The gift that keeps on giving

The Expansion of China and the rise of Covid-19 virus

While the exact origins of the current pandemic remain a little murky it is clear that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) of China under Xi Jinping are absolutely committed to increasing that country’s expansion and power by any means possible. As the world is preoccupied with the virus and what to do about it, China is ramping up its aggression towards other nations like there is no tomorrow. Common sense, fair play and genuine diplomacy have been tossed out the window.

Top leaders of the CCP (

Presented with any action, statement or communication it doesn’t like, the spokespeople for the CCP respond with classic twisted logic that would make any sophist proud. Almost anything that you might think of is claimed as an internal Chinese matter. Therefore, other countries should simply butt out. According to these officials, the complaints of Britain, and any other country, over the introduction of the new all encompassing and vague security law in Hong Kong are totally unreasonable and a gross intrusion into China’s internal affairs. Never mind the fact that China has trashed the formal agreement with the UK of one country, two systems that was solemnly promised for 50 years, beginning in 1997. The agreement didn’t even make it to the half way point.

Threats of economic punishment and the use of military force often spill from the mouths of the CCP. To date, only economic actions, along with arbitrary quasi legal detentions of foreign citizens (such as the fate of two Canadians after the arrest of a Huawei executive in Canada) have occurred. Threats of direct military action have so far been reserved for the island state of Taiwan.

The CCP has bullied the rest of the world into accepting its claim that Taiwan is an integral part of China for years, despite the fact that Taiwan has its own government, issues its own passports and has its own military. Its athletes have been forced to compete in Olympics under the name of Chinese Taipei. Airlines around the world have been pressured into listing flight destinations as Taipei, China. Many have acceded to these demands out of fear of losing mainland China flights.

A brief history of Taiwan

Map of Taiwan (

The CCP and its online trolls love to distort history. Although it is true that both PRC China and Taiwan ROC claimed each other’s territory, for years Taiwan was not historically part of China. After the civil war in China concluded in 1949 the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan, angering many of that island’s inhabitants. Dreaming of a return to the mainland the Nationals or KMT claimed that they had the right to rule over all China. Taiwan ROC was the rump that was left of the Republic of China. In effect, mainland China was a breakaway region of the ROC having begun as an illegal insurgency.

Returning to the history, the indigenous folk of Taiwan were a native group akin to Malays and other dark-skinned peoples. They were not ethnically Chinese. The first group of foreigners to occupy the island were the Dutch who called it Formosa (beautiful island). They arrived in the early seventeenth century and stayed for almost a hundred years. During the late seventeenth century Chinese traders from Fujian and Guangdong began to arrive and settle.

The Qing dynasty sent an army to Taiwan in 1683 and annexed the island. Taiwan was a part of China until the first Sino-Japanese war when the Qing dynasty ceded it to Japan in 1895. Japan ruled the island until 1945 when it is was returned to the Chinese Nationalists after WWII ended. The Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war. Their forces had borne more of the fighting against the Japanese than the Communists had and were therefore weakened, contributing to their defeat.

It is a fact that the British ruled over Hong Kong for a longer period of time than China ruled Taiwan. The New Territories were leased from China but Victoria Island and Kowloon were ceded to Britain in 1842 following the first Opium war. Yet nobody claims that Hong Kong was not historically part of China. Using the logic of truth and historical fact Taiwan is not an integral part of China. Quite apart from historical facts, why should the majority of people be forced to accept the authoritarianism of the PRC? Likewise, why should Taiwan’s 25 million people be compelled to join authoritarian China when it is clear that the overwhelming majority of them do not want to. Tsai Ing-Wen, the president of Taiwan, has very eloquently and rationally explained Taiwan’s position. The criminal and rogue regime of Xi Jing ignores this common sense and continues its quest to dominate as much of the world as it can.

Tsai Ing-Wen President of Taiwan (Wikipedia)

The emergence of the Corona virus

Despite some claims that evidence of Covid-19 has been found in Europe a year or more earlier (the research is not solid enough to be accepted) it is all but certain that the virus did indeed first emerge in Wuhan, China late last year. Reports within China began in November 2019. Initially, the Chinese government tried to completely suppress any information about it and sanctioned the doctors who reported it in the first place, one of whom later died from the disease.

