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Subs, Defamation And Perrottet’s Conflict Of Interest…

After years of confusion, we’ve finally worked out our order.

And no, we haven’t decided to go with the 12-inch sub because it’s a better value than the six-inch one. I’m talking about the AUKUS deal where we’re buying enough submarines to frighten a certain unnamed country from starting a war. And when I say a certain unnamed country, I mean unnamed by anyone making any announcement on what we’re buying and why. Apart from that, plenty of people have been speculating about war with China with some even suggesting that it’s inevitable.

Of course, if you go around saying something is inevitable, there could be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you say to your partner that you think it’s inevitable that you split up in the next twelve months, you can hardly be surprised if you come home one day and find that the locks have changed.

All the talk of war with China makes me wonder how we’d be reacting if China was indulging in the same rhetoric. If we had members of the CCP and the media in China announcing that they think that war with Australia was highly likely, we’d probably regard it as a pretty aggressive act but when we do it, we’re just thinking out loud… Or perhaps, not thinking out loud because it’s pretty silly to think out loud when the very thing that you’re thinking is made more likely by the fact that you say it out loud.

Anyway, like I said we’ve worked out our subs order after many years of false starts. At first, we were going with the Japanese but then we decided to go with the French before Scott Morrison scuttled that deal, and as he proudly tells us, he managed to keep the whole thing secret from everyone from the media to Labor to his own Cabinet. He also tried to keep it secret from the Americans and the British until Jen explained to him that you can’t actually have a deal unless the other parties know about it, which led him to ask her if this applied to ministerial appointments before being distracted by a photo opportunity…

We’re going with a deal where the submarines need more submariners to operate them than we have, which will save money in the long run because we can subcontract the running of the subs out to private industry, thereby making it more efficient.

And speaking of more efficient, have you been following the Bruce Lehrmann defamation case? I need to be careful what I say here because after his time in the witness box, I’m worried that it might be defamatory to accuse him of being Bruce Lehrmann.

Anyway, he seems to have been even more efficient than Ben Roberts-Smith in establishing why one should always think twice before launching defamation action. Because it’s an ongoing trial I won’t say much more except to add that I’m not sure telling the court that they can ignore what you texted because you were fabricating a story for your girlfriend is the best way to establish your credentials as an impeccably honest witness.

While it’s true that the submarines will cost an enormous amount of money, I can’t help but feel that we have a tendency to look at too long a timeline with some things. The fact that this deal is over so many years means that the billions of dollars seems like a lot, in fact, by the time we get the actual submarines we’ll think that it would have been a bargain to have got them for that price instead of the trillion dollars that they end up costing.

Whatever, it’s good to see Dom Perrottet coming up with a scheme to help young people manage the future with his plan to give them all $400 upfront, with the government matching any future contributions from the parents up to $400 each year, until the child turns 18 when they can spend it on either a house or education. In line with Liberal philosophy, those who have a go, get a go, so if you’re poor and can’t afford to put in money for your kid then it serves you right when you don’t get anything from the government because taxes are meant to go to the lifters and not the learners.

I did have a few questions, like how much interest is this “future fund” getting and what happens if the $29,000 (or $49,000 if your parents put in the maximum amount each year) isn’t quite enough for a housing deposit in ten years’ time and you’re working so you can’t use if for education, and how ripped off are the kids who are over the cutoff age and get nothing when their younger sibling will get $400 just for being born later.

Of course, Mr Perrottet has seven children and while that’s his choice, it does seem that this future fund thing for kids does risk the charge of an enormous conflict of interest and I feel that ICAC should definitely look at it.

In a moment that’s stranger than something I’d write, during a debate the Opposition Leader and the Premier were asked to name their children in order of their ages. Given Chris Minns has less than half the number of children, this was a far bigger challenge for Perrottet and, if it had happened on the ABC it would have led to charges of bias. 


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  1. Phil Pryor

    The subs are useless. The ocean is becoming transparent rapidly. The steam turbines run by nuclear heat rather than by oil fuels is still a noisy, rotating steam engine. If Australia gets smashed in an air attck, especially by cruise missiles, there will be no crew, no support. Subs cannot shoot at enemy cruise missiles let alone ICBMs. They cannot take out a tank! They are just targets. USA lost two subs in the sixties, all crew gone, no proper explanation ever. We are tied to two nations with history for murder, torture, theft, occupations.

