As we settle back for the unique delights of the Aussie Christmas, placing the pressies under the Chrissy tree and stacking the esky, it is tempting to ignore the events unfolding in a grim, cold, bleak Europe. Europe is revolting. The home of our beloved Western civilisation is being torn apart by riots, violence and street marches. Governments are teetering and feeling the wrath of the everyday man and woman in the street.
But as we sprawl out on our beach towels and rip the heads off another bucket of fresh prawns, what lessons are there for us, far away in peaceful, sunny Australia? Could such unrest happen here?
In Belgium it was the signing of the Global Compact on Migration in Marrakesh that pushed the government into crisis and the ruling party lost it its majority. That’s the very same Global Compact on Migration our mandarins were urging us to sign until this magazine and its columnist John Stone alerted Australia to the insidious nature of the Compact – described by France’s potential next president Marine le Pen as ‘a compact with the devil’.
Fortunately, we didn’t see riots here. But what we did see was the outpouring of disgust in letters to MPs, talkback radio, letters to the editor and general disquiet about the Compact. Wisely, Prime Minister Scott Morrison listened to the people and – against the wishes of his own bureaucrats – said No, we won’t sign. Well done, PM. It goes without saying that under Labor the Compact would have been signed, thereby achieving the Left’s dream of legally throwing open our borders.
In France, the riots and violence have been driven by widespread protests against the climate change policies of President Macron, in particular his jacking up of the price of petrol, thereby penalising French tradies, businesses and families. The street violence has gone on for four weeks now. President Macron has back-flipped on some of his climate plans, but the insurmountable problem he faces is that all he is doing is attempting to implement his own Paris Agreement on climate change – the very same Agreement that Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop so sneakily ratified.
Regardless of the outcomes and pronouncements from COP24 in Katowice, Poland, the unavoidable reality is that if we, too, are to implement the Paris Agreement in full we will have to dramatically reduce emissions in the agriculture and transport sectors which we haven’t even touched yet – and that’s before we start culling cattle.
Or, as the Mayor of London is now attempting to do in order to ‘save the planet’, we will have to charge all motorists exorbitant sums simply to go about their business or ramp up the cost of fuel to cut emissions.
But the unrest goes further, with the French also marching against the Global Compact on Migration. Many Brits are incensed by the betrayal of Brexit. The Dutch have had enough of their elitist government. Europe is not exactly enjoying un très Joyeux Noël.
Any good news? In Italy, Deputy PM Matteo Salvini is being applauded, rather than denounced, by large crowds for successfully reducing immigration from North Africa and the Middle East by a staggering amount. Salvini, of course, was inspired by Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton stopping the boats to Australia.
The lessons for the coming year are clear for Scott Morrison. He must take the fight to Labor on climate, border and cultural issues. Labor and the Greens are slaves to the ideologies of open borders, unfettered immigration and climate change: the greatest Christmas gifts any true conservative prime minister could possibly hope for.
Our gift to you
What to do as the kids are screaming in the backyard fuelled by festive over-indulgence and too many presents? Why not settle down on the verandah and try your hand at essay writing?
Thanks to the generosity and inspiration of the Thawley family, this magazine is proud to promote fresh writing and creative talent through the annual Spectator Australia Thawley Essay Prize, now in its fifth year. The winner takes home $5,000, gets published and enjoys a slap-up meal with the judges Michael Thawley and John Howard.
The theme for this year’s essay is ‘The Next Great Hashtag’. How you interpret that is up to you, but feel free to be as provocative, engaging and insightful as your skills allow. Already, prize-winners have gone on to contribute regularly to this magazine and elsewhere, and in this issue you’ll find yet another piece by one of them, Tony Letford. For full details of the Prize, go to: spectator.com.au/thawley18
And a Merry Christmas to all.