Helping Australia

Many of us are distraught at the scenes nightly on tv from the Australian fires. I have contacted the government to ask if we are offering assistance.

We should not  just assume because Australia is a  relatively high income country she does not need help. Faced with the scale of these events she may  appreciate additional ships and planes equipped for dealing with emergencies. We often help other countries facing natural disasters through our overseas aid department so we have some of the equipment needed.

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138 Comments

  1. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    About time! We have nothing to NZ when they suffered earthquakes. They are our own flesh and blood, dominions!

    • NickC
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Lynn, Precisely. That is what our foreign aid budget is for. We must help Australia, and we should have helped NZ.

  2. steve
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, it would be right to offer assistance. Never forget that like the US and Canada, Australia has been and and still is an ally.

    We should never turn a blind eye to friends in need.

  3. Alec
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    There are a lot more questions that need asking than that, obviously urgent, one. Like why have drought conditions been created by private water extraction? Why has there been such inadequate government response? Why are there numerous reports of inflamable compounds being found on the ground across the areas involved? Why has this year had the worst fires when rainfall been similar to previous years?

    • Pominoz
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Alec,

      Where do you get your information from?

    • NickC
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Alec, Under the influence of supposed “environmentalists” ordinary Australians have been prevented from creating fire-stops. It was the same with flooding here – “environmentalists” (supported by the EU) have prevented adequate dredging and drainage.

    • Richard
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Here is a thorough analysis: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/australian-wildfire-latest/

      Two main reasons stand out:
      1) “Governments appeasing the green beast have ignored numerous state and federal bushfire inquiries over the past decade, almost all of which have recommended increasing the practice of “prescribed burning”. Also known as “hazard reduction”…” https://www.smh.com.au/environment/green-ideas-must-take-blame-for-deaths-20090211-84mk.html
      2) Over 200 individual arsonists. (With the MSM blaming ‘climate change’, no doubt these include some committed CC activists.)

    • Richard
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Sydney Morning Herald:
      – “contractors out working on the fire lines… put in containment lines and cleared off some of the fire trails. Two weeks later that fire broke out, but unfortunately those trails had been blocked up again [by greens] to turn it back to its natural state … Instances like that are just too numerous to mention.”

      Dr Phil Cheney ex-head of the CSIRO’s bushfire research unit “estimates between 35 and 50 tonnes a hectare of dry fuel were waiting to be gobbled up by Saturday’s inferno. Fuel loads above about 8 tonnes a hectare are considered a fire hazard. A federal parliamentary inquiry into bushfires in 2003 heard that a 4-fold increase in ground fuel leads to a 13-fold increase in the heat generated by a fire.”

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Yes we should of course help where we can do.

    We should also try to make sure that people are not deluded by the alarmists, St Greta and “BBC thinkers” into thinking that the best way to prevent such horrible events in the future is to have a very expensive and pointless war against atmospheric CO2. Adaptation, and other more direct and practical measures are the way to reduce deaths, injury and property damage from such weather events. Similarly for earth quakes, tsunamis, hurricanes ……

    These types of event are nothing new.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Change the record, for pity’s sake.

      • James Matthews
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Obviously a record you don’t want to hear. Many of us agree that it needs to be on a continuous loop.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Those of us familiar with this site have read this recital endlessly, thank you.

          I come from a scientific background, so that means that I am, in the formal sense, a sceptic.

          I examine the claims of both the mainstream climatologists, and of their critics, with the most reputable help that I can find.

          Those of the latter, if nothing else, generally flagrantly and recklessly violate the Precautionary Principle, on which good sense policy always rests.

        • Leaver
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          There is a difference between being a climate alarmist and accepting something needs to be done. I hope we can at least agree that human activity is leading to a warming of the planet.

          Also the push to deal with the problem has led to renewable energy becoming competitive, which must also be a good thing.

          And while CO2 levels are currently within a historically acceptable range, they keep rising, so I think we all agree something needs to be done.

          The big question is what needs to be done about it and whether market forces are enough to deal with the problem or whether further political action is required.

          Also I do not think China and India should be allowed to pollute indiscriminately while the U.K has to foot the bill.