It seems more than likely that the Beijing government was to some extent aware of the danger the virus posed by December 2019. It began the lockdown of Wuhan on 23 January 2020 and soon extended lockdowns over much of China. Three flights a week from Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, to Milan continued until Italy suspended them on 31 January. The Beijing government banned all flights between Hubei province and the rest of China on 23 January in an apparent effort to reign in the outbreak domestically. Further harsh lockdowns followed in many regions. Yet it happily allowed international flights to continue until the end of March. By that time this new plague had been fully unleashed on the world.

Taiwan health officials informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the dangers of this virus back in December, 2019 but senior officials at the WHO refused to even listen. Canadian Dr Bruce Aylward a senior adviser the WHO, when interviewed by Yvonne Tong of Hong Kong’s RTHK about why Taiwan’s warning was not acknowledged, replied: “Well, we’ve already talked about China. And when you look across all the different areas of China, they’ve actually all done quite a good job.” and then apparently cut off the video interview link.

Dr Tedros the head of the WHO (

The head of the WHO, Dr Tedros, was praising Beijing’s response to the virus and downplaying its seriousness for quite a while. It was only some months later that he was warning the world to take the virus much more seriously. By this time the pandemic was totally obvious. It would certainly appear that the PRC government pressured the WHO to ignore the seriousness of Covid-19 until the contagion had well and truly spread.

Taiwan is probably the country in the word that has had the most successful response to the virus with few cases and hardly any deaths.
It achieved this without even imposing lockdowns apart from the isolation and monitoring of returned travellers. Taiwan reacted earlier than anybody else to the virus by ignoring what China and the WHO were saying and implementing sensible measures such as mask wearing and contact tracing.

When Australia’s PM, Scott Morrison, announced the banning of arrivals from China and advised Australians not to travel there on 1 February, the Beijing government complained bitterly. It certainly appears that it wished the virus to spread as far as possible globally.

A purely natural virus or not?

Although many experts and China itself claim that the virus originated in a Wuhan wet market (when it is not claiming that the virus came from the USA) one has to wonder. It is a fact that a number of countries are researching viruses under the guise of looking for medical breakthroughs. It is more than likely than likely that some of them are researching biological weapons although these are outlawed under the Geneva Convention.

As time has gone on the awful effects of this virus are becoming more apparent. Not only does it cause damage to the lungs but can also cause strokes, heart attacks and damage to the brain. Additionally, there are long term effects emerging amongst some survivors, which include chronic pain. I find it difficult to believe that such a complex virus could simply come from nature. More likely, I suspect, this is a virus that has been tweaked in a laboratory. Wuhan has one such lab amongst a number in China. Whether the release of the virus was deliberate or accidental is a matter of pure conjecture.

The People’s Republic of China has obviously caused the spread of this Corona virus to other parts of the world such that it has become a global pandemic, with massive loss of life and inestimable economic damage. It is continuing to use the pandemic as an ideal opportunity to increase its power and aggressive expansion. The outrageous imposition of the security law in Hong Kong is a prime example. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic China was economically bullying small countries in the Pacific and Africa by seemingly bribing their political leaders to accept dubious loans under the One belt, One Road program and then threatening to take over parts of their infrastructure if they are unable to repay these loans. A few countries have experienced just such a result. Sri Lanka is one of them.

Another example of Chinese expansionism is the illegal annexation of parts of the South China Sea and the construction of military bases on artificial islands created there. Another one is the attack on Indian troops in 2020 while trying to expand over the line of control that separates the two countries.

China continues its march toward world domination and the emergence of the Corona virus is just another battleground. Xi Jinping and the CCP have no interest in ethics or real diplomacy. They are only interested in power and money. Any reasonable actions they have performed are generally the result of their having been compelled to take such, again by the exercise of power (economic or other) on the part of others.

Australia and the PRC Chinese Diaspora

The spat between the Australian government and that of China’s CCP
is well known by now. However, it is only recently that Australia’s PM, Scott Morrison, announced that Australia would grant students from Hong Kong a five-year extension to their visas in the wake of China’s new national security law. In addition, Australia is considering granting humanitarian visas for those pro-democracy leaders who are now in serious danger.

Scott Morrison PM
Xi Jinping

Unsurprisingly, the government of Xi Jinping is less than happy with this. While commenting on Scott Morrison’s announcement, federal Labor senator, Penny Wong stated that this move couldn’t compare with the late Bob Hawke’s sudden granting of permanent residence visas to Chinese students who were in Australia in 1989 at the time of the Tien amin Square massacre.

