AUKUS takes on NATO

The AUKUS pact has faded from the news feed for now. But the effects of it will be felt across Europe for months to come. It is apparent at this point the Anglo nations, minus the Kiwis, are circling the wagons in preparation for a showdown with China – or so they seem to think. But what is that going to mean for Europe? Well, it seems the EU is not the superstate than many people thought it was, nor as important as the European Atlanticists thought they were to Uncle Sam. AUKUS has sent a shudder up the spine of the NATO alliance, and as a result, of the EU itself. We will examine what this event means for Europe in this post and some of the wider implications for the future of Europe, of NATO and the West in general. Continue reading “AUKUS takes on NATO”

The AUKUS ruckus

This is a story that will not be going away any time soon. We all might live in a yellow submarine, as the Beatles would have it, but Australians now get to try their hands at nuclear submarines. Well, ‘Yellowcake’ is part of the process, isn’t it? And we aren’t talking about Betty Crocker here. Jokes aside, the AUKUS – Australian, United Kingdom and United States – agreement has many threads running through it, which we will unpack to a degree here. The general world view is that AUKUS is a sub-standard deal (pardon the pun) for Australia, a win for the United States and UK, a loss for the EU and France, and otherwise an unwise decision on the part of the Australian government. There again, opinions differ, depending on one’s geopolitical stance. So, let’s start unpacking. Continue reading “The AUKUS ruckus”

ScoMo’s ‘women problems’

It would appear that some Aussie pollies assume their fortunes extend to asserting their mandated right, by virtue of being elected, to abuse women peers and young staffers. In the latest episode, from the day after Valentine’s day (cringe-worthy, that) Australia has been roiled once again with yet another sex scandal, this time with Liberal Party pollies getting their jollies in Parliament House and generally harassing some of their women peers in the process. The National Party occasionally gets called out, too. Not a good look, boys. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them ‘mates’. ScoMo, the PM (a.k.a. ‘Slow Mo’ and ‘Scotty from Marketing’) is not exactly helping himself or the situation, either. I could be more pointed about the matter, and I will later in this piece. But for now, we want to look at what is going on in the Aussie chart, and if there is anything in particular that would indicate such a trend over the years. (I’ve heard a lot of goss on the subject, having lived there for almost 20 years. And no, I won’t be telling stories. This piece isn’t about prurient curiosity.) Continue reading “ScoMo’s ‘women problems’”

The 2019 Australian election

Aussies go to the polls in federal elections in a few hours, in an atmosphere that is less than favorable for either of the major parties. I had gone back and forth in my mind about posting this or not, given the vote was forecast to be so close. The polls show a victory for Labor, but polls have been known to be wrong – witness Donald Trump. If Labor is victorious, the margin will probably be slim. But the same for the Libs as well. The astrology for the day will give us some clues, though, and it shows a probable opposition victory. But before Labor supporters get too excited, there is more to the story than meets the eye. There is a wild card here, which finally prompted me to do this post. Continue reading “The 2019 Australian election”

The troubles with Auntie

I came across an article the other day that brought back memories of my years in Australia. There is quite a lot I miss about Australia – Vili’s pies, the warbling of the maggies, Christmas on the beach in shorts, dry summers, the vast land and the silence just outside the cities that stretches on forever – to name just a few things. Most of all, I miss my friends there. But there are two things I do not miss at all: the politics and the nanny state. And that brings us to the article. Auntie’s in trouble, you see. If you don’t know Auntie, you know nothing about Australia. Not really. ‘Auntie’, as we call her, is our national broadcaster, the ABC, or Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the name modeled off of that other ‘Auntie’ up North. And lately, she has been going through some rough times. Seems Auntie has lost her head, one Michelle Guthrie, who was summarily fired halfway into her five-year term. Why, we might ask? It turns out that the latter had refused to fire some journalists who had been less than salutary to certain conservative politicians in their coverage of politics in Oz. Horrors. But then, the man who fired her, one Justin Milne, ABC chairman, had to resign because of revelations that he had been the one pressuring Guthrie to fire the journalists and for other sundry reasons which are covered in the article. But before we get to the dynamics of the stoush, first, some background on dear Auntie and a quick look at her chart. Continue reading “The troubles with Auntie”