Features Australia

Allan, James Allan

16 November 2019

9:00 AM

16 November 2019

9:00 AM

I have to confess that I’m a little bit insulted that no one in the totally impartial and apolitical Commonwealth public service has accused me of being a foreign agent. I mean, presumably I tick all the boxes. First off, and clearly most importantly, my views place me indubitably on the right side of politics. I’m a conservative. What else do you need to trigger an accusation of being a foreign agent? It’s not as though I haven’t been a big supporter of Tony Abbott over the years; and I do know Andrew Cooper well. So what’s wrong with me? I even have a few emails related to last year’s CPAC conference. This looks like blatant discrimination to me. Maybe whatever lefty commissioner the Liberal government has most recently appointed to the Human Rights Commission might want to take up my case? Or not. I am Caucasian I now recall.

Secondly, I’ve spent all of this calendar year hanging out in Britain and the US. These are obviously the two overseas governments that most worry the insanely left/Green/hate-the-right (sorry, wholly apolitical) public servants who oversee the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (FITS) law. Let’s face it. It’s not going to be China or some hell-hole in the Middle East or Russia or Indonesia that is most likely to undermine Australia’s democracy. It’s going to be those two places governed by those two ‘extreme right’, ‘hard right’, misogynistic, bigoted, transphobic, anti-environmentalist, heteronormative racists; namely Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. (As an aside, those are the reasons why I would have voted for both men but I’m not sure it’s why tens and tens and tens of millions of Americans and Brits did and will vote for them.) At any rate, given that the overseeing Canberra bureaucrats are viewing this FIT scheme in this way – and who other than some über naive or downright dense Liberal cabinet minister like Christian Porter would have expected anything else? – I ask again, why not me?

Over the course of this year I’ve met and dined with Brexiteer Daniel Hannan, with Maggie Thatcher speechwriter John O’Sullivan, with a bevy of American Republicans and right-leaning think tankers, with a higher-up in the Brexit Party, with a few hard-line female conservatives, with some people (gasp, horror) who want to limit immigration. When it came to moi, surely the shoe FITS. Seen from Canberra, and as regards Allan, James Allan, foreign influence cannot possibly be made of sterner stuff (to paraphrase that well-known white male privileged scribe who the woke brigades are trying to remove from the school curriculum – see Essex County in Ontario, Canada).  Hence, I repeat, where was my snarky, deranged and nasty threat of half a year in prison? I was stumped.

But then it struck me that perhaps I’d been saved by having been born in Canada. Maybe it was the old ‘innocence by association’ principle that so helped Justin Trudeau in the very recent Canadian election that might have come to my aid. Or could it be that the wholly impartial and apolitical Commonwealth public service just assumed (based on the over 95 per cent statistical likelihood backing it up) that as a professor in an Australian university I must be ‘of the Left’ and hence no threat at all to our country’s security?

Well, these mysteries surpass all human understanding, whatever their preferred pronoun. Accordingly, I finish by pointing out to the geniuses in the Coalition government, the people who gave us the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme, that really you are doing a splendid job all by yourselves in undermining Australia. There are no grounds at all for worrying about ‘foreign agents’ ruining Australia when Team Morrison is doing such a splendid job all by itself. Remember, when my family and I arrived in Australia at the start of 2005 we had the democratic world’s cheapest energy. Now it’s pretty much the highest. That is all the doing of politicians, and largely (it pains me to say) of those of the Liberal party. Or consider other Liberal party- induced insanities. Australia’s investment in so-called ‘clean energy’ (so not nuclear) amounts to just over US$400 per capita per year. That’s basically double, yes double, the next most profligate countries of Japan and the US (at $215 and $205 respectively). And it’s more than double the UK’s spending and a good deal more than six times Canada’s. And for what? We are statistically irrelevant when it comes to affecting the world’s climate. We could submit to the preaching of some of the wilder voices against the European arrival in Australia and opt to go back to a Stone Age life and you know what difference that would make to the world’s rate of increase of the temperature? Zero. We’re impoverishing ourselves so that those frequenting inner- city dinner parties can, between jet trips to Europe, feel good about themselves – and possibly to help out the rent-seekers in the renewables brigade, not to mention trying to save Josh Frydenberg’s seat at the next election.

Then there’s the world’s dumbest submarine purchase, the equivalent of flushing billions down the toilet. Thank you Liberal party. There’s the monopolistic NBN that should have been cancelled on day one of the Abbott government, on day one of the Turnbull government, on day one of the Morrison government, or now. The fallacy of ‘sunk costs’ seems to have infected all these Coalition governments. Plus there’s the way the military has been turned into an arm of the Social Justice Warriors movement by the Libs.  Oh, and don’t ever forget the attack on superannuation.

Then there is the inability of any Liberal government seemingly to resist the temptation to appoint lefties to everything going. Mad at the ABC for the left-wing fiascos that are Q&A, The Drum and so on? The top two people at the ABC were recently appointed by Team Morrison. And the Human Rights Commission? Top people appointed by Team Turnbull.

Remember John O’Sullivan’s law: Any organisation not overtly right-leaning will over time become captured by the Left. So who in their right mind hands over the oversight of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme law to Canberra’s public servants? Well, the same people who apparently believe that freedom of religion can be protected by another Human Rights Commissioner.  God they’re dumb.

The only mystery, and a big regret of mine, is why I haven’t received my FITS letter yet?

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