Here’s the question

From Instapundit.

JOEL KOTKIN: Will Australia Become A Vassal State of China? “China presents the most profound challenge to liberal values since the end of the Cold War, a development that has caught our consistently lame political establishment by surprise. The leaders of both parties, and much of the corporate America, never saw it coming.”

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Well, what’s the answer? Might just add that that the article says nothing specifically about Australia.

Here was the best comment at Instapundit.

So long as the American people keep voting for four dollars of government for every three dollars they are willing to be taxed, and China has the economic strength to fund large proportions of that debt, the United States, fundamentally, cannot oppose her.

Or to put it this way:

Selling coal
along with our soul,
Is the government’s role
on the whole.

Helping friends

I see from the front page of the SMH that “PM under pressure on Trump inquiry”. First para:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is being urged to provide “clear answers” about his offer to assist a divisive United States inquiry into the FBI after he confirmed a phone call from US President Donald Trump seeking support.

Well you know the usual suspects who are raising all this, the usual liars and fools on the left that is unable to cope with actual honest policy for the first time in our lives. They want to get back to the good old days of thievery and graft.

Yesterday I was reading about how the Labor Party had involved itself in the American election in 2016, and you will never guess which candidate they sought to help: Bernie Sanders. That is where the ALP really is, and it should scare the daylights out of anyone.

“The Australian Government will use its best endeavors”

Further to the earlier story on Australian providing assistance to PDT we now have this: Letter From Australian Official Emerges That Casts Doubt On Report From New York Times. Just by being from the New York Times is enough to cast doubt on the report. But this is the detail. It’s a letter from Joe Hockey. See how much reluctance there was in attempting to fulfil this request. It’s dated May 28, 2019.

Dear Attorney General,

I refer to President Trump’s announcement on 24 May that you will investigate the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigations probe into Russian links to the 2016 US election.

I note that the President referred to Australia, the United Kingdom and the Ukraine as potential stakeholders. Moreover, I note that he has declassified intelligence material to support your investigation.

The Australian Government will use its best endeavors to support your efforts in this matter. While Australia’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, The Hon. Alexander Downer, is no longer employed by the government, we stand ready to provide you with all the relevant information to support your inquiries.

The Acting White House Chief of Staff, The Honorable Michael Mulvaney, has been copied on this letter.

Yours sincerely,

The Hon Joe Hockey

Follows from this:

In May, Trump said of Barr: “And I hope he looks at the U.K., and I hope he looks at Australia, and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country.”

It’s not just good to know who your friends are, but also good that your friends know you really are their friends.

And there’s much more here. Insane, but par for the course on the left.

Australia in the international news

I have to say I have reached a saturation point on impeachment and girl-warrior attacking global warming. So a bit of change of pace. Donald Trump asked Morrison to help probe origins of Mueller inquiry.

Scott Morrison has confirmed Donald Trump called him to assist US Attorney-General Bill Barr’s investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.

The investigation is part of the Trump administration’s attempts to discredit the Russia probe as politically motivated.

According to the New York Times, Mr Trump “pushed” Mr Morrison during a phone call in “recent weeks” for Australia’s help in the Justice Department’s investigation.

It said Mr Barr requested that the president ask Mr Morrison directly about the issue.

A Morrison government spokesman told The Australian on Tuesday: “The Australian government has always been ready to assist and co-operate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation.

“The PM confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the president.”

Nice.

And if I’m not mistaken, today is the 70th anniversary of Mao’s takeover of China. As part of the celebration, we have Our economic miracle delivers Aussie dream, says Chinese ambassador.

Chinese ambassador Cheng ­Jingye says Australia should ­remember it depends on China for its economic success, as he urged greater “mutual respect” between the countries and a reduction in “prejudices and suspicions”.

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of China’s communist revolution, Mr Cheng lauded his country’s “miracle” rise from a “poor backward country” to the world’s second largest economy.

That is, if you can believe their stats, and on per capita basis income is one-tenth that of Japan’s. Then there’s this: Julia Gillard, UK experts lash Australia for ‘regrettable’ foreign aid budget.

Ms Gillard, attending the conference as the chair of the Global Partnership of Education, said she never would have thought that as a Labor politician she would be at a Conservative party event but she fully supported the Tories’ committed aid spending of 0.7 per cent.

But the sharpest criticism of Australia’s policies on aid spending came from the Overseas Development Institute acting chief executive Simon Gill who unfavourably compared Australia to Ireland.

“Australia should give more,“ Mr Gill said.

These socialists love spending other people’s money.

