Anthony Albanese is the Manchurian candidate

Bernard Keane at Crikey took us down memory lane yesterday in useful fashion regarding Australia and China:

At least Tony Abbott is prepared to admit he screwed up: what he once boasted as a “history making” trade deal with China, and one of his great achievements as prime minister, was a mistake based on “wishful thinking” and a “very benign view” of China.

Similar mea culpas haven’t been forthcoming from the Coalition’s stenographers and cheerleaders, alas. Paul Kelly has never admitted he was wrong in lauding the deal as a “moment of transformation” of global significance, pointing the way to a “glorious future” in which an “astute Xi” would “pull Australia far closer into China’s orbit in coming years”. Greg Sheridan, who lauded the deal and insisted “there is not the slightest evidence that any Australian tradie would be a loser under this agreement”, was a leader of the Coalition/News Corp campaign against Labor for daring to question the deal — to question any aspect of the agreement with China was xenophobic and protectionist.

News Corp and the government now insist exactly the opposite, that Labor is too soft on China — indeed, had fallen into China’s trap, in the words of an Australian editorial in December. Sheridan’s reversal has been particularly risible. In September 2015, he was lauding Daniel Andrews to the high heavens for defying federal Labor’s opposition to the trade deal. Last year he was complaining that Andrews had handed China a propaganda victory for signing up to a Belt and Road agreement.

Sheridan isn’t the only one at the Oz to undertake a humiliating reversal — the editorial writers have gone from declaring “under ChAFTA we welcome Chinese investment in Australia” to cheering the government’s blocking of Chinese investment.

Fair enough. Both political parties and their media cheerleaders have played domestic politics over China for several years. From Shanghai Sam to Gladys Liu, both sides claim anything from a communist invasion to shrill cries of racism when it suits them.

It is also fair to say that the Morrison government only accidentally divorced China so radically and so swiftly in the last few years.

After Malcolm Turnbull composed his excellent foreign interference laws in 2018, it took the new Morrison government several years to actually fund most of the mechanisms that make them work.

Indeed, although the real driver of the Australia/China divorce is structural – liberalism versus illiberalism – it was largely thanks to Morrison’s gaslighting motormouth that the relationship soured so fast over the past two years.

And let’s not forget that despite our protecting ourselves, it is actually China that has done all of the heavy lifting in terms of actual economic decoupling. From limiting foreign capital flows into Aussie real estate in 2016 to today’s trade war. I sorely doubt that any of it would have happened from the Australian side.

So, there’s not a lot of moral high ground for anybody in Canberra to stand on when it comes to China.

But that does not excuse certain positions struck by the parties at particular moments of outright national crisis as the relationship came apart.

There is one moment especially that stands out. As the disintegrating Australia/China relationship reached breaking point, China issued Australia the infamous 14 demands to end democracy:

I am not kidding when I say that this document represents to the free world a kind of reverse Magna Carta. It betrays in detail the precise world that the CCP has planned. A dystopian planet in thrall to a CCP emperor that controls all thought and action.

There is no way known that in the normal course of events the CCP would have delivered such an ultimatum. It was driven to such extremes by the motormouth and gaslighting of Scott Morrison, who so discombobulated the Chinese embassy that it literally screamed, with pen and paper.

For all of that, we should be eternally grateful to our disordered PM for driving the CCP operatives to such breakdown. He flushed them out. Nor does this accidental genesis detract from the importance of the document.

The historic seriousness of the accidental dissertation was later underlined by the unique invitation from the G7 for Scott Morrison to present it to the leadership of the free world.

Anyone with a brain can see that the Morrison government is utterly corrupt and bereft of national interest policy process. It’s also pretty basically dumb. But it did have the brains and instinct to recognise an existential threat to Australia when it appeared.

However, it was alone in doing so. As China declared war on Australian liberalism, the only Australia that matters to any of us, the Labor Party had neither the wit, gumption nor value system to see it for what it was.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese entirely missed the stampeding CCP elephant in the room and instead criticised Morrison:

“I remember Prime Minister [Kevin] Rudd giving a speech in China, in Mandarin, of course, which was critical of human rights issues, but done so in a way that also was designed to make clear our values but not designed to offend for offence sake,” he said.

