Tag Archives: Australia

Awkward AUKUS is victory for opportunism – and a chance for Johnson to bash the French

This baby’s nuclear: I have no idea if this is the kind of submarine Australia is getting.

Isn’t it?

This Writer wasn’t aware of Chinese sabre-rattling around Taiwan – I’m more concerned with domestic politics, and face it: how much did the BBC tell you about it up until now? – but I’m happy to accept that there’s an issue.

It seems the United States has been supplying Taiwan with military support of some kind, in order to fend off encroachment by the so-called Red Menace, but decided more help was needed and turned to Australia.

The Aussies saw an opportunity to progress into the military major leagues and said they’d help out – if they could have nuclear submarines – and the UK stepped in to offer to build them.

This meant Australia had to cancel a previously-existing deal for submarine upgrades – with France.

No wonder the French government is denouncing the deal as a “stab in the back”!

To This Writer’s way of thinking, it seems the United States is trying to drag the UK into yet another ill-advised foreign adventure.

Harold Wilson had the good sense to stay out of Vietnam, back in the 1960s – but then, he was probably the most intelligent prime minister the United Kingdom ever had.

Now we have Boris Johnson in charge – a man whose intelligence rates only slightly higher than a swamp filled with quicksand. And he has already started ramping up the UK’s warfaring capabilities in the hope that he can start a rumble that might make him popular at election time.

Let’s face it – all Joe Biden would have to do to drag that blonde lemming over the cliff* is whistle and point.

And Johnson gets to say he has whisked a plum contract out from under the noses of the French.

Never mind the fact that he’s bringing loads more nuclear waste into the country – it’s loadsamoney for… someone!

Yeah. This particular deal looks less and less tasty, the more I look at it.

Oh – and the Chinese have said they’re not happy with all this, but they would, wouldn’t they?

*I know Disney made up that particular urban myth but it’s such a well-known story that the comparison still works.

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‘Australia deal’ or ‘no deal’? It’s all semantics, says Sharma

Alok Sharma: I’ve cartoonised the pic of him so he doesn’t look too contagious. The alternative would have been an image of a pilchard.

Alok Sharma – what a gift to satire.

Today (October 19) he was on the radio, gifting us with his interpretation of the kind of Brexit trade deal Boris Johnson is likely to hand British businesses:

No deal. But he tried to dress it up by calling it an “Australia-style” deal.

How did he think he’d get away with it?

Nick Ferrari on LBC made him look the fool he is:

“It’s a question of semantics”!

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, semantics is the branch of language and logic concerned with meaning; Sharma was admitting that an “Australia-type” deal and “no deal” are the same.

He was just – desperately – trying to dress it up to pretend that it wasn’t; a last-ditch bid to fool the less attentive or less well-read among the radio audience.

I don’t think it worked:

You’d probably get a better answer from a pilchard.

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Latest privatisation success – Australia, Qatar and China to profit from billing UK energy customers

An engineer walks along stretch of National Grid gas pipeline near Skipton in North Yorkshire [Image: Nigel Roddis/Reuters].

An engineer walks along stretch of National Grid gas pipeline near Skipton in North Yorkshire [Image: Nigel Roddis/Reuters].

Perhaps when Nigel Farage appears on the BBC’s Question Time this evening, someone will have the intelligence to ask him how he feels about rich foreigners buying British assets and taking the profits abroad.

Undoubtedly, shareholders in the UK’s National Grid will be delighted to pocket the £4 billion they are making from the sale of the gas pipe network to Australia, Qatar and China.

How happy will their customers feel?

The sale means that what was once a public asset is now in the hands of two foreign states and one foreign multinational investment bank.

They won’t be interested in investing in the network.

They won’t want to cut bills.

They’ll want to maximise profits.

This is further proof that Conservative privatisation policies are impoverishing the UK by selling off everything we own to foreigners.

It seems strange that being ripped off by rich foreigners is seen as entirely acceptable, while the possibility of poor foreigners coming here to look for work has been painted as an insult to our national pride.

What will Mr Farage, who has been known to advocate NHS privatisation, have to say about it?

National Grid has agreed to sell a majority stake in its gas pipe network to a team of investors in a deal valuing the division at about £13.8bn.

The UK’s power network operator said it would sell a 61% shareholding in the gas pipe arm to a consortium led by Australian investment bank Macquarie, including backing from Qatari and Chinese state investors.

National Grid will return £4bn to shareholders after the deal, and it will make a voluntary payment of £150m to the benefit of British energy consumers.

The auction for the gas network has been running for at least a year, and the Macquarie consortium fought off a raft of competitors including a team led by Chinese investors.

Source: National Grid sells majority stake in gas division in £13.8bn deal | Business | The Guardian

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