      • Nannette
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Send as much help as possible to Australia, because we don’t need to send foreign aid to countries who use the money to enter the space race!!!!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Well you might not like the message but like it or not that is the truth. The chances of a few more “renewable” energy plants making any significant difference to C02 levels at all is absurd. Even then the chance of this making any difference to the fires there is even more remote. Take sensible precautions and adapt is the best way to go by far. Remove surplus wood and use it as biofuel or burn it off regularly in a controlled and safe way.

      • NickC
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Why don’t you want to listen to the truth? Every major “green” prediction of climate catastrophe so far has been false – remember Prince Charles’ infamous diatribe about having less than 100 months to save the planet (2009)? The GCMs are based on CO2 so – surprise, surprise – they blame CO2; and conveniently leave out sunspots, magnetic fields, cosmic rays, and clouds. Which is why they give incorrect answers.

        • Leaver
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          They leave all those things out because they do not correlate with global temperatures. I really liked your last answer NickC – but sunspots and cosmic rays, really? This has been going on for 150 years, since the industrial revolution. It’s really pretty obvious what’s going on. I will admit that clouds and water vapour have a complex warming effect, but it’s the steady year-on-year climb that convinces me. Also climatologists seem pretty much unanimous and I am not a climatologist – by which I mean I am not paid to study the climate for a living – so I’ll go with what they say, thanks.

          • Leaver
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            I do think that not having regular fires is a big mistake though. This is also the case in California. There is a really good book called Fire Season all about this. Fires are a natural process and usually caused by lightning.

          • Leaver
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            Apologies, I mean to say New Mexico, not California.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        unlike you of course who brings us fascinating new angles on anything and everything.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        If you had a house in these areas of Australia would you want all the wood and biomass close to the house removed and other measure to make the house less flammable (should embers hit it) or would you rather pay higher taxes for a few more wind turbine subsidies and hope for the best?

        I would certainly prefer the former by a factor of about 10 to the power of 50 to 1.

        • miami.mode
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Donald Trump came in for criticism once when he had a pop at some Californians when they had wildfires saying that they weren’t managing the forest properly.

          In the Grand Canyon National Park and some others they actively manage the fire risk by regularly sweeping up the brushwood and burning it so that there is nothing for a wildfire to get hold of. Probably expensive, but effective.

  5. rose
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I hope help has already been offered though I fear there will be some bureaucratic reason for not using our international aid money. Australia will be deemed too rich to help, as if this sort of natural disaster discriminates between rich and poor countries.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Natural disaster do discriminate between rich are poor. House can be earthquake proof, more resistant to fire or hurricanes or have flood defences or protective cellars. That is why wasting vast sums of cash on CO2 non “pollution” is so idiotic and counterproductive.

  6. formula57
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Good. Let us trust the Government agrees.

    Better to spend the Foreign Aid budget now helping Australia than give it to large charities that trail outrageous scandals in their recent wake.

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    John you should know better. Overseas Aid is primarily for countries who hate us.
    How dare you advocate giving assistance to a basically Christian country when we could be spending it in the Middle East or China.

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    “The problem with politicians (Australian bushfire mismanagement edition) | Auto Expert John Cadogan” on youtube is well worth a watch.

    Problem with offering help is their polticians are clueless.

    My brother is in Sydney. Power is off for long periods. No petrol available anywhere, as no electric to power the pumps. Sky is black. Hard to breath. Everyone wearing face masks, if they can get one. This is in a major centre of population.

    Sky is dark in New Zealand from smoke from Australia, thats how bad it is.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      LUCKY THE DO NOT HAVE MANY (LIMITED RANGE) ELECTRIC CARS THERE NEEDING CHARGING – TO NOT ESCAPE IN.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        What a terrifying scenario L/L. More lives would have been lost.

  9. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    It would appear that many Australians regret their recent choice of Prime Minister in the present emergency.

    They’ll perhaps be in good company before too long.

    • Pominoz
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      MiC,

      And many more rejoice that Scott Morrison, rather than Bill Shorten, was elected.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Have you recent evidence to support that claim? A poll, say?

        • Pominoz
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          MiC,

          Yes. They called it an election.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Good riposte, but haven’t events developed rather rapidly since then, with him found wanting?

          • Pominoz
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            MiC,

            Criticised mainly by the left-wing media. Scott Morrison is a good man, whether or not you agree with his politics. Which is where you and I may differ, but I respect your right to your opinion.

