Instead of thinking through and independently acting in Australia’s best interests, Prime Minister Albanese has followed in the footsteps of his discredited predecessors and outsourced defence and foreign policy to the US.
The Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, is a provincial man with a strong social conscience. He understands issues of health, education and infrastructure and since coming to office has sought to address them. However, climate change has put the growing need of infrastructure reform and expenditure outside of his imagination.
Albo seeks to avoid conflict, for him the world beyond Australian borders appears to be hostile, confronting and confusing. He seeks regularity and predictability. He has embraced AUKUS, apparently without much thought as to the implications and complications for Australian sovereignty. AUKUS should be the antithesis for an Australian Labor Party. But Albo wants the ‘security’ it provides, even if illusory. He believes the US will defend Australia, even though that defence is bound up in securing US interests.
For reasons best known to himself he has kept on Morrison advisors and he follows their advice. Why? Recently he rejected medical advice on the Covid testing of inbound travellers from China. Negative clearances are required. Who lobbied to change the medical advice? Was it ASPI, the rabidly anti-China ‘think tank’?
Rusted on Labor supporters applaud Albo’s leadership. They compare him to Morrison and now Dutton, rightly claiming he is far better. But that is not a valid bench mark. From Howard on Australian governance has been progressively undermined, the APS politicised, community standards trashed, refugees demonised, the poor vilified, resulting in Robodebt and thousands of suicides. Greed was endorsed if not encouraged.
Albo seems in denial about the nature of government that preceded him. In the interests of keeping the peace he has avoided calling out both Morrison and Dutton. Dutton is a discredited disgrace. His public record is appalling. Albo would do well to ignore him. Too much credibility is allowed by responding to Dutton’s silly claims and statements. The same applies to the LNP supporting, anti-China segment of the media. They are best ignored and should be ridiculed for some of the nonsense they propagate. The problem is, Albo has bought into much of the China threat dialogue and the American view of the world. Not only has he bought into the dialogue, he accepts it uncritically.
Instead of following what passes for public debate Albo could be leading it. He could be creating headlines like Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.
The United States is determined to contain China, even if it leads to war. Containing China has nothing to with protecting US territorial integrity, it has everything to do with protecting and maintaining the US empire which Albo endorses with help from ASPI, some un-reconstituted neo-con advisers and the US Embassy. Which raises the question of why he appointed Rudd as Australian Ambassador to Washington. Rudd, is at best, unreliable and erratic, dominated by a very self-regarding ego. The Americans can feel confident they have another ally heading the Embassy.
There were better choices such as Hugh White or Geoff Raby.
Albo is no sailor, were he to be he would take a big reef in the main and put up his smallest jib. There are very difficult times ahead. I doubt Albo has the capacity to meet the challenge. However, he has a good team around him with notably Wong and Chalmers, but will they be enough to overcome his populism and caution? He introduced caps on gas, a stop gap measure, when he should have been preparing the ground for nationalisation of gas and coal. Given his dispossession and demeanour it is unlikely that he would take on that fight. However now is the time to do it while the Opposition is so weak.
Albo has thrown in his and our lot with a distant power removed from our region with no interest in our neighbours or us other than how we and they can help maintain American hegemony. He goes with the myth and pretence of US stability while the Democrats are transfixed in the headlights and the Republicans tear themselves apart under the magnetic force of the far right. The American dream has died. Don McLean, foresaw the demise in 1971 with, ‘Bye, bye Miss American Pie’. Forces of greed, selfishness, poverty and moral bankruptcy are abroad which have the capacity to paralyse the state. Add in climate change, Covid and the greed, anger and humiliation of the US military/industrial complex at their perceived declining power and influence after the debacle of Afghanistan and the rise of Chinese power and influence.
Instead of thinking through and independently acting in Australia’s best interests on the big issues, Albo has outsourced defence and foreign policy to the US and in so doing is doggedly and dumbly following in the foot steps of his discredited predecessors.