Among many other colourful characters, Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments
include two protectionist and anti-China hardliners, Robert Lighthizer
and Peter Navarro, who sit at the helm of US trade and industry policy.
That decision confirms a belligerent change of tack in Sino–American
economic relations. But what are the implications for Australia?
A number of monetary economists, including
Saul Eslake, have warned that a potential escalation to a full-blown
China–US trade war poses the single biggest economic threat to Australia.
That position argues that the already struggling global economy can’t
face a superpower trade war, likely to be triggered by the Trump
administration at the monetary level, when the RMB/USD exchange rate
will reach the unprecedented level of 7 to 1 (it’s currently sitting at
around 6.9). Furthermore, a falling Chinese currency combined with
protectionist measures in the US will dampen the Chinese economy by way
of reduced volumes of exports and higher interest rates that will
spread across the Asia–Pacific. According to such reasoning, that could
have negative impacts for Australia’s economy; prices for iron ore,
coal and natural gas could possibly drop—we’ll know by the middle of
However, it’s questionable that such crisis would be
detrimental to Australia. In fact, focusing on monetary dynamics alone
fails to capture the role of industrial production and regulatory
arrangements in the global supply chain.
On the contrary, after triangulating the trade and
industrial data of the US, China and Australia and considering the
current trade regulatory framework, there are substantial reasons to
argue that Australia is well placed to fill the gaps left by a wrecked
US–China trade relationship at the best of its industrial capacity.
Australia is indeed one of a handful of countries to have solid free
trade agreements in place with both the US and China.
Australia’s rocks and crops economy—in particular the
growing productivity potential of its agricultural and mining sectors—is strong enough to
rise above global monetary tensions and falling commodity prices,
thanks to rising export volumes to both the US and China. It appears
that the harder the two superpowers use their trade relations as
leverage in their strategic competition, the harder they’ll need to
look for other sources to sustain their industrial production levels
and corporate supply chain.
In a trade war scenario, the possible initial hiccups in the
global supply chain will likely be short-lived. In fact, let’s consider
that about half of US imports are estimated to be made of intra-firm trade, and that
protectionist measures from abroad tend to have insignificant effects
on the production input of Chinese State-owned firms.
Thus, multinational corporations are proven to be particularly adept at
quickly replacing the flows of
their industrial production and distribution, as is shown by history.
In other words, in the event of a Sino–American crisis, the
major trading actors in both countries will be able and willing to
promptly move their business somewhere else.
Thanks to the existing spaghetti bowl of international
economic partnerships, Australia is in prime position to be this
“somewhere else” for both countries. In fact, Australia is the second
largest economy and Sino–American trading partner of the only six
countries that have in place free trade agreements with both the US and China, including South Korea,
Singapore, Chile, Peru and Costa Rica.
The LNG example clearly shows that Australia’s economy would
benefit from a contained US–China trade crisis. Nevertheless, should
that trade crisis escalate beyond the economy, Australia’s luck may run
The Chinese leadership doesn’t hide the fact that promoting
international economic integration outside of the US control serves the
purpose of carving greater geopolitical autonomy and
flexibility in the global decision-making processes. Beside
Trump’s trade policy, Xi Jinping’s diplomatic strategy may also speed
up the end of the US–China detente initiated by Nixon and Kissinger in
the 1970s. It remains to be seen whether China will also
pursue hard-line policies to push the US outside of the Asia–Pacific.
In that instance, Australia would be caught between a rock and
a hard place.
If the US–China trade war were to escalate to the
geopolitical level, the American order in the Asia–Pacific would enter
uncharted waters. For one thing, such an unsavoury development may
compel Australia to make a clear choice between trading with China and
preserving America’s security patronage.
Giovanni Di Lieto lectures International Trade Law
at Monash University.
