Are the Australian election results a bad sign for the Tories?

Are the Australian election results a bad sign for the Tories?

Scott Morrison’s Liberals were absolutely thrashed in the Australian elections this weekend. The party’s vote collapsed, and there were big-name defeats, with the man touted as Morrison’s successor – Josh Frydenberg – ousted in Kooyong, a suburb which had been in the party’s hands for 121 years.

Whatever went wrong for the Morrison government, Saturday’s results might have relevance closer to home. Teasing out domestic lessons from elections on the other side of the world is problematic. Australia is a different country, with a different political culture and a different electoral system. Scott Morrison was also an unloveable figure — stolid, gaffe-prone and not outwardly empathetic. When women marched on Parliament House to protest his government’s handling of a ministerial rape allegation, Morrison’s attempt to commend the demonstrators got sidetracked by the awkward musing that ‘not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets – but not here in this country’.

Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as the new prime minister but his Labour party still lacks a majority. Much of the damage was done to the Liberals not by Labour but by the teal independents, so-called because of their blending of Green ideology with the fiscal restraint of the blue team. Teals unseated Liberals all over the shop.

All of these candidates focused on climate change and Morrison’s failure to take it seriously. Another theme, less explicit in some cases but detectable all the same, was replacing blokey conservatism with something more inclusive and forward-looking. As I noted in a Coffee House post on the 2019 Aussie election, educated professional voters are shifting leftwards.

What are the chances that Britain’s Conservative government could suffer a similar fate at the next election? The Tories have been incumbent even longer than Morrison’s Liberals, more tainted by scandal and more sparse in policy achievements. Boris Johnson is more liberal than Scott Morrison and yet this Tory prime minister who has done next to nothing for conservatives is perhaps as hated by progressives as Thatcher.

Johnson’s electoral renown is based on smashing Labour’s red wall but he did so in the context of Brexit, something he has since pronounced ‘done’. His government has failed to tackle a housing crisis that is excluding young couples from at least part of the job-house-family trifecta previously thought to produce Tory voters. Having alienated the graduates and done little for the non-graduates, infuriated the centrists and neglected the conservatives, over-taxed the workers and kept the young off the housing ladder, you have to wonder: who exactly do the Tories expect to vote for them next time?

This is before we even allow for the growth of graduate progressivism, what has partly done for Australia’s Liberals and might yet do for Britain’s Tories. In 2019, ABC1s – those more educated and better-paid than other groups – went Tory by 43 to 33 per cent; in YouGov’s most recent polling they are 41 to 26 per cent Labour. Women were 44 to 35 per cent Tory; now they are 44 to 31 per cent Labour. At the last election, the Tories beat Labour among every age group 40 and over; now the Tories are just two points ahead among 50 to 64 year olds. Three-quarters of Brits worry about climate change, with women more likely to do so than men. Half of voters say the government is not doing enough on the environment.

A country with more graduates, fewer homeowners under 65, greater cultural and institutional progressivism, and growing alarm about climate change. Might it be more than a protest vote that the Greens almost doubled their council seats in the local elections? Might the shift away from the Tories by graduate professionals be about more than Brexit and Boris?

First-past-the-post would make it difficult to recreate Australia’s teal insurgency in Blighty but the underlying trends can’t be locked out. The political wisdom has long been that Britain is a conservative country that every so often is convinced to vote for the centre-left. Is that changing? Is Britain becoming a progressive country and, if so, how will the Tories convince it to vote rightwards? The Australian election result is a lesson in what happens when you ignore questions like these.

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Australian eSafety Commissioner Tells Word Economic Forum Audience It is Time to Recalibrate Free Speech

Australia has an eSafety Commissioner named Julie Inman-Grant.  While delivering remarks to the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland, she outlined a new on-line era where free speech would need to be “recalibrated,” and the ability to be free from something called “on-line violence.”  WATCH:

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For the past several years we have noted a progressive, totalitarian, shift in speech, specifically a redefinition of the word “violence.”  Speech the leftists do not like, they call violence; and violence the leftists support, they call speech.   As a result, the overlay of a newly recalibrated on-line world for speech and violence would be modified accordingly.

