Opinion

You know how it goes, one day you’re the most important cause there ever was, the next, you’re just some shmuck begging in a former Soviet province. Faster than it takes a social media normie to change their profile badge, today’s Great Moral Challenge is yesterday’s “Greta who?”

Anyone remember Ukraine? Anyone?

Certainly not Penny Wong. She’s got Palestine, now.

Ukraine has appealed directly to Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong for an urgent shipment of Australian coal to help meet its energy needs as Russia bombards its power plants with missile and drone attacks.

The Eastern European nation lodged an official request with the government in December for a supply of coal but has yet to receive a response, leading officials to become increasingly worried a shipment may not arrive in time for the European winter.

Sorry, Vlod, Penny’s got new friends — far more electorally important friends. There are less than 100,000 Australians of Ukrainian descent. There’s nearly a million Muslims.

You do the math.

In a letter to Wong sent on May 6, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko said that “events over the last five months have increased Ukraine’s need for energy security and the assistance of its allies in that regard”.

And as far as Wong and the rest of Labor are concerned, Ukraine can go whistle.

Even more important than the electoral maths of Muslim votes in Labor’s Western Sydney heartland is the foaming leftist aversion to coal.

The Coalition has attacked the government for declining to commit to sending coal to Ukraine. Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham said the initial December request should have received a speedy yes. He said it was “embarrassing” that the government had not provided an answer to Ukraine’s coal request.

“For six long months Labor has swept Ukraine’s request for thermal coal under the carpet when it should have been approved immediately,” he said. “Of all the goods that Australia can give to Ukraine, thermal coal is one of the easiest for us, so why is it so hard for the Albanese government to say yes?”

The Age

But… but… think of the climate!

Australia, though, is not the only erstwhile fangirl skipping away from Ukraine and off to the newest big thing.

Western allies are taking too long to make key decisions on military support for Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky told Reuters in an exclusive interview in Kyiv.

Sorry, Vlod, you’ve missed your big moment. In more ways than one.

An impassioned Zelensky, dressed in his familiar khaki T-shirt and trousers, said the situation on the battlefield was one of the most difficult he had known since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

In recent weeks, Moscow’s troops have made incursions into north-eastern Ukraine, further testing Kyiv’s already stretched defences. At the same time, Russia has taken territory in the eastern Donbas region in sometimes fierce battles.

The Age

Remember the much-vaunted “spring offensive”, anyone?

Snark aside, it’s obvious now that Ukraine has blown whatever opportunities it had, militarily and politically. For all the propaganda and media cheer-leading, the unpalatable truth is that Ukraine has performed dismally on the battlefield from the get-go. While Russia may not have got the swift victory it hoped for, the outcome is in less doubt than it ever was.

All that’s to be decided now is just how much blood and treasure Zelensky is willing to throw away before accepting the inevitable.

A peace will be negotiated. It was always going to be. Thanks to a combination of battlefield attrition and the rapidly dwindling attention spans of the “Slava Ukraini” social media brigade, Ukraine will be negotiating from a weaker position than ever.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...