ELECTION ERECTION: A federal election campaign usually means enemies need to be just around the corner and it helps if they aren’t White and talk weird, writes Irfan Yusuf.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton has announced Australia has a new enemy. It isn’t those blasted Lebanese Muslims we made a mistake of importing. It isn’t Africans because of whom Lygon Street has become a ghost town. It’s the old enemy, the Yellow Peril.
Those bloody Chinese are a scary lot. Even their writing is scary, whether it be simplified stuff they use on the mainland or the complex characters fashionable in downtown Hong Kong and Taipei. As Dave Thornton once said:
“I heard in China they use over 4,000 characters in their writing system. I heard that and thought, ‘Man, one Chinese computer keyboard must take up at least two floors’.”
Seriously though, the way the Coalition and their buddies in the American-owned media are harping on, you’d think China is doing to the Solomon Islands what Mr Peel did to the Noongar in WA. It looks like the People’s Republic of China (PRC) wants to interfere and take over everything we hold dear. Including a bunch of Pacific Islands whose rising sea levels we couldn’t give a flying fuck about.
Speaking of foreign interference, it’s quite extraordinary that Team Morrison is receiving so much free electoral advertising at the Murdochistani media. OK, we call it advertising but the Murdochistanis call it journalism. Still, the Chinese are so powerful that even Rupert Murdoch couldn’t withstand the charms of a woman who allegedly was very very close to the Chinese Communist Party.
Chinese money has also proved charming to Morrison and his buddies. It was during Morrison’s term as Treasurer that the Darwin Port was leased to a company with about as close links to the Chinese Communist Party as Rupert’s ex. The company appointed some bloke to manage the whole thing for them as a consultant.
Some bloke? More like Andrew Robb. Former Liberal MP for Goldstein in Victoria, a seat currently held by former IPA apparatchik Tim Wilson. Have a look at Robb’s stellar parliamentary history sitting on just about every sensitive trade, intelligence, national security and foreign affairs committee. A former Minister in the Howard government. A former Cabinet Minister. And a former Deputy Director of the Liberal Party of Australia.
As Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robb was responsible for lecturing Muslim Australians on just how massive a national security threat they risked becoming if they didn’t bring their kids into line. He spoke to a bunch of Muzzos on 2 August 2006 on how “unfair stigmatisation will not change materially until all Australian Muslims take responsibility for the situation they find themselves in”. Which is a bit like saying all Christians should take responsibility for any stigma arising from rock spiders.
Turn forward the clock to when he was Minister for Trade and Investment. He approved a 99-year lease to the Chinese company ShandongLandbridge Group of Port Darwin. According to a Fin Review article of June 5 2017, the company is owned by “a billionaire closely aligned to the Chinese Communist Party and its key trade policy”. And how much was Robb being paid?
A mere $880,000 a year. That’s almost as much as an employee of an aged care facility gets.
Seriously, good luck to Robb for taking advantage of a loophole that allowed him to secure his financial future notwithstanding the existence of a clear and obvious conflict of interest. So what if a former Liberal cabinet minister accepts a heap of cash from one of Xi Xin Ping’s mates. I don’t see a problem given that China was at the time (and remains) our closest trading partner.
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Over the years we have sold heaps of coal and iron ore to the People’s Republic. We have even tried to sell that God-awful game some call “Aussie Rules”. As if AFL is on its way to competing with FIFA. We were happy to be fed by the PRC. So why are we suddenly biting the hand that fed us for so long?
And why couldn’t Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and John Howard see the obvious – that the world’s populous state was always going to be a bigger long term potential threat to our national security than a bunch of brown people arriving on exploding boats?
The Coalition beat their chest about how good they are at keeping our borders safe. But now, under their watch, we see our biggest trading partner transform into our biggest security threat. All that Team Morrison has to offer is harsh rhetoric and vague threats about some red line that the Solomon Islands dare not cross in their dealings with the PRC.
“Don’t cross the red line,” declares Scotty, “or else”. Or else what? You won’t head to the Solomon Islands for a holiday during the next major bushfire?
It’s true that so many former and current ALP figures are in bed with the Chinese. I was in the audience one night in Melbourne listening to former NSW Labor Premier and Foreign Minister Bob Carr say that the best way to deal with China’s treatment of its Uighur minorities was through “dialogue”. No doubt Neville Chamberlain was thinking the same in his dealings with the man who orchestrated the murder of millions of Jews, Roma, communists, homosexuals etc.
Our leaders have really let us down on the national security front. No amount of election rhetoric will change that. Think about enrolling your kids in Mandarin classes.