    Penny Wong                                                  

Bob Hawke

What many people fail to understand is that the Chinese government did not want these students to return as they probably knew about the massacre and would spread the news. Those same students, if they had returned to China and not undertaken any protests, would have had nothing to fear. While not denying his earlier achievements, the tears that the then PM, Bob Hawke, shed would prove to be very expensive ones.

We have no idea how many of the students in Australia at that time were pro-democracy. However, I have a friend whose father was a high ranking official in the CCP and she was sent to Australia to spy on pro-democracy students. She said this herself.

Gerry Hand

A year or two later the then Minister of Immigration, Gerry Hand, appeared on television and was asked by an interviewer if Australia’s family reunion policy, coupled with the grant of permanent residence visas to the roughly 20,000 students who were in the country in 1989, would mean that 300,000 additional immigrants would arrive over the next ten years. Mr Hand replied, “Yes,” a very forthright answer from a politician. Three days later he was no longer Immigration Minister.

While Bob Hawke had not done anything illegal, in hindsight it would seem that he had accepted some kind of implied quid pro quo from the Chinese government. This became apparent when, not long after he had left politics, Hawke became a highly paid consultant to the Chinese government. This was the very same government that had committed the 1989 massacre. What a reversal of sentiment!

I saw Bob Hawke in the early 2000s on television trying to convince the Aboriginal traditional owners of land in the Northern Territory to accept spent uranium waste from China in return for financial incentives. In the years since then a large pro-CCP Chinese diaspora has emerged in Australia. They have often clashed with Hong Kong students during demonstrations.

Let’s hope the present Australian government is much more careful about the granting of visas to the current Hong Kong students. We don’t want any more pro-Beijing students sneaking in. I think the current government will be much more circumspect than the Hawke government was. Additionally, we can be sure that Xi Jinping’s government will not be offering any “quid pro quos.”

The Global Corona virus pandemic and its aftermath – What will follow?


The Global Corona virus pandemic and its aftermath – What will follow?


The most frightening aspects of this pandemic are the myriad unknowns. The virus is spreading more rapidly than expected and it appears to be gaining more virulence. More people are dying, including those in their prime.

I can see two possibilities.


  • We are faced with a 1930’s style Great Depression coupled with more deaths than from the 1918 Spanish flu. This is the better scenario.
  • The second one is indeed terrifying. A total breakdown of the world’s economic and social system, coupled with a death rate exceeding that of the great plagues or black death. This scenario would lead to complete anarchy and all the Doomsday preppers would feel completely vindicated.

Certainly the wealthy and powerful elites (often referred to as Illuminati) would do their level best to preserve their wealth and power and try to reset the world economic order in such a way that it would be the ordinary people who would lose their savings and suffer massive pain. This would be a type of Debt Jubilee where the slate is wiped clean and everybody starts again (the poor and the middle class of course being the losers). These elites with their foolish debt fuelled economic model created the mess that we now find ourselves in but they don’t want to pay for it. The ordinary folk will!

However, if everything sufficiently crashes and dissolves into dust the elites may simply not be able to push the reset button. Chaos and anarchy everywhere would create an uncontrollable world. Every cloud has a semblance of a silver lining though. A massive cull of the human race, say the removal of 5 or 6 billion people, would allow the planet to have a reset. Abnormal climate change would become a thing of the past and millions of other species would have a brighter future. Assuming the surviving portion of humanity learned from their past mistakes and dramatically cut down on greed, stupidity and fear the human race could then prosper in a sustainable way. This is a huge “IF” and in all probability the same mistakes would lead to the disastrous cycle beginning again.

The possible causes of the Corona virus and their implication for geopolitics

Amongst the disinformation spread on the Internet are claims, fostered by the Chinese government, that the virus was deliberately started and spread by the USA. Such claims are simply ludicrous. Then there is the official line from China that the virus began in a food market in Wuhan. This is possible but somewhat unlikely. The Chinese government has a biological warfare unit in Wuhan! It also has one in Beijing where the SARS virus began.

What is more likely is that the Wuhan virus was an experimental one being worked on and accidently released. Some Indian scientists claimed that this virus appears to be a standard Corona one spliced with elements of HIV and Ebola. This may be just speculative but who knows? The Chinese government arrested the doctor who first raised the alarm and he later died from the virus. Not only that but they deliberately delayed reporting the outbreak to the World Health Organisation although it was just before Chinese New Year when most of China’s population was on the move. WHO appears to be scared of China and commended its efforts when it should have condemned them. China’s government is opaque at best and truth telling is not its strong point.