            I see one of his ministers is being branded as a ‘climate denier’ by, I think, Piers Morgan or one of his cohorts on BBC. This, as expected, is gaining much air-time on ABC and other channels over here.

    • rose
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      It would appear that the Australian media are like ours. The PM must not be allowed a holiday when everyone knows tired ministers make bad decisions.

    • NickC
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Martin, You think the fires would not have occurred because of a different prime minister??!?

    • L Jones
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      M-in-C – you don’t like your own country very much, do you? Would probably be overjoyed to see it go down the pan and suffer in any way at all, perhaps?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        No, I’d like to see it become world leader in the advancement of civilisation.

        • Oggy
          Posted January 7, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          You have very big ambitions for Wales.

  10. Timaction
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    How about the Government sending some trained Firefighters and volunteers paid out of the foreign aid budget?

  11. Ian@Barkham
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    It is surprising we (the UK) haven’t offered any direct help. Even if it is just support by way of relief for those brave services that have spent day after day on the front line.

    I note tiny NewZeland and Canada have been quick to arrive

  12. acorn
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    You have to wonder if there is some God or even Mother Nature herself that has got it in for Australia. Climate change is a difficult sell in Australia; it mines and exports Hydro-Carbons per capita like crazy. It will surpass this year, Qatar, as the largest exporter of LNG and will probably be the forth largest Coal miner.

    Anyway JR, your regular commenters don’t want you adding to the £14.6 billion your government is currently flittering away on foreigners that they automatically consider to be undeserving.

    • Nannette
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      For the past TEN years, the greens in Australia STOPPED the age old ritual of clearing and burning the dead undergrowth in rural areas. When the fires started, there were enormous amounts of natural tinder which hadn’t been cleared, and enabled the fires to spread extremely fast, and grow at an exponential rate!

    • NickC
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, Indeed the DfID should be shut down and a small proportion of its budget allocated to the FCO – for precisely the sort of natural disaster engulfing part of Australia. Natural fuels – coal, oil, and gas – are essential for our long life and high standard of living, so all power to Australia.

  13. Helen Smith
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Australia is a friend, we should certainly offer assistance

  14. DOMINIC
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely. We need to provide assistance and help to our Aussie brethren

    Nice to see the British media and western media attacking for ‘taking out’ a terror supporter and despot. When Obama did exactly the same he received the Nobel Peace prize. When Obama triggered the civil war in Syria to assist Merkel’s plan to reduce Germany’s reliance on Russian gas his involvement was keenly explained away

    The hate for Trump and indeed Brexit has exposed the systemic bias of those who now run the UK and US media

    • DOMINIC
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      ‘attacking Trump’

  15. agricola
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Two days ago I suggested we give half our OA fund to Australia, about £6.0 Billion as a one off aid gift. It keeps it in the family and I think it would go down well with the electorate who are not overly impressed with many of our donations.

    With things brewing up at the eastern end of the Med, I doubt we have sufficient RN ships to send anything effective to Australia.

    Press Boris on the subject, he would quickly appreciate the implication of such a gesture.8

    • jerry
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      @agricola; “I suggested we give half our OA fund to Australia, about £6.0 Billion as a one off aid gift.”

      Australia is NOT a poor country, what ever GDP measure ones chooses, and if one chooses GDP based on economic growth Australia is way above that of the UK!

      Help yes, in kind, by way of equipment or personal but they do not need £6.0 Billion in ‘cash’…

  16. ukretired123
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    We should be sending them anything we can as they have always helped the UK in very tough times.
    It seems their government didn’t listen when their Fire Service requested much needed equipment in recent years.
    Compounded by the PM going on holiday abroad before Christmas!!!

  17. Irene
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Too late. If we really cared, we would have offered assistance long before now. Perhaps you would kindly let us know how the government responds to you.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I hope the overseas aid department still has some cash left after the funding the Ethiopian version of the Spice Girls and similar and after all the salaries and gold plated pensions for their staff.

    • Andy
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Classic example of someone who spends too long reading the Daily Mail.

      • Marx on my back
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        It’s a class issue isn’t it Andy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        So are you suggesting it is not true?

        In the Telegraph – An all-female pop group dubbed Ethiopia’s Spice Girls received another £5.2 million in British foreign aid despite previous criticism of the funding.

