the Ukraine crisis- a blessing in disguise for Australia ?

Russia is trying to annex parts or even the whole of Ukraine via instigated upheavels.In the eastern Ukraine and Crimea live a fairly high percentage of ethnic Russians and this minority was ultimately used by Russia to stir trouble.The reason : Vladimir Putin wants to reestablish the old Soviet Empire.The Krimea has already been successfully annexed by Russia, the rest will follow via a so-called “referendum ” which was neither representative of the real opinion of all the people nor fair or legal by any civilised standards .

The reason why Western Europe is slow to react is that it is largely dependant on gas delivered from Russia via an extensive pipeline network that runs mainly through the Ukraine. Any sanctions against Russia will lead to Russia turning off the gas supply to maybe a dozen east and west european countries.

the pipeline network runs from Ukraine into about a dozen European countries,as well as into seaport citys.It can be supplied from both ends, the western seaports or the east.
right now there are probably 10 countries looking for a reliable gas supplier. The gas unloading facilities in European ports are only running at 50% capacity in some places,so there is room for a lot more capacity.All the Baltic states are either ready or almost ready to receive shipments of gas via ships.

This is where Australia comes into the picture.We could quite easily guaranty 200 million Europeans resource security by supplying the gas and other resources they now get from Russia.We have enough tankers and other ships for the job and we can build some more.
It would allow Europe to stand up to a bully, Putin. Remember what happened last time when Hitler annexed the Sudetenland under the same pretext,it was a major factor for WWII.We don`t want to go down that path again.Placating a bully is a bad idea !!!

And for Australia it will be probably the best chance we ever had to get out of our resource dependency with China, another bully on the world scene.
Right now it is budget time and they are trying to fill the hole, the slugs created with their economical mismanagement.By turning to Europe and with that engaging with an endurable and reliable trading partner, we can certainly make ground by gaining a new market of 200 million people or more for our resources.

In return we should ask for a free trading zone to the benefit of all concerned.
You see,a free trading zone with Asia is counter productive, because their cost of production is lower than ours, so it will kill of any residual manufacturing here.Europe`s production costs are level with ours,so there is no problem.It would give us access to some high-tech technology and maybe we can entice some companies to produce here because of our easy access to cheap resources.Just keep the local greed factor under control and it may just work.

In the times we live in, wealth is created by industrial production of mainly consumer goods.This fact is well understood in Asia,but sadly not in Australia.Selling raw resources and agricultural produce is third world country stuff.An insight that should be gained here,before it is too late.
If we stay on our current course,we will wind up like another Tibet in about 10 years time.Do we really want that ???

So the Ukrainian crisis is a golden opportunity in disguise for Australia.
Let`s not hesitate, this chance may never come again.

I hope this gets a few people thinking seriously about where we are and where we want to go.

Have a nice day
the kookabarra

A pub conversation

Bruce and Macka sitting in a pub somewhere in Australia:

How`re you going Bruce ? fine Macka, yourself ? no worries mate. Like a coldie ?
( they get a couple of beers )

Macka : What do think about them Chinamen colonizing the world right now and our own total economical dependency on them?

Bruce : that bad , is it ?

Macka : well they own about 30% of Australia right now, and they are buying more every day,Mines,agricultural production area, real estate, they even got a phone company, Huawei, or something like that.

Bruce:And how many mines,farms. businesses,ph companies and real estate do we own in China ?

Macka: Zippo mate, nada, zilch, bugger all, And they even got the blueprint for our new intelligence HQ before it is even built. And did they come to Canberra and apologize fort hat?
Do pigs fly ? But our own foreign minister went to Jakarta to sort out a storm in a teacup. a spying affair that didn`t even happen on their watch !

Bruce : Strewth, are our own guys that bloody soft in the head ?

