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The surprising reaction to Aus subs deal



It might seem obvious to let Australia into the nuclear club, but it’s the reaction to the Australian submarine deal that will be surprising.

In the 1970s, the Australian protest movement found its feet. Vietnam, women’s rights and the environment got thousands of people out of their homes, and marching in Australian cities.

By the 1980s, it was nuclear disarmament that drew in the biggest crowds.

More than 250,000 Australians demonstrated for nuclear disarmament yesterday in marches that were bigger than the Vietnam moratorium protests of 1971. About 85,000 people converged on the centre of Melbourne from five points around the city and at the biggest demonstration, in Sydney, more than 100,000 people marched.

the age newspaper, 1984

With the benefit of hindsight, many environmentalists now admit Australia should have gone nuclear in the 1970s. The Lucas Heights nuclear reactor was meant to pave the way. But the vocal minority convinced the majority and scared the politicians. It’s the trouble with democracy.

And besides, at the time, no one was worried about dirty coal fired power stations.

One wonders how the past 10 years of Australian politics would have played out if Australia had settled the coal-to-nuclear question thirty years ago. Kevin Rudd might still be PM!

But here we are. It wasn’t an environmental summit that changed Australia’s stance on nuclear, it was the Chinese.

China’s rise in the region is too big for the Australian government to ignore. Australia has been financially punished by China for daring to stand up against it. China believed that Australia would buckle, and it would send a message to other middle powers in the region: it’s China’s way or no way.

But the announcement that Australia is joining the nuclear club with new nuclear submarines will send shockwaves.

Both to the anti nuclear protestors in Australia, if there any of them left, and to the Chinese embassy.

Make no mistake, this is a big deal, even if the deal is for nuclear powered subs, not nuclear weapons. But like everything in politics these days, what’s announced today is usually the precursor to the big news being announced tomorrow.

Australia has already signed a deal to buy and build its own billion dollar guided missiles.

Defence analysts have been worried about Australia’s capabilities for some time. Despite the arrival of the long overdue F35s, Australia has been historically reliant on the superpower of the day for its defence.

Australia’s Collins class submarines.

Until the fall of Singapore during the Second World War, Australia looked to the UK. In fact, despite Australia’s federation, the UK still controlled Australia’s foreign policy.

No more relying on the US

When the UK fell over as an empire, the United States came to Australia’s aid, helping to fend off the Japanese, and creating the ANZUS treaty, which has so far seen Australia join pointless wars like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq merely to curry favour with the Americans.

But something has changed over recent months. When the Australian and British Prime Ministers met with the US President at the G7 summit in June, China’s ears were burning.

So too were the French. Australia bizarrely chose the French to build its new submarines, to replace the ageing and troubled Collins class subs.

Five years ago, Australia was more interested in Aussie jobs than defence capability. China has changed that.

What happens now to Australia’s contract with the French will be telling. Last week the Australian government announced that the French military will have access to Australian bases, so read into that what you will.

The problem is the Americans don’t trust the French, ever since American secrets ended up in the hands of the Soviets during the Cold War.

The current Australian submarine build saw the subs made by the French, but the combat systems built by the Americans. Go figure.

Australia is spending $1bn on guided missiles.

Why the UK?

The other surprising aspect of all this is the UK’s involvement. Why does Australia require permission from the UK to gain access to the nuclear club? And why doesn’t Australia just buy them off the shelf from the Americans?

Today’s announcement is monumental for many reasons. But none more than this. Today is the day Australian governments grew a backbone, and did what needs to be done.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Trump’s campaign tactic – debase and disgrace the legal process



Donald Trump, former president of the United States, hated Arraignment Day I in Manhattan two months ago, the first time a former president had been criminally charged. 

Trump was being forced against his will into a proceeding he had utter contempt for.  He was being arrested and fingerprinted and photographed under an indictment under the jurisdiction of Manhattan in New York City for allegations of hush money payments and fraudulent bookkeeping practices to conceal criminal activity. Trump heard the charges read out against him and he entered a plea of not guilty.

Trump had a terrible day. Trump wore a scowl throughout. His countenance was fearsome.  What Trump hated most about his arraignment in New York is that he had to sit at a table with his counsel side by side with him — equal to him — and with the judge above him looking down on him. Trump could not control the discussion and could not interrupt to make his points.

Trump was subordinate to the judge. He was subordinate to no one as president.