Speech the Big Tech consortium would define as against their views would be considered on-line violence and thus controlled by the governmental guardians of the internet like the eSafety Commissioner.  As you can see in the video below, “violence” now includes their perception of something happening on a metaphysical level. An emotional impact.  They have a spiritual avatar that they feel the drive to defend from the viewpoints of the Others.

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On the Albanese Labor Win

On the Albanese Labor Win

Some thoughts on the Labor victory in the recent Australian federal election. We are in for tough times ahead.

The Morrison miracle win of three years ago was just not sustainable — either that or the age of miracles has passed! At this point, it is clear that Labor will take over.

A number of electorates had around 20 per cent postal ballets (the highest ever), and those were not even counted until Sunday. While those postal votes have tended to favour the conservatives in the past, things may have been different this time around.

With 76 seats needed to win government outright, the number of basically certain seats so far in the House of Representatives are:

  • Labor — 72 (a half per cent swing against)
  • Coalition — 51 (a 6% swing against)
  • Independents — 7 (a 2% swing for)
  • Greens — 2 (a 2% swing for)
  • Katter Party — 1 seat
  • Centre Alliance — 1 seat

As of counting on Sunday, the Coalition got 4,080,182 votes (35.6%), while Labor got 3,763,336 votes (32.8%). All up, there seems to have been a 3.9% two-party-preferred swing to Labor.

As usual, it will be some time yet to see how the lie of the land in the Senate will actually pan out. Of special interest will be how the various smaller freedom parties have fared. But at this point, it seems that it will not be good news (see more on this below).

If so, the hoped-for balance in the Senate with some conservatives helping to keep the bastards honest seems not to have materialised. So Labor may be in smooth waters for the next few years in terms of getting its agenda through both houses.

The Bad News

Political analysis will be with us for weeks, but a few brief things can be said:

  • In part, Morrison won in 2019 by being different from Labor and the Greens, especially on things like climate and energy.
  • In part, Morrison lost in 2022 by not being different from Labor and the Greens, especially on things like climate and energy.
  • The Coalition refused to stand up for conservative social values, seeking to be just a pale version of Labor. It was happy under ScoMo to keep moving to the left. As Senator Matt Canavan put it: “The electorate hasn’t changed that much in three years — we changed.”
  • A Liberal leader who is merely poll-driven and lacks strong convictions to uphold conservative principles and values has little chance of winning.
  • A Labor win will mean things like the diabolical WHO Pandemic Treaty will be readily embraced and promoted by the Australian government.
  • The failure of Morrison to stand up against lockdown lunacy and health fascism by the states was a part of the reason he was rejected. And if you thought things were bad, say in Dan Andrew’s Victoria over the past several years, look to things being just as bad on a national level, especially when Albo happily allows the WHO and WEF to determine our health and social policies.
  • National defence will be weakened again, not just with plenty of boats arriving with those wanting to live here, but more Labor kowtowing to the likes of Communist China and so on.
  • Economic management tends to go downhill big time under Labor governments, and we can expect that to happen here. Indeed, given how often Albo imitated Biden on the campaign trail with being clueless about many economic basics, we could be in for a real rough ride indeed.
  • We can expect Labor to rush with all things green, including gung-ho support of renewable energy. As a result, we can expect the economy, small business and employment to all take really big hits.It looks like we will now have a Schwab– and Gates-driven ‘climate change’ tyranny.
  • Secular left outfits such as “our” ABC will simply be emboldened to become even more secular left.
  • Labor will of course get into bed with the Greens, and given that most of the independents are anything but, and are instead just Labor sympathisers, we can expect the culture wars to get a whole lot worse.
  • Along with this, there will be a whole lot more persecution of Christians. Say goodbye to religious freedom, and say hello to even greater clampdowns on biblical Christianity in this country.
  • Freedom fighters like former Liberal MP Craig Kelly have not been able to keep their seats. It looks like One Nation leader Pauline Hanson may lose her Senate spot. Deputy leader Josh Frydenberg seems to have lost his Kooyong seat to a Teal independent. Real conservatives in federal politics are becoming few and far between.
  • In many ways, voters were left with a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. The latter won.