      • NickC
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Classic example of someone who spends too long reading Remain propaganda.

  19. BillM
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Won’t the Australians ask us for help if and when they need it? I’m sure we can afford a few GBPs from the Overseas Aid fund when they do. They are friends and allies and cannot be ignored when they request our assistance. After all, they have always supported us over the past 100 years.

    • DavidJ
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Manpower would help too. Those guys fighting the fires must be absolutely knackered; not a great state to be in when surrounded by danger.

  20. forthurst
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Have the actions and non-actions of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority been significantly responsible for the devastating fires sweeping Australia? Are they wise to be talking to the Mekong River Commission when their’s might be envious eyes cast on a continent with views of the Southern Cross from a very large population seeking lebenstraum?

    All this is not happening because the Australians have been naughtily burning too much indigenous coal, but their climate is changing, nevertheless, because the Great Artesian Basin, which feeds the aquifers of the entire continent, is being drained of its annual monsoonal waters. As the continent becomes more dry, the temperature rises and entire river / forest ecosystems which depend upon the Great Artesian are dying out.

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Please post the reply you receive.
    Hopefully our trade department is supporting mask and HEPA filter suppliers. The toxic effects of micro-particles need investigation there.
    As an aside, having been in Australia in November, greens are being blamed on the street for banning pre-burns which isolated fires in the past. I haven’t seen this reported on the BBC, or here at all.

    • Pominoz
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      SJS,

      You are absolutely correct. The Greens have quite a lot to answer for.

      • Nannette
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        The greens are responsible for the deaths of over half a BILLION animals and birds, many in the brink of extinction!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Indeed clearing, burning off or collecting surplus “bio” fuels is about the only sensible defence. The greens also in part responsible for cladding towers in dangerous insulation (to save totally trivial amounts of heat).

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        No, it is allegedly the private companies who fit non-specified, cheaper materials in place of those approved who cause the fire danger.

        If so then let us hope that those responsible go to prison for a very long time.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s the same mentality that led to the NRA selling off it’s excavators and dredgers. PC green nonsense has prevented good forest management practices that would have limited this tragedy.
      Australia has had many hot and very dry seasons before this is being used by the globalists to push their agenda
      https://harbingersdaily.com/environmentalists-made-australias-bush-fires-worse/

  22. Bob
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    With our huge foreign aid budget there must be something available for the Aussies.
    Maybe we could pay for Dominic Cummings to fly over there and explain how the Aborigines prevented such conflagrations by the use of controlled burning of dead wood.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      I’ve read several articles now, and seen a You Tube video that shows the Greens have persuaded the Australian government to not clear the bush, to help preserve wildlife! The results have, of course, been the opposite and human loss of life too!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Indeed they are a dangerous menace. It is emotion over logic, science and sensible engineering every time for the “greens”.

  23. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Quite right John. What is happening over there is truly devastating. Nothing to do with climate change. Just an unfortunate turn of events but if they need our help it should be given.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, and the fact that the UK is leaving the European Union is nothing to do with millions of people like you voting Leave either.

      • James Matthews
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Absolutely no parallel there. Leaving the EU is (1) entirely under human control and (B) very much to be welcomed.

      • NickC
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Why ever would we not leave the bloated, corrupt, dirigiste EU with its pretensions of empire? We should have been out 12 months after we voted.

      • L Jones
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        What a ludicrous reply, M-in-C. What has that to do with the suffering of a country under difficult circumstances created by nature?
        Couldn’t you use your time more profitably by telling us why we should have wished to remain in your EU and the great and glorious future it has before it? We keep asking, but it doesn’t seem as though you people have any answers.
        Just a gut feeling on your part, perhaps? Or the triumph of blind faith over reality?

  24. Alan Jutson
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Its a natural disaster, if we can be of help we should offer use of equipment and expertise, that’s what foreign aid should be all about.

  25. Javelin
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    The greens stopped the burning of bush to create fire walls because it added Co2. Now the whole bush is on fire are there are no firewalls to stop it. … Consequences.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      That is what is called a “dilemma”.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Correct management would involve removing the overgrown biomass, gasifying it, and storing the residual charcoal.

      There isn’t the political will in Australia to do that, it seems.

      • Pominoz
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        MiC,

        I think you should come over and organise it.