One of the most interesting things about all this is that
while Australia is going to be compelled to make that choice, the
choice has essentially already been made through the pattern
of trade relationships which Australian politicians have chosen to
The only way that Australia would choose the United States in
that scenario, would be if Australians decided that they would like to
deliberately take a massive economic dive so that they can ‘Make
America Great Again’ even though that is not their country, and so that
they can avoid being called ‘anti-White’ by the legions of anonymous
Alt-Right trolls roaming around on Twitter using Robert Whitacker’s
‘mantra’ on anyone who won’t support the geostrategic and geoeconomic
intertests of the United States, the Russian Federation, and Exxonmobil
Given that we know that Australians don’t care about America
or Russia more than they care about the economic prosperity of their
own country, the outcome is already baked into the cake. AFR
carried an article last year which can be used to forecast what is
likely to happen, and I’ll quote it in full here now:
It has lifted living standards, grown Australia’s economy
and created thousands of jobs.
While it is becoming more popular to denounce globalisation
and flirt with protectionism, we cannot turn our back on free trade.
Australia’s economy has withstood global challenges and
recorded 25 years of continuous growth because we’re open to the world.
Since Australia’s trade barriers came down, we’ve
reaped the rewards.
Trade liberalisation has lifted the income of
households by around $4500 a year and boosted the country’s gross
domestic product by 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, creating thousands of
One in five jobs now involve trade-related activities. This
will grow as liberalised trade gives our producers, manufacturers and
services providers better access to billions of consumers across the
globe, not just the 24 million who call Australia home.
However, not everyone sees the value of free trade. Some see
it, and the forces of globalisation, as a threat to their standard of
living, rather than an opportunity to improve it.
When it comes to free trade, we often hear about the bad but
not the good.
The nature of news means the factory closing gets more
coverage than the one opening.
Chances are you heard about the Ford plant closing, but not
the $800 million Boeing has invested in Australia and the 1200 people
who work at their Port Melbourne facility.
You may have heard about Cubbie Station, but not heard that
its purchase staved off bankruptcy, and has since seen millions of
dollars invested in upgrades of water-saving infrastructure, a doubling
of contractors, more workers, and of course, money put into the local
economy supporting jobs and local businesses.
Key to attracting investment, jobs
The free trade agreements the Coalition
concluded with the North Asian powerhouse economies of China, Japan and
Korea are key to attracting investment and creating more local jobs.
The Weilong Grape Wine Company has said the China-Australia
Free Trade Agreement is the reason it’s planning to build a new plant
This is a story being played out across the country.
Businesses large and small, rural and urban,
are taking advantage of the preferential market access the FTAs offer
Aussie businesses into the giant, growing markets of North Asia.
Australian Honey Products is building a new factory in
Tasmania to meet the demand the trifecta of FTAs has created.
Owner Lindsay Bourke says the free trade agreements have
been “wonderful” for his business. “We know that we are going
to grow and it’s enabled us to employ more people, more local
people,” he said.
It is the same story for NSW skincare manufacturer Cherub
Rubs, who will have to double the size of their factory. “The free
trade agreements with China and Korea really mean an expansion, which
means new Australian jobs manufacturing high-quality products,” said
Cherub CEO John Lamont.
It is easy to see why the three North Asian FTAs are
forecast to create 7,900 jobs this year, according to modelling
conducted by the Centre for International Economics.
Australia has a good story when it comes to free trade. In
the past three years, net exports accounted for more than half of
Australia’s GDP growth.
Exports remain central to sustaining growth
and economic prosperity. Last year exports delivered $316 billion to
our economy, representing around 19 per cent of GDP.
This underscores the importance of free trade
and why it is a key element of the Turnbull Government’s national
The Coalition is pursuing an ambitious trade
agenda, and more free trade agreements, to ensure our economy keeps
growing and creating new jobs.
On Friday I arrive in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting.
Free trade will be at front of everyone’s mind.
With the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
looking grim, my ministerial counterparts and I will work to conclude a
study on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which sets
out agreed actions towards a future free trade zone.