“And what we were able to do, and the Howard government was able to do as well, is have relationships that built that economic interaction that was very important for us.

“This government seems to have presided over a complete breakdown of relationships.”

Yes, he did. And thank god for it, Albo.

It didn’t stop there. Labor’s phalanxes of China grovelers piled in. Dan Andrews:

…“This relationship is far too important to farmers, to manufacturers, to workers, to profits for Victorian companies and therefore prosperity for our state,” Mr Andrews said.

“This is not just our biggest customer, but it is all about jobs. We need a good relationship but it has to be a fair and respectful one.”

Mark McGowan:

“I just want us to continue to have good, friendly relationships with our long-term trading partners.

“They buy an enormous amount of our products, we buy a much smaller amount of their products.

“It’s been a beneficial relationship for both countries and I think we need to make sure we have cool heads and work things out by discussion and not confrontation.”

Anastasia Palaszczuk:

“What the mining companies are saying to me is the last thing they want to see are mines closed in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That could have an impact on Queensland jobs.

In short, Anthony Albanese and Labor couldn’t even see the threat when it was printed out in black and white and handed out as a flyer.

Crikey’s Bernard Keane is spot on when he points out that the Morrison government and its media cheerleaders have a chequered history on China. But, more importantly, when it really mattered, it stood up to be counted.

Conversely, when it really mattered, Albo and his coalition of Labor cowards folded like origami paper.

If Labor takes power at both federal and state levels, who is left to resist the CCP?

Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. Anders Andersen

    The LNP issue with China is mostly politics, they didn’t have an issue until it suited them. Morrison’s only security concern is his own. No LNP leader since JH has had any problem with China up til now. And no, I’m no supporter of the CCP, both parties will sell the country’s interests down the drain for a few pieces of silver.

  2. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    A reading of history, at least with the benefit of retrospect, often identifies a few moments where strange decisions or people of extreme fallibility made decisions that at the time appeared to be stupid but turned out to be incredibly foresighted. Our PM believes God put him where he is for a reason, and it’s entirely possible that’s true, but not for the reasons ScoMo might believe he was put there.

    Will Australia return the ALP to power federally in the next eight months or less? The zeitgeist feels like no regardless of the polling. Anything can happen between now and then, obviously, but the endless threats and ridicule clearly sanctioned by the CCP leadership from China (more coming today about our vaccine deployment) is probably mobilising enough of what little is left of ‘old Australia’ and new Australians with an axe to grind (eg Indians, Filipinos, Taiwanese, Koreans, Japanese etc) with current CCP behaviour to keep them in power for at least one more term.

    At the end of the day, Albanese is basically invisible. Small target politics is one thing, but Albo has gone too far with it because I have a feeling many Australians don’t even know who the leader of the opposition is. His profile is much, much lower than Labor State Premiers and that’s not a good thing heading into a Federal election. I think even Shorten would be a better bet for the ALP at this point.

    • C'est de la folieMEMBER

      Completely agree,

      We have known for at least a decade that neither side of Australian politics was worth voting for, and for most of that time the Liberals have remained in Federal power by running an ‘at least we arent the ALP’ line. My reading of the zietgeist is that large slabs of Australia have had enough, think that their current politics is delivering nothing, and want something radically different.

      All the ALP has done in the last few days is establish (again) that it has about as much policy and intellectual life and vigour as the Chinese financial system. When you think about it how much has the government splashed out on JobKeeper? $60 billion? If that doesnt underline the need for a government role in the financial system, what does? Personally I thought ‘small target’ was idiocy in 1998, when it cost Beazley, and has been idiocy ever since. ‘Small target’ is quintessentially NeoLiberal – and that is where the ALP are.

      The only thing Australia has in the great ‘WTF?’ election we have to have within the next year, is the hope that with Covid pretty much eliminating large gatherings of the type stage managed by the major parties (and Greens and Nationals) and making door knocking suburbs far more problematic, the entire shunting of discourse online will open up opportunities for other angles to be worked in – and if the Liberals and ALP want to stick with Facebook (I wonder who will go WeChat this time round) and mainstream platforms then there is likely to be space for outriders to get some discussion and support happening.

