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    Steve Bannon predicts working-class revolt in Australia as China rises 
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    Donald Trump's former strategist Steve Bannon predicts working-class revolt in Australia as China rises



    Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has criticised Australia's approach to an aggressive China, labelling it weak and saving his most blunt assessment for former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    • Key points:
    • Mr Bannon plans on taking his economic nationalist message to Australia before the next election
    • He says Mr Trump confronting China was key to his successful appeal to voters
    • He rejects the idea his ideology is racist, saying US workers are 'finally standing up for themselves'



    "People are going to be held accountable in the next 10 or 20 years about 'what did you know about China?', 'how did you accommodate it?'" he said.

    "They absolutely have to be confronted now. Turnbull has been way too much of an appeaser."

    In an exclusive interview with Four Corners, Mr Bannon identified Australia as the "canary in the mineshaft" ? a warning of the consequences of not standing up to China.

    "Australia can show you when good and decent people kind of play by the rules and the next thing they look around and many of the economic resources and economic assets of a country are owned by another country," he said.

    "China thinks of the United States and Australia in the same way. They think we're tributary states."

    In a recent speech at the University of New South Wales, Mr Turnbull criticised protectionist trade policies and asserted Australia's interest in pursuing an economic relationship with China, "consistent with our [Australia's] objectives, standards and priorities".

    While crediting the Federal Government's introduction of laws last year pushing back against Chinese political interference in Australia, Mr Bannon said Mr Turnbull's recent statements were a backwards step.

    "You have a much more robust debate in Australia than we're having here in the United States. In the United States, we're just starting that," Mr Bannon said.

    "It doesn't really deal with political ideology. You have many progressives down there saying, 'hey, we're quite upset about this'. So I think ? it's going to play out very interestingly, and I think Australia is at the tip of the spear of this."

    The Australia-China relationship has already been tested in recent months, with legislation introduced to crack down on foreign interference and the decision to shut the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, out of Australia's 5G network on national security grounds.

    The architect of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential victory says confronting China was key to Mr Trump's successful appeal to working-class and middle-class Americans.

    "That's where the anger came from. The working class and the middle class, particularly lower middle class say, 'no, we believe America can return to its former glory'," he said.

    "The elites in our country, just like the elites in Australia, said the rise of China is inexorable. It's the second law of thermodynamics. It's part of the physical universe.

    "You know what Trump said? 'I don't think so'."

    According to Mr Bannon, President Trump is prepared for significant further escalation in his confrontation with China, saying the President is prepared to go "all the way".

    "We're in an economic war with China," he said.

    The US recently imposed a further $16 billion of tariffs on Chinese imports, which came on the back of $34 billion worth of tariffs implemented in July and an equivalent response from Beijing.
    -read on

    This guy was recently interviewed for the ABC's Four Corners program. A lot of Australian's seem outraged that the ABC (the national broadcaster, known to be pretty left-wing) gave this guy a platform, especially given his connection to the openly far-right/alt-right and arguably white supremacist, Breitbart News site but this attitude seems really alarmist to me. Personally, I think he's a domineering racist apologist with views that are extremely seductive and insidious, and for that reason worth exposing and combating. On that front, I don't actually think the interviewer, Sarah Ferguson, did a great job (she did, for some reason, feel the need to state that he was not racist) but she did manage to at least hold her ground in front of a patronising and bullish figure who's constant 'shushing' hand wave almost makes me want to amputate.

    I hate the way these US politicians try to blow smoke up Australia's ass and pretend we're some important state, and not really just another 'tributary' one of their own.
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    Professor Emeritus TheLoveBandit's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea he was speaking in Australia. As you point out, it's surprising he got the platform.

    I'm curious, and I'm not sure this is the thread for it, but I'd love to hear from our Australian friends some of their perspective on international relations. Both what should be general policies towards the likes of China, and also to refugees from ME and African countries or from natural disaster states like island nations swallowed by rising waters. But beyond the Australian attitude towards it, how do you percieve your nations actions in regards to these situations, as well as how Europe and America are handling them.

    I know we have plenty of Ameri-centric threads going, mostly criticizing US decisions or actions. And living so much on the inside, I'd love to hear perspective on us from the outside. But I am equally interested in the type of topics this thread raises - how doe other countries handle their business?