Just one bit of commentary at this point can be mentioned — one that I have to go along with. Consider this from Rowan Dean of the Australian Spectator:

Scott Morrison, through his cowardice on the climate issue and so many other issues — in particular the abandonment of the nation during Covid to the outrageous human rights abuses of the Labor premiers — and cultural issues such as religious freedom, has decimated the Liberal party. If you stand for nothing, you lose. That is the message from this campaign. If you betray your base, you lose. If you follow the siren calls of focus group researchers, you lose.

Whether you like or loathe the Teals, the point is they fought from a position of conviction. They stood for something and they won. It is time for the Liberal party to rediscover its conservative convictions and stop pandering to the woke, touchy-feely left. As we now know in no uncertain terms, appeasement is a sure path to defeat.

Some Good News

  • As I walked the dog this morning, I noticed that the sun had risen. There are some things that even a change of government will not alter. Although to be honest, it was an overcast morning, with the dark grey clouds reflecting the sombre heaviness many of us are now feeling!
  • The votes for both major parties were down, with roughly one third of votes each going to the two major parties. Gains went to the independents and some smaller parties. Gone are the days when the two main parties could take in 85 to 95% of the votes.
  • Voters are tired of the two-party system and its stranglehold on political life. Thus the huge growth in the crossbench in this election. Of course, there will be new problems as more and more independents and smaller parties vie for power and control. But letting the two main parties know that voters are getting tired of being taken for granted by them may be a step in the right direction.
  • The Nationals did much better than the Liberals in this election, at least in terms of seats lost.
  • Morrison will step down as Liberal leader, with Peter Dutton most likely to take his place. That should be a step in the right direction as well. It remains to be seen who then will become the Deputy Opposition Leader.
  • CLP Senate candidate Jacinta Price won her seat in the Northern Territory.
  • Labor lefty Kristina Keneally lost (again), this time to an independent in Fowler, NSW. That alone was one of the real highlights of the day!

Spiritual considerations

Political considerations are not all there is here. We also need to look at the bigger spiritual picture. I recently wrote an article looking at how God so very much was involved in the fate of nations and rulers — at least in the Old Testament. As Daniel 2:21 says:He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others.” See that piece here.

Not only is God still on His throne, while human rulers come and go on their thrones, but God’s purposes and plans somehow cohere with the choices of humans. People voted in Labor yesterday, but God was also at work carrying out His purposes. So we need to trust God even more in what looks to be some really dark times ahead.

Another thing I have written about is the notion of a people getting the government they deserve, and the related issue of God allowing wicked rulers to judge a wayward and sinful people. As to the former, see this 2016 article.

As to the latter, John Calvin is often appealed to in this regard. As I also wrote in 2016: “The words both attributed to, and actually written by, Calvin are certainly something to think about. As the West continues to go downhill, and its selection of leaders gets worse by the day, maybe there is something to this idea of being under divine judgment. If true, it would not surprise me at all, to be honest.”

This may be the most important takeaway from this election. Yes, it is gloomy indeed right now for Christians and conservatives. It seems that we keep losing one battle after another. But if God is allowing all this to get our attention and to get our priorities right (and that includes believers as much as non-believers), then we must make good use of all this.

Falling on our knees before Almighty God and seeking His forgiveness and His help to endure in the dark days ahead is clearly the best way forward — indeed, it is the only way.

Although we can be far too glib as we overuse and abuse this verse, it still stands as the best bit of advice I can give my readers right now:

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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Originally published at CultureWatch. Image: Nine.

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TV host Erin Jayne Plummer dies ‘suddenly’ aged 42

TV host Erin Jayne Plummer dies ‘suddenly’ aged 42

By Jo Scrimshire For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 12:31 AEST, 23 May 2022 | Updated: 14:03 AEST, 23 May 2022

TV host Erin Jayne Plummer dies ‘suddenly’ aged 42: Presenter known for advertorials on Studio 10 and TVSN leaves behind three children – as Sarah Harris and Angela Bishop lead tributes

Television presenter Erin Jayne Plummer, best known for hosting advertorials on Studio 10 and shopping channel TVSN, died ‘suddenly’ over the weekend at the age of 42.

Studio 10 hosts Sarah Harris and Angela Bishop announced her death on Monday’s show, describing Erin as a ‘gorgeous human inside and out’ and a ‘gold-medal mum’ to her children.

