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Saturday Sanity Break, 21 October 2017 - New policies unveiled

China plans to return to the days when it was a global power. In economics it is already there. Its military is being developed. If the USA's current position declines to the point that it no longer able to have a large impact in Asia, Australia will have issues to consider.

Last week's Economist magazine discusses China's president, who it calls 'The world's most powerful man'. New policies are 'socialism, democratic election of the boss and more Aircraft carriers'.

The Washington Post quotes [Donald Trump] as saying that China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, is “probably the most powerful” China has had in a century.

'Mr Trump may be right. And were it not political suicide for an American president to say so, he might plausibly have added: “Xi Jinping is the world’s most powerful leader.” To be sure, China’s economy is still second in size to America’s and its army, though rapidly gaining muscle, pales in comparison. But economic heft and military hardware are not everything. The leader of the free world has a narrow, transactional approach to foreigners and seems unable to enact his agenda at home. The United States is still the world’s most powerful country, but its leader is weaker at home and less effective abroad than any of his recent predecessors, not least because he scorns the values and alliances that underpin American influence'.

And in conclusion: 'The world does not want an isolationist United States or a dictatorship in China. Alas, it may get both.'

Yoiks, comrades. Plenty for Australia to think about here.

Our own Dear Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, with the help of minister Frydenberg and a panel of officials, seem to have crafted an energy policy that will outwit the trilemma. As they put it: 'affordable, reliable, responsible'. Much will depend on whether or not energy prices fall noticeably, but Henry cannot see how that is possible.

From the outside it seems that the problem of reliable baseline power has simply been brushed under the rug. Renationalisation of the power industry may be the only solution, and unless and until we have some cleaner new coal-fired power stations or, better still, the latest type of nuclear generators, we shall battle along with blackouts, slowdowns (like the NBN system) and increasing traffic chaos. The latter is not closely related to the energy crisis except that migrants pouring in is adding to pressure on infrastructure including power use.


Fiona Prior walks the Tamarama to Bondi Coastal walk of this year’s Sculpture by the Sea. More here

The sporting life.

Tonight the Wallabies play the All Blacks on home soil, and pundits say that loss of key NZ players and a more settled Aussie team make a (gasp!) win over the little brother is possible, even likely.

Wow! What a win, and with the World cup looming, perhaps we can expect more of the same.

The trade season in AFL is over, and despite Henry's reading of the regular SunHerald the only change mooted at Caaaarlton! is the loss of star midfielder Bryce Gibbs to Adelaide.

None of the many good players mentioned in other trade sales are coming to Caaaarlton! it seems. Is there a fiendishly clever scheme involving more teenage laddies? Or a mass infusion of failed basketballers to boost the ruck department and give Kruezer the occasional break? Or six to ten recruits from Ireland? or all of the above?

The transgender switching-to-girl player knocked back for the AFLW competition by the AFL seems worth a throw of the dice to this writer. Go for her, Caaaartlto! It may not be too late to reverse the process.

Soon we shall be trying to scare the s**t out of England's cricket team, with our Mr Warner pledging to return to the powerful hate talk of his youth. Hope that Mr Stokes cannot make it to our sunlit shores. Still, history shows we are a natural place for Pommie badboys, so let's take him to fill our vacant no 6 spot in the batting.

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