At this time hundreds of thousands of Chinese headed into Italy, which signed up to the One Belt One Road project. The results are plain for all to see. Xi Jinping has long held a fascination with, and desire for power, both for himself and for China. He is determined that China should be the one and only global power, at all costs. Only a few weeks ago he was beginning to lose face in Hong Kong as the protests there showed no sign of abating. The outbreak of the virus was a godsend for him as the demonstrations had to suddenly stop. This was suspiciously convenient. Then as the pandemic began to grip China a vague possibility emerged that the Communist Party might lose its hold on power. Two months after the outbreak, Xi turned up in Wuhan, wearing a face mask and standing behind glass. In the streets below there were a few stooges clapping him and numbers of angry people shouting defiance.

Now, if their government is to be believed, they have contained the outbreak via draconian measures and everything will soon return to normal. Then there is the added bonus that they will have broken most of the power of the West. Xi is smiling from his face to his arse.

There is also the possibility that the COVID19 virus was a deliberate biological warfare attack. I doubt that China’s government cares that in the process it kills several thousands, or however many, of its own people. This outbreak has put China in the box seat to rule the world. That thought in itself is terrifying.

If, however, proof of a deliberate biological attack by China appears then, to coin a phrase, “It will be on for young and old!”

Retaliation from the West, particularly the USA, would be a certainty. Tit for tat biological strikes or nukes, who knows? I could easily imagine Donald Trump itching to push the button. In such a scenario I think the US military would actually carry out his order!

Whichever way you look at it, Xi Jinping’s China is a pariah!





China and the Corona virus. An attack on the elderly

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China and the Corona virus
Posted on February 7, 2020 by badjohn7
This new virus is taking headlines around the world. It is very difficult to trust the Chinese government these days and they were certainly very slow to take action. Accordingly to an Israeli biological warfare expert, Wu Han, the source of the current epidemic, and Bejing, the source of the 2003 SARS outbreak, are both sites of the Chinese government’s research into biological warfare.
It is just possible, that this outbreak was an accidental escape from a government centre and not from a food market. If this is the case, as I suspect it is, the current Corona virus could be an advanced form of warfare against the Chinese people as well as global populations.

This virus appears to be easily spread and almost unstoppable. It doesn’t kill everybody but mainly the elderly. We all know that that China and most of the rest of the world’s governments want to get rid of as many of the elderly as possible. I have talked about this in previous posts as well as in my book, “From Brexit to Brazil via Hong Kong, China and the USA.”(available on Amazon). Of course there is collateral damage; babies, young children and some adults. It is extremely sad that the Chines doctor who blew the whistle on this new virus outbreak has died. He was not elderly.

As the virus continues to spread you had better hope you are not elderly or in bad health. Thank you, Chinese government!

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Review of George Orwell’s “1984”

1984 is probably the most brilliant Science Fiction work ever composed. It is more terrifying now as the horrible future of mass surveillance and shadowy Party dictatorships is beginning to happen before our eyes. Xi Jinping’s China bears a remarkable resemblance to Orwell’s Oceania. Science Fiction is becoming Science Fact. Orwell’s description of telescreens almost fits with what we now have. China’s surveillance program is frighteningly similar.

Orwell mixes a great deal of philosophical thought in with description of humanity in all its beauty and ugliness. His greatest brilliance lies in his understanding of how tenuous any notion of objective truth really is.

What the rise of China, Putin’s Russia, America’s Donald Trump and Brexit mean for Freedom

As if the looming disasters of climate change and overpopulation aren’t enough we now face a huge challenge to our very notion of freedom. Although Xi Xing Ping’s China could hardly be called a socialist or communist society, it has a massive ideological agenda built around authoritarian power. This China could best be described as a state run capitalist oligarchy with loads of attendant corruption.

Recent history is likely to provoke ample alarm. From building military fortifications on an artificial island in the South China Sea to unilaterally claiming the Spratleys, China has ignored the other claimants to those regions and forged ahead in its quest to become the world’s greatest military and economic power, leaving any notions of freedom and human rights dead in its wake. Any vague notion of liberty for the billion odd inhabitants in that country was quickly dispelled with the advent of the new social credit system whereby the smallest transgressions against the state ideal can result in a person being unable to leave his or her home town.