She is survived by her husband and three daughters. Her cause of death is unknown.

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Dying Political Parties and Dying Babies

Dying Political Parties and Dying Babies

The dilemma of real conservatives in fake conservative political parties. Bernie Finn is being ditched by his own party for supporting the basic right to life of babies in the womb.

For years now I have bemoaned the fact that the Liberal party in Victoria — as well as in much of the rest of Australia — is on a slow but certain decline. And it is a self-caused decline. Instead of being a conservative party, or even a centre-right party, it is in fact neither of them. Increasingly, it simply seeks to be a pale image of Labor and the Greens.

And one of the key indications of this has to do with one of the finest Liberal Party politicians Victoria has ever known: Bernie Finn. A week ago, I wrote about his strong prolife views and how his own party so thoroughly disapproves.

Kicked Out

Sadly, things have gone from bad to worse for this 23-year veteran of the Libs. Not only has he been hated on by his leader and many of his own colleagues for the crime of believing that we should not be involved in the mass killing of babies, but now they want to ditch him altogether. As one news outlet puts it:

Under fire Liberal MP Bernie Finn says he found out his party was planning to expel him through the media. Mr Finn told the Herald Sun that no one in the party had bothered to tell him about the motion next week. “It seems to me that the leadership is communicating with me via the media these days,” he said.

“Perhaps I should start responding to them through the media. “I’m a bit bemused. I’m yet to be told exactly what the situation is, but what I’m gathering from you good people is that there is something afoot.” A partyroom meeting is expected to be held next Tuesday morning to vote on a motion to remove the upper house politician.

It comes just days after Mr Finn resigned as the opposition whip in the upper house in the wake of his “abhorrent” abortion views, declaring the Liberal Party had displayed a “degree of disloyalty” to him. In a statement, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said: “It is imperative that Liberal Members of Parliament must be solely focused on recovering and rebuilding Victoria.

“A continued lack of discipline and repeated actions detrimental to the party’s ability to stand up for the interests of Victorians has left no other option but to consider Mr Finn’s eligibility to represent the Liberal Party,” he added. Mr Finn said he hadn’t yet considered a future outside the Liberal party.

“I have given that zero thought. This was thrown at me late this afternoon. I’ve been in meetings with constituents, which, I have to say it’s been a bit hard to concentrate,” he laughed. “If I am thrown out for expressing a policy view, you’ve got to wonder where this all ends up. I have always been a great believer of freedom of speech. I think a Liberal party that does not believe in freedom of speech has lost its meaning.”

Hard Cases

The media has repeatedly used the word “abhorrent” to characterise his views, claiming this is just what his Liberal colleagues are saying. So let me get this straight: to want to slaughter countless babies is just fine and a terrific Liberal party value, but believing babies should be given the right to life is abhorrent.

Indeed, he is standing strong, even after all this hate, abuse and betrayal from his own party. On social media, Bernie doubled down. In one of his latest posts, he simply said this: “Killing babies is abhorrent.” Absolutely right, Bernie.

challenge of abortion bookIt especially seems that his comments about rape victims keeping their babies have especially freaked out some of his fellow MPs — and of course the secular left media. But in my 2015 book on abortion, I spoke at length about this issue. Here is part of what I had to say:

As repellent as all rapes are, why must the innocent child have to pay the price? As ethicist Patrick Lee explains, “the unborn child is not the one who committed the violence. The unborn child is innocent, and is moving and growing in a way that is simply natural for him or her. The child came to be through a violent act, but that is now irrelevant for how the child himself or herself should be treated. That is, the child deserves no less consideration on the grounds that he or she came to be through a horrible and violent act of his or her father.”

Even though the woman has been violated does not morally justify the killing of the innocent third party — the baby. Lee continues, “Suppose someone illegally dumped garbage into my yard. May I then rake the garbage into my innocent neighbour’s yard? Or may I pass counterfeit money to an innocent party because I innocently received it myself? No, in both cases.”