        Oil-laden leaves of Camphor-laurel and Eucalyptus do not make good charcoal, but no doubt you have hidden knowledge.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          The charcoal – carbon – is to be stored, not burnt.

          Its quality is irrelevant.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Just burn it all in an incinerator and generate electricity with it.

        • Bob
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          “no doubt you have hidden knowledge.”

          Extremely well hidden.

        • NickC
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Pominoz, If Martin has “hidden knowledge” he is keeping it well and truly hidden.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          POM – or perhaps very little – empty vessels make most noise.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            You said it.

            Count the posts by yourself, Life “Logic” etc. compared to mine.

      • NigelE
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Martin, your chemistry is suspect. Links that I’ve just looked at suggest that about 25-35% by weight of the carbon in the biomass will end up as charcoal, the rest is emitted as CO2 and CO. Better than just burning it from a climate calamity view, but not much.

        Also removing the biomass is unlikely to be an energy free process, it would probably be done by mechanised means. The process of charing the biomass will also need energy input. If the charing process could generate electricity, the situation would be better, but then you need to build the new generating plant and have a means of transporting stripped biomass to the generating plant.

        It’s never as easy as you think!

        • Bob
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          @Nigel
          Did you know that once started, sugar cane mills are not only self powered by the bagasse, but they generate a surplus of electricity for the community.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          The biomass will regenerate and absorb more carbon dioxide.

          If, every time it is cleared and processed some carbon – charcoal – is taken out of the loop and stored, then over time that will reduce atmospheric levels.

          • steve
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            MiC

            “The biomass will regenerate”

            That’s ok. It’s the thought that you might regenerate which bothers me.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      you’re bang on the money

  26. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Absolutely correct. Sir John!

    We are giving millions a year to some countries that do not like us very much, to put it mildly. No matter how wealthy Australia is, we should offer help, if, in fact, we are not already doing so.

    I believe they would be one of the first to offer help ,if the UK was in a similar position.

    • Andy
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      You confuse you not liking them with them not liking us.

      • Pominoz
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Andy,

        You really do not have a grasp, do you?

        Despite the UK abandoning Australia, courtesy of Heath, to favour trade with the EU, Australia remains very much pro UK and will heartily embrace close trade as soon as the opportunity occurs.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          POM – -you are wasting your breath (and keystrokes).

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Yes, did you hear what Julia Arvo said?

          It would be nice, but deals with far larger players such as the European Union are proportionally more important.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            So first you say Australia will not give the UK a trade deal.
            Then when given some good arguments that they will give us a trade deal, you switch to claiming that “it would be nice” but that deals with the EU would be better.

            Come on Martin with your 20 posts a day you should be developing better arguments than that by now.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            No I didn’t say that, did I?

      • NickC
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Andy, You confuse you liking them with them not liking us.

  27. Pominoz
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The bushfire situation here is horrendous and whilst the Australian Emergency Services and, where needed, the Military are both efficient and well organised, I am sure that an offer of assistance from the UK would be greatly welcomed by the Australian Government.

    The fires are the result of a significant period of drought in many parts of the country coupled, it is said, with a delay in the southerly movement of the monsoon which would normally, at this time of the year, trigger the start of the wet season in various parts of the country. Droughts and bushfires are a regular part of life here, with some areas almost never experiencing either, whilst in other parts both are common. There is no doubt that this summer is one of the worst, but there are many here who, despite the mainstream media being all to eager to allocate the situation to climate change, see the event as an extreme example of a regular occurrence.

    This does not diminish the suffering of those who have lost relatives, friends of their homes and the Australian people are being very generous with their support. The eventual financial cost to recover is going to be massive, with much livestock destroyed. The real cost of loss of wildlife and unique habitats cannot be measured. Recovery in this respect may take decades.

    The bonds between Australia and the UK are extremely strong. The offer of help now and, in due course, the early agreement of an FTA post Brexit will be beneficial.

    • Bob
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      “mainstream media being all to eager to allocate the situation to climate change”

      It appears that the green blob have prevented Australians carrying out controlled burns which exacerbated the problem and now they say “that this summer is one of the worst”

      Reminds me of the floods in the Somerset Levels brought about by green environmental policies and then blamed on global warming.