      This is going to be a seriously entertaining election. One small outfit – currently consisting of a slack group trying to get together some policies and a constitution is the party formerly known as Bullshit Australia (we are still working on a name which reflects us and wont be spammed out by Google and censored).

      Anyone looking to become a member of the party – Australia’s fastest growing political movement – should whizz an email (to join our slack group conspiring to overthrow the dictatorship of dullards we have) to [email protected] Or [email protected]

      • My reading of the zietgeist is that large slabs of Australia have had enough, think that their current politics is delivering nothing, and want something radically different.
        I’d like to believe what you’ve suggested, But if such were the case, wouldn’t these large slabs of Australians be already finding ways to better their world that didn’t require the permission or involvement of our Politicians?
        Our Politicians are greedy, corrupt and incompetent. The two party system and its preselect mechanisms is thoroughly and completely corrupt and unsuited for the very purpose it is intended for.
        Why would anyone, with an interest in making Australia a better place, get down and dirty in such a pig pen as Australian Politics? WHY?
        With this in mind, real change must happen outside of the Political sphere. Real change will happen through business leaders stepping up to the plate and actually leading Australia. Change will happen in spite of our incompetent politicians. That’s the change that I’m waiting for, that’s the change that’ll get me excited and involved. Personally I’m keeping the powder dry until I see these green-shoots.

        • C'est de la folieMEMBER

          Real change will happen through business leaders stepping up to the plate and actually leading Australia.

          I find it kind of difficult to believe anyone actually wrote that, and wonder about the hallucinogens involved.  Has any social change ever been led by business leaders, anywhere?  Like, evolution is pretty slow.

          I’m not sure how to tell you this, but I think you will find real business leaders will step up to the plate and consume everything on it.  They will tell everyone that that was incredibly difficult and that they should be ostentatiously remunerated because of that, and that because they have already demonstrated how to consume the contents of a plate, all contents on all plates should be theirs to consume.  They will then fund politicians who will legislate for a never ending supply of plates for them to consume, and ignore calls for some contents of plates they consume to be made available for those other than corporate leaders – on the basis that those not getting the contents of the plate they consume don’t have the skill sets and attributes that they do.

          Over time they will put on weight, and start making available opportunities for those who are really nice to them to have some scraps from their plates, but sometimes even these get consumed when they step up to the plate  

          • Yes absolutely there have been many countries where the Business community overcame Political incompetence to build a better country.
            Taiwan would be one example, Singapore (little different process but same outcome)
            Brazil was on a role for a while there and Chile after Pinochet was very probusiness and the broader community benefited.
            I’d say to some extent both in Hungry and the Czech Republic the revitalization of both of these economies post Eastern block was driven largely by the business community.

          • You have to embarrass, bribe or bully business leaders and politicians to get the outcome sought. Unity of thought within the populace and a patriotism to country is what is missing in Australia.

            I’ve always wondered why the good businesses/citizens/interest groups dont donate to pollies the same way the property and mining industries do. If politicians are as malleable as we accuse them of being to “donations” then surely properly targeted party donations with a quid pro quo positive agenda would get equal outcomes as the Gina and Harry’s of the world?

      • WorkingFromHomeMEMBER

        Ponzi Australia Party

        Use satire to get the message out there. At every opportunity, use the party name to raise the big Australia Ponzi agenda.

    • Although Anyone But Scotty is the prevailing thinking for me, and although vote for your local member, but really you’re signalling support for the party leader, they really need to roll Albo, now.

      The issue is, for whom?

      I know plenty here have issues with Plibersek, but she has cut through.
      Old mate Dry Dreyfus is, well, dry, but he has a brain and can at least mount an argument.
      Penny if she was lower house (most people who don’t have lady issues might agree – she’s at least balanced and can debate and is forensic)
      Husic, nope.

      I like how this who discussion presupposes Albo / Labor will seek succour from the CCP teet. What’s the alternative: corporatcracy and wobbery by the LNP in broad daylight and anti climate boondoggles? Yeah, nah, no thanks. I’d rather risk Labor for a max of 3-4 years.

