Diplomatic achievements of the ‘Australian Way’

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SCOTT MORRISON

Diplomatic achievements of the ‘Australian Way’

Come on Australia it’s time to applaud the diplomatic achievements of our “Australian Way” PM. In less than three years of distinguished diplomacy the EU has tagged him an irresponsible climate laggard and our Pacific family claim he has condemned them to a life beneath the waves.

Our near neighbours fear he has started a regional arms race, the US called him clumsy and graceless and the French labelled him a liar. Not to mention his implication that the Chinese did little to prevent the release of a killer virus on the rest of the world.

Congratulations fearless leader, no Australian PM has achieved your international status so comprehensively and so effortlessly. You are to be congratulated.
Brian Burgess, Middle Park

Prime Minister continues to distort the truth
Once again Mr Morrison is unable to take any responsibility for his actions. President Macron made it clear in his interview with ABC journalist Andrew Probyn that Morrison’s failure to advise the French appropriately of the cancellation of the submarine contract was “a detriment to Australia”. That is, it was Morrison’s behaviour that has created this situation. As always, Morrison distorts the truth, claiming Macron’s response was “a slur against Australia” when in fact Macron said, “I have a lot of respect for your country, a lot of respect and friendship for your people”.
Elizabeth Douglas, Melbourne

Australia left to hope someone else will save us
Just when you thought the insanity could not get any worse, our “leader”, in his popular disguise as Mr Unaccountable, strides the world stage again … leaving bewilderment in his wake.

Buoyed by his success last summer (“I don’t hold a hose mate!”) and his mismanagement and lack of leadership during the pandemic, he has now managed to damage a long-standing international relationship to the extent that the President of the United States feels the need to apologise for our inept behaviour. Striding to the global podium, Mr Unaccountable tells a stunned world that Australia will in effect do nothing to stop the headlong rush to an uninhabitable, burning planet. We will continue to do the barest minimum, lest the fossil-fuel lobby stop funding Mr Unaccountable’s party. As the world burns, Australia will throw another shrimp on the barbie, crack another tinnie, and hope that somewhere, someone will magic a technology to save us. That’s the Australian Way mate.
Tony Roberts, Wandin North

Government has failed to protect our nation
Never have more disgraceful and dangerous words been spoken by an Australian Prime Minister than “We won’t be lectured by others who do not understand Australia. The Australian Way is all about how you do it, and not if you do it. It’s about getting it done.”

As real world leaders meet to find ways their countries can co-operate to address the gravest global crisis humanity has ever experienced, the Australian government foolishly believes entirely for reasons of self-interest that Australia is best served going it alone. The government has failed dismally to meet its responsibility to protect our nation and its people.
Rowan Dowland, Chirnside Park

More at stake than domestic political credibility
In the Macron-Morrison standoff, the issues at stake are not so much personal or domestic as global. David Crowe correctly says Macron’s accusation is “extremely dangerous for Morrison” (“A dangerous moment for Morrison”, The Age, 2/11), and voters must decide who they trust, but there’s more at stake than domestic political credibility. If nothing else, Morrison appears not to realise or care how unreliable his personal behaviour makes Australia look on the world stage, nor the impact this may have on international strategic and trade relationships. The submarine deal joins a long list of areas in which Australia’s short-sighted domestic politics may have serious longer-term consequences.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale

THE FORUM

Who will shelter us now?
Since Federation Australia has always had a great power under whose wing we could shelter. With his clumsy AUKUS diplomacy Scott Morrison has undermined our relationships with both France and the US; at the G20 he has aligned Australia firmly with the likes of China and Russia in support of coal against the UN’s COP26 goals to which the US, UK and Europe have committed.

This weakening of our key relationships could spark a realignment of alliances, with our traditional allies making common cause with others who will fight the climate battle with them. Allies who will not join the battle may be considered expendable.

If we lose the support of those great powers who have sheltered us since Federation, who would our next big brother be? China? Russia?
Chris Young, Surrey Hills

Please explain
Our PM’s three-word marketing slogan for his “no-plan” to tackle climate change is the oft repeated “technology not taxes”. If this is The Plan, where is the $2 billion funding pledge our PM made at the COP26 summit coming from if not our taxes? PM please explain.
Elise Callander, South Melbourne

Carbon confusion
I’m confused by Professor Robert White’s comments regarding carbon sequestration by farmers (“Carbon farming potential ‘exaggerated’”, The Age, 2/11). For nigh on 250 years we’ve mined not only fossil fuels and minerals, but the carbon from our soils. This depletion has been allied with the rise of agri-chemical farming techniques that have been directly responsible for soil degradation on a continental scale. Any process that returns water retention and soil health to our farming lands has to be a good thing.