We will also work to finalise a services road map, which
will help grow Australian services exports in key markets including
education, finance and logistics.
More to be done
The Coalition has achieved a lot when it comes to free
trade, but there is more to do.
Momentum is building for concluding a free trade agreement
with Indonesia, work towards launching free trade agreement
negotiations with the European Union continues, we’ve
established a working group with the United Kingdom that will scope out
the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA
and we’re continuing to negotiate the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP), which brings together 16 countries that account for
almost half of the world’s population.
The Turnbull government will continue to pursue an ambitious
free trade agenda to keep our economy growing and creating more jobs.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten continues to build
the case for Labor’s embrace of more protectionist policies, claiming
he will learn the lessons of the US election where it featured heavily.
What Labor doesn’t say though is that by adopting a closed
economy mindset, they will close off the investment and jobs flowing
from free trade. They’re saying no to Boeing’s $800 million investment
in Australia and the Cubbie Station improvements; they’re saying no to
businesses like Cherub Rubs and Australian Honey Products building new
factories and the many local jobs they will create.
Steven Ciobo is the Minister for Trade, Tourism
What’s not to love about all this?
I really think I love Anglo-Saxons. This is going to be fun,
When Mr. Ciobo spoke of ‘a working group with the
United Kingdom that will scope out the parameters of a future ambitious
and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA’, he was not joking. That
is happening and it is likely going to be another
window that the UK will have into the formation of both RCEP and FTAAP,
even though technically the UK is not physically in the Indo-Asian
I have also written an article today called, ‘US
Government to build American competitiveness atop socio-economic
retrogression and misery.’ It’s crucial to understand that
time is of the essence, since the Americans are at the present moment
in relative disarray compared to the rest of us. The Americans have not
yet tamed and pacified the various economic actors in their own
country, they are still working on that, and they also have yet to form
a coherent internationalist counter-narrative to the one that is being
enunciated by the governments of Britain, Australia, New Zealand,
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and so on.
Some of you may be mystified by that statement. What do I mean
that the Americans don’t have a coherent ‘internationalist
counter-narrative’? I mean that while they are capable of explaining
and rationalising their own position as a narrowly ‘America first’
position in a way that is pleasing to Americans,
they are not able to export that view to regular
people anywhere else in a way that would induce
any other European-demography country to comply with America’s
After all, if the Alt-Right people are going to careen all
over the internet essentially screaming, “put America first ahead of
your own country’s interests or be accused of White genocide”, and
alternately equally absurdly, “you’re an evil Russophobe who supports
White genocide if you invested in BP instead of Exxon”, then they
should not expect that they are going to win the sympathy of anyone who
is neither American nor Russian.
I want to say to British people, to Australians, to New
Zealanders, to Canadians, Commonwealth citizens in general, that you
know, it’s been a long time since you’ve taken your own side.
This coming phase is going to be a time when it will become possible to
do precisely that.
The time is fast approaching when it will be possible to
choose neither America nor Russia. You’ll be able
to finally choose yourselves and your own geoeconomic interests, and
you’ll be able to choose to trade and associate with whoever else in
the world you want to trade and associate with.
Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.
Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 09 February 2017 16:17.
Together back in the 80s, when Carl Icahn was showing Donald Trump the ropes of “corporate-take-over”, such as his plunder of TWA.
The Carl Icahn episode that pilfered the corporate culture of the once bustling American town—Lancaster, Ohio—is highly instructive of itself. It provides a lesson in its farther implications, however, as it set in motion transformations of that corporate culture which effected a perverse irony of its residents becoming Trump voters, seeking a return to their corporate culture as it had been - implicitly White - oblivious to the fact that they are hoping to do this through Trump, whose appointed gate-keeper is Carl Icahn - the very man who plundered Lancaster’s corporate culture and set in motion its transformative demise, with devastating impact upon the now rust-belt town and its people (nearly all White).
