President-elect Trump's stunning win over Hillary Clinton is a storm warning for conventional politicians everywhere. The political class in democracies assume they are born to rule, often into a third generation. Many despise voters, called 'the punters' in political circles. Like Brexit, Donald Trump's win is a middle finger raised to the political class.
The Donald's economic policies emphasise massive infrastructure renewal, clearly the most sensible way to provide jobs and boost growth. (Imagine how much better off Australia would be if the Rudd-Gillard had focussed on urgently needed infrastructure rather than windy education and welfare handouts.). The Donald is also said not to like bargain basement interest rates, which perhaps spells bad news for Janet Yellen and her pals in the golden band of global central bankers. Encouragement of rate normality may minimise the next global asset crash by bringing it on sooner rather than later. 'Protectionism' is another of the Donald's wilder plans that if implemented will make America and the world poorer but with more jobs for the Donald's supporters seriously demotivated in rustbelts everywhere.
Foreign policy may be where the real drama erupts. China is a 'giant currency manipulator' says the Donald, and owns a lot of American debt. Could we see a giant American debt default? Russia is a land of 'real men' like Vlad Putin and may join the Donald's attempts to obliterate the terrorists. The overly precious Europeans may be asked to help pay for their defence, a policy we would not be able to avoid. Some illegal immigrants will undoubtedly be sent home but the 'giant wall' may well be metaphorical and made up of soldiers, dogs and barbed wire.
The Donald has noticably been backing off his wilder plans (eg Obamacare, 'some parts of which are splendid'.) He has also very overtly being more decent in his utterances, especially in his interaction with Hillary Clinton and President Obama. It feels like we are living through a major shift in global politics but there is another possible outcome. The Donald is made welcome by politicians everywhere and his own advisors. This gradually draws him into elite political class, and before long he is wining and dining happily with all the splendid chaps and nice ladies in the global polity and becomes indistinguishable from his new colleagues.
Mr Trump is obviously highly opportunistic and extremely flexible. It is becoming an even more exciting time to be alive. especially if you are Malcolm Turnbull.
Nude: Art from the Tate Collection, Fiona Prior's latest.
Curated by Emma Chambers (Tate) and Justin Paton (AGNSW), Nude: Art from the Tate Collection spans two centuries and a vast range of human aspirations, emotions, ideas and perceptions. The exhibition has pieces of idealised fantasy, of heartbreaking reality, of unnerving realism and surrealism ─ along with extraordinary modes of visual expression that mark the attitudes, experiments and politics of the times in which each was created.
More here, with stunning images.
The latest issue of Quadrant, for November 2016, contains the views of four authors on The Future of Civilisation. Articles with authors and links are as follows.
THE FUTURE OF CIVILISATION
Politics, Civilisation and the Survival of the West
Societies of Endless Destruction
Dogs, Cats, Skunks, and the Trustworthiness of Nations
James C. Bennett
Central Europe and the Future of the West
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The Sporting life
Another stunning, last minute win by one point over Scotland made getting up at 1.30 AM more than worth it.
I shall catch up on sleep watching the rain in Tasmania whilst brooding on how the Mont Albert Fourths would have fought harder than Mr Smith's batting boyos. But every congratulations to the bowlers.
Image of the week.