      Many people seem to be forgetting the US MIC – the CIA et al will very quickly have a chat to Albo should he get a big cuddly with China. Be handy if people remember that. If they can orchestrate Whitlam’s removal, Albo will be easy.

      • RobotSenseiMEMBER

        Julian Hill seems to be saying all the right things on the socials.

        Not sure how the party tallests see him, but I reckon he’d be one to watch.

  3. To me, ScoMo has flushed the bastards out.

    Now, there’s no hiding their malevolent intent.

    • A bit naive, Biden had almost 3x the budget against Trump, big business piled in. In reality, with a pandemic and money arrayed against him, there was never really any chance, despite the claims he was robbed!

      The same is about to happen in Oz. Big business and the unions will back Labour. Have a look at the WA election. Do that in QLD, and it will be a cake walk… I feel it’s largely inevitable. And, I suspect, the MB editors feel the same, hence this article.

      • Yup. Labour is a chance next election. Hence this article to convince us to vote otherwise.

      • Anders Andersen

        MM isn’t a labor premier, he’s a LNP premier wearing a Labor suit which is why he was supping with Nigel Slatterly, Stokes and the mining companies in the lead up to the last election. Never get between a state pollie (regardless of which party) and a mining royalty. I have nothing but contempt for him!

        Edit: Business automatically preferences LNP, it’s just part of their DNA, however if Labor is electorally popular and will deliver for business, and in WA that means mining (= minimal taxation) and property developers (transfer of land value from the state to property developers), then they will support Labor. Notice how restrained The West Australian is when it comes to criticising MM, however at the point when public support falters they will switch.

  4. Lord DudleyMEMBER

    One way or another, you’re going to end up totally owned by a group of corrupt kleptocratic psychos. But at least with the LNP, they’ll be YOUR corrupt kleptocratic psychos. Young people with any get-up-and-go should emigrate.

    • Fishing72MEMBER

      Lol.

      Australia is still the land of milk and honey for any young person with enthusiasm and a bit of honest work ethic. Whilst there is no guarantees what the future may hold, as it stands a young Australian can get a trade, work hard and make a great living. There’s still pockets of relatively cheap real estate amongst the latest work boom. Australians can still go to University amd develop any skills they want to service an awakening Southern Hemisphere.

      Contrast that with the US situation where all labour is poorly paid and even a decent trade is competing with Mexicans who will work for two burritos a day.

      I really don’t want to come across as targeting you personally but you continue to spout such egregiously bullsh1tt statements about Australia that really need to be addressed.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Hear hear Fishing.
        Heaps of cheap labour delivery riders and drivers around here. We didn’t have that slave labour to service the young’uns years ago because we were the slave labour apprentices, interns, in training etc. We were privileged alright, privileged and thankful for any job beneath the scorn of todays youth but not immigrants youth.
        brw my apprenticeship wage was $6 per week (not per hr) and still found a means to get to night school for marine engineering.
        .
        That just reminded me when I had to walk about 8klms in the dark home after a night school. The road went through dark tree covered a swamp and would have to face my demons, ( was terrified of snakes).

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Didn’t seem to quell the fear no matter how many times I walked that way, the alternative route was 4 times longer.
          When apprentices wage rose to a higher percentage of tradesmen’s wage the appetite to employ them fell.

        • Anders Andersen

          What a load of bullshido. You’re at the top of the boomer band, Boomer, and you had the best of everything; best employment conditions, cheapest education and cheapest housing.

          Boomer, tell everyone what your parents said about your lot; lazy goodfornuffins. It was your parents that laid the foundations, that is did the hard work, suffered the depression and WW2 and you (and me, I’m at the bottom end of the boomer band) reaped the rewards and now you lay shit on the youth of today.

        • Jumping jack flash

          Unless you used pieces of old cardboard tied to your feet with hemp twine for shoes, I’m not impressed.

      • working class hamMEMBER

        This is true.
        If you get a good trade/ choose a good career path/ start your own business, young people can still effectively climb from working class through to upper middle class in one generation. It is a lot harder to do today than 20 years ago and job security has been decimated, but we still have more opportunities than 99% of the rest of the worlds population, a fact that sometimes gets forgotten.