Macka: Looks like it. Andi t gets better.A while back a mining company in WA with 20% Chinese share holding put out some tenders : bottom line , it had to be done to chinese specifications,i.e. steel work to be done in China or the materials imported and then done to their specifications.They are certainly trying flexing their muscles.Another good one ist he Stern Hoo affair.He is a Chinaman working for an Australian mining company in their office in China.The Chinese wanted to buy more shares in that company but that was denied.Apart from that, the said company wanted to put up prices.
So the Chinese government grabbed Stern Hoo ( who had an Australian passport, but for the Chinese once Chinese, always Chinese ) and five of his co-directors , accused them of industrial espionage and sent them to the gulag for 5 years. And guess what ? The price didn`t go up and they got some more shares in a subsidiary company.
Australia- 0,China-1 . The list goes on and on.
Remember the 5 Uyghurs ? They are Moslems from a today Chinese province north of Tibet. Mao basically flooded that province with Chinese to integrate it into China. Anyway, 5 of them were picked up in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo bay on Cuba.On their release America ask who would like to take those people because they realized that they were harmless but China had said it would execute them if they returned there.
So Australia, amongst other countries, put up her hand. China’s reply was swift :you take those people, there will be consequences. And guess what? they are in limbo now,in Palau, an archipelago in the Pacific . China-2, Australia-0
The latest incident is China`s self declared ( ADIZ ) including the Senkaku islands in the south-china see. This is an interesting one and worthwhile watching. It may well lead to China testing Americas resolve and ability to support its allies and with that may have grave consequences for our own future.

Bruce: Strewth Macka, what a can of worms this is. So what`s the real face of China?

Macka: Tibet !! Just have a look at Tibet. The Chinese invaded it in the 50ties under the paltry excuse that one of the previous Tibetan kings had a chinese princes and therefore it was a Chinese province.
The real reason : to plunder it`s resources and use it`s space for their own population which is bursting their seams. Sounds familiar, doesn`t it ?
The result today : the power, economy ,businesses ,real estate, resources and everything else of value are in Chinese hands. The Tibetans are marginalized in their own country, disowned, impoverished and persecuted . They can clean the Chinese masters toilets for a pittance.

Bruce : You mean to say we`re headed the same way ?

Macka : Unless we change course, yes !

Bruce : But they can`t take away the land ,mines, and real estate to China

Macka: No, of course not.But they can and are controlling our economy.Now they have 30%. if they stop buying our resources for 3 months, the lights will go out in Australia. And with it our lifestyle, working conditions, welfare and health system, the whole bloody lot.In 10 years they will have about 50% of Australia or more and that’s when they will swing things their way, all the way.
We have already been blackmailed a few times as i pointed out, there is nothing to suggest this will not increase in the future . Expect more of the same. Does a Leopard change it`s spots ?
Last time the price for our resources dropped , we went to Beijing,they didn`t come to us to negotiate and we got the short end of the stick.

Bruce : But they are investing a lot of money in Australia and that creates a lot of jobs and wealth ?

Macka : in the short-term, yes. But also creates a great dependency and in the long run it only benefits them, because every dollar they invest here ultimately gives them more control and that is not in our interest.

Bruce: so what should we do ?

Macka: First of all we should see what China and Asia as such stand for and what we, that is the West, stand for and then make an informed decision which way we want to go and how to go about it and what consequences that will have.

Bruce: So what does the West stand for and why ?

Macka: It all started with the industrial revolution in Europe in the 19th century. At that point the political system was feudal. The nobility had the power, the head-honcho gave the orders and the rest obeyed.The 3 generation family provided all the social security that was needed. If someone got sick or incapacitated the rest oft he family looked after them.
All this changed with industrialization .It broke up the 3 generation family, people moved tot he city to find work and pay. But there was no more safety net. If the breadwinner was incapacitated or sick, the now small family was in strife. The social changes lead to at times great suffering. Another consequence oft he industrialization was WW I , which largely swept away the feudal governments of Europe to be replaced by proletarian dictatorships in many cases.The following big depression of he late 20ties and 30ties was a mayor reason for WW II, which got rid of most proletarian dictatorships, at least in the West. And only since about the 60ties do we have a consumer society with previously unheard of mass wealth ,education and personal decision-making. Never before had there been so much personal freedom and wealth.
And the service industry revolution oft he 70ties and 80ties set the woman free.Now everybody has access to education, paying jobs,can learn and live where they want, can marry who they like and are not tethered by tradition, family or economic circumstances. It took the better part of 200 years of human evolution to achieve this and cost the lives, blood sweat and tears of maybe 150 million people or more.
Western Europe hasn`t had a war for 68 years, which is unheard of in the last 3000 years of European or Asian history. We obviously learned something, so the price our forebears paid was not in vain. And the rewards, our current life style, is unmeasurable. Yes, there are some problems, there always are.But they are nothing compared to what the past had dished up. Our values have changed with changed circumstances and they re the pillar of our lives today It`s important to understand this.

