- The Guardian
- Issue #2035
The latest cost estimate for taxpayers of Australia’s pending nuclear submarines at more than $170 billion. Don’t be surprised when Australia’s supply of weaponry to the fascist set up in Ukraine includes a nuke sub. The presence of NATO and US bases, military forces, and nuclear missile systems puts Russia’s western border under continual threat. Over the past decade Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Romania, and Estonia have provided a home to these weapons, maintaining a constant war footing as attempts by the US continue to widen the dispute and portray it as a European conflict so as to unleash NATO fire power for regime change in Russia.
Meanwhile, in China’s sovereign territory of Taiwan, the anti-communists who fled there after the Socialist revolution seventy-three years ago ran their candidate in last week’s mayoral election on the island, appropriately a former Silicon Valley lawyer. Such has been the destructive, wending path to today’s imperialism, these counter-revolutionaries in Taiwan have connections that reach back to colonial Britain. On 22nd June in 1757, troops under the command of Robert Clive confronted the army of Suraj-ud-Dowlah, not far from Murshidabad, the capital of the Mogul viceroys of Bengal. By sundown Clive had won the day for Britain’s East India Company, which duly set about securing the revenues from its vast new assets, among which was counted the monopoly of opium cultivated in India. Sixteen years later the company wrested from the Portuguese the opium trade with China and by 1790 was exporting there 5000 chests of the drug. The trade was not welcomed by the Chinese authorities. Importation was forbidden in 1796. But by 1839 the British were bringing 1.5 million kilos of opium a year into China. Emperor Tao-Kwang sent a commissioner to Canton to suppress the trade. Thus began the opium wars, at whose conclusion the British compelled the Chinese to submit. In 1858 importation of opium was legalised, and in 1880 the British were exporting around 11,000 tons of opium a year into China. Fast forward to 2022. The Taiwanese nationalists are history.
Evidence of the Albanese government’s attack on Medicare in preparation for its privatisation is appearing in various forms: chatter about a co-payment to undermine bulk billing, and in the words of the Health Minister Mark Butler: “I’m not raising the white flag on bulk-billing. We want to have a system that preserves bulk-billing […] particularly concession cardholders, pensioners and so on […]”.
PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Who rules Australia? A plan for $1 million fines on the executives of financial institutions and banks for governance failures (corruption) was dropped like an armful of hot coals by the Albanese government last week. After calls to Treasurer Jim Chalmers from executives of a number of banks, the financial services legislation has been taken off the parliamentary agenda. The Financial Accountability Regime Bill was a major recommendation of the royal commission into bank corruption.