Monday, October 24, 2016

Duterte, Hanson, and Willful Blindness

Unfortunately, Hanson isn't the blind one here

As the public estrangement of the Philippines from America continues, it increasingly looks like Rody Duterte has been blinded all along by two things: resentment of the Philippines' tangled history with the US and the relative riches proffered by Chinese investment. Wined and dined by Xi Jinping, Drunken Sailor DU30 poses a dilemma not only for a spurned US, but for ASEAN and Filipinos generally as well. 

Trouble is, the Long Boat may arrive sooner than later. Regardless of rhetoric, the US isn't going away, and the reaching out to China may prove to have had poor timing. With Chinese wealth also comes its rot, which is problematic given Rody's rise on the back of long-festering resentment over corruption. China's dangles of low-hanging fruit will also likely leave a sour palate over things as well. 

Why so sure? Because even if he wanted to offer anything but a raw deal, Xi Jinping cannot wholly deliver on promises which are dependent upon ensuring other's pockets stay full. 

Perhaps the President could benefit from an edict ensuring that any Long Boat coming his way maintain a shallow draught

Meanwhile in Hapless Australia, the Trumpist Tart scores another political victory. Pauline Hanson continues to approach legitimacy as the voice of frustrated regional Whites, this time on Norfolk Island. 

Norfolk's beef is a legitimate one. The long-autonomous remote island has been buffooned by a stingy Turnbull government into a territorial back-end of New South Wales, and residents are hopping mad

Canberra's excuse is economic sustainability, and to an extent they have a point. But the execution is predictably ham-handed, with no respect for historical or cultural concerns or even best practices. It's also far from unheard of to allow such vestigial territories to "age in place" - witness the UK's largely uncontroversial largess to territories like Pitcairn. Instead, the Turnbull Goverment insist on taking a stand better suited for RT

Instead, now comes yet another opportunity for Henna'd Harridan Hanson to stoke the embers of resentment. If this continues, Australia is in store for quite the Kettle of Fishwife in regional affairs. 

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