Brown Study

Brown study

19 May 2018

9:00 AM

19 May 2018

9:00 AM

What a refreshing change it is, after decades of the mumbo jumbo of compromise and indifference, to have a president of the United States who deals in the world of reality and is courageous enough to put his convictions into practice. The decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem recognises the facts on the ground that Jerusalem is, after all, Israel’s capital, that the move is what a close ally wants done and that it is meant to be a powerful declaration by the US of what side it is on. No shilly-shallowing on this issue from Donald Trump, who seems to gain in stature every week. But how typical of Australia that we cannot find the same courage, do the same thing and move our own embassy to Jerusalem, but have to make do with the usual soothing bromides about not upsetting the ‘international community’. I suppose if the issue were a contest between Hugo Boss and Yves St Laurent, our foreign minister would be at the forefront of the move. Worse, she takes refuge in the weasel words that the Australian ambassador could not attend the opening ceremony because he was out of the country. Also, Turnbull and Co. talk a lot about Israel being the powerhouse of innovation and creativity, so why not get in amongst them in their capital and get some kudos for at least being second into Jerusalem behind the US. And while we are on that point and as Israel is the source of a permanent avalanche of patents that highlight its genius, we should open an Australian patent office in Jerusalem and go for automatic reciprocity of patents in both countries. But the really powerful reason why Trump is absolutely right on moving the embassy is that the decision is, as his critics say, provocative. Provocation is a very under recognised instrument for achieving good results. The Palestinian leadership could certainly do with some provocation to startle them out of their lethargy and the embassy decision must surely tell them that they will get nowhere if they continue to refuse every offer of a settlement; their people will just rot away in poverty and despair unless they contribute to talks on a two state solution. Otherwise, the Palestinians will simply go backwards and be condemned to living in misery, with nothing to do but organise riots on Friday.

Partly because of the above issue, and partly because of Trump’s revocation of the Iran nuclear treaty, his putting the whole club – like political, media and celebrity mafia – back in its box, and also because it sends the Left into paroxysms of rage, I have become pretty much a strong Trump supporter. And I hope he stays president. There is only one thing that freaks the establishment out more than the notion of Trump being the president and that is the notion that he might be re-elected. Well, he will be. His popularity on the Rasmussen poll is 50 per cent and even on the average of the other polls it is 42-43 per cent, which is amazing, after all the negatives. Anyway, he is looking good on international comparisons as my painstaking research reveals: Trump 50, Widodo 48.8, Turnbull 46, Trudeau 44, Macron 40, May 38, Merkel 33 , Lofven (Sweden ) 27, Solberg ( Norway) 26, and Rajoy ( Spain) 16. The only one beating him is Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, the Winston Churchill of Central Asia, who is on an eye-watering 97.7. Anyway, the bookies, who have their own money on the line, are usually right and the best you can get on Trump is 7/4, which a colourful racing identity informs me, expletives deleted, means that they know he will win.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, the luvvies have taken up the cry that we launched two weeks ago on the real problem facing the ABC, that it is suffering because it is too big, expanding into becoming an internet company in open competition with commercial rivals, and as a result it has to dumb down so far that it is losing its traditional audience. It really is extraordinary that a so-called free enterprise government can allow such a wholesale destruction of the national broadcaster so that it can compete with the commercial media, presumably as some sort of revenge project. This is particularly so when it is the flirting with private enterprise that is causing the trouble. But then, a lot of us have given up on any hope that the government will stand up for free enterprise.

But there has also been a distinct change in the tone of the letters to the editor from loyal listeners who now condemn the way ABC programs have become a mish-mash of re-runs, cheap panel discussions, inane quizzes and cringe-making so-called comedies. The FM classical music station, moreover, is being systematically dismembered by an apparent ban on any full length piece of music in favour of snippets, grabs and distinctly creepy commentary from some very precious announcers, all to show the ABC is ‘with it’.

Finally, the big issue coming up over the horizon, at least in Victoria, is the Aboriginal Treaty, which the socialists in Melbourne are working up with great zeal as part of the epic battle with the Greens to see who can give away more of their own country and faster. But the government has made a big mistake by starting this process, as the Clan Elders Council has just shown. It claims the clans are being victimised and overlooked in the consultations that are underway. Before this farce gets completely out of hand the federal government should step in and remind the states that, under the constitution, treaties are a matter for the Commonwealth, not the states; that there is only one country here, and that is Australia; and that if the states will not butt out, the feds will enforce their rights through legislation.

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