This just keeps getting weirder. Now the Turnbull government has a ‘plan’. In most people’s parlance this plan would only pass as just another ‘thought bubble’. Anyway, this plan is a new ‘defence export strategy’ which is supposed to make Australia one of the world’s top 10 weapons exporters within the next decade1. Currently, Australia ranks as the 20th largest arms exporter on the planet, while it is the 7th largest arms importer. Most of our imports come from the USA, Spain, France and Italy2.
Turnbull hails this as a job-creating plan for local manufacturers in that it is supposed to boost ‘defence exports’ from the current level of about $2 billion per annum. Their way of doing this is to set up a $3.8 billion system to finance local companies to assist them in flogging their defence equipment overseas1.
What does this thought bubble mean? The talk of weapons and defence, will assist the Liberal Party in attempting to decrease the flow of redneck votes to minor parties such as One Nation and the Australian Conservatives; rednecks love guns and things that go bang. This is important to them, given that state elections are to be held in Tasmania in March 2018, in Victoria in November 20183, and in New South Wales early in 2019. Tasmania and New South Wales, have the only incumbent Coalition governments, and those are unpopular. Even though the Victorian election is almost 10 months away, the Federal Coalition is already starting to use the racism dogwhistle in preparation3. This arms plan is also aimed at attempting to improve the Turnbull government’s standing in the next Newspoll, which will be happening in the next few days. However, the most important aspect of this announcement is that it means the Turnbull Government has found another industry which does not contribute as much as it could to Liberal Party coffers. Again, like privatisation, this is just another avenue for laundering billions of taxpayers’ funds by way of grants to industry, so that a proportion (several millions) comes back as donations to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is now, in essence, a money-laundering organisation.
One wag on twitter stated that, if this plan goes as well as Turnbull’s National Broadband Network, Australia will exporting popguns, while another stated that any exported missiles would be horse-drawn.