The Australian pavilion at Glasgow:
Santos may need to capture lots of CO2, too.
Judging by Chevron’s Gorgon facility in Western Australia, Santos is facing a hard job.
----------The latest apparent facts in the Scotty versus Macron story:
Fact A: Last Monday, a person or persons with access to Scotty from Marketing’s mobile phone leaked personal text messages from Emmanuel Macron to a Murdoch tabloid. This, the report alleges, is what Macron asked Scotty a couple of days before the AUKUS bombastic announcement:
“Should I expect good or bad news for our joint submarines ambitions?”
In other words, two days before Scotty announced he had killed the contract, Macron was asking if the contract was in good health or whether it had fallen ill.
That’s not what The Daily Telegraph understood. They say that message refutes Macron’s claim (and after Scotty used the word “refute”, you keep hearing its echo: every single COALition pollie including Marise Payne and Josh Fraudenberg, goes around using the word “refute”). For them that proves that Macron knew all along the contract was dead.
Strange? Unusual? You bet, but there’s more.
Asked by reporters, Scotty neither explicitly admitted the leak, nor denied it.
Fact B: The same day, another Murdoch rag, The Australian, reported that a “confidential 15-page document” – negotiated in secret by Aussies, Poms, and Yanks, the latter, members of the National Security Council, which also signed the document – detailed the timeline of the deception, according to sources in Canberra. And this document, the rag adds, is kept at the Eisenhower Building, “a few steps from Joe Biden’s Oval Office”. It confirms that Macron was deceived – thus contradicting The Daily Telegraph’s own interpretation – but alleges now that the Yanks knew all about the lies. The Murdoch press wants to have it both ways: the Yanks are as guilty of lying as the Aussies, but the French knew it all along and Scotty is as immaculately free of sin as the Virgin Mary.
The reporter, however, did not state The Australian sighted the document or how it ascertained its authenticity or even its content. It did not even include a facsimile of the document (for that matter, we were left to assume the sources in Canberra are credible).
Now, I suppose Macron’s accusation (“I know Scott Morrison lied”) may have sent Scotty into a fit of rage. But I struggle to believe Scotty made those leaks himself or authorised them. Indeed, I doubt there were any leaks. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think much of Scotty’s intelligence – and I doubt I’m alone here – but I think not even he can be so monumentally stupid. And even if he were, his personal retainers would have stopped him from doing that, one would hope.
So, lacking any evidence to the contrary, I cannot but conclude those “leaks” are likely to be a hoax. And, believe it or not, that kind of thing happens in Oz. Remember the Godwin Grech affair?
True, the COALition is well-known for “backgrounding” those who can’t defend themselves. But, surely, even the COALition would think twice before “backgrounding” powerful people like Macron or Joe Biden?
Ultimately, regardless of whether these stories are true or just a hoax, the whole episode could be extremely damaging to Scotty, personally, and to his friends. Over a hundred heads of state/government witnessed that fracas. And they will make their own minds, mostly out of Murdoch’s reach. In the eyes of the world, Scotty and his Government were exposed as liars.
If I were, for example, Joe Biden I’d be asking myself if I can talk candidly with Scotty or whether he is a loose cannon. Wouldn’t France be a more reliable ally and Macron a more congenial mate in the Indo-Pacific region? After all, at least France did not embarrass Biden with their lack of climate change action.
I also imagine American spooks by now have checked carefully any documents Aussie officials may have had a hand on and have drawn lists of potential leakers. Future working sessions – if they are not cancelled – may turn out less than pleasant for Australians visiting the White House.
Will Australia ever sign its new free trade agreement with the European Union? It may be just me, but judging by what the French ambassador Jean-Pierre Thébault said last Wednesday at the Canberra Press Club, it won’t happen any time soon, at least in part because of Scotty’s inaction on climate change.
Will Scotty forever hoodwink his “Pacific family” or will they instead eventually turn to China?
And I’d bet that ain’t the kind of marketing Santos had in mind when they set that pavilion.
On the other hand, I cannot but commend the Murdoch media for helping Scotty dig himself ever deeper into that hole. Keep up the good work, fellas!
The Australian website last Monday: