Today’s media contains reports which are of serious concern in regard to the capacity of governments and political leaders to operate or propound policies which are in the interests of communities considered as an entity rather than of particular groups. These are briefly described below and, except for two, the attachments.
Morrison Government Policies
I have already expressed some concern that the Morrison/Frydenberg government is portraying itself as too close to the Turnbull regime. This seems to be reflected in statements and policies which are now being made and/or implemented by those two. For a start, it is now reported that, instead of distinguishing his government from Turnbull’s, Morrison has in fact offered Turnbull in New York that some of his travel costs on “government business” could be met (see Turnbull’s Travel Costs Offered by Morrison). This comes on top of his acknowledgement of having frequent contact with Turnbull in NY.
And, although Morrison is attacked front page in the Fairfax press on failures (sic) to implement climate change policies or indeed to take them further (see Fairfax Attacks Morrison for Abandoning NEG), Fairfax overlooks his retention of emissions reductions and increased renewables while continuing, contradiction ally, to claim that power prices will be reduced and that he has appointed a minister to do this. No indication has been given as to what attitude the government takes to the IPCC report to be released on Sunday next and which is already reported to once again be endorsing the dangerous warming theory. This despite it being the umpteenth such report which has made incorrect temperature predictions and failed to attribute to reasons other than CO2 increases which may have caused temperature increases (see attached letter published in The Australian by expert analyst William Kininmonth on CChange).
As to the budget, the Australian’s David Uren notes that while “the Morrison government appears to have decided that budget repair is mission accomplished,
big spending decisions — the $4.6 billion fix for school funding and the $9bn fix for Western Australia’s GST — are unlikely to be offset by savings. There is still a drought package, a small business tax package and a federal election to come” (see Morrison/Frydenberg to Ease Budget Policy?). Yet while both Frydenburg and Morrison have acknowledged that new spending should be offset by savings, they do not give any undertaking of such action. Uren rightly concludes that “there should be a greater buffer against adversity in the budget before we start spending surpluses that are yet to arrive”.
As to the ABC, apart from the appointment of the very pro-ABC Ferguson as acting chair (for which there has been no explanation), Morrison seems happy that the inquiry by the Departmental head will provide a satisfactory basis for possible changes. Yet controversies continue about what actually happened to instigate the sacking of Guthrie and why Ferguson could not have been requested by the Minister for Communications to make obviously-needed changes as a condition of her appointment. In the attached article (ABC Stuck with Greenism) former Chair Maurice Newman identifies many but his reference to the failure to handle complaints (0.5% upheld !), and the rejection of an analysis by expert Meteorologist Bob Fernley-Jones, indicate the need for immediate change (and for there to be a change which would give credibility to the government).
As to foreign policy, the increased foreign activity by a China, now run by a Marxist who has “shuffled” leaders to centralized power in himself, requires much greater expressions of concern by Australia. This applies to inter alia a number of Chinese activities including in the South China sea. Defence Minister Pyne, who addressed a dinner I attended on Wednesday evening, said that Australia will be participating in an official group which will be sailing through the SC sea but did not say whether that group would accept any Chinese restrictions and what it would do if the Chinese acted as it did against a US ship (see Chinese Threaten US Warship).
Morrison’s attempt to explain that Australia has good relations with both the US and China fell short of what our foreign policy requires, which would include endorsement of US policy supporting independent nations and which recognises how important to us the US is militarily. Pyne mentioned that we have increased defence spending since the cut-backs under Labor and said the aim is to lift defence spending to 3% of GDP from the 1.9% aim in 2018-19. But we are small and the planned new subs have not yet been started and will not be ready until 2030.
This situation requires closer support of US defence/foreign policies, including the de-nuclear policies in regard to Iran, which has now attempted a bomb plot in France where the counter-government for Iran is situated (see France Threatened by Iran). The US describes Iran as “the world’s top sponsor of terrorism” and it has conducted terrorist activity in countries distant from itself. Australia should recognise and support the US policy on Iran.