Oct 24, 2013

Abbott’s tin ear for diplomacy

Tony Abbott has vacillated between tone-deaf and patronising in his relationships with our near neighbours so far, writes retired diplomat and political commentator Bruce Haigh.

Tony Abbott

According to sources close to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) is less than impressed with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. It is said this view was formed before the election, when Abbott, Bishop and now Immigration Minister Scott Morrison talked loud and long about turning around refugee boats and sending them back to Indonesia.

The rumour was confirmed when Abbott turned up late for two important gatherings at APEC where SBY was in the chair, and in case there are some who would to contest this, when the egos of heads of state are on the line the attendance at all meetings of conferences such as APEC are important.

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22 thoughts on “Abbott’s tin ear for diplomacy

  1. shepherdmarilyn

    Bruce, Howard did not liberate the East Timorese, why does that silly bit of crap keep being peddled?

  2. Bill Hilliger

    A servile grovelling Tony Abbott commands no respect from our SE Asian neighbours. It is said some of the Politian’s refer to him and madam Julie as the Australian joke.

  3. JStephens

    *Cringe* *cringe* *cringe*, we really have elected the government which represents the majority of Australian voters… this just gets worse and worse

  4. zut alors

    Words are cheap, grovelling or otherwise. Actions speak louder.

    Through his lack of punctuality to two APEC meetings Abbott sent the message that his time is more important than other leaders’. Abbott wore sheer arrogance on his sleeve.

    If he has his eye on Japan his manners need an urgent overhaul – the Japanese have excruciatingly high standards.

  5. Observation

    Surely people you could see this train wreck happening. What a terrible state this country is in when we could not find a leader that could push this idiot to one side during the last election. And I mean that from both sides of politics. Shame on them all!

    Surely we must at least salvage from this embarrassing situation a hard lesson learned and for good leaders, never again to stand by and watch a lunatic reach this position.

  6. Chris Hartwell

    Zut Alors, to be fair to Mr Abbott, I was in Bali at the time of APEC, and not even the indo special forces team (in their matte-black .50cal machine gun jeeps) doing security were excused the joys of Bali-traffic. It’s entirely possible if Mr Abbott was coming from Kuta or Denpasar proper at the time.

    …Look, it’s been a long time since I played Devil’s Advocate, so I figured I needed a challenge, and this was it.

  7. zut alors

    Chris Hartwell, nice try.

    In light of your traffic information it becomes all the more curious that none of the other leaders suffered the same delays.

  8. Mike Flanagan

    Lets call a spade a shovel Mr Haig. He is not only an empty headed dingbat but a national bloody embarrassment.

  9. Mike Flanagan

    Chris Harwell;
    Nothing to do with traffic sir, he was having a merry old time with the Canadian PM, the champion of Tight Oil and Tar Sands, of which we have large dormant resources.

  10. CML

    Mike at #8. Absolutely agree with your comment. How very depressing that we have at least 3 years of this, and probably longer.
    When are those who voted for this disaster of a government going to realise what they have done?

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