  2. New England Cocky

    The Scummo AUKUS subs are a ”dud” ….. just like the present misLeader for Life of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. PRC China will produce more nuclear subs by 2040 than Australia, that is not due to have new subs in the water before 2050 ….. if they get finished at all.

    Perhaps Australian defence boffins could look outside the Canberra Bubble and discover what is happening in the real world BEFORE they buy used, second-hand subs ….. Oops!! … that was changed by press release to ”lease” 12 year old second-hand nuclear subs to prop up the declining US ship building industry like a good little vassal state must do.

    Hanging about under water stalking ”enemy” subs while on land the cities are being pounded by drones, aircraft, missiles and artillery is a strange strategy to protect Australian voters from a mythical ”peril” that haunted their great-grandparents in the 19th century ….. makes one wonder whether the ALBANESE LABOR government has drunk the US NE Military Industrial Complex Kool-aid formula.

  3. Jack sprat

    With the MSM giving Australia only three years till war breaks out with China,give a thought to poor old New Zealand, they must surely be next on China’s shopping list .They have no subs neither conventional or nuclear , nor do they have any fighter jets, most of their planes still use propellers. There are no USA bases in their country not even a convert spy base like Pine Gap ,not only that US ships armed with nuclear weapons aren’t even allowed to dock there. China is even softening them up by not banning any of their exports thus making them fat and decadent from all the profits they are making ,meaning they will be unlikely to put up much of a fight when war comes. If we here in OZ have only Three weeks I give our NZ cousins lest than a fortnight

  4. Clakka

    How can we fail to understand the brilliant strategy understandably kept secret for years by the latent AUKUS alliance and the Canberra bubble and froth of Downunder defence and security intellectuals.

    Indeed they designed the scheme over lunch and indigestion way back in the ‘Flipper’ era, and enhanced it via ‘Bilabong’ (or any bong) and ‘Rip Curl’. The only reason the subs are called ‘nuclear’, is that they will house and incubate a new generation close-knit family (they will be knitting their own disguises) of 1,000s of stealthy raiders. The vessels being made to look like giant dolphins is brilliant guise (even if they don’t need to come up for air). Their real porpoise, ooops, purpose is to house and breed-up via military grade steroidally enhanced underwater fart-propelled water-skiing marine spies and commandos, and deploy them like bubblebath to a filthy ring around a bathtub.

    The stealthy deployment of this deadly swarm disguised as giant kelp and blowfish and will make infiltration and the spread of stinking invective and brainwashing a guarantee for the subjugation of all comers and pretenders.

    At last it’s being put in place …. brilliant!

    (ps: just luv that it has a sort of agricultural type of theme – we’re so good at that)

  5. Andrew Smith

    For now it sounds more like PR, thought bubbles and subs masquerading as defence and security policy, informing purchasing strategy.

    Rex Patrick et al. voice much criticism and scepticism on whether this whole ‘thing’ or package can progress, dealing with such long….. lead times, and lack of clear or consistent defence policy & strategy?

    We can barely operate (several other nations similar) an existing and suboptimal submarine ‘fleet’ when not broken down, amongst many issues is the fact that we cannot even find/train enough submariners?

    One would be more comfortable if we tracked or cooperated with another significant medium sized nation vs. US/UK alliance that Oz obsesses about, e.g. Canada is comparable (and also takes partially into account our relationship with French allies)?

    ‘THE CANADIAN PATROL Submarine Project (CPSP), part of the RCN’s Naval Force Development establishment, is actively analyzing the future operating environment to better understand the key capabilities and technologies that will be required of Canada’s next generation submarine’

    Late addition, from Allan Behm at the Oz Institute in ‘AUKUS: Submarines on the Never Never, or Castles in the Sky?’:

    ‘What the US President and the Prime Ministers of Australia and Great Britain have announced is a game changer. But it is not defence policy, and it is not a defence plan. What has happened is great political theatre with deep domestic political significance.’

    AUKUS: Submarines on the Never Never, or Castles in the Sky?

  6. wam

    scummo gave labor no way out of this disastrous deal.
    The poms and the septics even called their scam U SUK A but we, seduced by scams being from Nigeria, didn’t think white men would scam white men and we fell for it.

  7. wam

    ps a read about tomahawk missile begins 50 years ago and the septics sold them to the poms 30 years ago and now to us. Wonder, if Albo is astute enough to check the manufacture dates, in case they sell us aged stock?

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