Australian Politics & Current Affairs
There is a first for everything. I’m giving a round of applause to the Abbott government. A standing ovation, in fact. And I’m dead serious.*
This week, the government emerged from talks with the Chinese government after locking in terms of trade that have effectively secured Australia’s growth and economic stability for a generation. At least a generation. This one knocked me out of the park – along with almost everyone else with an interest in the matter. Industry leaders, usually lending themselves to nothing more than criticism that the government isn’t doing enough, have been shocked by the breadth and depth of the trade agreement between Australia and the world’s largest, fastest-growing, and most promising economy. China, with over a billion people and an exploding middle-class, is arguably the economic powerhouse in the modern age.
This round of trade negotiations has been the ultimate great leap forward with our number one trading partner. Never before have we been more confident in our security within Asia, as opposed to security from Asia. Make no mistake – this will go down as the crowning achievement of the Abbott government, a he’s nailed it only one year in.
But as with anything Australia does in Asia, this gargantuan success has been smeared by the small minds of talkback radio. Alan Jones tried to rope his mate Abbott into an apology yesterday morning, effectively saying that the government had sold Australia out to Chinese interests. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jones knows this, but he also knows how much he can pump up his ratings by blowing the anti-Asian dog whistle. Jones pointed out that Abbott granted certain concessions to the Chinese, in particular, that the regulations around foreign ownership of Australian companies and producers have been loosened. This is true – but only to match those of our other free-trading partners.
We’ve done similar deals with the United States in the past. On a much smaller scale, resulting in only a fraction of the boost we’ll get from this latest China deal, and with far more concessions given to the Yanks than benefits accrued by our own. Jones said nothing. He knows that the anti-foreigner outrage among his listeners only explodes when it concerns either Asia or non-white immigration. Jones trotted out perhaps the weakest criticism I’ve ever heard being delivered to a PM in this country by a mainstream media mogul – that this deal “fails the pub test”. Meaning, to the average punter sitting in the pub, doing business with those dicey Chinks is bad news.
Fails the pub test? Good. Not a single idea of merit, since the dawn of time, has ever passed “the pub test”. Certainly not in Australia. The last thing we need our government officials doing is checking out their local pisshole for advice. We’ve already got enough drunks and degenerates pitching in their two cents, and it’s called Question Time.
Pandering to the ignorance of the mob, or “passing the pub test”, is child’s play. Any idiot with a voice box can stir up some angry nationalism. It’s how Abbott got elected in the first place. It’s how Jones built his entire career. But it takes a bigger man to cast his gaze above the furrowed brows of the common idiot, take a good look at where the world is heading, and set the sails of the nation’s economy accordingly. With the winds of this historic new deal at our back, we will be sailing at a rate of knots through the 21st century. The “Asian century”. Our century. Well done, Tony Abbott.
*Authors note – I have since been notified that I am no longer in my mother’s will.