativ­e almost $36,850 in consultan­cy fees without conducting a tender process.

And on the other side of the media aisle, at The Age:

Victoria did not consult the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before signing a controversial infrastructure deal with the Chinese government last year, leaving senior officials concerned it could undermine Australia’s push to counter Beijing’s growing influence in the region.

…Senior sources within the Australian government have also confirmed DFAT had warned the Victorian government that it was Australia’s policy not to sign on to the BRI in the months leading up to the agreement being inked.

Executive director at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Peter Jennings said there was a serious risk of Victorian companies directly contributing to Beijing’s debt diplomacy in the Pacific under the agreement.

Mr Jennings said the Andrews government’s actions “have been flagrantly reckless and undermines a bipartisan Australian foreign policy position”.

…John Blaxland, professor of international security and intelligence studies at the Australian National University, said the Victorian government’s decision not to show the draft agreement to DFAT was “quite extraordinary and almost adversarial”.

But Manchurian Dan has the answer:

State secrecy has worsened since the Andrews government was elected, with new figures showing a steady year-on-year decline in the release of information by Victorian departments and agencies.

Years after Labor promised to end the “culture of secrecy” surrounding freedom of information in Victoria, a five-year review has found the number of people receiving full access to documents spiralled down between 2014 and 2019, while delays, complaints and rejected freedom-of-information requests have continued to rise.

The findings have prompted an unprecedented call by the state’s FOI watchdog for a revamp of the state’s freedom-of-information system.

When one kid can rock the foundations of your economy and society with a few jokes, you know you’ve jumped the shark.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      ‘Nation’ puleeease…. we’re the Economic Zone Formally Known as Australia.

      Economy, GDP and Profits are the only equitable lens through which to view the society that remains here – to take an actual side in the debate between China and the EZFKA would be rac!st…. we’d risk offending Chinese residents and non-Chinese residents.

      The only way to view this situation is neutrally, through how it will impact the economy.

      This is who we are now.

      • After the CCP has crushed Hong Kong and occupied Taiwan, “One Country, Two Systems” will have to change to “Two Countries, One Party”. The only saving grace is we’re a little too far south for the CCP to realistically invade.

        But then again, why invade all at once with soldiers when you can do it over a few decades with asset purchases and the buying of politicians and influence?

  1. Keep it up Drew. People need to know how Australia is being taken over from within by sellouts. Burn them!

    • But the CCP has already taken over Australia. It is way too late.

      We have at least one member of the CCP in the Australian parliament.

  2. stock twitter

    I love reading blogs by lefties talking about ‘freedom’. You’re no different to the CCP, you only believe in freedom of ideas that you agree with and censor everything else. Its the sole reason why I will never be a paying subscriber to this blog!

    • The FNG.MEMBER

      Just like my life.
      I go to the farm and to them I am a bleeding heart tree hugger.
      To my city “friends” I am literally Hitler.
      Cant win.

    • GlendaFMEMBER

      If you feel so strongly about this being a biased site and even more srtongly that you will never subscribe…. why are you here?

    • Someone ElseMEMBER

      Ummm…ok.

      There’s the door; don’t let it hit you on the @rse on the way out.

  3. MichaelMEMBER

    At the heart of this issue – and, indeed, at the heart of the recent DLS soliloquy on “everything is fake” – is the agency problem.

    In many situations, and at work in particular, we are paid as an agent of an entity to achieve the goals of that entity. The agency problem arises when personal goals (and gain) conflict with achieving the goals of the entity.

    In UQ situation, the university “needs” favourable Chinese links and money (much more than it needs Drew) because the entire functioning of the university as it is won’t work without them and the key office holders really, really want the university to keep functioning as it does because it meets their personal goals. So, having thrown away their moral compass, they will do anything to make it so.

    It is the same thing that is at the heart of Australia’s political corruption. Political donations fan the agency problem creating, in politicians, very different personal goals from those of management of the community purse on behalf of the community.

    Murray and Frijters wrote all about it in “Game Of Mates” but the list of important individual instances of the problem would stretch to the Andromeda galaxy.

    It is so fundamental to the problems of society that I cannot see anything actually changing, in any meaningful way, until someone, a messiah, founds a party that puts the transparent management of the agency problem at the core of everything and then manages to change the way the public actually think about this such that they would never, ever vote again for a politician like any of the current crop.

