Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave a critical speech in Germany declaring a trade agreement would be more than just economics.
This comes amid worries of protectionism in the US under US President Donald Trump, and populism in parts of Europe.
But the only thing Turnbull seems to stand for is parroting the media.
According to his address as reported by the ABC, Turnbull sees the deal as:
‘…an opportunity for Australia and EU nations, led by Germany and France, to show “what we stand for, as well as what we stand against”, at a time when the glove is facing more serious security challenges from countries like Russia that have shown “contempt” for the law.”’
Now, whether he’s bought into that narrative, or simply views Russia as a convenient scapegoat, is difficult to know.
But by taking aim at Russia, Turnbull is only feeding into the mainstream media’s constant talking points — blaming Russia for all of the world’s ills.
According to his address, Turnbull also said:
‘Political alienation is feeding populism and protection and providing opportunities for foreign interference…
‘The very same economic forces that have delivered prosperity and opportunity are also generating political uncertainty, militarily capability and strategic ambition.’
After the speech, the Prime Minister met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a committed free trade advocate, in a bid to get a good deal for Aussie farmers.
Turnbull believes Aussie farmers need greater access to the massive European single market.
In his draft, Turnbull said the speech can’t be dominated or derailed by demands from European farming lobby groups.
But as expected, strong resistance is being flagged in rural parts of France and Italy, and by some socialist and right-wing nationalist anti free trade politicians.
This could mean that German grocery shoppers and Aussie farmers can’t work together for the benefit of both, on account of the French and Italian farmers not wanting to compete with us.
The sad irony of the European Union is that, rather than promoting free trade and prosperity for all, it is actually blocking it.