Hmm. The Howard government’s Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane is desperate to sell Australian uranium to India. Never mind that India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT). MacFarlane pledges he will not sell it if there is a possibility that India might use it for nuclear weapons. However, he neglects to point out some facts from the apathetic Australian public. The fact is that India’s purchase of Australian uranium for electricity will simply free up other countries’ uranium for its existing weapons programme. Uranium is uranium, be it from Australia or XYZistan. His proposed 'safeguard' pledge is meaningless.
Was MacFarlane’s pledge core or non-core? …or is it simply another po-faced pre-election fact-overboard? Has he chosen to forget that India and Pakistan faced a scary nuclear standoff not too long ago while the rest of the world stood nervously by for Armageddon. Bay of Pigs showtime all over again. Has he conveniently overlooked the fact that Pakistan recently tested a long-range nuclear-capable missile which can reach New Delhi? How will he justify refusing uranium to Pakistan while selling it to India? Is the sub-continental arms race gearing up yet again? All the signs are there, Ian. Don’t lie to us, now. Don’t even feed us part-truths. We're the public ...you know, the dummies who elected you.
As an analogy to nuclear power, consider PORNOGRAPHY. There is a huge world-wide demand for pornography and there’s BIG MONEY to be earned from manufacturing and selling it. But just because you CAN do it is not always a good reason to ACTUALLY do it ...yes?
Pornography Minister Alexanduh Downer smugly points out that “India has an impeccable record in terms of [nuclear] non-proliferation”. Hey Mr Toadface, [a] it’s not true, and [b] it can all change in a heart-beat once the uranium is out of Australia’s hands. India, like any major power, will always make decisions in its own interests in disputes with neighbours, even if it has previously made promises to the contrary, or lets IAEA inspectors in as agreed. Why else would they refuse to sign the NNPT? The IAEA has no teeth, as Iraqis will bear witness. The absolute minimum starting point for uranium sales negotiations must be that India first sign the NNPT. To that extent, Kevin Rudd’s policy is safer than Howard’s.
......................But wait!! …...there’s LESS !
Listen up, Australia. Even now, India won’t play by any rules but its own. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is still refusing to accept curbs on its re-processing of spent nuclear fuel. Shouldn’t that put an automatic end to any uranium discussions? Not only that, India wants assurances from its new best friend [George W. Bush] that Washington will continue to supply fuel for its atomic plants in the event New Delhi conducts further nuclear weapons tests!!!
So India has admitted that further nuclear weapons tests are not ruled out. Truth is, nothing has changed - that’s precisely what they’ve always said. It’s Australia which has changed its tune from a mere 2 months ago. Australia’s new softness on Nuclear Proliferation will henceforth make it well nigh impossible for the world community to pursue a global NNPT. Why would any more countries sign up when a nation like India can get all it wants without having to sign up? Beware - Howard’s push to sell uranium will seriously de-stabalize the South Asian region and the world. It's lunatic that a weak squib like Howard can take a course of action which has the potential to tip the whole world into a nuclear spin-dive. Does Howard care? Not at all - he knows he's on his last lap.
John Dubya Howard is still stubbornly tunnel-visioned about pumping steroids into Australia’s resource boom – at least until the election – even at the cost of over-riding the Queensland and WA state Labor governments’ ban on uranium mining. Stalinist? McCarthyist? or what? ...Hey, where's my country, dude?
John Ducklips Howard is politically savvy enough to recognise that to the tame and blinkered Australian voting public pays more attention to domestic hip-pocket issues than to “irrelevant” international relations. Let’s see if that remains the case when the fallout cloud is drifting towards WA, or the old-growth forests of Tasmania are too radio-active to work in:
............Proposed cover for George W. Orwell’s Twenty-Eighty-Four
PS: Alexanduh Downer tried to justify the nuclear deal by appealing to Green sentiment in the Australian electorate: “[India’s] going to be a massive consumer of energy, and we want to deal with the issue of Climate Change”. Words, words, words. I remind Alexanduh that regime change begins at home, and refer him respectfully to my nice photos of his handsome self swanning around his electorate of Mayo.
PPS: Is anybody in Australia AWAKE?? Strayans didn’t come out of their collective coma when the recent meeting of the APEC Energy ministers ditched a plan to set up a regional nuclear safeguards authority. Did you also know that Vietnam has signalled that it wants to go nuclear within 10 years? Indonesia? Thailand? Russia is negotiating with the illegal Burmese military to install reactors in Burma. Does this all bother you, just a tiny bit? Never a murmur from Australia, and all happening at the precise time Howard government was standing behind GWBush and threatening Iran with sanctions because it, like everyone else, wants nuclear technology for its energy needs. Downer should write the textbook for Diplomatic Hypocrisy 101.
Australia’s own plans for nuclear power are well-advanced, thanks to the Howard government’s secretiveness. When Howard was personally informed that a private company (Australian Nuclear Energy Pty Ltd) had been set up by business friends, he chose not to tell anyone – including parliament. Co-incidentally(?), just FIVE DAYS BEFORE that, Howard had announced the Switkowski review into Australia’s nuclear potential. Prepare to be dumbfounded by this reluctant radio interview with one of the company directors (Clarence Hardy), followed by Peter Garrett’s stock reply - like a hand-held puppet.
Before you dash out to buy your own gasmask, listen to Howard’s Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane attempting to play down nuclear risks, then trying to emphasize the possibilities of Greenhouse gas reductions. Spot his flaws and sly omissions – switch on your Acme Crap Detector (supplied free to readers of FunkyPix2).
Things are not always what they seem to be in the shadowy no-woman’s land between business and politics. A pile of rubbish can be given New Meaning under the bright lights of propaganda.To conclude, here are some pro-nuclear postcards from the 1950s. Even though the Big-Money was trying to promote nuclear power, the post-war generation would have nothing of it. You might guess why. London, 1958: This nuclear exhibition hall attracted far fewer visitors than the Home Economics Show next door.
It would be interesting to know who bank-rolled this campaign back in the '50s.
At the 1958 Brussells International Exposition, atomic energy supporters spent
a great deal of money building the “Atomium”, with a restaurant at its apex.
................ This was a postcard advertising an anti-nuclear rally
..........................in London’s Hyde Park in the 1980s.
Lastly, here's FunkyPix2's glance into the future of nuclear power in Australia, in the days when Shane Warne becomes the premier of Queensland.