Sunday, July 5, 2009

Keating, You Magnificent Ba$tard, You've Done It Again!

Anyone with even a passing interest in my humble little blog will probably know by now that I think former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating is pretty f*&$ing excellent. Last week he descended, yet again, from the sky like Gabriel The Archangel to pass judgement on policies of the current regime. He's really good at stuff like that.

Basically, he's maintaing the line he's always held that Australia ought to get completely on board with the whole 'Asia, the wave of the future' thing.

Until the early 19th century, China was the world's largest economy and had been since the Middle Ages. It was knocked off that perch by a much smaller country, Britain, with its Industrial Revolution and the innovations that that brought. And the same thing happened in Germany and then in the US with an even larger population. This had to happen in China. Only Mao's primitive view of Chinese society had stopped it happening earlier. China was slated to win the big economic race because it had five times the population of the largest economy, the US. And more than five times the pent-up demand. It was also putting into place new infrastructure and new productive capacity. So this great state with its profound sense of self and the wherewithal to make a better life for its citizens has eased itself into a major role in world affairs, which I believe will be an altogether positive one.

It makes sense now more than ever, what with our current Mandarin-totin' PM running the show, and John Howard (who probably thought shaking hands with people with brownish skin was "icky," and possibly didn't like going to China because it "smells all asiany") out of the picture.

I really wish Paul Keating would make a comeback.

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