Alex Mitchell’s Weekly Notebook

Shadow boxing of Malcolm Turnbull v Bill Shorten … How Hitler tamed the Catholics before turning on the Jews … Canberra’s new ally: the maniac in Manila … Japan: Empire of the Rising Gun ….
Great Bores continued ….

Turnbull and Shorten fight phoney election

Australia’s federal election is increasingly like a boxing match in which the combatants are fighting with one arm tied behind their back.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is jabbing with one fist on behalf of old-style Menzies Liberals, while right-wing conservatives led by Tony Abbott, aka the “Mad Monk”, are holding onto his other arm.
The Abbottistas don’t want Turnbull to win by a hefty margin: that will only consolidate his prime ministership and his grip on the Liberal Party.
They’d be happier if Turnbull scraped home and couldn’t resist pressure to bring Abbott into the Cabinet where could wilfully molest Turnbull’s leadership and his policies.
In the other corner of the ring, Opposition leader Bill Shorten is facing the same subliminal warfare. His opponents aren’t the ALP’s right wing but its so-called “hard left” led by Anthony Albanese.
If Shorten wins the election on July 2, Albanese’s deluded leadership ambitions will be dead and buried. But if Labor polls poorly, Shorten’s leadership will be on the line with Albanese desperately wanting to push him out of the way and succeed him.
Meanwhile, Shorten’s election is in a mess. Labor has a readymade three-point election manifesto which is popular and distinguishes the ALP from Turnbull’s uber-rich cronies:
– EDUCATION: Guarantee implementation of the Gonski school funding plan;
– HEALTH: Guarantee full future funding of Medicare;
– SOCIAL JUSTICE: Establish a royal commission into banks, the wealth creation industry, finance sector salaries, commissions, offshore tax havens, money laundering and tax evasion.
However, Shorten’s team appears to be lying doggo on all three policies. Are they frightened of them? Or are they frightened of being accused of “class war” by the Murdoch press?
During two weeks of the current campaign Labor fell for the oldest Tory trick in the book and started to defend its budget costings, the size of future deficits and the date of a return to budget surplus.
Shorten and shadow treasurer Chris Bowen boasted about the billions they would “save” by axing specific social programmes. They appeared to relish the task. It proved, they said, that were not just trimmers but cutters, and that no sector was immune from their axe.
The Tories and the private finance sector loved it; so did the Tory editorial writers.
But out in voter land, people asked themselves – if these timid pollies offer to axe public spending, i.e. cut jobs, services and living standards, whenever the whips are cracked, why should I have any confidence in any of their policies at this election?
In the final desperate days of the long campaign, Shorten threw caution to the wind and started to focus on a mad Medicare scare campaign. He hasn’t grasped the fact that he cannot scare people into voting Labor. It doesn’t work that way. People need something to vote for.

Lessons from Nazi Germany

In 1936 the Nazi regime in Germany put dozens of Catholic priests and nuns on trial on charges of sexual perversion.
For the next 12 months German newspapers had a field day reporting the Catholic church’s sex crimes against the country’s Aryan youth.
Front-page headlines of the “immorality trials” screamed, “Corrupters of Youth clad in Cassocks” and “Bottomless depravity on the Monastry”.
Using the anti-Catholic hysteria, Adolf Hitler shut down Catholic schools, closed the Catholic daily press and set loose Hitler Youth gangs to beat up bishops and priests.
Hitler extended his anti-Catholic persecution into Austria and Sudetenland when they invaded and annexed by the Reich.
At the same time, Hitler, a Catholic himself, was actively supporting Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini and emerging Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, both fascists and Catholics.
Hitler’s anti-Catholicism had a purpose: he wanted Vatican support for his regime, especially for his racial purity laws. Mussolini won a written agreement with the Vatican after his Black Shirts adopted systematic thuggery to secure the attention of the Catholic hierarchy. The Fuhrer adopted the same terror policy and a deal was struck: the Vatican approved the Nazi race laws as well as a partnership between Rome’s fascists and Berlin’s Nazis. The Axis was born and another world war became inevitable.
The deal was brokered by Jesuits whose role was to mastermind Vatican diplomacy and maintain the church’s ideological orthodoxy.
For example, Wlodzimierz Ledochowski, head of the Jesuit order, urged Pope Pius XI to issue a worldwide warning about the menace of Soviet atheistic communism – the product of Jews – and the world press because “it too is under Jewish control”. It should become the target of a “more energetic and better organised resistance,” he advised.
Ledochowski told the Pope that “the communist movement in Russia was staged by Jews. And now, too, … it is the Jews who are the primary champions and promoters of communist propaganda”.
The Pope was so impressed that he produced an encyclical called La Civilta cattolica to frighten the faithful into an anti-Jewish frenzy.
The Vatican press favourably quoted one of Hitler’s Nuremberg speeches in which he said: “With indefatigable tenacity, the Jewish revolutionary headquarters prepares world revolution.”
Pope Pius was impressed by the Fuhrer’s wild fantasies. “I have changed my opinion about Hitler,” he told the French ambassador to Italy. “It is the first time that such a government voice has been raised to denounce Bolshevism in such categorical terms, joining with the voice of the Pope.”
Having achieved a deal with the Vatican, Hitler allowed Catholic schools to re-open and their newspapers to be republished. The persecution of Catholics was replaced by the persecution of Jews, communists, socialists, atheists and liberal-minded artists, musicians and writers. The rest is history.
Today’s racial “enemies” are deemed to be Moslems, short hand for terrorists, in Rupert Murdoch’s media and supporters of Donald Trump-for-president in the USA.

