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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

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June 20, 2005

I'm back from several days conferencing and networking in Darling Harbour, Sydney, which has become the capital of Australia. I'm trying to reconnect with what's been happening in the political world whilst I've been out of circulation.


This cartoon captures Australia's traditional relationship with rich and powerful friends. Traditional means that it has been going for the last century. First the British Empire then the US.

Now in the 21st century it is China, despite this. We go into a security tizz over asylum seekers but turn a blind eye to Chinese spies operating within our national territory. It is called doing business.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:03 AM | | Comments (1)


The "Great and Powerful Friends" doctrine policy is completely repugnant. It has a century worth of failure behind it. I cannot understand why the Howard Government reverted to pursuing it sol relentlessly and uncritically.

Australia has grown up, but our politicians occupy some nether world of 1950s cringe. You only have to look how confidently our diaspora stride the global stage, and in return our politicians and government lick the boots of any nation-state slightly larger than ours.

There needs to be a diaspora whacking day, where the diaspora can fly home and beat the politicians with cricket bats for all the embarrassment and shame they have done us.

I recall Sheehan about three years ago making the claim that the great and powerful friends doctrine was so ingrained in the two major parties that inevitably we would swap out the US for China. IIRC the article was called "All the way with the USA". I did an anti-G&PF rant on it back then.

We will never have a Republic while those that control the referendums, amendments and questions have a political cringe. There is a drag on the nation, it is not the people - it is our government. It is the government that is holding us back, and our impenetrable, impugned system of government makes it possible for the government of the day to ignore popular will beyond minor populist scraps being thrown to the voters.