Seven 41 By Robert Macklin
As Australia yawns, stretches and prepares its return to the workaday world, much has changed over our sleepy Summer and little of it for the better. Most striking is the new leader of what used to be called the Free World, US President Donald J. Trump.
Our principal security alliance partner is now in the hands of a classic Narcissist, a borderline personality, who owes his election in large part to a former KGB operative in Russian President Vladimir Putin. And since Trump’s Republican Party controls both US houses of Congress he now has virtually untrammelled power over both domestic and foreign policy.
That’s the bad news. And it gets much worse, because Trump and his coterie refuse to accept the undeniable evidence of dangerous global heating caused by the burning of fossil fuels. If America reneges on its commitment to reduce CO2 then the planet itself will enter a feedback loop that puts the future of humanity in jeopardy.
Alarmist? Well, when an Antarctic ice shelf the size of California is showing signs of crashing into the Southern Ocean, the alarms should be going off all round the world. For once the climate runs out of control, international disorder becomes the norm; our species is simply not equipped to work together to solve the problem; instead it’s every man for himself and devil take the hindmost.
Our leaders are all too vulnerable to the seductions of power. The concept of ‘service’ to their community is lost on this current generation. And what better illustration than the protests of Trade Minister Steve Ciobo during the recent Sussan Ley affair that he and his colleagues were ‘entitled’ to charge the taxpayer for their attendance in luxury boxes at the AFL Grand Final.
However, there’s a brighter side in prospect. Truth is, political power rests finally with the governed. In the Chinese imperial system it was called The Mandate of Heaven; in Australia it’s the ‘fair go’. So it should be no surprise that the latest Centrelink imbroglio should have slugged PM Malcolm Turnbull’s polling numbers. And if his government applies the same scheme to old age pensioners they might as well give the game away - even with awful Bill Shorten as putative PM.
Moreover, Donald Trump will discover – as Richard Nixon did before him – that his electoral triumph will quickly turn to ashes when he gives vent to the ignorance, stupidity and plain nastiness of the man within. In 1972 Nixon won 49 states in a massive 18 million vote plurality yet by August 1974, he was gone. And unlike Trump, he was a President who helped to bring China into the international fold. So let’s be of good heart – and keep our sense of humour – as the Trumpian drama unfolds.
CLOSER to home, Tuross residents and visitors are outraged by the culpable neglect by THE OWNERS of the shopping centre carpark. It’s been a driving hazard for years, but now it’s a genuine danger to shoppers; and if some child is struck by a car swerving to avoid a pothole there will be hell to pay.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
email@example.com Robert Macklin has carved out a unique place among Australia’s literary biographers and historiansHe has won numerous literary prizes including the 2009 Blake Dawson award for business literature with Peter Thompson for their classic THE BIG FELLA – the Rise and Rise of BHP Billiton.His Kevin Rudd: The Biography was shortlisted for the ACT Book of the Year; and he has won three Critics Circle Awards for his military biographies and histories. He has completed a lecture tour of three Chinese universities based on his works and is presently writing a history of Australia/China relations over the last 200 years. Queensland born, he has been a journalist at the highest level, a confidant and biographer of two Australian prime ministers; a documentary filmmaker in 32 countries of Asia and the Pacific; and is also political columnist and commentator in the nation’s capital. He presently divides his writing time on fiction, non-fiction and screenplays between Canberra and Tuross Head on the NSW South Coast. You can follow Robert Macklin's excellent commentary at CityNews His latest book "HAMILTON HUME - Our Greatest Explorer" is the first to be written on Hume. (HAMILTON HUME is now in its 8th printing and at Tuross Post Office and Moruya Books) His Dark Paradise swept aside the curtain of euphemism to expose the horror of colonial sadism on the penal colony of Norfolk Island. His monumental history of Australia’s Special Forces – Warrior Elite – is required reading in the fields of Military Security and Intelligence. His best-selling biography, SAS Sniper revealed as never before the battles against Islamist fanatics. And these are just a few of the highlights among his 27 respected and popular works of fiction and non-fiction.Robert began his writing career for the Courier Mail, later moving to The Age in Melbourne and then The Canberra Times in Canberra and many now appreciate his weekly column in the CityNews.