Australian Outlook

Issues Brief

11 Apr 2014
Colin Chapman

This week saw a sudden death, not of an individual, but the computer operating system Windows XP, many of us have used and loved or hated, in my case the latter. On Tuesday it felled AIIA NSW’s main computer.  But, as the China Daily reports, the Chinese are even more annoyed about it than we are. They will not be the only ones.

The China Daily also managed to report the pledge by both Australia and China to complete a free trade deal with a little more detail than some parts of the Australian media.

Meanwhile this week’s The Economist reports that in China a civil society is starting to flourish through a number of NGOs.  And in the critical finance and investment sector a breakthrough is expected later this year in instant trading between the region’s two most important share markets, Hongkong and Shanghai.

Elections are underway in India, and the eminent journalist John Lloyd questions whether the opposition candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi really stands for democracy rather than dividing India’s 815 million voters.

The author and Middle East commentator Robert Fisk is equally worried about another leader, Recep Erdogan of Turkey, suggesting he has shifted from a being a modern and admired man to a ‘tin-pot dictator’.

Anyone who has attended a Burns night will be familiar with the famous song The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. In this the poet vows violent revenge on the English, with the line “You’ll take the high road, and I’lll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye”.  In the Financial Times political commentator Philip Stephens tells us support for Scottish independence at the coming referendum is rising, with Scots Nationalist leader Alex Salmond taking the low road with an unemotional campaign.


Colin Chapman, a writer and broadcaster, is president of the AIIA NSW