        • Fishing72MEMBER

          You can get $500 per day stacking rocks as a bricklayer in Perth right this minute. Laughing and chatting for eight hours a day, blue sky overhead as the radio plays in the background = $2500 per week AKA $120K per year after you’ve had a couple of nice holidays along the way. Home early to hang with the kids after work. No headaches, no worries. Easy money. Or run your own crew and make shed loads more cash.

          That’s now considered an undesirable occupation! No wonder half the world wants to move here. You reckon kids really want to relocate to the US so they can work for tips at a restaurant or move to England where they can develop rickets through vitamin D deficiency?

          • Lord DudleyMEMBER

            A nation of overpaid bricklayers and RE agents. Nothing of note that anyone else in the world needs or wants is done in Australia aside from digging up red dirt, and some agriculture.

          • working class hamMEMBER

            Lord Dudley,
            Bricklaying runs pretty thick in my family, if you had ever done it, I doubt you would argue that they are over paid.
            Maybe the Australian climate and lifestyle has made society complacent, but give me a relaxed life of physical labour, beaches and warm weather over working slaves, no social welfare and weekly school shootings.

          • Jumping jack flash

            Stacking bricks sure brings in a lot of new money into the country to grow the pie. Everyone will be rich beyond their wildest dreams. Get on it.
            Hairdressers get good coin too, if my missus’ spend every month or so is any gauge of that.

            Hang about, who needs to waste time being an R&D engineer for the meat industry (one of the few export industries left in Australia outside of dirt) I’ll go and mow lawns. If I set my prices high enough I’ll earn $500 a day too…

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            “move to England where they can develop rickets through vitamin D deficiency”

            All humans were black before/when they started migrating into the unsavoury, overcast and cold northern latitudes.
            The white skin mutation comes from paler skins ability to produce vitamin d through sunlight more efficiently than dark skin.
            Rates of rickets are much higher for people with dark skin who live in solar radiation challenged Northern latitudes.

          • I’m not going to argue with your logic because it is an indisputable fact that Australia is a Bricklayers utopia, but is that really the world you want to be handing over to your children and grandchildren?
            Just think about it for a minute, Imagine the change that you’ve seen over the last 25 years in other industries (like automotive) happens in your Bricklaying trade. Will your kids still be earning $500/day if a machine that costs under $10K can lay bricks 24hrs a day 7 days a week.
            This change is coming to your world and it is coming fast. Maybe you’ll hold it off for 10 years through industrial action and mates protecting mates but eventually someone will buy the machine and that’ll be all she wrote … all over game, set and match.
            Personally I’d like my kids to be the ones who develop such a machine and export this knowhow to the world, what saddens me the most is that in all likelihood neither of us will get our wishes. We won’t delay the technology it just won’t be other Aussies delivering this knowhow to our building sites. .

      • C'est de la folieMEMBER

        Just for the record on this end of the thread……..

        1.    Every last occupation in Australia is expensive compared with almost any other location.  I have not long ago done some minor recruitment/contract work for a Fintech which picked up financial analysts.  The company (based in UK, but mainly Russian/Ukraine nationals) was expecting Eastern Europeans to be the best value for money (skills etc).  They got very skilled analysts from Philippines at less than 10USD per hour.  I have already been in touch with them, they do good work (under remote direction of a gent in Georgia (Tbilisi)).  But the upshot is your waiters, your accountants, logistics managers, your engineers, your medicos, nurses, teachers, real estate agents, public servants – compare what an APS6 gets in Australia [circa 90-100k, plus super] with what like people get in the UK, EU, US, Japan etc etc etc – all the way through to our lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists, technicians, middle managers and corporate executives [quite regularly near the top of the global pay ladder] are globally quite expensive.  The only exception I would make are some software and programming types who are regularly in direct competition with the rest of the world.