(((NPR))) doesn’t provide a transcript of portions which refer to Carl Icahn, e.g.
13:10: Dave Davies: “When did outside financial interests first pose a challenge to the management of Anchor Hocking, this giant of a company?
Brian Alexander: The first time was Carl Icahn.
It is meaningful that the relatively brief episode of Carl Icahn’s corporate raid on Anchor-Hocking did not merely lead to a limited financial downturn following the large (what amounts to) bribe that he levied against the company in order to get rid of him, but it had implicative force which transformed even the subsequent non-Jewish corporate culture, creating a new corporate culture - a new context, if you will. That is the kind of thing that the serious ethno-nationalist will want to examine further.
Brian Alexander: It’s the 1980’s, Carl Icahn has just begun his career of what became known at the time as “green mailing.”
Dave Davies: “Corporate raiding”, “corporate take-overs.”
Alexander: “Corporate raiding”, saying now I’ve just bought 5% of your stock. I want a seat on the board. You’re running your company in a lousy way; and so I’m going to come and make all sorts of trouble for you, but you know, if you want to buy me out, at a profit, at a premium, well maybe I’ll go away; and so that’s exactly what happened with Carl Icahn.
Carl Icahn bought over 5% of the stock of Anchor Hocking, agitated the board, saying you need to make some different decisions, you could be returning more share-holder value and was eventually bought off at what I calculate to be about a three million dollar profit to Carl Icahn.
That episode did not last long, but I argue that it changed Anchor Hocking forever, from then on.
NPR host Dave Davies: We heard a lot in the presidential campaign about anger and frustration among working class voters in America’s heartland. Today we’re going to focus on one factory town in central Ohio that was once a bustling center of industry and employment, but is now beset by low wages, unemployment and social decay.
Lancaster, Ohio isn’t just a research subject for our guest Brian Alexander, it’s his hometown.
His new book tells the story of the company that was once Lancaster’s largest employer - Anchor-Hocking Glass Company was a Fortune 500 company with its headquarters in the town. The company provided jobs, civic leadership and community pride. It’s decline Alexander argues isn’t just a product of increased competition and changing markets, he says the firm was undone by Wall Street investors who had little knowledge of the company and little interest in anything besides short-term profit.
Roosh has an amazing amount in common with Alt-Right internet personalities. He plays on the paranoia, helplessness, and angst of a bunch of failures and channels it into modest financial gains that keep him from having to get a real job. It’s pretty much the business model of the Cult-Right. The Cult-Right are filled with fanboy’s eager to proclaim the genius of their own personal Jebus, and that is, I think, why there is so much overlap between the Alex Jones / Stephen Molyneaux / Roosh acolytes, the Alt-Right Richard Spennttthhher fanboys, and the troll Army of the Quadroon Streicher. Their followers are professional cult members who are used to receiving their validation impersonally from a minor internet celebrity.
3. Boi-nie Endorses Shillary
He waited as long as he could hoping for the FBI indictment, but once there was no chance of that, he finally compromised his principles as we all knew he would.
2. GRAPHIC PHOTOS: On Black Death Porn
If you were a visitor to Der Daily Interracial Cuckold Porn Stormer, I am sure you would not be reading this line right now. Instead, you would have broken your finger eagerly clicking on the link because it contained the words “black” and “porn”. But, since you are still with us, I can let you know that this article makes a valid point that the ‘Kwa is strangely comfortable with images of dead and dying black men in the Mass Media.
1. Rape-ity, Rape-ity, Raper Roosh
But perhaps things changed in the intervening months? Perhaps I needed to reevaluate my impression? To find out, I scanned through Roosh’s Twitter feed, checked out some of the articles he linked, and then captured screenshots of the one’s that made me laugh the most. Conclusion: He is just as laughable a figure now as then. Why? Well, let’s start out with this…
I’ll take things a rapist might say for $400. I cannot take credit for that joke, though I wish I could. It was from an episode of Cinematic Titanic.
