Downer’s Dribble —Size — it DOES matter!”

Andrew Phillips


5th October 2009

Despite having turned his back on politics and left local taxpayers with a ridiculous bill for a needless by-election, former Foreign Affairs Minister and MP for Mayo Alexander Downer just can’t seem to keep his nose out of local affairs. One is left wondering why, if he is so interested and has so much to say, he even resigned after the Liberal loss at the last election. Perhaps it had something to do with ego? Like Paul Keating’s petulant little dummy spit when he realised Australians had enough of his treachery and didn’t want him to be PM anymore.....

Unlike Paul Keating, Downer didn’t just label the nation he supposedly loves the “arsehole of the world” and pursue a career as some has-been political hack on the speaking circuit, only to be dragged back into the limelight at party conference time for the party faithful to gawk at and pay an exorbitant sum on the off chance they could have their photo taken with a party relic.

Not so for Alexander, here we have pedigree. South Australian readers are regularly treated with a full page opinion column in the Adelaide Advertiser written by the man himself, extolling the virtues of the global village, lamenting the evils of protectionism and desperately trying to get the poor proles to just wake up to the reality of international relationships (either that or to just stop thinking and go back to their beer, footy and leave the affairs of the nation to those qualified to have an opinion).

Sept 28th the Advertiser gave us a real treat titled “Advance Australia Fair — Population growth would increase the country’s stature on the world stage”.

Just reading the title makes one think Mr. Downer has an issue about size.

After informing us that Australia now has a population of 22 million, achieved by an increase of 500,000 in the last year — 300,000 of whom were “migrants”, Alexander began to wax lyrical about the good old days under Pig Iron Bob Menzies and his family’s close relationship with Sir Robert. So much so, Alex claims he was “injected with Menzies’ enthusiasm for nation building”.

A noble sentiment, but based upon the track record of the last Coalition government we could be forgiven for thinking Downer has confused the definition of “nation building” and “nation selling”.

This confusion progressed further into his article. Inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, Downer proceeded to inform us of how wealthy we are while understanding that we may not feel very wealthy as we struggle with our locked in mortgages and car loans (don’t bother mentioning the dairy farmers getting paid less than the cost of production for their milk, or the fruit orchardists and wheat farmers you betrayed during your time in office, Alex), but suggested we take the time to wonder how people in other countries are faring.

If Australians took his advice they’d see the reality of the so called “level playing field” and get a glimpse of the future that awaits their children.

Alex even went on to praise the fact that “Australians treat each other pretty well”. Indeed we do Alex, but the inassimilable cultures you and your ilk have brought into the country aren’t quite so tolerant are they? Ask the young girls pack raped by Moslems because their Imam teaches that they are worthless and unchaste because they are “kaffirs” or the mothers attacked by African “refugees” on their way to work in the inner suburbs. Certainly Downer can look through his rose coloured glasses about “Jews, Moslems, Christians and Buddhists, even St Kilda and Geelong supporters living happily together on the same street — they might even intermarry”, but I’ll bet London to a brick it isn’t his street.

Having momentarily come down from his global village high, Mr. Downer proceeded to examine the two things (what — only two?) that “stand between this country as it is and Australia being a really great nation” one assumes he’s going past the obvious answer, that being Liberal and Labor.

He laments our geography. Apparently, because we are “so isolated” we are virtually overlooked and no world leaders want to come here. What a travesty, that doesn’t stop illegals finding the time and money to by pass several safe havens on plane flights to Indonesia before they play the emotion card by hopping onto an Indonesian fishing boat. Never mind, by Alex’s account the current Secretary General of the UN did come here as a South Korean Minister and even played golf here in Adelaide!!!! One assumes it was with Alex, but he’s not one to drop names....

Apparently, if world leaders don’t want to make the time to come to our little outpost, our influence is diminished. The answer to this problem (in Alex’s twisted logic) is — more people! So, world leaders will suddenly overlook the time and distance involved in visiting us and listening to what we have to say provided we’re all living on top of each other like rats.

With 50 million people, Alex reckons we’ll carry a lot more weight and we will be listened to more attentively in international forums such as the UN, G20, APEC, the South East Summit and the Commonwealth “where we already have quite an impact”. Quite an impact? If this is so, just how much control do you want us to have following our push to 50 million?

Sounds like a desire for power there Alex, can’t be easy being a big fish with big ideas in a little pond like ours. One wonders if he harbors any plans for the “lebensraum” for our expanding population? After all, our continent is fragile and can barely support the population we have now — or are you still supporting the ludicrous idea promoted by your buddies in the HR Nicholls Society of a population of at least 20 million clinging to the foreshore of Port Philip Bay?

50 million — one doesn’t need to guess from where they will be coming.

Having supposedly made his point (in his mind at least), Downer proceeded to tackle the hoary issue of the environment and turned his guns on “the Greens”, asking the question “why are dark Greens such angry, aggressive and intolerant people?” and wondering why on earth they are raging about population growth, CO2 emissions and the fact we don’t have enough water.

Concern about population, water and the environment doesn’t make one a social engineering, tree hugging dope smoker Alex — but it’s human nature to generalise in some cases so I guess we can forgive your display of “intolerance” here. Perhaps some of us have concern about these issues because we want our children to have a decent standard of living and quality of life?

Credit where it is due, this was the point where Alex’s article became mildly entertaining — if only for the glossing over of major issues and the blatant gobbledy-gook laden political back-flipping worthy of an episode of “Yes, Minister”.

Through Downer’s reasoning, the CO2 issue is a non-issue because the rise in population (to the Holy Grail of 50 million and beyond) will be mostly from immigration, so the emissions in CO2 will be lowered in their country of origin and raised in ours — so what’s the problem? A bizarre notion to say the least considering the current dilemma faced by his party over the whole issue of carbon trading and the effects of penalties upon businesses, farmers and employment.

On the issue of water, Downer claims “it isn’t that we lack water — it’s the pretty ordinary way we manage it and charge for it”. So, we flood the nation with another 28 million mostly Third World (sorry “Developing World”) immigrants and charge them through the nose for the use of our abundantly cheap water?

Logic like this indicates possibly too much time spent at the “prestigious and exclusive” Adelaide Club and too little in the real world.

Mr. Downer then goes on to say the real issue is population growth, with the world’s population expected to jump another 3 Billion in forty years. That’s ok, don’t stress — apparently Mr. Downer has it on good authority that ‘as wealth grows, population doesn’t grow with it’.

Right. So, following Alex’s logic, Australia has an ageing population which threatens our standard of living so we need to increase our population (to at least 50 million) despite the current non-existent water crisis and infrastructure problems. Population is needed to stimulate demand and feed the economy to produce wealth, yet the production of wealth will also result in a decline in population — so everything’s ok.

Sounds like a snake oil salesman from the old west.......

Australians are an innovative people, Mr. Downer. Throughout our nation’s relatively short history, we have displayed levels of ingenuity, resourcefulness and stoicism that have made our people more than a match for any competitors. We can hold our own without resorting to the twisted and disastrous ideologies to which unscrupulous and opportunistic career politicians would have us bound.

Population does not equal wealth nor standard of living, if it did we would be kicking down the doors of the Chinese and Indian consulates to get a residency permit.

A population of at least 50 million? Yes, minister.............




Articles by Andrew Phillips