      First create the problem
      Await the public reaction
      Then provide your solution
      #cynical

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        PLUS THE CLADDING OF ALL THOSE TOWER BLOCKs in dangerous insulation. In my experience most were far too hot already even before the extra insulation.

      • NickC
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Bob, That is exactly right. I do not know of one major “green” (CAGW influenced) policy that has not turned out to be a blunder. CFLs, woodchip burning, bio-fuels, peak oil, dieselgate, windmills, no dredging, no fire-breaks, etc. The CAGW hoax has been going on for so long that the climate activist generation were supposed to be living in Antarctica by now.

        • Leaver
          Posted January 7, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          I think the subsidies for renewables have been highly successful. Particularly solar power, which have led to solar cells now being competitive against coal and gas.

          However, I also agree that not allowing fires to burn naturally has been a mistake.

  28. Stephen O
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    It should be natural for the UK to help Australia at this time, given the close connections of friends and family between the two countries. Indeed I believe there are around a million British citizens in Australia so it would also be helping British citizens too. I remember wondering if the UK did anything to help New Zealand after the Christchurch earthquake some years ago. It seemed nothing was done then. I am glad you (JR) have asked this.

    I also wondered if there is some way of sharing resources, given the difference in seasons. Perhaps there is less demand for firefighting in the UK winter when Australia needs it and vice versa.

    I also wondered whether it would be possible for the UK to have a International rescue and assistance team, to provide assistance to countries suffering natural disasters. With some elements such as command and control systems and people able to manage a variety of types of incidents, established permanently and developing expertise over time able to deploy and enable local authorities to quickly bring their crisis under control. This could also make use of specialist volunteers, such as the British cave divers who assisted rescuing schoolchildren in Thailand, for unusual challenges.

    Funding could come from the foreign aid budget and it could do immense good for the UKs reputation.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      And what would other members of the Commonwealth, such as Bangladesh, India, Nigeria etc. rightly say, if the UK showed such favouritism towards Australian, New Zealand, and Canada?

      Such nations account for about ninety-seven percent of its people.

      • GeorgeP
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        What a ridiculous reply. Does it matter what they would think? I would think that we would equally offer assistance to other Commonwealth countries and non Commonwealth countries for that matter in their time of need.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Where did Stephen say he wanted “favouritism” towards Australia, Canada and New Zealand?

        • James Matthews
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          He didn’t, but there should be. We are closer in our outlook, values and culture to AUNZCAN than we are to almost any other country in the Commonwealth. We should not pretend otherwise. You can’t please everyone and it is daft to try.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          I don’t recall any right wing poster here urging aid to any Commonwealth country such as Bangladesh, when it suffers repeated devastation from cyclones, flooding and the like and involving major loss of life.

          So I make that inference.

          Forgive me if I am mistaken however, and direct me to such posts.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            So first someone posts saying it would be good to give more aid to Australia.
            Then Martin you come on inferring this means we now all want to impoverish current beneficiaries of overseas aid.
            When challenged that this wasn’t what the original post said, you switch to demanding links to posts showing reducing aid to Bangladesh wasn’t what would happen.
            Keep wriggling Martin.
            It is hilarious.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            No, I just invited links to posts here, which urged aid for disaster relief in parts of the Commonwealth other than wealthy Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

            If you can find any then I’d be very pleased to read them.

            Do you understand what the Commonwealth is claimed to be?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            But this is an article about the current major problem happening in Australia.
            Many posts say offers of help and aid should be given.
            Aid would usually come from the overseas aid budget.
            You now are trying to play the race card.
            Which is pathetic and unworthy of you.

      • dixie
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Department for International Development final 2016 UK ODA spend statistics lists on page 4 the top 20 countries in receipt of UK Aid which has Pakistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Afghanistan at the top and Bangladesh and Kenya in the middle.

        Neither Australia, Canada nor New Zealand appear in the DfID list so I imagine they would not be begrudged some assistance.

        Either you weren’t aware of this and too lazy to find out before shooting your mouth off, or you were and chose not to spoil your bilious narrative.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          The discussion is not about ongoing economic and developmental aid but about emergency disaster relief.

          • dixie
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

            No such thing was stipulated. You are simply changing the criteria after the fact.

            BTW a simple search shows UK aid is often provided via DfID, eg flood relief to Bangladesh in 2007.

