Crikey readers had a lot of points to add to Jason Murphy’s notes on Australia’s role in the upcoming trade war between the US and China, with consensus balanced somewhere between the positive and disastrously negative possibilities. Elsewhere, there were, understandably, strong words being thrown around about Murdoch’s role in the culling of Australian politicians, who refuse to denounce him until they are free of his gaze (as noted by Bernard Keane).

On the coming trade war

AR writes: Odd that there is no mention of how a disruption of the China/US exchange system would affect our exports to China. (Our exports to the US are barely discernible.) If China needs to make fewer toys for its biggest market then it will need less iron & coking coal from us. Recall that the only, the SOLE, reason we survived the GFC unscathed is because of those big holes in our landscape.

Dog’s Breakfast: Ross Gittins was the last person who wrote that the Oz economy is 80% internal — us selling stuff to us. Those figures would be old, but still. International embargoes on our coal — good. Gas supply — fantastic, our companies would have to sell us our gas at reasonable prices, possibly even less than what they ship it to Japan for. Iron Ore — well the international price would sky rocket, some good there.

In any case the profits from much of the big exporters often leave our shores as dividends to foreign owners. The biggest problem would be if we took sides in the trade war. Provided we don’t, the effect of a trade war may be much less than we suspect. KPMG’s study would no doubt be honest and rigorous, and tempered by a view that international trade is always good and less is always bad. I wouldn’t bank on their assessments being realised.

On politicians biting the Murdoch hand which once fed them

zut alors writes: Once a politician curries favour with Murdoch there’s only one option further down the track: to be out of favour. All our PMs fall for it, having first been courted and, in time, anointed by the media mogul. Alas, it always ends in tears.

Many voters once judged Turnbull as successful and smart. But the wily barrister was used by Murdoch in the manner of a clueless drug mule. Turnbull destroyed a premium quality NBN and then changed the “two out of three” media ownership regulations. Having done Murdoch’s bidding there was no outstanding business, hence no reason to keep him around. But why did Murdoch remove him?

Because an ageing lion wanted to demonstrate that he could. It’s an old trick: slaughtering an animal in front of the herd puts them all on notice.

Applet writes: Given the hyper hysteria over Russian election “influence”, one would expect border force to be actively investigating Murdoch and spawn with the view of charging them with subversion of our electoral processes.

Geoff Eastwood writes: It’s interesting that leaders beat a path to Rupert — maybe, like his employees, they know what is expected of them? A royal commission would be appropriate — the old paradigms need to change. It’s time for Rupey to have his wings clipped, as happened in the UK. Suddenly the pollies there were emboldened as though a yoke had been lifted. Wouldn’t that be nice here? ScoMo your goose is cooked regardless; he can’t hurt you. Go for the jugular!

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