Solomon islands

New Aussie rules: Conservative values have fallen out of fashion

The election campaign is under way in Australia, barbs are being exchanged, candidates denigrated and abused, and promises – many of which are just fantastic in the literal sense of the word – are being made. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who is the leader of the Liberal party, is being challenged by the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese. Although Morrison has the edge over Albanese as preferred prime minister, neither is much loved. The leaders are unlikely to be a decisive issue in the election. What is the deeper mood of the country? That needs to be put into its historical context. Ever since the mid-1970s, Australians have expected political

China’s pact with the Solomons is a direct threat to Australia

Tulagi, a 1.5 square mile island in the South Pacific’s Solomon Islands, is perhaps the most remote place on the planet to have a repeat role in world history. On 4 May 1942, Emperor Hirohito’s Japanese forces landed on Tulagi – then the capital of the British Solomon Islands Pro­tectorate – to attempt to cut off Australia from American supplies. Worse still, Aus­tralia feared invasion. These goals were ulti­mately thwarted in the naval and land battles of Guadalcanal. Not surprisingly, then, the news today that China has signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands has horrified the Australians. Canberra says the deal could ‘undermine stability in our region’ and