Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, July 09, 2004

No sooner does Mark Latham support the Australia-US joint training facilities than his newest recruit, Parachute Pete Garrett, oils the fire of anti-Yankism.
Labor's newest federal candidate, Peter Garrett, has criticised an agreement between Australia and the United States to establish joint training areas, saying there was no consultation on the issue.

Mr Garrett has told Channel Nine there should have been a full and thorough discussion.

"The thing that I object to more than anything else is the fact that we've got Australian foreign policy being determined by officials, and senior Australian officials, in Washington, and then Australians get told about it," he said.

"The merits or otherwise of those issues need to be fully discussed by people, not simply unilaterally announced and then dumped on people in the middle of an election campaign, following on from comments from American foreign policy or defence officials, which actually end up increasing the tempo of the debate."
Does this mean Garrett opposes defence cooperation with the US? Of course not: "Mr Garrett says he accepts the Labor Party's support for the joint training facilities."

It's just that the Australian government and the US government are equally illegitimate institutions.

Garrett's leader, Senator Bob Brown, endorsed Garrett's stand.

Garrett's sponsor in the ALP, Mark Latham, has yet to respond to Garrett's claim that he, Latham, is a patsy of the US and Australian governments.