The claim that it is not commercially viable may be true of corporate farming enterprises that have based their production methods and invested their infrastructure dollars in chemical farming practices, however, this has proven to be the opposite where farmers have adopted soil carbon sequestration as the basis of their farming methodology.
John Mosig, Kew

Pot, kettle …
Thanks to Fiona Patten (“Bill fearmongering wrong move”, The Age, 2/11) for putting in perspective the aims of the state’s pandemic specific laws and for urging civility, rationality and that elusive honesty in the discussion. As for Tim Smith’s sneer that the government was “drunk on its own hubris”, methinks pot, kettle …
Ken Williams, Richmond

No need for voter ID
Rather than being upset at not having to show ID when voting, your correspondent (Letters, 2/11) should be celebrating the fact that fraud is almost non-existent in the Australian voting system, meaning that there is no need for voter ID.
James Proctor, Maiden Gully

We want to do more
The PM insists there will be no tax on carbon emissions. Instead we will have technology-driven solutions. His plan for farmers to sequester carbon in soil is a de facto tax on carbon emissions. The difference is that every taxpayer blindly pays that carbon tax for the government to hand to farmers as a grant.

So, when we go shopping there is no price signal to encourage us to buy greener, and when we do our best to minimise our income tax we also minimise the pool to pay farmers for their efforts.

Mr Morrison seeks to reduce the “mug punter’s” influence on carbon emissions to one act every three years … the vote on election day. Most of us want to understand more and do much more.
Robbert Veerman, Buxton

Archaic rules
It is understandable that the AMA seeks to loosen some of the anti-competitive, sweetheart deals the Pharmacy Guild negotiates with the government of the day (“Push to shake up pharmacy ‘closed shop’”, The Age, 1/11).

Doctors have seen pharmacists steadily encroaching on the medical field, particularly general practice. Some pharmacists see themselves as mini-doctors rather than specialists in the field of pharmacology. This can be frustrating in instances where pharmacists countermand a doctor’s considered script or advice without discussing it with them. From a commercial, competitive point of view, the archaic rules governing pharmacy location do need to be loosened, or preferably, abandoned.
Peter Barry, Marysville

On the same page
It is alarming to see that the AMA is pushing for more control of our medicines. Perhaps I have been lucky, but my pharmacist has kept an eye on my health for some 15 years, has given me wise advice, has communicated with my doctor, when and if prescriptions are confusing, and on occasion “patched me up” after falls. I would suggest that many doctors’ clinics do not have room for a mass of vending machines; that they would be an invasion of privacy; and that the supermarket option would not be good, with constant changeover of staff, and no expertise in matters pharmaceutical. I am relieved to see that the federal government supports the present system. For once Greg Hunt and I are on the same page.
Peter Valder, Toorak

Facing attack
Is there an attack on aged pensioners by the federal government? I am an 89-year-old pensioner with one asset – a third ownership of a two-bedroom timber holiday house in Rye. I have been advised that due to increased house values, my pension will be cut by $49 a fortnight. Unlike big business, I can’t avoid this. If house prices continue to rise, will pensioners like me see their pension whittle away, even though we have no control over price rises?
Marion Harper, Reservoir

Political pandemic
When we see Liberal “has-beens” publicly beating up sitting state and federal members and Labor “wannabes” paying people to join their party, the political party system clearly has its own pandemic.
Frances Henke, Hastings

Power the roads
We have many kilometres of freeways and railway tracks throughout our cities. Could we not design a clever “roofing” system for them, incorporating solar panels to provide local electric power, while also allowing adequate natural light through?

The covering would also solve problems such as “driving into the sun”, and would moderate the temperature-cycle of the road surface and rail tracks. The roofing system could also perhaps incorporate bicycle tracks as an added benefit. Cost-benefit analysis anyone?
Chris Pappas, Lower Plenty

Surprise not surprising
The Prime Minister has deployed his usual feint, accusing President Macron of “sledging Australia” when in fact Macron had only called Morrison himself to account (“PM denies he lied to Macron in subs deal”, The Age, 2/11). But there is much more to this than the veracity of who said what to whom and when about the submarines.