          • GeorgeP
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

            A few years ago following the huge Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines the UK sent HMS Illustrious and her helicopters to help with the relief and recovery efforts. She was loaded with supplies and replaced HMS Daring who was already there helping out. Maybe you’ll complain that this action might have upset members of the Commonwealth as the Philippines isn’t a member?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            Yet above and below you have made posts claiming that is what it is about.

  29. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t have thought it is a question of money and if I were the PM of Australia, a fully functioning and wealthy country, I wouldn’t accept it if it were offered.

    Strikes me it’s fire-fighters and equipment they need most. What have we got which would help, have we got people in the area? Have we got equipment in the area? Have we any fire fighting aircraft for example? Suspect not.

    So someone tell me what we could do that would be more than token and political posturing.

  30. Ian
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Well said, of coarse we should offer help to our friends, we must get right on it

  31. dixie
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what our government is doing and would be interested to hear once you have found out.

    In the meantime we should not wait on our government to do anything and there are various routes to providing donations to help with supporting dislocated families, the firefighters and their families, I gave a donation to the Australian Salvation Army.

  32. Pragmatist
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Of course Putin should be advised,so he can withdraw his nuclear technicians from genuinely peaceful nuclear facilities in Iran and persuade Israel to destroy all Iranian nuclear facilities immediately. They won’t need much persuasion.

  33. DavidJ
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely! We could stop paying and divert foreign aid from the likes of China, India and probably many more who don’t need it or will simply squander it. After all many Australians may be our relatives. It disgusts me that we were not offering support when the fires first got out of hand.

  34. John Partington
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    It is a terrible disaster in Australia. I lived there from 1969-1973 and there were very few bush fires and they were dealt with quickly. There has obviously been a change in their climate since then with hotter summers and less rain. I wonder if anyone has considered drilling water wells and building desalination plants on the coast to deal with water shortages.
    Just a thought.

  35. Roger Phillips
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant, well done John. We have a duty to our commonwealth friends.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      To Bangladesh, The West Indies, India, Nigeria, Pakistan etc., you mean?

      After all, they are 97% of its people.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        To all Commonweslth people.
        Are they not all worthy?
        And at the moment our friends in Australia are worthy of our help and support.
        That’s what you mean isn’t it Martin?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          I was asking you.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            And I have given you my answer.

      • dixie
        Posted January 7, 2020 at 4:29 am | Permalink

        @mic – You euphilics abandoned our friends and families in the Commonwealth in favour of your new best friends in the EU. To now attempt to lecture us that we are failing in support of our Commonwealth friends is beyond hypocrisy.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 7, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          No, I was just asking what posters here meant by “Commonwealth friends”

          That is, did they include the 97% of its population outside of Aus, NZ and Canada, and who also have millions of relatives in the UK?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            Yes that is what I believe they were saying.

          • dixie
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            No, you weren’t “just asking”. If you were “just asking” you would have asked the simple question.

            But you didn’t

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 8, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

            Edward, that is the most hilarious of your silly replies yet.

            What I wanted to know was what such people were claiming.

            Whatever you believe about them tells us sweet foxtrot alpha.

  36. Chris
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your views, Sir John, but people should be aware that 200 individuals have apparently been charged with starting the fires deliberately. Forget the global warming nonsense claiming that these fires are as a result of global warming.

    • Chris
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      An additional thought, I believe that there are ecoterrorists operating, possibly in Australia, in order to advance their agenda.

      • Pominoz
        Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Chris,

        Sadly, there are idiots here as in the UK and other countries. Quite a number of the blazes have been started by teenage schoolkids ‘enjoying’ their Summer break. A close look at those identified shows that, in many cases, the families (i.e. parents) are ‘known’ to the police.

  37. Yossarion
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    When the Mother Country needed Her People in WW1 and 2 the Aussies were there in vast numbers from the disaster of Gallipoli to the German Spring offensive of 1918 that the ANZACS played a major part in holding the line. Divert the foreign aid budget to our real friends and Allies. Its payback time.

  38. Sea Warrior
    Posted January 7, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Good. Yesterday, Monday, I wrote to the PM and asked him to offer assistance. New Zealand has already sent troops. We should too. Australia didn’t hesitate to join us against Germany in two world wars. And they are our kith and kin.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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