Because those are basically the only options the West has left, right Roosh? You’re sure you aren’t an EBT-card-carrying member of the Alt-Right?
You tell us, because previously you decried the Alt-Right as a bunch of racist betas.
Because you look like one of the muds arrested in Rotherham scandal? And while we are on the subject ...
This one is funny to me, because it is so poorly thought out. You see, the problem is: What morality do men possess, if women evolved the way they did because men were a bunch of murdering rapists? But I am sure there are White disciples of this mud who so hate White women that they would defend this defamation, because remember - the Rotherham girls loved their rapists!
So that’s what I think about Roosh, and by extension his whole alpha-male of yo’ mama’s basement philosophy. The fact that this mud is funded by White fanboys so he can wander around in White countries like some typical Middle Eastern child sex predator doesn’t prove how alpha he is, but how beta his followers are.
Does the presumptive Republican nominee see African Americans and Hispanics as part of the American “we”?
Lucas Jackson / Reuters
Celebrating his big win in Indiana—and his elevation to presumptive nominee of the Republican Party—Tuesday night, Donald Trump spoke at Trump Tower in New York City, where he delivered a promise to heal the deep fractures in his party.
“We want to bring unity to the Republican Party,” he said. “We have to bring unity. It’s so much easier if we have it.”
Do Black Votes Matter to Donald Trump?
That will be a tall order. But as a general-election candidate, Trump will need to win over more than just Republicans. In his inimitable way, he pledged to bring together the rest of the nation as well.
“We’re going to bring back our jobs, and we’re going to save our jobs, and people are going to have great jobs again, and this country, which is very, very divided in so many different ways, is going to become one beautiful loving country, and we’re going to love each other, we’re going to cherish each other and take care of each other, and we’re going to have great economic development and we’re not going to let other countries take it away from us, because that’s what’s been happening for far too many years and we’re not going to do it anymore,” he said. (That’s a single sentence, if you’re keeping track at home.)
Trump faces significant obstacles to achieving that unity, particular with blocs that are not white men. Seven in 10 women view him unfavorably. It’s even worse with minorities. A recent Gallup poll found that 77 of Hispanics view Trump unfavorably. A Washington Post poll pegged that number at eight in 10, seven of them “very unfavorable.” An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll found an astonishing 86 percent of African Americans had a negative view of Trump.
One reason for those atrocious ratings is the way Trump speaks to and about minorities, which was on display during his victory speech Tuesday.
“We’re going to have great relationships with the Hispanics,” he said. “The Hispanics have been so incredible to me. They want jobs. Everybody wants jobs. The African Americans want jobs. If you look at what’s going on, they want jobs.”
Part of Trump’s rhetorical power is his supercharged used of “we,” a method that persuades people across the country that they are part of a larger movement, and somehow share with Trump his aura of wealthy and luxury. (It’s the same technique he’s used to sell real estate for years.) In the midst of his spiel about all the ways “we” would make America great again, Trump tossed in this passage about minorities.
His phrasing is telling. First, it suggests that for Trump, blacks and Hispanics aren’t part of “we”—“they” constitute separate groups. Perhaps that’s an accidental, unthinking division, but subconscious racial division is no less dangerous. Second, it shows him assuming that minority concerns can be reduced to economics. That view is perhaps unsurprising for a man who has spent his career trying to accumulate wealth, but it is a two-dimensional view of black and Hispanic Americans.
The fact that his policies simply don’t line up with what most African Americans want in a president is one reason his numbers with black voters are so bad. Another factor is a presidential campaign driven in large parts by divisive appeals to racism and bigotry against Hispanics, Muslims, and other groups. Trump also has a long history of racially charged incidents, from alleged tenant discrimination to his strident reaction to the Central Park Five.
The entertainer has long spoken about minority groups with the outdated formulation involving a definite article: “I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks,” he said in 2011, using language that undermined his claim. He’s said similar things about “the Hispanics.”