    If my questions blow this up beyond the framework of the OP, I apologize for sending the topic in a different direction. Not my intent, and I'm open to being pointed to a more correct thread if one exists (or I need to make one).
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    I imagine China's a difficult subject for many Aussies given the whole undeniably racist 'yellow peril' stuff from the preceding 200 years of Australian history. However, Australia is already somewhat a tributary of China, economically speaking. I can't imagine politicians there being able to sustain the kind of fake anti-China rhetoric Trump does, except maybe Pauline Hanson and the like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFC View Post
    I imagine China's a difficult subject for many Aussies given the whole undeniably racist 'yellow peril' stuff from the preceding 200 years of Australian history. However, Australia is already somewhat a tributary of China, economically speaking. I can't imagine politicians there being able to sustain the kind of fake anti-China rhetoric Trump does, except maybe Pauline Hanson and the like.
    It's complicated. As you know, a lot of people let their hate and ignorance cloud their judgement of political and social issues, but australia has had a big economic deliance on china for decades.
    As it stands, our two biggest trading partners are the US and China, with an increasing emphasis and reliance upon the latter.

    The economic and political strength and influence of China has been rapidly expanding in the last 20 years, while the strength of the USA has been decreasing.
    That predates trump, but trump has done all he can to sabotage and destroy the USA's relationship with australia, and to create chaos with america's traditional (ie democratic) trading partners - making a clear move towards alliances with authoritarian states.

    This is obviously spooking some people - like bannon - who understand better than any of us what a dangerous nutcase trump is, with his trade wars and tarrifs and aggressive gibberish.

    A working class revolt is exactly what we need - but nationalism is simply batshit crazy in a colonial outpost like australia. By definition - nationalist ideology makes no sense here.
    The underpinning of racist resentment and typically divisive, backwards bullshit is something i hope more people can be wary and sceptical of the way creepy capitalists like bannon pander to bigotry and stoke fear and xenophobia.

    Personally i think it's good for australia to embrace the countries in the asia pacific region as trading partners, rather than seeing ourselves as a quasi-european "white" nation, which is bullshit anyway. We are a multicultural country of people from across the world, though of course we are predominantly - and officially - english speaking.
    I grew up with a lot of chinese people in my neighbourhood, which makes sense, given our position geographically, and dispite the countless troubling things about the chinese government, i think we need to be wary and sceptical of kowtowing to the USA as well, especially with the authoritarian lurch to the far right of the trump age.
    Neither the US or china are our saviour nor our enemy.

    We are not in a position to be isolationist or too opposed to foreign investment based upon xenophobia. Our economy is largely based on primary resources which fuels our mining industry.
    Sure, china has undue influence on our political systems - but so does the USA, the UK and other countries such as india. That may be a necessary evil, much like corporate influence or the influence of other problematic institutions like religious networks or lobby groups.
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    Yeah a complex political picture by the sounds of it. Which I guess is true for most countries really. I would far rather be under the influence of the democratic US, even with Trump, than China, but I can understand the point you're making. Australia needs to chart its own course at the same time as accepting influences from elsewhere. You probably need to get rid of ceremonial queeny at some point to make that break a bit more complete though. I say that not as an anti-Monarchist or anything, but it does seem a bit redundant given that Australia is rapidly catching up with the UK in population and economic scale and culturally 'its own' now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFC View Post
    Australia needs to chart its own course at the same time as accepting influences from elsewhere.
    Yep - exactly

    Quote Originally Posted by CFC
    You probably need to get rid of ceremonial queeny at some point to make that break a bit more complete though. I say that not as an anti-Monarchist or anything, but it does seem a bit redundant given that Australia is rapidly catching up with the UK in population and economic scale and culturally 'its own' now.
    Absolutely. As i'm sure i've made clear in the past, i'm anti-monarchist - and i think it's pretty disturbing that old Betty Windsor is still our head of state - such is the strength of conservative ideology in australia.
    Interestingly enough, in recent years there has been considerable open, public speculation that the australian republican movement will get a massive boost after the queen dies.

    Which makes sense, especially when you look at the heir to the throne - maybe Prince Charles stirs some kind of pride in the empire for some people...but it's not something i can relate to, even in the abstract.

    Being such a young country that has always struggled to define our own national identity, australia has always been pretty confused about what our place in the world is, but i tend to think that divorcing ourselves somewhat by cutting our anglo-american apron strings and engaging more with the asia pacific region.

