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The Conversation

  • Written by Mark Beeson, Professor of International Politics, University of Western Australia
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People all over the world are overthrowing oppressive and unrepresentative bureaucracies. Old orders are collapsing and new ones are bursting forth to take their place in an unstoppable surge of people power. Here in Western Australia our moment has finally arrived. We just need to seize it.

For too long we have laboured thanklessly under the oppressive yoke of the dreaded “eastern staters”. Not content with stealing our resource wealth to prop up the unsustainable, state-supported lifestyles favoured by the idlers on the other side of the continent, Canberra’s heartless, unrepresentative elites have smothered WA’s famous entrepreneurial spirit under a mountain of red tape.

WA, after all, is the state that gave Australia – nay, the world – Alan Bond, Laurie Connell and other larger-than-life figures like Gina Rinehart. Where would the rest of Australia be without our minerals and gas?

Bad enough that we’ve been ripped off for years in one wasteful “nation-building” extravaganza or another over east. But we’ve also been shamelessly taken for granted in the process.

Canberra types only come over here at election time. To say our efforts in propping up inefficient wasters in places like Tasmania are unappreciated would be a masterpiece of understatement. But we can put up with this no longer. History is plainly on our side. We need to emulate what Greg Sheridan described as Britain’s “magnificent triumph of determined, peaceful, reasoned democracy”.

Yes, Brexit has been truly “wonderful”, just as Rupert Murdoch says. We need to mobilise the same sort of media muscle behind WA’s push for independence and freedom as the Murdoch press provided in Britain. Why should we be dictated to by people who have never even been to WA? I look forward to Greg and The Australian editorialising on behalf of WA’s unrepresented and neglected battlers.

Left to our own devices and free of outside meddling, we would be significantly better off economically. We would also finally able to regain the sovereignty that was so cruelly snatched from us in the appallingly misguided decision to form a federation. We have been shamelessly exploited and neglected ever since.

An independent WA ought to seize the opportunity to forge its own foreign policies free of the oppressive influence and strategic bias of the eastern states, too. Surely I’m not the only one who still seethes at the mention of the Brisbane line and the decision to abandon most of Australia to the Japanese in the event of an invasion during the second world war?

Now things look rather different, though. The geopolitical boot is on the other foot. As Colin Barnett has pointed out, Beijing is far more important to WA than Canberra. Even if Barnett’s a bit too radical and close to the Chinese for some of us over here, he’s got a point. I say, let’s go all the way, Colin, and follow Darwin’s example.

How much would the Chinese pay for a permanent base in WA? A lot more than they paid the Northern Territory, is my guess. But it’s not just the immediate capital injection that WA would benefit from.

If WA gave free rein to the Chinese navy operating out of Garden Island, they could permanently sort out the illegal migrant problem, too. Once they’d sunk a few refugee boats I’m pretty confident the people smugglers would get the message.

WA’s economic and security needs could be resolved in one swift expression of our collective Western Australian destiny, if only we’re brave enough to seize the day. Just as Nigel Farage pointed out to the – overpaid, unrepresentative – elites in the European parliament the other day, you eastern states types may be laughing now, but you won’t be once we’ve asserted our independence and cast you adrift.

The sooner we get a proper border between the West and the rest the better we’ll be. We’re thoroughly sick of blow-ins coming over here during the good times and taking jobs that ought to go to locals. The consequent impact on WA’s property market has also been devastating, to say nothing of social stability. Need I go on?

Come on Sandgropers! We have nothing to lose but our chains. If we allow the eastern staters to continue trampling on our rights and stealing our resources we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves. They think we’re a bunch of uncultured hicks and has-beens over east anyway. Let’s show them what we’re made of.

WAxit: you know it makes sense.

Authors: Mark Beeson, Professor of International Politics, University of Western Australia

Read more http://theconversation.com/wa-xit-history-beckons-61865

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