Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:40 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:40 | SYDNEY

Sheridan outrage is fun, but...


Sam Roggeveen


12 June 2008 10:47

The Australian's foreign editor, Greg Sheridan, writes great columns when he's angry, and today's is a corker. He's in full outrage mode, and lands some telling punches on the Prime Minister, particularly in regard to the extreme silliness of the green car initiative, costing the taxpayer $35 million to lure Toyota to Melbourne to build hybrid cars (none dare call it corporate welfare).

Outrage has its limits though, and when it comes to Rudd's nuclear disarmament initiative, announced in Japan three days ago, I prefer the analysis of Sheridan's colleague, Mike Steketee. Sheridan is right to question the apparent lack of organisation and preparation behind the proposal, but wrong to dismiss the whole idea of nuclear disarmament as 'silly', just because nuclear weapons cannot be uninvented.

As Steketee says, 'there are more than 25,000 nuclear warheads, 10,200 of them are operational and several thousand are kept on high alert, ready to be launched within minutes.' Whether, as Sheridan argues, it is self-contradictory or inherently absurd to expect that we can ever abolish nuclear weapons is surely an argument we can leave for another day. There is so much daylight between where we are now and the 'zero option' that we have plenty of work to get on with in the meantime to reduce the danger from what remains the single biggest threat to human survival.