Nuanced, subtle, far-sighted, strategic, wise, prudent, considered, clever – all words associated with successful diplomacy, and all words I’ve never heard associated with Peter Dutton.
Despite that, the Home Affairs Minister is free to weigh into Australia’s most important diplomatic relationship from time to time and does so with all the subtlety of a Bjelke-Petersen-era Queensland copper at a student demo.
It might make Mr Dutton feel braver and more righteous than the next talking head. It doesn’t help Australia or anyone else.
Mr Dutton’s Friday sprays on a morning infotainment show symbolise the disintegration of rational Australian foreign policy
It was 24 June 2010. I was the dentist chair watching Kevin Rudd giving his tearful exit speech, played on the TV in the ceiling. Rudd recounted the achievements of his term. Quite a long list, it was.
To leave aside for a moment whether shunting Rudd was a good idea, and how all that worked out, Brent thinks the reason for our quick turnover of PMs is the Senate and our propensity to elect third party senators.
Currently the Coalition needs three out of five from One Nation’s two, Centre Alliance’s two and Jacqui Lambie’s one.
That article also reports that sampling of wastewater in the northern cities of Milan and Turin shows the virus was in Italy last December, at least two months before the country’s devastating outbreak. There is no concrete evidence that the outbreak came from those early infections, although one would hardly think it faded away. Perhaps the infected people were not identified as having a ‘novel’ virus. Continue reading COVID virus news 20/6→
During the whole coronavirus period it has seemed to me that Australia has a world class expert on the topic behind every tree. One who stood out to me was Professor Raina MacIntyre, Head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, UNSW. She seemed to tell it like it is, had an appropriate sense of the precautionary principle, and was not on any panel advising politicians. It is well-known that experts advising politicians often end up tayloring their advice to what the pollies want to do.
In Australia the common advice from the authorities is for the plebs to restrict wearing masks to those who have the virus.
When Queensland behind interstate barriers opened to intrastate tourism, we see that tourism operators were ‘ecstatic’ about easing restrictions if you scroll down this article:
Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive, Mark Olsen, said… the region lost more than $200 million worth of bookings in March, with the impact to the end of April estimated at $500 million in lost visitor spending and thousands of jobs lost.
“Over the last 24 hours, the phones have been ringing off the hook with travellers from the south-east corner confirming their accommodation and looking forward to their journeys, ” Mr Olsen said.
Marcia Langton’s advice was “Go!” but with hand sanitiser, masks and observing 1.5 metres distancing.
Morrison was following medical advice from CMO Prof Brendan Murphy, who said the virus loves big gatherings, and it is possible for a single infected person to infect 30 or 40 or 50 other people at such an event. Murphy’s advice was taken up by the premiers of Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Continue reading Weekly salon 6/6→