October 19th 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Greta Thunberg: she's not doing it all on her own

EDITORIAL Time for Australia to rethink the neo-liberal experiment

RURAL AFFAIRS Queensland Labor punishes farmers to placate UNESCO

CANBERRA OBSERVED Morrison's 'positive' globalism has resonance

NSW ABORTION ACT Amendments annul some of the Act's worst excesses

GENDER POLITICS Doctors call for inquiry into childhood gender dysphoria

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Hong Kong's 'software' may be key to its survival

GENDER POLITICS Pornography and the transgender agenda

RIGHTS & FREEDOMS Transgenderism poses biggest threat to religious freedom

OPINION When Maggie (Sanger) met Mickie (Mann)

PHILOSOPHY The element of justice in economic practice, Part 2 of two parts

POPULATION Lifestyles and policies ensure population peril ahead

HUMOUR If atheism is the answer, what was the question?

MUSIC Good, better, Bach: The composer who consistently outdid himself

CINEMA Joker: From a heart in darkness

BOOK REVIEW Hope, more than economics, drives Trump voters

BOOK REVIEW A pushback against visceral unreason


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Morrison's 'positive' globalism has resonance

by NW Contributor

News Weekly, October 19, 2019

In a sign of growing self-confidence, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has laid out a new stance for Australia’s position on the international stage – one that unashamedly puts Australian national interests ahead of United Nations posturing and its various attempts to impose a new world order on sovereign nations.

Delivering the Lowy Lecture, Mr Morrison took a swipe at the United Nations and its influence in Australia, warning against what he described as “negative globalism”.

Rather he advocates for a “positive and practical globalism”.

“Knowing who we are and what we stand for is as true today as it ever was,” Mr Morrison said. “(But) we should avoid any reflex towards a negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community … and, worse still, an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy.”

Mr Morrison said the globalism he prefers must “facilitate, align and engage, rather than direct and centralise”.

Negative globalism, by contrast, can corrode support for joint international action, he said.

“Only a national government, especially one accountable through the ballot box and the rule of law, can define its national interests.

“We can never answer to a higher authority than the people of Australia.

“And under my leadership, Australia’s international engagement will be squarely driven by Australia’s national interests.”

In a clear departure from his predecessors, Mr Morrison has decided that Australia won’t be lectured to by the often hypocritical UN and its posturing acolytes.

The Lowy lecture came just a week after another speech to the UN itself in which Mr Morrison criticised “internal and global critics” of Australia’s climate-change policy.

It is a speech that Malcolm Turnbull would never have made. It is a speech Tony Abbott might have made, but would have been loudly howled down by his opponents and derided in the media.

Instead, there has been muted criticism.

Labor has accused Mr Morrison of being Trump-lite, coming soon after Mr Trump’s own UN speech, in which he declared: “The future does not belong to the globalists, the future belongs to patriots”.

But Labor also knows that Mr Morrison’s more nuanced position will garner widespread support among Australian voters who are tired of human rights folk, both visitors and the home-grown variants, accusing Australians of being racist, lacking generosity, and failing to pull our weight in accepting refugees.

This criticism is particularly irksome when the UN ignores very serious human rights atrocities perpetrated by other countries.

Writing in The Australian, foreign affairs editor Greg Sheridan conceded: “It would be absurd to equate Morrison with U.S. President Donald Trump, but these ideas have some resonance with Trump’s recent speech to the UN and with the proud but moderate nationalism that Boris Johnson is championing in Britain.

“In Australia’s context, the criticism he [Mr Morrison] makes is more directed at the plethora of UN agencies, most of which have no public profile in Australia, which criticise Canberra policy on secure borders, refugee flows, climate change, aid budgets and the many weird contortions and inversions of human rights that UN agencies and their dependent NGOs promote.”

Sheridan went on to say that the UN agencies take special delight in criticising nations such as Australia while avoiding criticism of the nations that routinely commit crimes against humanity.

Mr Morrison also flagged that Australia under the Government he leads would become more involved in international rule-setting, including ordering an audit of Australia’s membership of global trade and commercial organisations.

“The approach my Government is taking to these challenges is straightforward,” he said. “Know who we are and what we stand for, and allow this to guide our constructive engagement in and expec­tations of our international cooperation, including global institutions, and ensure that our national interests remain paramount.

“Build a strong, open economy at home, connected to global prosperity, enabling our capacity to protect and pursue our national interests.

“Know where we live and work to promote stability, prosperity and engagement in our region by championing the common interest of sovereignty and independence as the natural antidote to any possible threat of regional hegemony.”

The Lowy speech is a sign that Mr Morrison is not only growing more comfortable in the role of PM, but that his “practical” policies, which are designed to be in tune with everyday Australians, will be reflected across all aspects of government, including international relations.

The message is likely to resonate well in the electorate, but inflame the elites who have had control of the internationalist agenda for a long time.

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