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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Sunday Sanity Break, 28 October 2018 - China, USA and Australia's dilemma

Paul Kelly again rises a major geopolitical issue for Australians to ponder.

'With global equity markets destabilised, the US-China trade war deepening and the Trump administration declaring a new era of confrontation against China, the situation now facing Australia is the most challenging in several decades.

'While the Morrison government talks about keeping a cool head and seeks to uphold the ­established Australian policy status quo with the US and China, the global status quo is being dis­rupted and dismantled.

'Donald Trump thrives on contradictory messages but the new strategic stance of the US seems apparent — it is to stop China from becoming No 1. ­Beneath all the talk about trade, intellectual property and security, this is the essence of the US whole-of-government commitment, a strategy loaded with dangers.'

Read on here this most important issue for Australia's future.

USA-China head -to-head - courtesy The Australian

And, finally, Tony Abbott advises unity within the Liberal Party.

'Tony Abbott has called on Liberal voters to get behind Scott Morrison and overcome the anger of two sitting prime ministers being dumped, in a bid to unite the party before the next federal election.

'Mr Abbott’s intervention came amid calls from former prime minister John Howard and Dave Sharma, the losing Liberal candidate in Wentworth, for the ­Coalition’s warring factions to make peace and work towards pragmatic compromise on policy.'


Fiona Prior takes in 22nd annual exhibition of Sculpture by the Sea. More here.

Sporting life and economic outcomes

The Aussie men's cricket team gave a far better performance but lost a second short form game against Pak The Aussie wimmin however again flogged the Pakistan wimmin. I suppose its not kosher to give our best wimmin batters a run with the blokes for the third one day game of this series? What fun if the lady batters won the game for Australia after 4 sad performances.

A small note in a newspaper today observes that in Australia's defence forces wimmin now have eqiual opportunity to kill or be killed. A cricket match would be a doddle compared with military training or participation.

Today the Aussie Rugby team faced a slightly experimental All Black team in Yokohama. The Aussie battlers fought hard all day but made minor errors that were costly. As a non-Rugby player, I made three observations:

* The All Blacks are (understandably) more confident than the Aussies, and try different things with great confidence and a high success ratio. * The All Blacks seem to have practiced more options in attack, surprising the dogged Aussies several times for classy tries. * The Aussies have less playmakers and may be less fit.

Clearly frustrated, several Australian players were pinged by the French umpire, and the yellow card for a retaliatory slap was in my view a disgrace, and several other wins for the All Blacks were the result of practiced conning of said umpire. (But my knowledge of Rugby acana may be defective.)

But all is not lost. A good friend believes that sporting success and economic success are negatively correlated. Our current poor international sporting success (well, males lack of success) may explain relatively good economic performance. Let test cricket fade away, let Rugby become even more of a minority interest and forget swimming or athletic excellence.

On this theory, Australia will soon be the fastest growing developed nation, in control of its borders and with few people following any international sport. If only Lygon Street restaurants would become far less popular so that Caaaarlton! 's footy team would be allowed to do better in AFL, the truly Aussie sport that is not counted by the international economic gods.

This week's Economist offers a different theory.

Good policy, and rapid, multicultural immigration, and a hint about border protection (so people are not paranoid about illegal migrants) seems to be the verdict. And there is a warning, sadly nothing about greater success at international sport.

Image of the week - Australia felix, courtesy The Economist

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