Ok, two questions arise. What is “this”? And who knows it?
The second first – because that is how I generally operate. You don’t go in the front door if there is a back one. And you always read a newspaper from back to front. At least you did, when you used to read newspapers and there were actual newspapers to read.
Who knows what? Well, since this story centres around Australia – and have you noticed there are suddenly a lot of stories about Australia, from everywhere. Even countries you would not expect them to appear, like Russia for instance. But since Australia, as always, knows not whether it is coming or going, or even (or especially) in which direction it is meant to be facing, any story about Australia must concern the nations of the region around it – all of whom do know where they are, and most know in which way they should be looking (if not inwardly) – since these are the ones most affected by Australia’s lack of certitude and ditherence on almost everything.
‘Ditherence’, being an uncommonly used word I will define by first translating into russian and back again to english. Ditherence – неопределенности – anglicised for pronunciation as (and I am open to correction) ‘neopriedieliennosty’ (which may well become one of my favourite words of all time), carries the meaning of ‘uncertainty’ which the English Wikipedia defines as [The lack of certainty, a state of limited knowledge where it is impossible to exactly describe the existing state, a future outcome, or more than one possible outcome.] – ru.wikipedia says much the same but in less words.
The Australian electorate’s constant flip-flopping from one party of government to another, between neither of which there is a hairs-breadth of difference (federally speaking), justifies the application of that word in this case.
So it is Australia’s neighbours who know what it is. But what is it they know?
Ah, so now I can turn to the story from which the quote representing my post title was drawn.
I can throw some light on the question by providing more of the quoted paragraph in which the title was found…
Australia will only do this [differentiate itself from its cultural background – ed.] by creating deeper integration with its regional neighbours from very different cultural traditions, as the UK once thought it should with Europe. The one thing above all which Asian and Pacific countries have in common is having overthrown foreign domination. But most of them have made significantly more progress in doing so than Australia, for whom the UK is only nominally foreign and the US is the preferred colonial master, and they know this (emphasis mine).‘Australia: When Will It Be An Independent State?’ – Seth Ferris for New Eastern Outlook
And so I think I am right in saying that it is Australia’s neighbours who see the situation for what it is, although it is also likely that all parties with an tangible interest, except Australia, are fully aware of what gives, and each will play the game differently according to their own best interests. And that, regardless of Australia’s interests, unless those interests coincide in some way. And that can only be the case among the neighbouring nations – who must dearly want Australia to quickly get its act together and stop the dithering once and for all. I’m not sure Australia has any meaningful grasp on the realities of that situation.
The US and UK of course see no advantage for them in there being an independent Australia.
It is up to the likes of China to ensure the situation turns in the right direction if the Aussies can’t soon make up their minds – or irretrievably take the wrong path.
Assuming of course that China has sufficient interest in the future of Australia to take such a step. And China does already have considerable pecuniary interests and investments in the country, without even taking into consideration Australia’s vast natural resource base, and the fact that the loss of this land as a stationary snoop base and potential missile platform, would in no uncertain terms put particularly the US’ nose out of joint. The UK doesn’t figure noticeably in such considerations and even the US may not soon be around as an entity in its present state, or any state to care or intervene, with or without a nose to be put out of joint.