    But the first step for that to become a reality is to boot the current government of 1950s fetishist tories out of office, as they've damaged relations in the last year or two - not just with china, but alsonew zealand, of all places - undoubtedly australia's closest ally culturally, historically and of course of geographically.
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    Yeah I agree with you mate, I think HRH Queeny will be your last. You're never going to accept Charles - even diehard Liberals (who are the conservatives for those not into Australian politics lol) don't seem to like him very much.

    I get the feeling the government's about to fall anyway, what with just losing that seat and their majority non-existant?
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    yup, this government is (ahem) fucking fucked, to use local vernacular. and not a moment too soon - the incompetent, corrupt, spiteful bastards that they are.
    so many efforts in the far-right ends of the government and their fringe offshoot "crossbench senators" to create distractions from the government which is basically a bunch of old men dragging around a festering corpse at this point - it gets more distasteful by the day;

    Imagine being so threatened by non-conformism you?d bully a child

    nasty fucking idiots. i take comfort from their desperation though - they know their days of setting the agenda are numbered. bring on the election!
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacejunk View Post
    yup, this government is (ahem) fucking fucked, to use local vernacular. and not a moment too soon - the incompetent, corrupt, spiteful bastards that they are.
    so many efforts in the far-right ends of the government and their fringe offshoot "crossbench senators" to create distractions from the government which is basically a bunch of old men dragging around a festering corpse at this point - it gets more distasteful by the day;
    It should be obvious I know nothing of Australian politics, but can you advise what you would anticipate happening? Minor shift, or radical changes and to what effect?
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    ^ Mate, this is Australian politics, nothing is ever going to change, no matter who is in power, no matter who is PM as nobody at all actually does anything except just keep themselves in a job. If aussie politics were any good it would be talked about more, it's all bollocks really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFC View Post
    Yeah I agree with you mate, I think HRH Queeny will be your last. You're never going to accept Charles - even diehard Liberals (who are the conservatives for those not into Australian politics lol) don't seem to like him very much.
    I hope you're correct, but I fear not. I've never heard to much ill will towards Charles; not a whole heap of love either, but nor have I for the Queen herself. I think there is still a powerful section of the community that have some honestly downright weird loyalty to The Crown.

    And we Aussies love our Royal Family gossip.

    I get the feeling the government's about to fall anyway, what with just losing that seat and their majority non-existant?
    I think you are right. Their current power base is incredibly brittle; the fact they even considered Peter Dutton as prime minister is astounding to me, and it demonstrates that they are almost totally divorced from the actual people they sort of mime representing. The Labour Party did oust Rudd for Gillard, and than back to Rudd; this current government has gone even further, from Abbott to Turnbull to Scott 'Piece of Shit' Morrison. I think this fact alone will be pounced upon by the opposition, more than any other fact which might be of more importance (such as the liberal parties unethical policies on immigration and climate change). Of course, politics plays to emotions rather than reason so why am I surprised?

    Quote Originally Posted by zephyr View Post
    ^ Mate, this is Australian politics, nothing is ever going to change, no matter who is in power, no matter who is PM as nobody at all actually does anything except just keep themselves in a job. If aussie politics were any good it would be talked about more, it's all bollocks really.
    Aussie politics is embarassingly parochial and anachronistic; I am sort of glad we don't talk about it too often. I notice that whenever it does get mentioned on Bluelight, its by one of s few Aussies and usually in utterly withering terms I would say that I follow international politics more closely, and it often seems more relevant and impacting, too.

    In the sense of what you are saying, I've put more votes to the Greens than the major parties over the last decade- the greens are often not much better, but at least they are attempting some show of principle. Part of me wishes we did have the US-style non-compulsory voting, if only so I could totally opt out of this process in protest.
    Last edited by swilow; 14-09-2018 at 04:26.
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    To be honest, I hate a lot of the greens policies, but I'll say this. At least they stand for something worth standing for, their main, central plank I mean. At least they sometimes have a bit of spine. I can respect that a lot more than any of the major parties. Even if I hate a lot of their other policies and think even some of their views on environment are unrealistic and stupid. And even if I ultimately agree with them about the goal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLoveBandit View Post
    It should be obvious I know nothing of Australian politics, but can you advise what you would anticipate happening? Minor shift, or radical changes and to what effect?
    the government we have at the moment are really, really bad. Not just "i dont like their politics" bad - but seriously 'on the nose'.

    in the last 2-3 years they've made some massive blunders/mistakes/appalling moves.