Now let`s have a look at Asia and China in particular : they are, where we were about 200 years ago. Feudal and dictatorial governments, 3 generation family,no government safety net and graft and corruption being common place as well as widespread poverty.For every rich Chinese there are probably 50 000 poor ones who live in one room with the whole family and drive a pushbike and work in a factory for a pittance.This is the real face of China behind the smoke and mirrors.
They are industrializing now and are on the same historical journey we embarked on 200 years ago. However their mentality and thinking today is still feudal. Our values and thinking have changed due to changed circumstances and it took a long time to do that.We don`t keep colonies or slaves or political prisoners or have labor camps .People here have rights and many freedoms.At least some consideration for others is a corner-stone of our values and thinking.When you look at Tibet it is obvious that this kind of thinking and values haven`t exactly taken hold in to many places in Asia, let alone China.It`s more like dog eats dog .This is somewhat understandable given their circumstances,but certainly not to be embraced.Eventually they might wind up like us but its a long time coming,

However by letting a country like China take control of us by stealth (with the cheque book ) it is like shaking hands with the devil :he`ll rip your arm off and worse.

So the decision we `ll have to make is simple :
If we stay on our present course we will wind up like Tibet within 10 to 15 years. and with that lose everything our forebears acquired over the last 200 years at a tremendous expense : our lifestyle ,freedom,wealth and very existence.
On the other hand, if we want to stay a western country in the 21st century, we have to make a firm decision in that direction and then follow it up without wavering.

Remember the Titanic ? It sank because they gave the wrong command : rudder hard over and full steam reverse.It took to long for the ship to swing around because this way the forces were working against each other.Rudder hard over and full steam ahead would have saved her.We should do the same.

Bruce: Holy shit, Macka,you are scaring the pants of me. So what do you suggest ?

Macka : First of all, let`s have an informed and widespread discussion about this.Tell all your mates and see what they have to say about this. But make sure they understand the gravity of this. And then show them the way out of this situation.

Bruce: Which is ?

Macka : In a nutshell : serious industrialization !! self-sufficiency and sustainability instead of dependency on despots and dictatorial governments.

Bruce : But we don`t have an internal market to support this and it cost a lot of money.

Macka : yes and no.We used to make a lot more things here and they didn`t cost more than today.It`s easier and more profitable for a handful of people to manufacture overseas but for the majority it makes little difference.
But let`s have a look at the Canadian example. They gave European companies mining leases, but one condition was that they build a steel smelter and mill so that all the steel they needed was produced locally.We can do the same, give western companies mining rights and get them to produce all the steel we need locally for example, as well as some infrastructure like railways or roads.Western companies are bound by a legal system similar to our own. Have you ever tried to take somebody to court in Beijing or Tokyo or anywhere else in Asia ?
Next point, join the EU as an associated member.There are 450 million people with a high degree of industrialization who need resources. We can deliver them cheaper than they can produce them. A huge market and opportunity !!
They are closing down their nuclear power plants because of Fukushima, so they , as least partially, will go back to coal. And they have the greenest technology on the planet, so that is another option.
Entice european car makers to produce in Australia by giving them incentives to produce exports for Asia in Australia. Don`t throw any money at them , just give them favorable conditions, make it easy for them. We got nothing now , we can only gain. If it takes tariffs and protectionism so be it .Welfare starts at home.
So you see, if we want to, we can change course. And it would make all the difference.

Bruce : By Chrikie, you got a point there. I`ll have a yarn with my mates about all this.I can see your point .I guess, Charlie just ain`t gone surfing yet.

Macka : I think you got it. I got to go, but I`ll catch you next time.

Bruce : no worries, see ya.