Monthly Archives: June 2014

Abbott and Othello? Geopolitical Tragi-Comedy Unfolds

Stephen Harper & Tony Abbott (AKA underDown & Downunder)

According to a weapons-industry blog published by the über-hawkish Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Shakespearian comic duo (and co-leaders of the shadowy anglo-governmental spy treaty known as Five Eyes) are getting together in Ottawa to coordinate more than their Prime Ministerial wardrobes.

As we watch Australian PM Tony Abbott trending across the public sphere for his #Canadia tongue malfunction, it’s easy to lose sight of the significant policy matters being plotted by the PMs on our behalf. How convenient. Watch for Stephen Harper to refer to his “good friend, the Austrian Prime Minister,” further distracting news media from more serious affairs.

It’s also distracting (but not news) that Harper & Abbott — CSIS code names: underDown & Downunder — are being “frank” about marshalling forces to deny climate change, but they’re not saying much about their mutual security cooperation agenda.

Shortly after his election, Tony reportedly told the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Dialogue that he and Steve are mind-melding:

“[The Canada-Australia] relationship is strong but under-developed even though we are as like-minded as any two countries can be. So, I want to make more of this friendship: for our own good and for the good of the wider world.”

And — I guess because good surveillance makes good, like-minded neighbours — it’s for “the good of the wider world” that our PMs can compare notes on the way to Washington DC, reports the Canberra-based think tank (emphasis added):

“As Abbott’s speech makes clear, he values the [Can-Aus] link for its historical foundations in military cooperation during WWI. The PM was too savvy to use the term ‘Anglosphere’, because that would have been reviled by the usual glassy-eyed suspects, but it’s clear the government sees the intelligence relationship between the five-eyes countries as bedrock national security.

Call me glassy-eyed, but this suspect is eager to hear more from these two status-quo apologists about why the US should turn away from carbon pricing.

I’m hoping a reporter asks this question: Are the Prime Ministers planning to offer up the digital privacy of Canadian & Australian citizens in exchange for American foot-dragging on what you call the “job-killing carbon tax?”

Just think of how tasty that offer would be to both the data collectors and the Big Carbon industry lobby.

Why, our PMs could even push for White House endorsement of a new Fair Fossil Fuel™ program to protect temporary foreign workers in our oil sands, LNG plants and coal mines.

Hell, this commonwealth comedy team could cap it all off in Vancouver with a three-fer appearance alongside Premier Clark to announce her new provincial marketing campaign: Green Coal From the Best Place on Earth ©

Think of the coverage! One call from The New Christy Minstrels, and Global BC & The Vancouver Sun will sign their newsrooms on as Official Media Partners for a white-hardhat-only campaign launch event & gala at the Fraser Surrey Docks. Premier Clark could call it her Black is the New Green Ball, and all proceeds could go to the Vancouver Aquarium whale-pool expansion project. What a show that would be, eh?

Alas, that would all be a bit too Shakespearian — even these like-minded clowns know how Othello ends. The Bard didn’t say this, but I will: methinks they loved fossil fuel too well.

bh