"Deal or No Deal". A game show many in Australia watch just prior to their local evening news. Andrew O'Keefe asks the same question of each contestant every night, and we're never surprised at the answer.
Q: "What are you going to do with the money?"
A: "I'm going to Disneyland", or New York, or Thailand, or Europe. Never are they going to Cairns, or Lizard Island, or Kalgoorlie. Or even New Zealand. Nope, we're getting the hell out, in numbers double 10 years ago.
My vote for Aussie traitor is one Ken Wood, swimming coach at Redcliffe, Brisbane. Chinese swimmers have been training with Wood and other coaches in Australia, paying them huge stipends and bonuses for what is essentially a traitorous act. It's the equivalent of the theft of intellectual property - no different than manufacturing secrets. Aussie coaching knowledge in swimming has been built up, and paid for by Australian taxpayers over some 30 years or more. Our coaches are the repository of this knowledge. We've known for at least three years that Ken Wood was selling us out. And we've been sold out so an unpatriotic few can get rich on the backs of the Chinese, and apparently at the expense of Aussie swimmers. And Wood signed on with the Chinese after being feted by his local community, who raised tens of thousands of $$ to support him, although some believe Australian coaches are not compensated fairly, especially compared to the swimmers. But Wood and others involved in this traitorous act should be forced to pay a "traitor's tax" on their tainted winnings.
While clearly the Chinese swimmers train very hard, perhaps harder than any other country, this training would be ineffectual without the coaching and training knowledge being sold to them by Australia. You don't see the American coaches, home of the most world-class swimmers, hosting Chinese swimmers and sharing with them their knowledge. American patriotism wouldn't tolerate it. A coach doing such a thing would be ostracized and gone.
Likewise our local "debate" on Coral Sea fishing. We don't pretend to understand green zones, red zones, ocean trawlers, and the debate over closing more of the Great Barrier Reef to fishing. We do know that criticism of the Pew Environmental group, claiming they're "outsiders", is unfair given that only a small part of the Coral Sea is Australian territory, under international law. The survival and prosperity of the oceans is a global responsibility. No country can own or control the oceans.
|CAIRNS LIVE FISH ON SALE IN HONG KONG|
MacKenzie show callers complaining about the new proposals for the reef bitterly talk about the high price of reef fish at their local monger, with Warren "Run for the Door" Entsch promoting the idea that visitors want to eat locally caught fish. So why is so much of our reef fish being sold off to Hong Kong? Cathay Pacific has hung tough servicing the Cairns market during the GFC for only one reason - the tonnage of live seafood being shipped from Cairns to wealthy Hong Kong restauranteurs. As fishing has declined in Cairns, the live seafood shipments to Hong Kong have GONE UP? Where is the outcry by the Cairns hillbilly contingent on a few fisho's making squillions while the rest of us put up with farmed or imported seafood?
This is unpatriotic. Fisho's in Cairns, as a requirement of any new fishing regulations, should be required to sell their catch at home, and pay the equivalent of a "mining royalty" for any fish they wish to sell abroad. We should be doing like most of the Asian countries anyway and expanding our capability for fish farming to meet demand. Want to eat local fish? Stop them from going abroad.
Then there's everyone's favourite bigmouth, Dick Smith. Dick hangs his hat on the "Buy Australian" mantra, and is currently promoting again his "Dick Smith Foods", featuring his Australian owned version of Vegemite, Ozemite. Made in Australia (as is Vegemite), Smith engages in the lowest of hillbilly marketing to get people to buy his product. He claims it's the "patriotic thing to do", keeping the profits at home. Sadly he ignores the reasons why Vegemite, Arnotts, and other Australian companies are now in foreign hands. Arnotts is a case on point. As Arnott's began to struggle in the 1990's, primarily due to lack of modern plant and equipment, Australian banks refused to loan the company any money and Australian equity investors refused to provide new capital for the company. In a desperate bid for survival, Arnott's turned to overseas investors and was purchased in toto by Campbells Soup, an American company.
How can we now bitch about foreign ownership of our iconic companies when we had the opportunity to save them, by investing in them?
The Dick Smith argument is then taken to absurd levels. One local advertiser on the Cueball show says we should "buy from them" because their local Cairns businessman and competitor is a franchise, and "the profits are going down south". Apparently to Australians, but what's the difference? Cairns would be booming if Australians just took holidays in Australia, instead of Thailand, Bali, and other foreign destinations.
Sadly, when fisho's and swimming coaches can sell out their own country to make a quid, Aussie patriotism is hitting rock bottom.