“Friends, mates and allies”

Scott Morrison arrives around 23 minutes in. Advance Australia Fair at around 27 minutes, with a 21(?)-gun salute. The Star Spangled Banner at around 29:00. Inspection of the Guard and then meeting the crowd, which PDT does appear to enjoy. Bugle, fife and drum band next in colonial uniforms. PDT begins speech at 38:30. The warmest speech you may ever hear a foreign leader give about Australia and our relationship. It’s the real thing.

Scott Morrison follows from around 45:00 in. Also the real thing. “Friends, mates and allies” was said by the President but it could have been said by either.

The million dollar question no one could answer

Last week “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” was filmed in Melbourne and this was the Million-Dollar question:

Who is the Victorian Leader of the Opposition?

Well the contestant who had known everything else didn’t know so he asked the audience. And the audience didn’t know either.

So he phoned a friend. And his friend – a Professor of Politics at the University of Melbourne – also didn’t know?

So he chose the 50-50. And even then he got it wrong.

So I will tell you. From Wikipedia, since I didn’t know either.

The current Opposition Leader is Michael O’Brien of the Liberal Party. He was elected Liberal leader on 6 December 2018, replacing Matthew Guy who resigned after losing the 2018 Victorian state election.

Undoubtedly the only time you will see his name in print between now and the next election.

And why did this come to mind? Because of this article in The Oz today: Victoria’s dodgy power supply is likely to short-circuit everyone. Where, among other things, you may read:

In Victoria, however, too much bird slicing is barely enough.

To entice renewable investment, the Victorian government absorbs the risk, guaranteeing fixed-price contracts for up to 20 years. The size of the liability further governments will inherit has not been calculated.

When it comes to saving the planet, the Victorian RET is about as useful as gluing your hands to the tarmac. As an incentive for rent-seekers, on the other hand, it is working a treat.

The result is more windmills under construction than in the rest of the country put together. Another dozen or so projects are waiting for approval. It means that more than 1500 or so turbines could be fitfully turning in a few years, generating 6600MW on paper at least, larger than the state’s coal-generating capacity before the closure of Hazelwood.

Non-synchronous power of this kind is worse than useless in a crisis, however. It serves only to destabilise the grid.

Not to mention this from the Financial Review: Victoria’s energy plan is a ‘leap of faith’, whose first line:

Victoria’s aggressive wind and solar push will shut down coal power stations and could send electricity prices skyrocketing, EnergyAustralia has bluntly told the state Labor government.

 Just because the place is named Victoria is no reason to drive us back to living standards last seen in Victorian times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPAC Australia first day

The first day of Australia’s first Conservative Political Action Conference was an astonishing success. I cannot tell you what a satisfying day it was, full of interest and surprise, even where I didn’t expect to be surprised. I will only hit what stood out for me, so if I leave out The Reunion of the Outsiders, for example, it’s only because they were precisely as insightful and entertaining as I thought they would be. It really is irritating to be reminded how cowardly Australian television was in not being able to keep all three together for a nothing bit of TV of a Sunday morning once a week.

Tony Abbott came next, who reminded me once more how the most philosophical and potentially among the great Prime Ministers of this country was sandbagged by a narcissistic incompetent without any of the ability of the man he replaced. He discusses what he saw as the essence of conservative leadership, “pragmatism, based on values”. I also thought the advice he gave his daughter when she took up a post in the Australian embassy in China was exceptional. Don’t spend your time learning about China. There are lots of experts on that. Learn about Australia: “You must know about us.” He fears, and I think rightly, that the traditions of the West “are no longer holding their grip”. And he repeated John Howard’s definition of a conservative: “people who do not believe themselves morally superior to their grandparents.”

Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price provided an Indigenous perspective, similar in their outlook but very different in their focus. Both, as I heard them, provided the same lesson: Indigenous Australians need stop dwelling on whatever wrongs may have been done to their ancestors since nothing from the past can be changed, but should instead look to creating the kind of future that can be made for themselves embedded as they are within a Western nation from whom they have a lot to learn given the people with whom they share this continent with.

We also heard from the founder of CPAC in the United States who discussed PDT and American politics generally with a Republican Congressman from Tennessee. An hour of back and forth with among my favourite bits the discussion of “The Trump Whisper”. This is when someone would ask him to come close because they wanted to say something to them – usually, he would think, because they wanted to complain about something in private – but then would say to him, in this very quiet voice, “I really like Trump.” Easy to believe, given how viscious the left is, but, as he noted, it is a problem all the same.