And compounding one problem with another hardly is very helpful. “One wrong is not corrected by another wrong. One act of violence is not solved by another violent act.” Indeed, aborting this child simply compounds the problems, and deepens the turmoil. As Curt Young writes:

“Abortion promises only to compound the trauma of rape with yet another experience of violence. In pursuing this course, the victim may assume to herself guilt for the entire episode. In an attempt to overcome the violation of her own person, she does violence to another, submitting to the added humiliation of abortion. This brings no peace of mind and no healing, only more pain and more regret. In the words of one experienced counsellor, ‘Abortion does not unrape a woman’.”

Or as another commentator puts it, “post-abortion trauma in many rape cases appears to be no less pronounced than post-abortion trauma in non-rape cases. Rape followed by pregnancy followed by abortion leaves three victims: the woman who was traumatized initially by the rape; the unborn child who is traumatized by the abortion; and, for a second time, the woman who is traumatized by her decision to have an abortion.”

I continue:

Furthermore, we need to hear from the two parties themselves: those who were raped, and those who were conceived by rape. Concerning the latter, there are many such individuals who were the product of rape who are so very glad their mothers allowed them the choice of life. Mary Rathke for example used to be pro-abortion until she learned that she was conceived through rape. She says this: “Even those in the pro-life movement think it’s OK to abort me. Because I hear all the time, ‘I’m pro-life, except in the case of rape.’ I’m really hearing, ‘I’m pro-life, except in the case of Mary Rathke. Just because my father was a rapist doesn’t mean I don’t deserve life.”

There are even entire organisations which have now been set up by those pleading for the right to life for those conceived via rape. There are many examples of this. Consider the conceived in rape-survivor Rebecca Kiessling. She has a website devoted to putting a human face on this issue. As she has stated:

“Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, ‘I think your mother should have been able to abort you’? It’s like saying, ‘If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.’ And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life ‘except in cases of rape’ because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts. But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue — for them abortion is just a concept — with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.”

Yes, plenty of women and organisations exist to help those who have been raped, to navigate through this difficult period. Consider just one: my social media friend Juda Myers — who was conceived in rape — and her superb organisation: Choices4Life.

Whither Bernie Finn

Getting back to Bernie, some of us have differed with him over the years. That is because while his views on most issues have been terrific and rock-solid, that could not be said about his own party. So we often wondered if he should stay or find greener pastures. Until now, he had been fiercely loyal to the Libs. That is commendable, but this loyalty needs to be a two-way street.

It is quite clear that the leader Matthew Guy and the party are NOT loyal to Bernie. While it is great to see that a politician stays loyal to his team, even if it is a sinking ship, eventually, and for the good of all, it is time to leave that ship and go where one is appreciated.

So we need to keep Bernie in our prayers. This is a very tough time indeed. We hope he stays in politics and fights the good fight. For now, it looks like he will be a cross-bencher as of next week. Whether he stays on as an independent, or joins one of the smaller pro-life parties remains to be seen.

But we need even more champions like Bernie Finn in politics. There are far too many useless wonders like Matthew Guy and most of the Libs. God bless you, Bernie.

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Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo: Eugene Hyland

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WORLD PREMIERE: Conference of Conscience – Australian Doctors Finally Speak Out! Part 1

WORLD PREMIERE: Conference of Conscience – Australian Doctors Finally Speak Out! Part 1

mariazeee Published May 19, 2022


Over the past two years, no professional group has been silenced, threatened, or targeted more than Australian doctors. So many have stayed silent because of organisations such as AHPRA and various Medical Boards threatening to suspend or de-register them if they dare voice their genuine concerns as physicians.

For the first time in a conference of this nature, a group of brave Australian doctors have finally decided to speak out about what they and their patients have been subjected to, the ways the government and TGA have skewed the safety and efficacy data of the COVID-19 vaccines, purposeful suppression of early treatment that could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and the danger of continuing the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Australia and the whole world is currently at risk. The World Health Organization who is largely responsible for millions of deaths globally is currently proposing a global Pandemic Treaty which seeks to give the WHO complete control over every country. More information about this can be found on zeeemedia.com.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

If you would like to support Zeee Media to continue getting the truth out to more people, you can donate via this link:

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=48KZT6SYT2R44

Website: https://www.zeeemedia.com

Uncensored on Telegram:

https://t.me/zeeemedia

Dr. Zelenko has saved thousands of lives through his Z-Stack protocol, and has recently launched Z-DTox which he advises will help prevent blood clots, and help protect those with a compromised immune system, including those who have been vaccinated.

