Can you picture Labor handing China a blank piece of paper, let them write a wish list that included rewriting our intellectual property laws, then claiming victory with a 'free trade agreement'?
What about China getting into a bit of a spat, self-evidently a stupid one, flicking it's fingers and finding our panting leader by their side, directing the ADF onto the battlefield? Far fetched?
I think so too, which is why you can rest assured that no matter how close our government get to Beijing, there will be none of the complete abdication of policy responsibility that took place under Malcolm's party. More than that, the fact that the Liberals not only had much closer ties with a range of elements in the US, but labled anyone who questioned that closeness as 'anti-American' and 'weak on security' (baffling to anyone who knows what security means in international relations discourse), shows that they have no problem with completely attaching to a foreign power that self-evidently has different national interests.
So, is it so absurd to ask whether race, or at best completely discredited notions of yellow peril, underpin their tub thumping about Labor and China?
The only explanation I can find for Turnbull's playing to the lowest denominator, the utter dumbing down of the man many of us thought would be a fascinating and more likeable leader of the Liberals, is that he has lost his bottle. He is flailing for the 'Howard touch', and it won't come to him, he is not that person, to his credit, and this course will surely lead him into cognitive dissonance and further collapse.
A tribute to Fred Gruen - A few weeks ago, I gave the FH Gruen lecture, on the topic After reform: the economic policy agenda in the 21st century. Thanks to sound editor Simon Kravi...
1 day ago