        2.    Anyone with a kid [particularly a teenage kid] should be thinking of making sure the kids have some skills, and can work in an international environment.  They arent going to get that behind the checkout, or wiping aged bottoms, or plugged in reading out scripts at some call centre. If they do that they will be living with Mum and Dad (if they are lucky) or in shared accomodation (renting) for the rest of eternity.  More particularly if they do that they will be reliant on the good will of the national leadership (those maladjusted imbeciles who control things in this country) to be kind to the little people – dream on, the naitonal leadership, including the ALP so it seems, thinks the little people are for exploiting [as labour] or harvesting [as demand] or for immersing in bullshido. As the national economic straightjacket of uncompetitiveness – bearing in mind we have the worlds most expensive land and most expensive energy to go with about the worlds most expensive people – tightens all of the occupations mentioned above will be fighting for whatever national revenues (or whatever debt) we create and the leadership will increasingly start working out which of those occupations are expendable (in terms of incomes).   

        As for

        ‘Australia is still the land of milk and honey for any young person with enthusiasm and a bit of honest work ethic. Whilst there is no guarantees what the future may hold, as it stands a young Australian can get a trade, work hard and make a great living. There’s still pockets of relatively cheap real estate amongst the latest work boom. Australians can still go to University amd develop any skills they want to service an awakening Southern Hemisphere.’

        Is that you TotesbeWoke? Are you back?

        I can only assume the writers of those words and sentiments have no familiarity with other lands.  Whenever I see reference to ‘trades’ I also tend to assume that there is someone who wants the population ponzi to run forever, or (more rarely) that someone hasn’t twigged to the implications of carbon pricing for large sections of Australia’s gas and coal sectors – and we do come back to the competence/greed of those organising the parameters of the economy (our politicians) and their ability to keep the ponzi inflated.  As for ‘there are relatively cheap pockets of real estate’ I figure ‘here is someone doing searches of Broken Hill on realestate.com.au (and compare even that to what your realestate can cost in other nations).

        As the father of two young people, telling them to stay here – and we do discuss it – involves bringing them to terms that, any work ethic they display will be pocketed by the beneficiaries of a system (be they employers, contractors, governments), any initiative they show will be seen as a threat by the same, and the honest work ethic (which I tell them they need to have, but which I also tell them belongs to them), will be interpreted as ‘they are quiet and happy with their lot’ until such point as they complain, when they will be offloaded for someone quieter.   As an extra they will pay more for their accomodation, get the living bejeesus taxed out of them, and get creamed around every corner they ever pass for almost everything, get those extra commuting miles in and find lots of people who don’t speak the iingo all that well, outbidding them for an abode.

        Their real alternatives are

        1.    To expect to stay in Australia for their lives.  If they do this they should anticipate much of the above and to deal with it become one of or a combination of pathological liar, amoral legal entity, workplace psychopath, a doctor of some description, a politician of some desciption, or some form of economic parasite closer to the centre of decisionmaking with an enfilade position.  If they are successful at this then they may care to have kids.  If they arent then they shouldn’t have kids.

        2.    Go overseas, after getting some skills in Australia – retaining their Australian passports, so they can come back and claim a pension – earning just enough inside Australia to feasibly warrant a negative gear on an investment property, and only ‘committing’ to Australia when it is in their interests.  Particularly if they want to do something creative, scientific, or intelligent, or travel or altruisically beneficial for the human race.    

        As i sometimes say to my son. ‘Ask yourself if Australia is becoming a land for decent people or a land for pricks. If you like the climate and geography and you think it is becoming a nation of pricks, be prepared to be a prick, and once you have decided upon being a prick, you may as well be a complete and utter prick’

        • working class hamMEMBER

          “Whenever I see reference to ‘trades’ I also tend to assume that there is someone who wants the population ponzi to run forever, or (more rarely) that someone hasn’t twigged to the implications of carbon pricing for large sections of Australia’s gas and coal sectors – and we do come back to the competence/greed of those organising the parameters of the economy (our politicians) and their ability to keep the ponzi inflated.”

          Not all trades are based on Big Aust, many licensed trades actually involve maintaining complex systems and infrastructure, which provide services that allow society to function. Not everything is construction based.

          I agree that kids today are going to have their work cut out for them, that’s how it has been for every successive generation, technology and globalisation will only compound the problem.

          The comment about pricks I guess depends on who you interact with, granted greed is a very common trait these days and has infiltrated all aspects of society, especially among certain industries, but 30 odd years without a downturn does funny things to people.