To order Dr. Zelenko’s products today, visit the below link, and use referral code MARIAZEEE for 5% off your order:

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Dr. Peter McCullough’s new book can be found on the link below:

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Australian Foreign Policy Unlikely to Change With Any Change of Government

Australian Foreign Policy Unlikely to Change With Any Change of Government

By James O’Neill*

By the time you read this the result of the election will be known. The polls suggest a narrow Labor victory, but with a large probability that they will be a minority government. Friday’s Sydney Morning Herald in a lengthy editorial suggested that Labor should be the winner, largely on the basis that an uninspiring coalition did not deserve a fourth term in office. The polls suggest that the general public share their lack of enthusiasm. The latest polls suggest that only a third of the electorate give either of the two main contenders their primary support.

This means that regardless of which party emerges the winner they will do so with 2/3 of voters not supporting them as their first choice. In the 20 years I have been observing general elections in this country I cannot recall any other election marked by such a scale of disillusionment. A plague on both your houses seems to be the most widely held consensus.

In most areas that the public rate as important, it is very difficult to distinguish any significant differences between the two parties. In my own area of special interest, foreign policy, the two parties are effectively indistinguishable. Yet that is the area that most demands a fresh approach.

Both parties are committed, for example, to the alliance with the United States. In 2021 the government signed up to a new security arrangement, the so-called AUKUS deal. This consists of an alliance of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Insofar as one can judge, the alliance was cobbled together with two principal purposes: to provide a vehicle for Australia to gain nuclear powered submarines, and to represent a united anti- China front.

Let’s look at those two elements a bit closer. The decision to buy the nuclear-powered submarines was made following the decision to cancel the deal to buy conventionally powered submarines from the French.  The whole deal to cancel the French contract is clouded in mystery. There have been conflicting accounts as to when the decision was made and when the French were actually informed.

What is known, yet has received almost no comment or discussion, is that the cancellation of the French contract will cost the Australian tax payer around $5 billion. This is a huge sum to effectively throw away, yet it has received almost zero commentary. I for one can think of a lot of good things to do with $5 billion.

The new deal has been shrouded in almost total secrecy. It will certainly cost the Australian tax payer many more billions of dollars than has already been spent on the aborted French deal. The other factor which is shrouded in mystery is when Australia will actually take possession of these new maritime toys. It has been seriously suggested that it will be at least 20 years, and possibly longer, before the first of these submarines actually come into Australia’s possession. Quite why it will take so long has never been adequately explained.

Their purpose will apparently be to intimidate the Chinese. As Australia has made a decision not to acquire nuclear weapons, it appears that the main task of these submarines will be to patrol the waters close to the Chinese coast. That can only be with the intention of intimidating the Chinese and inhabiting the free movement of their own ships. That seems to me to be a frankly stupid exercise. What purpose is served by intimidating and threatening the free movement of ships controlled by your largest trading partner?

The policy also assumes that the Chinese government is not going to develop plans over the next 20 years to neutralise the maritime threat. Any attack on Chinese shipping by Australian Navy vehicles would be an act of war. Does the government, and the feeble “me to” Labor party not realise that the Chinese already have the capability of firing nuclear missiles on any Australian target of their choice. They are also capable of firing nuclear missiles on any United States target of their choosing, should the United States either act in support of any hostile Australian action, do something to defend Australia, or simply act on their own in support of the crazed notion that they rule the waves.

One of the most depressing aspects of this whole defence policy is that it seems both major parties are committed to it. One has only to look at the panicked reaction to the Solomon Islands entering an arrangement with China that will, inter alia, have those islands visited by Chinese warships. It would not surprise me in the least if the CIA were not already working on plans for regime change in the Solomons.

The thought of a Chinese naval base 2000 km from the Australian mainland is apparently an unthinkable horror. Has any of our defence establishment or their political masters paused for a microsecond to count the number of United States military bases a lot closer to China than the Solomons are to Australia. At last count there were at least 150 such United States bases, and taking the whole number devoted to a potential attack on the PRC the number is closer to 400.

These include major United States military bases in Japan and South Korea, both of which are a lot closer to China then the Solomons are to Australia. We also had the extraordinary statement of Australia’s defence Minister Peter Dutton solemnly assuring us that Australia would go to war against China in the event that the latter took steps to assert control over Taiwan.

