Morrison's hubris shows he's turning his back on ordinary Australians

The Prime Minister's recent posturing with Donald Trump and his egotistical reset on foreign policy are putting Australia at risk

10/10/2019 12:25:00 AM

Scott Morrison would be foolish to assume the continuing, unquestioning support of the 'quiet Australians' through all of this. | OPINION

The Prime Minister's recent posturing with Donald Trump and his egotistical reset on foreign policy are putting Australia at risk

How are we "first", when this ignorant, subservient behaviour at the White House has left us seriously exposed to the possibility of "mission creep" in the Middle East, especially if, as Trump claims, he can easily start a war there? How are we "first" when we are left risking Chinese retaliation for those trade remarks? How are we "first" when the world disputes the substance of our climate policies, indeed identifies us as a serious "climate laggard"?

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From his US/UN visit, "first" to Morrison is all about his personal interests and perceived political advantage; it means sucking up to the likes of Trump, whose concept of "America first" is also "America only", clearly determined and driven by his personal interests, failings and foibles, and his obsession just to be seen as (reality TV like) powerful, and to be liked.

AdvertisementMorrison doubled down during his recent address to the Lowy Institute, proclaiming his concern - as an echo of his mentor, former prime minister John Howard - for our "national interest" and, in true Trump-style, also taking a veiled swipe at the UN and other international institutions that are being "elevated" above the sovereignty and authority of nations to direct or constrain their domestic/national policies.

"We should avoid any reflex towards negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community and, worse still, an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy … we can never answer to a higher authority," Morrison said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's recent posturing with Donald Trump and his egotistical reset on foreign policy are putting Australia at risk.Credit:AAPIgnoring the enormous gains we made from globalisation, Morrison draws on Howard for this position. Howard did support George W. Bush's illegal Iraq War, bypassing the UN. However, you could hardly say that our participation in Iraq, and subsequently Afghanistan, was in our national interest - it was driven much more by Howard's personal desire to suck up to Bush, and enjoy the related personal benefits of flying on Air Force One, and attending church with the Bushes.

Morrison's Lowy speech reflects his personal difficulties with issues such as climate and refugees, and is in sharp contrast to what have been decades of essentially bipartisan championing of multilateral institutions, and our many attempts to expand our influence in the main institutions (such as the UN Security Council), and in their specialised agencies and regional commissions.

LoadingIt is also extremely dangerous to our longer-term national interests. Rather than being the outcome of a careful consideration and assessment of our foreign policy and defence strategies and relationships, Morrison's short-term, reactive, marketing style, based mostly on slogans rather than policy substance, tends to build expectations and/or harden the arteries of other global players. It risks locking us into positions that may be against our longer-term national interests.

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This is particularly so when positioning our nation in the light of the achieved and prospective rise of China, and especially its economic and military focus in our Asia/Pacific region, at a time when the US influence and interest in this region are in genuine decline.

China thinks and plans in terms of generations. To them, Trumps will simply come and go within their planning horizon. Trump, on the other hand, fluctuates from one tweet to the next. He is the sort of "friend"who has demonstrated a capacity to ditch other friends in a tweet

on the flimsiest of whims.So, how could Morrison consider it "putting Australia first" to suck up to Trump and, in so doing, risk offending the Chinese? This is a particularly important question when our relations with China, our largest trading partner (US is No.3), have recently been worse than at any time since Whitlam rekindled the relationship in the early '70s, and when our standing among our neighbours, especially in the Pacific, in some cases specifically relative to the Chinese,

?LoadingWe simply can't take our relationship with China for granted, let alone work in a way that might compromise it, especially when they have been subjected to Trump's trade war, and we seem willing to support the US.Moreover, we are playing catch-up relative to China in our standing with the Pacific Islands. While we have either turned a blind eye or simply been ignorant of the significance of Chinese influence (via debt-trap diplomacy, military exercise and corrupt relationships with key governments), they have crept up their influence.

I suggest Morrison read the recent writings of Hugh White – we desperately need a long-term, evidence-based, strategy for China, the US and our region.A weakness of Morrison's "patriotism" is that some issues, such as climate and refugees, require a "collective" global solution, whereby we are expected to at least pull our weight.

LoadingThe climate challenge requires a co-ordinated global response. Misrepresentation of our so-called "policy and progress" at a UN meeting fools nobody and kills our global credibility.Our refugee policy has failed in not putting in place an effective resettlement strategy; we should have led a regional agreement between source, transit and destination countries.

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Morrison would be even more foolish to assume the continuing, unquestioning support of the "quiet Australians" through all of this. Read more: The Age »

Morrison has a tough question to answer should he do what all past governments have done or actually build the Brad field dams. Ordinary or quiet we are not on the streets disrupting. complicit with the russianasset in White House of treason and genocide. AusLiberalParty RussianAsset in Canberra much?

The IPA and the LNP’s foreign policy plays out in northern Syria with trumps betrayal. There is so much bunk in this Age tweet that it entertains rather than informs. How many non private school kids actually work at the Age exactly? Unless they're still asleep Really, must be a journalist opinion that is generalised so it can be published. Define the citizen referenced as typical and publish valid statistical reference - oh that is if the journalist is capable

Gees what a subjective article! Dare I say its views do not reflect that of the majority of Australians. Great article John Hewson. PM Morrison is doing an amazing job, he represents the quite majority of Australians who just want to get on with their lives and don’t believe in this Climate Change religion.

he never had his front to them It’s we don’t have a reasonable choice of PMs. They’re all useless. Bravo comrades in Melbourne 👏👏👏 Nifty piece 😉 Put me in gaol There are no quiet Australians. That was just nonsense thought up by a failed marketing hack. Whoever voted for this twit should have a good look in the mirror.

Morrison cleary has no idea of what it is to be Australian we don't turn our backs on friends or attack the disadvantaged backing Trumps betrayal of the Kurds so Turkey can commit genocide is the last straw Having lived in the Shire it is my opinion that you tend to develop an egotistical sense of entitlement and bugger the rest of the hoi polloi. Not uncharacteristic behaviour by Morrison, especially since he was elevated to PM by the more privileged voter.

As long as he contributes OUR hard earned money to a corrupt organisation like the UN, he's NOT doing anything for the quiet Australian. We are in danger, you all voted a mad man into power, and man is he using that power, way out of control. the little dictator. That Man is a Wanted Paedophile Charged by Victoria Police in the Year of 1989, then Scott Morrison Prime Minister of Australia, was Hidden in N.S.W. by Now Jailed Police Officer's for Child Sexual Abuse, Wake Up Australia Running a Country with On the Run Criminals. Arrest Scomo

Thanks the age, for such genuine and precise commentary about Morrison! Showing the Age is clear in mind and above the other commercial and politically driven media, kudos!💪💪

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