After the deal was announced in 2016, Macron developed what he saw as a signature foreign policy initiative, an Indo-Pacific Strategy in which Australia and India were to be France’s key allies. He announced it with Malcolm Turnbull at Garden Island in Sydney in 2018.

In the strategy’s latest update on August 1 this year, just weeks before its cancellation, the submarine contract was highlighted as a pivotal element in France’s alliance with its “major partner” Australia. It is not surprising that surprise and indignation have been expressed across the political spectrum in France, and not just by Macron.
Peter McPhee, Abbotsford

Kicking goals
That four Australian players – Matildas skipper Sam Kerr playing for Chelsea, and Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley and Lydia Williams representing Arsenal – will feature in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium in London in December – is an almighty sign that footballers from Down Under are putting more goals into the net on the global scene than ever before.
Eric Palm, Gympie, Qld

Consider the community
Nicholas Reece (“Let’s bring back big Melbourne”, The Age, 1/11), considers the effects of a larger city on the economy but not on the community. Until we have more hospitals, schools and housing, those of us who most rely on public provision of these services will be further marginalised. We treat international students like cash cows and denied them benefits during lockdown and our treatment of asylum seekers in detention and in the community is shameful. We need to look after the community, not just the economy.
Helen Pereira, Heidelberg Heights

Domestic loophole
So Qantas does not require vaccination check-in on domestic flights. Considering the local cafe requires you to be double vaxxed before you sit outside with a coffee, it seems strange that a large company such as Qantas can’t organise similar for domestic flights where you can’t social distance, and breathe in recycled air.

The federal government could pressure Qantas to do so but it doesn’t believe in “mandating vaccines”. It’s certainly not a priority for Scott Morrison, who can nip back to Sydney on an RAAF VIP jet to see his family for a weekend in a COVID-free bubble.
Jessica Hill, Burwood

Housing inequity
Australia has a dysfunctional economy. The total residential housing stock is worth about $9 trillion, but about 25 per cent of it is owned by “investors” – not owner-occupiers. Much of this is negatively geared, which means taxpayers are paying for it, but the real problem is that there is about $1.8 trillion tied up in investor-owned housing which would otherwise be invested in things of value to our economy, such as employing people, building enterprises, etc. It also locks young people out of the housing market, and thus promotes enormous inequity of capital distribution.
Rod Cripps, Parkdale

AND ANOTHER THING …

Credit:

Prime Minister Morrison
The French President didn’t sledge Australia, Mr Morrison. The French President sledged you.
Rosie Elsass, Brighton East

Mon Dieu! Monsieur Scottie’s nose is growing longer by la minute.
Paul Chivers, Box Hill North

Both shameful and shameless at once. It isn’t Australia’s integrity that is in question Prime Minister.
Trevor Martin, St Leonards

Does Mr Morrison find the other leaders at the summit as gullible as he thinks the Australian public is?
David Lyall, Mount Eliza

I’m with Macron.
Maria Prendergast, Kew

On any scale of Prime Ministerial performance, Scott Morrison makes Billy McMahon look like the complete statesman.
Marcia Roche, Mill Park

Scomo must be a big fan of George Costanza: “It’s not a lie, if I believe it.“
Andrew Cameron, West Launceston, Tas.

Climate change
As a republican I never thought I’d say this: more power to the Queen.
Matt Dunn, Leongatha

When even Queen Elizabeth is making a political statement matters must really be serious.
Mark Freeman, Macleod

Does the “Australian Way” cut it on the international stage?
Helena Kilingerova, Vermont

Furthermore
Ambassador Abbott again! First it was Taiwan, now it’s in the US canvassing the idea of Australia acquiring old nuclear subs.
John Walsh, Watsonia

Maybe Jordan De Goey to Kew and Tim Smith to Collingwood.
Bryan Fraser, St Kilda

Hang in there Tim Smith … remember Barnaby Joyce, Matthew Guy and Bridget McKenzie. The LNP is big on recycling.
Marie Nash, Balwyn

Where is the evidence of voter fraud that necessitates Voter IDs? Or is this simply a leaf from the US playbook? Nancy Otis, Elwood


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