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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Sunday Sanity Break, 2 December 2018 - Presidents Trump and Xi getting on

The BBC reports: 'There was no immediate US confirmation of the outcome of the talks, but Chinese state TV said: "No additional tariffs will be imposed after January 1, and negotiations between the two sides will continue."

'During the working dinner the Chinese leader said co-operation was the best choice for their nations, state news agency Xinhua reports.

'Mr Trump had earlier said the pair shared a "very special" relationship. "I think that's going to be a very primary reason we'll probably end up getting something good for China and good for the United States." '

We sigh in relief that this meeting suggests good progress. Rather than a trade war, which history suggests may become a hot war, it seems good sense is likely to prevail. Real progress will see China pulling back its IP theft and America and China both returning tariffs to previous levels.

A basic economic theorem says that China's large trade surplus is partly due to America's great excess spending. With China's economy slowing, and the Chinese government spending more to encourage growth, this will tend to automatically reduce the American-Chinese trade imbalance. Both Presidents can then take credit for their good sense in limiting the trade war.

Let us hope so, gentle readers.

Aussie Libs maintain death march

Last weekend's Victorian election shocked the losing Libs to the core. Vic Liberal President Michael Kroger and also former Vic Liberal opposition leader Matthew Guy have resigned. No new leader can yet be elected until John Pesutto wins or loses the formerly Liberal seat of Hawthorn.

'Everyone' among Vic Liberals are trying to believe that this horrible result had nothing to do with the Federal Party, but this is clearly nonsense. Former PM Turnbull is accused of using an 'invisable hand' to destroy his party, making us wonder why ever the party elected him as leader having already fired him once before. The redoubtable Kelly O'Dwyer chose to accuse the party for being "homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers". This is the wonder-kid-minister who cost the party much of their funding by her unfair, brutal taxation of superannuation earnings. And there is constant talk of a widening split between 'liberal' Liberals and Conservatives.

Gor Blimey, comrades, do they not know that disunity is death?

Paul Kelly as usual said it best. 'Libs in turmoil as agenda unravels'. As the old stock exchange joke says, and one images the Labor Party jokester saying: 'Term Oil? Buy me some'. More here.


Fiona Prior enjoys the art and the history on a visit to Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage. More here.

Sporting life

Soon the first cricket 'test' will be upon us and one senses that key Australian players are likely to be underdone. A great pity than anti-women selectors have not included several players in the test squad from among the world champion wimmin's cricket team. An AFL coach I knew well told me he had coached a women football player who he was confident would hold her own in AFL. Let's try it, cricket selectors.

The Rugby team's overseas season is over and players presumably have a brief break until training begins for the World cup. We wish them luck as well as sensible selection choices, while worrying that there are deep cultural issues as is alleged to be the case with the Aussie men's cricket team.

The AFL draft was full of interest and Henry's Caaaartlton! seems to have done well in picking up a couple of hot youngsters and a couple of older, presumably harder, blokes. It is hard to see a lot of improvement nest season, but perhaps we can count on a few more wins. I'd still prefer the Tiwi adjustment.

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