Last month, Scott Morrison addressed the Lowy Institute, declaring his government will lead the charge in asserting the authority of nation states over unelected international institutions.
“We should avoid any reflex towards a negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community. And worse still, an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy,” Mr Morrison said.
“Only a national government, especially one accountable through the ballot box and the rule of law, can define its national interests. We can never answer to a higher authority than the people of Australia.”
He warned about a new order that sought to “elevate global institutions above the authority of nation states to direct national policies”.
“Under my leadership, Australia’s international engagement will be squarely driven by Australia’s national interests. To paraphrase former prime minister John Howard, as Australians, ‘we will decide our interests and the circumstances in which we seek to pursue them’.”
The not so subtle subtext was ‘you can’t tell us what to do on refugees, human rights, climate change, and all that other sustainability crap’.
Moving right along to today, and the deputy leader of the Liberal party, the grinning Treasurer, is giving a speech at the Australian National University where he will call for the reinvigoration of the World Trade Organisation and for the International Monetary Fund to change its governance structure to reflect the larger role of emerging economies, particularly those in Asia.
“Given Australia’s strong strategic, political and economic ties with key partners both near and abroad, we are well placed as a nation to play an active and constructive role,” he will say.
“We need to reclaim that spirit as we pursue multilateral and plurilateral arrangements that embed the concept of openness in their rules and norms and support a broader rules based order.”
Like the Paris Agreement?
Like the Refugee Convention?
Like a Human Rights Charter?
Like letting witnesses testify in the International Court of Justice?
To paraphrase John Howard, ‘we will decide which rules we will follow and the circumstances in which we will tell you anything’.
If we say we are smashing our emissions reductions targets, then we are, and any figures from our departments saying otherwise haven’t spun the per capita and GDP lines hard enough. All we need to do is issue a shitload more temporary visas and our per capita emissions will go down even further with no effort. That’s what I call efficient.
These guys really should stop giving speeches. Stick to the photos boys – it’s yer best thing.
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