    These include

    - billing thousands of pensioners and welfare recipients for "overpayments" (from up to 7 years earlier) erroneously - because of a faulty algorithm that assessed people's incomes terribly wrong. For instance, some people working for companies that had different "trading names" to the company names under which they were registered to the tax office. The algorithm flagged these people as working two jobs - and as the workers had (correctly) declared that they had one job, one employer, the system (with no human oversight) sent letters to these people demanding they pay back all of their pension or benefits for that period.
    That was only one of numerous scenarios that incorrectly billed people.

    I know people that got these bills demanding repayment, and when they called to appeal them, they were told that they had to provide pay slips to prove their story (for jobs going back 7 years - i think the required time proof of payment is required to be kept is usually 2 years). If they couldnt provide pay slips, they were told "pay the bill, and if you are found to be correct, the govt will repay you". If this wasn't done, they sent debt collectors - to some of the country's poorest and most vulnerable people.
    There were several well-documented suicides over this - and probably more that were linked to this but not reported publicly as such.

    This happened in december 2016, and the government are still insisting that it's a fair system - and they've even recently expanded it to include people who were previously excluded from this "debt recovery scheme" because of they are characterised as particularly at-risk because of mental illness or other factors.

    Evil.

    - fucked up the census, including mandatory fields that compromised privacy, as the required information could be linked too easily to individuals' personal information. Known as #censusfail, it was such an incredible fuck up that some of the members of parliament that have the most integrity (as above: Greens) actually casually/unofficially advised people not to fill it out - even though they use census data all the time in their work as senators or MPs - and it's technically illegal not to fll out the census.

    - have a barbaric system of detaining refugees and asylum seekers in offshore hellholes in a couple of cash-strapped and politically corrupt countries directly to our north.
    People are detained there without charge indefinitely in both facilities. manus island is used to detain men, but nauru also has women and children prisoners.
    Much like the trump administrations shameful family separation approach to "deterrance" (ie treat these poor people so abhorrently cruelly that it will deter other refugees fleeing war and genocide from trying to enter australia by leaky boat.

    The detainees in these camps have been murdered by local tribes (no help from australian government), men, women and children have been raped (no investigation or charges laid), chronically ill people have been denied medical treatment - even a terminally ill man was denied paliative care, and late last year the australian government decided to move detainees from one camp to another camp which hadn't been completely built yet, and was not secure from violent attacks from the manus island locals, which happen all too frequently. It had no fucking fences.
    Anyway, the detainees were too frightened to leave the squalid (but comparably safer) camp they were in, so our government cut off their food supplies, their access to medicine and medical care, cut off electricity and even cut off their water supply, and guards tipped garbage into the rain water the detainees had collected to survive off.
    It's a vile, cruel and illegal system.

    It's fucking bleak, and any information about what happens in these jungle prisons is censored from the australian people - because medical professionals (doctors and nurses) and other people who work with the people detained there face two years jail for "leaking" any information about what happens there. We only manage to get snippets of information from NGOs and aid groups.
    It's a total disgrace and our national shame.

    I could list a dozen other things that are shitty and shady about this incompetent and mean-spirited government - like their "death by a thousand cuts" attacks on our once-great universal healthcare system....but you get the picture.

    Forunately, since they deposed their leader a couple of weeks ago (he wasn't right wing enough for his party - no joke - they've effectively lost their one-seat grip on power, and virtually lost any mandate to govern.

    There is now massive in-fighting and blood-letting happening in the governing party (well, parties - it's technically a coalition of two parties) which i think is great.
    As they keep fighting, they further ruin their chances of having a respectable showing at the federal election which is coming up fairly shortly - and may happen sooner than expected if the government lose any more seats - which is highly possible because they're all a binch of greedy, corrupt charlatans on the make.

    It won't be a radical change when they lose power - we're effectively a two party system like the USA - and the opposition party (the labor party) is only somewhat less shit, in my opinion.

    But what matters is that it will make life a bit less painful for the most vulnerable people - because when the conservatives (called the liberal party) are in power, they constantly attack people on pensions and the dole, and cut funding to services - which has been getting really bad because they've been in power for a number of years - so their agenda (of governing for the wealthy, and corporate interests, at expense of average aussies) has been going along for some time.
    One of my best friends is a social worker in the blue collar inner city neighbourhood i live in - and some of the shit he sees and tells me about is horrifying.
    It's high time we kick the bastards out - and it won't be long now.
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