More on National Stupidity
Updated: Apr 9, 2021
Last week, Henry was prophetic. This week, the heavyweights of Australian journalism, and one American, were prophetic in spades. Today I pluck highlights from the Oz newspaper, the home of several excellent heavyweights of Australian journalism. Greg Sheridan’s American mate adds international depth, with views sent by Zoom.
The China problem
Mike Pompeo is a highly competent senior American who survived President Trump and who may run for President in 2024. His views are presented by Greg Sheridan, with large headline ‘Pompeo Rallies Allies Against China Threat.’ Other quotes in this section are by Mr Pompeo.
‘When the CCP says we are going to allow the people of Hong Kong to be semi-autonomous for 50 years and then violates it, the world has to respond …’
‘When the CCP puts a million people in internment camps, the world cannot just say: “Oh, you know, its an internal matter.” ‘
The possibility of a Chinese takeover of Taiwan is handled less directly. ‘We have a broader responsibility that is wrapped up in this to make it clear to the CCP that their continued abrogation of their international responsibilities has real costs.’
‘Beijing’s actions now – not its speculative future actions – put the world at risk’.
On the question of the source of the Covid virus: ‘I am highly confident that the virus began in Wuhan, China. And I am reasonably confident it began in the laboratory’. But: ‘I’ve seen no evidence that they intentionally set it loose. None.’
Other key points include the importance of the ‘Quad’ alliance of the USA, India, Japan and Australia, and the need to do better in key hitech fields including artificial intelligence, blockchain, quantum computing and hypersonic weapons. Mr Pompeo is fair dinkum and determined to work with real allies of the USA.
Many thanks to Greg Sheridan for bringing this material to us.
Paul Kelly presents on this subject. First some thoughts on how President Biden is going - vigorously it seems to me. It is as if America under President Biden is spending relatively more than most other countries, but most smaller democracies have thrown Keynes away as a nervous conservative and the new US president is going as hard as he can.
‘Australian Labor cannot replicate this audacity. Our politics and policy are far different. There are two pivotal reflections on our coming economic debate: Morrison will benefit from the return on the economy to centre stage, but Albanese calculates the new context, with its greater emphasis on government intervention, will favour the ALP tradition’.
Albanese has already dropped some of Bill Shorten’s impossible ideas and, in my opinion, there will be more house cleaning to come.
‘Labor’s central problem remains the Morrison/Frydenberg pragmatism. During the 2020 pandemic, they redefined Liberal Party economics by ditching ideological orthodoxy to embrace massive fiscal stimulus, large scale government, and social as well as economic support. Morrison says the government wants a business-lead recovery and shuns taxation increases, he has significantly reduced Labor’s scope to maximise policy differences’.
Let the game begin!
‘Instead of a patronising, waffly reference to a ‘prime minister for women’, could we please have a prime minister for a faster, less chaotic, more collaborative vaccine rollout? Tangible outcomes are far better than silly titles.’
Janet Albrechtsen has highlighted every blunder of our rattled prime minister and unless you are a mad Labor person you can’t help but wince as you read her account of Scottie from marketing struggling with horrors he has discovered whilst working as hard as he can on matters that should have been recognised and handled decades ago.
It seems to me that his team has failed to help. The alleged rapist took time off from work to relieve mental stress and has had to give up his senior portfolio. The Minister for Defence also fell ill and was not around to help the boss. In both cases competent replacements have been made. But even Greg Hunt seems to have lost the plot. Albrechtsen has revealed something it seems I missed: ‘Hunt crowed that ‘a massive number of people have now been vaccinated and a global outcome that is looked upon by the rest of the world with a big degree of amazement and envy’. He sounds like a Western version of Comical Ali, the deluded Iraqi politician who was determined to assure his citizens that is all plain sailing , when plainly it isn’t.’
The ‘National cabinet’ has apparently offered little help. The latest game is to say the states have to hold back vaccine because they fear the Feds (ie The PM) will not honour promises he had made. Gor Blimey people, what a way to treat the boss. No help from members of his ‘national cabinet’ and apparently not much help from his Liberal colleagues. The work is hard and started slowly elsewhere, eg UK and USA, but has gained momentum there and will here if relevant people can put their backs to the work.
My personal grizzle is that my GP apparently gets only 50 jabs a week and when I tried to get on the list discovered there was a waiting list of 650 1B’s. Luckily someone referred me to a really organised mob who have given me a date in late April.
I am almost out of time and space, but Chris Kenny has produced a wonderful ‘fightback against the progressives’ mind-reeling hypocrisy and crass opportunism’.
I will provide one example but his feisty column provides many examples that may cause you to vomit.
‘Why is it laudable to highlight obscene alleged assaults against women in Parliament House or at the hands of politicians, but it is racist and cruel to draw attention to sickening domestic violence and sexual assaults in remote indigenous communities’.
Mr Kenny’s final paragraph provides an antidote that surely is worth a go, fellow citizens: ‘Perhaps our Easter reflection could be to consider the value we might harness in a media/political class that understood our values and strengths and was prepared to buttress them. We might even dare to imagine a political debate that pays heed to principle and consistency over partnership and opportunism’.
Fiona Prior thinks ‘French Exit’ is the Cat’s meow. More here.