The One Belt program has amounted to China making loans to poor countries in the Pacific and Africa and, when those nations are unable to repay they become vassals of China. It doesn’t take a genius to see where all this is going. If you didn’t like the USA’s behaviour when it dominated the planet you “aint seen nothin’ yet” as China’s ascendancy rises. Xi Xing Ping’s installation as leader for life (read absolute dictator) is the icing on the cake.

Australia is caught in an ungodly position. Our defence strategy depends heavily on the USA but our main trading partner is China.
The chair of parliament’s powerful Security and Intelligence Committee Andrew Hastie warned Australia against underestimating China and compared its rise to that of Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t go down well with China. How did this unfortunate position happen to Australia? It is fair to blame the Australian Labor Party. Bob Hawke began our Australia’s dependence on China and Kevin Rudd increased it. Under their policies Australia has experienced a huge increase in immigration from mainland China. The big problem here lies in the fact that many of these dual nationals consider that their first loyalty is to China. Xi Xing Ping has also stated that such dual nationals owe such first loyalty to China.

China’s strategic alliance with Putin’s Russia (another authoritarian state, although it denies it) presents major challenges to the Western countries which value freedom. Putin’s Russia is another nation hell bent on increasing its power at all costs. Its track record includes the annexation of Crimea, starting a war in the Ukraine, and direct complicity in countless civilian deaths, including children, in Syria. It is safe to say that without Putin’s intervention the war in Syria would have finished years ago. Strangely enough Putin is popular with the majority of Russians. Of course, like the Chinese, they probably don’t have much access to unfiltered or uncensored information.

The China-Russia duo is a massive assault on the West and its notion of freedom. This brings us to the Brexit debacle. Only by remaining united under the EU can Western Europe withstand the political and possibly military assault from the East. It has been established that Russia interfered in both the Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election which saw the installation of Donald Trump. The Cambridge Analytica saga demonstrated how cunning use of personal information can achieve political ends. It is true that Trump is challenging China’s unfair trade practices. However, he is doing it in the most foolish of ways. Instead of joining forces with the EU he insisted on America going it alone. He even imposed tariffs on steel from the EU along with goods from China. Trump seems to love the idea of Brexit. Along with fellow narcissist and ego maniac Boris Johnson, the new British PM, Trump projects an enormous optimism in the face of an ever increasing danger.


Once Britain leaves the EU Trump has planned a new trade deal between Britain and the USA. This trade deal would very likely involve a massive weakening of Britain’s National Health system and make health care as unaffordable for many as it is in the U.S. Donald Trump is obviously intending to challenge both Britain and the EU economically. Divide and conquer. Xi Xing Ping and Putin must be laughing themselves sick. It is small wonder that the USA hates Julian Assange and Wikileaks. The only reason that China and Russia aren’t after him as well lies in the fact that he wasn’t able to get his hands on any of their dirty secrets. Whistle-blowers are a rarity in those two authoritarian states as the penalties are so extreme that fear prevails.

The almost total loss of privacy doesn’t just exist in China and Russia. Social media invasions along with almost universal camera and detection systems are on the rise in the West. Under the guise of security, states around the world are increasing their control over their citizens. The use of algorithms doesn’t just mean targeted ads. It is also likely to mean extremely accurate predictors of human behaviour.

It would appear that the only thing George Orwell got wrong was the date!



The Brexit debacle

Theresa May 12Ju16

The ludicrous situation of Brexit threating to destroy the very existence of the UK begs one very significant question.

How was it that the 2016 referendum was run in such a careless lack lustre way? For such a major constitutional change surely it should have been a minimum requirement that, apart from a simple majority, there should have been also the requirement that a majority of all four countries (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that make up the UK) agreed to leave. Generally, for such constitutional changes a 66% majority is required.

Yet the diehard Brexiteers are taking to the streets demanding that their votes, ignorant of the consequences, be enshrined as the cornerstone of democracy. Common-sense demands that a second referendum be held, now that the UK populace has some idea of what is involved and the costs.


Wretched Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Wretched Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

The murder of 50 innocent people, and the injuring of many more by a nameless Australian man at two mosques in Christchurch has brought out the best and worst in humanity. The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and the emergency services in Christchurch all performed magnificently showing their empathy and genuine humanity. This is quite apart from their efficiency in minimising the effects of this horrible tragedy as much as possible.

Alas. the same cannot be said for the President of Turkey. Erdoğan couldn’t resist making stupid inflammatory comments to bolster up support from his radical islamist base before upcoming elections. His remarks about sending home people with anti-islamist attitudes in coffins, particularly Australians, if they visited Turkey are of the same ilk as the views of the nameless assassin of those innocent people in the mosques. What does this turkey (the president not the country) want? More violence and more terrorism?

