Australian news, and some related international items

An incompetent threesome – Morrison, Biden; Johnson – out of their depth on nuclear submarine decision

How to lose friends and infuriate people, SMH, Niki Savva   22 Sept 21 Scott Morrison’s momentous national security announcement last week should have been a turning point for him and the government. Instead, because he delayed making one tough call, leaving himself open to accusations of backstabbing and deception from a great friend and ally, he robbed himself of a much-needed reset.

A few days later he again squibbed what should have been a straightforward decision involving a senior colleague, on a matter which goes to the heart of transparency and probity.

Both were about trust. Both provided insights into the most troubling aspects of Morrison’s character and management style. Both have left a very bad smell.

The first was the big-bang unveiling of the new Anglospheric alliance – upending decades of diplomatic endeavours in Asia – which included the planned acquisition of nuclear submarines from the US or the UK.

By waiting until the night before the announcement to advise President Emmanuel Macron (Morrison’s office refuses to answer when asked if they actually spoke) he was torpedoing the $90-billion contract with France for conventional submarines, he guaranteed they went nuclear.

The second sounded like a transmission from a parallel universe. Morrison presented Christian Porter’s resignation from Cabinet as industry minister after refusing to disclose names of anonymous donors as the action of a man upholding standards………………….

Over breakfast, Australians watched Morrison standing beside a man who could not remember his name, who looked like he should have stayed in bed, and another man who looked like he had just got out of bed.

Sleepy Joe Biden, fresh from the Afghanistan withdrawal disaster, and Boris Johnson, who has had trouble counting the number of children he has, desperately seeking to create a place for Britain in the world post-Brexit.

One of Australia’s most senior and most respected former diplomats, John McCarthy, who chafes at the overhyping of the deal while not dismissing its importance, is still mulling over its implications. But he seems sure about one thing: none of those three leaders is up to the challenges which lie ahead.

McCarthy says Morrison has limited experience and probably lacks the smarts. Biden is not a bad man but is mediocre, and if Lord North, prime minister from 1770 to 1782 during most of the American War of Independence, is the worst the UK has ever produced, then Johnson is right up there with him.

McCarthy names two leaders he believes would be capable. One, Angela Merkel, has just retired and the other – cue the French horn – is Macron.

September 23, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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