        • C'est de la folieMEMBER

          Yeah i get you, and agree all round, last sentence in particular. But a lot of trades are ponzi based

        • Lord DudleyMEMBER

          C’est de la folie, you are a more eloquent version of me. Especially since I’m one of those computer programmer types that has seen my industry wrecked especially badly in Australia.

        • If you actually believe what you tell your children then you may as well throw yourself and them under the nearest bus and be done with it. The die is cast it seems.

          You also make it sound like the issues mentioned above are a purely Australian phenomena then say others “have no familiarity with other lands”. Automation is a global phenomena, capitalist dollars will always chase the lowest cost of production. Taxes are higher in other countries. Corruption is rife globally. Pricks exist in all countries.

          I find it funny when people say “STEM” or “teach our kids to code” like it will make them the next billionaire entrepreneur or protect them from a global workforce. Coding, like many other things can be commoditized due to its definable structure. STEM in and off itself doesn’t guarantee success either – there are always the 1% who will be smarter, faster, braver and more lateral in their thought processes.

          The harsh reality is that the intellectual capability of your kids was defined at the point of conception, if the parents are dumb, the kids will be dumb. In other words, be selective of your partner. The work ethic you instill in them is another, you cannot do a “course” on work ethic. One of my uni lecturers used to say to his classes, “there are a lot of lawyers driving cabs”. The final piece is bravery, have you made them fearful of the world so they are paralyzed or have you made them just paranoid enough that it drives them to grab it by the horns and have a crack?

          Australia needs to be harder on its kids, our wealth has made us complacent and this passes to the children. They have lost their fight when in reality this same wealth should be the thing allowing them to take risks. How and where they face these challenges is less important than its made out to be. The reason eastern European tech people are so good is because they had less access to computer time so when they did get access, they made the most of it.

          Challenges will exist wherever they go, how they deal with them is key.

      • Lord DudleyMEMBER

        It depends. The US works for me. Whenever I see someone say “the US blah blah”, I know I’m dealing with someone clueless. It’s more like 50 different countries than it is like a single one. New York is more similar to Germany than it is to Missouri.

  5. RomulusMEMBER

    What’s stopping them?
    – A shift in public sentiment agaisnt China
    – Coalition hammering them on China if they cosy up again
    – Biden/possibly Trump in 24.

    There seems to be a recent theme of your articles portraying Libs as the ‘lesser of two evils’. Not brilliant choices sure but Libs need to get booted out otherwise expect even more blatent corruption and general incompetence in the face of pandemics, bushfires and other upcoming disasters. My first preference is for a decent independent candidate but will most certainly put the Libs last this time around.

      • RomulusMEMBER

        Must have missed the Federal ICAC Libs were planning to setup as a start.
        Will be more than willing to turf them out in 3 years if they cosy up to China too much but in the meantime terrible governance must be punished.

    • NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

      I agree. The national and NSW LNP gov’s are so corrupt, and the press so complicit, that they aren’t even bothering with pretext these days.

    • Me too. Libs last this round. Labour needs to get in to get LNP to clean up.
      At least it will cause them to reset their top ranks and no way scummo will be leader of opposition. Get LNP back in next round after they clean up. 1 term of labour ain’t that bad to keep LNP on their best foot.

      • Mark HeydonMEMBER

        “no way scummo will be leader of opposition”
        I’m not so sure. There is no way he could get a job outside of politics and if ALP is in charge of dishing out patronage, a cosy government sinecure is closed off too. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t remain opposition leader.

        • You missed the part where people like Abbott become High Commissioner, or the risible Amanda Vanstone becomes Italian Ambassador, or the Jabba the Hockey becomes US Ambassador or Vibble Vobbles Cormann is OECD head. What happened to Brandis? The list goes on, friend. I am sure Morrisson will, unfortunately, endlessly popup in many inconvenient places.

          • Charles MartinMEMBER

            My money is on the AZ board. Part of me says it is way too brazen, but then I remember politicans have no shame.

          • Mark HeydonMEMBER

            I think all the appointments you mention are LNP appointing LNP hacks except Cormann who arguably got the job on his merits (I have no time for Cormann, but he was probably one of the only competent LNP ministers in recent years).
            If ALP win the election surely they are not so dumb as to appoint Morrison to anything? Surely?

