The Brown Speech
Bob Brown’s strident attack on foreign investment in Australia would threaten growth of renewables. There is no significant wind and solar development in this country that hasn’t got overseas capital. Indeed when consortia bid for federal government approval – and subsidy – to build industrial scale photovoltaic generation the following foreign firms lined-up: Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (Spain) Suntech (China) and BP Solar (UK). After all, globally BP is the biggest investor in wind and biofuels. It has invested over $5 billion in the last five years. Why would you discriminate?
The debate about foreign investment is pure nostalgia, a throwback to the late 60s.
BHP recently attempted to purchase potash in Canada and got rejected by the Canadian government; Australian mining firms invest in resources throughout Africa; and BHP Billiton has investment in seven US mines.
Old small-c communist influence is one strand of Green Party opinion. This is confirmed by Bob Brown’s call for a “global people’s assembly” to tackle nuclear proliferation, currency speculation and global hunger. Not, incidentally, over-population, which is the underlying cause of food shortages, entrenched poverty and national conflicts. Population leaves the Green Party uncomfortable.
In the 60s the Communist Party of Australia called for a “peoples’ parliament” to resolve Australian involvement in Vietnam, despite the fact that Australia, unlike every country ruled by a Communist Party, had regular contested elections for an authentic parliament established by a constitution.
Any global assembly would consist largely of blocs of members nominated by their nation state. Happy days when we sit down with robots representing China, North Korea, Libya, Cuba and Saudi Arabia, all trouping in to take their seats and assiduously clock-on for their travel entitlements.
Bob Brown, what about a global Community of Democracies? A nation gets admitted when they allow their people to choose their rulers?
Egypt might be just about to achieve that status, for example, and Cuba, when they have their inevitable 1989-style Berlin Wall peoples’ revolt against Leninist dictatorship.