Manila’s maniac

Rodrigo Duterte, to be sworn in as Philippines president on June 30, has declared open season on drug pushers.
Last weekend 11 dealers were shot dead by cops bringing to 40 the number summarily executed in the street since Duterte’s election on May 9.
Because the newly-elected president has warned corrupt cops that they face execution if they are caught drug-dealing, it will come as no surprise to learn that Manila’s boys in blue are randomly killing dealers who might incriminate them.
One of Duterte’s first presidential decisions will be to restore the death penalty – his preference is hanging – and renew military agreements with the Pentagon over bases, arms, training and intelligence-sharing.
Under orders from Washington, the next Australian government, Labor or Liberal, will embrace the “Manila maniac” because he’s a “regional ally”.

The “Japanese miracle”?

Prime Minister Shinjo Abe’s right-wing government was once Tony Abbott’s favourite Asian ally. When he proposed to spend $50 billion on 12 submarines he privately told Abe that Japan would win the prize. (Malcolm Turnbull upset the arrangement and gave the contract to French arms manufacturers).
Now Abe’s government has fallen to dismal levels in the opinion polls and his celebrated “Abenomics” have become a laughing stock.
Finance Minister Taro Aso is helping the LDP’s declining fortunes. He said recently that elderly people should go ahead and die, thereby saving the economy some money.
He has previously called hospital-bound elderly people “tube persons” and insulted the membership of the centrist Democratic Party of Japan saying it was like the Nazi Party.
As the politician guiding the nation’s finances, he said he would like to turn Japan into a country where “rich Jews” would like to live. Australia should send him “High-rise” Harry Triguboff who tops this year’s BRW Rich List with $10.62 billion.

Computer wars

A China-made supercomputer has topped a list of the world’s fastest computers for the seventh straight year – and for the first time the winner uses only Chinese components instead of US technology.
Also this year, China displaced the US for the first time as the country with the most supercomputers in the Top 500. China has 167 supercomputers, the US 165 and Japan tagged along in third place with 29.
Sure, the country with the highest number of supercomputers isn’t a definition of its economic, social or political strength. However, it does demonstrate that China has overcome its technological backwardness in an amazingly short space of time. It has momentum too and a domestic economy which is growing at almost three times the rate of the chronically stalled, drunkenly-indebted US economy.
Will real estate spiv Donald Trump succeed in “making America great again” or will China replace the US as the world’s next super power? And will the winner prevail without going to war?

Great Bores II: New series

The cops in NSW have arrested another 15-year-old on terrorism charges. They’re locking up school kids at a rate of knots. They should deport them if they don’t like it here. That’s what we did in the old days. My ancestors came out as convicts and I’m bloody proud of them. After a few years’ hard labour they were set free to become farmers on the Hawkesbury. Our family made a fortune out of it. Shows what a bit of hard yakka can do. Of course, negative gearing and sub-dividing helped as well. Today’s little buggers won’t work in an iron lung and they’re crowding out the prison system. I see where the state government has allocated $3.8 billion to create 3000 new places for prisoners in this week’s budget. Money well spent, I reckon.