Arraignment Day II

Arraignment Day II in Miami will be worse from Trump, even more stressful.  The charges are substantially more serious:  the alleged violation of federal criminal statutes involving the alleged mishandling and illegal possession of classified documents, lying to legal authorities, and obstruction of justice.  Potential penalties run to years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

Trump throughout his business life had always crafted his affairs to avoid being a defendant. But in his term in office, he was caught up in it big time. He was a defendant in two impeachment trials – again, unprecedented events – and left office in disgrace.

But Trump does not feel disgraced. He never does.  Trump does not have a reverse gear.  He never retreats.  Never admits. Never concedes. Never yields.  Trump is never embarrassed. Trump never feels ashamed. When something goes wrong, it is always the fault of someone else.

And Trump never repents.

Trump can feel this way because Trump is waging war on behalf of his armies in “the final battle” for the future of the county. In his first, fiery post-indictment speech in Georgia, Trump said, “They’ve launched one witch hunt after another to try and stop our movement, to thwart the will of the American people.  In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you … “Either we have a Deep State, or we have a Democracy…Either the Deep State destroys America, or WE destroy the Deep State.”

It is a powerful formulation, and his true believers love it.

Hours later, In North Carolina, Trump mainlined his distilled message for the Republican crowd:

“We are a failing nation. We are a nation in decline. And now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement.

It’s totally corrupt and we cannot let it happen.

This is the final battle.

With you at my side we will demolish the Deep State.

We will expel the warmongers from our government.

We will drive out the globalists.

We will cast out the communists.

We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.

We will roll out the fake news media.

We will defeat Joe Bide and we will liberate America from those villains once and for all.”

Any lesser mortal would be staggered by these events.  Any other presidential candidate would be driven from the race.  But not Trump.

Debase and disgrace

Trump is using the same playbook today as he successfully triggered after being charged in New York:  debase and disgrace the legal process by terming it completely political.  Trump said the federal indictment is “election interference at the highest level.”

Almost every other Republican running for president has adopted this line, insulating Trump from pressure to leave the field.

Trump’s chief opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said after these indictments: “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.”

Republican congressperson Nancy Mace: “This is a banana republic. I can’t believe this is happening.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: “Democrats are arresting their political enemies. and they work together in their corrupt ways to get it done.”

Trump is using his affliction to raise millions of dollars from his base.

Trump will likely face Arraignment Day III in Georgia in August.  A state prosecutor is expected to charge Trump with criminal interference in the certification of Georgia’s vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

As of now, there is no sign of cracks in Trump’s support among Republican voters.  There is no surge to another candidate.  What remains to be seen is whether Republican voters, as they see Trump spend his days in courtrooms and his evenings at rallies around the country, reach a conclusion that this is a spectacle too far, too much to bear, and that they want to turn to another conservative populist who stands for them in the political trials— and not the criminal trials – of 2024.

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Donald Trump’s legal woes will serve him well



It’s not often that a U.S. President faces federal indictment, but if it’s going to happen to anyone, it might as well be Donald Trump first.

The news that Donald Trump is facing a federal investigation over the removal of secret documents from the White House in 2021 came as no surprise.

Keen watches of the Washington soap opera have seen this playbook before, albeit in a different form.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a Washington outsider. But as seriously damaged as he may be (thanks to the events of January 6), his support base has only grown whenever he faces scrutiny.

For his supporters, his legal woes mirror their own relationship with the government – a giant, unfair beast that picks and chooses its fights.

Trump is accused of storing sensitive documents—including those concerning matters of national security—in boxes, some even in a shower.

The documents were seized last August when investigators from the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.

The Department of Justice has historically avoided charging people who are running for public office. Whether they should do that is a debate for another day. But it’s happening now. And it’s making it all too easy for Trump to claim there is a concerted campaign to get him away from the White House.

Trump exposed the deep state. IF they exist, they probably don’t want him back in power. Whether they exist doesn’t matter really, because plenty of Trump’s supporters agree with him, and believe the secret state is working against them. Call it QAnon, call it a conspiracy – it doesn’t matter in a democracy.

The DoJ now has to go all in. Failing to secure a conviction would be a serious embarrassment for the department.

This is the second time Trump has been indicted in recent months, yet the opinion polls show he only increases his popularity among MAGA and Republican voters. It leaves the Republican party in a difficult position. Support their leading candidate or support the law?

As other Republicans rallied around the embattled candidate, Trump held on to his loyal base of supporters.

For the Democrats, and for Biden, another reality will soon sink in – if Trump becomes President, and they lose office next year, how will a Trump-run DoJ deal with them?

Broadly, the tit-for-tat one-up-manship of U.S. politics is breaking tradition and potentially breaking the country.


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