Tuesday 14 October 2014

Free Range Diplomacy.


What a difference a day makes.

Two days ago, PM Tony Abbott was going to shirtfront Russian President Vladimir Putin:
"Mr Abbott raised eyebrows when he told reporters in Queensland: 'Look, I'm going to shirtfront Mr Putin … you bet I am'." (see here)
Yesterday he was singing a different tune, as reported by that Murdoch-owned "conservative, centre-right, libertarian" propaganda pamphlet:
"Prime Minister Tony Abbott has toned down his language on Russia, but still insists he will hold a 'very robust conversation' with Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit".
Well, maybe this time he actually means it. And if he asks nicely, respectfully, humbly, he may even get an audience with Putin, because Putin apparently has no plans of speaking with him:
"Russian second secretary to Australia Alexander Odoevskiy said there had been no request for a bilateral meeting between the leaders, and Moscow was not expecting a physical confrontation.
"From the Russian government perspective, currently the president of Russia is getting prepared for the Brisbane summit.
"This is an international event focused around the economic issues, and as we are aware at this point there has not been a request for a bilateral meeting, either from Moscow or from Canberra.
"So we are not sure where exactly and when the Australian Prime Minister would like to shirtfront president Putin." (see here)

But I am an equal opportunity critic and to keep the balance, I won't leave Labor out of the note. Opposition "leader" Bill Shorten according to that rag:
" 'When you deal with international bullies, the way you do it isn't by laying out the red carpet,' Mr Shorten said today. 'So no, I don't think he's welcome. I don't think most Australians want him here'.'' (see here)
So, that's his big idea: the silence treatment. Please, Shorten, for the love of God, shut up.


Call me a Neanderthal, but I still prefer a good, old-fashioned, dust-up.

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