The status of Taiwan is another example of the extraordinary lack of historical memory of Australian politicians and their military advisors. It seems completely forgotten by the Australian establishment that from 1949 to 1972 Taiwan occupied China’s seat on the United Nations Security Council. It was happy to pretend that it represented “China” on that body. Australia, incidentally, was one of the countries that voted in the United Nations against recognising the Beijing government as the legitimate representative of China in the United Nations. It seems that those old ideas have not yet completely died. Even though the PRC has been a major factor in Australia’s international prosperity over the past 30 years, it seems that Dutton and his ilk continue to cling to a long gone past.

This bloody mindedness extends to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison who refused to meet China’s new ambassador upon his appointment to Canberra. The Chinese do not forget such slights and the day will surely come when Australia pays an even higher price than the current $20 billions of lost trade for its boorish behaviour.

One might hope that a Labor government will be more enlightened than the frankly infantile behaviour of the Morrison government. Unfortunately, such is the level of Australia’s subservience to the United States it would be a very brave person who anticipated any real change with a change of government.

Geopolitical analyst. You may be contacted at jamesoneill83@icloud.com

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Australia Reports First Monkeypox Case, a Traveler Returning from Britain

Australian health officials on Friday reported their first confirmed case of monkeypox, diagnosed in a traveler who recently returned from Britain to Melbourne. A possible second case in a Sydney man who recently traveled to Europe is under observation.

Kerry Chant, chief health officer of New South Wales, told reporters both cases were considered mild. The Melbourne man is reportedly in his 30s, while the Sydney patient is in his 40s. The patients and people they have been in close contact with were asked to isolate themselves at home.

Chant said Australian health officials are implementing measures to “identify and manage any monkeypox cases including clinical alerts to doctors and hospitals.”

“Cases are occasionally reported in non-endemic countries in returning travelers or their close contacts, or in owners of imported pets. People can contract monkeypox through very close contact with people who are infected with the virus. The infection is usually a mild illness and most people recover within a few weeks,” she said.

Victoria Deputy Chief Health Officer Deborah Friedman suggested monkeypox testing for all travelers with relevant symptoms, which include fever, headaches, and highly visible rashes that begin on the victim’s face and spread across the body.

Monkeypox cases have been reported in the United States, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal. 

The virus, a form of smallpox, is most commonly encountered in Africa, especially the Congo region and Nigeria. The Democratic Republic of Congo logs a few thousand cases of human infection every year, usually caused by bites and scratches from infected monkeys or by eating infected meat. The West African strain of monkeypox is regarded as less serious than the Congo Basin strain.

The suspected American cases were detected in Massachusetts and New York City on Wednesday and Thursday. The Massachusetts patient recently traveled to Canada, where a cluster of over a dozen cases is being tracked around Montreal.

The virus is considered rare, relatively mild, and not highly contagious among humans, which makes the intercontinental spread of the current outbreak a little puzzling. Transmission between humans is believed to occur through respiratory droplets and body fluids, including secretions from the sores caused by the virus. Monkeypox can also spread between humans through sexual contact.

“This is the most important outbreak in the history of monkeypox in the Western Hemisphere,” UCLA epidemiology professor Anne Rimoin told NBC News on Thursday.

“What we’re facing right now seems to be at least a subset of cases that don’t have any history of travel to one of those countries in Africa where the monkeypox virus naturally occurs, and also don’t report any exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox. So what we’re seeing right now is unusual,” said Dr. Agam Rao of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“We are telling people this is an emerging issue. Some emerging issues end up becoming benign in the end. Other ones escalate. As an emerging issue, we’re asking people to keep it top of mind at the moment,” said Rao.

Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday that monkeypox is unlikely to become a “major epidemic” like Chinese coronavirus because “this is a virus that’s difficult to spread.”

However, Gottlieb added that monkeypox has a long incubation period during which it is difficult to detect, so countries outside of Africa could be facing “low-level persistent spread” and pop-up “outbreaks.”

Gottlieb noted monkeypox is only fatal in one to four percent of cases, but it can be a “disabling” illness whose effects linger for two to four months.

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