Sep 10, 2013

Memo to Tony Abbott on foreign policy

Tony Abbott is no expert on international affairs -- and now he's in charge of the country. Retired diplomat Bruce Haigh has written Tony a how-to guide.

Foreign policy is not Tony Abbott’s strong suit. Bruce Haigh, a retired diplomat and regular political commentator for Crikey, decided to give the prime minister-elect some tips.

Stay out of the day-to-day issues of foreign policy. Intervene when the presence of a prime minister will make a difference.  Be mindful of Kevin Rudd’s over-intervention and lack of consultation with neighbours, and Gillard’s under-involvement. The art of a prime minister with respect to successful forays into foreign policy is knowing when to press the appropriate button.

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18 thoughts on “Memo to Tony Abbott on foreign policy

  1. @Keening_Product

    Turnbull would make for an interesting choice. Him in that role would also take Abbott’s main leadership rival out of the country often,which might be a good thing from the PM’s perspective in the future.

  2. @Keening_Product

    Turnbull could also show the rest of the world his wonderful internet invention!

  3. Gavin Moodie

    What’s wrong with Bishop as foreign minister? I don’t agree with her politics, but I don’t see why she isn’t ‘intelligent, mature and sophisticated’.

    Please don’t stoke US hegemony by calling the country between Canada and Mexico the name of the whole continent.

  4. Andybob

    P.J. O’Rourke noted that whatever it was that governments did, most people preferred that it be done to someone else. This, he surmised, was the beginning of foreign policy. On that basis I say Cousin Jethro for foreign minister.

  5. Kevin Herbert

    Bruce Haigh says:

    “Our relationships in the Middle East need to be better tuned and more even-handed, particularly with respect to Palestine and Israel”.

    Myself & I’d estimate more than 70% of Australia’s Jews would agree with that sentiment. Having our foreign policy dictated by the US MIC & AIPAC is increasingly nauseating.

    This fact is in play in the US Congress’s deliberations on Syria, where the MIC & AIPAC are not getting their way for the first time since 1970’s. And why is this happening?
    Simply because the now disgraced US Zionist controlled MSM can longer control the public message on major global events due to the rise of the net.

    These groups are pure evil.

  6. Gavin Moodie

    The US military machine lost the public relations war about Vietnam, years before the net. So I don’t think the public’s opposition to attacking Syria has got much to do with that. More to the US’ intelligence and military failures with Iraq.

  7. Blair Martin

    Brilliant last sentence. The joy of having a career diplomat writing on foreign affairs not a politician/lawyer.

  8. Kevin Herbert

    Gavin Moodie:

    Bishop showed her lightweight foreign affairs status when she threatened to withdraw funding, if elected, from a group of esteemed Australian academics expressing their views on a contentious foreign policy matter.

    Definitely not the mind set of a worthy foreign minister..but let’s see how she goes with a political blowtorch to the belly…I’m tipping she’ll be gone within 12 months

  9. Griffiths Karen

    Is this the new season of “An idiot abroad?”

  10. klewso

    Lady Penelope – Thunderbirds are go?
    What good’s someone else’s bon mot if you can’t dress it up as your own?

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