The Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, UK and US
intelligence organisations have a common sharing base. It is
called "Five Eyes".
The trust that is the foundation for this sharing is probably based on
common language and culture. This does not exclude other
intelligence sharing partnerships. Australia shares intelligence
of common interest with Indonesia. I am sure various Sunni and
Shia countries share intelligence (e.g. Iran and Syria).
Likewise, Israel probably shares with Turkey and Egypt and The
Kingdom. Russia and the USA share information. So "Five
Eyes is no big Anglo conspiracy.
The recent discovery that Australia tapped East Timor cabinet
discussions when making the sea treaty in circa 2002 should not be an
issue to any player in the field. However it is to be condemned
that a wealthy Australia should use these methods against a poorer,
smaller novice when making a treaty concerning their major potential
income source. This will be a black mark against the historical
record of Alexander Downer and John Howard. Especially Alexander
Downer, who apparently took a lucrative position with Woodside, the
mining company involved. Lest Labour party hacks look to my words
for support, I should point out that this level of remuneration is
orders of magnitude less that Labour NSW stole from the people of
The recent Chinese declaration of territorial airspace was, I suspect,
a response to an earlier Japanese government purchase of three disputed
(Senkaku/Diaoyu) islands from their private owner.
My own theory of "skill in negotiation" is that one should look at
the background of the negotiator. The more bodies he stepped over
to get where he is, the better he will be. So China and India are
both ahead of the USA and Japan. And the USA is ahead of everyone
else. I suppose the obvious solution will occur sooner or later,
and a sharing arrangement will save everybody's face.
This theory also puts the Indonesians well ahead of our own Australian
mob. Res ipsi loquitur.
While I do like the idea that QANTAS is a recognisable Australian
brand, I am not so inured to the brand that I am happy to support an
airline that is riddled with featherbed union agreements. A quick
search of the web revealed that Qantas pilots were making up to 50% (or
$50,000) more for the same job. For 2,000 pilots (source "2,200
ipads to pilots") at an average $50,000 It could be argued that would
account for $100 million of that $300 million projected loss for
2013. Likewise negotiations with engineers would likely provide
So my advice is, sack Allan Joyce and tell the pilots to relinquish
their wage agreement or Qantas will go to the wall. Because I do
not see why my tax dollar should be used to subsidise the salaries of
Qantas pilots who are on a minimum of $150,000 p/a when Virgin pilots
are on around $100,000 for the same job.
There is news that Turkey is buying hydrocarbons direct from the
autonomous region of Iraq.
Just a bit of background. Kurds
are estimated to number between 15-20 million of Turkey's 80 million
population. They comprise between 5 and 6 million of Iraq's 30
million population. There are about 2 million Kurds in Syria, and
another 8 million in Iran. (Data from "world factbook"). So there
are between 30 and 35 million Kurds who do not have their own country.
The central Governments in each of those countries appears very
unwilling to offer secession or autonomy. The deal between Turkey
Iraq's Kurds appears to be a big step towards autonomy for the Iraqui
I suspect we will hear more about a Kurdish nation before too long.