To add ignorance and absurdity to his statements he said that the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 was an attack by the Anzacs against Islam. How ludicrous! The attack on Turkey was an attempted backdoor strike against Germany, a Christian country that was allied with Turkey in the Great War. Religion had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

The great Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, took great care to make Turkey a secular state and quickly forgave the Anzacs for their attack. After that Australia, New Zealand and Turkey became great friends. The lunatic current president of Turkey, by his extremist promotion of Islam has not only prevented his country from joining the EU but is also endangering its membership of NATO.

This is not to even mention his strident steps towards creating a dictatorship, gaoling his critics at the slightest pretext. No wonder the Turkish military attempted a coup. How else could they protect the legacy of Ataturk? It is a shame that the coup didn’t succeed! Let’s just hope that the people of Turkey will quickly wake up and see this man for what he is and how he is attempting to destroy a previously happy and successful nation.

The other major characters in Brownout-666

The other major characters in Brownout – 666

The character of Marilyn Delgado, Rick’s love interest, is largely based on that of a young woman I once employed as a secretary. Many of Marilyn’s actions in the story are entirely fictional.

Typical Filipina secretary at work

Marilyn is a moderately devout Catholic but remains a physical person with the usual hopes and aspirations. She is a proud Filipino but is often the victim of her own culture.

Christopher Daly, Rick’s uncle, is a really a composite of people I have known. He is a highly moral man who always tries to do the right thing. His own morals often give him a weakness that makes him an easy victim of unscrupulous people and organisations.

Hans Werttenburger, is a diehard Nazi and former SS man, whose views on Hitler and WWII have changed little over the decades. I based him on SS men I met in Germany in the 1970’s.

ss man

The Character of Alma Lopez, the 14 year old schoolgirl, was based on a number of precocious teenagers I met over the years in the Philippines.

Precocious Filipina Schoolgirl


Cecilia Crisputa, was based on a qualified nurse who once worked for me as a maid.

Typical Filipino nurse in uniform

Tobacco taxes, poverty and organised crime

Tobacco taxes, poverty and organised crime

   Scott Morrison PM  

Bill Shorten Opposition leader

Richard Dinatale leader of the Greens

While nobody would argue that smoking is healthy or that it shouldn’t be discouraged, the entire Australian federal parliament is guilty of the unintended and horrendous consequences of the current “tax them till death” policy. Australia’s approach to this issue not only makes us the laughing stock of the world but also causes massive harm to our own society. Various political parties and groups have factored in to projected revenues these draconian tax levels.

The hypocrisy is evident to anyone with half a brain. Are “Quit Smoking” aids free? Of course not!

The Negative consequences of this stupid policy

There are many people, who cannot or will not (for various reasons) quit. Quite often these people are amongst the poorest in our community. This reads as “children without shoes or enough to eat.”

Tobacco products are so expensive in Oz that smokers drag their fags until the very end, thus consuming more tar and poisons. The mentally ill tend to smoke and it is always much harder for them to quit than for the general population. My own sister suffers from bipolar type 1, is a pensioner and one of her doctors told her not to try to quit as it would increase her stress levels and thus her illness. I, myself suffer from severe depression and OCD. I can’t see a way to quitting either.

Organised crime is laughing all the way to the bank. This policy is expanding and enabling the reach of organised crime networks. Tobacco is now more expensive than marijuana or ice. Troubled youth, who may have previously resorted to smoking are now taking the drug ice, which is far more dangerous for both the individual and society as a whole.


There are many ways to discourage smoking without targeting the extremely vulnerable. It is possible to set an age for purchase of smoking products (demanding ID) and raising it every year. That should assist in keeping the young from the evil habit. Progressive reductions in public areas where smoking is allowed can also help.

An example of a sensible tobacco policy that I am familiar with, springs to mind. In Taiwan the rate of smoking amongst the young is much lower than that in Oz. Their campaigns against smoking have become a cultural norm. Yet they do not target the vulnerable sections of their society such as the hopelessly addicted elderly, the mentally ill (my brother-in-law in Taiwan is battling schizophrenia and he smokes and is a low income earner).

The Future.

Will any of our parliamentary leaders have the courage to try to solve this problem and set tobacco taxes at reasonable and sensible levels? I can only hope but I doubt it! Australia is heading for third world status in a rush in all areas but one; tobacco prices