Changing the way Trump speaks about African Americans and Hispanics won’t solve his problems with those groups, but if he wishes to unify the country, beginning to speak about them as though they are part of the American populace would be a good place to start.
Way to go right-wingers. As usual, the real Republican men are too rational to see race…these men are color blind, love everybody.
This loving domestic unity is going to be good for European EGI, going to be good for the economy - Asia is going to buy its products.
Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 09 April 2016 09:21.
Pardon the source, but this article not only well explains the draconian anti-abortion law that Poland’s PiS party is set to pass, but also prompts the question as to what other insane laws the new Polish government will institute.
An additional danger for White Nationalists is to be anticipated by Jewish commandeering of the inevitable popular backlash.
Poland’s Catholic Church and conservative government may have figured a draconian new “pro-life” law would have general acceptance. They were wrong.
When Catholic priests issued decrees during morning mass last Sunday calling for the country to institute a complete ban on abortions, Poland erupted in protests. The initiative was not unexpected, but the surge of opposition caught many by surprise as men and women took to the streets waving wire coat hangers, symbols of the deadly “back room” abortions that take place when all legal means to terminate a pregnancy are exhausted.
The purpose of the priests’ coordinated speeches was to launch a petition and gather churchgoers’ signatures that could then be used to begin a legislative campaign in the country’s parliament, the Sejm. A “pro-life” organization called Fundacja Pro quickly gathered the required 1,000 signatures. But when the group made its intentions known during the course of the previous week, many Poles started organizing opposition on Facebook.
In just two days, they drew together over 65,000 concerned activists and laid the groundwork for Sunday’s protests, but stopping the momentum of the draconian legislation is going to be a long, tough fight.
Current law in Poland allows abortions only in three drastic situations: when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest; when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger; or when the fetus is severely damaged. This is already one of the most restrictive abortion laws in all of Europe, forcing many women to seek out underground abortions or travel outside of Poland to countries like Slovakia. But in the eyes of Poland’s Catholic Church, this policy is too lackadaisical.
The draft of the new legislation was written by an organization called Ordo Iuris (Rule of Law), whose stated aim is to “promote a legal culture based on respect for human dignity and rights.” The draft was promptly endorsed by the Polish Episcopal Conference, which acts as the central organ of the Catholic Church in Poland. The conference’s widely disseminated notice on the new law explained that it supports it because the 5th Commandment specifically states “Thou shalt not kill,” and thus life must be protected from beginning—from the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg—to its natural end.
The wording of the law itself is simple but the implications are sweeping: “Every human being has the inherent right to life from the moment of conception,” reads its article I. “The life and health of the child from conception remain under protection of the law.”
On April 4, the Polish television network TVN reported that the law would lead to prison terms of up to three years for causing the death of a child once conceived. The same would apply to anyone who assists with or encourages the termination.
Critics looking at the possible legal ramifications were appalled. Pawel Kalisz of the Polish website Natemat wrote that the wording of the law could include as accomplices the woman or girl’s doctor; the friend driving her to the clinic; the dad who wrote her the sick note for the day off from school; the friend who brought her medication from abroad. Everyone.
Others noted that, in theory at least, rape survivors and children will be forced to give birth; women who might die due to their pregnancy will have no way to terminate it legally; a miscarriage might be punished with a sentence, as fetal murder will enter the criminal code;
Also, the state will have the right to bypass a person’s constitutional rights in order to protect unborn children; since prenatal testing is connected to a very small risk of miscarriage, it will be banned and doctors performing it might face criminal charges; and the morning-after pill will be categorized as an early abortion tool and thus completely banned (as will IUDs).
As one protester pointed out as well, women who discovered early on that their fetus had zero chance of surviving the pregnancy would be forced to live with the misery of carrying the baby for months and months until the inevitable conclusion.
