It’s only taken a week to get here, but at last we’re seeing some semblance of sense over Australia’s future submarines.
Today, Alexander Downer has said what any backbencher with brains or any other number of former ministers from the current Liberal government or the Howard years — John Howard himself, perchance — should have said last Monday; that Emmanuel Macron is electioneering.
“The French president is running for re-election and he’s running against essentially two nationalist candidates,” he told Sky. “They are playing very strongly the nationalist card and so he has to counter that and this is an issue that he can use for that purpose.”
While he might be a little shorter than Le General, Macron is happy to wage war on perfidious Anglo-Saxons.
Downer also observed how Macron was “doing the same against the British” over fishing.
But France, of course, isn’t the only nation to have been stiffed while Australia has blundered about finding a replacement for our Collins class boats.
Japan, at one time under Tony Abbott, was very much considered the favourite. The populist wrecker Nick Xenophon — who, post-politics, has gone on to take Huwawei’s cash — launched a bugger the taxpayer campaign stoking concerns that Japanese submarines would be an off the shelf buy that would threaten publicly-funded make work schemes in his native South Australia, along with Christopher Pyne’s seat.
In an excellent piece that has been much circulated since it appeared on Saturday, the Adelaide Advertiser sought the opinion of Japanese Ambassador Shingo Yamagami on the matter.
His response? “We don’t have any time to waste on continued spats between strategic partners on our side,” Yamagami replied, giving a clear pointer to the real issue here — the threat of China.
“We have heard French grievances enough,” he told the Advertiser.
“It is high time to move on, rather than dwelling on grievances – there is a bigger issue we have to address together.”
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