Tony-Abbott
Tony Abbott (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

Whoever or whatever Tony Abbott is loyal to, in my opinion, it's not Australia. The ink was barely dry on the AUKUS agreement -- or the one-page announcement that constitutes the totality of its visible existence -- before Mr Tony had got himself to Taipei to identify with the island's ad hoc status. See a pattern here?

The British-Australian has already distinguished himself by becoming trade negotiator for the UK as regards Australia, after having been prime minister of Australia. During that brief fever dream, his most urgent self-set political task was to restore British honours -- and give Prince Philip one.

But those expressions of imperial fealty are really just a subset of a more overarching loyalty to the West, as represented by the participants in the AUKUS alliance, with us as the junior and wholly expendable element. There's a whole crowd of them on the right, from the Anglomorphs, who believe that only English-derived political entities should run the world, to "clash-of-civilisations" secular supremacists, and sheer political opportunists who would trash tenuous regional dialogue for a wedge.