    Are you up for it, DLS?

      • MichaelMEMBER

        and therein lies the next problem…

        Anyone with the necessary smarts and ethics wants nothing to do with the climbing the greasy pole – and it’s neither hard to see why nor blame them.

          • Wouldn’t a Senate seat pay the morgage?

            You would easily win on a low immigration platform. Go with a party name that is clear you’re a low immigration party and you would win by party name recognition on a ballot.

            Whilst your writings here have some impact you would have more influence in parliament.

          • Agree with Chase. You have the insights, political nous & can see reality without getting lost in the smoke.

    • I think of it slightly differently…I’d say the personal goals of the leadership corrupt the goals of the entity, so that rather than conflicting, the personal goals of the leadership and the entity become more closely aligned. This reorienting of the entity’s true purpose is subversive and hidden behind all kinds of flowery language (think “vision” and “values”), and in the end most organisations are just a collection of “in” and “out” groups, with very few genuinely “in”, and the “outs” generally none the wiser to their role as useful idiots. This kind of institutional decay is one of the sad hallmarks of our time.

      • MichaelMEMBER

        I think that is a very good description of what happens because of the agency problem – but it’s a symptom of the underlying (unmanaged) issue, not the problem itself.

        Nevertheless, it certainly confuses a lot of the commentariat and the proletariat and allows the corruption to blossom and grow into something that is very hard to neutralise and change.

    • This is why we have checks and balances. Absolute power corrupting absolutely is as old as the hills. Legislators are effectively self-regulating in regard to the checks and balances in this country and this is why democracy erodes.

      The fix was intended to be a constitution only changeable with extraordinary support from all but ours lacks a bill of rights. We need a constitution that enshrines certain unalienable human rights and maybe a federal anti-corruption body headed by those with tenure for life if they want it – like the High Court.

      Problem with checks and balances by the high court at the moment is they are in fact bound by the legislation with some space for ‘constitutional interpretation’ but no enshrined bill of rights to fall back on. We are mature and stable enough to benefit from constitutionally embedded rights and we should have them as they are needed now and will be in the future.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      A campaign against political donations would go a long way to changing the course of the country.
      UQ’s toadies couldn’t get away with fvcking a formally great institution if the parliaments of Australia didn’t share a culture of graft and corruption.

      • I am GrootMEMBER

        Agree. I’d also like to see something done to address political lobbying in general. Too much influence brought to bear by those with the most money and the loudest voices.

    • buttzilla twennythree

      it doesn’t even matter. China is closed / turned inward. You will all realise this soon.

  4. TailorTrashMEMBER

    An Australian University is no place for young Drew
    he needs to be spirited away to a re-education camp
    to learn proper patriotic values …..no doubt he is top of the list when the the great takeover is complete

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Back in the 1960’s I attended UofQ to organise anti Vietnam war / anti Conscription demos and pick up chicks.
      It was great. I met a bloke, whose name was Pavlou, a professional student who was sitting out the duration by majoring in making coffee tables with horse douvas inlaid in the tops. No Iam not kidding he was doing exacly that.
      Anyway I was eventually corraled by the Uni Security team and banned from the campus for political activity…
      an honour I will share with Drew come Friday.

  5. SamscoutMEMBER

    Keating was the first sellout back in 1985 when he let the foreign banks in. It’s just been a conga line of privatisations and sell out to foreign governments ever since

  6. Aaron Patrick of AFR is known to be captured by business interests. Remember the completely dishonest job he tried to do on John (uppercut) Adams?

    • Nah. That would make him a Martyr & also draw too much focus. Aussies might just harden their stance then…..!

  7. DLS for the Federal Senate?

    Wouldn’t a Senate seat pay the morgage?

    DLS would easily win on a low immigration platform. Go with a party name that is clear you’re a low immigration party and he would win by party name recognition on a ballot.

    Enough people from MB and their network, as well as else where, would get party registration.

    Whilst his writings here have some impact he would have more influence in parliament.

  8. Do not think the business elite are trembling with fear but many conservatives,who normally have issues with student unions, youth protests etc., are trying to promote Pavlou under the guise of freedom of speech and China e.g. some LNP types and the IPA. However, it appears the love is not reciprocated……..

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Yes, well, you don’t have to do much trawling through Pavlou’s Twitter to figure out he wouldn’t have a particularly high opinion of the IPA and co.