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Geopolitical aspects of the pandemic… September 17, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’d been wondering about what would be the geopolitical outworkings of the pandemics – because there will be same without question. Interesting to see the stresses manifesting in a perhaps unexpected location, that being Australia.

A torrid row over Australia’s state border closures has pushed the country’s prime minister to tears, sparked bitter recriminations among rival regional leaders and even talk of secession.


Travel between the nation’s independent-minded states and territories has been mostly banned since Covid-19 hit Australia in March.

But an unhappy federal government is increasing pressure on premiers to open up, sending the argument into overdrive.

This next is telling:

Australia began life as six self-governing British states and territories that agreed to form a federation around 1900.

Rivalry between those regions had persisted, usually on the sports field and in lighthearted jokes, but coronavirus has made regional sentiment more pronounced, and more popular.

Many premiers advocating state lockdowns have seen their public approval ratings rocket.

West Australia’s centre-left premier Mark McGowan was cheered on as he pilloried the “Pinot grigio-sipping” commentariat in Sydney, near where he was born, for telling him to open up.

West Australia, he insisted, will remain “an island within an island”.

I suspect secession remains a remote possibility, but the very fact that Australia is experiencing these stresses is indicative of the pressures that polities experience in the face of the crisis.

Where else are such impacts, or any impacts likely?


1. sonofstan - September 17, 2020

Where else?
UK obviously. Was struck by LED signs entering Wales reminding drivers that that Welsh rules applied. And only in English 🙂 Clearly strengthening indy sentiment in Scotland also.

Liked by 2 people

2. Liberius - September 17, 2020

There is a history with Western Australia & secession. I’m not sure its modern form is anything more than blustering local politicians with an over inflated sense of their own importance, at least that’s the impression I get from the small number of western Australians I know on twitter.

A secession referendum was held on 8 April 1933 in the Australian state of Western Australia, on the proposal that the state withdraw from the Australian Federation. The proposal won a majority of the votes and a petition to give effect to the decision was subsequently sent to the British Parliament, where a parliamentary joint select committee ruled it invalid.


Liked by 1 person

3. alanmyler - September 17, 2020

I was told by a nephew who’d spent time in Western Australia that most of the wealth in the country is generated from mining within that state, so there’s a bit of “why should we subsidise the rest of the country?” dynamic going on out there. I’m sure a quick check on wikipedia could prove that or otherwise, but I’m not one to ruin a good story with facts.

Liked by 1 person

NFB - September 17, 2020

Mining is a huge part of the Australian economy and export market, but it is spread out over the island: most of the coal production happens on the east coast, and I think Australia remains the biggest exporter of that fuel. The west is more oil I think?

Perfectly normal for that kind of attitude to become apparent though, you find it all over the world. Even in Ireland you’ll encounter people in the major population centre of Dublin wondering why they’re subsiding the Healy-Rae’s, logic or no.

Liked by 2 people

alanmyler - September 17, 2020

Yes, and La Lega in Italy being the worst example I can thing of off the top of my head in terms of how that secessionist politics can turn into something quite nasty.

Liked by 1 person

4. CL - September 17, 2020

“President Trump has directed federal officials to find ways to cut funding to a string of cities controlled by Democrats, citing violence amid protests against systemic racism in policing, a move that threatens billions of dollars for many of the country’s largest urban hubs as the president makes the unrest a centerpiece of his re-election campaign….
“Anarchy has recently beset some of our states and cities,” Mr. Trump wrote in the memo, mentioning a few cities specifically: Portland, Ore.; Washington; Seattle; and the president’s birth city, New York. “My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones.”
nytimes.com, 9/2

“Senator Rick Scott of Florida has said, according to Cuomo, “We’re supposed to bail them out? That’s not right.”…

“You look at the states that give more money to the federal government than they get back,” said Cuomo, showing a slide of the top and bottom five states. “You know the top, what they call, ‘donor state?’ You know what one state pays in more to the pot than it takes out more than any other state? It’s the State of New York. New York pays in more every year — $29 billion more — than they take out.”

That’s followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and California. What states take the most, according to Cuomo? Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, Kentucky and Florida. “Those are the facts.”

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