ALONG with probably the majority of regular Herald readers, I can’t be bothered reading the Marxist propaganda of Ol’ Blind Joe (OBJ) each month; his by-line is appropriate and his other faculties are also questionable.
However, Alan Henshaw’s letter last month in response to OBJ’s previous pro-China diatribe prompted me to have a glance at the column.
Then a local farmer whose business is being severely damaged by the Chinese barley tariff told me of his grave concerns that a well-respected Wheatbelt newspaper should express support, and even adulation for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
A glance was all it took to convince me The Herald should check Mr Hamilton’s contributions for veracity before publishing his outlandish statements and incoherent misinformation.
Mr Hamilton’s latest preposterous claim is that Australia, as a result of fear and loathing of China drummed up by the Australian Policy Institute, “has ordered $470 billion worth of submarines and F-35 warplanes and wants to acquire a new long-range missile capability to confront China …”.
That outrageous lie is dangerous and must be withdrawn.
The truth is that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced a commitment to spend $270 billion over the next 10 years on defence capabilities; not $470 billion on planes and submarines as stated by OBJ.
It is a fact that former PM Kevin Rudd’s Australian Labor Party (ALP) defence minister John Faulkner announced on 25 November 2009 that the ALP government had ordered the first batch of fourteen F-35s at a cost of $3.2 billion.
He also announced that the purchase of a further 58 would be considered in 2012.
Australia has now ordered the 72 aircraft at a unit cost of about $A108 million.
The Morrison Government has ordered no more.
It is a fact that in 2007 Mr Rudd’s defence minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, directed his department to produce a white paper which was tabled in 2009.
Key elements were based on the assumption that “China will become increasingly dominant in Australia’s region and that Australia cannot rely on the US for protection” and, that the Royal Australian Navy is planned to undergo significant expansion and replace the current six Collins-class submarines with 12 new submarines.
Australia ordered these 12 submarines several years ago.
It has been admitted at a recent budget estimates committee that the costs of these 12 submarines, now not due in service until the mid-2030s, has blown out from a unit cost of $50 billion to $80 billion.
The Morrison Government has not ordered any more.
Maybe Mr Hamilton may now like to inform us what long-range missiles we will be buying for $470 billion because it is certainly not being spent on submarines and warplanes.
Next to Mr Hamilton’s whitewash and defence of the CCP’s ‘Vocational Education and Training Centres’ which, operating outside of the legal system, incarcerates Muslims, Christians and people of any other religion.
Researchers have used satellite imagery, witness accounts, media reports and official construction tender documents to classify the detention facilities into four tiers depending on the existence of security features such as high perimeter walls, watchtowers and internal fencing.
It found at least 61 detention sites had seen new construction and expansion work in the year to July 2020.
As the Western World’s condemnation of the incarceration of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Xinjiang Uyghurs mounted, the CCP allowed ABC and BBC journalists to visit a couple of the ‘schools’.
Security fencing in previous images had been removed and ‘barracks’ sanitised.
Strangely enough, everyone interviewed by the journalists sang from the same hymn-sheet: “I have deeply understood my mistakes and vow to be a better citizen when I go home.”
To any normal person, Mr Hamilton, that does look a little like unlawful detention and brain-washing.