The great Australian power sell-off stumbles on ... racism
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said yesterday that it would be contrary to national security to allow the sale of a 50.4 per cent stake in Ausgrid, which supplies electricity to Sydney and neighbouring areas, to proceed in its current form.
SCMP, August 12
Strileyuh, as you know, is very tight on the dangers of importing alien species of plants and animals which may endanger its unique fragile environment.
This is why it allows very few foreign agricultural products on its supermarket shelves. Can’t have alien genetic stock causing mass extinctions in the land of the Great Sandy Nothing, you know.
So go for a walk through an Australian supermarket some day and what do you see on the shelves?
Answer: Potatoes, bread, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, beef, pork, chicken, milk, butter, kookaburra eggs, tomatoes, apples, grapes and the list of well known non-native species goes on and on. I misled you about the kookaburra eggs obviously. They’re chicken eggs.
In fact you will see nothing native to Australia, bar perhaps kangaroo steaks. The only difference from what you will see on supermarket shelves elsewhere in the world is price. Everything costs much more in Australia.
And the penny then quickly drops. This is not about the dangers of a genetic invasion. It has already long taken place. This is about a superb excuse for Australian farmers to rip off the Australian people. What is more, you soon find that these people have always swallowed the lie as much as they have the food.
Then again, this is the country where private mining interests deposed a prime minister, Kevin Rudd, within days of his remarking that perhaps the fact that someone had driven a stick into the ground more than a hundred years ago did not eternally exclude the rest of the Australian people from an interest in their country’s mineral wealth.
Rudd was a prime minister in the Labor interest. That’s right. The mining bosses contrived the overthrow of a Labor leader. More amazing yet, however, the Australian public bought the line that he fell because he was unfit for the job.
Personally, I didn’t object. I hold a good dollop of shares in one of the bigger mining companies, BHP. Tell ‘em some more lies, fellas. I want the share price up.
We turn now to this matter of both Cheung Kong Infrastructure and the mainland-based State Grid being told that national security prohibits their purchase of a majority stake in Ausgrid.
No, I have not read the Canberra or New South Wales rule book on what the controlling shareholders of Ausgrid may do with the company and there are two good reasons why I have not.
The first is that I would be reading until well after retirement and still not have got through a tenth of that rule book. The second reason is that the rule book probably allows Ausgrid shareholders to go to the toilet without first asking but certainly forbids them to do anything else without permission.
That’s the way of power utilities and government. Whether it is CKI that holds the shares or some interest with more convincing Australian credentials, and CKI’s are pretty strong that way, the electricity supply of Sydney will be run and priced as government says it will and the company will do as told.
The Australian Treasurer knows this quite well. And what has he said?
Yes, take alarm, all ye of gullibility, it is a Chinese plot to turn off the lights in Sydney so that the war canoes of Vanuatu can steal in under darkness and befeathered head hunters leap out to pursue screaming Sydney maidens (any left?) down the steps of the Opera House.
Woe is us. What good our great sacrifice at Gallipoli if now we allow, nay encourage, this insidious fate to overcome us? To arms, Australia. We must again see off the Yellow Peril.
And you know what? I think the Australian public will buy it. There is something about the distance of this country from the rest of the world that is also reflected in an isolated national consciousness.
But let’s have it straight. The underlying sentiment is racist.