The punishment would escalate to up to eight years of jail time for abortions undertaken without the consent of the woman. Furthermore, prison sentences of up to 10 years would be on the table for abortions undertaken while the fetus has the capacity for life outside the womb.
There are some loopholes, but they are narrow and unreliable. The draft law would not make it a crime for a doctor to end the life of a conceived child during the course of a procedure essential to saving the life of the mother. Furthermore, in exceptional cases the court would be able to reduce the jail sentence of a mother who had deliberately caused the death of a conceived child, or waive it altogether.
Although Polish values generally are Catholic and conservative, many Poles marched out of mass on Sunday in disgust when priests read the decree. A video of a woman openly admonishing her pastor went viral across the country. In it, the priest interrupts the woman’s tirade to ask if she has finished with her “political statement.” The irony of this remark was not lost on social media users, with one woman commenting, “Well, yes, because in church, political statements can only be made from the priest’s pulpit.”
The country’s right-wing media, meanwhile, called these protests a provocation against the state.
Although, formally, nothing has yet been codified, the wheels of change have been put into motion says Polish journalist Michał Szułdrzyński. “Now that Fundacja Pro have done their initial signature gathering, they will take it to the Sejm, which will verify the 1,000 signatures and then give the group three months to collect another 100,000 signatures. If successful, this next step would force the Sejm into taking a serious look.”
That’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds.
In 2011, a civic initiative to ban abortion gathered nearly 500,000 signatures and was introduced into the Sejm. At that time however, the lower house was run by the more left-leaning Civic Platform, which rejected the idea. When it was put to a vote, the more liberal Civic Platform party held 208 seats while Law and Justice (known by its Polish acronym PiS) controlled 157. The result of the vote was 178 for and 206 against.
Now, however, the PiS controls 235 seats against the Civic Platform party’s 157, and has embarked on a systematic campaign to stifle and marginalize opposition. PiS could pass the bill on its own, and it’s also got a parliamentary ally, with the third biggest party Kukiz’15, run by musician turned right-wing populist Pawel Kukiz. The Kukiz party holds 40 seats in Sejm, and its leader has also been an outspoken opponent of abortion in the past. With these numbers, the bill will almost assuredly pass.
All of this poses a very real and terrifying prospect for women across the country who fear that the coat hangers they’ve been holding as symbols of resistance might soon become their only recourse against unwanted and unsafe births.
When asked why he believes this is happening again, Szułdrzyński says it’s quite simple. “In the opinion of the Catholic Church abortion is wrong in every circumstance and they feel that as a Catholic country, Poland should pass a law to reflect the church’s position.”
Earlier in the week, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo was asked on public radio what she thought about this issue, and she said that as a Catholic she supports the proposal. Her remarks sparked outrage and she has now backtracked a bit to say that she was merely giving her opinion as a private person and not making a statement as prime minister.
Her flip-flop sparked ridicule online, with many women questioning why the PM was so personally interested in the wombs of Polish women. Several went on Szydlo’s Facebook page. One, Malina Prześluga-Delimata, decided to notify her, sarcastically, that she wasn’t pregnant: “Madam Beato, I write to inform you that my cycle runs fine. I received my period on time (the cycle lasts 31 days).” She went on to thank the PM for being so interested in her and in her reproductive potential. “It is fantastic to know that for the moment I will be able to shift responsibility for my breeding to someone else. I will keep you up to date.”
The greatest display of anger, however, was on Poland’s streets, in what might be called the coat hanger rebellion.
Szułdrzyński believes that the ruling PiS party was caught off guard by the backlash. “This has driven great controversy because if you look at recent polls, although most people are against abortion, the overwhelming majority supports the three exceptions as they stand now,” he said.
Here is the organization behind this. Aren’t Abrahamic religions so nice? If some Arab or African converts to Catholicism, he can rape your daughter, be forgiven in confessional, while she is forced to bear the beast soon to be baptized into your biological people’s replacement.