They were followed by Judge Jeanine who was even more entertaining live than she is on Fox. Spellbinding. Terrifying.

Not last nor least, but the surprise feature speaker was Raheem Kassam, whose prominence was brought to the front when Kristine Kenealy tried to get his entry-visa denied. A very impressive speaker, filled with insight, humour and philosophical detail about an issue of the greatest importance – radical Islam – of which he had much of interest and value to say. He also said this, which was an interesting perspective on how times change, that Enoch Powell, yes that Enoch Powell, had taught classics at the University of Sydney when he had been 24 years old, and amongst his students had been Gough Whitlam. No problem getting a visa then, and GW studied classics!

Congratulations to Andrew Cooper for pulling this off. Then tomorrow there is still Nigel Farage to start off the day.

This was not a borderline issue

If you don’t think that stopping the boats won the election for the Coalition you are completely out of it. Adani also mattered. But without both, we would have a Labor Government right now.

Speaking of which:

DEVELOPING: Trump announces tariff-avoiding deal with Mexico.

Pop the tequila and pass the guacamole — the US has struck a trade deal with Mexico that will avert tariffs on imports.

“I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” President Trump tweeted Friday night.

“The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” he added.

“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border,” he said.

Related: Mexico Capitulates to Trump’s Tariff Threat, Deploys 6,000 Troops to Guatemalan Border to Curb Migration.

And that will be just a start. Incredible there are votes in open borders for the Democrats, since the certainty of maintaining an open border will be the submergence of everything that has made America the great country she is.

 

Globalisation is well on the way to bringing us to ruin

This is an exceptionally good article by Peter Smith at Quadrant Online whose title provides little insight into what is to come: In Determined Pursuit of Unhappiness. It’s about the way in which our political class is attempting to demonstrate a virtue signalling globalist agenda by selling out the people who put them into office. This is near the start but is only a prelude, but an important prelude to what comes after.

There is a fetish with free trade among globalists. Only heretics object. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade took effect from the beginning of 1948. It was succeeded by the World Trade Organization from the beginning of 1995. From around 10 per cent of world GDP in 1948, international trade has since burgeoned to be now around 25 per cent. The free trade agenda has been driven primarily by the libertarian-cum-classical-liberal side of the political divide. Let me be heretical. There is no well-based rationale for free trade. Unless, that is, you think that maximising the availability of cheap stuff outweighs all other considerations.

Free trade brings significantly reduced industrial diversity within nations. It brings a loss of skills. It brings entrenched regional unemployment and despair. It brings long and vulnerable supply lines which threaten national security. International trade is like cabbage, broccoli and other leafy greens. Some is an essential ingredient of a balanced diet; yet more is very good for you. But they don’t make for a complete eating regime. Let me be clear, the issue is not one of trade versus protection. It is about the extent to which the interests of all of the citizens of a nation are brought into account by their political representatives when they are eliminating trade barriers. The wholeness, integrity and security of the nation-state should not be bartered away for a mess of pottage.

But that is only part of what he is trying to explain. This comes closer, found towards the end:

Globalisation is well on the way to bringing us to ruin. In principle, the remedy is simple. We, the people, need to elect politicians whose overriding goal is to create the conditions which preserve and nurture the life, the liberty and the happiness of the citizens of their nation-state; who will always promote their country’s claims over the claims of others; who, even though President Trump has said it, will always put their country and its citizens first. However, in practice, there is a sting in this tale (to corrupt an idiom). Perhaps, in this current age, most difficulty lies not with a paucity of potentially sound-thinking politicians or would-be politicians. Maybe it lies with “we, the people”.

Seriously, you should read it all.

They’re back but not for long

Border Force officers after intercepting the Sri Lankan asylum-seeker boat off Christmas Island.

From the front page of The Oz: Sri Lankan asylum-seeker bid turns back time. They must have been reading the polling figures before the election. The stats which come with the story notes that in the last two years of R-G-R, there were 17,204 and 20,587 arrivals by sea. In the first year of ATM, the number fell to 160. From the story:

Yesterday’s returns bring to 186 the number of men, women and children from 10 people-smuggling ventures who have been ­returned to Sri Lanka since the ­Coalition came to power in September 2013. More than 50,000 asylum-seekers came to Australia by boat under the previous Labor government and an estimated 1200 drowned trying over that six-year period.

There is then this comment accompanying the story on People smugglers which includes this, almost as a throw-away.

Another boat was reported to have left India in March. It was never seen again and is assumed lost at sea.

There are many reasons to stop the flow. As a separate matter, the notion that large-scale migration is good for the economy is utterly untrue.