        • RobotSenseiMEMBER

          He’s safe in Cook, it’s one of the true banner-flying Liberal seats.
          Any other Liberal electorate, not so sure. WA and Vic are apoplectic right now.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        LOL.

        A term out and the Coalition wouldn’t even break stride. Fvck me, if anything they’d double down under Dutton.

  6. Ronin8317MEMBER

    The moment Australia ask for an inquiry to the origin of the COVID-19 in Wuhan, Sino-Australia relationship is broken forever. ScoMo have no idea how much it insults Beijing, else he would have never done it. No amount of kowtow by Albo, or Dan Andrews, or McGowan will fix it in this generation, Beijing will never trust Australia again.

    When China imposed an embargo on Australian coal, the US took over our market.

    https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3139209/china-australia-relations-us-coal-continues-fill-void-left

    The US is increasing trade with China even though they’re a geopolitical threat, so for Australia to go harder than the USA is simply stupid, but Australia seem to be very good at being stupid of late.

    • Fishing72MEMBER

      So you think this is Australia’s great crime?:

      “The moment Australia ask for an inquiry to the origin of the COVID-19 in Wuhan”

      You realise that China obfuscated, lied and manipulated in order to ensure the virus was spread throughout the world, including to Australia? That China claimed the initial Australian attempt to exclude itself from the viral spread by halting arrivals from China was racist? If that wasn’t enough for you to realise that Australia is better off decoupled from China is the smartest thing we could do, then no one can help you.

      Who cares about a few dollars in trade when it comes at the cost of our independence and sovereignty?

      You do obviously. I think the genuine stupidity is a bit closer to home than you’d like to admit.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        China banned flights outgoing from Wuhan before Australia banned flights from Wuhan. Of course, by then the virus has already leaked to Germany (via repatriation flights of German nationals working in Wuhan), and once it got to Italy there was no stopping it.

        For Australia to be so dependent on one country for export is always a bad idea, so a decoupling is welcomed. The Wuhan lab-leak theory is a right wing conspiracy which wants China to pay for the pandemic. When Trump picked up on it in his tweet, it became an existential threat for China. The lesson from the Opium War have never been forgotten, even today.

        • To dismiss the lab leak as a right wing conspiracy theory is just plain wrong:
          – There have been plenty of lab leaks in the past (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_laboratory_biosecurity_incidents). It is not outside the realm of possibility that this happened
          – SARS, MERS ‘smoking gun’ to link an animal was found relatively soon. Still yet to find it for COVID. It would be a massive coup for the CCP to prove that it did not leak from their labs to the likes of WHO yet they are unable to do so
          – CCP’s behaviour has been very much one of trying to cover it up. That is their usual M.O. but in this case if they are certain it did not leak from the lab they would want to disprove that theory pretty quickly since many in the West do think it is a possibility and would help with repairing their image.

          The media completely dismissed it last year due to Trump espousing it. It is a completely valid possibility.

  7. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Meh,…our global plutocratic economic World order welcomed in China with open arms.
    Like so much else there was no democratic say on the matter.
    As a result American Sadism is the new societal norm and has been exported everywhere,… including China.
    Its all so unsurprising and predictable an outcome,…Manchurian candidates or not.

    Its unchecked power and lack of democracy that is our species existential threat.

    This is a really good clip.
    Chris gets started 3.40 mins in.

    https://youtu.be/OGCFVc-5yTM

    • Jumping jack flash

      When I was completing my first undergraduate degree back in the late 90s marketing was one of the units I needed to take. It was all about China this and China that, and breaking into China with a billion people ready to consume was the proverbial goose that laid the golden eggs.

      Around that time there was also JIT production and outsourcing and all those other lovely ideologies that were rammed down our throats and have since been implemented by my generation with questionable results.

      They all work well in good times, but if there’s any kind of problem then everything falls apart very quickly, especially what we’ve seen with JIT production and supply chains with the pandemic.

  8. “If Labor takes power at both federal and state levels, who is left to resist the CCP?”
    My money is on things not changing much other than a less hairy chested posture with China and a bit more pro-active savvy in dealing with regional partners.