Our government understands at least some of these things, which is probably why it loves free trade agreements, and why Scott Morrison as treasurer was so dismissive of Tony Abbott’s suggestion that we slash immigration, citing the billions of dollars it would cost the budget. But this government has now entered a phase of reflex nationalist posturing (remember that thing about acknowledging veterans on Virgin Australia flights?). It simply cannot resist an opportunity to wear the flag as a cape and tell the world who’s in charge. You might love or loathe that as you please. The trouble really starts once you believe the fantasy it offers, because it’s unravelling around the world before our very eyes.