MICHAEL PASCOE. Scott Morrison’s Australia resembles the 51st American state (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

 “We’re a sovereign nation,” said Scott Morrison. And then proceeded to act as if we were not, as if Australia was not merely an American vassal, but a Donald Trump toy.

Australia has a long history of being less than independent – some 230 years as a subservient identity of one kind or another. Whether as a colonial possession, obedient Empire member or American client state, it has at least been operating on a nation-to-nation basis since 1901.

That has suddenly changed with Scott Morrison as Prime Minister. In short order we’ve been positioned as a policy extension of an odd cabal’s dangerous and simplistic nationalism.

It is unfair to the United States and Americans to consider Donald Trump is that nation. Yes, thanks to the minority of Americans who voted for him, he occupies the White House and his Bedlam picks make up the cabinet, but America is bigger than that.

If you have any faith in human nature, you have to believe that Mr Trump, too, will pass, and the better fundamental – as opposed to fundamentalist – values of the United States will reassert themselves.

While waiting for that, pretty much the rest of the civilised world is holding its breath, holding on while navigating around the toddler president and his destructive policies on everything from the World Trade Organisation to the International Criminal Court to the Paris agreement to the Middle East to stacking the US Supreme Court to Sinophobia to sundry despots to protectionism to America’s fiscal imbalances and whimsical extraterritoriality.

Not Scott Morrison’s Australia. Almost alone in the world, we’ve gone MAGA – donning one of Trump “Make America Great Again” caps to presage falling into line on a Jerusalem embassy and the international Iranian nuclear agreement, declaring we are “allies” with Israel, never mind the “administrative error” of the coalition’s “It’s OK to be white” vote.

We’re the country Mr Trump’s rabid national security adviser, John Bolton, praises for increasing naval co-operation with the US in the South China Sea. Ours is the government that has joined Mr Trump in hugging coal, that has effectively followed him in abandoning the Paris Agreement.

None of this lurch into TrumpWorld is in Australia’s best interests.

Leaving aside any question of principles, Australia has zero to gain and plenty to lose by meddling in Byzantine Middle East politics. Ditching 70 years of diplomatic balancing to float endorsing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital angers those we would gain to have as friends and is irrelevant to our longer-term relationship with the US and Israel.

The unholy alliance of Israel and Saudi Arabia (never mind present unpleasantries over apparently murdering a journalist) appear to be calling Mr Trump’s policy shots on Iran, capitalising on the egomaniac’s hatred of anything achieved by Barack Obama. At some stage, the rest of the west will be forced to say “enough”.

We’re placing ourselves on the wrong side of economic history by embracing coal and denigrating renewables, never mind climate disruption.

And, most obviously, the further we go along with the Trump regime escalating China tensions, the more we put at risk our most important trade relationship.

The Sinophobe spook industry is thriving here with an apparent lack of suitably sceptical checks on its ambitions.

China is troublesome and is behaving as badly as all great powers tend to act, but it happens to be the great power that matters and will matter most to us.

It would be nice to think Scott Morrison is wearing the figurative MAGA cap out of the same sort of innocent stupidity allegedly behind the “OK to be White” vote and the appointment of Melissa Price as environment minister. The danger is that it’s something worse.

I’m of the school that a person’s faith is their own business as long as they don’t try to impose it on anyone else and the separation of church and state is maintained.

However, in trying to understand this lurch into TrumpWorld, I can’t ignore that fundamentalist Christians are key Trump supporters in the US. At the extreme, they lobby for supporting Israel as a means of hurrying along Armageddon.

It would seem absurd to think that the fundamentalist Christian elements in the Australian government are going along with their American peers.

But it’s also absurd to think anyone who takes Christianity seriously could support Mr Trump.

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5 Responses to MICHAEL PASCOE. Scott Morrison’s Australia resembles the 51st American state (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

  1. Suresh Shenoy says:

    “But it’s also absurd to think anyone who takes Christianity seriously could support Mr Trump.” Your quote Michael Pascoe.

    Fundamentalist Christians do not take Christianity seriously except their version of it. We cannot let ScoMo, the fundamentalist Christian, to represent Australia before the world. Today’s Wentworth byelection may tell us what to do.

  2. hughthompson says:

    John please let me know you have received this
    hughthomson@optusnet.com.au

  3. hughthompson says:

    attention John Menadue
    Tried to send you this email to you (but could not find you email address) for your attention on Refugees to ALP Tony Burke in the Shadow ministry sine I mention your blog in particular
    Hi Tony

    Thank you for your #5and5live# night at Woody Point and for so actively supporting Corinne Mulholland in Petrie. She is a very impressive candidate for our electorate.

    We discussed quickly the issue of refugee policy development and you asked me to sent you an email.

    I know this is a controversial policy matter in the ALP let alone in our society.

    I am concerned that we develop a clearer policy position that is clearly more humanitarian in our treatment of refugees.

    I am not an expert in the field, however this is a policy area we need to resolve not only in the ALP but in our community in order to move our society forward positively.

    My thoughts are:

    1 Close Nauru and Manus Island
    2 Ensure all people in these facilities can be assessed for refugee status and brought to Australia or other countries like NZ’s offer
    3 Continue border control to stop the boats
    4 Any boat arrivals that do reach Australia need to be sent to a UN refugee camp (by agreement with UN) somewhere in the world at our expense and we take in the same number of assessed suitable refugees at ‘the front of the queue’
    I think this may be difficult to arrange given the current mess refugee camps are in currently, however it would reduce the attraction to use smugglers and hopefully stop smugglers

    This is different from the policy attempt by the Gillard Government to relocate some refugees in Malaysia.

    I enjoy John Menadue’s Blog- ‘Pearls and Irritations” and I enclose some articles written by him and other people on Refugees and Immigration

    https://johnmenadue.com/category/immigration/

    https://johnmenadue.com/the-manus-island-agreement-is-a-failure-turnbull-and-shorten-need-to-accept-that-robert-manne-tim-costello-frank-brennan-and-john-menadue/

    Is it possible that the appropriate people in the ALP meet with John Menadue and some of associates?

    Thank you for coming to support Corinne, your openness in talking about these issues and for recommending that I write to you about this very important policy matter to move us all forward as a nation.

    Hugh Thompson
    Member of Redcliffe ALP

    Hugh Thompson
    62 Oyster Point Esplanade
    SCARBOROUGH QLD 4020
    Phone: 3880 3050
    Mobile: 0409629551
    Email: hughthompson@optusnet.com.au
    web: http://www.hughthompson.com.au

  4. Thank you Mr Pascoe. Presumably Australian sheep will continue to be led to Saudi Arabian slaughter … business is business.

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